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3 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Am I so really poor at expressing myself, Tony?

 

Perhaps I'd better give up posting anything else! 

 

If I'd have said that any gearboxes (not just HL ones) are not complex at all, nor require any level of skill to assemble them so that they're super sweet, what would the reaction have been, I wonder? My comments would have been disingenuous in the extreme. 

 

As for 'mucking about', have you never had to do that with any of your modelling? I do it all the time!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

It could just as easily be me misinterpreting your words Tony. I can be very good at that.

 

I do huge amounts of mucking about. If I ever got on "Mastermind", my specialist subject would have to be "Mucking about on a modellers workbench since 1976".

 

One thing I am superb at is not using my time effectively!

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Well with all this discussion regarding HL boxes, I did wonder how long it would be before my ugly mug appeared on the discussion.

 

I made that video a while back, and there's a fair bit of waffle on my behalf, I admit. I thought Chris' product was excellent so I offered him the video to try and show that it was an easy build.

 

I also made the video during the very early stages of making models - the point being, I felt comfortable enough to film myself making one with relatively little experience.

 

How long does it take to make a HL box? I have literally no idea. I've never timed myself. I find making the 'mechanics' of the loco quite pleasing, especially when it runs silky smooth. All personal preferance, there is, in my view no right or wrong way to approach this hobby. 

 

Having said that I would say anyone could have a go at an HL box, they aren't too much money, and you might enjoy it - why not have a try?

 

With regards to cutting the shafts, I would probably use a rotary tool, with the stock held in a vice.

 

Edit - I would also add that I have exclusively used HL boxes on all my builds. I see no reason to change, so, Tony I can understand your preferance for DJH boxes. 6 to one and all that jazz...

Edited by grob1234
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1 hour ago, micklner said:

Not a problem , I have a LNER N8 pending at the moment.

 

edit

I will have a look at the video and see if there any others tips to mention in due course.

Re the HL video build , all good tips,  just a couple of minor differences in how I do the assembly in the order listed as  in the video

 

Removing etches . I always use a sharp Stanley knife, I have had Swan Morton blades break through the mounting hole where they fit onto on the handle when trying to cutting metal, not recomended.

 

I personally cut the steel rod in a small vice with a cutting disc and a Dremel drill , make small cuts ensure the steel is cool ,then another small cut and continue till cut through. Nevr let the metal overheat.

 

Dont burn yourself when soldering, in this case hold the metal onto a soldering block with a wood cocktail stick . I dont like pain !!

 

I dont like the Lego brick idea for checking corners , always only use a good quality set square. There is no need to check the inside of the corner , the outside will be the same angle !!.

 

Use a scrawker to ease the folding joints before bending of any kit  etches. Cut along the etched  line until you see a faint witness line/mark  on the other plain side of the metal. A much easier bend can then be done, and the bend will close up better too.

 

Not sure if he soldered the corners on the inside of the etch after folding, before further assembly. A must do practise.

 

I fit the motor to the box , the attach the worm to the shaft . The worm should be sliding fit on the shaft , securing with superglue. before gluing dont guess the gap ,centre the worm over the top gear , ensure there is running clearance between the gear and worm then glue the worm in position.

 

cheers.

 

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Dave John said:

I suppose there is a lot of difference between different peoples requirements. Personally I like messing about and making things myself. One of the useful bits of the HL range are the drive extenders.

I mean, who would try driving the front axle by using a drive extender almost vertically to put the motor up into the boiler leaving daylight underneath and still allowing proper compensation at the rear? Daft idea that ..... 

 

791484355_670p54.JPG.efa05f5d933ac6855cc35ef90b1840ec.JPG

 

Caley Coaches 670?

 

Very intriguing prototype.

 

http://www.caleycoaches.co.uk/class670.php

 

I've got a few of the coaches to build. Not considered any CR locomotives yet.

 

 

 

Jason

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3 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Good afternoon Frank,

 

what in the name of all that is holy, is a Parkside GN P (I can't say the P word) van? It sounds 'orrible'.

