Still plugging away at the small details but it’s moving forward and that’s what matters.
I got the top feed fitted to the boiler which in the period being modelled is domeless so one less bit to worry about. Then I added the covers for the pipework underneath and two circular covers on top of the boiler. – Since starting to post this I have re-read the instructions and realised that I have fitted the wrong etched covers under the top feed so they will have to come off and be swapped.
I still have the pipes to fit where they come out of the sides but as they disappear into the centre splashers I need to wait until the boiler is mounted to fit those.
Next I have been working on the front end of the footplate where there is a surprising amount going on and photos are invaluable here as the instructions are not that easy to follow.
Initially I fitted all the lamp irons the same way around but noted that the two outer ones are nfact reversed. Fitting the steps to the curve of the footplate was fun. The first one went into place really easy and first time. I tinned them and used the RSU from the back with the footplate on it’s edge and clamped to the workbench to stop it moving away as I held the footstep in position. The second one took three or four attempts to get it in the right place…
This week has been about adding small details to the body work starting at the front, I added the smokebox door dart, and the handrail above it. The LMS design of handrail has the rail ending in a button at each end. I have heard of people making these from microbore tube but I didn’t have any nickel silver tube so I put a short length of 1.4mm nickel rod in the lathe and drilled it out to fit over the handrail at either end and then fitted the rod into a pin chuck to chop of the appropriate length soldering on to the hand rail and filing to finish. From the photo I still have a bit of cleanin up of excess solder to do on the handrail knobs.
One detail that is quite prominent on the smokebox door but absent from the kit is the door latch. It is included in the GA reproduced on the front cover of the Wild Swan volume so I was able to import this into Fusion 360 not only to get the length and spacing of the handrail and knobs but also the outline and dimensions of the latch.
The latch itself was filed up from a strip of scrap etch which I doubled up at the thicker end to file to shape to accommodate the curve of the smokebox door. The brass rod will be the stay which fits into the front ring. It’s 2mm x 1mm bar and I popped it in a 1-2mm ER 25 collet to turn the spigot on the end. The fun bit will be soldering the latch onto the door. But more of that when I have achieved it.
Like many modellers, for years I have had one of those cheapo plastic Needlepoint oilers that are available via Amazon, eBay etc. While working on the Princess I noticed that mine appeared to be leaking. I decided to see if I could make a new reservoir and reuse the nozzle end. Using a set of metric thread pitch gauges I was struggling to determine whether the pitch was 6mm x 0.9 or 1.0mm.
I drilled and tapped a piece of nickel rod M6 x 1.0 and tested the nozzle. It didn’t fit. I attempted to rethread it M6 x 1.0 but it then sat at a jaunty angle in the end of the bar.
Before going any further, I counter bored the unthreaded end to 8mm and reamed it. I made a press fit plug from more nickel bar, pressed it in and soldered it for good measure. Then decided to make a new nozzle using only the O ring and the needle from original.
I am really pleased with how it turned out for about an hour’s work.
Well things have moved on somewhat since my last post on the subject. I did get the injectors fitted though.
Then I moved onto the sandpipes which are almost the last bits for the chassis (unless I find something that I have missed. I say almost because there are also the bottom halves of the sandbox fillers to fit to the chassis, they are split at footplate level.
I started with the brackets which come as a hockey stick shaped etch. Looking at photos they need to be bent into handed pairs. where they fit around either side of the wheel.
Next in order to make the fittings for where they pass through the brackets and combine with the steam pipes I soldered two different diameter microbore tubes together.
I cut half a dozen lengths at 2.5mm and another eight at 1mm using a pin chuck a ruler and a piercing saw I also created a hex on some thick walled tube to make nuts from. Again cutting lengths off with the piercing saw
From all the photos that I have, there are only six sand pipes fitted so I have two spare brackets. In the photo below you can see the assembly order of the various bits of tube, bracket and nut. I will have to trim all the pipe ends to the same length
I also managed to get the frame section of the sandbox fillers fitted too but I haven’t taken any photos of that so far.
