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.