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Just now, Tony Wright said:

I'm not sure Mike, but it's got a couple of hefty flywheels judging by how it rolls on when the juice is turned off. 

 

Perhaps the builder will tell us.

 

The only 'problem' with its running was the pantographs just fouling the bridge at the south end, even though they were down. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

1 hour ago, Obadiah said:

The model of No13 is powered thus; a NWSL gearbox on two of the axles, connected by a layshaft with two flywheels, and connected by means of a universal joint to a large Mashima motor in one bonnet. The third axle just goes along for the ride.

 

I also have a model of NER Bo-Bo No.5 powered by most of a Bachmann class 25 mechanism.

A lovely day today, Ian,

 

Thanks to you, Terry, David and Sandra for so much fun. 

 

I look forward to seeing what you can do with that damaged ex-GC 4-6-0 and ex-GN J6. 

 

Thanks also for your contributions to CRUK.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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Quill drive in the real thing..  quills also used in Challenger tank drive system. 

 

Lovely locos.. I prefer Number 13 in lined BR steam loco blue... shame it was never used..no need for A1s, A4s etc.

 

Baz

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Tony,

 

Exacty two years ago today I visited your house and took the video of LB I now have on my YouTube Channel. Doesn't time seem to fly by sometimes.

 

Arcvhie

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59 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

I'm not sure Mike, but it's got a couple of hefty flywheels judging by how it rolls on when the juice is turned off. 

 

Perhaps the builder will tell us. Oh, he has done!

 

The only 'problem' with its running was the pantographs just fouling the bridge at the south end, even though they were down. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

It is quite high, should be 13ft 3 1/2in with pantograph down. Minimum wire height was 13ft 8in.

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6 hours ago, Obadiah said:

The model of No13 is powered thus; a NWSL gearbox on two of the axles, connected by a layshaft with two flywheels, and connected by means of a universal joint to a large Mashima motor in one bonnet. The third axle just goes along for the ride.

 

I also have a model of NER Bo-Bo No.5 powered by most of a Bachmann class 25 mechanism.

Mechanism photos and build description, please!

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7 hours ago, Ian Rathbone said:

This is one I painted for Mike many years ago.

 

5B8E44AC-F944-450B-8F98-7779457B93DC.jpeg.7cdc2b212376914dc19334a35361abf2.jpeg

 

I can’t remember how it was powered, perhaps Mike can say. The prototype eventually became BR 26600 after being in store for most of its life.

 

Ian R

 

I think this is one the first ones I built with a Mashima 10x24 and Branchlines gearbox on each outer driving axle, one of the motors is just visible in the nearest side window. The centre axle was unpowered on most of the ones I have built but I did add a chian drive to it in one model.

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12 hours ago, Ian Rathbone said:

This is one I painted for Mike many years ago.

 

5B8E44AC-F944-450B-8F98-7779457B93DC.jpeg.7cdc2b212376914dc19334a35361abf2.jpeg

 

I can’t remember how it was powered, perhaps Mike can say. The prototype eventually became BR 26600 after being in store for most of its life.

 

Ian R

 

 

 

I wonder what it would have been on TOPS?

 

The SR Boosters got 70, a GWR Gas turbine got 80 as an electric.

 

I think it is a very good looking locomotive.

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23 minutes ago, MJI said:

 

 

I wonder what it would have been on TOPS?

 

The SR Boosters got 70, a GWR Gas turbine got 80 as an electric.

 

I think it is a very good looking locomotive.

As they were DC they would have been in the 70-series.  I agree, an absolutely beautiful model.

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No.13 or 26600 and BR livery. I expect that if BR had ever thought to repaint the beastie, going by the precedent of the Woodhead electrics it would have been black, lined red, and maybe as an express type a silver chassis as per EM2's. Now there's a thought, but perhaps one best not dwelt on for too long! The few interior shots of the loco reveal a real health and safety nightmare of exposed what nots.

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26600 really did deserve to be preserved as a reminder of the NER's electrification policy-in fact on every consideration, technical, historical, and uniqueness, it should have been with us today.

