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Hi guys,

Well, as mentioned in my Lionel 1681E thread, I've succumb to the "dark forces" and reluctantly "adopted" another mean, mangly-looking, street-wise junkyard dog: a prewar Lionel 259E loco. I really didn't want to do it, but the thing kept watching me, and eventually followed me home. What was I supposed to do? I couldn't just put him back out on the streets? I mean, a guy's gotta have a little compassion every now and then, right?!?

Well, now I'm stuck with him ... and I'm sitting here pondering the age-old proverbial question: Is it possible to teach an old dog new tricks?

I think the answer to that question will take some time, some patience, some under-the-hood t.l.c., and (I ask this most solemnly) -- your prayers.

So, if you happen to like scruffy old dogs, stick around here on this thread. In the coming weeks (months?) I hope to post some info and pics on how I've tried to clean him up, teach him a little discipline, and maybe see if he can "play fetch" around a track nicely. I'm not promising any Westminster best-in-show winner, mind you. But maybe he'll be just barely respectful enough that I can take him out in public without fear of embarrassment -- or litigation.

Now, without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to "SPIKE" ...

He likes to think that this is his "good side", but I don't have the heart to tell him that he really doesn't have one. The tabs that hold his hind quarters in place have long ago broken off and been lost in some dark alley ... accordingly, his back end just sorta flops around in the breeze.



He's been in some nasty fights ... you can see his nose is all bent to the right, and his butt is kinda lopsided and squished. Poor dog ...



His front paws have been broken, too, and they're all bent to the right. He tends to walk around in circles a lot.



And it's clear that he hasn't had a bath in years and years. God knows what all that brown stuff under there might be ...



I took him to the vet. The Doctor just sat there and stared, with this puzzled, blank expression on his face. Do you think he was trying to tell me something? Does SPIKE need to be put down for a long, long "nap"?



Please help us, and offer your prayers ...

TJ
 

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TJ....starting top front, the smokestack-looking thing....if you come up inside with a wooden dowel the same size as the inside of that dome, you can lever it back into it's correct position in relation to the boiler. For the sand and steam domes, the dents can be tapped out, too. Get a good, solid surface like an anvil or a workbench and put a piece of leather on it---the inner side of an old belt will do. Invert your dog on top of it so the domes are resting on the leather surface and secure it between 2x4 scraps, books...whatever you have. Then, take a carriage bolt whose head is just smaller than the interior of the domes and put the head inside the dome...tap gently with a hammer. You should be able to push those dents back out. The leather has enough give that you don't flatten the dome or stamp the edge of the bolt into it. Gentle tapping is the key. Good luck!
 

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Reck,

SPIKE is being disembodied, as we speak. A pile of mangy parts. I've got your dowel idea to undent the boiler on my list, though with the smokestack removed. Your "leather" idea is a great one ... a firm material that won't mar or scratch the dome surface. Good thinking on your part ... THANKS!

TJ
 

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I used to work with silver---same idea when you're trying to form any kind of metal without marring the surface. I would use a full-sized blacksmith's anvil, mounted on a section of a log and carted into my shop. The anvil has a flat surface called a table for working metal: I'd lay a scrap of leather across it that was cut to size. Worked perfectly.
 

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Stern weight ... sits on floor of cab, with screw passing through it, cab sheet metal, and motor frame flange.

You were right about this 259E ... it has another weight inside the steam chest.

Also, I was surprised to see how much bigger it is when compared to my 1681E ... larger diameter boiler, longer shell, etc. Similar, but bigger.

I'll post some pics of my disembodied mutt tomorrow. The main frame was bent pretty badly ... cowcatcher skewed to the right, tail end corkscrewed sideways. I tugged and pulled a bit in my vise, and got it looking a bit better.

I had to drill out the rivets that hold the valve rods to the frame ... those had to be removed in order to remove the main drive rods.

The corresponding front drive rod racks (??? don't know the real name) are attached to the steam chest with another rivet each. I don't think I'll remove those, though, for the strip / refinish job ... I'll try to tape them off, instead.

TJ
 

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What is that part in the top-right corner of this picture :confused:

Somebody, doesn't have a weight.:rolleyes:

Len, has a good idea with the carriage bolt and leather. I used a cheep,soft punch/chisel and rounded the end. After ignoring it for years in my toolbag, I finally found a good use for it.
 

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T-man, thanks. I have the delux version left over from my silver-working days. Some short, steel rods that have been ground and polished to a smooth ball at the end: sort of like a globe on a post. Good tools really spoil you!
 

