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Dimmers usually work by reducing power and voltage. Given that white metal kits usually have fairly large components, then reducing the power and therefore the irons ability to bring the metal up to the right temperature, dimmer control doesn't seem a particularly good idea.

 

Another ruse is to tightly wrap some fairly thick copper wire around  the soldering iron tip and formed into a chisel tip at the end. This acts as a heat/temperature reducer. Again the ability to transfer heat power - and hence temperature - is reduced

 

Frankly, given the low cost of TCU irons (unless you go for one of the premium brands) I can't see why anyone wouldn't use one. I have an Antex 50 watt TCU and regard it as one of my most valuable tools.

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Sorry Tony,

 

I should have mentioned it was Sid's work. As you know, I took pictures of some other wagons and carriages made by him as well. Did I send you those images? If not, I'll burn a disc for you.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

Thanks Tony. My memory tells me that you did let me have copies. I just can't remember where I put them! If they don't turn up, I may ask for another copy at some time but don't put yourself to any trouble now.

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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39 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

Thanks Tony. My memory tells me that you did let me have copies. I just can't remember where I put them! If they don't turn up, I may ask for another copy at some time but don't put yourself to any trouble now.

 

Cheers

 

Tony

I'll burn a disc and pop it in the post, Tony.

 

Would you like some shots of Retford where your work is present as well?

 

I assume I gave you all my shots of Buckingham? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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1 hour ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

Dimmers usually work by reducing power and voltage. Given that white metal kits usually have fairly large components, then reducing the power and therefore the irons ability to bring the metal up to the right temperature, dimmer control doesn't seem a particularly good idea.

 

Another ruse is to tightly wrap some fairly thick copper wire around  the soldering iron tip and formed into a chisel tip at the end. This acts as a heat/temperature reducer. Again the ability to transfer heat power - and hence temperature - is reduced

 

Frankly, given the low cost of TCU irons (unless you go for one of the premium brands) I can't see why anyone wouldn't use one. I have an Antex 50 watt TCU and regard it as one of my most valuable tools.

 

 

Good evening Jol,

 

For the past 24 years, I don't know how I'd have built my locomotives without my Antex temperature-controlled iron. It's a 660TC model, probably no longer available (previously, I'd used an unregulated 25 Watt iron, trusting to luck and a quick getaway!).  

 

It was bought for me as a 50th birthday present by my wife and I now have two. After about 12 years of virtual daily use, the unit packed up (not the iron). I contacted Antex requesting a replacement, explaining what had happened and asked how much it would cost. Would you believe, I was sent one free of charge? Apparently, because I'd endorsed the product in the Right Track DVDs, they thought it was the least they could do. I mentioned I didn't feel entirely comfortable with this (any guarantee had long-since expired), but they insisted. 

 

One now goes to shows with me (or did) and the other resides in my workshop. I have another TCI, one made in Taiwan (the brand name is indecipherable) which I also use. I've tried one of the soldering gadgets with a probe (what are they called?) but couldn't get on with it. It was borrowed from London Road Models, and the fact I couldn't solder successfully with it is in no way the fault of the product.  

 

I have a couple of standard 25 Watt irons for general track/wiring work, and a 75 Watt uncontrolled Weller beast for some O Gauge work (hardly used these days). 

 

Glowing bulbs in series seems a bit old-fashioned, even to a Luddite like me! 

 

It's been said many times on here that soldering is surely the most-important skill to acquire in railway modelling (if you're building things in metal). Master soldering, and the making-things-in-metal world is your (the generic 'your') oyster. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony.  

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Thanks for the help people on here gave me with planning No.9 a few days ago. It gave me what I needed to tackle the conversion of Hornby’s Miles Beevor to Union of South Africa. The crest were ordered from Fox on Monday and arrived on Tuesday - that’s service!

 

Here is the result. The crest works very well with just the thickness of the transfer.