At least we have 26500.

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It's a huge pity the loco has not been restored to working order and a preserved line electrified at the relevant voltage,then we could see this unique loco back on the tracks in service.

 

Were these the loco's that were powered at 1,500v dc just like the class 76 & 77 locos that ran on the woodhead route

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Posted (edited)

A 'success' story...............

 

I mentioned I'm now in possession of many 'wrecked' kit-built locos (and a few carriages as well). Yesterday, four went to new homes, with proceeds to CRUK. 

 

Some have been so smashed as to being beyond hope (other than salvaging things like motors/gears), but one only needed a bit of TLC to make it presentable again.

 

This one.........................

 

1876352591_MillholmeQ1.jpg.4d764951c5097d0e5212440e72460b14.jpg

 

A Millholme Q1 in OO. Body damage repairs consisted of little more re-fixing steps and vacuum standpipes. 

 

However, though the mechanism was undamaged (other than, thankfully, the rubbish pick-ups coming away), it was so stiff in its running, despite having the heftiest Portescap I've seen in any 4mm loco. So, this morning, I stripped it down, opened out the holes in the rods, reassembled it, made new pick-ups, cleaned and oiled it. The result, a super-smooth performer! Why do some model-makers accept a 'tight-spot' (or spots), giving the (hopelessly-feeble) excuse of 'It'll run-in'? No, it won't. 

 

The motor is visible in the cab, of course, but matt black and a crew (one each side) will soon disguise this. 

 

A couple of friends are coming over over the weekend, so I'll offer it to them first (I hope they don't fight over it!). Both model the LNER so it could be of interest.

 

If neither is interested, may I invite offers of interest, please? You might wish to, anyway.

 

It's all in a most-worthy cause.

 

 

Edited by Tony Wright
typo error
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19 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

A 'success' story...............

 

I mentioned I'm now in possession of many 'wrecked' kit-built locos (and a few carriages as well). Yesterday, four went to new homes, with proceeds to CRUK. 

 

Some have been so smashed as to being beyond hope (other than salvaging things like motors/gears), but one only needed a bit of TLC to make it presentable again.

 

This one.........................

 

1876352591_MillholmeQ1.jpg.4d764951c5097d0e5212440e72460b14.jpg

 

A Millholme Q1 in OO. Body damage repairs consisted of little more re-fixing steps and vacuum standpipes. 

 

However, though the mechanism was undamaged (other than, thankfully, the rubbish pick-ups coming away), it was so stiff in its running, despite having the heftiest Portescap I've seen in any 4mm loco. So, this morning, I stripped it down, opened out the holes in the rods, reassembled it, made new pick-ups, cleaned and oiled it. The result, a super-smooth performer! Why do some model-makers accept a 'tight-spot' (or spots), giving the (hopelessly-feeble) excuse of 'It'll run-in'? No, it won't. 

 

The motor is visible in the cab, of course, but matt black and a crew (one each side) will soon disguise this. 

 

A couple of friends are coming over over the weekend, so I'll offer it to them first (I hope they don't fight over it!). Both model the LNER so it could be of interest.

 

If neither is interested, may I invite offers of interest, please? You might wish to, anyway.

 

It's all in a most-worthy cause.

 

 

Good Afternoon Tony,

 

If your LNER mates don't go for the loco,  please give me a shout. I would be looking to change into BR guise, which possibly seems a shame.

 

Best Regards,

 

Lee

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2 hours ago, 313201 said:

It's a huge pity the loco has not been restored to working order and a preserved line electrified at the relevant voltage,then we could see this unique loco back on the tracks in service.

 

Were these the loco's that were powered at 1,500v dc just like the class 76 & 77 locos that ran on the Woodhead route

All the NER electrics (apart from the two Quayside shunters and Bo+Bo No.11) were stored after the Newport - Shildon line was dewired. They remained until about 1951, the Bo+Bos were intended to be used on the Woodhead scheme, No.11 having been rebuilt as a banking loco. They always worked on 1500v DC but the intention had been to use 3rd rail in places such as Waverley station - to this end No.13 had shoe junction boxes (identical to the ones on the Quayside shunters) fitted, the shoe beams would have been on the bogies. No.11 survived into the 1960s as 26510/Departmental 100 at Ilford car sheds, never having worked on the MSW. Some of the technology from the Bo+Bos, including the articulated bogies, was perpetuated in the EM1s.