Sorry my mistake the kit if from Chivers not Parkside. 

 

This is a restored example of the prototype: https://www.nnrailway.co.uk/portfolio-items/lner-4-wheel-pigeon-van-byp6843/

 

Any advice on how to improve on the basic kit would be appreciated.

 

Frank

 

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16 minutes ago, Chuffer Davies said:

Sorry my mistake the kit if from Chivers not Parkside. 

 

This is a restored example of the prototype: https://www.nnrailway.co.uk/portfolio-items/lner-4-wheel-pigeon-van-byp6843/

 

Any advice on how to improve on the basic kit would be appreciated.

 

Frank

 

 

I think there has been some discussion on the kit in the Chivers thread in the Small Suppliers section. Before we started discussing other things. Anything of use there?

 

 

 

 

Jason

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3 hours ago, cctransuk said:

 

The origin of this part of the thread related to hardened steel idler shafts in HL gearboxes - there is no danger of overheating a piece of plain shafting.

 

 

 

 

John Isherwood.

 

Thanks, john - my mistake.

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With the topic regarding gearboxes being current, perhaps the following examples might be of interest...........

 

I'm saying nothing contentious (I hope), but all I'll state is that I've used all of those illustrated below with success. 

 

1805739621_01Cometsimplegearmount.jpg.c11df4a8fd99f3e4e8dad2c920581851.jpg

 

Comet's simple, single-stage drive. Easy to put together and ideal for small locos. 

 

49111018_02two-stageCometbox.jpg.1b11370a67292b35447eb16a353474a5.jpg

 

The two-stage version.................

 

I don't usually fix flywheels to my motors, but this assembly came from the collection of a deceased modeller.

 

For some reason (why, I don't know) I find these 'boxes run sweeter (in some cases, but not all) if the intermediate gearwheel is not secured to its lay-shaft by a grubscew, but just allowed to rotate freely. That being the case, two scrap brass 'cheeks', soldered to the frames, prevent the lay-shaft from slipping out. 

 

1063953863_03Comettwo-stagebox.jpg.3484cfe88377c7bfe833cc7dbe995f72.jpg

 

A Comet two-stage 'box made-up and Mashima motor installed in a Millholme H16. 

 

I've never found the need to fix the frontplate to the 'box. 

 

In this case, the intermediate gearwheel was fixed to the lay-shaft by a grubscrew.

 

1678586208_04Branchlinessimplegearmount.jpg.a886d2b7189008650b3654b5bf3e792f.jpg

 

Branchlines also makes a simple, single gear mount. I've used these with success. 

 

134986749_05Branchlinesmulti-box.jpg.846e812c78318955a92b189d940fae37.jpg

 

Branchlines' multi-boxes are probably better for bigger locos (at least those accommodating a hefty motor). This one's installed in a DJH 'Semi' I built. 

 

Again, this assembly came from a deceased's estate, and I initially tried it (as seen here). However, it was not too well-assembled, resulting in the Mashima motor giving up (it looks a bit tatty in this shot). I had to strip the chassis down (ugh!), rebuild the gearbox and fit a new Mashima motor. After that, it just romped away (as anyone who has seen Shap will testify - I hope). 

 

314717471_06CometandDJHboxes.jpg.5616a0ed3801a79e9554cbde4717152d.jpg

 

A comparison  between a DJH AM10 (GB2) assembly (in a B2) and a Comet two-stage 'box (in a B17). Both run superbly. The DJH one was ready-made (but more expensive). For some reason, I fitted the frontplate to the Comet 'box this time. 

 

152437226_07Markitsbox.jpg.86d7fabb315f7043fbfea24ea133cb2a.jpg

 

913774957_08Markitsbox.jpg.7075942bf958bfddae11c4073e0a23ff.jpg

 

A Markits two-stage 'box. With the fattest and longest Mashima available for 4mm, the combo is ideal for a V2.

 

Other types later.....................

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chuffer Davies said:

Sorry my mistake the kit if from Chivers not Parkside. 

