Part 6 – Getting cranky and painty…

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Getting cranky – Late February, Early March 2010

The bonnet top engine covers were a quick and easy job thanks to Mike’s folding press, and the use of dividers meant that the mounting blocks were located correctly and holes drilled appropriately. Here Harlech is seen with its exhaust and support bracket off the cab front. It has been mounted on the engine cover rather than through it, its alignment is such that the fixing bolt head inside the bonnet top would be above, and close to, a battery terminal.

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Criccieth has had the same treatment, although its exhaust is offset to one side and nowhere near the larger engine cover. These exhausts act as a useful ‘grab’ when removing the bonnet top for access to the battery compartment.

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Time to get a bit cranky… rather than having a square hole milled and bolted onto a boss on the axles like you would find on most locomotives, Baguley (and no doubt other small batch engine builders at the time) employed this method. The cranks have a slot cut in them and long bolts all the way through which are tightened to clamp them onto the axle ends – and we are replicating this on the models as it is a simple way to do things.

The trickiest part of the operation is drilling through the cranks, a jig was made to assist with this.

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The jig fits into the crank like this, it is held in place with some heavy molegrips…

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… then the whole assembly is clamped into the pillar drill and one side of the crank done.

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The jig is removed, crank turned through 180 degrees and jig re-inserted and the crank is drilled again from the opposite side.

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Some long sockethead capscrews were purchased and these do the job admirably. Some issues were found in that the laser cut cranks weren’t 100% square and we should have milled them first; some of the channels ended up slightly offset but the bolts still pass through and perform their job.

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Sixteen cranks later…!! its time to employ the second jig for drilling of the pins, onto which the bearings for connecting and coupling rods are affixed. The jig’s drilling hole is on the underside of the plate.

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This is one of the pins being turned, note all the different diameters, this is for the centre axle which also has the connecting rod from the jackshaft driving to it.

From right to left; narrowest bit is a tight push fit into the crank body, this will need fixing somehow into the crank. Second bit is for the bearing for the coupling rod between axles, third bit is for the larger bearing for the connecting rod from the jackshaft. The end disc is a retainer to keep the whole lot on the pin!

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The two test pieces on the cranks, complete with bearings. Now to see how it all works out…

May-June 2010

First things first, we are sad to report the loss of Workshop Supervisor Bop the Blackbird. A regular sight in and around the Works for the last five years or so, Bop was easily spotted by her gammy foot (hence the nickname) and many a time something was put down so Bop could be fed a few titbits, after which we can’t remember where we put the part down, or even what we were doing with it! By the time we’ve found the bits and worked it all out again, Bop would re-appear for more food!

However, we do have some good news in that Marmite the Robin has appointed himself the new Works Supervisor and performs the same role of distraction! Marmite is somewhat more tame and will venture closer, even using our locomotives as a perch!

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Feathered distractions aside, it was time to focus our attentions on the locomotives! One of the first jobs of the Spring was working out the placement of the Speedometer, one of the Magpie Electronics products. Originally the thought was to place it inside the cab window, then a bit further down inside the cab… but would we be able to see it? Only one way to find out, even if it looks a bit silly…

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It looked quite comical, hence the photo! but this did give us the driver’s viewpoint for the loco and it was decided that inside the cab was no good; nor inside the window due to the angles involved and likely reflections off the cab glazing material.

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Out came the hole saw and the speedos were mounted on the rear bonnet lid of the locos. Best place for them, in terms of visibility and accessibility.

After that came some work on the controlboxes, siting them within the loco. These will house the 4QD controller and the relay boards for lighting and the horns, these are situtated at floor level inside the cab; generally out of sight but easily accessible should the cab roof be taken off.

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The location for the auxiliary batteries was chosen on the same afternoon, they slotted nicely between the big 85amp hour batteries and the locomotive frames; a little cradle has been made either side for the two batteries. These will power the horns and LED lighting, and are 12volt SLA batteries.

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As the weather had improved noticeably in April, it was time to be out with the paintbrushes! The locos had an appearance booked at the Harrogate Show on the stand of the 7.25″ Gauge Society, of which Mike is a member. Best we set to then! Mike had recommended to me a High Volume Low Pressure (HLPV) gun from HRG Paints on the industrial estate in King’s Lynn, having bought one himself. I too purchased one of these (on offer at the time for £20) and borrowed the KLDSME air compressor to power it. I took my bodyshell home with the paints and set to.

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Covered in custard! I hate painting yellow, I really really do! I started to think I’d chosen the wrong locomotive as it takes a fair few coats even on a nice solid cream coloured basecoat to get coverage, I found this with my 00 gauge in the past. Eventually, and four to five coats later, the desired result was achieved.

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The grey was next up, and it seems rather blueish compared to the real Harlech Castle, and indeed the paint chart I chose it from; however I quite like it and it will stay! Harlech’s real colour is a dark beige/grey – maybe I looked at one on the chart and wrote the wrong number down, who knows!

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I also took the rather beautiful Baguley Drewry builders plates home and treated them to a black background and a polish up, before spraying over with a enamel varnish to keep their shine. Our thanks to Noel Shelley and his converted spin dryer drum, or the Ringstead Foundry as it is known.

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Mike has been busy with his HVLP gun at home and the body of Criccieth/Cardigan had started to turn green and resemble the final product. It is finished in the current livery worn by Criccieth since its 2007 repaint. This is a simple cream and brunswick green affair; prior to that the lower body green stripe was a brighter green and there was yellow and green lining alongside the cream stripe.

Criccieth originally had a rounded exhaust cover leading up the cab front to cover pipework, this was in the style of Harlech’s original exhaust. This came off around 2004 when Criccieth had been shunted a bit too far into No.7 Road at Boston Lodge and met the Low Beam. During the 2007 repaint, or around that time, the pipework this cover covered had been removed, making for a neater appearance.

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Ready for the show, Harlech and Criccieth/Cardigan re-united!

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Into the car and away they go!

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