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RichardS

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  1. RichardS

    Closure of The RSR

    The Board of The RSR are required to advise all customers that with immediate effect all services provided by this blog are teminated. A replacement blog service is being provided by: https://wordpress.com/view/bosmelin.wordpress.com All passengers, purveyors of goods, minerals and livestock, tramps, vagabonds, rogues and even trainspotters are cordially invited to avail themselves of the new service which they will find more focussed and, well, simply nicer. The Board wishes to express their thanks to all customers and patrons of the previous service and assure them of their best attention etc etc. Signed by order this the Twentieth day of May in the year Two Thousand and Twenty – RichardS – Chairman, Director, Manager, Navigator and General Idler. View the full article
  2. METAMORPHIC ROCK is ANY OF A CLASS OF ROCKS THAT RESULT FROM THE ALTERATION OF PREEXISTING ROCKS IN RESPONSE TO CHANGING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS, SUCH AS VARIATIONS IN TEMPERATURE, PRESSURE, AND MECHANICAL STRESS, AND THE ADDITION OR SUBTRACTION OF CHEMICAL COMPONENTS. The underlying rocks of Bosemlin are plywood and deal and I am altering these by a process involving the application of a saw and drill slowly turning them into sawdust. Yes, I am still rebuilding the landscape at the River End. I shall bullet point the actions taken lest this episode becomes a lengthy description about cutting plywood. Although as the Corona Virus lockdown proceeds even reading such a diatribe could be a light relief from listening to politicians wittering on with excuses about why nobody in the UK has actually be tested and there’s only enough PPE for a St John’s Ambulance Treatment Unit in Hawick. Exaggerate? Me? Never! In fact I’ve changed my mind. I’m only posting photos. Each is said to be worth 1000 words. You decide. I am never sure where the actual junction at Boscarne is. That is to say which end of the lines. Here are the diverging lines. This is the final Templot. More about Templot another time. The approximate positions of the two river bridges. The actual height of the bridge is a bit more than half that allowed. The extra height allows more landscape flexibility. Bird eye view of the final curve alignments. Nothing less than about 38 inches. And the view from outside. It has taken me quite a while to extend the baseboards and devise the curve and also get it level. Still some woodwork to do at this end but the main elements are in. Quite a lot of the scenery at this end will only be properly visible from inside the layout. Thanks for reading. Stay safe! View the full article
  3. Metamorphic rock, any of a class of rocks that result from the alteration of preexisting rocks in response to changing environmental conditions, such as variations in temperature, pressure, and mechanical stress, and the addition or subtraction of chemical components. The underlying rocks of Bosemlin are plywood and deal and I am altering these by a process involving the application of a saw and drill slowly turning them into sawdust. Yes, I am still rebuilding the landscape at the River End. I shall bullet point the actions taken lest this episode becomes a lengthy description about cutting plywood. Although as the Corona Virus lockdown proceeds even reading such a diatribe could be a light relief from listening to politicians wittering on with excuses about why nobody in the UK has actually be tested and there’s only enough PPE for a St John’s Ambulance Treatment Unit in Hawick. Exaggerate? Me? Never! In fact I’ve changed my mind. I’m only posting photos. Each is said to be worth 1000 words. You decide. I am never sure where the actual junction at Boscarne is. That is to say which end of the lines. Here are the diverging lines. This is the final Templot. More about Templot another time. The approximate positions of the two river bridges. The actual height of the bridge is a bit more than half that allowed. The extra height allows more landscape flexibility. Bird eye view of the final curve alignments. Nothing less than about 38 inches. And the view from outside. It has taken me quite a while to extend the baseboards and devise the curve and also get it level. Still some woodwork to do at this end but the main elements are in. Quite a lot of the scenery at this end will only be really visible from inside the layout. Thanks for reading. Stay safe!
  4. RichardS

