Not quite as fast as a speeding tortoise

I had a long morning finishing of some fencing at the back of the house yesterday so modelling took a back seat. I did however manage to do some test running of the Class 5A on my rather rough and ready test track which it passed with flying colours.

I took a video of the slow running. It’s only just over a minute don’t fall asleep.

GCR Class 5A The Final Countdown

The final part of the build while awaiting the chimney casting was how to fit the cab windows.

I drilled each one top and bottom and added a pivot pin.

GCR Class 5A Opening Cab Windows
GCR Class 5A Opening Cab Windows

After thinking about bits of tube etc. I realised that I could add some bottom ‘hinges’ in the form of pipe type bracket and do the same at the top but only solder one tab so that the bracket could be eased back to make the window unit removable for painting.

GCR Class 5A Opening Cab Windows

A few shots as she stands awaiting her chimney. I also added lead to the side tanks and as I suspected she now runs quite smoothly on the rolling road. I will continue to run in while awaiting the chimney and when the weather improves, I will dig my test track out of the shed and test run around curves.

GCR Class 5A Just awaiting its chimney
GCR Class 5A Waiting for its chimney
GCR Class 5A Just awaiting its chimney
GCR Class 5A Just awaiting its chimney

Whistling a Different Tune

Under the kind tutelage of fellow Gauge O Guild member, Ian Middleditch I have been playing with turning whistles.

First, I made a form tool from a length of 3/16 silver steel rod ( based it on a photo that Ian kindly sent me of some that he had made.

Once filed to shape the cutting end was hardened and tempered using my microflame (the last time I hardened and tempered anything was when I was at school).

Whistle form tool

Next I drilled out the centre to take a 0.8mm rod and then roughed out the larger top part of the whistle.

Then I used the form tool to create the final shape. It did create the final shape but I think that it would do even better on a slightly narrower piece of rod this one was 2.4mm and I think that a 2mm rod would create a better shape with this particular tool. In the event I touched it with the diamond file to finish it off.

I then parted it off and I took Ian’s advice and put a length of 0.8mm rod in the tail chuck and through the hole in the part so that it didn’t disappear into the mists when parted off.

Repeat the exercise for the bottom part and solder together on a length of rod with a 0.5mm spacer in between to create the whistle (I used a small piece of 20thou styrene with a hole and slot made in it to slip over the centre rod).

LNER D2 Whistle

The nuts were added after the whistle was made up and are from microbore tube filed in a pin vice to a hexagon shape.

GCR Class 5A Chimney troubles

The build slowed down a little when I realised that the chimney casting had the flare cast lopsided. This meant that when you had the chimney sat on vertically on the smokebox there was more flare at one side than the other. I tried to reshape it with bars rolling it over a former the same size as the smokebox but I couldn’t improve it much.

After some discussion with Brian, I emailed Laurie Griffin and Andy Beaton to ask them if they had anything suitable in their ranges that might do (as long as it looked right it wouldn’t matter which loco it was originally designed to fit). Sadly the nearest we got to was an LNER standard chimney from Laurie.

The next step was to ask fellow Guild member Mike Hopkins who has been posting some excellent stuff on the Guild forum where he has been designing in 3D then printing waxes and having them cast in brass.

I supplied Mike with a drawing a couple of days ago and he went away to draw it up.

Below are some photos of the wax prints prior to removing the supports and sending them away for castings. Photo’s copyright of Mike and posted with his kind permission.

GCR Class 5A little details

I had some Milliput out for making some modifications to some axlebox ready to make some castings of them. I needed a miniscule amount so it seemed a shame to waste the rest of what I mixed so I filled the back of the balance weights for the Class 5a.

They still need a little tidying up but they do look a bit better than just an etched skin.

Balance weights filled from the back

When I did my J63 I had some etched washers that were just the right size to make the front windows into opening ones by sticking them either side of soe glazing material and wrapping a strip of brass around them.

I wondered if I was able to turn a couple with a proper recess rather than a wrap-around overlay, now that I have a little more confidence with the lathe. I ordered a 3.5mm boring tool and when it arrived, I thought I would have a go.

I cut a length of brass rod and turned a section of it down to the required width and then drilled progressively bigger holes in the end until I reached 5mm in diameter. Then I tried the boring tool ad had a gotcha moment. The tool might be 3.5mm wide but it’s also 3.5mm deep and it wouldn’t fit when trying to centre it in the hole for cutting…. In order to get the tool in I would need a bigger hole than I wanted.

I scratched my head for a bit and then had a rummage thought the box of tools that came with the lathe. One of them had been ground with boring holes in mind but the corner of the cutting edge was chipped so while it would cut, I didn’t get a square edge to the bottom of the hole.

It was at this point that I remembered that I had bought a mini bench grinder from Lidl about 3 years ago and it was sat on a shelf under my bench.

Out it came and I had my first go at grinding a cutting tool for the lathe. Light touches soon restored the missing bit of tip and I now see what Ian meant when he said a sharp tool makes a lot of difference to how it cuts.

While I had it on the bench, I reground a couple more tools that had dings out of the edges too.

Front Windows
Front Windows with 5p

And one with the obligatory 5p for scale.