Category Archives: Build 11

Build 11 – November VIDEO Update

We have a real treat for our friends this month. Gordon Cook, one of the members of the Build 11 Project engineering team, has been experimenting with his 3-D animation program, and he’s got a fascinating program describing an important component of No. 11.
This is an example of the kind of work the engineering team has been involved with for nearly two years. We expect to begin the first phase of the assembly process, building the main frame for No. 11 soon after the turn of the year.
The 2021 fundraising for No. 11 has surpassed $76,000 and funds are still coming in. Every dollar helps, so if you have a few extras we could certainly use them.

Build 11 – October Update

Build 11 – September Update

This is really great news!

Dakota Foundry reports they have completed all the patterns and cores for the cylinder half-saddle castings for No. 11, and they sent some photos. They will be preparing the molds and are planning to pour the pieces soon. We can expect the completed castings, each of which will weigh about 1500 pounds, sometime around the end of the year.

This photo shows the completed pattern for one half of the mold. As you can see, it is a large piece. The tape measure at the bottom shows that it is about 32 inches wide.

This photo shows several of the cores and core boxes, which create cavities inside the mold during the pour.

This image is of the cope, or top half, of the two part pattern used to make the casting. On the right side, the curve is where the casting will be mated to the smokebox of No. 11. At the center left is the valve portion of the casting, and on the extreme left is where the frame of the locomotive will be bolted to the half-saddle. The bottom half of the mold (not shown) is known as the drag.

In other news concerning Dakota Foundry, the drive wheel center patterns, as well as the cranks (created by Bernie Perch) and the rear frame extension (by Alan Downey) castings, were crated by Harold and Alan Downey and were picked up by the trucking company on Thursday morning. Those pieces will be ductile iron rather than grey iron.

Several members of the No. 11 Project engineering committee were in Sheepscot over the past several days, during which they continued the work of forming parts for locomotive fireboxes. Jason, Rick, Gordon (pictured) and Wayne were involved in the process, using the flanging machine to form the rear firebox and the door wrapper sheets. In addition, a method was developed to form the throat sheet using the flanger.

Donations for No. 11 continue to come in, and donations contributed during 2021 stand now at $66,642. There is still time for you to contribute if you have not done so, however. The fund raising doesn’t officially end until Dec. 31, 2021. Donate at

Finally, on Saturday evening, as No. 9 was rolling into the engine house for the first time, the two names were drawn for the raffle winners from among those who purchased raffle tickets to support our fundraising for No. 11. Grand prize winner is Bill Baskerville, and Peter Kuntz is the runner-up. Congratulations to both, and thanks to everyone who purchased tickets. The raffle raised over $1000 to help us make progress on No. 11.

Build 11 – September Update

Flanging and more!

On August 31 and September 1-3, several members of the No. 11 Project group worked at Sheepscot flanging boiler components for both No. 10 and No. 11. Straight flanging was done on the backhead and the throat sheet for No. 11 and the throat sheet for No. 10.
Here, Wayne Laepple (center) and Jason Lamontagne (left) are positioning the first sheet for bending in the flanger.

Fortunately, these bends were all straight bends so no heating of the sheets was necessary. Gordon Cook (far right) and Rick Sisson (not pictured) devised a stop that allowed us to make the bends at the correct angles. For the first try, a sheet of MDF plyboard was tried. It worked fine for the initial bends, but as we progressed, the force of the flanging operation caused fasteners to elongate the holes in the pltboard. Sections of steel bar stock were successfully substituted and the work continued.

The first attempt to use steel bar as a stop, seen here, was unsuccessful. A second try, bolting the bar directly to the sheet, worked much better.

The next work session will include additional flanging of No. 11’s throat sheet, the more difficult to execute curves. This operation will require heating the sheet to make it pliable. At this time, we expect to do that in early October.

While it may seem like we did not accomplish much at this session, a good deal of time was necessary to lay out the bends to follow the contours of the sheets. The actual forming operations took less than a third of the entire time we worked.

Here, the toggle of the flanger is just beginning to bend the steel for the initial bend.

In other news, the arrival of the “shop annex,” a 12 x 24 foot structure that has been positioned adjacent to the shop, was followed by the installation of a rack for storage of lengths of flat, angle and round steel stock, steel shelving, and bolt bins. Materials from several locations in the shop have been consolidated into this structure, which will also house various tools and equipment not frequently used that occupied valuable floor space in the shop. Thanks to Brendan Barry, the storage spaces have been set up and lighting has been installed.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that the fund raising for No. 11 continues to move forward. As of today, the total donations raised in 2021 amount to nearly $59,500. At this time, we need just $979 to fully access the $25,000 matching challenge donation received during the spring.

Put us “over the top” for 2021 at

Build 11 – August Update


Arguably more exciting than watching the Olympics, the WW&F “FundRazr” goal of $50,000 in 2021 for building locomotive no. 11 has been achieved this week! Thank you to all who have contributed; your generosity will ensure that the project does not pause in 2022 due to a lack of financial resources.

That said, we’re not quite out of the woods yet! We still need to raise $3500 to complete the $50,000 challenge set forth by one of our most generous donors. Lean more and donate at:

Of course, any funds raised above and beyond our 2021 goal will make the 2022-2025 campaigns all the easier.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you know that the national economy is roaring ahead, but at the same time is plagued with a shortage of willing workers. This problem has led to a delay in the manufacture and delivery of crucial components from Dakota Foundry for No. 11. That being the case, we are temporarily shifting our focus from No. 11’s frame to No. 10’s boiler.  In the coming weeks, we plan to flange the last few pieces for No. 10’s firebox, make some modifications to the front and rear tube sheets, and then take all those parts to Maine Locomotive & Machine. ML&M will move ahead with manufacturing the new boiler, welding the components as we provide them. The shell is already at their shop.

Meanwhile, Gordon Cook is designing a fixture and jigs for the flanging machine. It will be used to form the large radius curved sections of the top of the door sheet and the rear tube sheet. The idea is to hold these large sheets in the proper position to achieve the best results. They are difficult to maneuver in the flanging machine, and the pivot will ensure that they will have the correct radius.

And our own shop crew is now actively seeking machinists who would like to volunteer their talents towards the Build 11 project. In short, we are ready to machine a plethora of castings and parts – and could use some help. If you are a qualified machinist in the Midcoast Maine area, please email us at to learn how you can help Build 11.

It is also planned to modify our home-built Beatty-style flanging machine to serve as a brake, adding another layer of versatility to this most useful tool. With that, we will be able to manufacture various parts for coach No. 9’s trucks. While we have a number of parts already on hand made for us by Cattail Foundry, we need a few more components before we can begin to machine and then assemble the trucks.  As for Coach No. 9 itself, the exterior is essentially complete, so Eric and Ron and Lou will soon turn their attention to the interior of the car.

And to the delight of our hard-working steam crews, a brand spanking new Nathan “Simplex” No. 4 boiler injector, made by Eccentric Engineer of Orange, California, has been purchased and is being installed to replace a troublesome “legacy” injector on locomotive No. 9. Some minor modifications of the piping will be necessary, as will making a bracket to hold the device. If this injector proves successful on locomotive No. 9, additional injectors will be ordered for locomotive No. 11.

Learn more, get involved, and contribute at

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