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  1. Cheers Ian. It's a fascinating bit of traffic. Begs all kind of questions... like how they dealt with maintenance of such a tiny and specialised set of wagons. Maybe they brought people in... or maybe they swapped the tanks with fresh ones from the mainland when they became due for overhaul.
  2. Interesting... and news to me. Any idea where the paraffin tank traffic originated? I'd hazard a guess at a coaster from Fawley (Esso had several coasters) and then offloaded at one of the island ports and pumped into railtanks. Just a guess though. Do you have any details for the prototype photo? ... like location and year maybe?
  3. Good luck with the new job Steve, Love the cameos - very creative.
  4. Are you using the collet and nut correctly? - you need to clip the collet into the nut before putting the nut onto the collet holder. ER collets have a groove that engages with the nut. It doesn't work if you put the collet into the holder and then put the nut on. My collets (ER16, not ER11) are stamped with a decreasing range, e.g. 7-6mm . The nominal size (the one you choose when ordering) is the higher number. When inserting drills etc that match the nominal size they are a close fit and sometimes won't go in unless I first unscrew the nut a bit to release the collet properly. You should be able to tighten the nut by hand and get a noticeable grip... but don't try to cut metal like that - tighten it properly. Going all the way to the lower end of the range will need more effort (and probably a spanner) and is not the best way to use collets anyway.
  5. Modern coreless motors are not very heavy - their main factor in weight distribution is the room they take up without adding any useful weight. I suspect that with those bonnets full of lead the motor won't be a factor in weight distribution.
  6. Carbide needs a rigid machine and high speeds to deliver its benefits. The MF70 is hardly the most rigid thing in the world but I think that up to 3mm it handles carbide OK. If you plan to put bigger cutters in your ER11 spindle then you need to reassess the question. Sorry I don't have any simple answers. For my lathe I am now using HSS cutters (6mm and 10mm) and they work very well. I did manage to snap a tooth off a carbide cutter in the lathe when it dug into the work. I've also snapped a 3mm carbide cutter in the MF70 - I think it was too much vibration and an overhanging workpiece that caused it. I tend to keep my cuts light but I gather there is another issue called 'rubbing' that relates to running milling cutters without enough cutting demand on them. Fun isn't it?
  7. +1 for mounting on the bogies although with your half length coach you might get away with it. I did try mounting on the buffer beam on some bogie diesels a long time ago. I soon changed.
  8. Progress on the O2... basically I have been trying to get the thing from 'nearly finished' to a point where I can stop messing with it. A lot of this has been reworking items which were not completely satisfactory. First to catch up with the final 'new bits'... The front lamp irons went on with a lot less bother than the rear ones. The three around the smokebox were fretted from 10 thou brass because I felt that the fold lines in the etched ones would make them more vulnerable to breaking. Once again the 80W iron was deployed to get heat into the joints quickly. The smokebox 'dart' is a piece of 0.8mm brass, cross drilled for the handles and with the rear end turned down to fit into the smokebox door. The final bit of plumbing is a tap on the right hand side of the smokebox. This is pretty small and I was originally planning to leave it off but it's pretty prominent in photos of 30225 so I relented and had a go. My first attempt used 0.8mm brass cross drilled for a 0.5mm spigot. I was quite pleased with it but when I tried it in place it looked huge, so... must try harder. The final version uses 0.5mm brass shaped in the watchmakers lathe and cross drilled for a 0.3mm spigot. A photo of the first and second attempts... The boiler is separate from the footplate to facilitate painting etc so the clack valves are tricky to secure. I could have fixed them to the boiler but this would have meant that the upright feed pipe would need to be self supporting. This pipe goes into a hole in the 5 thou thick splasher top so that did not seem like a great idea. Instead I had decided to fix both pipes to the clack and rely on them for location but I'd cut them a bit too short so the clacks could fall off if they tried hard enough. Sorting this was supposed to be one of those 5 minute jobs but removing the original pipes took much longer than I expected - their ends have a shallow taper so that they are a force fit into the holes in the clacks as well as being held in place by solder. Anyway... eventually I got them off and made up longer ones - the horizontal pipes now go right into a hole drilled into the boiler ballast plug and almost meet in the middle of the boiler. The vertical pipes are slightly longer than previously now that I have a better idea of the clearance over the wheel treads. After painting they will get a dab of glue but until then they need to stay put without it. The side tanks have been stuffed with lead sheet. While doing this I found that the front panels of the tanks 'hinged' forwards alarmingly which was definitely not good so those were resoldered... which made the little steps come adrift... so those were resoldered too. On the subject of ballast, my aim since starting this build has been to keep the weight up front and in fact the rear bogie can be removed and the loco will sit on its driving wheels on level track. The first round of lead ballast was kept centered over the rear driving wheels. I can't say that I have ever been fully sold on the 'traditional' view of 0-4-4T weight distribution so it was always my intention to add weight further back and see if things got better or worse. I talked with Laurie Adams and Jerry Clifford on the Saturday Zoom call and they both suggested adding as much weight as possible and springing the bogie to support the rear end. The bogie was already sprung so it was just a matter of adding lead to the rear of the side tanks and then making sure that the spring was strong enough to handle the weight. Having done this I'm now in the 'more weight is better' camp. Running tests have been the other major activity. I've devised a simple shunting test involving two sidings on South Yard. Three wagons are arranged in one