Category Archives: Build 11

Build 11 – July Update

Over several days in June, various members of the No. 11 engineering group worked at Sheepscot. They installed new cranes in bay 1 and bay 3 of the shop. In addition, during another work session they completed all the components for the rear frame extension of No. 11 that required bending. Several of those items were machined and found to be within 0.01 of perfect.

Gordon Cook has produced an image of the Phase 1 work on No. 11, the assembly of the main frames of the locomotive. As work progresses on the actual assembly, we will update this image.

We received the welcome news that pattern work for the locomotive’s cylinder half-saddles is proceeding at Dakota Foundry. They have sent us several photos.

Thanks to a couple of eagle-eyed members, we have been able to acquire an appropriate steam gauge and a genuine Eames Vacuum Brake gauge though on-line auction. Several WW&F members contributed funds to allow the purchase of authentic items needed for No. 11.

Our 2021 fund raising for No. 11 is proceeding amazingly well. As of July 11, we have received $39,677.00, including $12,820.00 in matching funds from our anonymous donor. This brings us to 51% of the $50,000 Challenge (which concludes on October 31st) and to 80% of our overall goal for 2021!

Meanwhile, we’ve sent out more 20 of the full-size builder’s plate replicas, as well as 10 of the 3-D printed version. Our raffle for one of the bronze plates has raised more than $350 – and there are plenty of tickets available. The drawing takes place on Saturday, October 9 during the Fall Work Weekend.

Learn more, and contribute at

Build 11 – June Update

$4445 Raised towards the $50,000 challenge!

During the week of May 11, some great progress was made by the Build 11 Project team. The entire team was at Sheepscot at various times during the week, and a significant number of components for the rear frame of the locomotive were created.

Over three intensive days, we were able to manufacture more than 20 items. We used propane torches to heat steel ships and then formed them on the shop flanging machine. Most of the parts were in pairs; and in several cases, there were right-hand and left-hand pieces. That required the repositioning of stops on the machine to assure that the work piece did not move once the bending process began.

Some pieces needed bends at both ends or to be bent into an elongated “U” shape. Some of the shapes were made from larger and heavier steel — some one inch thick and seven inches wide — we used two propane torches for heating, one above and one below. These large pieces were a challenge to handle, due not only to their weight but also because after the initial heat and bend, the other end likewise needed to be heated and formed.

When we had completed all we could, we stacked all the parts on a pallet and moved it to storage in the No. 11 container. In addition to the actual making of these components, we reorganized and consolidated items stored in the No. 11 Project container, moving recently-delivered items into covered storage. Most of these items arrived by motor freight from Aquacut, a water-jet cutting operation in Syracuse, NY.

Since the announcement of the $50,000 challenge 30 days ago, you have raised $2222 in new donations! This includes $222 in raffle ticket sales for the replica locomotive #7 builder’s plate.

With the match from the generous anonymous donor, the challenge now stands at $4445!

We have 5 months left to raise the remaining $22,777 to take full advantage of the match. Please keep the Build 11 project “on track” and donate at

Just for fun, here’s a photo of the Build 11 team, including, seated, Wayne Laepple and Alan Downey, and Rick Sisson, Gordon Cook,  Jason Lamontagne and Harold Downey.

In other news, the Build 11 Team is planning to hold monthly two or three-day work sessions to advance the project. However, the first priority is to complete the final flanging projects for No. 10’s boiler. That includes completing the flue sheets and forming the throat sheet. Then those parts will be taken to Maine Locomotive & Machine Works to be included in the new welded boiler for the engine.

Build 11 – May Update: Challenge Accepted

Building Steam: $50,000 Challenge Accepted!

Friends —We are thrilled to announce a 100% match of all donations up to a total of $25,000 between now and October 31, 2021.  Made possible by a generous anonymous donor, this unprecedented opportunity will allow us to not only reach our 2021 fundraising goal of $50,000 for the Build 11 Project, but to exceed it. Then it’s full steam ahead to the construction of No.11!

That’s right — for each dollar donated by our members and friends, this wonderful person will add a dollar to his donation, effectively doubling your donation!

We’ll keep you updated each month on the progress towards the $50,000 challenge.

To take advantage of this 1:1 match, visit to donate electronically or send a check with “Build 11” in the memo line to the WW&F Railway Museum. P.O. Box 242, Alna, ME 04535.

