Just to finish this little bit off, in all the three lubricators have 75 parts between them. Fiddly to make, and I know that I could have bought in some very nice castings or 3D prints from the trade, but I had immense fun and raised my personal bar a little higher. Would I make some more in the future, who knows now that I have scratched that particular itch.
Over on the Guild forum there was some discussion about lubricators, centred primarily on the potential difficulties of drilling out brass castings. This prompted me to look in the box and see what the lubricator castings were like as supplied.
They are nicely detailed castings, albeit missing the front and rear fittings. But, most importantly for this build, there are only two of them in the kit and we need three.
In a bit of a dilemma but not needing them right now, I sent an email off to the gent that I am building it for with a few options on how we might proceed.
While awaiting a reply/phone call, I rose to the challenge and had a look through my material stock to see if I had any bar of a suitable size for making some myself.
I had a length of brass that was suitable, so I cut three lengths and machines them to the basic shape and size before drilling out the various holes.
Next, I turned the circular front piece that the pivot mechanism attaches to. Which gave me a chance to try out the grooving tool that I ground. I am pleased to say that by taking very light cuts, I was able to turn down a part with a 1mm spigot then a 3mm centre and a further 1mm spigot beyond the 3mm section without having to reverse the workpiece in the collet to turn the second spigot without snapping it off.
I then filed up and cut off around 50 small brass unions (I needed 42 but there were the inevitable pings off into space). It was only when I started to fit the blanking plugs on the front of two of the lubricators that I thought to take any photos.
As you can see not all of the holes were dead in line due to the small drill wandering a little because I drill right through rather than from each side. But I had a cunning plan to get around that.
The holes through the bodies were 0.5mm but the copper wire that I am using for the pipes is only 0.3mm. The smallest microbore tube that I had for making the unions has a 0.5mm id so I had quite a bit of wiggle room to line them up as I fitted them.
The rocking [ shaped pieces on the rear, were made from some slices cut from a length rectangular brass tube that I have had in my stock box for 10 years or more. I don’t seem to use it often and then only in small slices but it’s handy to have and more rigid that if I had bent up some strip.
This week has seen more work on the J6 most of which isn’t really photogenic as it’s been to do with assembling and fitting the inside motion which isn’t quite there yet.
In order to assemble much of the motion I needed some pin so I decided to turn some taper pins from 0.9mm nickel rod.
Having touched up the tool of a stone and got myself into a bit of a rhythm, I soon had a dozen or so ready. I only remembered to take a picture after I had fitted most of them…
Whilst pondering on aspects of the fitting of the motion, my thoughts turned to the remaining jobs to be done and one of those is sand pipes.
A quick check on Laurie Griffin and Ragstone site’s didn’t reveal much in the way of sand pipes so I decided to make my own.
I started by checking sizes on the GA and settled on some 0.8mm rod for the pipe itself. I had a length of microbore tube that fitted over it and used that to make the body of the fitting where the steam pipe attaches.
I started by filing a notch in the pipe such that with a slight bend to the remainder I could feed the ‘pipe’ through the sort end giving me an angled branch.
Next I filed an angled flat on the end of the tube to create the other branch of the fitting.
Some home made nuts/unions and 0.45mm beading wire for the steam pipe, completes the job – x four of course
Still making slow but steady progress in between with the J6.
The tender is now coaled and ready for weathering. I plan to weather the loco and tender at the same time so that I get them looking the ‘same’
I almost forgot, I dropped the LG Miniatures fire irons in some dilute metal black which has given them a nice ‘rusty’ appearance.
For a bit of light relief, I took the secondary saddle for several brief trips on the mill until I got it to sit at the same level as the main saddle.
At this point there was 0.1mm difference in the height of the DA saddle casting and my scratched up one from nickel so I popped it in the mill for one last skim and removed the last 0.1mm. The saddle casting is now 0.7mm deep in the centre and that makes the bottom of the smokebox 0.3mm below the frame tops.
Now it was time to sit it on a sheet of toughened glass in lieu of not having a surface plate and checking with my height gauge to see if the smokebox is level.
Yeay!! It sits dead level.
In the last two you can just see that the smokebox is lower than the frames – just.
Now I just need to get the secondary saddle to fit and ultimately fasten it together. For now, a darkened room beckons…
Before taking more off the middle splashers, I eased the cut outs and bottom of the boiler at the firebox end to get it to sit better against the front of the firebox it didn’t need much but it seemed to help. Then I removed some more from the middle splashers
and I also milled some more off the smokebox saddle to reduce its height. I have had off forum discussions with a couple of people who have built these and both said that they had to scratch build the front saddle as they couldn’t get the casting to sit low enough. Just as a precaution I knocked one up from an offcut of 0.7mm nickel.
At this point the scratch built one needs shortening.
I took a couple of photos with the replacement in place to see how it fit.
And finally for last night I took a couple more after trimming back the splashers a bit more and reducing the height of the saddle casting again – it’s getting there.
As sometimes happens I had a little distraction from levelling up the boiler. While stripping the firebox off to adjust it to get it to sit down snugly, I noted that I hadn’t fitted parts 74E and 74F which are ‘L’ shaped rivet strips that fit around the rear splashers. I thought it best to fit them while I had the firebox off. Just to catch out the unwary, these are supposed to be handed but are in fact etched the same hand.
I did think about trying to press out the rivets from the face side so that I could use it upside down on the opposite hand but because its half etched, it made centring the rivet press on the half-etched rivets very difficult. In the end it was much easier to cut the leg off the ‘L’ and add it as two separate parts. Actually, you can barely see the joint when looking from above so it should be almost invisible from the ¾ side view once painted.
Then I took a little more off the firebox arches where they clear the rear splashers to get the firebox to sit properly on the footplate.
I also took a little more off the left hand middle splasher which has centred the boiler but it’s still a little high at the front. More needed off both sides.
Since my last post I haven’t had much time to spend on modelling but having tacked the cab on I did get to drilling and fitting the firebox to the foot plat with self tappers so that I have a datum to work from for seating the boiler.
I am not sure how others have managed it but I am having real difficulty with the size of it seeing what’s level and what isn’t so I have resorted to nibble a little bit, fasten the foot plate to the chassis add the boiler/smoke box and then take a photo that I can study without trying to juggle to loco in my hands while squinting at it.
By taking a photo of each side and comparing them, I can immediately see that I need to take a little more off the left side middle splasher. This is because it’s not seating down flush with the front of the firebox at that side, but it is at the other. This means that it’s being pushed over to one side slightly, this is backed up by it appearing to seat on the secondary saddle at the right side but not at the left. And of course, looking at it from the front.
Useful things photos, and it is a slight pain assembling it and disassembling to take a bit more off but I can’t think of a better way of achieving what I need.
Warren Haywood has finished painting the Great Central Railway Class 5A Dock tank. He sent me a couple of photos of what it looks like before it goes off to it’s new owner.
It does look rather smart I have to say.