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a rather juicy experiment in roofs



I've a couple of things to talk about in this blog. One is about my recent acquisition of a 12 volt mini drill. I bought it from a seller on Ebay it cost £9.95 and came all the way from Turkey post free! how do they do that? I've had stuff shipped from China for nix too and yet some sellers in the UK are asking anything up to £35 yes £35 for a coach that cost a tenner, who's fooling who here?

Anyhow, here's a picture of it


and this one shows the spec



I attached it to my trusty H&M controller so I can vary the speed depending on what I'm doing with it.


here's a link to it,

just a word of warning it took 3 weeks to arrive, partly due to the seller not posting it for 6 days and partly due to the French snail mail, (cos the French ate all the snails) usually 5-6 days




The second thing I want to show you is my ongoing search for suitable material to make coach roofs. If you remember in my last scratchbuilt project, the GWR mink G van I used an Aluminium roof that I cut from a deodorant container

see here







The orange fruit juice I buy here in France comes in a rather sturdy plastic bottle and I've had an eye on it ever since I first bought it to do something with the container, seen here.


Like the deodorant tin I stuck masking tape lengthwise and traced an outline using the aforementioned alu roof as a template. I carefully cut this out using the Dremel, the new drill's Coletts were too small, I had to really crank the speed up compared with the Alu, it's pretty tough stuff.

The edges of the blank were pretty rough with a considerable burr on both sides, partly I think to some heat being generated by the faster speed.

I set to work first with the scalpel trying to scrape it off, that only removed the fragments but not the burr, so next I tried a needle file with limited success next I got out the big Bars***d you know, the one you keep in the shed and filed off most of it. I said this material was tough! Finally I finished it off with Emery cloth, running this all over to make it opaque ready for priming.

Generally I would say this took longer to shape than the Alu and the latter is much more rigid but the plastic has the advantage of it being able to be manipulated into whatever curve you require with suitably shaped stiffeners maybe

here's some pictures


This is the blank as cut from the bottle


These are the tools I used


The bottle masked up


I gave it a quick coat of primer just to see if I'd completely removed the burr, I can report it looked ok


So that concludes my experiment with plastic other than Evergreen/Slaters etc for now, I can't remember if I mentioned in earlier posts but I cut some strips from an Alu beer can and laminated them together with contact adhesive, 2 layers were ok 3 would have been stronger. Because of the limited length of beer cans I'm thinking of putting two blanks end to end and sticking another layer across the joint with one blank cut in halves either end to make a longer roof the joint could be filled.

I'll let you know when I've drunk the beers

cheers for now

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In that glorious country of France they sell sirop of grenadine etc in metal tube like containers. I know it might not be as exciting as beer to drink but am sure they would be long enough to do a coach in one go.

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Yes I agree to a point, the only minor problem being they're made of steel whereas the deodorant cans are made of Aluminium which is an easier material to work with.

I'm a bit sceptical about cutting one of the steel sirop cans with the Dremel, I've visions of sparks and splinters of metal flying off, but yes I certainly think they would be long enough.

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