Golden Gate Live Steamers

Continuous Dedication to Live Steaming & Model Engineering Since 1936

Jeremy Coombes & Charlie Reiter with a High Track draw bridge demonstration Model

One of the club's major assets is the technical resource and vast knowledge base of its members.  One of the major purpose of this web site is to make available this information

for the benefit of our members, guests and visitors.  Our Technical Articles collection are extracted from back issues of the Call Boy, from other out-of-print sources and submittals from talent writers wishing to share their experience.

Be aware that the club cannot be held responsible for errors, damages or injuries resulting from the use of any information from this web site.

Shop Practices Series from Charlie Reiter


"With this series of articles I hope to present some short columns that cover a little piece of the knowledge that is critical to the effective use of tools and processes in the fabrication shop."

Shop Practice 1 metal spinning  - A 4 page article by Charlie Reiter describing how he uses the art of metal spinning to produce useful items ("roundy things") of interest to the live steamer such as steam domes which are difficult to make any other way.

 Shop Practice X3 Drills and Drilling - A 6-page article by Charlie Reiter describing tips on drills and drilling, probably the most used operation in the shop.

 Shop Practice X4 Resistance Soldering - A 7-page article on resistance soldering wich is the use of a high current, low voltage device to create heat in the part itself to allow itseft to the soldered or brazed.

 Shop Practice X5 Quick review of soldering, brazing and welding - A 4-page article about the differences of soldering, brazing & welding and attempts to clear up some of the confusion of these 3 different techniques.

 Shop Practice X6 Abrasive Tumbling - A 4-page article about the little known usage of abrasive tumbling in the realm of model engineering which can be added to your bag of tricks.

 Shop Practice 7 Gland Packing - A 3-page article about his secrets he uses on the installation of gland packing.

 Shop Practice 8 Taking Care of Your Tools - A 3-page article about being efficient and caring for your tools.

 Shop Practice 9 Woods Metal - A 5-page article about using "Woods" metal to bend metal tubing without it collapsing.

 Shop Practice 10 Propane Burners - A 14-page article about Charlie's experiences with propane burners.  Propane, an Ideal Locomotive Fuel!

Articles from other Contributors

Boiler Accessories Technical Talk  - A 2 page article by Dick Thomas on boiler accessories, building tips and running tips.

 Building Copper Boilers - A 1 page article where John Lisherness has some advice on building copper boilers.

 Check Valve Technical Talk - A 4 page article by Bob Cohen talking in detail about the Design, Care and Feeding of Check Valves.

 Firing Miniature Steam Locomotives - A 3 page article by Dick Thomas describing the different types of fuel that are used to fire the miniature live steam locomotives.

 Freight Cars Technical Talk - A 2 page article by Rich Croll talking about freight cars and cabooses.

 Heat Treating Technical Talk - A 3 page article by Ken Brunskill discussing heat treating steel in the home work shop and about a tour at the Edwards Heat Treating company.

 Injectors Technical Talk - A 3-page article by Chris Leggo talking briefly about injectors.

 How An Injector Works - A 3-page article by Dick Bagley, Riverside Live Steamers, describing not 'why' an injector works but 'how' an injector works.  Mnay readers have found this worthwhile reading.

 Large Scale Model Railway Engineering - A 9 page article from Tom Artzberger who talked about making stirrups and grab irons.

 Oils, Lubricating & Cutting Technical Talk - A 2 page article by Rich Croll on the application of oils to lubrication and cutting.

 Painting Technical Talk - A 2 page article by Jim Lowe discussing the techniques of painting models.

 Performance of Permanent Magnet Motors - A 1 page article by Steve Vitkovits on determining the performance of permanent magnet motors.

Silver Soldering Technical Talk - A 2 page article by John Lisherness describing the steps he takes to do simple silver brazing.

 SmokeBox Technical Talk - A brief 2 page article by Dick Thomas that was presented by Steve Vitkovits on a smokebox demonstration.

 Smokebox Technical Talk - A 3 page article by Dick Thomas about smokeboxes and smokestacks.

 Steam Whistles Technical Talk - A 3 page article by Chris Rizzoli that covered the history of the whistle, types of whistles, prototype whistle construction and whistle engineering.

 Steel Boiler Technical Talk - A 3 page article by John Lisherness about building a steel boiler for a locomotives.

 Summary of Boiler Series Talk - A 6 page article by Dick Thomas that discussed more on the smokebox and by John Lisherness on model steam boilers.

 Winton Brown's Engineering Notes - An essential document by Winton Brown for the scale model engineer to do preliminary design and sizing of components for a miniature live steam locomotive.  Engineers refer to this document as a first step in creating a new locomotive.  Note that permission was obtained from Winton Locomotives to post this article on this web page and that Winton Locomotives retain all copyrights to this article and its contents.

Tom Artzberger wrote a brief number of articles relating to steam locomotive design and engineering that are useful when used with information from Winton Brown, Martin Evans, K.N. Harris and others.  

 Table of Contents Bearings Brake Valve Check Valve

 Diesel Locomotive Duplex Pump Hand Pump Other Pumps 

 Propane Burners Pump Diagrams Steam Engineering Tractive Effort 

Also included are plans for the following freight cars:


Gondola Hopper Car Logging Flat Car 

Dan Swanson has a 6 second video showing a Mars headlight that he is developing and it's pretty cool!

 "The following short video consists of a cluster of LEDs controlled by electronic circuitry installed on a prototyping bread board. Initially the sweeping faux Mars light is shown and then a switch is thrown which illuminates all LEDs continuously for use as a headlight."

It's 11.5 mbytes so it will take a few seconds to download.  Click here to view it.

This is the new face plate for the new emergency warning light created by Dan Swanson.

Dan has also created a few second length video of this light operating.  

Be aware that the video is about 11 megs and will take a few seconds to down load.

If you would like to view this video, click 


Dan Swanson also wrote a two part article on the use & installation of cab lighting using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).  Part 1 gives a brief overview of LEDs and can be obtained HERE.  Part 2, a 12+ page article dealing with creating & mounting of the lighting fixtures in the cab can be obtained HERE.

Sight Glass Drawings

John Lisherness wanted to share drawings created by Anthony Duarte which shows how to make a new lower valve assembly for the LocoParts' water level gauge.

Jerry Kimberlin created this solution for the LocoParts' water level gauge problem and also made a few samples.

Anthony Duarte's CAD drawings of this solution can be downloaded from this website by clicking HERE.

During John's tech talk, he explained the problem with the LocoParts water level gauge and offered Jerry's solution.

The most important idea throughout John's entire presentation was to express that this problem is solvable!

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