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  1. Hi Justin, Having talked to Mr Attwood on several occasions, that isn't his Meldon stone, which he sells separately as it's namesake. The description from his stand is 'MC is a limestone. It is used as ballast around the Plymouth area. The quarry is currently supplying aggregate to Southern England' Apologies for my pedantry. If it looks like the right thing to you, I'd say to just to use it... Best regards Chris
  2. Thank you Pete, it was really good to see you and Meeth last weekend too. Supplies for the next job on the list were picked up then too, but I baulked at the cost of the jig, so we'll see how (if) I can get on without it..
  3. Firstly I should mention that it was great to meet and catch up with many familiar names at the supermeet in Tutbury last weekend. Sadly, I didn’t spend as much time as I should’ve speaking to folks, as I was busy screwing up D869’s shunting tractor while he wasn’t looking. Still I’m told that one of the objectives of the day was to test the reliability so that in itself can be looked at in a vaguely positive light. So back to Callington Road, when I arrived back at the beginning of the roster break, with around a year to go to the Expo, I felt it was time that I really should have some trains running by now. The last couple of breaks have been used up with getting all of the various bits of woodwork painted in a suitably garish shade of green, whilst trying not to contaminate all of the areas needed to be painted white. The full templot plan was then printed out, stuck together and then traced over onto the baseboards, ensuring that the stencil wasn’t moved in the process. Following this slots were cut out of the baseboard top for the tie bar positions, and holes drilled for the PM2 uncoupling magnets. The pointwork was then sliced off the hardboard shelf with a steel ruler standing in for a palette knife and the whole assembly dunked in a bath of water with a little bleach mixed in, to soak the templates and to try to bathe off any remnant green label flux from soldering. The sleepers were then gapped using a semi-circular needle file and droppers soldered on with SWG 33 Nickel Silver wire, a departure from using 5A fusewire, as I find this to be a little too flexible. The hand drill was brought out once again to punch more holes in the baseboard tops for the for these to passthrough, with only a couple having to be re-sited as they went straight into a spacer block. Then, there was nothing for it, but to grab the solvent PVA and bring the beer out! Actually this is a bit of a lie, I quickly figured out that this wasn’t a great way to hold the track firmly to the baseboard as there were spots where it was lifting up, particularly the pieces of easitrack at the end of the pointwork, so I had to resort to balancing heavy lumps of brass and steel over each section as the glue dried. While this was all going on, Brasso was applied liberally to the rest of the easitrack sleepers and once dried, the plain track panels were assembled, more droppers soldered on, more holes drilled and these in turn glued onto the layout, with lots of prodding during drying to ensure that the straight bits are straight and there weren’t any kinks in the curves. The board joints provided to need a little head scratching for, if I was starting this from scratch I’d probably just do away with this and build the whole 900mm as one baseboard, but for some reason I decided it was a good idea back in August... Long rail sections were glued down over the joint, and cut with a very fine (0.2mm) razor saw to ensure consistency in the curve, the same being done to the points laid down over the joint. PCB sleepers (and chairplates) were then inserted and soldered in to provide some strength against the inevitable snags on jumpers. The coal siding that goes off the front of the baseboard also presents another quandary, this is one of the tightest spots on the layout at 450mm radius, or in other words, less than the 600mm recently suggested as what the minimum radius ‘should’ be. From what I can see from the maps and photos, this is in fact kinder than it was on the prototype, as it was laid originally in the 3’6” East Cornwall Mineral Railway days, avoiding a couple of stores to access an area of the yard beyond. With the track going up to the edge of the baseboard, and being keen not to send any stock on a one way journey into the abyss, this siding will not be powered after the break at the baseboard join, which will mean that it needs to be shunted with barrier wagons to reach onto the tighter part of the curve. I may yet still resort to fixing a wagon down on the end of the siding too, so to prevent a whole rake of wagons being sent off to their demise, before the loco reaches the dead area. The cast brass sleepers on the end were put in so that the rail ends would be secure, and so I could take a big file to them to match the baseboard front edge. Whilst we are on the subject of the prototype some photographs that I had found after I had built the trackwork, inevitably showed that the yard entry point should be tighter, and both yard points should be ‘Y’ points. Oh well, this is going to be Callington Road after all then, not just Callington. More PCB sleepers have been glued under the layout along with the modified filmstrip tiebars housings, and the droppers soldered onto these ready to land the wires from the control box. Of course, I’d really meant to get these all wired up too but then, I think we all could do with 26 hours a day. Finally, the mousehole was cut into the backscene view blocker to allow everything to be put back together for storage again. In doing so, you get a full view of the layout in DJLC guise, with the DMS of the Class 118 DMU which I’ve been building forever, plonked on for scale. Until next time, when there might actually be some movement to write about… Chris.
  4. I think you'll find that a Pendelino if far too WCML for the quiet backwaters of Devon. Voyagers, Class 153's and Class 66's all the way... Interesting comparison about how far you've come Ian, it's looking good! Best wishes. Chris.
  5. I hope that this is accepted Jerry, as otherwise I'll have to withdraw my entry as well... Needless to say but you've got more progress in a couple of weeks than mine has in six months. Chris.
  6. Thanks Jerry, though progress again comes to a shuddering stop for three weeks while I go back off to work. -32 degrees this evening. Chris.
  7. Thanks Pete, the fiberglass scratch brush covers a thousand sins, or in this case solder everywhere.. Time will tell if it'll run as nicely as your new points!
  8. Thank you John, If you look at the April 2015 copy of the mag, you will see an article that D869 of this parish has written about it, in far better detail than I could. Best Regards, Chris.