siding and the loco must then shunt them in reverse order into the next door siding at a realistic speed and with zero prodding or tapping and dealing with any coupling or uncoupling foibles along the way. Then repeat with the loco the other way around. For a stricter test... add more wagons. Initial tests with the ballasted loco showed periods of good running but interspersed with too many periods of stalling. I've mentioned issues with the Simpson springs losing their 'spring' before and I suspected the same thing was happening again. It was easy enough to unscrew the keeper, drop out the driving wheels and see that the springs were very close to the top of the bearing cutouts and most likely not doing their job very well. The problem is most likely the sharp 90 degree bend where they go through the frames. Jim Watt has suggested annealing with a match but also warned that they can be annealed too much. I preferred to just do away with the sharp bends completely so the new design is a single piece of 36 SWG phosphor bronse wire shich bears on both axles. It's secured into a short length of 0.3mm bore brass tube because I wanted a clear end point for the soldered joint rather than an uncontrolled amount of solder 'creep' between the wire and the chassis frame. It's also easier to locate the tube up against the frame spacer when soldering... with bits of paper and tin foil strategically placed to stop the solder and heat from straying. The old and new versions of the springy bits... I think that 36 SWG wire is generally regarded as being too much for Simpson springs and mine may be preventing the axles from sitting at the top of the bearings but the new arrangement can be adjusted with more confidence that it will stay put and the pickup is much improved. I must say that I *really* like the keeper plate chassis design - it allows a lot more flexibility for fettling during the final stages of construction. The cost is some extra complexity in design and finding 10 thou of extra space on each side of the chassis. Hopefully I can now move on to other things and the O2 can have a period of running trials before I consider throwing any paint at it. Who knows, it may even be allowed out in public at some point? A pic of the loco with its new smokebox appendages in place. Shame I left the clacks and handrails off when i took this one...
  9. I moved to QCad myself. There is a fully functioning free version. There is also a paid version with more bells and whistles. Other free options are available. I thought there was a pinned topic comparing CAD tools on here but maybe I imagined that?
  10. In case the terminology is not clear outside of this island... the 'six foot' is the space between double tracks (between adjacent rails, not track centre lines). The 'four foot' is the space between the running rails of a track. They are not exact measurements... the four foot one being particularly inexact. And then there is Brunel's broad gauge.
  11. Hi, you should probably ask in an 'N' gauge forum to reach those with more up to date knowledge of Peco track but let's not worry about that just now. There are a couple of issues with tight radii... 1. They don't look very much like the real thing (unless you are modelling a dockside or industrial scene). There are exceptions but most rural railways had plenty of space so tended not to need to resort to tight radii within station limits. Some were lightly built (often the later ones built under light railway orders) and followed the contours closely so their running lines could be somewhat twisty and limited to low speeds. 2. They do create clearance issues - bogie coaches and long locos can foul bridges and platforms, both at the ends (outside the curve) and in the centre (inside the curve). Increasing clearances on bridges etc is probably not a big issue but definitely avoid tightly curved platforms because otherwise your passengers will need to be olympic athletes to jump the gap. The clearance issues extend to rolling stock too with compromises needed to allow bogies to swing, bigger gaps between vehicles etc. In many cases the compromises needed to allow stock to run on tight curves will be 'baked in' to RTR stock already but I suspect that some of the more recent RTR stuff may not work on 9 inch radius Settrack curves - I'm thinking mainly of main line tender locos though but it would be worth checking things like 2-6-2 tanks to make sure that the pony trucks can clear the cylinders on tight radii. FYI, the folks in this forum work to 2mm Finescale (2FS) on a track gauge of 9.42mm. What Peco call Finescale is a different thing - it's still 9mm gauge and I think pluggable into their coarse scale track. Many of us are reformed 'N' gaugers and in many cases we run converted 'N' scale locos and stock so we do know a bit but RTR compatibility with tight radii is not something we are typically experts on. Of course should you wish to convert to the true path then you will find a lot of support here
  12. Hopefully this link will work... Every now and again something interesting turns up on the 'Nostalgic Hayle' Facebook group. This is an interesting shot of the weighbridge showing just how close the point switch blades were. More interesting still... the deck was still mixed gauge. No date posted with the pic but the Steam Packet Inn in the background makes it mid 60s or earlier. The weighbridge deck must have been replaced after this because it only had two rails when I saw it... which was before it was removed and reconstructed further along North Quay. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1389945024615259/permalink/2917566338519779/ ... that just showed as a link. This one seems better...
  13. Nice work. Bash is probaby a good verb for a 16 tonner of this era so good luck with that.
  14. Nice job. I have had one in the gloat box for ages. Must track down my stock of round tuits.
  15. I'd suggest taking a pencil rubbing of what you have, perhaps with some extra entry and exit rails temporarily soldered into place. Scan it and then overlay it with track in Templot. Then you'll get to see which arrangement works best. I did this when trying to devise a new crossover to fit some pre-existing curvy track on St Ruth. You don't necessarily need to go the whole hog - just do enough to answer your question. I've tried it without too - 20 years ago I ended up with some very dodgy geometry when trying to 'ad lib' a three way in a tight using space paper templates and hand drawn track
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