The Spirit of Saint Lewis

  • Advertise with us
Project by FestusHaagen posted 01-16-2021 06:09 AM 941 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After nearly 3 months in the shop I am calling this project complete. Earlier last year I watched the series “Hell On Wheels” and decided my next project would be a steam locomotive. I looked at several plans and like different parts of each one, so I decided to make my own plans. Having just purchased a mini metal lathe I wanted to include some metal work into the plan. I had originally thought of calling this project covid 2020 but felt it deserved a better name. When I got ready to install the boiler cap I came across the perfect solution. A 50 cal. machine-gun brass casing. It was just the right size. While working in the range land in central Washington I would often come across empty 50 cal brass. The area was used as a firing range during WWII. The case had a head stamp SL 43. I went on the internet and looked it up. The cases were made in Saint Lewis in 1943. I cut the head off with my metal lathe and replaced the primer with an ebony plug made from a piano key. The engine is made out of black walnut and maple but also includes many other woods like hickory, mountain mahogany, Pacific yew, padauk and purple heart. The stack is made from Brazilian cherry and maple. I wanted to add a brass bell but missed out because of the run on bells around Christmas. I decided to make one out of Cocobolo and mounted it in a saddle of Hawaiian koa. The whistle is a 1/4 inch brass rod and a 1 1/2 inch screw, flattened and made into the handle. The cab has a seat and spit can for the engineer. I know several men who work on the railroad and they all chew. I guess my next project will be a tender and a caboose.

-- Ed Haagen, Moscow, Idaho

16 comments so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


7910 posts in 2035 days

#1 posted 01-16-2021 09:41 AM

You Americans just seem to just gotta have your artillery, however, I’ll train myself to ignore that.

Great job FH... Love the detail on the tracks that most modelers seem to forget.

If I may make a soft complaint… it might appreciate the benefit of a tender.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Eric's profile


1806 posts in 1088 days

#2 posted 01-16-2021 10:28 AM

Beautiful craftsmanship Ed, love the details throughout. And as LBD mentioned the tracks they make the project pop. Great Job

-- Eric, building the dream

View Redoak49's profile


5366 posts in 3203 days

#3 posted 01-16-2021 12:29 PM

Excellent workmanship !

View PapaGary's profile


107 posts in 266 days

#4 posted 01-16-2021 01:25 PM

Beautiful job. Thanks for posting. I looked at some of your cars from your galley. Do you work from certain plans or drawings, and if so, where do you get them?

View Pointer's profile


465 posts in 2326 days

#5 posted 01-16-2021 01:56 PM

That is one nice looking steamer. The combination of wood and metal takes it to another level. I second, or third, the detail of the tracks. Very nice.

-- Joe - I am not entirely worthless, I can always serve as a bad example.

View drogsod's profile


120 posts in 1010 days

#6 posted 01-16-2021 02:23 PM

Just beautiful work. The detail from top to bottom is so well done and it’s a perfect combination of wood and metal. Looking forward to seeing the tender and caboose when you finish them.

View Rich1955's profile


382 posts in 605 days

#7 posted 01-16-2021 02:38 PM

Nice jib. The details are amazing!

-- Rich

View sras's profile


6326 posts in 4344 days

#8 posted 01-16-2021 02:58 PM


-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View recycle1943's profile


5813 posts in 2837 days

#9 posted 01-16-2021 03:02 PM

beautiful work and I really like the brass accents

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8881 posts in 1927 days

#10 posted 01-16-2021 03:39 PM

just as other said the brass is just enuff to jump up 1 level the details are amazing cant wait to see the tender then the passenger then caboose and others LOL GREAT JOB :<))) GRATZ TOP 3

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View KWBaughb's profile


54 posts in 541 days

#11 posted 01-16-2021 06:48 PM

Very nice! The addition of the small metal work pieces really sets it off nicely.

-- Bob, Waterloo, Ontario - "I came, I sawed, I sanded...."

View rtbrmb's profile


810 posts in 3603 days

#12 posted 01-16-2021 10:15 PM

incredible details..thanks for posting.

Bill in MI

View Kcmwoodworks's profile


15 posts in 588 days

#13 posted 01-16-2021 11:12 PM

Beautiful piece, nice work!

-- KCM. “When you know you’re an expert, its time to be careful”. My Dad!

View crowie's profile


4931 posts in 3165 days

#14 posted 01-17-2021 12:35 AM

That’s on gorgeous old steam locomotive, superb detailing.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Skylark53's profile


2866 posts in 4275 days

#15 posted 01-18-2021 04:13 AM

Very well done!!!

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics