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  1. Thanks Izzy, the curves should not be too severe (and in theory need a check rail) so hopefully will avoid this, but will take extra care on the inside rail and use the better quality chairs on that side to ensure a good chair to rail / sleeper grip.
  2. Quick update - I tried the hot water (boiling in my case) soak and was surprised how effective this was. I didn't really expect ageing plastic to respond too well, but having put about 10 sprues (100 chairs) into a mug of boiling water, leave for about 5 mins, the chairs were a lot less brittle. Not sure how long they stay more pliable, or the optimum immersion / water temp time, but working quickly to thread them after careful recovery from the hot dipping they went on without too much breakage. Thanking Neil for the tip ! Pete.
  3. Roy, yep always check that - and the taper - but it's a mistake I have made in the past, usually by not having my correct glasses on !
  4. Thanks for the all the hints and tips, time to go and give it all a try
  5. Izzy, In my case I think it's a mix of age and early moulding issues. The chairs do seem thin / brittle around the base and break in half (some worse than others) so I guess the injection process (whether heat/plastic type/moulding) was not quite what is it nowadays. I have also used older 7mm chairs on previous layouts (now converted to 4mm) and not had this problem, so agree it was a quality control and/or design issue on 4mm items. Pete.
  6. John, I suspected this topic had previously arisen, primarily because a lot of 'secondhand' C&L (and earlier) items appear on eBay at, what seems initially anyway, a bargain price. In fact the ones I bought have Alan Gibson packaging so they may well be 40+ years old which is quite a surprise. It's no wonder that the plastic has degraded somewhat ! Anyway, good suggestion re mixing these in old / new / half chair combinations. The only slight concern is that does this still work ok when forming curves, or is there a danger that the gauging can 'sli
  7. Thanks Rowsley, I would normally do that but all the turnouts are built. Just need to do the plain track (onto ply sleepers) which does require a lot of chairs. Pete.
  8. Mark, that's a possible option thanks and will initially soften them at least. I find it a lot easier to thread chairs onto the rail whilst still on the sprue though - unless there is a technique I have missed ! Pete
  9. Neil, Thanks for the suggestion. I did wonder about that, or maybe even a brief 'warming' in the microwave, but considered that a bit too risky ! I'll give it a go in a tea mug, one sprue at a time. The failure rate is 50%+ so anything is worth a shot even though I didn't pay that much and, in theory, have enough spare. Once on the rail they are ok and take the solvent as long as only slight pressure is applied to attached them to the sleepers. Pete.
  10. This is probably stating the b. obvious, but beware when buying secondhand K&L / C&L plastic chairs unless you want to end up with a pile of broken bits ! I recently aquired a large quantity off a well know auction site only to find the plastic had hardened and degraded so badly that, upon trying to thread them onto rail, most of them just fall apart. My bad as they say, and I doubt there is any way of 'softening these' (without melting them !), but if anyone has any suggestions (other than binning the lot and buy new !) then I would welcome them. Many Tha
  11. John, Any idea of the status of this project - particularly with reference to EM gauge ? The website only has an update on the availability of OO gauge track with EM and P4 offered as a crowd funding option for £150 ? It may be useful for the owner to post updates on target funding as it's risk / reward for any punters taking this approach.
  12. Hmm - not sure ? It's listed on the estate agents details as the 'Steam House' but, as you say, unlikely it was a loco shed. Maybe contained a stationary engine for rope working wagons or barges along the wharf or similar ?
  13. Wow - that could be a very interesting home given plenty of time and funds ! Some pics of it in 'better days' and a map snapshot of the track layout as it was early 1900's. Could potentially make an interesting LNWR / Lilleshall Co shunting layout ?
  14. Very informative David, and it shows how difficult it is to protect any website now given the attention they receive from hackers worldwide. Like yourself I had personal involvement in designing and specifying systems to prevent external attack when I worked on corporate IT Infrastructure Projects, and it's a very costly and challenging job. I hope Phil has factored all this in to the new website, especially if he is going to be processing card / e-payments and holding personal information. Personally I would let a 3rd party do all this and take the risk - hence my previous comments re
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