Meanwhile this week, the No. 11 engineering team is at Sheepscot in person. They are working in the shop to fabricate approximately 30 components for the rear frame extension of No. 11. They are using the flanging machine as a brake, to form angles on these parts. These items are heavy gauge steel and will require heating prior to bending. In addition, the team will also form several components for the new Jackson & Sharp-pattern trucks for Coach No. 9.
Videographer Steve Hussar has planned to be on hand on Wednesday to record this activity on video, which should be up for viewing. Still photos will be posted here as well as on the WW&F discussion site:

This drawing shows No. 11’s rear frame. This week the angled pieces in the corners of the rear frame are being formed, including the four long pieces that form an “X” in the center.

No 7 Builder's Plate Remake

We  have also started a raffle, with the prize being one of the bronze replica builder’s plates. These replica plates are offered to donors who send us $1,100 or more in one check. For members and friends who can’t afford that amount, this is an opportunity to own a plate. Tickets are available online at or in person at the Sheepscot gift shop. Tickets are $11 for one or two for $20. The drawing will take place on the Saturday of the Fall Work Weekend, Oct. 9th.

Builder’s Plate Raffle Tickets now ON SALE!

If you think you might really like to have a replica of WW&F No. 7’s Baldwin builder’s plate, but you don’t have $1,100 to get one, have we got a deal for you!

Starting today, and continuing through Saturday, Oct. 9 (the WW&F’s Fall Work Weekend), you can buy raffle tickets for a chance to own the very first plate produced. No, it’s not the only known surviving original, but the first replica turned out by Cattail Foundry exclusively for the Build 11 Project.

Raffle tickets go on sale today for a mere $11 each, or two for $20. You can buy your tickets at the WW&F Gift Shop, by mail order, or on-line. On Saturday, October 9, we’ll hold a drawing, and some lucky person will own the plate. A second drawing that same day will award a second prize, a 3-D printed, 5-inch diameter copy of No. 7’s builder’s plate.

Get your raffle ticket at:

Today’s announcement corresponds with what would have been the 2021 WW&F Spring Work Weekend. The drawing will occur during the 2021 WW&F Fall Work Weekend.

PS: We have some REALLY BIG news coming within the next two weeks. Stay tuned…

Build 11 – April Update

Positive things continue to happen for No. 11.

The No. 11 engineering team has devoted considerable time in the last month to the lead truck of No. 11, verifying plans and drawings in advance of making the necessary patterns to cast several key components.  The wheels for the lead truck were cast several years ago and are already completed.

Last week, a substantial number of custom-cut steel components were delivered to Sheepscot. All are stored in the container until needed. They join a stash of stock steel parts received last month.

Shop Annex for storage of steel stock.

In late June, we expect delivery of a 12 X 24-foot shed, to be placed next to the shop. Inside, racks will be positioned to store the steel stock currently in the container. In addition, several storage bin systems now located at several places in the shop will be consolidated. These will bring nuts and bolts, rivets, pipe fittings and so forth in a central location. We will also move rarely used items out from underfoot and out of various corners of the shop into this space. We’re calling it “the shop annex.” The structure will be placed in an area recently prepared with a gravel base, and is skid mounted so it can be moved elsewhere around Sheepscot as necessary.

During May, the engineering team plans to meet in person at Sheepscot for several days of intensive work, making about 30 components for the rear frame extension for No. 11. This is in preparation for beginning the assembly phase of the rear frame later this year. This work involves heating the parts, and using our flanging machine, making precise bends. If time allows, the team will also form several parts for the new trucks for No. 11.

Builders Plate Reproductions

Our fund-raising for 2021 for No. 11 is nearing the 20% mark, although we still have some distance to go to reach the $50,000 goal. Here’s an idea — if you received a stimulus check, perhaps you could see your way to donate some of that money to No. 11. You’ll certainly stimulate the fund raising if you do!

Keep in mind that if you can donate $110 or more, you are eligible to received a 5-inch diameter 3-D printed version of WW&F No. 7’s Baldwin builder’s plate, and if by chance you can afford $1100 or more in one donation, we will be thrilled to send you a full-size brass replica of No. 7’s Baldwin plate. (We still have a couple of the first run of the brass plates, and we can easily secure more, so step right up.)

Finally, be sure to check on Saturday, April 24, for a special announcement concerning No. 11.

Build 11 – March Progress Report!

The purchase order for the cylinder half-saddle castings, the largest and most expensive parts of No. 11, was forwarded to Dakota Foundry of Webster, South Dakota, on Feb. 24, and the folks at Dakota have already started work. They provided the solidification models for us within a week, and their pattern maker has begun the task of producing the multiple complex patterns and core boxes necessary to manufacture the two identical casting. When completed, in three months or so, they will be shipped to Maine for final machining.