 

DEDC399E-B36D-4013-98E8-D0DA52E134A4.jpeg.7b16ba6c21263e8a90d30b52afed6052.jpeg

 

I had to swap tenders around a bit, with this one coming from No.13. As a result No.13 has been backdated to ‘51 to ‘55 when she carried a non corridor tender and still had the NZ crest. So Fox provided that crest at the same time which conveniently covered the works plate which shouldn’t have been there! Keep up there at the back!

 

42EA133F-4C26-4445-A219-247F1A1E091C.jpeg.365d01b7f58f82da8defd9b288e24f58.jpeg

 

Finally a video of No.9 on the 1957 Lizzie which is what I wanted her for.

 


Andy

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

I've tried one of the soldering gadgets with a probe (what are they called?) but couldn't get on with it. It was borrowed from London Road Models, and the fact I couldn't solder successfully with it is in no way the fault of the product.  

 

Would that be a Resistance Soldering Unit? Horses for courses really, I use one for soldering finescale 2mm bodies and chassis, the heat stays local so the rest of the thing doesn't fall apart again. I don't use them for 4mm though, preferring to stick to a 50w iron for brass, and 25w through a "glowing bulb" for whifemetal. The RSU does come into it's own for fitting small parts though, things like lamp irons etc. as you can hold the part in place with the probe, hit the pedal and once the solder has flowed continue to hold the part in place until it has cooled.

 

Nigel L

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Glowing bulbs in series seems a bit old-fashioned, even to a Luddite like me! 

True, but I've been using that method for forty odd years since I built my first kit. There are probably much more sophisticated ways now, but I've got used to it, so why change it?

 

Nigel L

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4 hours ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

Dimmers usually work by reducing power and voltage. Given that white metal kits usually have fairly large components, then reducing the power and therefore the irons ability to bring the metal up to the right temperature, dimmer control doesn't seem a particularly good idea.

 

Another ruse is to tightly wrap some fairly thick copper wire around  the soldering iron tip and formed into a chisel tip at the end. This acts as a heat/temperature reducer. Again the ability to transfer heat power - and hence temperature - is reduced

 

Frankly, given the low cost of TCU irons (unless you go for one of the premium brands) I can't see why anyone wouldn't use one. I have an Antex 50 watt TCU and regard it as one of my most valuable tools.

 

I used a dimmer switch to solder white metal  for years until I got an Antex 60W TCI one Xmas. I never had  any problems using the former method but the latter is much better!

 

ArthurK

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10 hours ago, gr.king said:

For safe and successful soldering of white metal, without excessive punishment of the wallet, never underestimate the value of a basic 25 watt iron wired (competently) through a safely boxed lighting dimmer switch. I've never had any trouble using exactly that. You can try out the settings on some scrap whitemetal, and mark the dial, so that you are never in any doubt about how much "oomph" is needed for effective solder flow without fear of melting the white metal if you dwell, on small and large pieces - I find the best settings depend on how much metal there is to act as a heat sink.

I agree with Graeme that the use of a light dimmer switch works well.

 

My soldering journey with whitemetal (w/m) began about 1992 when I was turning a normal temp iron on and off and soldering w/m either in the warming up cycle or the cooling down cycle. This method is frought with danger though as I managed to melt a hole in the side of DJH Black 5 firebox which I was building for a mate. Needless to say w/m is also quite forgiving because its easy to fill the hole with solder and then clean it up (I actually have that loco now and it runs well and looks good). But it did work generally. In the mid 1990s I decided to try the light dimmer switch arrangement as I think I read this somewhere. I simply mounted the switch in a small purpose made wooden box and still use it today. If the w/m is large chunks I simply turn the temp up somewhat. I understand that the power is significantly diminished as there is a square root relationship. However it works for me. I have a 50W iron which I use for larger brass parts.

 

I do however have a temp controlled unit which I bought a few years ago at a local exhibition and will need to use it soon as the 25W iron I use with the dimmer switch is on its last legs as the tip is quite corroded and reduced in diameter above the tip and can't now be changed. I also have a RSU bought second-hand which may well get tried out eventually as I have a batch of brass horseboxes to build with lots of fine strapping overlays. Although to date I've successfully done those with the 25 W iron and lower melting point solder, eg 145 or 160.

