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One small step

Posted by Kenton , 28 October 2009 · 214 views

steps kitbuild footplate battery box
Now for some detailing of the footplate.... Steps

Once again start by identifying the parts on the fret the footplate angles [7a,7b], the front steps [13,14], the battery boxes [44, 45], cab steps [15,16] and the jackshaft crank guard [17]. Before removing the parts, note that the front step casing [13] has rivets to be punched. Once again I recommend a small parts tray - and a pair of magnifying goggles/headband as we are moving into the realm of parts that are less than 1sq.ft. on the prototype. Parts [7b] in particular are a challenge to hold while removing tag remnants that are almost as big as the part itself. Anyway, remove them all and clean up the fret tags - a fine file and square tipped forceps are quite useful.

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The footplate angles (valences) [7a, 7b] were fitted by locating them under the footplate overlay and up against the main footplate. This is quite difficult to do and a useful trick is to use magnets to hold the parts in position on a steel plate while they are soldered in place from the inside. Even so, a very slight distortion of one of the longer angles [7a] could not be straightened and will, henceforth, show up on the close-up photos. :( From a distance I keep telling myself it is not noticeable. These parts are held on the fret at three tags on the same side - the blade slipped as I was cutting one of them. The short angles are tiny being not much bigger than the tags that hold them in the fret. The problem here is different. You require a flat edge to solder these on their side edge - it might have been better to have the tags on an end as the etched side would have been flat and any excess in length could have been filed back. Or even better as a fold back on the inside buffer beam part.

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The front step casings [13] were folded up side first then bottom foot grill. Another one of the big boy's toys was employed here and will be for most of the folds in this kit. A hold and fold enables very tight and crisp folds to be made.

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The instructions now suggest fixing the casing in place before adding the steps and grab handle, however after trying this with one side and struggling a bit ...

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I decided to try to make up the complete front step sub-assembly before adding it as a single part on the other side. So the step treads [14] were folded and soldered into the half-etches with the folded flange downwards. I found that these did benefit from a light scoring of the half-etch fold line as folding a 0.75mm flange on a 2.25mm width of brass only 8mm long is testing.

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The hand grab was then added using 0.4mm brass wire and any wire protruding filed clean.

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The front step sub-assembly was then soldered in place on the frames where it fits into the slot in the buffer beam and around the step recess. In the end I think the sub-assembly worked better though it's just personal choice.

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The battery boxes [44] are fitted next by folding up, laminating on the overlay for the battery box door [45], and soldered rearward of the front step casing and level with its bottom step. There is a gap between the battery box and the footplate. These are handed and should be fitted with the door rivets uppermost.

Now if you are wondering why such a long delay between this instalment and the last - it is because I've been turning the air blue with expletives at this part. The battery box as you can see is attached to the outside of the step casing with its edges. This means that you have to support the folded three sided box in precise alignment and hanging in mid-air with no means of support. The slightest touch moves it out of alignment and it has to be removed again. I must have been having my worst day(s) with this kit so far and I have lost count of the times I have had to remove it and try again. Surely it could have been designed as part of the fold up of the step casing? With one of them attached I also lost direct access for the soldering iron so perhaps if I was repeating the build I would also add this to the step casing before adding the sub-assembly to the footplate.

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The cab steps were bent from [15], which it is very easy to both twist and make up squint. After folding the bottom step to 90' the other steps [16] were soldered into the half-etched slots while on a flat surface. On the fret these steps are attached by tags at either end. This means that in the process of filing the tag off the step, it is very easy to shorten the step. This results in a set of steps with distorted shape. Very difficult to correct. If the tags were on the step front/back then this would not have been a problem.

The step assembly was then soldered into the footplate taking great care not to apply too much heat to that small footplate angle which has a tendency to drop off. :( Of course it all looks even worse in cruel close up..

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The mesh guard [17] that will lie in front of the jack cranks was then added to give some more strength to the fragile steps.

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It will be rather pleasant to get back to parts that are big enough to pick up with a pair of tweezers. ;)

.





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Michael Edge
Oct 30 2009 09:05
Tags are placed to avoid damage/distortion in the etch, they are almost all placed in positions where they can be removed with good quality snips. I tack fit the footplate angles while holding them on with fingers, if they were a fold down from the lower footplate there would be a small gap at the top of the angle (very difficult to fill). All complaints about the location of the battery boxes should be addressed to North British....
Michael Edge

All complaints about the location of the battery boxes should be addressed to North British


Excellent :D :D :D

Though not given in complaint, it was quite a serious suggestion about being able to:
1. fold the battery box and step casing from one part.
2. fold those tiny rear angles back from the inner layer of the buffer beam. (my fingers are too big, shaky and heat sensitive to hold that part vertical while using a soldering iron on it)
3. the cab step treads being tagged on the long sides and not the ends. (I admit I over shortened one of them by less than 1mm - so is my mistake - but it has such a drastic impact on the shape of the steps)

you have to forgive my comments (please) they are given purely from an wide world out there kit builder's perspective ... at least I am not asking for tabs and slots :) yet ...

I usually use a sharp scalpel on a hardwood block to cut the tags. All snips that I have tried (I'm always on the look out for better) have a tendency to distort small thin parts. As does the use of a cutting mat.

In fact the removal of the window beading from the fret (coming soon) is seriously worrying me as these are thinner than the tags that attach them - superb detail that could be so easily spoiled by their clumsy removal.

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