On the tool making side of things I noted while doing some milling of small brass parts that there was a bit of deflection due to the part sticking out unsupported from the end of a collet block. I had seen video on Youtube of various people making machinist jacks to support items being machined and thought I would have a go at making some.
Although I had thought about them over time, I haven’t tried making them before because I didn’t have any suitable material but after watching how one You Tuber went about it, that gave me an idea.
Last year, my 20+ year old mitre saw gave up the ghost and before disposing of it I salvaged what I could in the way of useful materials and fixings. The biggest chunk of useful material was the slide which carried the saw backward and forwards when making the cut. This tuned out to be thick walled tube which was 30mm OD and 20mm ID. Not ideal, initially for making screw jacks, as I don’t posses any means of making threads that big (I haven’t yet attempted any single point threading but I have just bought a couple of lathe tools for the purpose so watch this space).
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when a friend of ours was winding down his handyman business and moving house. I asked him if he came across any bit’s of useful metal as he was sorting out ready to move, that I would take them off his hands and save a trip to the tip. He was sure there would be and a couple of days later he dropped off a carrier back full of nuts bolts and studs. In amongst the contents were a a number of cut off lengths of M16 stud, each about 4 inches long fitted with two nuts. There were also a number of M16 high tensile nuts and bolts most of them still sealed in bags (that’s how I know they are M16). A combination of these formed the basis of the jacks. I turned down four of the nuts and made them a press fit into the thick walled tube. I am not sure what the tube is made of but it really does machine well.
The high tensile bolt heads were a bit tougher to turn and even harder to knurl so on the second one I didn’t attempt to knurl it. I used a carbide end mill to cut scallops and then cross drilled for a pin to allow fine tuning.
I couldn’t resist adding a small brass cap to stop the pin from coming out as I wind it in and out. The two locking collars were made from another standard nut, turned, knurled and then parted into two. The standard nuts which thankfully I have most of, are so much easier to machine than the high tensile ones. Finally all the parts were cleaned with acetone and blackened with Birchwood Casey.
A friend advised that the spurious bracket was a generic item included in quite a few David Andrews Kits to aid in fixing the exhaust injector casting. in the end I elected to do without it and drilled and tapped the main pipe. I will probably do the same to the flat on top of the bracket too because I have fixed one problem and create another – where it needs to sit there is nothing above it to screw it to. I will add a small plate under the main plates that fit under the cab to extend it and allow me to fix to it.
Hopefully it will make sense when I have done it and taken photos. I have also added the missing control rod on top of the universal joint.
This morning saw the injector back in one piece with all the right notes in the right order – for this loco at least.
This was the set up for attaching the copper pipework using my RSU and cheapo self locking tweezers.
I do have one thing to work out and that’s the bracket below. There are etched slots in the rear frame assembly for it but I am not sure at the minute how it attaches to the injector itself to allow it to mount. The other bracket which I have already attached is quite visible in the photo above to no issues with that one.
I also see from the photo that I need to clean up the etching cusp from it too if I plan to use it.
I am almost at the point of reassembly of the exhaust injector, having added bits, chopped other bits off and repositioned the main elbow bend.
This is a small taster of what I have been up to.
First I milled a square section on the end of a piece of brass rod and drilled a 1.6mm hole in the middle and then a 0.6mm hole at each corner before taking it back to the lathe to part it off. This is the basis for a very visible pipe flange.
Then I made up some miniature fixings and soldered them to the copper pipe. The much magnified photos make it look much messier than it is to the naked eye.
I am working my way along the chassis adding the remaining details as I go. Two quite prominent features are the injectors. The kit included a nice brass casting for the live steam injector. This just needed some of the ‘pipes’ extending so that I can attach it more securely.
The exhaust injector was another matter as I couldn’t find a casting for it so I had to buy one in. I had a look on Ragstone and LG Miniatures and the LG one seemed nearest to what I needed. Living out in the sticks as I do I was most impressed that I ordered it on Monday morning and it arrived yesterday lunchtime.