    Building the landscape

    Boscarne station on the heritage Bodmin & Wenford Railway. There were virtually no trees of any size at the time the model depicts. Copyright: Richard Slipper 2016 The topography of Bosmelin (Boscarne Junction) is not straightforward as it comprises a variety of landscapes and the associated plant life. The railway lines sit on a ledge carved into a hillside. The single line approaching from the west runs along the valley side whereas the two lines exiting the junction area leave on embankments and both cross the river on plate girder bridges. The river almost turns 90 degrees to head north at this point. As previously mentioned the river is about 25 feet below the level of the railway while the cut into the hillside is about 20 feet deep. The land to the north of the railway then climbs further. The river valley after the bridges is initially quite steep. I’ve shown a small part of an old 2.5″ OS map below which shows the contours. Copyright: Ordnance Survey Very few modellers have the room to produce a layout to scale. Almost all of us have to compress things a bit. For a modeller who’s taste is for landscape and scenery rather than an urban environment Boscarne Junction is quite an attractive proposition – a rural freight interchange with trains arriving from four directions (if the Wenford line is included) and only a handful of rural buildings, a signal box, a ground frame and the requisite huts. Fortunately, I have been able to keep most of the length but the width, as is usually the case, is where some more serious compression is necessary. And this is where the back drop will have an important role to play but more of that another time. The sketch below which is not to scale shows the an approximate cross section of the layout. Those of you who have been paying attention (you have been haven’t you?) will soon spot that the boards presently under construction (and as approximately shown in he sketch above) are insufficiently wide to include the compressed water meadows and water courses. These will be part of phase two which will comprise additional scenic boards along the front of the layout. The river valley and the bridges for the tracks will be on a curve and this has necessitated the remodelling of the baseboards, deepening the sides, extending the depth and adding a new base. Here’s a photo. Don’t judge the woodwork please, it’ll all be hidden and is functional. The next step I plan to take is to decide upon the profiles of the landscape behind the tracks. I need to do this in order to finalise the track alignment of the 4 lines in relation to the bank which runs quite close to Siding 2 (S2 in the sketch). Once this is done I can determine the position of the tracks on the curved board and thus the places the bridges will be positioned. It’s very much an iterative process. Thanks for reading. More soon. Stay safe!
  5. RichardS

    Building the landscape

    Boscarne station on the heritage Bodmin & Wenford Railway. There were virtually no trees of any size at the time the model depicts. Copyright: Richard Slipper 2016 The topography of Bosmelin (Boscarne Junction) is not straightforward as it comprises a variety of landscapes and the associated plant life. The railway lines sit on a ledge carved into a hillside. The single line approaching from the west runs along the valley side whereas the two lines exiting the junction area leave on embankments and both cross the river on plate girder bridges. The river almost turns 90 degrees to head north at this point. As previously mentioned the river is about 25 feet below the level of the railway while the cut into the hillside is about 20 feet deep. The land to the north of the railway then climbs further. The river valley after the bridges is initially quite steep. I’ve shown a small part of an old 2.5″ OS map below which shows the contours. Copyright: Ordnance Survey Very few modellers have the room to produce a layout to scale. Almost all of us have to compress things a bit. For a modeller who’s taste is for landscape and scenery rather than an urban environment Boscarne Junction is quite an attractive proposition – a rural freight interchange with trains arriving from four directions (if the Wenford line is included) and only a handful of rural buildings, a signal box, a ground frame and the requisite huts. Fortunately, I have been able to keep most of the length but the width, as is usually the case, is where some more serious compression is necessary. And this is where the back drop will have an important role to play but more of that another time. The sketch below which is not to scale shows the an approximate cross section of the layout. Those of you who have been paying attention (you have been haven’t you?) will soon spot that the boards presently under construction (and as approximately shown in he sketch above) are insufficiently wide to include the compressed water meadows and water courses. These will be part of phase two which will comprise additional scenic boards along the front of the layout. The river valley and the bridges for the tracks will be on a curve and this has necessitated the remodelling of the baseboards, deepening the sides, extending the depth and adding a new base. Here’s a photo. Don’t judge the woodwork please, it’ll all be hidden and is functional. The next step I plan to take is to decide upon the profiles of the landscape behind the tracks. I need to do this in order to finalise the track alignment of the 4 lines in relation to the bank which runs quite close to Siding 2 (S2 in the sketch). Once this is done I can determine the position of the tracks on the curved board and thus the places the bridges will be positioned. It’s very much an iterative process. Thanks for reading. More soon. Stay safe! View the full article
  6. I am wondering if anybody could tell me please the overall length (heel to toe in a straight line) of the Marcway OO/EM Curved Point that has described radii of 5ft and 3ft. Dow e know if these the actual radii or like PECO the substitution radius? Many thanks.
  7. RichardS

