Metalworking and Model Engineering

Metalworking Info

Machinery Notes, Rebuilding, & Modification

Individual's Metalworking Shops

I've started to collect the links to individual people's workshops here, so there are easy to find. These pages can also contain lots of resource info, in addition to info about the person's shop.

Steam Power

I have a life-long interest in steam power, steam engines, turbines, boilers, and the accessories. Whether it is for Railroad applications, Seagoing vessels, or Stationary power facilities, it is all interesting. I think I find Steam power so fascinating because it is something a person with ordinary knowledge and skills can build with their own hands and simple tools. And be capable of maintaining it and fuelling it and running it without the need of an oil refinery or highly specialized complex tools. Some people have pointed out that the "simplicity" of steam power is false, that it is actually as complicated (or even more complicated) than Internal Combustion power. While I can certainly agree with them, I would point out that steam power is something that is incrementally complex; the individual parts are simple mechanical pieces. With an I.C. engine you need to worry about things like an electrical system and spark plugs that add an entire different kind of complexity beyond "simple" mechanics to the engine system. So yes, steam power is complex, but the individual components are not, and I think it is simpler because of that factor.

I have wanted to build steam engines and boilers and accessories for a long time. I hope that I will have a chance to find some metalworking tools and develop the skills needed so I can finally do something about this passion of mine.

In the spring of 2000 I attended Tom Stockton's Study of Steam course, which is sponsored by NAMES. If you have an interest in Steam Power I highly recommend this class. It covers the fundamentals of steam power plants, whether they be mobil or stationary, land based or marine. This course covers the gamut from Boilers to Valve Gear to Steam Engines to Turbines to Metallurgy to Thermodynamics to ...! I have studied many books about steam power, and I have have always got stuck somewhere along the way in analysis or other phases. There just isn't anyone who teaches, for example, steam engine valve timing, that you can ask to understand this better. Tom's course filled in a LOT of the holes I was missing, provided several AHA! moments when I finally understood something that I had been stumped about for a long time, and taught me stuff that I would have benefited studying, but didn't know about.

Societies, Clubs, Museums & Live Steam Railroads

Steam Boats and Launches

Local Live Steam Railroads

The Milwaukee Zoo's railroad is a 15" gauge running equipment made by Sandley Light Railway Equipment. Sandley is out of business, but the grounds are still kept up by ..

The Riverside and Great Northern is a preservation society which operates and preserves the grounds of the Sandley manufactory. They are capable of producing their own equipment, but have not done any new steam locomotives in several years. The R&GN suffered a setback in June of 2004 when a landslide cut off about 1/3 of their railroad from the other remainder. They are still operating, and determining what to do to reconnect the two portions.

The Whiskey River Railway is a 16" gauge railroad whose station is at the Little A-Merrick-A amusement park. These folks have about 3 miles of track. The Whiskey River has a large selection of rolling stock and several Steam and Diesel locomotives. Under the guise of Merrick Light Railway Equipment these folks build new equipment -- steam, diesel, and rolling stock.

Other Live Steam Railroads

Shows & Exhibitions

In addition to the shows I have listed below, there are typically many shows all over the nation on the Labor Day 3-day weekend. Their are so many that you can't really see them all!

Huge Shows

These are huge shows that the "real" metalworking industry attends. They are supposed to be interesting, people show up with machining centers and run them.

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Last Modified: Wed Nov 7 13:08:55 CST 2012
Bolo (Josef Burger) <>