This is what you get from Laurie and the image below is what I need it to look like.
To completely misquote Eric Morecambe, ‘Most of the right bits, but not necessarily in the right order’.
Sadly this means a bit of butchery is in order to get pipes facing the right way and one pipe joint that needs removing. The hardest thing about doing things like this is actually holding things to work on them. Luckily there are plenty of holes and spigots on the casting so a bit of work on a few offcuts of brass later and we have a few handles soldered on temporarily.
The small hex nut fitting is a part on one end that wasn’t present in any of the castings, so I filed a hex on the end of a bit of rod and turned the spigots on it.
Although I have a Moore and Wright depth micrometre, I recently needed o check the depth of a hole that I was drilling which was much smaller than the rods on the depth mic.
I had seen a video on YouTube where a gent in the US made a simple depth gauge from a length of aluminium bar stock , a thumb screw and a length of rod.
As luck would have it I recently bought some 2mm silver steel rod for use as retaining pins for gearboxes I also had a piece of 10mm x 100mm x 14mm rough cut piece of mild steel which was left over from my lathe upgrades. The rough cut edge was actually along it’s length rather than one end (although the ends were not perfect either.
Due to the need to mill down the stock to square up the rough cut edge I thought it worth trying my hand at milling some angles along what would become the top of the gauge.
Sadly when I came to drill out the hole for the measuring rod the 1.9mm drill wandered of line and the hole although square front to back was a little off to one side. Although it was not out enough to stop it being functional it bugged me so in the end I mounted the body in a 4 jaw chuck in the lathe and used a 4mm diameter end mill to open out the hole and square it up. The end mill wasn’t quite long enough. so I had to run a drill through the last millimetre, but by then the hole was square and the problem was solved.
Finally I turned a nickel silver bush to fit the hole and them drilled that out 1.9mm and reamed it to 2mm for the measuring rod.. A turned brass thumbscrew completed the job.
The flutes on the head of the thumbscrew were machined using my Proxxon dividing head on the mill table. I made a second smaller thumb screw for the end of the measuring rod so that it didn’t poke my in the eye in use. Lastly I blackened the body of the gauge using Birchwood Casey Gun Blue
Still beavering away making slow but steady progress. Next up were the front bogie top bearers (or that’s how they are referred to in the instructions) and the fitting of the bogie itself. The former were easy, tin with 100 degree solder and use the RSU to heat from inside the frames.
The bogie fitting was a little more challenging. My fitting of the representation of inside motion had scuppered using the method that the kit provided. At Guildex I had a chat with Nick about how he had done his and he confirmed what I had thought would have to be the solution. Which is do it like the prototype (simplified of course) and fit a plate to the bottom of the frames. This proved challenging because of my seeming inability to drill a hole in the middle of a rectangular plate… It took three attempts before I got the hole in the ruddy middle. Actually, I am being a bit hard on myself. The first one was in the middle it’s just the plate was too small…
With the part finally ready to be fitted I turned my attention to the mounting screw and the ‘nut’. The kit comes with a nice turned elongated top had type bush which is threaded 6ba in place of a conventional nut.
I had already made the side control springing block to accept this threaded bush so I wanted to use it. However now that the fixing point was much lower in the frames.
What I couldn’t work out was whether the bus was threaded all the way to the bottom of the hole or not because I didn’t have a long enough 6BA screw to check. So rather than trying to shorten the existing bush I thought it easier to turn up a new shorter version. I also turned the first 0.45mm to just fit tin the hole in the mounting plate which is slightly larger than the screw.
Despite my messing about for quite some time with a stack of washers trying to work out how long the shortened bush needed to be, it ended up slightly short.
Thankfully I had the foresight to leave it attached to the rest of the stock so once I worked out how much longer it needed to be, it was and easy job to turn another 2.5mm down to the same diameter. A short length of spring allows the bogie to float up and down by about 1mm.
