In situ quartering tool

I mentioned earlier that #10 was operating with a bit of a limp due to an out of quarter driver.  As it takes about 30-45 minutes to disassemble or reassemble the locomotive, and every time I risk breaking something or knocking paint off, I thought I’d have a go at quartering the driver without disassembling the engine.

There is probably some rule against this, and I can feel the P4 folks shuddering on the other side of the Atlantic from here.  However, this is what I did.

I made two sleeves for a pair of drivers out of .020″ styrene.  I probably could have/should have made them a little deeper, but I didn’t think of that until I wrote the word “sleeves” just now.  These sleeves are flat on one side, where they touch the ground. I have to thank my Cricut for making these quickly and accurately.

In situ quartering tool

With the sleeves in place on the driven axle, I threaded a piece of styrene onto the crankpin and cemented it to the sides of the sleeve.  Because I am unlikely to ever get the driven axle in the same spot again after the engine runs, these are a one-time use tool: I would have to pry this cross-piece off to reposition it.

Once cross-pieces were solid, I took the sleeves and pushed them onto the crank pins and treads of the other set of drivers.  As you can see, the sleeve didn’t sit flat on one side because the driver was out of quarter.

To shift the wheel on its axle, I simply poked a pair of needle nose pliers through the spokes on each side, and gently worked the wheel around.  When both sleeves lay flat, I stopped.

It seems to have worked.

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3 thoughts on “In situ quartering tool

  1. So it can work! I have wondered if that might be possible. I bought the quarterer from NWSL just to be ready when I have to tear down one of my steamers. So far I haven’t had to go that “deep”.
    A question however: the drivers fit on the axle by friction fit, will they or could they work out of alignment? And need to be requartered.

    1. The Quarterer is a good tool to set the wheels right in the first place. There is a possibility of shifting on the axles, although I suspect that the modifications I made to the wheels made them more susceptible to this, and indeed shifting is how I got into this mess in the first place. Many people use Loctite to assure the wheels stay put.

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