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Stools, Cranks & Point Rodding!

wenlock

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Before I start painting and ballasting the trackwork I want to tackle the point rodding. A number of years ago I made the mistake on a 4mm layout of ballasting first, I then spent hours digging up small patches of ballast so that I could install the rodding stools! Armed with a copy of GWR journal number 89, Steven Williams GWR modelling part 1 and some useful advice from Mike (Stationmaster) I made a start by drawing a schematic of where the runs needed to go. Once this had been completed I placed an order from Wizard models of MSE's rodding stools, etched brass cranks and 0.8mm Nickel Silver wire. The stools are made from white metal and can be cut quite easily to the required length with a sharp scalpel blade.

 

Model Signal Engineering stools

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Stools cut to length

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The stools need raising on blocks to make sure that the rodding isn't covered during ballasting. Spare sleepers were cut to suitable lengths and the white metal stools were glued in position using Cyanoacrylate.

 

Sleeps cut to form blocks

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Stools glued in position on blocks

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Cranks and compensators were built using components from MSE's etched brass fret. Bolt heads were pressed out on the bases, then Carrs 188 solder paste was used to assemble the components using a Miniflame torch.

 

Etched brass fret of cranks and pulleys from Model Signal Engineering

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Etched brass components

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Assembled components

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The stools were glued in position onto the baseboard tops using cyanoacrylate. A scale 6 foot length of sleeper was used as a jig to maintain the spacing between the individual blocks. A length of 0.8mm Nickel Silver wire was used to ensure that the blocks and stools were in the right alignment with each other.

 

Stools and blocks glued in position

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Once the stools had set in position the Nickel Silver wire was cut to length and installed in position on top of the stools. The ends of each run needed to be bent down to meet the cranks and compensators which are set at a lower height than the stools. Once i was happy with the alignment of the wire rodding, it was soldered to any etched brass components and glue onto the stools using cyanoacrylate.

 

Double slip and compensator

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Double compensator and runs leading under overbridge

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I was concerned that if I used Nickel Silver rodding where it crossed under the track it could lead to shorting if it touched the rails. With this in mind I chickened out and used plastic rod in these areas!

 

Plastic rodding running under trackwork.

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I need to make a representation of the facing point lock that would have been situated under the bridge. I still need to make the detection bars and the cover, but the cranks and rodding runs have been installed.

 

Facing point lock

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View towards bridge

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Overall view of progress so far

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Well that's the progress so far! Quite what the 517 in the last picture is doing shunting a coach into the goods shed remains a mystery, but I'm sure someone will have some explaining to do!

 

I'm planning on staining the sleepers and making a start on the ballasting as the next project on the layout. I also need to decide on a signal box, I'm wondering if I could get away with using this offering from Peco as starting point http://www.peco-uk.com/product.asp?strParents=3309,3316&CAT_ID=3317&P_ID=18185 or would that be a cop out!?

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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The point rodding really looks good.

 

What wire have you used for them?

Hi Pete, the wire is sold by Wizard Models http://www.wizardmodels.co.uk/FrameSetShop.php?DM=wizabout  I thought it was 0.8mm but it turns out to be 0.7mm, either way it fits nicely into the whitemetal stools and comes in nice straight 12 inch lengths.  I've cut and pasted the relevant information below.

 

Round point rodding wire

10 items in pack.

Scale:7mm:1ft; (1:43.5), O Gauge

Made by:MSE [LS06/3]

Additional information:

0.7mm round straight nickel silver wire for scale point rodding. Ten pieces, each 12in. long. Also suitable for the Alan Gibson handrail knobs 7M53, 7M54 and 7M55.

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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Super stuff Dave! I always enjoy your updates.

Thanks Jez, glad you're enjoying the blog :-)

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It looks excellent Dave. For me point rodding is one of those essential areas which moves a project from 'model railways' to 'modelling a railway'.

 

If the Peco box is adaptable to your needs, and wouldn't be out of place in your setting, then why not?

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Very nice Dave.  I'm glad that experience has taught you to put the rodding in place before the ballasting :-)  Like you, been there and tried it the other way round!!

 

Ian

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I can see I will have to add the rodding it does show up. Good tip about doing the rodding before ballasting.

Don

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I'm going to have to stop you there, Dave - it's all looking far too realistic. Don't you realise you're setting an unacceptably high standard?

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Fantastic work

Thanks Alan!

 

It looks excellent Dave. For me point rodding is one of those essential areas which moves a project from 'model railways' to 'modelling a railway'.

 

If the Peco box is adaptable to your needs, and wouldn't be out of place in your setting, then why not?

Hi Adrian, glad you like the point rodding:-) it's not a subject that I know much about, but after a fair bit of reading I think I've got to grips with the basics at least!

 

I'm glad you think that the Peco box is a possible solution, I think it's about the right size for the layout. I'm still trawling through my books in the hope that something captures my imagination!

 

Very nice Dave.  I'm glad that experience has taught you to put the rodding in place before the ballasting :-)  Like you, been there and tried it the other way round!!

