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.

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.

Homemade Eccentrics part 2

I went through the process again this time drilling the offset at 2mm which proved to be perfect for this particular application.

I had been using a very thin cutting tool which someone had ground (not very well it turned out) which came in the box of bits with the lathe. After cutting the first one I thought that I would examine the tool to see if I could improve it or at least rub it on a stone to restore the cutting edge. When I looked closely at the cutting part I noticed that the bottom of the tool was wider than the top and although there was some rake away from the cutting edge the fact that it was getting thicker couldn’t be helping to make an efficient cut.
This is a sketch of what the tool looked like originally albeit the bottom of the wedge is somewhat exaggerated.
[img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51259964196_7d3dd5c448_z.jpg[/img]

I have watched a few Youtube videos on sharpening lathe tools recently so I had a go at grinding the tool to take off some of the thickness towards the bottom making the two sides parallel.
This improved the cut and I successfully cut the groove for the first sheave. Then I parted it off but I was a little too close leaving a very thin edge. During the parting off, the parting tool moved slightly in its holder which pushed over the thin rim of the sheave slightly closing the top of the groove.
In the end it was usable but I decided to cut another pair to be on the safe side. It was while parting off the first one that I noted that my parting tool was in fact just the right thickness for cutting the groove without having to move the carriage as well as the cross slide to get the desired cut.
Having discovered this the next one progressed much faster and modifying the fixture that holds the parting tool so that it grips the parting tool more securely by squeezing it in the vice made the third one even faster still. The parting tool is one like this albeit mine only has one tool. You will note that it’s a pressed steel fitting that grips the part with the aid of a cap screw. Mine didn’t hold the cutting tool very closely to the holder but it does now.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41Uv-fAJmjL._AC_.jpg

So here we have the finished sheaves.

DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics
DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics


This is how they will fit on the axle once I work out their alignment with the crossheads further down the line.

DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics test fitted to the axle.


It turns out that I wasn’t far out with my 16mm deep offset hole, I had a measure of the remaining stock while putting this post together, and there is just about enough material to cut a 4th sheave had I needed a full set for a conventional inside motion build.

Modification of Buffer Heads from NER wagon kits

In my varied kit collection I have a few items of NER rolling stock from Medley Models/NER Days and it recently came to my attention via a fellow modeller that among other things the buffer heads in some of the kits need a little attention.
I had a vague recollection of Steve Hoyle mentioning something about his supplier having supplied them as they are and has subsequently passed away so no chance of doing anything about them.
These are what came with some of the kits (appologies for the slightly out of focus photos). You will note the interesting collar that would prevent any kind of compression…


I bought a couple of B1 opens from Mossy and they have been sat on my desk with the buffers beckoning to me each time I sat at my laptop. So this afternoon I decided to turn the collar off.
In the end I did about 30 and it was quite a good exercise in repeatability on the lathe using the graduations on the lead screw handwheels although the minor variations in sizes proved that they weren’t done with a CNC machine. I also took the opportunity to file off any centre pips and rub over the heads with emery while I had them in the chuck.


Globe lubricators from brass bearings

Further to my last post, when the brass bearings arrived I knocked one up into a lubricator to see how I would do it.

It was a bit interesting drilling out the bearing but following advice given I got a short length of tube the same diameter as my bearing and made a slit in it to make a split collet. This I gripped in one of the collets on the lathe and then I centre drilled it. Followed by drilling right through. They are slippery little blighters and one flew off into space as I was attempting to load into the lathe collet. Surprisingly I found it a couple of hours later.

I was fortunate to have some 1mm square bar in stock so I drilled right through one way and then half way on one side. When I fitted the rod through the bearing and into the square section I filed half of it away for the last millimetre which gave me a bit more room to solder the piece in that goes into the boiler.

Globe lubricator from a brass bearing

With the obligatory scaling piece.

Globe lubricator from a brass bearing

As with all such things in modelling making one is sometimes the easy part making another or several is more difficult. So it proved with the second one

I ruined one bearing when I hadn’t quite tightened the collet enough and the bearing wasn’t centred, then I didn’t get enough solder on the cross pipe so that came adrift as I cut it short and I ended up having to re-drill it in the pillar drill before I could solder it back in.