The two Quayside shunters, one of which is the only survivor, were very different and had nothing in common with the mainline locos. They worked on 600v DC, 3rd rail or overhead and used the Tyneside electrified lines to get to and from the depots. They were essentially an American Westinghouse design, built under licence by Brush.

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Afternoon , Tony ,

      Many years ago I built a Bristol Models B.1 . It is very much a kit of it's time , but I don't remember having any real problems with it . It is basically accurate , but benefits from detailing & , like most whitemetal kits , having all the visible edges thinned down . As I remember , the chassis kit had to be ordered separately , & included thick brass frames & Eames valve gear . My model represents no. 61199 as running from York in 1966 , when she was in terrible external condition ( even by York standards !) but she was often turned out for the Red Bank empties & the fitted freight turn to Derby so was probably better then she looked . The model is powered by an old second hand X04 &  runs well but sounds like a Tiger tank !

                                                    Ray .

P1010568a.jpg

P1010570a.jpg

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7 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Of possible interest,

 

A few latest moving shots of Retford and Little Bytham................

 

 

The Retford footage reveals the B17 I fitted EM frames to (now complete), a similar V2 and A2 (the A3 and the A4 are Roy Jackson's work).

 

The Little Bytham footage shows some of my latest locos in action.

 

All images, both static and moving, always reveal any less-than-perfect aspects of models. On Retford, the V2 momentarily 'twitches' (I need to investigate) and on LB, the Black Five makes a 'groan' on passing over a point (its bogie-holding shouldered screw just caught on the point's actuating steel rod, protruding through the tie-bar); since fixed. 

 

Thanks to Howard Smith for editing this footage. 

 

 

 

 Thoroughly enjoyed the video, your mini me made chuckle - as a client of mine got himself scanned and 3D printed by Modelu as Loco Crew (which I've painted).

 

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To add to the exemplary post above, my batting average is probably one or two fold-up gearboxes per year at most (usually when a kit comes into my possession with such, or when a DJH one won't fit) but I also find that the motor mounting holes invariably need opening up, another source of error for the lay-builder (such as I consider myself) and then may need elongation if (as is sometimes the case) the mesh is too slack or too stiff, which in turn is a factor that depends on judgement and experience.

 

A somewhat dejected Barry Ten as he was hoping to be up in a Spitfire this afternoon, but it's been rained off for 5 weeks. We'll try

again in late July.

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7 minutes ago, LNER4479 said:

 

 

Before we drift off onto other topics altogether, I'm responding to the invitation above to comment - but perhaps not exactly as Tony (W) intended. I'm with Tony (Dibateg). I can usually 'do' gearbox assembly, but I always approach it with trepidation ...

 

DSC01423.JPG.9f9decc8cc7efe203c140050402ddc0e.JPG

By sheer fluke - and the real reason for compiling this post, is that this afternoon's job was indeed to put together a motor gearbox, as part of this commission build. And look whose gearbox it is! (supplied by the client so I didn't choose this, although not to say I wouldn't have).

 

DSC01425.JPG.e5c7296f2ce7a5050faf23d7ff3dce1e.JPG

The parts laid out in more detail. It's now 1315pm (ie a few hours ago)

 

Now, what follows I wouldn't normally post, it's 'warts n all', contains lots of 'how not to do it's, features lots of inadequate facilities ... feel free to hoot with laughter if you wish but my point is to try and recreate what Mr Average loco builder is faced with and perhaps how some of the locos that come into Tony's hands might not have the smooth running gearboxes they should have. None of what follows is in any way a criticism of the HL product. It was excellent as always, beautifully engineered, but ...

