[MLC] Steam Donkey Update

Posted by Gerd on Sunday, 5 February 2023 with No Comments

Hi folks,

as announced in the review post, I like to share some o the progress I made on my steam donkey last year.

The project came to a stop when I was making the pedestals for the main drum. The pieces and design I used were not suitable for the parts. Since I had to order some laser-cut parts for another project, I ordered the two pieces also in laser-cut. I drilled the holes by coordinates as before and I milled the legs to a T-shape in cross-cut. This makes them less massive and a prototypical look.

With the pedestals finished, I was able to install the gears to transmit the power from the steam engine to the main drum. The first set of gears are hidden inside the flywheel.

The small pinion gear will drive the bull gear for the main drum. Also hidden behind the flywheel sits the lubricator for the steam engine. Its driven by an excenter from the intermediate shaft same as the boiler feed pump.

Before I started with the cable drums, I made the bearing pedestals for the second drum. All shafts are turning in IGUS bearings. Another nice feature are the spokes, milled into the bull gears for the drums. Details like this are very important for my when building such a project.

The drums are made from two disc-parts and a section of pipe in between. As on the prototype, the drums are assembled with long stay bolts. I loacted the release spring to open the clutch inside the drums as well. The clutches are designed as wooden surface friction clutch.

With the drums installed, the steam donkey shows the typical design/look. Last parts added here are the band brakes.

Next post will show more details about the clutch levers and mechanics, brake pedals and more bits&bites.


Review, ideas, future…

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 10 January 2023 with 6 Comments

Hello folks,

after a long break, I slowly return back to the hobby.

The last year didn’t went well. Huge workload and unexpected incidents made it quite challenging and finally, I couldn’t withstand. The rare hobby time was used for project process but they also came to a full stop around mid year. So I ended up in eraly stadium of burnout and depressions. Thanks to gut therapies, I slowly return to the old self I was before…

… but this should not be the goal actually. Beside others in life, I also will rearrange my hobby to not end in the same spiral again as before. I operated eight different railroads on four gauges/scales, which can be a rabbit hole sooner or later. I asked myself, which railroads give me the most joy, fun and feedback.

The answer was very clear: all trains on 45mm and 5″ gauge. It’s very enjoyable to build models in these scals and operating them, especially the live steam trains, is so much fun. That’s the reason why I decided to quit H0n30, and to focus on the larger scales only. Meanwhile, many rolling stock got sold and some of the layouts as well. But not all…

My famous modular H0n30 layout “Waldbahn Eusserthal” will stay in my collection along with a reduced fleet of rolling stock. Beside three little steam locos and some cars, I also keep the Shays and livesteam loco.

But what next? First of all, my therapy isn’t finished yet. Since the hobby is a good place for me to relax (as long as I don’t have too much topics/scales/projects) I will tackle some smaller projects in the near future. Later on, I have some bigger projects in mind.

All this will also effect my blog. I used to post once a week in the past, which also was a lot of stress and organizing for me. In future, I like to post single progress or project updates or a monthly review. All of them as by mood and time. I like to remember for the subscribe option, to get informed when new entries are posted.

That’s it for now. In the next updats, I like to show the progress and final steps on my steam donkey build.

Kind regards,


Happy new year

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 3 January 2023 with 2 Comments

Hi folks,

I wish a very happy new year to all of you. Stay healthy and keep safe.

The following photo was taken today while running my Shay loco.


Short update

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 15 December 2022 with 2 Comments

Hi folks,

first of all, I’m fine, but 2022 didn’t went as expected. I look forward for 2023, to became a better year again. First steps are made, let’s see how it works out.

Anyway, I decided to sell my H0n30/H0e collection as well as my layouts. Starting next year, the main focus will be the 5″ gauge railroad with some G-scale stuff beside. As many of you are familiar with my H0n30 stuff from my website, I just wanted to inform you as well. Please find the link to eBay below.


I’ll also sell my modular “Waldbahn Eusserthal” layout in January, including a 15pcs. trainset and all cllutter needed to operate the layout. Due to size, local pickup only. If interessted, please send me a mail.

That’s in short for now. More to come soon.

Stay save, Gerd

[MLC] Adding a siphon to my Shay loco

Posted by Gerd on Friday, 20 May 2022 with 2 Comments

Hi folks,

what could be more typical for logging steam locos, as taking water from streams or ponds. Many logging locos were equipped with syphons to lift water from natural sources into the tender tank.

For my 5″-gauge Shay, I had such feature on my wishlist for a very long time. I spend two attempts in building one, but without sucess. Finally, I found a ready-to-use syphon at Shapeways. This one works great.

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If interested, here’s the link to Shapeways.


Regards, Gerd