 

This is a restored example of the prototype: https://www.nnrailway.co.uk/portfolio-items/lner-4-wheel-pigeon-van-byp6843/

 

Any advice on how to improve on the basic kit would be appreciated.

 

Frank

 

 

Good evening Frank,

 

Got you, the Chivers LNER dia 120 BY. I'm slightly disappointed, I thought you may have discovered a new GNR NPC type, such as a hound van.

 

Two things to consider, the dia 120 BY were built for the former Great Eastern section, they wouldn't have been seen pottering around the moors above Bradford.  A further five, to a different diagram, were built for the southern area or the GN mainline, a tad more plausible but they differed considerably from your kit.

 

A second thing to consider, beyond historical accuracy. Many different  manufacturers have produced kits of these annoying little vans over the years, none have succeeded in producing an accurate one. Unfortunately, the Chiverse kit is no exception. You would end up with, a typically beautifully crafted sprung chassis, carrying an inaccurate body, of a prototype unlikely to be seen in the vicinity of Clayton, unless kidnapped by local sheep farmers. Sheep van anybody?

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I can't remember who's make of gearbox it was, which is probably a good thing, as this story doesn't end well.

 

Quite a few years ago, I went over to visit Roy Jackson, who was trying out a gearbox that he hadn't used before. It was a two stage box with a steel worm and a brass intermediate and final gear.

 

The loco was a Pacific and it was being tried out on a heavy train.

 

"Come and have a look at this", he said and I watched the loco going round ever so smoothly and quietly. On the face of it a total success.

 

"Now look closely at the track".

 

There was a very thin but noticeable trail of gold all the way around the layout, between the rails.

 

He picked up the loco and turned it over to show me the teeth on the brass gears, which were already down to thin stumps.

 

The trail round the layout was the dust from the rapidly wearing brass gears as it went round.

 

Needless to say it came out and was replaced.   

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1 hour ago, Headstock said:

 

Good evening Frank,

 

Got you, the Chivers LNER dia 120 BY. I'm slightly disappointed, I thought you may have discovered a new GNR NPC type, such as a hound van.

 

Two things to consider, the dia 120 BY were built for the former Great Eastern section, they wouldn't have been seen pottering around the moors above Bradford.  A further five, to a different diagram, were built for the southern area or the GN mainline, a tad more plausible but they differed considerably from your kit.

 

A second thing to consider, beyond historical accuracy. Many different  manufacturers have produced kits of these annoying little vans over the years, none have succeeded in producing an accurate one. Unfortunately, the Chiverse kit is no exception. You would end up with, a typically beautifully crafted sprung chassis, carrying an inaccurate body, of a prototype unlikely to be seen in the vicinity of Clayton, unless kidnapped by local sheep farmers. Sheep van anybody?

Hi Andrew

 

Even if it was loaded with prize swedes from Norfolk  for Yorkshire ?

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44 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

I can't remember who's make of gearbox it was, which is probably a good thing, as this story doesn't end well.

 

Quite a few years ago, I went over to visit Roy Jackson, who was trying out a gearbox that he hadn't used before. It was a two stage box with a steel worm and a brass intermediate and final gear.

 

The loco was a Pacific and it was being tried out on a heavy train.

 

"Come and have a look at this", he said and I watched the loco going round ever so smoothly and quietly. On the face of it a total success.

 

"Now look closely at the track".

 

There was a very thin but noticeable trail of gold all the way around the layout, between the rails.

 

He picked up the loco and turned it over to show me the teeth on the brass gears, which were already down to thin stumps.

 

The trail round the layout was the dust from the rapidly wearing brass gears as it went round.

 

Needless to say it came out and was replaced.   

