Not too much done on the J6 this week but it’s almost there now.
I had a bit of a fright when I fitted the motor and I couldn’t get the body on but thankfully I had just put it in the wrong way round.
What it did need is a motor mount/steady to stop it moving backwards and forwards inside the body. I cut a small piece of nickel sheet as a slding fit between the frames and then cut out the mounting hole. I worked out where I needed to fold it and then decided to give the bending shear on the MiniFormit a try. I am pleased o say it bend it perfectly. Not being used to using it, to make bends. I didn’t follow the bend through to a right angle. instead I finished it off in my hold and fold.
Over on Western Thunder there was some discussion on the merits or not of Slaters Plunger pickups from a gent who had used them for the first time I mentioned that I was about to wire up the tender for the J6 with Slaters Plunger pickups and I offered to take photos as I went along. I thought they may be of use to someone else who may be contemplating using them but hasn’t seen them before
First I guesstimated the lengths of wire needed to reach from the plunger to the connections on a piece of Vero Board. These I soldered to the tags provided with the plungers
Connection between the tender and loco is to be by a mini plug sold for PC’s and bought via eBay some time ago.
One thing that makes life a little easier when dealing with the 12BA nuts on Slaters Plungers is a pair of flat 12BA spanners available from Eileen’s Emporium
Here it is all wires connected to the plungers and ready to solder to the Vero Board
Finally all wired up. – The observant amongst you will note that the size of the Vero board has changed in the last photo. I made a right pigs ear of soldering the first piece managing to bridge the gaps between the strips with solder so I did it again. Thankfully I hadn’t got all the wires on before I cocked it up.
I got to fitting the rest of the 3D printed brake shoes to the J6 brake hangers today and then refitted them onto the pull rods. I don’t think I have shown the loco sat on the body since it’s pretty much complete. Just a few final bits like wiring it up and testing it before painting the chassis and weathering the whole thing
I also fitted the back head a couple of weeks ago but didn’t take any photos
The rear view shows that making up the brake cylinders was worth it as they are quite visible when the loco is separated from it’s tender.
I wasn’t really happy with how far away from the wheels the brake shoes needed to be to ensure that they didn’t short. I rew up some brake shoes in Fusion and a friend kindly printed them off for me.
Today I had the chance to test fit one of them. After checking that I hadn’t messed up and that the etched hanger would go between the flanges. I bit the bullet, unsoldered the etched overlay and cut of the brake shoe from the hanger.
The next question was how to attach the printed brake shoes to the hangers. I hoped to have the shoes free to move and after considering and discounting various options which involved superglue I settled on a dressmakers pin and short length of microbore tube soldered to the pin and then filed down.
With the slide bars in place at the cylinder end it was time to start thinking about the outside motion. I decided to do it as two subassemblies and then join them together as I secure the rear end of the slide bars to the motion bracket.
Aling with the Premier Components coupling rods, came a set of the rest of the motion parts many of them very nice but some just didn’t work (or at least in my view). These are the combination levers and the union links. Starting with the combination levers, those fitted to the Princess Royals were fluted and the Premier examples plain.
The union links in the Premier set are represented by a single dog bone shaped rod which is 0.9mm thick. The very visible, prototype union links have forked ends. After exploring options of combining the etches with the premier link I realised that they were each of different lengths so no chance of combining the two.
After consultation with the gent that I am building it for, I went with the DA etched combination levers and union links but used the Premier parts for the rest of the motion.
For me the most difficult bit of building motion, inside or out is “how do I fasten it all together”. For the front half I have tapped the valve rod 14ba and put a screw through from the inside. Visible in the photo below.
The union links I have riveted with 0.8mm brass rod. I have a small piece of steel that I use as an anvil so I drilled a shallow depression in one corner to use to form rivet heads. Once inserted I peined them over with a small ball pein hammer.
I also turned up some oil pots for the connecting rods. Not quite prototypical but they do look nice.
While I am using the Premier Rods, I still need to use the DA etched expansion link and that’s where I was second guessing myself
On all the other outside Walschaerts valve gear that I have built before, the radius rod is connected via a pivot below the main pivot of the expansion link.
I thought I had assembled it wrong but after searching through a number of photos and reviewing the outside motion GA for 6203-62012 on page 38 of the Wild Swann book. It seems that on the Princess Royal there is no lower pivot point. Phew!
The forked ends on the radius rod were made from the ends of the etched radius rods that came with the kit.
Finally I was pondering the brass bearing cap on the eccentric rod where it attaches to the return crank. There are some etched covers included but since the whole kit is etched nickel, they are nickel not brass. So, I had a quick go at mocking one up on the lathe.
Although it doesn’t have the small screw heads and the oil pot it does look more three dimensional than the etch and of course it’s brass. I will sleep on it and see where I decide to go next with that one.