2mm Adrian's 2mm workbench.

Discussion in '2mm Lounge' started by adrian, 15 April 2015.

  1. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer


    Thanks for the link to 'top up pot and brush' which I've not come across before. The vans really look the part - crack on..!

    Mick S
  2. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Cheers - I've moved onto finishing the cattle wagon - Lake livery with yellow lining - it's proving to be challenging to say the least!:confused:
    Wagons of the LNWR
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  3. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Not quite 2 years.:eek: However work has been stupidly busy but over the last month or so I have managed to get back to the work bench but until now I had nothing really to report. However I've recently cleared one stumbling block so I have ploughed on and got a few photos to post.

    The first was the cattle truck - I got the base colours on but then it was how to produce the lining. This is the result of my efforts - this is using humbrol enamel and effectively dry brushing along the edges of the frame work, trying to keep it as light as possible. It's a bit patchy in places and a bit bright so I'm hoping that a little light weathering will tone it down a bit and make it blend in a bit more.

    The other problem was the lettering - there are no specific transfers for this wagon so I did find some 2mm letters from Fox transfers so the "CATTLE BOX" is built up from individual letters. It took a lot of poking and prodding with a toothpick to get the alignment right. They are a whisker too large but they do fit in the frame as required so I think that's as good as I can get. I've run out of LNWR transfers so more are on order to get it finished.

    2mm_update - 3.jpg

    Bear in mind that the camera is a cruel mistress at times - especially in this scale - and from a more realistic distance and perspective the lining does seem to improve. :D

    2mm_update - 2.jpg

    Now the more observant may have noticed the presence of coupling on the wagons now. This is the stumbling block I was referring to - a lot of prevaricating on my part between the seemingly de-rigueur standard dinghams to the delicate AJ's. So @Simpas may be please to see I have opted for the electra couplings.

    This last week or two I decided to make some up to test - I don't really understand my reticence now as they were extremely easy to make and fit and they work extremely well. I bought the jig and made a couple of the little bending tools suggested. So here you can see the jig and tool either side of a batch of bent hooks and droppers.

    The wire used is some fine 8thou guitar wire and the jig is used to form the shape of the hook and the dropper. The jig also holds together the two components whilst soldering together. Soldering spring steel is always entertaining but I had seen this oil flux Soldering oil - Buy now » fohrmann.com recommended. I bought a bottle and it certainly works well, the soldered joints are solid and the solder has flowed into the joint nicely just like soldering nickel-silver.

    2mm_update - 1.jpg

    This is the fitted article with the obligatory penny for scale. The hook is held at a 45 degree angle to the vertical by a little lead weight and rotates in tube (Albion 0.3mm microbore nickel-silver tube) soldered to the wagon. The hook has to be just a whisker to the left of the coupling hook and just under the buffer beam.

    2mm_update - 5.jpg

    From the few I have fitted it doesn't seem overly critical on its position, either vertical height or offset from the coupling hook. All I have fitted so far has been done by the Mk 1 eyeball so show a reasonable variation yet they all couple up correctly so I think they should be quite robust in normal use.

    One other issue was blackening of the wire. The online youtube video for the couplings is very useful but all the couplings are quite noticeable being nice shiny spring steel. I want to find a way to blacken the steel - apparently you can buy black guitar strings but I couldn't find any. Other solutions involved boiling it in caustic soda and an oxidising agent at 150C plus which I wasn't that keen on. Eventually I found a suggestion of using Birchwood Aluminium Black solution. This is result which I think works quite well.

    So now I have a rake of wagons rather than a collection of individual wagons.

    2mm_update - 4.jpg

    I then realised that the box vans were out numbering the open wagons so I started the next batch. Three etched LNWR chassis and a handful of prints from shapeways I've made a start on these 3 - D1, D2 and D4.

    2mm_update - 6.jpg

    However I realised in my 2mm stocks I was missing split spoke wheels and buffers so just put an order in to the 2mm Assoc No.2 shop for a few bits. So hopefully they'll turn up at some point whilst I finish off the brakes and couplings.
  4. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Is the B or E string in musicians terms?

    I don't think they'll understand if I walked in t'shop and asked for 8thou guitar wire..... :confused: :)
  5. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Being tone deaf (so my better half says when I'm singing along to my music :confused: ) I haven't got a clue.

    The packet is labelled gauge NP 011 if it helps

    2mm_update - 1 (1).jpg

    I just went into the local shop a bought a selection of what they had, I think they were about £1 a pack so I just stocked up on a range of wires. The wires about NP028 or larger tend to have a spring steel core and nickel spiral outer sheath which are spot on for making 2mmFS vacuum pipes.
  6. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    The 011 bit is the gauge in thousandths of an inch. i.e. it is 11thou wire.
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  7. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad


    My apologies that's my fault for believing my cheap digital verniers - as you mention when using a proper M&W micrometer it works out at 11thou. :oops:
  8. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Electric guitar high E strings tend to be around 8 or 9 thou - steel string acoustic might be 10, 11 thou, even up to 14 thou.
    The thickest I have are low E, 42thou, they have a nickel silver or brass wire wrap.

