Series covering making a Frisco 739 from a PFM NP 4-6-0

Discussion in '4-6-0 Ten Wheeler' started by frisco1522, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    I have been busy doing some brass bashing for a friend of mine. He bought a PFM Northern Pacific S4 class 4-6-0 to be used as a starting point. I've been taking progress photos to send him while I've been working on it and he suggested posting the series here on
    I'll be posting a photo from time to time to keep you up to date. Along with the photo, I'll explain what has been done. It's nearly finished, but I'll have to catch up with the photos for this "article". It will be a model of the 739. I'll post a couple of photos of the prototype later also.
    First photo is the stock PFM model.

    Attached Files:

  2. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Howdy Don,

    I can't wait to see the thread. Thanks for posting it.

  3. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Love those Alco 4-6-0's with canted-steam chests. Looking forward to seeing more.
  4. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I've always wanted a brass steamer. Maybe one of these days. Can't wait for the story and photos.
  5. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    Don, Please write the series up as an article for the Meteor instead of posting it here!
  6. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Richard, I've kind of let the cat out of the bag on this one, but can do something similar with a 1520 project I'm also working on. Many,many years ago a Dr. up in MI asked me to take a 1520 class PFM model and make a "display" model for him by closing up the boiler and firebox. A couple of years ago a friend of mine up east talked me into doing the same thing, but in this instance, I've taken it a lot farther in the detail dept by doing a full cab interior and the like. I will work this up for the Meteor.
  7. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Karl beat me to it. One of these is on my small-motive power bucket list. We'll eagerly await the details, Don...thanks for sharing...
  8. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    So back on November 4, 2011, the now ex-NP ten wheeler was shoved into the West Pacific shops and work began in earnest. The boiler was stripped, pilot removed, cab sides and sand dome, all piping and the running boards removed. The new operator had requested that the Westinghouse cross compound air pump be replaced by a New York system. The shop crew went home tired and dirty that night.

    Attached Files:

  9. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Amazing, Don. If I did that to a brass model - I would not be able to sleep at night. :eek:
  10. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Posting project progress on this thread may not be a deal-breaker for an eventual "Meteor" article. It is possible to flesh out this narrative for the "Meteor" with parts lists, construction steps and other similar details. Of course that depends greatly on the available time and energy of the West Pacific Shop crew as it tackles this project.

    George "eagerly watching this one, too" Nelson
  11. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    Don--Will your (Does your) 1520 project have the hi-side replacement tender? I always thought that was a neat modification ever since I saw the great Preston George photo in Frisco Power.

    Tom G.
  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Encouraging work for those of us that have some brass waiting to be Frisco-ized. I also really like the backdrop for your work-in-progress photos.
  13. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    I haven't decided which number will be on the 1520 series. Probably 1520 or 1523. No high side welded tender tho.
  14. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    After a few days in the shop, the air pump has been changed out to a NY pump, a new sand dome is installed, the sheet metal gang has made new cab sides and a new pilot is installed. 739 now has her Frisco "face". She also has a new stack and bell.

    Attached Files:

  15. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    That is some fine work! My soldering skills suck but that looks fantastic. I've got to find a brass 4-4-0 and tear into it. My hat's off to you.
  16. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    This is really going to be fun watching this little NP engine being transformed into a Frisco gem! Great work Don.

  17. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Now the shop crew has mounted the running boards and have started laying up the steps from the pilot to the running boards.

    Attached Files:

  18. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    The pipefitters have been busy plumbing up the air pump and some other accessories. Running boards are now in place.

    Attached Files:

  19. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Don, I now have brass fever. It's all your fault. The biggest problem with this is the fact that I can't solder very well. Actually I suck at it. Would you take a minute and share your steps for attaching detail items. Would you tell us what equipment/supplies you use to complete a soldering task. Your work looks very good and I want to tackle a 4-4-0 project. I'm sure others would enjoy a soldering review. Sorry if this is covered elsewhere.
  20. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    The big trick to soldering is to make sure both pieces are clean as well as the soldering tip. If they aren't, then you won't have a good joint. Make sure you have a good fit between the pieces you are soldering. I use a non corrosive paste flux sparingly. Most of the soldering I have done on this engine has been with a pencil type iron set at about 50-60W. I also have a Weller 250W gun and an American Beauty 150W resistance unit. I probably end up with too much solder on the joints, but I try to solder everything so that I can pick up the engine by the piece I just soldered on, within reason of course. Wouldn't want to pick the engine up by the bell cord. I have a small sandblast rig that I clean up the joints with prior to painting.
    Best thing to do is gather up a bunch of scrap pieces of brass and practice. Solder needs to be "wet" at the joint. A cold joint has kind of a crystalized dull look to it and will not hold.
    I haven't done it but I'll bet if you googled soldering you could find some useful advice.
    Don't ever give up and say I can't do this. I couldn't do it either until I started working at it.
    Good luck.

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