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Re-gearing Joe Works Shays

From Al Sandrini, 21 Mar 2002

Bruce Clifford wrote:

> Hi All,
> I have questions regarding the Joe Works Shays. I see the re-gearing
> kits available from B&F and am not sure which shay it fits. My original
> shay was a kit that I bought in 1980. The worm gear on the motor is a
> single screw and this engine will really crawl, even with the 3 pole JW
> motor.
> My second shay is a Mich Cal #2 that came built up. It does run well,
> but is a little fast.
> So, which one is the Joe Works shay that is frequently referred to?
> Bruce in Northern Colorado (Caboose Hobbies Country)


There are several gear sets for the JW Shay. To the best of my knowledge, they will fit both of the mechanisms. I have only seen one of the early “T” boiler Shays of Joe Work’s, but I understand that Keith Pashina (a frequent writer in LID, has these gears in his early version of the Shay.

The main problem with the JW Shay is that the original gears are brass on brass. This is a terrible situation. If you are satisfied with the running of the engine, but are worried about the longevity of the worm (it isn’t the worm gear that wears out, but the worm), you can purchase the first gear: NWSL 1077-6 Joe Works Shay Replacement Worm Gear. …..Exact replacement worm gear made from Delrin to give long lasting wear. May be used with
factory worm gear. This simply replaces the brass worm gear with an identical, delrin gear and the wear problem is eliminated.

If you already have a problem with the worm wearing, you need to replace the worm and the worm gear at the same time. There is no replacement for the
original Joe Works Shay worm. NWSL combination of worm and worm gear will mesh correctly with the factory spacing of the motor shaft and the worm gear
shaft. By manufacturing a larger diameter worm gear, it has more teeth and thusly will change the gear ratio. Fortunately for us, the new gear ratio reduces the top speed of the Shay by 54%. This will allow the motor to run at about 25% higher RPM’s and still give you a much slower speed. Net result: less stalling, smoother running and better pulling power. If you are interested in this set, you need to order: NWSL 1078-6 Joe Works Shay
Replacement Gear Set. …..These matching worms (steel) and worm gears (delrin) are designed to replace the two brass factory gears. The addition
of these gears will reduce the top speed of the Shay by 54%. These gears will allow the Shay to run much smoother. This worm gear can only be used
with the enclosed worm.

In addition to the two gears previously mentioned, there is a third gear. This gear is used to replace the idler gear found in the transmission which allows the crankshaft to turn on the side of the Shay locomotive. This gear (the center of the three gears) sometimes will bind. The delrin gear goes
between the two brass gears in this alignment to east the binding and allow the engine to run smoother. If you would like this gear, you would need to
order: NWSL 1094-6 Joe Works Shay Replacement Idler Gear. …..Delrin idler gear for the transmission which transmits the motion to the cylinders and the
Shay’s side drive shaft.

I have all of these gear sets in stock and can ship them out immediately. I have replaced the worm and worm gear on one of my JW Shays and it has made a world of difference. I also changed the idler gear on the engine and it did not seem to make any difference. Perhaps the original idler was not a problem, but I figured that as I had the engine disassembled, I might as well make all the changes. It may have been hard to tell as the other gear change
made so much difference it would be difficult to tell if it made any difference at all.

I worked with NWSL to produce these gears for the Shay owners and they have gone over very well. I have probably sold over 75 sets of these gears.
Until 6 months after I had been selling the gears, I didn’t know that they took it upon themselves to produce the idler gear. I found this out from one of my customers.

Presently, I am trying to get them to make replacement gears for the trucks of these locomotives. These are also brass on brass gears and if you are fortunate enough to have an engine that runs well, you will then wear out the truck gears.

Al Sandrini

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