    Navvies ‘R’ Me

    The railways in the UK would not have been built without the labour provided by navvies. Navvies were hard working ground workers digging cuttings, boring tunnels and building embankments with shovels and barrows. Now serious navvy work is not something you normally associate with model railways but over the last couple of days I have been doing some industrial scale topographical remodelling on Bosmelin. OK, I’ll admit it’s not navvying but the principals are not dissimilar. The river end of Bosmelin has, as previously explained, two bridges which cross the river as they diverge from the junction. The height of the line above the water level us quite high. Although I have tried to find out exactly how high it is I do not know what it is although on a field trip I estimated it to be at least 30 feet. In 4mm scale 30 feet is 120 mm and this is why the track bed has been elevated on struts as this facilitates the landscape being below the railway. I am using the circular baseboards I had originally used for simple test running for the curved ends of Bosmelin (photo above). And this is where despite my long and almost interminable planning I had overlooked the depth needed at the River End where the bridges will be on the curves. So the navvies have descended on one of the boards; digging out the river valley, sinking piles and shuttering. Well actually lowering the sides of the board and adding bracing. This one board is going to be an interesting construction! Here’s a couple of pictures showing the impact so far. More soon.
  8. RichardS

    Navvies ‘R’ Me

    The railways in the UK would not have been built without the labour provided by navvies. Navvies were hard working ground workers digging cuttings, boring tunnels and building embankments with shovels and barrows. Now serious navvy work is not something you normally associate with model railways but over the last couple of days I have been doing some industrial scale topographical remodelling on Bosmelin. OK, I’ll admit it’s not navvying but the principals are not dissimilar. The river end of Bosmelin has, as previously explained, two bridges which cross the river as they diverge from the junction. The height of the line above the water level us quite high. Although I have tried to find out exactly how high it is I do not know what it is although on a field trip I estimated it to be at least 30 feet. In 4mm scale 30 feet is 120 mm and this is why the track bed has been elevated on struts as this facilitates the landscape being below the railway. I am using the circular baseboards I had originally used for simple test running for the curved ends of Bosmelin (photo above). And this is where despite my long and almost interminable planning I had overlooked the depth needed at the River End where the bridges will be on the curves. So the navvies have descended on one of the boards; digging out the river valley, sinking piles and shuttering. Well actually lowering the sides of the board and adding bracing. This one board is going to be an interesting construction! Here’s a couple of pictures showing the impact so far. More soon. View the full article
  9. RichardS

    Getting It Level.

    There are many elements to good running on a model railway but the foundation is always the baseboards and this is particularly true on a layout that is designed to be portable. Making sure that the baseboards are straight, true and, where they should be, flat and level is absolutely vital and must not be skimped. I have been keen to ensure that weight is minimised but true to form my baseboards for Bosmelin are starting to get heavier. I shall reduce the weight where possible in due course but at present it is ensuring a level track-bed that is my key objective. As the track-bed is elevated and supported at intervals there are plenty of opportunities to get things undulating. I think I have made a mistake in using 9mm ply. That which I bought has proved to be of insufficient quality and has bent a bit. On the second board you can see a lengthways ‘girder’ to provide a bit more straightening power. This is not so easy on the board in the foreground due to the future locations of the turnout operation gear. Alternatively I could have used more supports and this remains an option. It’s just more weight whatever I do. Sadly it has already dawned on me that these boards will be a two person lift. But having achieved an acceptable degree of evenness for this stage in the build (I may refine it a bit more before final assembly) I am able to to set out the proposed track plan and see what it really looks like. Now that looks a bit daunting – it’s a lot of scenery. I’ve had to cut out about 8 inches of scale length and I did try shortening the sidings more but that destroys the integrity of the layout. Line 3 – the Southern branch – needs to be able to comfortably contain a 3 coach train + a tank engine. There is a big problem trying to make a model of Boscarne Junction in that the two diverging lines leave the junction almost opposite to one another. Unless we have an unlimited amount of space most of our model railways loop around back on one another so the challenge is to try and make a believable alteration to the layout to get it to fit. Whatever I do is always going to be a massive compromise in this important area. Furthermore just after they diverge the two lines cross the River Camel on two bridges; both vital structures. But ‘The River End’ has a further googly to bowl. I have to put it on the curve. This is because I just don’t have room to get any of it on the straight. To get enough depth of scenery for the river and bridges I think I shall need to fill in the centre or at least some of the river end curves. There’s only so much drawing you can do, sometimes you just have to get stuck in. So I have. The original RSR was a ring of 4 boards 250 mm wide. To make it manageable I made it a ring of 8 boards. The inner lines – where the point is – are further in than 250mm so the boards at this end will need to be extended. The white card segment allows me to sketch in possible locations. The curved track on the outside of the board is the line that would instead normally tun off to the left as you look from this position. That is the big compromise I mentioned above. Now that I’m starting to address the topography rather than just the baseboards them selves I do find myself feeling more enthusiastic. Still a way to go though before I can even start to think about permanent way. Thanks for looking. Stay in, stay safe.
  10. RichardS

    Getting It Level.