 

DSC01426.JPG.12f93e5d4682a25a2342fb52f1868ad9.JPG     DSC01427.JPG.0315f916a60a16e6bfff2236b02718b4.JPG

First job is to fit the bearings, facing outwards. They don't fit at first time of asking so a small amount of metal needs to be removed, probably no more that the burr inside the hole from the etching process. Mr Average may well use a round file, as I am. I went VERY careful, no more than a couple of twists in the non-cutting direction at a time until the bearings popped in. Too much metal removal and there'll be slop in the fit and almost impossible to solder up central to the hole, leading to problems later on.

 

DSC01432.JPG.cdf7936ecec5b26dd3e16a4aa5eaa14c.JPG

Very exaggerated, but to illustrate that it's perfectly possible to get these things NOT square and true to the mating surfaces.

 

DSC01433.JPG.b65136b8196b859a8ff6f480e24f37c0.JPG

To minimise risk of the above, both bearings are placed into position, with some scrap etch supporting the end (to avoid soldering up a slight angle in the other direction). First job complete. It's now 1345. You don't have to do this stage with a drop in DJH gearbox.

 

DSC01434.JPG.1b441093d6bf24c7e2d8166fad5dec7d.JPG

Next, fold up the sides to create the U shape housing we're after.

 

DSC01436.JPG.24fc26116591e8fd7a345e7839e41c09.JPG    DSC01439.JPG.513b42c48904c393c7915cd4d231a479.JPG

By eye, it's unlikely we'll get that spot on 90 degrees. Mr Average needs a square to adjust it to get it spot on before introducing solder. Otherwise, the axle won't run true in the bearings and be an obvious source of resistance. It's now 1400. You don't have to do this stage with a drop in DJH gearbox.

 

DSC01440.JPG.b7f50292e096c70742c5e35dd8f47b19.JPG     DSC01441.JPG.8d363b3b5df0d2ba4df79d1ce84989f9.JPG

Next, the axle won't fit in the bearing at first time of asking. More gentle removal of metal, gradually, checking as you go. Eventually, the axle fit and a quick check with the wheels fitted - it all rotates freely and appears square (phew!). To be fair, there is an equivalent task at this stage with the DJH box, as Tony has alluded to. It's now 1405.

 

DSC01442.JPG.c68a06f1ddc708bc67e3929c583fd8e1.JPG   DSC01443.JPG.daa0cf128710745fb6270533e6a0e2e0.JPG   DSC01444.JPG.75d4b379b102ad2ba062d571afe708b8.JPG

Then the worm gear need fitting to the motor shaft. In this case, it's a push fit - not my preference but I was building the gearbox as supplied so no choice. Having scratched my head trying to think of the best way of doing this, I suddenly remembered the old vice so I used that. It's a very tight interference fit so there's no danger of it working loose - once it's on, it's on (so no ability to easily adjust it). To get it pushed on further down the shaft, then perhaps Mr Average might have used a small piece of tube like I did ...

It's now 1425. You don't have to do this stage with a drop in DJH gearbox.

 

DSC01445.JPG.cc57d54ea3b8d20bf1ed207c4f6dd10d.JPG

As you might have already spotted, this is a two-stage gearbox, with an intermediate gear running on lay shaft. A one-stage gearbox is simpler. Nevertheless, to complete the story ...

The layshaft provided in this pack is ridiculously long. Not sure why; maybe someone substituted something? Anyway, it's end was crudely cut and needed dressing - and it also wouldn't fit through the holes at first time of asking, so more careful opening out.

 

But then, when I tried a first fit with the motor in place, it wouldn't turn but went all Bob Marley on me (just kept jamming).

 

Now - I'm very embarrassed to show this next bit, but in the spirit of warts and all, and to perfectly illustrate the purpose of the post.

 

DSC01446.JPG.64d818b954df6ab13d023d6cf3444926.JPG

Skoolboy error!! In using the collar to press home the worm gear, I've distorted the end of the gear (left hand end), with the result that the gear of the lay gear were just catching on the deformed end of the gear. As the centre of the mesh is towards the middle, I was able to - carefully - dress back the damage with a combination of piercing saw and V-shaped files

 

DSC01449.JPG.4c95625736459a3ce864b77a3d29f4b8.JPG

Now assembled (you can see the 'repairs' to the worm gear). With the collar on the layshaft, there's still a gap. That's obviously why the adjacent washer is provided. Disassemble and, with about five pairs of hands, hold everything in alignment whilst slipping in the washer and trying to engage layshaft.

