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Ian Major

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  • Location
    Far from my natural habitat.
  • Interests
    Gauge 0 GWR/WR loco construction plus the odd wooden ship model.

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  1. John, That is a fabulous piece of work. I take it that you have placed them between the steps up to the (future) bridge and the main building. Do you have an arrangement of buildings in mind or are you in experimental stage? I am looking forward to the results. Ian.
  2. Oh dear I missed your birthday. I would have let you buy me a pint if I had known. Ian.
  3. George, I agree with Andrew. It looks superb. Ian.
  4. The next step was to fit the first of the diagonal truss parts. I removed the 'V's at that end and reduced them to the correct height. I used a piece of metric graph paper to make sure I was taking the legs down evenly. I didn't want a "leaning Tower of Pisa" effect. When I was happy with its height I fitted it in front of the diagonal bracing. It looks much better now. The next view shows the first diagonal on the right. I have fixed a packing piece between the brace and solebar. The join at the queen post was also a bit weak so I spanned it with a piece of 0.5mm wire - it acts as a sort of fishplate. As can be seen the inner bracing would have fouled the bogie mounting. To handle this problem I added an extra cross piece using the same brass channel as the solebars. After adding the second outer diagonal truss I wedged the new cross piece under the two diagonals, then when the inner diagonals were added they were simply fixed to the cross piece and cut short of the bogie mounting. I made a boo boo with the cross pieces. I mounted them with their webbing facing the buffer beams. I should have mounted them with the flanges towards the buffer beams. If I need to cut recesses in the cross pieces to clear the wheel flanges it is a bigger job cutting the webbing rather than the flanges. Sadly I had already fitted all the diagonals before picking this up. My forward planning capability is obviously fading. At this point I fitted the bogies and their mountings. I also added the bogie kit supplied spacers. This was to check nothing clashed, check the ride height plus seeing it on its wheels helps my motivation! The next photo shows the new B next to the first B. The new B is standing about 1mm high. The kit supplied spacers are 1.5mm thick, so I will use my cutter to create some 10thou spacers from plastic - a quick job. The photo also makes an interesting profile comparison between the old Connoisseur plate bogies (on the right) and the new ones. I think Jim's latest bogies look superb, and I haven't fitted the brakes yet. Whilst I was doing this I checked how far the bogies would swing before fouling any part of the body. It turned out to be 15 degrees. Now knowing the distance between the bogie centres and using my school Trigonometry I calculated my new B would be able to negotiate a curve of radius slightly less than 2ft. Though when I lower the body by one mm to correct the ride height this will reduce the wheel clearance so I will recalculate when the wagon is finished but before painting - in case I need to attack those cross pieces. I have a little more work on the trussing then it is adding the brake levers and making the ratchets for them. These will conclude the soldering work. The white metal detail will be glued on. Ian.
  5. Ade, Your trees are developing a lovely country station feel. I fear though the picture of the small prairie will need moving up the wall a bit before it disappears into the vegetation. Ian.
  6. Very nice Rob, it looks as though the lid should open. You seem to be enjoying using your mill and lathe - they are addictive. Ian.
  7. Thank you for all the likes guys. Well - the sheet hooks are made and fitted, only 20 on this one! I have started on the trussing which I am making from 2 x 2mm brass angle. First were the 8 queenposts. Then I fitted the outer horizontal parts and the cross bracing. Much checking of things being square etc. I also fitted the brake "V" hangers. I found out from the previous MACAWs that it was easier fit them at this stage rather than later. I used the kit supplied hangers that were displaced by my scratch built DC brakes on the first B. Next on were the inner horizontal parts. Then I started to measure up for the diagonal bracing. This revealed two issues - one predicted, one not. The issue that I predicted was that the bogie mountings having to be attached fore and aft occupy the area where the inner diagonal bracing needs to be fixed. I should be able to secure them with some deep brackets. The other issue is that the "V" hangers from the kit are a scale 4 inches too tall, about 2mm. My intention is to surreptitiously give additional support to the diagonal bracing by attaching it to the brake cross shafts. So the "V"s have to be the right height. This I should have spotted before fitting them. This is a detail of the MACAW B at Didcot showing how close the brake shaft is to the diagonal trussing. I will take the "V"s back off and reduce their height and hopefully make progress from there. Ian.
  8. Simon, That is a very elegant arrangement with the Tortoise, not at all crude. I think I might steal the idea! Ian.
  9. Rod, I don't think "organic" can be used to differentiate between engineering and artistic minds - I speak as a retired engineer whose mind is so organic it is positively composting with old age. For me, the advantages of "frog juicers" over electro-mechanical switching is down to reliability and zero requirement for mechanical adjustment. You can get poor electronic circuits but once you weed the duffers out they generally just run and run (witness the Voyager 1 space probe success). I used to look after the electrics of the NECG0G test track electrics. The electro-mechanical switches were a constant source of unwanted work. "Frog juicers" are obviously no use if you wish to alternate between DC and DCC running. Ian. PS I am still jealous of your layout - in the nicest possible way.