Having got this far there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of swing before it hits the inside of the cylinders but this may change when on track and the side control does its job. Time will tell whether I need to cut back the cylinder wrappers.
When making my mini tap holders some time ago, there was a discussion about making, versus buying tools over on Western thunder, where I mentioned that I could buy one from Arc for under £10. I duly bought said tap follower from Arc Euro Trade and what a journey that turned out to be. When it came the grub screw in the image fitted into the back of the tap follower to retain the spring.
Which in itself was fine aside from the fact that the body of the tap follower was too big to fit in either of my Jacobs chucks and although I could have swapped the chuck out for a collet chuck that would have been a lot of messing about each time I wanted to use the tap follower. My solution was to turn up a threaded pin to replace the grub screw. Which on the face of it is simple, except I couldn’t determine what thread* was in the tap follower as supplied, so I ended up re-tapping it to M10.
That done I gave it a whirl and found that the hole in the body is far too big with too much slop for the guide rods to actually hold the tap straight. Which of course is the whole point of the exercise…
Hopefully you can just make out the gap between the two in the close up below. What should be a close sliding fit is far from it.
As I had already modified it I couldn’t really return it to Arc Euro so I put it in a drawer in disgust and moved on.
Fast forward to a couple of days ago and I had need to tap another hole in the lathe and I just happened to have the length of 8mm stainless rod (which I use for tightening my collet chuck) in my hand when I saw the tap follower in the drawer. I took it out and quickly dismantled it and tested the 8mm rod inside the body of the tap follower. It was a perfect fit. I cut another length from the piece I have in stock, to suite a new double ended guide rod and then turned each end down to a close sliding fit. One end has a point, the other has a 60 degree countersink to accommodate taps with points on the end.
Now I have a tool that does what it was supposed to when I bought it. I cannot blame Arc for the initial problem of the shank not fitting my drill chucks because it does state the shank size on their website but I missed taking note of it.
The poorly fitting guide rods is another matter.
You live and learn and I suspect that in this instance I would have been better making my own tool or buying a better quality example in the first place. At least I have been able to remedy it and I may at some point make up a second shorter version to utilise the spare guide rods.
*Having checked the Arc Euro Trade site as I was typing this to confirm that they do indeed note the shank size, I also noted that all the other measurements although primarily stated in millimetres, are in fact conversions of imperial sizes.
As I don’t possess any imperial taps or dies I was doomed from the start in working out what size the thread might be.
A few more micro fixings later saw. a major milestone both mentally and build wise.
These are the pins which hold the eccentric rod to the bottom of the expansion link. Initially I made the two fully threaded versions but then realised that it would be better if they were only partially threaded (14BA).
I had already fitted the return cranks and after this it was a short step to getting the full motion running.
I mentioned in the post above that I also had an Eclipse scribing block. This was a gift from a friend when he was moving and I was very grateful for it. I am a little ashamed to say that aside from using it a few times with my indicator I have done very little with it.
Having discovered the WD40/Ultrasonic Cleaning method I decided to see if it was a fluke or whether it really needed the soak in vinegar first.
Because it was a test I took a few more before and after photos
I put all the smaller parts in the pot of WD40 and ran it through the US cleaner for half an hour. When they came out the dirt was loose, but they were not as clean as the items that had been pre-soaked in vinegar.
On the bright side, I gave them a rub over with ScotchBrite and the dirt came away easily with almost no effort. A second run through the US cleaner had them like new.
I did the main column with WD 40 and ScotchBrite which did take a bit of effort.
Hello I’m Rob and I am a tool junkie… or so it might seem.
During breakfast and morning coffee I have taken to watching YouTube videos on machining, restorations etc. while Chris catches up on the news and current affairs.
While watching one such video a gent in the states who has a superb machine shop that he inherited from his Grandfather was making an adjustable indicator holder.