It's now 1450. You don't have to do this stage with a drop in DJH gearbox.

 

Finally(!), with the wheel axle introduced and some leads attached, it was time to test. And the only way to show this is by video. And - as I say on the video - this was genuinely the first time I tried it so you can see the result. First at 1507; second at 1510

 

 

 

Conclusions? As demonstrated, it is - of course - perfectly possible to assemble a HL gearbox to run sweetly. BUT - there are equally several tasks along the way where errors CAN be introduced and I can easily see how Tony comes across locos with such gearboxes that don't run sweetly.

 

With the DJH box you're simply paying to bypass those stages, de-risking the thing in the process.

 

I assemble perhaps two or three gearboxes a year and am probably (almost certainly!) doing so without recourse to all the proper / ideal tools. But at two or three a year (max), is it worth investing in the proper kit? The lady(?) on the DJH production line presumably has all the correct tools and fixtures to hand and is doing it day in day out. The above took just under two hours, albeit with some pauses for photography, particularly setting up the video at the end. Perhaps, without interruptions, I could have done that in 1hr 15 - 1 hr 30 mins?

 

Overall, I 'get' where Tony is coming from. The range of HL boxes is a marvellous product range and worthwhile supporting if that's your preferred route. But it IS possible to c0ck-up the assembly and the alternative of paying more for a 'drop in' virtual guaranteed success (yes Tony, the B1 chassis di run perfectly smoothly ... but I never expected otherwise) has its own merits.

 

 

Feel free to throw brickbats and tell me all the places where I went wrong if you really feel the need to. But that wasn't the point of the post and - as you can see - in spite of myself, I still ended up with a sweet running gearbox.

What a wonderfully-honest post, Graham,

 

Thank you ever so much. 

 

And, you're an experienced modeller. Experienced enough to un-c0ck-up where you've made a blooper. 

 

There are so many locos I've seen where a gearbox has been assembled and the un-c0cking-up ability is missing. And, even where a gearbox is ready-assembled (as in the Q1 I mentioned this morning), that's no guarantee of a sweet/quiet/smooth mechanism; not at all. 

 

Let's say one hour fifteen minutes for you to assemble the HL 'box (which rather makes the ten minutes once quoted rather 'elastic'), I'd say that's probably what many modellers (experienced ones as well) would take. 

 

Now, I have no idea of how long it takes the (lady?) DJH assembler to make the firm's 'boxes, but probably less. Even then, there's a cost imperative, which rather makes the DJH 'boxes not as expensive as might be thought, especially, unless one is a complete clot, 'perfect' running is usually assured. 

 

Since confession is good for the soul, I'll now admit to c0cking-up some gearbox assemblies. To be fair, not HL ones (of which I've only made three) but Comet ones, Markits ones, Branchlines ones and, in early days, even DJH ones! Nothing in my last sentence should be construed as being critical of the products mentioned, but I effectively gave up in using those I'd got wrong; if nothing else but because of the racket they made! 

 

Now (and if the following comes across as the words of a 'smart ar$e' then so be it), I've built well in excess of 100 gearboxes, and still can get it wrong. I'm not alone, either. No names, of course, but with one loco I have (which was made by one of the best loco-builders around), I had to replace the drive. Why? It sounded like a gang of lumberjacks were at work on Little Bytham! Poor Tom Foster was deafened.....................

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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2 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

 

 

Before we drift off onto other topics altogether, I'm responding to the invitation above to comment - but perhaps not exactly as Tony (W) intended. I'm with Tony (Dibateg). I can usually 'do' gearbox assembly, but I always approach it with trepidation ...

