Getting Fired Up: 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VJ Restoration

Peter Rooke builds a cart for the Baker Monitor VJ, part three of four.

| April/May 2015

  • 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VJ
    The 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VJ that Peter Rooke is restoring.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Turning the axle support
    Turning the axle support.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • First axle bracket tack welded
    First axle bracket tack welded together.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Aligning the axle brackets
    Aligning the axle brackets before tack welding the second assembly.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Finished bolts
    Finished bolts.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Pivot brackets before cutting
    Pivot brackets before cutting in half.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Pivot bracket pieces clamped
    Pivot bracket pieces clamped together for welding.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Completed bracket in place
    Completed bracket in place after welding and filing to shape.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Preparing to shape pivot
    Getting ready to shape the pivot to weld the axle support to.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Shaped pivot
    Pivot shaped to fit axle support.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Milling out axle support
    Milling out axle support.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Drilling axle support
    Drilling axle support securing bolt.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Pivot body clamped for welding
    Axle support and pivot body clamped together for welding.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Finished pivot body
    Finished pivot body.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Cutting wheel rims
    Cutting 8-inch diameter steel tube into 2.5-inch wide sections for the wheel rims.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Finishing a rim
    Finishing a rim on the lathe.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Drilling a wheel hub
    Drilling a wheel hub.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Cutting holes in hub plate discs
    Cutting out 1.75-inch holes in the hub plate discs.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Turning hub plates on the lathe
    Turning the hub plates round on the lathe.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Hub and hub plate
    A hub and hub plate set up for welding.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Finished wheel
    A finished wheel with hub and hub plate welded together and rim welded on.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Drilling front axle
    Drilling the front axle for the pivot securing bolt.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Stop washer
    Rear axle spot welded to axle bracket; note stop washer for hub.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Forming a handle ring
    Forming a handle ring.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Formed handle ring
    Formed handle ring.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Welding the handle
    Welding the handle section to the ring section to complete the steering handle.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Finished cart
    Finished cart.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Drilling crosshead
    Drilling crosshead for securing bolt.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Finished crosshead
    Finished crosshead.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Pitman arms
    Pitman arms.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Pitman arms
    Pitman arms.
    Photo by Peter Rooke

  • 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VJ
  • Turning the axle support
  • First axle bracket tack welded
  • Aligning the axle brackets
  • Finished bolts
  • Pivot brackets before cutting
  • Pivot bracket pieces clamped
  • Completed bracket in place
  • Preparing to shape pivot
  • Shaped pivot
  • Milling out axle support
  • Drilling axle support
  • Pivot body clamped for welding
  • Finished pivot body
  • Cutting wheel rims
  • Finishing a rim
  • Drilling a wheel hub
  • Cutting holes in hub plate discs
  • Turning hub plates on the lathe
  • Hub and hub plate
  • Finished wheel
  • Drilling front axle
  • Stop washer
  • Forming a handle ring
  • Formed handle ring
  • Welding the handle
  • Finished cart
  • Drilling crosshead
  • Finished crosshead
  • Pitman arms
  • Pitman arms

This is the third in a four part series on Peter Rooke's restoration of a 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VJ. Read part 1 and part 2 for earlier stages of the restoration, and part 4 for the final installment.

A catalog picture showed a Monitor on a metal-framed cart, and photographs of a similar cart were found on Smokstak. With the help of a couple of dimensions, the pictures were scaled to produce a plan.

Cart frame basics

The axles for this cart would be made from 1.25-inch nominal pipe, in this case a true diameter of 1.66 inches. Some 0.25-inch thick, 2-inch by 2-inch angle iron was recovered from the scrap bin at the local railway society, and after straightening it there was just enough to make the cart. Two long pieces were trimmed to a length of 25 inches before drilling with 0.375-inch holes for the bolts to hold the cross-piece and axle mounting brackets. The front angle iron cross member supports the pivot, with the rear axle supporting the rear of the cart.

The brackets to hold the rear axle to the frame were fabricated using a scale plan to identify the alignment and miter for the support pieces. The first step was to machine the two support rings the axle fits into. These were machined from 3-inch diameter steel, drilling a 1-inch hole through the middle that was then bored out to 1.665 inches to provide clearance.



The main parts of the bracket were formed from 0.625-inch thick steel, 1.25 inches wide. The plate to mount against the frame of the cart was machined first, drilling two 0.375-inch diameter holes for the mounting bolts before milling out the space between the axle ring supports to a thickness of 0.3125-inch. The ends of the axle ring supports were mitered based on the plan before the edges to be welded were chamfered.

The four pieces for one bracket were clamped against the plan, which was used as a template to give accurate alignment, before being tack-welded together. After cleaning up, the welded parts for the second bracket were clamped to the first bracket. A piece of tube the diameter of the axle was fitted in the two axle rings to ensure they were completely square; essential considering the width of the axle support rings and to avoid potential alignment problems when sliding the axles into them.



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