    There are many elements to good running on a model railway but the foundation is always the baseboards and this is particularly true on a layout that is designed to be portable. Making sure that the baseboards are straight, true and, where they should be, flat and level is absolutely vital and must not be skimped. I have been keen to ensure that weight is minimised but true to form my baseboards for Bosmelin are starting to get heavier. I shall reduce the weight where possible in due course but at present it is ensuring a level track-bed that is my key objective. As the track-bed is elevated and supported at intervals there are plenty of opportunities to get things undulating. I think I have made a mistake in using 9mm ply. That which I bought has proved to be of insufficient quality and has bent a bit. On the second board you can see a lengthways ‘girder’ to provide a bit more straightening power. This is not so easy on the board in the foreground due to the future locations of the turnout operation gear. Alternatively I could have used more supports and this remains an option. It’s just more weight whatever I do. Sadly it has already dawned on me that these boards will be a two person lift. But having achieved an acceptable degree of evenness for this stage in the build (I may refine it a bit more before final assembly) I am able to to set out the proposed track plan and see what it really looks like. Now that looks a bit daunting – it’s a lot of scenery. I’ve had to cut out about 8 inches of scale length and I did try shortening the sidings more but that destroys the integrity of the layout. Line 3 – the Southern branch – needs to be able to comfortably contain a 3 coach train + a tank engine. There is a big problem trying to make a model of Boscarne Junction in that the two diverging lines leave the junction almost opposite to one another. Unless we have an unlimited amount of space most of our model railways loop around back on one another so the challenge is to try and make a believable alteration to the layout to get it to fit. Whatever I do is always going to be a massive compromise in this important area. Furthermore just after they diverge the two lines cross the River Camel on two bridges; both vital structures. But ‘The River End’ has a further googly to bowl. I have to put it on the curve. This is because I just don’t have room to get any of it on the straight. To get enough depth of scenery for the river and bridges I think I shall need to fill in the centre or at least some of the river end curves. There’s only so much drawing you can do, sometimes you just have to get stuck in. So I have. The original RSR was a ring of 4 boards 250 mm wide. To make it manageable I made it a ring of 8 boards. The inner lines – where the point is – are further in than 250mm so the boards at this end will need to be extended. The white card segment allows me to sketch in possible locations. The curved track on the outside of the board is the line that would instead normally tun off to the left as you look from this position. That is the big compromise I mentioned above. Now that I’m starting to address the topography rather than just the baseboards them selves I do find myself feeling more enthusiastic. Still a way to go though before I can even start to think about permanent way. Thanks for looking. Stay in, stay safe. View the full article
  11. I've just found this article when I was looking for something else but it struck a chord. Returning to the initial post my own thoughts are that most railway modellers are more interested in trains (and principally locomotives) rather than railways*. So for example when they model the large passenger station this is really to accommodate a long express pulled by a big engine which is the focus. When they model clay district, its the shorter clay train. The problem is how they plan and build the model. Obviously almost everybody is constrained by space but the almost universal error is to put the scenery around the track rather than the track into the scenery. In real life there is no chicken and egg option but in a model there is. Instead of building a railway in a scene most people put a scene around a railway in the space that is left. Making models quaint is a trap we can all easily fall into as we search for the bucolic, decent, easy, sunny days of yore we imagine must have existed before the frantic and stressful lives we live today. It's hard to convey poverty, insanitary living, rudimentary healthcare, dangerous working conditions and the asylum/work house threat via a toy train. Much better a rosy cheeked countryman and a gaggle of laughing children harvesting a rich rural bounty. No one can see the cripple or industrial amputee hidden in the hovel and eeking survival on parish relief and charity. When did anybody last model a rundown Ag Lab's hovel as opposed to an Agatha Christie class thatched cottage? Anyway, here comes the XYZ first class only Pullman express. Weren't the railways wonderful! * For me railways encompass so much more than tracks and trains. Railways they are about people and what people do. How they effect society as a whole, architecture, art, industry and the countryside. Locomotives are simply tools to propel trains carrying people and goods. Of course some are beautiful and some impressive creations with great appeal and charisma but they are essentially a means to an end and receive disproportionate attention compared to other aspects of railways. The hobby is after all railway modelling and not locomotive modelling.
  12. RichardS