The resulting tool was excellent, but as it was nearing completion I couldn’t help but notice that the design was pretty much the same as some adjustable scribing blocks that I had seen on eBay while searching for Moore and Wright tools. Sure enough a search on Moore and Wright scribing block brought up several, ranging from one with some parts missing for £10 up to pristine boxed examples that were almost £100.
I found one that was complete (if rusty in places) but unboxed, that the seller was asking £15.99 plus P&P for. I put it on watch while I browsed further. As per a number of my recent experiences, by the time that I had found a couple more at sensible (to me) prices, I had received a lower price offer from the seller of £12.99.
Offer and counter offer is one of the functions of eBay that I really like and I have used it to negotiate a better price on a number of occasions. Being a tight Yorkshireman, I decided that I didn’t want to pay more than £10 plus P&P for it but knew that if I counter offered £10 that the seller would in turn counter with £11.
So I offered £8. My thinking being that the seller would then counter with £10 and sure enough they did. Result and a happy bunny.
On a side note, I think that if you enter into negotiations like this, it is only good manners to buy the object in question although I don’t always take up the reduced price initially offered as sometimes I just put items on watch out of curiosity with no intention of buying them at any price.
This is what it looked like when it arrived
I stripped it all down and put all the small parts which were rusty into a pickle jar full of white vinegar (we bought a gallon of it a while back). I left them for 24 hours and then brough them out and cleaned much of them with ScotchBrite but there were lots of small parts and springs that were either difficult to hold or lot’s of small crevices etc, to get into.
Then I recalled another video that I had watched, where a gent (again in the US) with an decent sized Ultrasonic cleaner had put various objects into small pots of different detergents including one of gasoline. These containers were then placed in the US cleaner which was part filled with water and turned on with really good results.
Another recent purchase was a 5 litre bottle of WD40 so I decanted some into a small container dropped in all the small parts and gave them a 30 minute cycle with the container surrounded by water (approx. 3/4 of the way up the container and above the level of the WD40) but no additional heat. I say no additional heat because my US cleaner has a temperature dial which goes up to 20 degrees, but even with the temperature set to zero, it still gets quite warm.
I was absolutely blown away with how clean the parts came out and the added bonus of using WD40, not only does it clean, but it doesn’t send the parts rusty like detergent or other cleaners might.
As you can see below there is still some pitting and general wear marks, but from any kind of distance it almost looks new.
Now as I mentioned at the beginning the plan is to use this as a dial indictor holder rather than a scribing block as I already have a nice Eclipse Scribing block that a friend gave me. More on that in another post.
This is the finished and reassembled tool fitted with a dial indicator.
Well with a proper two forward one back amount of progress I think that I am now back to where I was pre Stafford.
When fitting the replacement combination lever I really struggled with the pieces of brass wire which I had previously cut and peined over to hold the various rods in place. After the 4th or 5th pinged off into space I got fed up and chucked up a length of 1.9mm nickel rod in the lathe and turned down some small pins. These combined with some etched washers that I found on a spare etch now retain the rods in place.
It was just prior to refitting that I thought that I had best remove the other combination lever and beef it up as I didn’t want lightening to strike in the same pace twice.
After soldering another strip of nickel to the back and filing to shape I happened to place the two combination levers together on the bench where I realised that the replacement was longer that the one that snapped. As luck would have it I was able to solder a small piece of scrap etch into the bottom end of the fluted section and then drill through to the correct length. The last job was to cut of the over long bit and file the round on the bottom.
These are the four stages of the operation but the good news is that it’s all now reassembled and I am subject to test running back to where I was and ready to fit the return cranks.
I wasn’t really sure where to post this only that I didn’t want to distract further from Adrian’s excellent scratch build with it.
Further to my post here on buying a set of Moore and Wright odd leg/Jenny Callipers second hand via eBay the next day I received a second reduced price offer on a selection of four pairs of Moore and Wright Firm Jointed Callipers for £10 plus postage so in for a penny etc. I bought them.