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Somebody, doesn't have a weight.:rolleyes:
Stern weight ... sits on floor of cab, with screw passing through it, cab sheet metal, and motor frame flange.
Well then, Lionel changed the design of the frame, maybe to cut costs, because mine definitely never came with a weight... The bolt that the motor attaches to is riveted directly to the frame...



 

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Well then, Lionel changed the design of the frame, maybe to cut costs, because mine definitely never came with a weight... The bolt that the motor attaches to is riveted directly to the frame...



Perhaps....and, how can I put this delicately...the derrieres of the northeast ladies are of sufficient mass that the originals had no problem getting traction?:laugh:
 

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B&M,

Re: the stern weight ... that's really interesting. Thanks for sharing the pics of your loco.

On my end, it definitely looks like the design of the weight and how it fits into the cab could have been a Lionel engineer-team afterthought. My frame looks exactly like yours, except WITHOUT the riveted motor-mount screw. My Doyle book say the 259/259E was produced from 1932 through 1940, so some design/fabrication changes are expected.

I'll also add that the frame on this 259E is not nearly as stiff/rigid as that on my 1681E. The mid-length section of the 259E frame is necked-down considerably, to the point where there's very little overall torsional stiffness and rigidity to the whole thing. I've tried to straighten mine a bit, but it wouldn't take much to whack it out of alignment again.

I suspect this is why so many of the photos I've seen of other 259's tend to show a cab that's cocked nose-up / tail down at an aesthetically unatttractive angle. I think it all comes down to rear frame droop, in my opinion.

(And, Reckers ... it pains me to say so, but many of our fair ladies of the Northeast tend to share in that same problem ... Dohhh!)

TJ
 

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What a neat project, tj! :):thumbsup:

There's something really nice about watching old neglected pieces being restored to their former glory.
 

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" ... old neglected pieces being restored to their former glory."

Uhhh ... maybe. For now, the key word is PIECES. My little junkyard dog has been (temporarily ???) disembodied. Ol' SPIKE is praying that I remember how to put him back together again, and that he doesn't end up with his nose tacked on to his butt. Then again ... he might just like that ... he's a dog, after all ...

TJ

 

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cute! ??

In this attached image Lionel-259E-03.jpg

it looks like spike is smiling!
Is he a long lost descendant of Thomas?

Looks like fun

Aaron
 

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Aaron,

Gosh darn it ... he IS smiling in that pic! I hadn't noticed that ... I think he's happy 'cause he finally found some poor schmuck (me!) to take him home!

TJ
 

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259E Project ~ Dumb Lesson Learned #1 ...

Gents,

I've jumped into projects like this to have some fun and learn a bit in the process. Which, inevitably, means making some mistakes along the way. In this case, the top of the first inning ...

TJ's 259E Project "Dumb Lesson Learned #1" ... I say number 1, 'cause this could be a VERY long list ...

So I used the old Easy Off oven cleaner strip-job trick on my 1681E project. Worked great, except I used the mild "no fumes" version of Easy Off there.

For this project, I thought I'd turn up the power dial a bit and use the Heavy Duty Easy Off. So I dumped all of my pieces in a clean throw-away-style aluminum foil lasagna pan, spray on the Easy Off, covered the top with some more aluminum foil, and let the brew sit for about 6 hours, while I got some real work (gotta pay the bills!) done in my office.

At the end of the day I go to check on the "oven". To my shock, the Easy Off had eaten right through the bottom of the lasagna pan. Let me clarify that ... there was NO bottom of the lasagna pan left. Gone. Vaporized. Hocus-pocus disappeared and all that! A full-on David Copperfield vanishing act. Fortunately, I had the dumb-luck foresight to initially place the pan on top of an old sheet of plywood in the garage, and that caught most of the spill. (I had nearly placed the pan on the top of our shiny new washing machine!)

Fortunately, after a mop-job cleanup, I'm happy to report that the Easy Off did do its intended job on stripping all of the paint off of SPIKE's loco parts. Down to bare metal, though there's definitely "spiderwebs" of rust veins on the surface. I'll have to hit them all with a stainless Dremel brush to polish them up a bit.

So ... Dumb Lesson Learned -- Do NOT use Easy Off in one of those throw-away lasagna pans ... and if you do, make sure the washing machine is far, far away!

TJ
 

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Getting Primed

Loco shell & frame parts getting primed ... black Rustoleum sandable primer. This is the underside coat ... I'll let that dry, flip the parts, then prime the top.

My leftover 2" foam scraps (from my HO mountain build) work nicely as supports ... I poke coat-hanger wire into the foam, bend the wire to suit, and prop up the loco parts in the air for spraying.

TJ

 

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