 

I think one of the secrets to soldering is using lower melting point solders as I use the 145 or 160 for most brass work now.

 

Its hard for me to remember though that the w/m locos I built in the 70s and 80s are still glued together! Must remember that if I decide to repaint any as they'll fall apart if I strip them!

 

Andrew

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2 hours ago, thegreenhowards said:

Thanks for the help people on here gave me with planning No.9 a few days ago. It gave me what I needed to tackle the conversion of Hornby’s Miles Beevor to Union of South Africa. The crest were ordered from Fox on Monday and arrived on Tuesday - that’s service!

 

Here is the result. The crest works very well with just the thickness of the transfer.

 

DEDC399E-B36D-4013-98E8-D0DA52E134A4.jpeg.7b16ba6c21263e8a90d30b52afed6052.jpeg

 

I had to swap tenders around a bit, with this one coming from No.13. As a result No.13 has been backdated to ‘51 to ‘55 when she carried a non corridor tender and still had the NZ crest. So Fox provided that crest at the same time which conveniently covered the works plate which shouldn’t have been there! Keep up there at the back!

 

42EA133F-4C26-4445-A219-247F1A1E091C.jpeg.365d01b7f58f82da8defd9b288e24f58.jpeg

 

Finally a video of No.9 on the 1957 Lizzie which is what I wanted her for.

 


Andy

 

 

Don't forget to paint the eaves Andy, otherwise you won't get into the black roof gang.

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13 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

 

 

Good evening Jol,

 

For the past 24 years, I don't know how I'd have built my locomotives without my Antex temperature-controlled iron. It's a 660TC model, probably no longer available (previously, I'd used an unregulated 25 Watt iron, trusting to luck and a quick getaway!).  

 

It was bought for me as a 50th birthday present by my wife and I now have two. After about 12 years of virtual daily use, the unit packed up (not the iron). I contacted Antex requesting a replacement, explaining what had happened and asked how much it would cost. Would you believe, I was sent one free of charge? Apparently, because I'd endorsed the product in the Right Track DVDs, they thought it was the least they could do. I mentioned I didn't feel entirely comfortable with this (any guarantee had long-since expired), but they insisted. 

 

One now goes to shows with me (or did) and the other resides in my workshop. I have another TCI, one made in Taiwan (the brand name is indecipherable) which I also use. I've tried one of the soldering gadgets with a probe (what are they called?) but couldn't get on with it. It was borrowed from London Road Models, and the fact I couldn't solder successfully with it is in no way the fault of the product.  

 

I have a couple of standard 25 Watt irons for general track/wiring work, and a 75 Watt uncontrolled Weller beast for some O Gauge work (hardly used these days). 

 

Glowing bulbs in series seems a bit old-fashioned, even to a Luddite like me! 

 

It's been said many times on here that soldering is surely the most-important skill to acquire in railway modelling (if you're building things in metal). Master soldering, and the making-things-in-metal world is your (the generic 'your') oyster. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony.  

 

9 hours ago, Woodcock29 said:

I agree with Graeme that the use of a light dimmer switch works well.

 

My soldering journey with whitemetal (w/m) began about 1992 when I was turning a normal temp iron on and off and soldering w/m either in the warming up cycle or the cooling down cycle. This method is frought with danger though as I managed to melt a hole in the side of DJH Black 5 firebox which I was building for a mate. Needless to say w/m is also quite forgiving because its easy to fill the hole with solder and then clean it up (I actually have that loco now and it runs well and looks good). But it did work generally. In the mid 1990s I decided to try the light dimmer switch arrangement as I think I read this somewhere. I simply mounted the switch in a small purpose made wooden box and still use it today. If the w/m is large chunks I simply turn the temp up somewhat. I understand that the power is significantly diminished as there is a square root relationship. However it works for me. I have a 50W iron which I use for larger brass parts.