 

DSC01423.JPG.9f9decc8cc7efe203c140050402ddc0e.JPG

By sheer fluke - and the real reason for compiling this post, is that this afternoon's job was indeed to put together a motor gearbox, as part of this commission build. And look whose gearbox it is! (supplied by the client so I didn't choose this, although not to say I wouldn't have).

 

DSC01425.JPG.e5c7296f2ce7a5050faf23d7ff3dce1e.JPG

The parts laid out in more detail. It's now 1315pm (ie a few hours ago)

 

Now, what follows I wouldn't normally post, it's 'warts n all', contains lots of 'how not to do it's, features lots of inadequate facilities ... feel free to hoot with laughter if you wish but my point is to try and recreate what Mr Average loco builder is faced with and perhaps how some of the locos that come into Tony's hands might not have the smooth running gearboxes they should have. None of what follows is in any way a criticism of the HL product. It was excellent as always, beautifully engineered, but ...

(PS - there were no instructions, they may have got separated en route to me? Either that or they're on the website. But I like to think I had a reasonable idea of what was required - even if I didn't do it in a textbook manner)

 

DSC01426.JPG.12f93e5d4682a25a2342fb52f1868ad9.JPG     DSC01427.JPG.0315f916a60a16e6bfff2236b02718b4.JPG

First job is to fit the bearings, facing outwards. They don't fit at first time of asking so a small amount of metal needs to be removed, probably no more that the burr inside the hole from the etching process. Mr Average may well use a round file, as I am. I went VERY careful, no more than a couple of twists in the non-cutting direction at a time until the bearings popped in. Too much metal removal and there'll be slop in the fit and almost impossible to solder up central to the hole - the first of several potential sources of poor running.

 

DSC01432.JPG.cdf7936ecec5b26dd3e16a4aa5eaa14c.JPG

Very exaggerated, but to illustrate that it's perfectly possible to get these things NOT square and true to the mating surfaces.

 

DSC01433.JPG.b65136b8196b859a8ff6f480e24f37c0.JPG

To minimise risk of the above, both bearings are placed into position, with some scrap etch supporting the end (to avoid soldering up a slight angle in the other direction). First job complete. It's now 1345. You don't have to do this stage with a drop in DJH gearbox.

 

DSC01434.JPG.1b441093d6bf24c7e2d8166fad5dec7d.JPG

Next, fold up the sides to create the U shape housing we're after.

 

DSC01436.JPG.24fc26116591e8fd7a345e7839e41c09.JPG    DSC01439.JPG.513b42c48904c393c7915cd4d231a479.JPG

By eye, it's unlikely we'll get that spot on 90 degrees. Mr Average needs a square to adjust it to get it spot on before introducing solder. Otherwise, the axle won't run true in the bearings - another potential source of poor running. It's now 1400. You don't have to do this stage with a drop in DJH gearbox.

 

DSC01440.JPG.b7f50292e096c70742c5e35dd8f47b19.JPG     DSC01441.JPG.8d363b3b5df0d2ba4df79d1ce84989f9.JPG

Next, the axle won't fit in the bearing at first time of asking. More gentle removal of metal, gradually, checking as you go. Eventually, the axle fits and a quick check with the wheels added - it all rotates freely and appears square (phew!). To be fair, there is an equivalent task at this stage with the DJH box, as Tony has alluded to. It's now 1405.

 

DSC01442.JPG.c68a06f1ddc708bc67e3929c583fd8e1.JPG   DSC01443.JPG.daa0cf128710745fb6270533e6a0e2e0.JPG   DSC01444.JPG.75d4b379b102ad2ba062d571afe708b8.JPG

Then the worm gear need fitting to the motor shaft. In this case, it's a push fit - not my preference but I was building the gearbox as supplied so no choice. Having scratched my head trying to think of the best way of doing this, I suddenly remembered the old vice so I used that. It's a very tight interference fit so there's no danger of it working loose - once it's on, it's on (so no ability to easily adjust it). To get it pushed on further down the shaft, then perhaps Mr Average might have used a small piece of tube like I did ...

It's now 1425. You don't have to do this stage with a drop in DJH gearbox.

