Saturday, 7 October 2017

One down, eight to go

At last, a post uploaded before midnight on the day of the activity!
I had a flying visit to Ben McCarthy's place this morning to drop off a couple of items I picked up for him at Liverpool - an Auscision 421 & 43. They had a great show special on all diesels.
Ben had some interesting pieces. I did my apprenticeship with Email-Westinghouse, so I couldn't resist this one!

The Liverpool purchases. Very smooth runners!
 After taking Alison's mum for an outing, I headed back to the garage to see if I could figure out how to put the first bench together square. It took a couple of hours of patient checking, clamping, drilling & screwing, but I'm quite happy with how it turned out. This one spans 1676mm, stands 1200H and has clearance of 1130mm for the duck-under. The extra 50mm clearance, plus the relatively shallow 255mm depth, and the long span compared with Roy's duck-under means I can actually duck, rather than crawl. Quack!

It is quite rigid,  but I think I might add another horizontal brace near the bottom of the legs, just to take out some of their springiness. This is the section from the junction with the branch heading up into the Weddin Heights, while the main line drops down grade towards Parkes.
That's it for tonight!

A bit of jiggery-pokery

Ruminating this morning on how best to assemble the legs, I went down to Operations to see if I could borrow a framing square from my mate Jason who helped out with the initial cutting-up of plywood last week. We got chatting about it and he suggested a jig to keep things consistent. Fortunately, there was one sheet of plywood left - the one which morphs into a third bed in the caravan. A few screw holes wouldn't hurt it, so with some of the off-cuts from the component manufacture stage, this evening I set about making the jig.
I hoped to get all of the widest leg assemblies done. The jig was so successful, I managed to complete ALL the assemblies, a total of ten, in three widths and two heights!
The first leg assembly set up on the jig, ready for pilot drilling the screw holes

The first assembly completed. The top of the girder (when fitted) is about 1200 above floor level. This is so that the layout can sit over the top of the spare washing machine!

The collection of leg assemblies - six 560Wx1200H, two 382Wx950H, and two 255Wx1200H
That's it for now, really need to get some sleep!

Friday, 6 October 2017

An L of a long day

I suspect this may be the latest - or earliest - I have sat down to write a blog entry.
Tonight, with the assistance of Jason's Irwin clamps to speed things up, I managed to complete the assembly of 16 L girders. With the pair done on Wednesday evening, I now have the full complement.
With luck, Jason & his framing square will come over Friday evening and we can have a crack at assembling the legs, horizontal & end diagonal braces. Once they are together, I can probably manage the assembly of legs to girders, and associated diagonal braces, gussets and splicing of girders myself.
When I first drew up the plan for Weddin Jct, there was no work bench in the garage. Twelve months ago, I spent a few evenings converting the remains of my old layout into one. This has eaten up about 700mm of depth in the garage. It is likely that I will only get to assemble the "scenic" half of the layout, and will have to leave the staging for now, until I can find a way to cull the contents of the garage to get that 700mm back!
Anyway, here's the completed stack of girders.
Ten 1800, two 1684, four 1277 and two 1150 mm long L girders complete. The flanges are from 38x19, the webs from 90x19, so the overall size is 109D x 38W x 19thk

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

L-o, L-o!

I've made my first L Girder!
There are ten 1800mm long girders to be assembled, plus some shorter ones. Tonight I managed to finish cutting, drilling and counter-sinking the gussets for the braces, then turned my attention to pilot drilling all the 1800mm flanges. Once these were done I was able to glue & clamp up two girders, then clearance drill and counter-sink the flanges, and screw everything together.
At that point I discovered the flexible lead on one of the drills was pretty dodgy - thankfully I had a spare plug to replace the old moulded one.
The 16 small (150x150) gussets, ready for drilling & counter-sinking
The complete set of components, ready to begin girder assembly

The first girder!
On my way home last night I spotted a folding saw horse similar to the pair above, on a chuck-out pile, so I added it to my collection. Just needs a couple of wing nuts to replace the missing ones and secure the legs.
Time for an "early" night.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Angle of the dangle

Had a quick video hook-up with Alison & the kids in Paris, early this morning via Skype, and gained approval for a purchase at Liverpool today. Robert & Bruce Wheatley have produced an excellent four-volume series, "Railway Portraits". These are a fantastic source of reference material on the operational, behind-the-scenes aspects of the NSWGR. Look out for them at an event near you, or go on-line here
While at Liverpool I caught up with Zane from Ballantyne Designs and had a look at his prototype 3D printed items - the shunting tender Lo32 (for use behind a D.50), and a pair of British Australian Oil Co tanks - one the true private-owner version, the other the departmental version. Great to see some activity in these niche areas!
Also spent some time chatting with a former work colleague David, and having a look at pictures of his 5" gauge GMs on his phone.
After bidding the Whitlam Centre farewell for another year, I took Alison's mum for a run in the car, and headed out to Burragorang Lookout. Spectacular view, but the visit was cut short when I realised LVR's 4204 & 4716 were heading north with the return of a tour from Griffith. A few PMs / phone calls later found us at Wingello with just enough time to set up the cameras & pour a coffee. We followed the train to Moss Vale where I just had to get a shot of "Gunzelling with Grandma" to send to the kids!
4204/4716 whisk 8L02 through Wingello