 

I do however have a temp controlled unit which I bought a few years ago at a local exhibition and will need to use it soon as the 25W iron I use with the dimmer switch is on its last legs as the tip is quite corroded and reduced in diameter above the tip and can't now be changed. I also have a RSU bought second-hand which may well get tried out eventually as I have a batch of brass horseboxes to build with lots of fine strapping overlays. Although to date I've successfully done those with the 25 W iron and lower melting point solder, eg 145 or 160.

 

I think one of the secrets to soldering is using lower melting point solders as I use the 145 or 160 for most brass work now.

 

Its hard for me to remember though that the w/m locos I built in the 70s and 80s are still glued together! Must remember that if I decide to repaint any as they'll fall apart if I strip them!

 

Andrew

 

 I commend the following video to those who want to understand how to use a RSU.

 

www.scaleforum.org/demonstrators/david brandreth-resistance soldering/ 

 

In recent posts two S words have appeared in relation to soldering, "skill" and "secrets".  No wonder some people get put off. I think we should describe soldering as nothing more than a simple process with some readily  understood rules, which if followed, will result in success. Put simply, "mechanical" cleanliness, a suitable flux and solder for the job, a suitable soldering iron (temperature and power ). What else, not much I can think of. 

 

The need for these simple rules may need explaining for some, e.g. what is a suitable soldering iron and why.  There is no shortage of information on the internet and from the kit suppliers, who understand that their customers need to know how to solder, to succeed and enjoy building their products.

 

 

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Jol is quite right. There is no great mystery to soldering.

 

One of the nicest bits of being a tutor at Missenden is when you get somebody who has really struggled with soldering, sit with them for a couple of minutes and see the fog lift from their eyes.

 

If you have the basics right, enough heat, the right flux and solder and some clean metal, I would be amazed if there is anybody reading this who can't learn how to solder.

 

You can develop skills in terms of learning just how much solder you need, where to put the iron to get the best results, how to work out the best order to put bits together and how to hold things while you solder them but that comes with practice.

 

Perhaps one thing that might put people off is if somebody wants to know the right sort of iron, flux and solder to use. There is a huge amount of conflicting advice. I know people who swear by certain things and people who say that the same things shouldn't be touched.

 

My soldering was transformed when I got a temperature controlled iron. Initially a cheap Maplins one, when that failed I splashed out on a very expensive ERSA one and would say it was worth every penny. Great temperature control and 150watts will do any soldering job I have asked it to.

 

Yet others manage to produce great work without such tools.

 

So I think the sheer volume of information given out about soldering and the number of different ways of doing it just adds to the mystique of soldering as a black art but it is really very simple. Heat, clean, flux and solder!

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14 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

I'll burn a disc and pop it in the post, Tony.

 

Would you like some shots of Retford where your work is present as well?

 

I assume I gave you all my shots of Buckingham? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

That is a kind offer Tony but there is no need. I photographed things I did on Retford and I do have a disc with your Buckingham photos. Apart from the boiler wagon, I can look at the Sid Stubbs wagons and carriages whenever I want to, so photos are not really needed.

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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13 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

 

 

13 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

You have two wives?!?!? Does Mo know about this?

'It was bought for me as a 50th birthday present by my wife and I now have two.'

 

English has a wonderful capacity for misinterpretation - often in a most-humorous way. 

 

In future I'll have to be less-economic....... 'It was bought for me as a 50th birthday present by my wife and I now have two'; that's two temperature-controlled soldering stations, I mean - not two wives. I wish to make that point quite clear because I've no intention of introducing ambiguity into my writing. If I do, it leads to misunderstanding and potential conflict, which I have no wish to engender. It's vital that I point this out because there'll always be some bright spark who'll interpret what I write in a manner not at all in the way I wished to express. As long as that's understood.

 

The problem is my posts would be interminably long! 

 

Regards,

 

Tony.  