 

Ian

Thanks Ian, I'm sure we're not the only ones who have had to dig up their ballast! :-)

 

Best wishes all

 

Dave

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I can see I will have to add the rodding it does show up. Good tip about doing the rodding before ballasting.

Don

Hi Don, it really is worth the effort in my opinion, but yes definitely do it before you ballast!

 

I'm going to have to stop you there, Dave - it's all looking far too realistic. Don't you realise you're setting an unacceptably high standard?

Lol! Thanks Al! :-)

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That's coming on very well, Dave. I still haven't started on mine and I do have some ballast to dig through  :scratchhead:  Interesting to see the MSE 7mm roller boxes as they do have some of the characteristic GWR A shape to them. I have a supply of their 4mm version but they are no more than amorphous lumps of white metal with slots cut in the top. If I can get enough of them, I'll probably use the old Colin Waite etch which gives a reasonable impression of the correct shape.

 

Where do you intend putting the signal box? It looks like the main cluster of rodding is heading for the space beyond the left hand end of the platform. The Peco box looks like it's intended to sit on a platform, the locking gear being in an area excavated below platform height so it would need a taller base if free standing. Otherwise, perhaps with added porch and stair it might be made to look like a small McKenzie & Holland box or one of the similar GWR build of the later 1880s. However, as its only about 12' long (is that including the steps?) it would be worth checking with Mike whether it would be big enough to accommodate a suitable frame for your station.

 

Nick

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What a joy it must be to be able to plan your build without the need to change the order of works to suit exhibition deadlines :lol:

 

Seriously great work there Wenlock :)

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Guest Simon Dunkley

Posted

It looks excellent Dave. For me point rodding is one of those essential areas which moves a project from 'model railways' to 'modelling a railway'.

 

If the Peco box is adaptable to your needs, and wouldn't be out of place in your setting, then why not?

Much as it grieves me to agree with Adrian, I have no choice but to agree with him on both those points. Truly makes a difference, but what of those "experts" who insist on ballast ing at the same time as laying the track?

 

Plus, if you use the Peco signal box to begin with, you can always upgrade it or replace it with something from scratch later if you later wish to. In the interim, it is well in advance (see what I did there?) over a card mock-up as a place-holder if you do decide that you want to build one. Plenty of other things to be getting on with in the hours you have saved by using a kit.

 

Nice workmanship, too. Very neat.

 

Simon

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Much as it grieves me to agree with Adrian, I have no choice but to agree with him on both those points. 

What is bothering you here Simon?  Agreeing with Adrian is a pleasant activity... dis-agreeing with Adrian is penance, what have you done?

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Mr. Wenlock,

 

What process have you applied to ensure that the compensators are in appropriate locations?

 

regards, Graham

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Hi Dave,

 

The layout is really starting to come together now, the p/way is one of my favourite parts of the hobby.

 

I did not even think of MSE'S stools, rodding, etc. As up to now I've had " blinkered vision " of using C&L's version, so thanks for that info  Dave as you have definitely saved me a few quid.

 

And if I remember rightly MSE also do a version of the other facing point lock, the one with the lifting bar.

 

Your getting ahead of me now regarding the layout, I have just completed the fiddle yard and this Saturday I will be buying some birch ply to hopefully finally make a start on the scenic boards.

 

Enjoying the updates,

 

Martyn.

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That's coming on very well, Dave. I still haven't started on mine and I do have some ballast to dig through  :scratchhead:  Interesting to see the MSE 7mm roller boxes as they do have some of the characteristic GWR A shape to them. I have a supply of their 4mm version but they are no more than amorphous lumps of white metal with slots cut in the top. If I can get enough of them, I'll probably use the old Colin Waite etch which gives a reasonable impression of the correct shape.

 

Where do you intend putting the signal box? It looks like the main cluster of rodding is heading for the space beyond the left hand end of the platform. The Peco box looks like it's intended to sit on a platform, the locking gear being in an area excavated below platform height so it would need a taller base if free standing. Otherwise, perhaps with added porch and stair it might be made to look like a small McKenzie & Holland box or one of the similar GWR build of the later 1880s. However, as its only about 12' long (is that including the steps?) it would be worth checking with Mike whether it would be big enough to accommodate a suitable frame for your station.

 

Nick

Hi Nick, I guess it's easier to cast the larger 7mm stools than the 4mm ones and that leads to a better representation. I'm sure the Colin Waite etched components would give a better result, but they must be extremely fiddly to assemble! I had a long and very informative chat with Mike about the size of the proposed signal box during the RMweb show in Taunton. Mike reckoned that including the off stage crossover point work and signalling I would need 15 levers at 4 inch centres. This gives me a frame width of 5 feet, or 35 mm in 7mm scale. He thought that a box a couple of feet wider than the frame at either end would be about right, giving me a prototype length of 9 feet or 63mm. if I do use the Peco box, I'll be raising its height on a brick plinth as you suggest. If I can find a suitable sized prototype that looks the part I'll probably scratch build, but the Peco box is tempting because it's "nearly" what I'm after!