But get a pair I did. My collection of bits for the D2 is slowly coming together.

Globe lubricators from brass bearings

Making a form tool to turn Globe Lubricators

A fellow Gauge O Guild member asked if I would tell him how I made the form tool for the whistles. Because I am a bit impatient* I was planning to make another one to turn Globe lubricators (if I could).

So, I made another form tool and took photos as I went along.

Using a second cut file I filed away approximately half the thickness of the bar (in the event it was nearer to 35/40% than half).

Then I used a centre drill to drill a 1.5mm starter hold which I opened out to 2mm. I think my 2mm drill bit must need sharpening because I struggled to get it to go through the last bit.

I had drilled quite close to the end so I put the rod drilled end upwards in my vice and tilted it forward to file away until I had just over half the hole exposed.

Then I transferred it to the lathe. I put my cone shaped grind stone in the collet chuck and ground the inside of the hole to put my rake on it. The black pen mark on the stone was at the 2mm diameter mark so I didn’t inadvertently make the hole bigger.

Grinding the inside of the concave section
Grinding the inside of the concave section
Grinding the inside of the concave section

Next, I used the diamond cutting disk to grind back the outer edges to refine what I had filed and get it nearer to final size. But before removing the tool from the cross slide I marked with a pencil the angle which I had ground at to make replacing the tool at the right angle easier should it need regrinding. 

Globe Lubricator form tool
Globe Lubricator form tool
Grinding the inside of the concave section

Then I hardened and tempered the cutting end. I did this by heating the end using my Microflame to a red heat then I quenched it in a jar of water. I repeated the process but only heating until it changed to a blue colour before quenching again in water.

I tried cutting a globe but I made a couple of mistakes: 

The material I was trying it on was too thin (2.5mm diameter) and I had predrilled the centre thinking that I was going to thread a rod through it.

The ‘globe’ broke off long before it remotely resembled a globe and I realised that even with thicker material I needed to grind more off the tool to make the forming half circle shallower. At this point I used thicker material but still predrilled it.

Another try; another failure and another regrind.

The last go was cut from 4mm bar and no predrilling and I also took some of the edge of the ‘globe section with a diamond file prior to applying the form tool. 

Globe Lubricator
Globe Lubricator
Globe Lubricator

Having done all this I now think that I may get away with thinner rod now that I have refined the form tool and my technique.

Of course, the law of sod dictated that not 15 minutes after finishing the successful lubricator the postie came with some brass bearings that I had ordered from China and wasn’t expecting for another three weeks or so.* I an Middleditch in his original advice had suggested buying brass ball bearings and drilling them to make the globes from

The subject of those will make another posting at some point.


Holding things for drilling/milling

While re-watching David LO Smith’s workshop video that he did for last years virtual show I was reminded that quite often the job itself doesn’t present the biggest problem for machine tools it’s holding the item securely in the right orientation that proves most challenging.
Needing to drill out some cast brass brake hangers and shoes I was struggling on how to hold them because the castings were ever so slightly miscast meaning that each part had to be slightly tilted to get the hole to go through cleanly without coming out of the side of the casting.
I thought I would share with you the method that I came up with.

I gripped the pliers in the small machine vice and bought the drill bit down in front of the part to check alignment, adjusting until the hole would pass through the casting correctly before aligning the drill bit over the point to be drilled. 
I have had these pliers for years and I removed the spring for a job and never put it back this means that the jaws stay where you put them so ideal for using both hands to do the set up. 
They have quite straight but quite narrow jaws (3mm for most of their length tapering to 2.6mm at the ends) and I wish I could buy another pair as using them for soldering many times has started to corrode the ends of the jaws.
Then to start drilling grip the handles of the pliers to keep the part in place and operate the drill with the other hand. I had to keep minutely adjusting the angle as I drilled each end of each casting but all six were drilled both ends without mishap.

