Shop Made Tail Stock Locking clamp for the Unimat III

I mentioned in my Parting tool upgrade post that I planned to upgrade the locking clamp for the tailstock too.
Like many locking clamps on the Unimat III the locking clamp for the tail stock is an M6 cap screw. It being tucked down the side of the tail stock body it isn’t always convenient to get to. Watching the videos from the GOG virtual shows done by the late David Smith (DLOS) on workshop practice I noted that he had done a similar upgrade and it prompted me to think about it. I finally go to it.
As luck would have it I have a small stock of 50mm stainless M6 cap screws. These are only threaded for part of their length so I started by threading one of them along it’s entire length. Not an easy task in stainless but I got there. Next I cut of the head and cut it approximately to length. 
Then I drilled and tapped a short length of 16mm aluminium bar M6 and turned a 20% taper on the closed end. Having tried to fit it all together so that I could work out the handle length I realised that I had it too tall and it wouldn’t screw past the body of the tail stock. I parted off 5mm and that cured the problem. I screwed it on hand tight an marked where the handle was gong to be and had to change plans again.
My initial idea was to use another M6 screw for the handle and make a knob similar to the pinch boss to fit on the end. My test run proved that there just wasn’t enough room for any kind of knob so I was pondering what I might do when I remembered that I had a short length of steel bar in my tool box that I had had for years and it usually found use as a drift so was a little battered on the ends.
I faced one end off and turned it down to 5.85mm to thread M6 again it being stainless, made this a bit of fun but once I got it started it wasn’t as hard as threading the screw. Then I decided to taper the rest of it to make a handle shape so I centre drilled the threaded end and used a live centre to support it while I turned the taper. After initially completely forgetting that I needed to turn the topside feed not the carriage feed I ended up with the handle below which I was quite pleased with.

Shop made Tail Stock Clamp Handle.

Having cross drilled the pinch boss I assembled it all and it looks like this

Shop made Tail Stock clamp


This is the unlocked position and a quarter turn locks it

Shop made Tail Stock clamp

Carried away by this success I have ordered some more 8mm stainless rod to make another to replace  the cap screw on the quill lock.

NER Boiler Fittings Trials Trials and Tribulations

After my efforts to create the lovely safety valve bonnet yesterday I was dismayed when I learned that I had orientated the ellipse at the top in the wrong direction. It should run in line with the boiler….

Today’s first task was sorting that out. All was not lost as I learned a bit more while correcting it and I have an even better end result for my efforts.

Next up I drew up a replacement chimney to the correct dimensions for the Class J and initially I added rivets around the base but Tom alerted me to the fact that the NER used countersunk bolts so nothing was visible on the chimney base after painting. A few steps back on the Fusion timeline removed them. It’s certainly much easier to remove them than to add them…

Although the Class J didn’t have a brass cap to the chimney the drawing that I worked from showed it so I couldn’t resist depicting it on the photos at least.

Finally I drew up a replacement dome so that should draw a line under this particular little project if you will pardon the pun.

Shop Made Parting Tool fixture

3D drawing has been a bit of a distraction from the other things that life has thrown my way recently but I also made a small upgrade to my parting tool holder for the Unimat.

Due it small size I had to buy a mini parting blade and this is what it looks like below

Parting tool as supplied

The bit that’s supposed to hold the blade and keep it from moving is this bit, which is for all the world like a bent washer.

Flimsy Clamping fixture

After parting a few items off I noted that on some of them the back of the part was actually convex because the cutting force had bent the “washer” and allowed the parting tool to move to one side as it was cutting.
Having bought my long length of steel from Wickes I decided that I would look at making something a little sturdier.

This is what I came up with.

Shop made clamping fixture

The slot is wider than the blade (1.45mm) because my smallest milling cutter at present is 3mm but I do have some brass bar that will fit in the remaining slot should I need to take out any slack.

Here it is fitted.

Shop made parting tool clamping fixture

There is a small shim in between the fixture and the tool holder which helps apply an even pressure. The fixture is thick enough not to bend under pressure and long enough to hold the blade inline with the tool holder without being able to twist while cutting.