 

Good luck with your ballast digging, I'm sure your end result will be well worth a few trials and tribulations!

 

What a joy it must be to be able to plan your build without the need to change the order of works to suit exhibition deadlines :lol:

 

Seriously great work there Wenlock :)

Thanks :-) I've suffered exhibition deadlines in the past and although they are great motivators it does ramp up the pressure a bit too much for my liking!

 

Much as it grieves me to agree with Adrian, I have no choice but to agree with him on both those points. Truly makes a difference, but what of those "experts" who insist on ballast ing at the same time as laying the track?

 

Plus, if you use the Peco signal box to begin with, you can always upgrade it or replace it with something from scratch later if you later wish to. In the interim, it is well in advance (see what I did there?) over a card mock-up as a place-holder if you do decide that you want to build one. Plenty of other things to be getting on with in the hours you have saved by using a kit.

 

Nice workmanship, too. Very neat.

 

Simon

Thanks Simon, glad you think the rodding is worth the effort:-) You're quite right about the possibility of using the Peco box as a temporary stop gap, but I know in reality once it's in position I'd probably never get round to changing it!

 

What is bothering you here Simon?  Agreeing with Adrian is a pleasant activity... dis-agreeing with Adrian is penance, what have you done?

Quite agree Graham! :-)

 

Hi Dave,

 

The layout is really starting to come together now, the p/way is one of my favourite parts of the hobby.

 

I did not even think of MSE'S stools, rodding, etc. As up to now I've had " blinkered vision " of using C&L's version, so thanks for that info  Dave as you have definitely saved me a few quid.

 

And if I remember rightly MSE also do a version of the other facing point lock, the one with the lifting bar.

 

Your getting ahead of me now regarding the layout, I have just completed the fiddle yard and this Saturday I will be buying some birch ply to hopefully finally make a start on the scenic boards.

 

Enjoying the updates,

 

Martyn.

Hi Martyn, yes the MSE bits work out one heck of a lot cheaper than the C&L stuff and look pretty reasonable representations of the real thing in my opinion.

Good to hear your project is progressing nicely, I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures of your progress :-)

 

Thanks to all for your positive comments

 

Dave

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Regardng the Signal box. While the rest of the buildings were often built of local materials signal boxes usually seem to be standard types brought in. So if the Peco one looks ok to you it will not matter if it doesn't match the others.

Don

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Before you begin ballasting, it might be worth considering mounting the ground signals and also routing signal wire which would have crossed under the track just like the point rodding.

 

What is bothering you here Simon? Agreeing with Adrian is a pleasant activity... dis-agreeing with Adrian is penance, what have you done?

Quite agree Graham! :-)

 

Don't panic there's no bunfight, just the ususl cordial banter between friends.

 

Of course, when I say friends... ;)

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Mr. Wenlock,

 

What process have you applied to ensure that the compensators are in appropriate locations?

 

regards, Graham

Hi Graham, somehow I missed your question! I read that compensators were required in rodding runs of more than 10 yards, or 210mm in 7mm scale. I applied this to my layout, so any runs over 210mm had a compensator applied at the half way point in the rodding run. I ended up needing 6 compensators for my track plan.

 

If you need any other information let me know.

 

Dave

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Regardng the Signal box. While the rest of the buildings were often built of local materials signal boxes usually seem to be standard types brought in. So if the Peco one looks ok to you it will not matter if it doesn't match the others.

Don

Thanks Don, that confirms my reasoning about signal box provision! I reckon with a bit of tweeking here and there, the Peco box could look just right.

 

Dave

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Before you begin ballasting, it might be worth considering mounting the ground signals and also routing signal wire which would have crossed under the track just like the point rodding.

 

 

Don't panic there's no bunfight, just the ususl cordial banter between friends.

Of course, when I say friends... ;)

Hi again Adrian, ground signals are on the "to do" list, but you're quite right I should sort them out soon! I fancy one of the early route indicator signals with the red square and green round circle to control the end of the run round loop. I can't find a suitable kit, so I may need to scratch build something. I've built the platform starter and I'm about half way through construction of a twin arm, single post siding signal. Once they are all finished I'll tackle the signal wiring, I'm not sure exactly how the pulleys were mounted I guess some research is called for!

 

Dave

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Exquisite is the word that comes to mind, really nice work Dave. As Adrian says, your photos certainly highlight how point rodding adds to the visual appearance. I must make sure to do that on my sidings layout. First I have to learn all about it though!

 

It's very convenient to have you leading the way like this, please do continue! :-) 

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Thanks Mikkel! I'm really pleased that people think it looks the part, it's a subject that I knew absolutely nothing about until very recently. The article in GWR Journal is a really good starting point and explains things clearly with lots of diagrams. I found the key was drawing everything out full size on the baseboards and working out which bits were pulling and which bits were pushing! It's all a steep learning curve for me, but a very enjoyable one all the same :-)

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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