  9. Evening all, Three months later, whittling away the long winter evenings, pressing the soldering iron, files and brass gauges into action has meant that the pointwork needed for Callington has emerged on my workbench. Admittedly this has been a heck of a lot slower than it should of have been, as I have opted to use Laurie's 'fiddly,' chairplate system, rather than soldering the rails directly to the sleepers. It's a shame that the piece of hardboard wasn't wide enough to build the yard entry point inline with the remainder of the trackwork to make sure there isn't any kinks in it, but also as the exit from this is straight, there shouldn't be any issues with eventually getting it lined up on the baseboard. In close up, this matches the easitrack plain track pretty well, but time will tell whether painting and ballasting will hide all of this work. Tweaking to allow a DMU to be pushed through nicely took some time, I should have really remembered that the switchblades would narrow the gauge when I was laying out the outer rails. As I'll be using the 'modified filmstrip' tiebar design, I've soldered on extra chairplates under the swichblades, to stop these from rising above the railhead height. Best Regards, Chris.
  10. I think that the under etched plates are fine, I'll normally ream them ever so slightly to take the cusps off the inside of the holes, so that they are still a reasonably tight fit on the pins, to ensure as much accuracy in the jig as is practical. Once the plates are on the jig, I'd also recommend to solder them together to strengthen the set and to stop the different sets from getting mixed up with each other. Even doing this, I've found that the jig isn't 100% reliable at quartering every time, you'll have to put the coupling rods on and look and feel for the bind to tell which one of the wheels is out. Usually there is enough give in the muff to twist the wheels ever so slightly to get the quartering spot on. Hope this Helps. Chris.
  11. Thanks Pete, but it's not a shade on your faboulous work.
  12. Your're right Mark, but I guess the key to not building up stiction will be keeping the bearings clear of grot and rust.You've got me thinking now about roller bearings too, I'd possibly look at these if I had any problems with the thrust bearing, but with deep ball races the bearing needs a good shove to separate the alignment. Thank you both!Chris
  13. The first job off my ever increasing list for this roster break was to finish off making the backscene pieces. This is to both block off the scenic area to 239x600mm as per the DJLC criteria, and to try to limit the amount of background light coming onto the layout. I’d spent a little while over the last four weeks pondering how to neatly curve the dark corners away and tie this onto the layout. In the end I opted for a piece of 1/32” birch ply (the thinnest sheet, singular, in the model shop,) which was curved around a set of plywood formers, scoring vertically along the backside of the curve to achieve the 75mm radius bend evenly. The formers are spaced using M4 threaded rod and nuts, which are inserted into holes in the baseboard top and the lighting rig, to keep the correct location tight to the back of the layout, and to stop everything from falling over. Once I was happy everything was in roughly the right place the backscene was glued onto the formers to make sure that pesky gap at the top join is permanent. The front end of the sides have also been glued onto another length of 8mm square hardwood strip, which are in turn, screwed to a couple of new front wing pieces to allow them to be held securely in place, but still be removable for painting etc. Similarly, where the ply sheet has been cut to allow the baseboards to separate, it has been secured to the back plywood support with a couple more countersunk M2 screws. Come 2020, when it’s time to extend the layout to it’s full size, there should only be 12 holes to repair in the baseboard, and a new piece of ply to cut and curve around the formers. ‘Why not 8 holes?’ you might ask (4 curved piece anchors, 4 for the front wings) that’s right, I drilled the holes with the baseboard the wrong way round the first time. You’ll have noticed that there is an random extra box in front of the baseboards. This is the start of the control panel. A sheet of 'glass look,' acrylic will be bolted to this, with the layout diagram below printed out below this, in a shameless ripoff of Kylestrome’s control panel for Kyle. I’ve tried as much as possible to keep to the Southern nomenclature, as I don’t have any idea what the PDSWJR would have used. Hopefully someone will pick out what I’ve done wrong, aside from missing half the diagram out, before I get to printing this off rather than afterwards! With the backscene conundrum out of the way, my attention moved onto the traintable in the fiddleyard. Unfortunately although vastly improved, my plywood cutting knife wielding skills don’t extend to curves quite yet, so these were first marked out with a big set of dividers, and cut roughly with a jigsaw, before finishing off with sandpaper. The spin motion is based around a thrust ball bearing, picked up from Cromwell tools, which was araldited onto a couple of spacers above and below to sit the top of the deck at the correct height compared to the baseboard. Those spare bits around chassis etches have finally come in useful! The holes for the attaching screws have been drilled oversize to allow for a little adjustment, to ensure that the table spins around with the minimum gap from both sides of the table. The bearing works with nearly no friction, perhaps a little too well really; I can’t resist spinning the table around far too quickly! Time will tell if rust becomes a problem, as the bearing is only mild steel, but I don’t think it’s really worth the extra effort of engineering an oil bath for it to run in. Finally I took the opportunity at the last Midland area group meeting to start cutting PCB sleepers for the pointwork, carefully avoiding disturbing all the sleepers for Lydford town glued on the reverse side of the board. Looking at this again, I can see one mistake I’ve made already! Best Regards. Chris.
  14. Hello Paul. You may find some of the answers to your questions (and photo's of the chassis going together) on my Blog pages. HTH http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1134/entry-17763-fixing-the-vomit-comet-part-2/ Best Regards, Chris.
  15. Thank you Nick, that's pretty much what I'm proposing. I don't suppose you could show the woodworking of your partition for me? My latest thinking is that I'm probably going to have to stand a piece of 1/8 plywood up vertically using some metal L brackets drilled & attached into the baseboard surface. Then attach a longer piece of 0.5mm ply to this with the requisite curves in the corners. Chris.
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