Hi Tony,

We had the identical situation when we first exhibited Hungerford at the host club's exhibition - Wakefield.  At the time all the large locomotives on the layout (King, Castles, 28xx, etc.) had been built by the then late Mike Bradley and were fitted with X05 style motors and Romford(?) gears (steel worm and brass pinion).  The trains on Hungerford comprise heavy kit built vehicles  and are of prototype length.  The layout performed well on the Friday night but part way through Saturday morning Mike's locomotives started failing with stripped gears and by the afternoon we had run out of spares.  In sheer desperation I purchased half a dozen Portescap units (Ouch!)  and through most of Saturday night I replaced the gears in the failed locomotives.  This included having to file out any milled brass frames to create a large enough opening to accept the gear boxes.   We got through Sunday without further incident but after the show I commenced on a programme of work to replace the Romford gears from the remainder of Mike's locomotives.  In several cases I completely replaced the chassis with Perseverance kits.   These locomotives have given great service year on year ever since without further incident.  A testament to the quality of the Portescap units.  Its such a shame that the later units make such a dreadful noise.

 

I'm sure the original gears would have given excellent service on the average home layout but under exhibition conditions they couldn't cope.  Not an experience I would ever want to repeat.

 

Frank      

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1 hour ago, Headstock said:

 

Good evening Frank,

 

Got you, the Chivers LNER dia 120 BY. I'm slightly disappointed, I thought you may have discovered a new GNR NPC type, such as a hound van.

 

Two things to consider, the dia 120 BY were built for the former Great Eastern section, they wouldn't have been seen pottering around the moors above Bradford.  A further five, to a different diagram, were built for the southern area or the GN mainline, a tad more plausible but they differed considerably from your kit.

 

A second thing to consider, beyond historical accuracy. Many different  manufacturers have produced kits of these annoying little vans over the years, none have succeeded in producing an accurate one. Unfortunately, the Chiverse kit is no exception. You would end up with, a typically beautifully crafted sprung chassis, carrying an inaccurate body, of a prototype unlikely to be seen in the vicinity of Clayton, unless kidnapped by local sheep farmers. Sheep van anybody?

Thanks Andrew,

 

I'll email you to discuss the inaccuracies of the kit in the hope that they can be corrected.  Whether or not we can then justify running it on Clayton is a different debate.  

 

Frank

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12 minutes ago, Clive Mortimore said:

Hi Andrew

 

Even if it was loaded with prize swedes from Norfolk  for Yorkshire ?

 

Norfolk to Leeds city markets by train would be quite plausible. It would still be miles and miles and a convoluted journey away from 't moors though.

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Some more 'boxes I've used with a little success.................

 

926562994_09Markitsbox.jpg.5067ff7f729a5b72f09168ba9cb77eff.jpg

 

This what a Markits' two-stage 'box looks like, made-up before installation. 

 

One of the advantages of this type of mount (with the fixing points to the outside) is that the motor can be removed without taking the 'box out of the frames. 

 

464597810_10Markitsbox.jpg.89d8975dad53faec64b1c09f962c9b1d.jpg

 

And here's what it was driving (still is). A P2! 

 

No visible drive with the body on here.

 

341632544_11LRMgearmount.jpg.f533265e0bf282df2b58e5532ed57671.jpg

 

London Road Models sell a simple one-stage gear mount to go with its kits. 

 

Here, I've 'under-slung' one to fit into a J6.

 

1603032731_12High-Levelbox.jpg.18802a0e0078b62d837bcaf4d9dc9eea.jpg

 

Last autumn, I bought an ABS L1 from the estate of the late Roy Jackson. 

 

I think it was the same one featured on page 44 of Iain Rice's Whitemetal Locos A Kitbuilder's Guide, Wild Swan, 1989. In that, it's credited as being built by Geoff Kent. Naturally, it was in EM, and had an XO4-style open-framed motor. It didn't work! I 'took pity' on it, re-gauged it to OO (by merely removing spacing washers and replacing the axles) and fitted a High-Level /Mashima combo to produce a really sweet-running loco. 

 

977188374_ABSL101.jpg.5d34eed96ec12062bd135a65a153c1d8.jpg

 

This is why I took pity on it! Though it shares the same number as the one featured on Dunwich, could it possibly be the same one? How could the body have got into this state?

 

No matter, I repainted it and now is a regular runner on LB.

 

It had the wrong number, anyway - 67770 was a contract-built example with an open footplate at the front and plate steps. Repainted, it's now representative of a Darlington-built one.  