    Track Planning

    I can happily report that the brass dowels work quite well and all the scenic boards aligned first time. Dowels in place and before boards bolted together Furthermore, by a coincidence or was it some long forgotten element of my plan the height from the floor to the bottom of the scenic boards is 100cm which just happens to be the one of the predetermined heights allowed for by my Aldi adjustable trestles. This is pretty handy as any for the obvious reasons. Happily the bottom of the dropped scenic boards is 1000mm from the floor The scenic boards are dropped and the track bed will be carried on risers this is because the junction sits on a reasonably wide ledge cut into a hillside – the land thus falls away one side and rises on the other. Using an open top design will allow those areas where the land is below the track level to be modelled with greater ‘feel’ for the way land works. Those familiar with the Bodmin and Wadebridge will know that Boscarne Junction is the location where two single lines become one. The two single lines take the traveller to Bodmin (SR) later Bodmin North, and Bodmin (GWR) later Bodmin General. The latter is now the HQ of the Bodmin and Wenford Heritage Railway. The single line to Bodmin North in fact also branched just after Boscarne Junction at Dunmere Junction whence the famous Wenford Bridge goods line made its way along the Camel Valley to the foot of Bodmin moor. The single line made up form the two Bodmin branches went of course to Wadebridge where it joined the North Cornwall Railway and ultimately Padstow where the famous Atlantic Coast Express terminated. Bosmelin is of course Boscarne Junction and the track plan is pretty simple. It comprises 4 parallel lines. Each of the contributing companies had a running line separated by an exchange siding, while the fourth line was a loop siding added to accommodate greater volumes of China Clay traffic and used by the SR and BR(S). In total there are only 7 points/turnouts. Having pondered upon the merits and challenges of using OO-SF, EM and P4 standards I have decided to use PECO’s new 4mm Bullhead OO track chiefly because I just don’t feel I have the time to make a layout this size with finer track – not to mention the cost of re-wheeling all the stock. But this is not to say that the layout will be OO in mentality. I favour the finer scale approach to modelling and thus everything – except the track gauge and wheel flanges – will be (to the best of my ability) modelled with the fine scale ethos in mind. Thus the track plan was conceived and planned as if it were to be P4 and indeed is based upon a Templot plan based upon a 25″ Ordnance Survey Map of 1907 (I think). It follows therefore, that should eventually I decide that ‘broad gauge’ is achievable I can simply substitute the track. I say ‘simply’ but by using the PECO track the actual turnouts are a different geometry so I have had to adjust the plan slightly to accommodate these. No curves anywhere are intended to be less than 915mm radius (thats 36″) but having said that in one or two place a very slight tightening has been needed but we taking a few mm only which is really insignificant. Couplings will be a mixture of 3 link and an auto coupler of some sort where wagons need to be separated. Most stock will remain in rakes and you cannot beat 3 links/screw/instanter for realism when running. Which auto coupler I shall use, I am not sure yet. Possibly, S&W but I also want to investigate Dinghams. It won’t be Jackson. They might be almost invisible but, couplings are not invisible in reality and they’re a bit fragile and need regular maintenance. Any way the track bed is next. I’ll leave you with a track plan drawn up in the free version of Anyrail. Bosmelin – Track Plan – Anyrail. PECO OO Bullhead track
  13. RichardS