 

DSC01445.JPG.cc57d54ea3b8d20bf1ed207c4f6dd10d.JPG

As you might have already spotted, this is a two-stage gearbox, with an intermediate gear running on lay shaft. A one-stage gearbox is simpler. Nevertheless, to complete the story ...

The layshaft provided in this pack is ridiculously long. Not sure why; maybe someone substituted something? Anyway, it's end was crudely cut and needed dressing - and it also wouldn't fit through the holes at first time of asking, so more careful opening out.

 

But then, when I tried a first fit with the motor in place, it wouldn't turn but went all Bob Marley on me (just kept jamming).

 

Now - I'm very embarrassed to show this next bit, but in the spirit of warts and all, and to perfectly illustrate the purpose of the post.

 

DSC01446.JPG.64d818b954df6ab13d023d6cf3444926.JPG

Skoolboy error!! In using the collar to press home the worm gear, I've distorted the end of the gear (left hand end), with the result that the teeth of the lay gear were just catching on the deformed end of the gear. As the centre of the mesh is towards the middle, I was able to - carefully - dress back the damage with a combination of piercing saw and V-shaped files

 

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Now assembled (you can see the 'repairs' to the worm gear). With the collar on the layshaft, there's still a gap. That's obviously why the adjacent washer is provided. Disassemble and, with about five pairs of hands, hold everything in alignment whilst slipping in the washer and trying to re-engage layshaft.

It's now 1450. You don't have to do this stage with a drop in DJH gearbox.

 

Finally(!), with the wheel axle introduced and some leads attached, it was time to test. And the only way to show this is by video. And - as I say on the video - this was genuinely the first time I tried it so you can see the result without any prior trials or adjustment. First at 1507; second at 1510

 

 

 

And still more work to do to fully finish (eg cut the lay shaft to length!)

 

Conclusions? As demonstrated, it is - of course - perfectly possible to assemble a HL gearbox to run sweetly. BUT - there are equally several tasks along the way where errors CAN be introduced and I can easily see how Tony comes across locos with such gearboxes assembled by Mr Average that don't run sweetly.

 

With the DJH box you're simply paying to bypass those stages, de-risking the thing in the process.

 

I assemble perhaps two or three gearboxes a year and am probably (almost certainly!) doing so without recourse to all the proper / ideal tools. But at two or three a year (max), is it worth investing in the proper kit? The lady(?) on the DJH production line presumably has all the correct tools and fixtures to hand and is doing it day in day out. The above took just under two hours, albeit with some pauses for photography, particularly setting up the video at the end. Perhaps, without interruptions, I could have done that in 1hr 15 - 1 hr 30 mins?

 

Overall, I 'get' where Tony is coming from. The range of HL boxes is a marvellous product range and worthwhile supporting if that's your preferred route. But it IS possible to c0ck-up the assembly and the alternative of paying more for a 'drop in' virtual guaranteed success (yes Tony, the B1 chassis di run perfectly smoothly ... but I never expected otherwise) has its own merits.

 

 

Feel free to throw brickbats and tell me all the places where I went wrong if you really feel the need to. But that wasn't the point of the post and - as you can see - in spite of myself, I still ended up with a sweet running gearbox.

 

Great - use the (twice as expensive, drop-in) DJH product - it's much quicker.

 

However, if you're NOT a builder of ex-LNER (or other) very large locos, be prepared for a great deal of non-prototypical metal to be seen whirling around in front of the firebox.

 

Apparently, whilst the absence of loco lamps is unforgiveable, this mass of mobile mechanicals is virtually invisible!

 

John Isherwood.

Edited by cctransuk
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Graham didn't enlighten us as to how he cuts the very hard layshaft material. It's this length because that's enough for any of Chris's gearboxes and it's a standard length - he cuts it with hard wire cutters - I replace it with 2mm brass, it won't wear out and it's a lot easier to cut. I've tried cutting the hard steel with a piercing saw but each gearbox costs me a blade (worn out, not broken), cutting with a grinding disc heats everything up far too much, especially the plastic gears....

I've built dozens of these boxes in all configurations and would recommend them for almost anything - as soon as Chris gets back to work....

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