In the loop at Moss Vale, waiting for ST24 to run through
ST24 worked by XP2014/XP2016 accelerates out of Moss Vale, passing 4204/4716 on 8L02 from Griffith

Grandma with Grandma - thanks Milo for the invitation into the cab!
Finally got into the garage about half-past-eight, and converted some more timber into shorter pieces & sawdust. The bulk of the component manufacture is now done - just  few more mitres to cut on the diagonal braces, and the gussets to make from 1/4" ply, and I'll be ready to start assembly!

Set up for docking the 3m lengths of 42x19 DAR pine for the braces

Glad I paid attention in geometry! The drop saw only goes to 48 degrees ... I needed 37/53 degree mitres for the various end diagonal braces. Simple - clamp an off-cut piece mitred at 45 degrees, and swing the base plate 8 degrees.

The growing pile of bench work components!
Cheers for now.

Monday, 2 October 2017

More sawdust

Had a great day at the Liverpool exhibition on Saturday, followed by an evening at Roy's for a BBQ / layout operation / alfresco slide night. At Liverpool I ran into Tom, and the Roberts Bros. At Roy's I caught up with Brad & Nate from the Strange Modellers or Universal Trains, my Best Man, Glenn, and his old mate Ben, Aaron H, and a few new faces including Rodney & Dodgy as well. I paid a return visit to Liverpool on Sunday, then after an afternoon with Alison's mum at Cabra-Vale Diggers (her regular Sunday outing), it was back into the garage for more bench work.

Shooting the breeze with Glenn & Dodgy at "Bradfield" on Saturday evening.
Driving the projector for the outdoor slide show. Material included South African / Zimbabwe steam from 1996, and a fair bit of the Illawarra / Short South in the early-mid 90s. Also some Melbourne & Queensland trips for old times' sake.

Glenn & Roy autographing Nate's copy of the latest offering from Bow River Publishing, Volume II of the Walsh Island power cars.
With Hoges & Steve at Liverpool on Sunday. We needed a third Streamliners 2016 cap.
Drilling one of the ten splice plates for joining the girders.
All legs (including the short ones for the trestle bridge area), splice plates and various widths of horizontal brace ready to go on Sunday evening.
 Expecting to make a final trip to Liverpool on Monday morning, then a concerted effort to cut the diagonal braces and gussets to try to have everything ready for assembly this week.
Cheers for now.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Leg work

I have now done the gluing and screwing of the 16-off 1200H legs, fabricated from 2 pieces of 38x19 plywood laminated together. I've also fitted the 5/16 BSW t-nuts, screws & wing lock nuts to the bottom of 6 legs, to serve as levelling aids.
 Here is a pair of half-legs clamped up ready for drilling, counter-sinking and screwing together with 8g x 30 screws.
Three legs glued & screwed on Thursday evening after pipe band practice.

Sixteen legs this evening, ready for fitting of the levelling arrangement

The t-nuts with 5/16 BSW x 1 1/2" hex head screw and wing nut to lock the screw.

I find it difficult to believe that the young blokes in Bunnings don't know the difference between a screw and a bolt - I seem to have to explain it every time. Perhaps they think a bolt is what you do after a screw.
Last Monday I had a few hours at Roy's place for a bit of fun with his Bradfield layout. I helped trace the cause of a couple of electrical issues with the layout and a pair of Lima 44s, then we did a bit more work trying to finish off the RUB set.
A Calson brass 47 getting a run at Bradfield

44216 with an AK car and container train at Bradfield, viewed from the tennis court.

The Jumbo in the platform at Bradfield.

After some minor re-wiring, "grey ghost" 4499 goes for a spin.

The light bulb for the #1 end headlight had been removed, but in the process, the motor had been shorted out. Easy fix. Another 44 had its motor reversed due to having had an underframe fracture / repair. Again, nothing too difficult to diagnose, as I've been dealing with Lima 44s since about 1980!
Hand rails applied to the three remaining RUB cars.

The OFS, kitbashed from an SFS following the AMRM article.

The ride height of the cars is all over the place, due to a mix of standard  underframes, IFM underframes, and various bogies. The plan is to work out which is closest to correct (probably the PHS), then make up a go / no-go gauge based on it, and adjust the other cars as needed.

Off to Liverpool on Saturday ... oh, wait, it IS Saturday already! Must be having too much fun in the garage.

Cheers for now.