    Track Planning

    I can happily report that the brass dowels work quite well and all the scenic boards aligned first time. Dowels in place and before boards bolted together Furthermore, by a coincidence or was it some long forgotten element of my plan the height from the floor to the bottom of the scenic boards is 100cm which just happens to be the one of the predetermined heights allowed for by my Aldi adjustable trestles. This is pretty handy as any for the obvious reasons. Happily the bottom of the dropped scenic boards is 1000mm from the floor The scenic boards are dropped and the track bed will be carried on risers this is because the junction sits on a reasonably wide ledge cut into a hillside – the land thus falls away one side and rises on the other. Using an open top design will allow those areas where the land is below the track level to be modelled with greater ‘feel’ for the way land works. Those familiar with the Bodmin and Wadebridge will know that Boscarne Junction is the location where two single lines become one. The two single lines take the traveller to Bodmin (SR) later Bodmin North, and Bodmin (GWR) later Bodmin General. The latter is now the HQ of the Bodmin and Wenford Heritage Railway. The single line to Bodmin North in fact also branched just after Boscarne Junction at Dunmere Junction whence the famous Wenford Bridge goods line made its way along the Camel Valley to the foot of Bodmin moor. The single line made up form the two Bodmin branches went of course to Wadebridge where it joined the North Cornwall Railway and ultimately Padstow where the famous Atlantic Coast Express terminated. Bosmelin is of course Boscarne Junction and the track plan is pretty simple. It comprises 4 parallel lines. Each of the contributing companies had a running line separated by an exchange siding, while the fourth line was a loop siding added to accommodate greater volumes of China Clay traffic and used by the SR and BR(S). In total there are only 7 points/turnouts. Having pondered upon the merits and challenges of using OO-SF, EM and P4 standards I have decided to use PECO’s new 4mm Bullhead OO track chiefly because I just don’t feel I have the time to make a layout this size with finer track – not to mention the cost of re-wheeling all the stock. But this is not to say that the layout will be OO in mentality. I favour the finer scale approach to modelling and thus everything – except the track gauge and wheel flanges – will be (to the best of my ability) modelled with the fine scale ethos in mind. Thus the track plan was conceived and planned as if it were to be P4 and indeed is based upon a Templot plan based upon a 25″ Ordnance Survey Map of 1907 (I think). It follows therefore, that should eventually I decide that ‘broad gauge’ is achievable I can simply substitute the track. I say ‘simply’ but by using the PECO track the actual turnouts are a different geometry so I have had to adjust the plan slightly to accommodate these. No curves anywhere are intended to be less than 915mm radius (thats 36″) but having said that in one or two place a very slight tightening has been needed but we taking a few mm only which is really insignificant. Couplings will be a mixture of 3 link and an auto coupler of some sort where wagons need to be separated. Most stock will remain in rakes and you cannot beat 3 links/screw/instanter for realism when running. Which auto coupler I shall use, I am not sure yet. Possibly, S&W but I also want to investigate Dinghams. It won’t be Jackson. They might be almost invisible but, couplings are not invisible in reality and they’re a bit fragile and need regular maintenance. Any way the track bed is next. I’ll leave you with a track plan drawn up in the free version of Anyrail. Bosmelin – Track Plan – Anyrail. PECO OO Bullhead track View the full article
  14. In my previous article I mentioned that the next job was to align and join the ‘stage boards.’ What I didn’t mention was a particular feature that one of these must have. The board that needs to be removable is the one in front of the door on the left. Portable layouts normally use some form of alignment which can be part of the joining mechanism or can be stand alone. Almost without exception these stick out and this means that some ‘wriggle room’ is needed to disengage a board from its neighbour. However, a large and heavy permanent layout is not amenable to wriggling. Thus I required a means of being able to align a board as well as allow it to be removed without moving it’s neighbours. The method I used is not, I am sure, novel or unique and I lay no claim to its invention but it seems to work. I anticipate that Bosmelin will remain ‘up’ most of the time and only taken down during the winter for dry storage or hopefully on occasions when it might be required for an exhibition. And as it fills most of the ‘Railway Parlour’ – blocking the door in the process – easy access is definitely required as few of my circle are lissom youths any longer! Furthermore Dawn requires access to the garage. Essentially, I have fitted removable dowels at each end of one board. I had some brass tube and round bar which by a stroke of luck were a sliding fit. The problem was I didn’t have much of either. The tube was o/d of 5/8″ (a tad under 16mm) and the i/d was 1/2″ (about 12.5). As I was attending the London Model Engineer’s Exhibition I assumed that I would be able to easily obtain some matching brass tube and bar even if it was metric now. Not so. All the stands that were selling such material had none that were a sliding fit and it seems that the gauge of the tube was less. In discussion with stallholders it seems that my tube and bar were left over from a special job. (Or as I suspect they are quite old and in