 

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Indeed! And I hope that you take my post in the manner in which it was intended (I think you do!), ie to highlight a source of humour rather than pick fault. It certainly brought a smile to my face when I initially read it.

Edited by LNER4479
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13 hours ago, thegreenhowards said:

Thanks for the help people on here gave me with planning No.9 a few days ago. It gave me what I needed to tackle the conversion of Hornby’s Miles Beevor to Union of South Africa. The crest were ordered from Fox on Monday and arrived on Tuesday - that’s service!

 

Here is the result. The crest works very well with just the thickness of the transfer.

 

DEDC399E-B36D-4013-98E8-D0DA52E134A4.jpeg.7b16ba6c21263e8a90d30b52afed6052.jpeg

 

I had to swap tenders around a bit, with this one coming from No.13. As a result No.13 has been backdated to ‘51 to ‘55 when she carried a non corridor tender and still had the NZ crest. So Fox provided that crest at the same time which conveniently covered the works plate which shouldn’t have been there! Keep up there at the back!

 

42EA133F-4C26-4445-A219-247F1A1E091C.jpeg.365d01b7f58f82da8defd9b288e24f58.jpeg

 

Finally a video of No.9 on the 1957 Lizzie which is what I wanted her for.

 


Andy

Excellent Andy,

 

Did you fit a different-style whistle to number 13? It had a NZR one, not a chime. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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1 minute ago, LNER4479 said:

Indeed! And I hope that you take my post in the manner in which it was intended (I think you do!), ie to highlight a source of humour rather than pick fault. It certainly brought a smile to my face when I initially read it.

Exactly as you observe, Graham,

 

Would that more saw the humorous, non-picking fault intentions in many posts.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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25 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Rooting through the Midland Railway (and its successors) model railway images, I came across Chee Tor, late of the Manchester MRS.

Surely one of the finest model railways ever made (in any scale or gauge)? It's 2mm FS if anyone were not sure. 

 

I will 100% agree with that statement - with the caveat that I can only judge layouts I have seen first hand - but it is a close-run thing with Copenhagen Fields.  These are certainly two of the very best "railways in the landscape" (but in very different landscapes!) and are the best demonstrations of where railway modellers create works of art, not just a model of a railway.

I once spent about 3 hours at the 1993 Wigan Show and probably spent half that watching Chee Tor, I just had to keep going back for another viewing.

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10 minutes ago, Northmoor said:

I will 100% agree with that statement - with the caveat that I can only judge layouts I have seen first hand - but it is a close-run thing with Copenhagen Fields.  These are certainly two of the very best "railways in the landscape" (but in very different landscapes!) and are the best demonstrations of where railway modellers create works of art, not just a model of a railway.

I once spent about 3 hours at the 1993 Wigan Show and probably spent half that watching Chee Tor, I just had to keep going back for another viewing.

Northmoor,

I agree whole heartedly with your comments, but would had a third "Totnes" .

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1 hour ago, CUTLER2579 said:

Northmoor,

I agree whole heartedly with your comments, but would had a third "Totnes" .

 

I very much agree but feel Chiltern Green has to be added to this list and perhaps Chipping Norton.

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4 hours ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

 

In recent posts two S words have appeared in relation to soldering, "skill" and "secrets".  No wonder some people get put off. I think we should describe soldering as nothing more than a simple process with some readily  understood rules, which if followed, will result in success. Put simply, "mechanical" cleanliness, a suitable flux and solder for the job, a suitable soldering iron (temperature and power ). What else, not much I can think of. 

Admittedly poor use of the word 'secret' by me. Probably could have said the 'key to....

 

Andrew

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2 hours ago, Anglian said:

 

I very much agree but feel Chiltern Green has to be added to this list and perhaps Chipping Norton.

I agree as well,

 

Though I have no photographs of Chiltern Green nor Chipping Norton in my collection to show on here. 

 

Neither do I have shots of Gransmoor Castle; the forerunner of Chee Tor from Manchester. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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