Next I plan to make a locking handle for my tail stock. It currently locks via a cap head M6 screw which isn’t always very convenient.

David Andrews Princess 4000 Gallon Tender

A couple of bereavements since my last post on this have slowed things down somewhat but I have made a little more progress.

Getting the rear of the tender and the tank top square and straight up has been a bit of a struggle.

David Andrews Tender Rear
David Andrews Tender Rear
David Andrews Tender Rear

This has mainly been due to the fact that the rear of the tender is mainly half etched. The half etching process in what is quite thick base material, has made it curl in several planes.

A look at one of the tender sides probably helps to illustrate this better than the photos of the tender rear.

Curl on tender sides do to half etching process

I got there in the end.

David Andrews Tender Rear

NER No 2 Axle Box

I am still being distracted by 3D drawing in Fusion. I have also discovered the render tool so the images look so much better.

As I have more than a passing interest in rolling stock I thought I would attempt an NER No2 Axle box.

A friend kindly pointed out that we mostly only model the part in front of the W Iron so I changed the drawing slightly

LNER Brake Van Stove

Moving swiftly along from the brake standard modifications. You may recall that some time ago I made a stove for the brake van using my Silhouette cutter. Although I proved it was possible, it was extremely fiddly to assemble and I certainly wouldn’t want to be doing a lot of them.

It’s also a perfect candidate for 3D printing so yesterday morning (after amending the brake standard files) I started to draw up the stove.

It has proved to be my most ambitious and ultimately satisfying design project to date.

My apologies for the image overload but I am delighted at how well it has turned out.

More on from the 3D Workbench

After Mike Trice kindly pointed out that I have missed the bolt heads from the base of the brake standards I made some amendments and here are the revised entities.

I also changed the base of the threaded rod so that it will (hopefully) print a bit easier.

David Andrews Princess, Cleaning up the Tender Tank vet castings

Looking to start adding as much as I could details wise, before assembling the main components. I dry fitted the tank filler and the vent pipe castings on the tank top plate. Although the latter are generally not bad castings, when I opened out the etched holes, they both sat lopsided. I attempted to tidy them up using a square needle file but wasn’t able to correct the lean.

David Andrews Princess – Tender vent castings

I decided to have a go at turning them, but gripping them to turn them in the lathe was going to prove interesting. So, I took a leaf out of the late David Smith (DLOS)’s book, and made a split collet from a length of aluminium rod.

I had recently watched a YouTube video of someone doing just that and the guy who made the video had left a collar on his split collet to make it easier to get it in and out of the lathe collet.

Split Collet
Split Collet

This shot shows how the casting sits in the split collet.

Split Collet with casting in situ

You can see in the shot below how lopsided the base was. The rim of the base plate was so thin that I dare not turn too much off or I would have ended up having to turn a collar to replace it. Which was plan B if I hadn’t been able to get the existing base plate to sit flat

Casting after turning to clean up the base and make it sit flat.

Thankfully I got away with it and didn’t need to resort to plan B.

David Andrews Princess – Tender vent castings sitting down properly

More 3D drawing – LNER Brake Standard

The recent hot weather has somewhat killed my enthusiasm for actual model making so instead I have been drawing up a few more bits and pieces. Some of them are still work in progress but I finished an LNER Brake standard last night.

I have long wished for a correct LNER brake standard casting so now assuming that it prints okay my wish should be fulfilled.

David Andrews Princess – Princess Marie Louise

Modelling time has been in short spells just recently, hence my lack of posts. I have been beavering away at detailing the front and rear of the tender but I haven’t taken any photos yet. However, a discussion on the Guild forum about details of the coal pusher fitted tenders had me looking closely at the drawings of the modifications done to the 9 Ton tender to increase coal capacity to 10 Tons. There are drawings of the upperworks in LMS Profiles no 4.