Bending Tender Flares, a short tutorial

As promised on my J6 Build thread after bending the curves in the tender flares I took a series of photos using a piece of scrap to demonstrate how easy it is using a variation of a method described to me by someone on RMweb years ago.
He used the thick rubber heel design for replacing worn ones on shoes I use one of the rubber safe jaws of my Proxxon Vice.
First of all I just use the one soft jaw. You will note that the soft jaw has a thick triangular section that fits in the V groove of the hard vice jaw.

Bending Tender Flares

Opposite that to form the longitudinal curve I use one of the lengths of rod that came with my Metalsmith drilling table.

Bending Tender Flares

Next I fit the strip to have the flare bent in it into the vice between the soft jaw and the rod using the opposite V groove to hold the rod in position and ensure that the bend is going into the thickest part of the rubber soft jaw.

Bending Tender Flares

Once you are happy with the position tighten the jaws to create the bend
In this photo you can just see where it’s pushing against the thicker bit of rubber in the V groove

Bending Tender Flares

Finally a couple of shots of the finished bend.

Bending Tender Flares

Bending Tender Flares

Cable Drums refined!

In a previous post on wagon loads (Here), I made some cable drums from wooden pieces created by drilling out lightening/cable runs on my layout boards and matchsticks.

Last weekend I came across a few more of the wooden circles and decided to see if I could improve upon them now that I have the NW Shortline Chopper to cut some coffee stirrers instead of the match sticks. An hour later I had 5 cable drums.

A quick resize, a visit to the printer and then some careful cutting out and I had some labels for them.

 

Scratch Built 7m scale Cable Drums

Scratch Built 7m scale Cable Drums

Scratch Built 7m scale Cable Drums

Scratch Built 7m scale Cable Drums

I told you I was easily distracted….

Underneath the Arches….

A couple of years or so ago I talk to Phil at Intentio about some occupied arches for my diorama board. At the time what Phil needed to charge to produce them was more than I could justify for a diorama for taking photos. So I left it at that and I pretty much forgot about it.

Whilst mooching around Telford we happened upon the LCUT Creative stand who had plain infilled arches and a couple of options of occupied versions all for just under £8.00 each. Having asked for measurements and worked out that three arches would create a backdrop for the diorama for just under £25 I decided that I could better justify the outlay.

Now it has to be said that they are made from a very thin fibreboard and can’t in any way be compared to what Phil produces but they will serve the purpose.

I had to use some of the offcuts as packing pieces to allow them to sit back against a piece of plywood that I cut to support them – this is because they come supplied with an internal sections which represents the inside of the parapet but I chose not to use is because I plan to use the spare pieces for something else.

Chris came up with the idea of printing of some old workshop scenes from the internet and sticking them behind the glazing on the windows and this is what it looks like before it get’s any paint on it.

 

LCUT Creative Arches

LCUT Creative Arches

LCUT Creative Arches

LCUT Creative Arches

 

Louvres to you too – JLRT

One of the things that I have tried to do is to make as much use out of each drawing as I can. The NBR and the NER (I haven’t looked too closely at the other constituents of the LNER too closely yet). really help with this because of the many variations on a theme.

Using the example of the 8 ton Jubilee vans that I have just done I managed to use the artwork twice with minor amendments to make the matchboard version. looking a little further in vol 3 of Tatlow brought me to a 3rd and 4th variation this time in the guise of yeast vans same sized bodies, with both beaded and matchboard variations the only difference being is the added complication of louvres.

Since doing the louvres for the NER CCT I have studied and discarded a few methods of making louvres using combinations of styrene strip cut at angles etc. The flush sides of the louvres on the NBR vans gave me the opportunity to try another method which has far exceeded my expectations even if it is a bit time consuming to do.

This is where I have got to with the first van – or rather side of a van. Each side/end is made up of 3 layers and on the two inner layers I have moved the position of the louvre cut outs up by one pixel (I also marked each layer so that I knew which order to assemble them). To cut the slots I used an Exacto type chisel blade which was just marginally too wide for the length of the slot so I rubbed it on a diamond stone to reduce it a little.

