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  • Location
    Regional NSW
  • Interests
    Scratchbuilding, 19th century railways, 7mm scale, live steam.

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  1. I soldered threaded sleeves onto the castings. Then made the curved angles for the cab sides and soldered them on.They're quite difficult to make out - they're 3 x 3 x 0.5 mm angle, milled from 3mm plate. It was not easy. A threaded bush pressed into a cylinder where the drain thread was too loose. I used an undersize tapping drill and tried not to screw the tap in too far, then turned the outside down to a be press-fit in the cylinder casting where I'd used a 6mm endmill to open out the hole the no-good thread was in. I also found the o-ring recesses in the steam chests where the inlet manifold goes were 0.7mm under diameter so I fixed them too. This was all a bit ticklish but I got away with it. These problems were found while checking the engine for leaks in preparation for painting the cylinders and frames to try and get a sense of progress. I've spent a lot of time over the last few months in the workshop but just feel like I'm making a succession of small steel bits. Some cab steps. They're a bit rough but I find fabrication and sheet metal work quite difficult. Some strips to go at the bottom of the smokebox wrapper I've been "forgetting" to do for years.
  2. The dummy leaf springs are done and I think that's the last of the major jobs under the running boards. I still need to make the operating arm for the lubricator which requires a couple of one-way clutches but the rest of it was made last year. Now I'm working on adding threaded sleeves to these dummy clack valve castings. These were case from a 3D model created directly over a scan of the works drawing and tweaked where necessary. I may shorten the leg on the left and increase the angle because I can't screw then right down onto the boiler bush due to interference with the boiler cladding. On the real ones that wasn't a problem because they were bolted down with the studs. I'd only checked clearance with the clack sitting against the bush and hadn't thought about the screwing motion.
  3. The smokebox door and dart are done now, that's been a long time coming. The blank that came out when the smokebox rear plate was cut was heated red-hot and banged over a thick walled pipe to put a dent in it. Then a 25mm mandrel was silver soldered to it. Truing up the diameter and eating away at the inside with this setup. Did this freehand with a normal RH knife tool. No-one really knows what the profile of the door was. A flap disc in an angle grinder and some emery paper get to this point. There is a hump I couldn't get rid of where the lighter ring can be seen about halfway in. This is annoying but it would be all to easy to ruin the part now and I'm not too good with angle grinders when they need some finesse. The instructions say make the hinges from strips of 5mm x 1.6mm steel, bent around at the end. No chance I could do that (I tried it for laughs and got the expected result) so I used a CNC milling machine instead. This was a pretty tense operation, spotting through the hinges trying to keep the door central. There is no taper in the door or its seat to keep it in the middle. But it went well. Starting on the dart. Finishing the dart. The square hole was also done on the CNC mill with a 2mm cutter. I did try to file one, but seriously? It was going to be rubbish and if you have the machine, it's stupid not to use it sometimes. It holds the door tight, which was a relief.
  4. A lot of great work there Pete! Glad I'm building a 2 cylinder slide valve engine
  5. I put some JB weld on the smokebox cladding to smooth out the join. Then onto the superheater. And the snifter valve and blower pipes. The snifter valve is poking through the smokebox floor and feeds into the wet side of the superheater to try and keep it cool. The blower is fed through a hollow stay from a valve back in the cab. There is a hollow ring around the blastpipe with a few small holes in it to let the steam shoot up the chimney. The sharp bend in the snifter valve pipe was a problem - I cut a wedge out of the pipe and soldered it up. Getting it all though the smokebox door opening is a challenge too! And with that I think the main steam circuits are done! Still some stuff back in the cab to do - injectors, whistle, blower valve. And all the water pipes, although given there is no tender pump or axle pump this will have less of that than most locos.
  6. Thanks tigerburnie! I do all the soldering to gal steel outside. I don't want to use bakers fluid in my workshop, and I don't want the gal fumes poisoning me either.
