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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a little 4-4-0 American courtesy of a trade with a forum member. It runs great, but these little guys are light as a feather and struggles up the slightest incline. An ounce perched on top of it solve the issue nicely... but how do you go about adding weight to these!? Has anyone found a creative way to add a bit, short of recasting the shell in lead? There is no way I'll fit an ounce of wheel weights in there.


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I have one of those locos too, and they are truly helpless when it comes to traction. I agree, there is no room for added weight, so there are really only two choices...accept that it will pull a limited number of cars on a flat track, or do as I did and build a small diorama and set it on the piano for display. 😄
 
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I've got a little 4-4-0 American courtesy of a trade with a forum member. It runs great, but these little guys are light as a feather and struggles up the slightest incline. An ounce perched on top of it solve the issue nicely... but how do you go about adding weight to these!? Has anyone found a creative way to add a bit, short of recasting the shell in lead? There is no way I'll fit an ounce of wheel weights in there.


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vette-kid;
No lead casting would be necessary. It would be possible to build a new locomotive body out of brass tubing, and bar stock. The sand dome, stack, and steam dome could be turned from brass rod. the cab could be fairly thick brass sheet. This sounds harder than it actually is. Its work, of course, but you don't need to be a machinist or even own a lathe to do it. A Dremel tool or electric drill will do the turning, and mini files can do the shaping. All the brass parts can be soldered together.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Definitely sounds like work! I am intrigued though. Turning it doesn't sound too bad, but hollowing out the underside to fit the gearing and attaching the valve gear/ rod etc. That's definitely a project for down on the list somewhere.

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Definitely sounds like work! I am intrigued though. Turning it doesn't sound too bad, but hollowing out the underside to fit the gearing and attaching the valve gear/ rod etc. That's definitely a project for down on the list somewhere.

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vette-kid;

You don't have to "hollow out" anything. Brass tubing, which I suggested for the boiler, is hollow. The cab, built with soldered brass sheets, would also be hollow. If you don't want to try the full body, you might turn some brass rod into the three domes, and try that. If its not enough then a brass tube boiler wouldn't be all that hard to make. Neither would the cab, for that matter. Still, scratchbuilding in brass isn't for everyone, so you may want to pass on this idea. Judging from the success of your own "external weight added" test, a brass body would probably work well though.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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You can buy lead sheet and strip material from McMaster-Carr out of Chicago. They have many raw materials from which to choose. I did a lot of business with them during construction of my full size Boeing 727 simulator.

Tungsten might be a good choice for a very dense material in a small amount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can buy lead sheet and strip material from McMaster-Carr out of Chicago. They have many raw materials from which to choose. I did a lot of business with them during construction of my full size Boeing 727 simulator.

Tungsten might be a good choice for a very dense material in a small amount.
I did find some tungsten putty, but I don't think there is enough room to put enough to help.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
vette-kid;

You don't have to "hollow out" anything. Brass tubing, which I suggested for the boiler, is hollow. The cab, built with soldered brass sheets, would also be hollow. If you don't want to try the full body, you might turn some brass rod into the three domes, and try that. If its not enough then a brass tube boiler wouldn't be all that hard to make. Neither would the cab, for that matter. Still, scratchbuilding in brass isn't for everyone, so you may want to pass on this idea. Judging from the success of your own "external weight added" test, a brass body would probably work well though.

Traction Fan
Sorry I glossed over the hollow bit of info. I'd love to try it actually. It's just going to be down on my list a ways. The tapered section has me a bit baffled. If I can get a section with thick enough wall to turn it down to match the smaller section maybe? Maybe an excuse to buy a mini lathe!

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That little engine would make a nice static display…..;)
That would be a shame! It runs great and wants to run! Worst case I'll use it for a circle around the Christmas tree or something. Or just to play with temp setup with the kids

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Are those domes removable where you could pack that tungsten putty into them? How about the underside of the cab roof and the inside of the smoke stack? What about the underside of the cow catcher?

I'd be willing to bet you could get enough of that putty in the nooks, crannies, and hollow parts to get it to run acceptably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are those domes removable where you could pack that tungsten putty into them? How about the underside of the cab roof and the inside of the smoke stack? What about the underside of the cow catcher?

I'd be willing to bet you could get enough of that putty in the nooks, crannies, and hollow parts to get it to run acceptably.
I'm not sure about the domes. I'll give that a try this weekend. If not, possible I could cut them off, hollow out and glue them back on. I think your on the right track though. 1 ounce of putty is pretty big compared to that engine though. Worth a go.

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