To cut out the narrow end I used a suggestion from Graham (Beare) which was at the time for something else but applicable in this instance too. That suggestion was to use a piece of piano wire (0.8mm in this case) and file a chisel blade on one end I then gripped this in a pin vice and away I went – admittedly the patience only let me cut the slots in the 3 layers for one side at one session.

NBR Yeast Van

NBR Yeast Van

IMG_9812
Please excuse the odd second photo I took it this way to illustrate that when viewed from a low angle you can see through the louvres but from the more normal side on view you can – JLRT…….

It still needs some beading finishing off and the other side and the ends need their louvres cutting out

Another Wagon load from Household Waste.

Following on from a posting about wagon loads from household waste, albeit much belatedly, a gent on the guild suggested that the siphon valve wouldn’t really work as a load due to the size of the screw thread. That made sense and at the time I thought that it would make a load that could be sheeted if only I could make a suitable tarpaulin.
Fast forward to Ian G posting a link to an article on making realistic tarps (http://www.militarymodelling.com/news/article/making-realistic-tarps/3310) and I thought that I might have the answer. Sadly several attempts were made none of which were good enough to me. The first using Kleenex tissues just disintegrated and using the process on thin cloth worked but it wasn’t flexible enough. As a last resort I put a few lens cleaning tissues on one side after they were used to dry out and hey presto they worked.
This is what they look like after being ironed and treated – not much different in looks to be honest but they feel slightly thicker and have a texture. More importantly they can be handled/folded/stretched without mishap.
IMG_8620
Next I cut some styrene discs using a leather punch and stuck them to a sheet to make eyelets. When they had dried I drilled holes through them and then brush painted both sides of the sheet black (the original plan was to spray them but I ran out of time last week). Next out came a cheap stencil and the letters LNER were painted on along each edge and some cotton cords tied through each eyelet.

LNER Tarp

LNER Tarp

In between this while things were drying, etc. I made up a timber cradle for the load.

7mm ScaleWagon load from Household waste;

7mm ScaleWagon load from Household waste;

Lastly I tied it all on – I had to add a couple of staples made from 0.45mm wire to the cradle ends to allow the sheet to be fastened.

7mm Scale Sheeted Wagon Load

7mm Scale Sheeted Wagon Load

7mm Scale Sheeted Wagon Load

7mm Scale Sheeted Wagon Load

7mm Scale Sheeted Wagon Load

7mm Scale Sheeted Wagon Load

 

Another Salty Tale

Over the last few weekends in odd moments in between gardening I have put together and painted another Slaters Salt van.
In contrast to the one I built earlier which was depicted as faded and worn I wanted this one to be in a recently out shopped version of the livery so I started by giving the wagon a good coat of paint (as opposed to the deliberately patch finish on the first one).

Slaters 7mm Scale Salt Van

Slaters 7mm Scale Salt Van

Next I pondered on how to get over the fact that the transfers which are homemade and printed on clear decal paper have a tendency for the colour to wash out of the yellow when applied over a green base coat.
Mangers transfer
While it worked brilliantly for the faded livery it doesn’t for a newly painted livery so I thought that I would have a go at over painting the yellow bit of the lettering by hand.
I used Vallejo Sunshine yellow but found that it took a few coats to get it to cover on the slippery surface of the transfers. In all it took six sessions over two weekends to do both sides it’s far from perfect but I am happy with the results and I will use the technique again.

Slaters 7mm Scale PO Salt vans - Mangers

Slaters 7mm Scale PO Salt vans – Mangers

Slaters 7mm Scale PO Salt vans - Mangers

Slaters 7mm Scale PO Salt vans – Mangers

 

Slaters 7mm Scale PO Salt vans - Mangers

Slaters 7mm Scale PO Salt vans – Mangers

Finally a shot of them both together…

Slaters 7mm Scale PO Salt vans - Mangers

Slaters 7mm Scale PO Salt vans – Mangers

Playing about with image stacking

Last night I had a mess about with image stacking – I am quite pleased with the results so far. Each final image is made up from 5 original images combined into one.