those days material was more generous!) Much humming and harring followed about the best way to overcome the shortage of material. To cut the story short my solution was to cut the bar into short lengths and to use this as a ‘bush’ fitted into the wooden board ends. The 1/2″ bar is pretty sturdy so there’s little risk of any misalignment due to bending. The chief risk is that I lose one of the four dowels I made from the bar for reasons which will be obvious. So next I need to concoct a means of attaching the dowels to the boards permanently. I think a length of cord attached to an anchor will suffice. Dowels and bushes during manufacture. Won’t win any prizes but are functional and hidden in the ends of the boards. Drilling holes in round things can be tricky and in my collection of acquired tools I have a vee block with a ‘U’ clamp. I used this to cut the bar for the dowels and will also use it to drill a hole into the bar for the cord to pass through. An excellent way to hold round things when you need to cut, drill, mill or anything really. For drilling accurate holes a drill press is an enormous help although a high quality one with assured accuracy will be expensive. Most hobbyists therefore tend to look at the more economical machines most of which are made in China. I expect that the quality of today’s offerings is higher than older machines. Mine is an older model which I’ve had for some time. The main area of concern is spindle wobble and it was a bit hit and miss if, and how bad, these earlier machines might be in this respect. I was lucky and mine was always quite good. I was however, never very happy with the supplied chuck and had in mind a replacement for some time. A new 13mm chuck was therefore one of my purchases at the MEEx. The taper on the machine is a B16 and RDG tools sell a range of suitable replacement chucks which seem much better than the original. They are noticeably chunkier and consequently heavier. When I removed the old chuck the spindle also came out of the drill. The spindle is the part driven by the motor and is held vertical in the head by the quill which usually has two fixed bearings top and bottom. The quill is the bit which moves up and down and is held in place by the handle and a spring. The spindle is held in the bearings by a single external circlip. It’s anything but complicated. When the spindle came out the circlip had obviously failed. This necessitated taking the whole contraption to apart to access the circlip which was bent. At least it was an opportunity to clean the sliding surfaces and re-grease and oil the moving parts. I thought I had some circlips but despite searching high and low I could not find any. I did find my tin of M8 bolts which I needed so the effort was not entirely wasted. Resigned to buying some I retired to browse the Screwfix website. Circlips……. right…….a Thousand! I don’t want a thousand. £13.00 as well. I only want one and maybe a spare. I found the range sold a small blister pack of various unspecified sizes for £1.49. It was worth a punt – but nothing inside was the right size. Eventually I found a handy pack (64 clips) at Toolstation for £2.71 advertised as ranging from 6mm to 25mm but no mention of the intermediate values. Fortunately, there was one in the pack that fitted and the remainder are now on the shelf where I expect they’ll gather dust for ever. So now I was ready to drill the holes for my alignment bushes. I had tried to find a 5/8th drill at the MEEEx with no success the nearest I found was 41/64ths – a fraction too big but as I planned to glue the bush into the wood a tolerance would be useful. But, 41/64 was too big for my new chuck. I had toyed with the 16mm option but it was a good deal heavier than the 13mm and decided it was too beefy for my drill. I returned to Toolstation and bought a 16mm ‘Blacksmith’s’ drill with a reduced shaft that would fit the 13mm chuck. Away we go! Not so fast Gunga Din! The board end that I was drilling was so big it could not be fixed to the table so needed to be held this meant that the big drill tended to vibrate the wood. This was not going anywhere. So it came about that I drilled the hole with a 16mm flat bit held in a Black & Decker hammer drill. The depth drilled was at the most 68mm and I was concerned that it wouldn’t be straight. As it happened I got away with it. The bushes were glued in with Gorilla glue and while this set the dowels were inserted to ensure alignment and the boards held together with 2 off M8 bolts held by T nuts (one in each board -a threaded and a clear drilled.) These also help alignment and can be used alone but accurate dowels are er.. well… more accurate. The finished fitting. Sliding brass dowel for alignment and M8 Bolt in T Nuts for joining.
  15. In my previous article I mentioned that the next job was to align and join the ‘stage boards.’ What I didn’t mention was a particular feature that one of these must have. The board that needs to be removable is the one in front of the door on the left. Portable layouts normally use some form of alignment which can be part of the joining mechanism or can be stand alone. Almost without exception these stick out and this means that some ‘wriggle room’ is needed to disengage a board from its neighbour. However, a large and heavy permanent layout is not amenable to wriggling. Thus I required a means of being able to align a board as well as allow it to be removed without moving it’s neighbours. The method I used is not, I am sure, novel or unique and I lay no claim to its invention but it seems to work. I anticipate that Bosmelin will remain ‘up’ most of the time and only taken down during the winter for dry storage or hopefully on occasions when it might be required for an exhibition. And as