Lodge and Shipley lathe

In other news, the large Lodge and Shipley lathe was delivered and positioned in the shop on March 3. The Cincinnati-Bickford radial drill press, which had been moved into the shop in late February has been wire brushed and cleaned, and it has received its first coat of machinery gray paint.

Several other machines were slightly repositioned to increase the available work spaces. The next step is setting up the smaller Monarch lathe.

The container dedicated to storing parts for No. 11 is temporarily housing the 20 new wheels recently received from McKees Rocks Forgings in Pennsylvania. Looks like a third container will soon be needed!

train wheels

We have received an order we placed for steel stock to be used as needed for No. 11, which is also stored in the container. Another order, from a different vendor, should arrive soon. This order includes a number of pre-cut pieces for specific uses on No. 11. And the water-jet cut steel should be shipped from New York soon as well.

Finally, our 2021 FundRazr, at last count, had brought in over $6,200. Again, we emphasize that we need to keep the funds flowing if we are going to move this project forward. A number of WW&F members and friends have committed to monthly donations or $11 or $22, and that keep the funds moving, but our target of $50,000 this year is a steep climb.

Can you help us?
Donate at

And remember the two premiums we have.
The full-size bronze replica of WW&F No. 7’s builder’s plate for a donation of $1100 or more, and a 5-inch 3-D printed replica of the plate for a donation of $110 or more.

Builders Plate Reproductions


Build 11 – February Update

It’s been a quiet month since our last report, but things are happening to move the project along. In the first month of the 2021 FundRazr for No. 11, we are just shy of $3,000. So now we need a little more than $47,000 to reach our goal. We aren’t shy — we’re asking for donations! If we are to make this happen, we need donations large and small.

Pictured here are two 3-D renderings of the frame components of No. 11, provided by Dave Roche.3D Model - Frame and Running Gear


Just the other day, the first 10 replica builder’s plates were packaged up and mailed out to the folks who have contributed $1,100 or more. We still have six more plates on hand, and of course we can always get more made. If you’d like to have one, send us your donation of $1,100 (or more) in one check or online contribution and we’ll get one out to you.No 7 Builder's Plate Remake


WW&F member Russ Nelson has come up with another premium idea. He is offering a 5-inch diameter plastic resin replica of WW&F No. 7’s builder’s plate produced on his 3-D printer to the next 110 people who contribute $110 to the build 11 Project. Select this “perk” at and Russ will make one for you and send it to you.

No 7 Mini Builder's Plate Plastic

In other news, the radial drill press and the new to us Lodge & Shipley lathe are scheduled to be positioned in the shop this week. We have to wait a bit to use either machine until our electrician can come by to wire them in to the shop’s electrical system. The three-phase generator has finally had its new water pump installed, so it’s ready to go.

The engineering team has been reviewing the final quote for the patterns for the cylinder half-saddles, and as long as everything adds up, a purchase order is to be issued in the next few days. We are also ordering steel from two vendors. From one, we will receive various shapes and sections cut to order, while the other vendor will provide stock in standard profiles and lengths for us to cut to fit as needed. This steel purchase provides all the stock material necessary to complete the first three phases of the Build 11 project!

Finally, the main frames for No. 11 have been placed in the cradle to give us more floor space in the container. (shown here.)

Main Frames in Storage

Build 11 – January Update

The 2020 fund-raising campaign has wound down. The goal of $17,000 was reached and surpassed by nearly $8,000. To all who donated, a hearty thank you.

Starting today, we’re opening another fund-raising effort. For the year 2021, we’re hoping to raise $50,000. That sounds scary, and it is a lot, but we remain confident that our friends and members will support the ultimate goal, the construction of a new locomotive!

Several members and friends have committed to monthly donations of either $11 or $22. That may not sound like much, but it all adds up. We hope some others will join in that sort of effort.

We will also continue to offer the reproduction Baldwin builder’s plate of WW&F No. 7 for one-time contributions of $1,100 or more. More “perks” are still being planned.

Donate at:

In other No. 11 news, the hydraulic power unit for the flanger has been relocated outside the shop to reduce the noise and exhaust fumes.

Gordon Cook built a “doghouse” to protect the unit from the elements. The hydraulic hoses have been fed through two holes in the wall of the shop. Flanging work is expected to get started sometime this month, first completing the last few components for No. 10 and then going right into parts for No. 11.

A start has been made moving various parts of No. 10 and No. 11 into the container, where they will be stored until needed for assembly of the locomotives. This helps clear out needed work space in the shop.

The two main frame sections are among the parts moved, and Gordon Cook has built cradles to stand up the main frame sections. Other parts will be stored on pallets, and a pallet jack has been acquired to move the pallets about in the container.