 

323503610_13DJHboxes.jpg.e527a62dd44af7ff6e5e51d662f04902.jpg

 

Two DJH Thompson Pacific chassis, the top for an A2/3 and the bottom for an A2/2. The A2/3 has an AM9 'box (GB1) and the A2/2 a GB4 'box, driven by a D13 motor. 

 

Note how I've nibbled away part of the gearbox frames to achieve an easy fit into the respective bodies (this doesn't affect the performance at all). Note also the 'anchor' on the top chassis, needed to prevent the drive clattering up inside the body under load. 

 

2036792845_14BackwoodsMiniaturesbox.jpg.9a97919c50a87b8b078a3bb2f8d9b770.jpg

 

Backwards Miniatures used to sell little gearboxes (sold under the name 'Porter's Cap', I think). They were really sweet, though only really suitable for powering smaller locos - in this case, a Coopercraft B12/3. 

 

1010153151_15Portescap.jpg.e7857128f376f38460c4cc6e1b92407f.jpg

 

The true 'Rolls-Royce' of loco drives? What do Portescaps go for these days?  

 

 

Edited by Tony Wright
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7 hours ago, cctransuk said:

 

 

 

I can't imagine that cutting hardened steel rod with even 'chunky' pliers can do the pliers much good!

 

To every problem there are at least two solutions - the proper way and a bodge. Money spent on tools and equipment is the best investment you can make - it'll save you time, worry and injury, and result in a far better outcome.

 

John Isherwood.

 

I think they are CK from when it was a respectable brand (not seen them in a while). I bought them probably around mid 1990s when I was building a layout with overhead lines and wanted to do a lot of cutting of piano wire. Seems to have survived so far :)

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59 minutes ago, Chuffer Davies said:

Hi Tony,

We had the identical situation when we first exhibited Hungerford at the host club's exhibition - Wakefield.  At the time all the large locomotives on the layout (King, Castles, 28xx, etc.) had been built by the then late Mike Bradley and were fitted with X05 style motors and Romford(?) gears (steel worm and brass pinion).  The trains on Hungerford comprise heavy kit built vehicles  and are of prototype length.  The layout performed well on the Friday night but part way through Saturday morning Mike's locomotives started failing with stripped gears and by the afternoon we had run out of spares.  In sheer desperation I purchased half a dozen Portescap units (Ouch!)  and through most of Saturday night I replaced the gears in the failed locomotives.  This included having to file out any milled brass frames to create a large enough opening to accept the gear boxes.   We got through Sunday without further incident but after the show I commenced on a programme of work to replace the Romford gears from the remainder of Mike's locomotives.  In several cases I completely replaced the chassis with Perseverance kits.   These locomotives have given great service year on year ever since without further incident.  A testament to the quality of the Portescap units.  Its such a shame that the later units make such a dreadful noise.

 

I'm sure the original gears would have given excellent service on the average home layout but under exhibition conditions they couldn't cope.  Not an experience I would ever want to repeat.

 

Frank      

 

The joys of exhibiting!

 

I bet it felt good though when you turned up Sunday morning with a bunch of good runners to get you through the day.

 

When I first got involved with exhibitions and EM with a now deceased friend called Tony Johnson, that also involved a bit of late night work on the Saturday.  Our "party piece" to show how easy EM is involved buying a RTR loco on the Saturday, very often a cheap one from the club second hand stall, then we would take a tool kit back to the hotel or home and turn up Sunday with it converted to EM, perhaps renumbered, screw couplings fitted and maybe weathered.

 

We didn't quite have the same pressure on us that you must have had!   

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49 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

 

 

1010153151_15Portescap.jpg.e7857128f376f38460c4cc6e1b92407f.jpg

 

The true 'Rolls-Royce' of loco drives? What do Portescaps go for these days?  

 

 

I thi k that the 4mm ones were £45 and the 7mm ones £75. I've just seen a 7mm one advertised on the Guild forum for £110.  As an aside motor gearboxes were one one of the few items that used to disappear from the Guild Bring and Buy stall and we had to build some covered display cases for such items.

