The Spirit of Saint Lewis

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Project by FestusHaagen posted 01-16-2021 06:09 AM 682 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


6511 posts in 1829 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


955 posts in 881 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


5093 posts in 2997 days

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

Excellent workmanship !

View PapaGary's profile


104 posts in 60 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


464 posts in 2119 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


100 posts in 804 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


314 posts in 399 days

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

Nice jib. The details are amazing!

-- Rich

View sras's profile


5867 posts in 4138 days

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


-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View recycle1943's profile


5048 posts in 2630 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


8305 posts in 1721 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


50 posts in 335 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


746 posts in 3397 days

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

incredible details..thanks for posting.

Bill in MI

View Kcmwoodworks's profile


14 posts in 381 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


4324 posts in 2959 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


2854 posts in 4069 days

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

Very well done!!!

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

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