Meanwhile, at Preservation Pattern, the rear frame extension is receiving tie bars at the top to make the entire piece a continuous “loop” to retain its shape through casting and heat treatment, after which the tie bars will be cut off. Some minor modifications were necessary to the rear bolster patterns due to design changes in the original Baldwin design to improve the locomotive’s lateral stability.

The water-jet parts completed in Syracuse, NY will be shipped to Sheepscot soon. Most of those will also go into the container. In addition, we plan to order steel stock from two vendors shortly. One vendor will custom cut stock to length, while the second vendor provides full-length stock for use in a variety of applications on the locomotive.

Finally, we expect delivery of the new to us large lathe later this week. It may be dropped off at Ken Boudin’s Machinery Service Co. for a couple of weeks of storage until everything is ready to install it in the shop.

Build 11 – December Update

BUILD 11 Update!

There is some great news about the Build No. 11 Project this month. First and foremost, our FundRazr has reached and surpassed its goal of $17,000, thanks many donations from members and friends far and near. Nevertheless, if you want to contribute, you still have about three weeks to do so. We’ll be announcing a new FundRazr campaign for 2021 on January 11.

The quotations for casting the cylinder half-saddles, driver centers, cranks and various other parts were received, and the team is evaluating them. The expectation is that an award will be announced by the end of 2020.

In other good news, Mountain Machine Works of Auburn, Maine will be machining 10 new axles for the WW&F Railway Museum, including the axles for the rear truck under No. 11. The others are for coach No. 9, a-building now in the Sheepscot shop, and B&SR boxcar No. 56, also in the shop. The really great news is that Mountain Machine is doing this work at half the usual cost, as a donation to our museum. This donation has been described as “a tremendous time savings” for the museum since we don’t have to manufacture the axles ourselves.

The new pattern for the WW&F No. 7 builder’s plate replicas was completed recently and delivered to the foundry on Dec. 7. The first 10 plates will be cast and sent to those who donated $1,100 to the Build 11 Project soon. If you want one of these beautiful bronze plates, just donate a lump sum of $1,100 (or more) to the project.

The engineering team continues to make purchases of materials, which will be stored in a designated container (which arrived at Sheepscot last week) until needed. Actual progress on Phase I of the construction of No. 11 will of necessity be slowed until the restrictions on travel imposed by COVID-19 are lifted sometime next year, we hope.

Here is a 3-D rendering of one of the drivers for No. 11, which is among components that will be cast in the new year.
Here is a 3-D rendering of one of the drivers for No. 11, which is among components that will be cast in the new year.
The pattern, made by Preservation Pattern of Lewiston, Maine, for the Baldwin builder's plate replicas was delivered to Cattail Foundry on Dec. 7.
The pattern, made by Preservation Pattern of Lewiston, Maine, for the Baldwin builder’s plate replicas was delivered to Cattail Foundry on Dec. 7.
This container will be used to store components manufactured for No. 11 until they are needed in the shop for finishing and assembly. It will be painted next year to match the first container.
This container will be used to store components manufactured for No. 11 until they are needed in the shop for finishing and assembly. It will be painted next year to match the first container.

Donations for the project and more information can be found at

Build 11 – November Update

No 11 Assembly 2D Side

Progress on No. 11 continues, with fund raising for this year getting close to the goal. As of Nov. 9, it’s less than $1,000 from that $17,000 goal. Thanks to all the great folks who have contributed. We’re currently working on plans for a new fund raising project, to debut in January 2021, to help move the Build 11 Project forward for another year.

We can also report that we have received two competitive quotations for the major castings, and we expect to receive others as the Dec. 1 deadline approaches. The award will be made on that date, and as soon as all the documents are accepted and approved by both parties, that work will move forward.

Through no fault of our own, several patterns for No. 11, including the driver centers and cranks, were seriously damaged by water. As a result, they must be dried out and repaired before they can be used. Several of the core boxes are beyond repair, so new ones must be made. Since we won’t need these components right away, however, there is time to do what must be done.

As part of the Build 11 Project, several improvements to the shop are underway. The 20-inch Prentice lathe was recently sold and moved out, the the big New Haven lathe will soon follow it out the door. A 30-inch lathe has been acquired to handle the work formerly done by the two lathes, thereby gaining much-needed floor space in the shop. The new radial drill press is almost ready for use, and several machines are being relocated.

As the winter weather comes on, work in the heated shop will pick up. Flanging of the final components for No. 10’s boiler will be accomplished by the end of the year, and then work to flange boiler components for No. 11 can begin. If there are no major holdups, the flanging work for both boilers should be completed by spring.