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old train whistle repair

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  • old train whistle repair

    This is the bowl from an old train steam whistle. It’s a Nathan 5 chime and it was made from about 1900 until 1941 in brass, after that they were made out of cast iron because of the war effort. We believe this horn to be from the 1920s, so it’s about 100 years old.

    The gaping hole in the side is where the ears for the original valve lever went through. It’s been long broke off and the hole was filled with lead as a plug. I machines a little filler piece out of 464 brass, which has no lead, and welded it in. The original brass almost certainly has its fair share of lead, nor good to weld or breathe. The first pass was just fusion welded, then I jammed a bunch of silicon bronze rod in using the tig process. Not my prettiest work, but welding that nasty old brass was not pleasant.
    Attached Files

  • #2


    • #3
      Looks good. Functional again?
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      • #4
        I would’ve tested it tonight had I double checked my math and not blown the part in the lathe. But I only cut the bore out .156” over size, so I guess if you’re going to blow it, may as well REALLY blow it!

        Making an adapter to fit the odd thread in the bottom of the whistle and adapt it to 1” NPT. I couldn’t find any thread, on any chart in any of my books that came even remotely close to what the threaded hole is. So I’ll have to make a custom threaded bushing to fit it, and hopefully I won’t blow my numbers again and finally get this job finished.


        • #5
          This thing is loud! My friend took a video, I hope this link works....

          It literally rattled my ear plugs.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            That was awesome!


            • #7
              My neighbors love me.