it fills most of the ‘Railway Parlour’ – blocking the door in the process – easy access is definitely required as few of my circle are lissom youths any longer! Furthermore Dawn requires access to the garage. Essentially, I have fitted removable dowels at each end of one board. I had some brass tube and round bar which by a stroke of luck were a sliding fit. The problem was I didn’t have much of either. The tube was o/d of 5/8″ (a tad under 16mm) and the i/d was 1/2″ (about 12.5). As I was attending the London Model Engineer’s Exhibition I assumed that I would be able to easily obtain some matching brass tube and bar even if it was metric now. Not so. All the stands that were selling such material had none that were a sliding fit and it seems that the gauge of the tube was less. In discussion with stallholders it seems that my tube and bar were left over from a special job. (Or as I suspect they are quite old and in those days material was more generous!) Much humming and harring followed about the best way to overcome the shortage of material. To cut the story short my solution was to cut the bar into short lengths and to use this as a ‘bush’ fitted into the wooden board ends. The 1/2″ bar is pretty sturdy so there’s little risk of any misalignment due to bending. The chief risk is that I lose one of the four dowels I made from the bar for reasons which will be obvious. So next I need to concoct a means of attaching the dowels to the boards permanently. I think a length of cord attached to an anchor will suffice. Dowels and bushes during manufacture. Won’t win any prizes but are functional and hidden in the ends of the boards. Drilling holes in round things can be tricky and in my collection of acquired tools I have a vee block with a ‘U’ clamp. I used this to cut the bar for the dowels and will also use it to drill a hole into the bar for the cord to pass through. An excellent way to hold round things when you need to cut, drill, mill or anything really. For drilling accurate holes a drill press is an enormous help although a high quality one with assured accuracy will be expensive. Most hobbyists therefore tend to look at the more economical machines most of which are made in China. I expect that the quality of today’s offerings is higher than older machines. Mine is an older model which I’ve had for some time. The main area of concern is spindle wobble and it was a bit hit and miss if, and how bad, these earlier machines might be in this respect. I was lucky and mine was always quite good. I was however, never very happy with the supplied chuck and had in mind a replacement for some time. A new 13mm chuck was therefore one of my purchases at the MEEx. The taper on the machine is a B16 and RDG tools sell a range of suitable replacement chucks which seem much better than the original. They are noticeably chunkier and consequently heavier. When I removed the old chuck the spindle also came out of the drill. The spindle is the part driven by the motor and is held vertical in the head by the quill which usually has two fixed bearings top and bottom. The quill is the bit which moves up and down and is held in place by the handle and a spring. The spindle is held in the bearings by a single external circlip. It’s anything but complicated. When the spindle came out the circlip had obviously failed. This necessitated taking the whole contraption to apart to access the circlip which was bent. At least it was an opportunity to clean the sliding surfaces and re-grease and oil the moving parts. I thought I had some circlips but despite searching high and low I could not find any. I did find my tin of M8 bolts which I needed so the effort was not entirely wasted. Resigned to buying some I retired to browse the Screwfix website. Circlips……. right…….a Thousand! I don’t want a thousand. £13.00 as well. I only want one and maybe a spare. I found the range sold a small blister pack of various unspecified sizes for £1.49. It was worth a punt – but nothing inside was the right size. Eventually I found a handy pack (64 clips) at Toolstation for £2.71 advertised as ranging from 6mm to 25mm but no mention of the intermediate values. Fortunately, there was one in the pack that fitted and the remainder are now on the shelf where I expect they’ll gather dust for ever. So now I was ready to drill the holes for my alignment bushes. I had tried to find a 5/8th drill at the MEEEx with no success the nearest I found was 41/64ths – a fraction too big but as I planned to glue the bush into the wood a tolerance would be useful. But, 41/64 was too big for my new chuck. I had toyed with the 16mm option but it was a good deal heavier than the 13mm and decided it was too beefy for my drill. I returned to Toolstation and bought a 16mm ‘Blacksmith’s’ drill with a reduced shaft that would fit the 13mm chuck. Away we go! Not so fast Gunga Din! The board end that I was drilling was so big it could not be fixed to the table so needed to be held this meant that the big drill tended to vibrate the wood. This was not going anywhere. So it came about that I drilled the hole with a 16mm flat bit held in a Black & Decker hammer drill. The depth drilled was at the most 68mm and I was concerned that it wouldn’t be straight. As it happened I got away with it. The bushes were glued in with Gorilla glue and while this set the dowels were inserted to ensure alignment and the boards held together with 2 off M8 bolts held by T nuts (one in each board -a threaded and a clear drilled.) These also help alignment and can be used alone but accurate dowels are er.. well… more accurate. The finished fitting. Sliding brass dowel for alignment and M8 Bolt in T Nuts for joining. View the full article
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