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside Wagon

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside Wagon

Parksdie NBR 4Plank Open

Parksdie NBR 4Plank Open

Parksdie NBR 4Plank Open

Parksdie NBR 4Plank Open

Slaters 7mm PO Salt Wagon

Slaters 7mm PO Salt Wagon

Slaters 7mm PO Salt Wagon

Slaters 7mm PO Salt Wagon

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside Wagon

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside Wagon

Wagon Loads from Coffee Stirrers Revisited

I have been tinkering around painting some of the wagon loads that I have made from coffee stirrers and thought that I would share them posed in my latest wagon.

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside wagon with assorted scratch built timber loads

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside wagon with assorted scratch built timber loads

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside wagon with assorted scratch built timber loads

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside wagon with assorted scratch built timber loads

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside wagon with assorted scratch built timber loads

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside wagon with assorted scratch built timber loads

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside wagon with assorted scratch built timber loads

Scratch Built NBR 4 Plank Dropside wagon with assorted scratch built timber loads

 

More Wagon loads from Coffee Stirrers!

I collected one of these at Leigh show from Paul at EDM Models
[img]http://www.ngtrains.com/Pages/Glues/Images/82439_small.jpg[/img]
Having got it I was keen to give it a try so having picked up an idea for another wagon load while watching the many youtube videos of Pete Waterman’s layout – (just got an infinity upgrade from my puny 1.2mb that I have suffered with for years which makes watching youtube an absolute pleasure!).
So this is what I came up with.

7mm scale Packing case made from Coffee stirrers

7mm scale Packing case made from Coffee stirrers

7mm scale Packing case made from Coffee stirrers

7mm scale Packing case made from Coffee stirrers

The nails are .3mm holes drilled and then touched with a pin point dipped in a dilute solution of Vallejo Charred Brown acrylic.
Regards Rob

Pipes……….

I haven’t managed much time at the workbench recently but this week I managed a little.

Sometime back I posted some home made vacuum pipes and someone asked for a step by step next time I made some.

This is what was included in the kit – the whitemetal ones that is along with the fine beading wire that I use for creating the ‘ribbing’
IMG_6912

I started by measuring and cutting some 50mm lengths of 0.7mm brass rod.

I held each one in a pin vice with 25mm protruding and tucked one end of the beading wire down the small gap in the jaws of the pin vice.

Next I wound the beading wire around the protruding wire keeping the strands tight against each other until I had around 5mm left without binding.
IMG_6914

Holding the end still attached to the reel tight I soldered the beading wire in place then snipped the end attached to the reel.

IMG_6918

Removing it from the pin vice I snipped and tidied the other end up and slipped a 10mm length of annealed microbore tube over the long end. I also drilled a hole in the end of a strip of scrap and soldered it over the other end. Cutting it back and rounding each end once it was soldered in place.

IMG_6920

Being the tight Yorkshireman that I am when I use pinheads for rivets I don’t throw the shanks away. To create the ring around the top end of the tube I annealed a pin shank and wound it around the other end of the bound section on the long section (the end with the microbore tube on it). Finally snipping it off and soldering it in place.

Next I bent the section of annealed tube to right angles and finally I cut a length of shrink tube and shrank it over the top. I have to confess I am not sure about the shrink tube and I may end up cutting it off…..

IMG_6921

The last pair of pipes will be a tad harder because they have taps on them and I need to work out the best way to represent them – Last night I had a brilliant idea on how to do it but I blowed if I can recall it today………

A tip for use with acrylic paint.

I made a start on another wagon last night and made a discovery that I thought worth sharing.

When using enamels I am aware of and have used the technique of using a cotton bud soaked in white spirit to remove unwanted enamel paint – as long as it hasn’t been on too long. I have seen examples of the technique used in weathering.

What I didn’t know or appreciate until last night was that you can do something similar with acrylics by using a cotton bud soaked in meths.

These are a few shots of the wagon that I am now working on that I used the technique on last night.
IMG_6046 IMG_6047 IMG_6049 IMG_6050 IMG_6051

It has quite some way to go but I feel that I have a bit more freedom to experiment knowing that even when it’s gone on quite thick and had some drying time it’s still maneuverable.