 

Jamie

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On 03/09/2020 at 07:58, Tony Wright said:

Many thanks Adam (is '88' the year of your birth?). 

 

I'm glad I didn't drop too much of a blooper! 

 

You're right; this is a model railway thread and details on various bits of models should take precedence. However, English is also very important and it seems to me that 'standards' are continuously being eroded across the whole media thingy. 

 

It's my belief that general standards of spoken/written English have never been universally-good (is that a correct use of a hyphen?). I only need to look back over my years in teaching to recall letters from some parents (who were educated long before my 'training') to tell that, but the 'professional' media going back some 40/50 years (and more) was usually correct - the radio, telly, newspapers and so on. Not now.

 

Anyway, a delight to correspond. I don't mind being picked up where I get my English usage incorrect (I deserve to be), but it remains the case that some correspondents are 'sensitive' if their (poor) use of English is commented on.

 

Best draw a line..................?

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

Tony,

 

The reason for '88' is far more prosaic.  When I signed up for RMWeb the name Adam had already been taken so I just tapped a couple of times on the keyboard at random to distinguish my handle.  When I was young I knew no other Adams but nearly every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be called Adam nowadays.  Had I been a child of '88 I would have missed out on a number of fascinating steam era railway experiences - going to on holiday to Robin Hood's Bay, luggage in advance, changing at York (seeing the ex-LNER pacifics) and Scarborough.  When I was about three or four years old my mother took a part-time job with Neilsen's market research agency and that involved a lot of travel by local steam-hauled train to the regional office for a briefing and then back to the station for another train ride to wherever she had been sent and the reverse in the afternoon.  There seemed to be several mums doing this as I can recall that the offices had a collection of Dinky and Matchbox toys to keep myself and a few other children out of mischief during the briefing.  It was a formative age and gave me a life-long interest.

 

The line we're drawing may not be straight or continuous but it will do for now.

 

All the best,

 

Adam

Edited by Adam88
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High Level

 

I have built one of their motor bogies to go in a DMU.

 

Runs nicely and even better since I replaced a few pickups with shorted out wheels.

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Regarding gearboxes. I will never forget the smug look on Geoff Brewin's face as he set off his Comet MGB gearbox powered resin bodied Duke of Gloucester on a 1 in 100 slope with eight Comet Mk Is on without the slightest hint of slipping.

 

Sadly, 2 things..... he would not sell them as a kit because the gears were helical and required great care to build and then he went and died before he could really market them properly.

 

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13 hours ago, micklner said:

Re the HL video build , all good tips,  just a couple of minor differences in how I do the assembly in the order listed as  in the video

 

Removing etches . I always use a sharp Stanley knife, I have had Swan Morton blades break through the mounting hole where they fit onto on the handle when trying to cutting metal, not recomended.

 

I personally cut the steel rod in a small vice with a cutting disc and a Dremel drill , make small cuts ensure the steel is cool ,then another small cut and continue till cut through. Nevr let the metal overheat.

 

Dont burn yourself when soldering, in this case hold the metal onto a soldering block with a wood cocktail stick . I dont like pain !!

 

I dont like the Lego brick idea for checking corners , always only use a good quality set square. There is no need to check the inside of the corner , the outside will be the same angle !!.

 

Use a scrawker to ease the folding joints before bending of any kit  etches. Cut along the etched  line until you see a faint witness line/mark  on the other plain side of the metal. A much easier bend can then be done, and the bend will close up better too.

 

Not sure if he soldered the corners on the inside of the etch after folding, before further assembly. A must do practise.

 

I fit the motor to the box , the attach the worm to the shaft . The worm should be sliding fit on the shaft , securing with superglue. before gluing dont guess the gap ,centre the worm over the top gear , ensure there is running clearance between the gear and worm then glue the worm in position.

 

cheers.

 

 

 

 

I find a miniature chisel with the point ground to a narrow angle convenient for removing etches-a very quick.  

An Olfa P450 carpet cutter is ideal for easing folding joints.

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