An appropriate title in a couple of ways, one, that the first of the production primary springs have taken shape this afternoon, and the coming of Spring has given me a chance to get on with this madcap scheme.
So, for starters, a view of the first bogie with one of the equalising beams in place, on the first two springs:
To the front left are some more springs in various stages of completion. The long coil of wire behind the individual springs is how it starts. This is 0.61mm soft copper wire wound, under tension, around a 3.3mm drill bit, making sure the coils are lapped up tight to each other. The next stage involves stretching this out until there's roughly 1.5mm between the coils, which is the stage this particular example is at.
The next step is to cut the large spring down to make the individual springs, which are 7 coils each. Each end is levelled and the spring recompressed, before the end is filed to make it sit level. These then fit onto the studs on the sideframe and the equalising beam. The next photo shows it in close up, with one of the prototype secondary springs loosely plonked in place to give an idea of what it'll look like:
And this is what it's supposed to look like:
It's close enough for me!
The next job, after finishing another 14 springs, is to work out how far out the stirrup needs to be packed out from the front of the hornblock, followed by filing down the equalising beams to fit in the stirrups.
It's been a long time coming, but it really does feel that the end is in sight for this project, at last!