Repairing the Dents

The first step in repairing the locomotive required assessing all of the damage.  I stripped the paint off the locomotive to find out what kind of shape the brass was in.  Fortunately other than the poor paint job and the dents, the underlying brass was in excellent condition with minor tarnishing.   I bead blasted the locomotive to remove the tarnish and the last traces of paint.  The pilot was bent and broken and it was apparent that the locomotive had taken a hard fall on the pilot.


I figured that I should tackle the biggest job (and worry) first, removing the dents from the skyline casing.  As the underside of the casing is inaccessible, I had to first remove the casing from the boiler.  As it turns out this was fairly easy to do, I used a miniature butane torch to quickly heat the casing so that I could remove it without loosening the rest of the solder joints on the boiler.


To remove the dents without further damaging the brass, I made a fixture out of two pieces of 3/8” x 1/2” brass bar stock.  I used my Sherline mill to radius the end of the bar stock.  On one piece this was a concave radius that matched the curve along the top outside of the skyline casing, on the other piece I cut a convex radius that matched the inside curve of the skyline casing.  I placed the dented portion between the two pieces of bar stock and then pressed out the dent with an arbor press.  Using this method I removed about 95% of the original dent, the rest was taken care of with a little lacquer putty and sand paper.


Here’s a picture of the fixture that I made:


Here are some before and after pictures of the skyline casing dents:






And the dent by the engineer’s side number board:





Page 3 - Last updated April 19, 2004


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