  10. I had a problem with my Cameo 4 auto blade end cap and thought it worth sharing the experience. I was going to cut a part in plastic sheet but first decided to check my design on cheap card (Cornflake box). My cutting mat is not as sticky as it had been so I taped the ends of the card but not the sides. Part way through cutting, the side nearest the mat edge popped up mid cut. The edge of the card lined up perfectly with the end cap. Cue cogging noises. I threw 6 and started again but the blade was no longer cutting properly. A quick examination showed the removable end cap thread was broken. Closer inspection showed the cap surround was also split. Whilst ordering a replacement blade, I noticed on a certain auction site packs of 4 replacement caps <link> at £4 a pack plus £2 p & p. I decided to get a pack more in hope than expectation. When it arrived I found each part was a combination of the removable cap and the outer surround. It is far more robust than the original. I had removed the original surround by carefully prising it out. It was held in by 3 clips. The new cap fitted without any problem having made sure its 3 tangential slots lined up with the 3 retaining clips. I tested it by manually setting/resetting the blade depth. All fine. I gave it a whizz on the Kellog special and all was well. I also cut the plastic part out without any problem or loss of accuracy. I think this end cap will last. It was certainly a lot cheaper than a whole new blade. Not being able to unscrew the end cap could cause problems cleaning dust out of the blade - I would have you use a vacuum cleaner. It would also be a challenge to remove it from the cutter since the removable end cap allows access to the three retaining clips. I suspect it would have to be trepanned. I noticed on the web page for the part there is (or was) a small photo... It would appear my experience is not unique. The Cameo 4 has more grunt than the previous cutters. It appears the cap on the auto blade 4 is not up to handling this increased stress. Ian.
  11. George, Your fencing is very effective. I especially like its combination with the GUV in close up. I am confident you will have the M/N up and running in no time. Ian.
  12. Thank you for the likes. They are very encouraging and help me to make progress. I started on the bogie mountings. The bogie kit supplies a mounting that sits fore and aft. There is no advice in the instructions on how to attach it to the wagon body. The mounting has clearance holes for 6BA nuts/bolts. A spacer the same shape is supplied to help raise the wagon to the correct ride height. The question was how to screw a 6BA in to the thin metal of the floor. There would not be enough "meat" to take a 6BA thread. Looking in my stock of metal I found 1.6mm thick NS strip. I had bought this for a project though I can't remember for the life of me what it was. I cut two rounded corner lozenge shapes the same size as the mountings. I drilled them with 2 off 1mm holes to match those in the floor. These were then soldered to the under side of the floor using the 1mm holes to line them up. At this point I had decided to use 8BA studding or bolts to attach the mountings. I drilled out the 4 holes to 1.8mm then tapped them 8BA as shown in the next photo. The thickness of material gives several turns of 8BA thread so it is secure. The cylinder of steel is a simple turning with a hole bored down the centre to give a sliding fit for the tap. The cylinder holds the tap vertical to the hole giving the best chance of getting a good thread. It also stops any side to side movement which would risk breaking the tap. The next photo shows the cylinder alongside the tap. Nothing complicated and it was not my idea, I got it from a Stan Bray model engineering book. I then tried fitting the mounting. My original plan was to use studding soldered in to the tapped hole with nuts holding the mounting in place. However, it was a right faff trying to tighten the nuts within the recesses in the mountings. Tightening also tended to knock the mountings out of line. So I opted for pan head bolts. At the moment the bolts stick proud of the topside of the floor. When I have set the ride height (the more packing needed the longer the bolts) I will shorten them to be a flush fit then secure it all with thread lock - but not until I have fitted the trusses and brakes. Another job to complete was the false floor. I wasn't happy with the one end. So I cut it back to where the first bolster would be and knocked up a design for a fresh end bit using Inkscape. This I threw at my Silhouette cutter which promptly split the blade's end cap. I will document these trials and tribulations else where. Suffice to say, I have now fixed it and cut out the fresh end. With that done I was then in a position to solder on the remaining bolster support brackets using the false floor as a guide (not in place when soldering obviously ). The join between the two false floor parts coincides with plank edges. Belt and braces! The join also sits under the end bolster rather nicely. Next is fitting sheet hooks, the trussing and the brake rigging. Meanwhile, my MERG bits and pieces have arrived so I will be alternating between this project and soldering components on to blank PCBs. And people wonder why I walk in circles around the village talking to myself. Ian.
  13. George, As always, your buildings are looking superb. I think you need to breathalyze that bus driver though or at the very least get his eyesight tested. Ian.
  14. Good to see progress on Chucksbry. Ian M.
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