The tank vent castings cleaned up quite nicely by spinning them in the mini drill with a bit of scotchbrite and although the water filler was a reasonable casting, when comparing it to the drawing it’s a bit on the undernourished side. So, using the same bar as I used for the eccentrics which was just the right diameter, I decided to make a replacement. I had a look at as many photos as I could find and it seems that David Andrews has the type of hinge mechanism pretty much correct albeit that all the ones that I saw had plain straps without visible fasteners.

Replacement LMS 4000 Gallon Tender water filler
Replacement LMS 4000 Gallon Tender water filler
Replacement LMS 4000 Gallon Tender water filler
Replacement LMS 4000 Gallon Tender water filler

After turning, I transferred it to the mill and used a recently acquired edgefinder (less than £7 posted from Allendale) to help to accurately position the holes. I then used a 1mm collet to hold a .06mm drill and away we went. Fitting such small drill bits into a collet on the mill is a bit of a fiddle and you could really do with another hand but it’s worth it.

Gladiator J6 another little job off the list

Although I dressed the backhead a couple of weeks or so ago, I hadn’t managed to get it to fit into the cab before now because the stub of the whistle protruding through the cab roof stopped it from sliding in. One of those little few minute jobs that seem to take forever to get around to…. I finally got to it and the backhead now fits in place as if it was made for it.

Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab
Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab
Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab

Wensleydale track survey

We had something a little different down the branch this afternoon or rather it went up the branch last week but I only caught sight of the rear cab window as it disappeared out of view. We thought it odd that it didn’t return (usually most ‘trains’ go up the branch and return the same day). We have had quite a bit of works train traffic on Monday’s of late but much of it has been seen before so I haven’t posted any photos. 

They look to have been working their way back from Redmire surveying the branch because it had already passed our house on the way to Bedale when I became aware of it and popped up to take a look. 
By good fortune it had stopped a couple of hundred yards away and after marking up the ground, (when the machine made a series of loud beeps) it then reversed to about 20 yards beyond the house on the Redmire/Leyburn side. More beeps more marking up and it reversed direction again heading back off towards Bedale. 
I reckon it must be sat in the passing loop at Bedale station now, because just before 5pm we had the Class 20 featured previously, come past light engine heading to Leyburn/Redmire. 

For those it might interest, there are more details shots on my Flickr site

Gladiator J6, a bit of milling

After spending a week teaching myself 3D drawing, I was back at the workbench today. I had originally planned to just turn a couple of appropriately sized top hat bushes, file some flats on them where they come together and job done. My recently acquired mill offered more possibilities to make something that at least looks like the original even if it doesn’t attach in the same way. This will be soldered to the cylinder front in between the slide bars, instead of being suspended from a substantial bracket between the frames.

This is my first real item produced with the mill and I am happy with how it turned out.

Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket

This is where it will sit in between the slide bars on the cylinder front. I have added some fastenings to make it look as if it should be there, when it’s ultimately lost in the gloom between the frames.

This is where it will fit.

Ramsbottom Safety valves part II

This is the final version. it was a bit of a challenge to get all the lever elements constrained so that I could extrude it but I got there in the end.

By turning different elements off as in the photo I can create separate STL files for just the lever, the complete valves without the cover or complete with the cover.

More 3D drawing adventures

At the risk of boring people with my new found skill I have drawn up a couple more items yesterday.
First was a much simpler task than the chimneys that I have drawn so far, this time a dome for the D2.

Then at a friend’s suggestion I had a go at the GNR version of the Ramsbottom safety valves.

I had got this far when Chris looked over my shoulder and said “it looks good but it doesn’t look right” she was of course correct the springs should be on the lever that I hadn’t drawn yet not the valve stems…
To be continued…

A second attempt nearly ended in tears!

The D2 chimney must have been beginners luck. The next one took me two days of fighting to get it finished. Despite the frustrations I have learned much from the experience (I am a great believer that mistakes and things going wrong are far better teachers than when things go swimmingly).

This chimney is for non condensing C12’s and J52’s. According to the drawing, the condensing versions were fitted with shorter but otherwise similar profile chimneys. I feel that I have done a better job of this one and it’s a bit finer in shape/detail.