They arrived today and although not in quite as good a condition as the first pair that I bought they have none the less cleaned up nicely and if I spent a bit more time on them I have no doubt that I could get them back to being almost pristine.
Although they were listed as two pairs of odd leg and two pairs of external callipers. One of them had had the legs reversed and is, on the basis of where the writing is positioned in relation to the other pairs, an internal set giving me a nice range for very little investment in them.
I have included below the first pair that I bought now that they have been cleaned up. So quite unintentionally I now have a three pairs of odd legs all of which are different sizes. So I can have one pair for marking out on the lathe, a pair for the mill and a pair for the bench.
Having seen them all together I don’t think that I will be able to resist having a further go at cleaning/rubbing them down to try to make them all as good as I can.
The day before leaving for Stafford I had a bit of a disaster with the motion on the Princess in so much as one of the combination lever’s snapped off while it was running on the rolling road. Initially I thought that it was due to there not being enough material left after opening out the holes for the locating pins but once I got back from Stafford and was able to remove the top end (the simple task of unscrewing a couple of 14ba screws) I found that the rod had actually snapped part way down the fluted section. I think that I have just been unlucky in that it was over cooked etch wise and that there was very little material left. there is so little that I cannot get my camera to focus on it to show what I mean.
Thankfully I had a couple of spares courtesy of Nick Dunhill so I have prepped a replacement. Not taking any chances on this one I have soldered a small strip of 10thou (0.25mm) onto the back of the rod to add a little extra strength. This has been done in fits and starts because like many other Chris and I picked something up at Safford that has taken a bit of shaking off. We have started to feel better one day only to feel crap again the next. Fingers crossed it’s behind us now.
A recent post on scratch building a loco over on Western Thunder highlighted some of the basic tools used for scratch building. The gent in question (Adrian) posted a photo of the tools laid out on his bench. They were the usual scribe, 6in rule, dividers, set square and, a pair of odd leg callipers.
Now I am sure that I am not alone in my lazy habit of using expensive digital/analogue measuring callipers for scribing my marking out when machining…
A quick look on the web revealed that I could get some Chinese odd leg callipers for under a tenner but already possessing a set of Chinese (or indeed they might be Indian) cheap callipers which are crude to say the least I thought I would have a look on eBay for some second hand named brand alternatives to see what was/is available. Now one of my favourite Sheffield made brands are Moore and Wright so I started there.
Searching Moore and Wright odd leg callipers brought up quite a selection even some new ones. Many of the cheaper end of the buy it now examples were simply two pieces with one leg bent and the other sharpened. Having seen Adrian’s set I rather fancied a set that had a separate scribe pin. I was a bit short of time so I put a couple on watch and returned to them the day after. As it turned out it was the same seller selling both of them and overnight I had received Offers on them. The offered reduction was only a couple of quid but it meant that the better of the two pairs that I was watching came in at £10 posted.
This is what I got for my tenner. A rub over with Scotch Brite and WD40 and they will be as good as new. I am well pleased with them and will enjoy using them for many years to come
The arrow alongside the date leads me to think that they are ex military
Each time I use them I will think of Adrian, and his unbeknownst kick up the pants.
This would have been an edit but I forgot to click post reply before applying the Scotch Brite. They have cleaned up as I imagined and while doing so I found a couple of small dings which I smoothed out with a diamond stone so they are now as good as they can get.
Well I managed to get my head into gear and work out a way to get past my issue of not being able to retain the cylinders in the chassis without the body in place.
From a piece of 3mm diameter nickel rod I turned a short length down to 2.2mm and threaded it 8BA. I cut it off using a piercing saw then reversed it and face it off until I had just the merest hint of a head as the thread ends.
I drilled a couple of holes in the top plate between the cylinders and tapped them 8ba there was already a slot in the frame spacer to accommodate one of the screws but I had to drill a corresponding hole to allow the second screw to pass through the spacer.
There isn’t a huge amount of screw thread in the holes so I soldered the screws in to reinforce them.