  7. The main steam valve has been soldered together. The parts were made a couple of years ago, before the boiler was built. It wasn't all plain sailing - I had to redo almost ever solder joint and remake the front bush after it melted after an unsoldering operation. Not sure why it went so wrong - silver soldering copper and bronze isn't that difficult! The the reachrod was finally made and attached given I could figure out where the reversing screw had to go. It ended up about 3mm futher out than the design calls for due to the boiler being too wide. Then the handbrake column and shaft/handle were made. The column was a bit tricky because it's tapered and the bosses are not the same diameter either so only one sequence of turning operations would work. The shaft/handle are made from 4 pieces of stainless steel silver soldered together. The cab seats are being worked on.
  8. We also had a 26 class which is basically the same as this, but as a saddle tank with a radial axle added at the rear to make it a 2-6-2. Someone brought one of them to the club and the wheels and motion looked familiar. That was made by Dubs too so no surprise they share a common design. I think the 24/25/Gallpoing Gertie are quite handsome, while not being too big. I never thought much about moguls before I built one but now I'm a fan.
  9. Thanks Garry. It is a close relative. We called this a 24 class and the Galloping Gerties were the 25 class. There's not much between them, that's for sure. I did a double-take when I first got the MSWJR loco book, looking through it and thought, "that's what I'm building!"
  10. In order to figure out how far out towards the edge of the cab the reversing screw has to go I needed to get all the cladding done. So that's what I've been doing since that last post. 4 months of it. Worst part of building the loco I'd say, other than maybe the boiler because at least this is a lot cheaper to scrap if you make a mistake. Still lots of details and handrails and who knows what else but the sheet metalwork is about done. It has not been easy and I'm quite relieved to have got this far. The bands are 4.75mm x 0.4mm brass and the cladding material is 0.7mm galvanised steel. Sadly I burned some of a gal off while I was learning how to solder the washout plug castings onto it, and there's a couple of bonus holes that had to be filled, but I'm not doing it again so best effort to fix them only.
  11. Excellent! It sounds good.
  12. The boiler really is lovely and the loco looks excellent with the cab, boiler, cylinders, etc. Beautiful work.
  13. Still need to flatten, add to, and then rebate the bottom of the nut so the guides go down beside the rail, but it's getting there. The result does not reflect the amount of effort that has gone into this, but it'll be painted black all over eventually!
  14. Still working away at it. The reversing screw and its pedestal are getting there. Most of the pedestal was pretty simple stuff but the keyhole shaped part with a boss took a couple of goes and was done on a CNC mill, for educational purposes. Took far longer than doing it manually would have. That was silver soldered together. When that was done I thought it time to put the loco back together after having taken the wheels out to put the leaf spring brackets on. I had to take the wheels out to sight and drill the holes for the brackets. This would have been better done 3 years ago! While the wheels were out I took the opportunity to drill and tap a hole in one of the eccentric straps to drive the lubricator. Another job that should have been done before the valve gear was all put together and installed in the loco. This is the most put togther the loco has ever been, with the cab screwed down, the port hole window rims done, the small strip of material along the top of the cab sides, and the little brass round thing you can just about see near the brake cylinder finally in place now it's mounting bracket is done. As well as being a bit of a morale boost this was to check if the reversing screw fits next to the boiler. It won't once the cladding is done -the boiler has ended up about 10mm too wide! So I need to do at leas the firebox cladding now to see how far I have to move the reversing screw. But since about this time last week I've been working on the reversing screw itself. It took 3 goes to make a tool that cut a clean thread, and some time and talking to figure out how to properly allow for the backlash in the compound slide, but I finally arrived at a working screw and nut - very pleased with them. It is a 2-start left-handed square thread. Cutting it isn't difficult once you've done 10 short ones while ironing out the kinks, but I was surprised the tap worked. It's only 8mm dia with a 0.75(ish) mm width of tool so I didn't feel there was much point trying to make an internal thread cutting tool. Making the external one was hard enough.
  15. I'm not one for layouts or owning fleet of locos etc, but skipping through this thread doesn't half make it seem attractive. An epic layout in terms of the quality of everything on it - all of it is beautiful! I have nothing else to contribute but I had to say something. Regards, David.
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