    I think bass guitar strings which are rolled, might do for vac or steam heat in larger scales. Not tried it.

  9. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer


    If you search online you will find that they sell steel strings in "thou" sizes, from about 8 thou up to just over 20 thou for unwound strings. And a guitar shop I found many years ago in Slough also sold in "thous". I suspect that experienced guitar players prefer to choose a string gauge which gives them the tension they prefer.

  10. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer


    Thanks for the link to the flux, I've just ordered some - soldering steel can sometimes be problematic.

    Dave, my raw material for the Electa hooks and droppers comes from Andrew Hartshorne at Wizard Models - it is 0.010" (0.254mm) or 33 swg sprung steel wire at £1.50 per 3 metres (usual disclaimer)

    Mick S.
  11. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    No problem - although if you'd asked I would have sent you some - I've more than enough to last a lifetime and then some!!
  12. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Fantastic service from the 2mm Association shop - ordered Tuesday evening, items were in the post on Wednesday and on my workbench Thursday evening. Commercial companies struggle with this level of service and it is all run by volunteers to a big thanks to the 2mm Association. So couplings, wheels and buffers fitted to finish them.

    2mm_update - 1 (2).jpg

    It worked quite well to fix the bodies on as placing the buffers in place I realised that I could solder the rear of the buffer shanks to the inside of the solebars and lock the body in place. I also soldered a pad in the middle for a bit of extra weight but also drilled and tapped it 12BA.

    2mm_update - 2 (1).jpg

    This allows me to attach a brass rod to aid painting - all ready for the paint shop now.

    2mm_update - 3 (1).jpg
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  13. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Just realised it's been a little while since I've posted any updates. Unfortunately real life has intruded on the hobby but I have been ticking along slowly. The wagons have been painted but I'm just waiting for transfers so that I can finish them off.

    Meanwhile I turned to building another couple of wagons to keep me busy - specifically a couple of LNWR "Crystal Palace" 20t brake vans. Thanks to Vol3 of LNWR Wagons plenty of good photos to work from.

    These are from a batch of LNWR kits produced by David Eveleigh. A start was made on the chassis, this follows the usual 2mmFS design, multiple etched layers to build up the solebars and axlebox shape

    Crystal_palace - 1.jpg

    Followed by the top half etched detailed solebar and axleboxes.
    Crystal_palace - 2.jpg

    This is then folded up, brakegear detail added and various footboards.

    Crystal_palace - 3.jpg

    Next I made a start on the ends, in the kit the substantial end stanchions are supposed to be built up with 3 separate etched layers sweated together and then located on the end. I like to think I'm reasonably competent in soldering but I think this would try the patience of a saint to get it right. So from left to right - I didn't bother instead I sourced some suitable square nickel-silver bar and soldered that in place, then it was a little half etched overlay for the framing and finally around the windows there is a half etched groove so I carefully cut and soldered in some 0.2mm steel wire in the groove to simulate the beading around the windows.
    Crystal_palace - 4.jpg

    Final stage a light dressing with a file so that the stanchions are slightly tapered towards the top - so that is the ends done.

    Crystal_palace - 5.jpg

    Next the sides - more half etched overlays to model the strapping.

    Crystal_palace - 6.jpg

    but first a small modification to the kit, in the original design the framing above the guard duckets has 2 round holes as per the kit, however this doesn't seem to have lasted long and most of the photos show this has been replaced by planking. So prior to soldering in the overlay this was cut out and then afterwards a small strip of nickel silver was scored for the planking and soldered in the gap.

    Crystal_palace - 7.jpg

    Next a quick photo for those that think I use invisible solder - it isn't so. This sequence of sides shows at the top the overlays soldered on all covered in flux and excess solder. Second one down is the side after a quick was to remove the flux. Third one down is after a quick scrub with a steel wire burnishing brush. Final one at the bottom, excess solder removed with a variety of scrapers.

    Crystal_palace - 8.jpg

    Next was folding up the guard duckets. The kit instructions say leave these in the holding frame which has some half etched lines to indicate where the folds need to be made. Unfortunately the frame is full thickness and the duckets are half etched so when clamped and folded it didn't work that well as the half etched bit wasn't fully held.

    Crystal_palace - 9.jpg

    So for the second set I used the half etched marking to score the fold lines onto the ducket and cut them out.
    Crystal_palace - 10.jpg

    They could then be held in a toolmakers clamp for folding.

    Crystal_palace - 11.jpg

    The next issue was fitting - I'm not sure if it was my folding but it seemed a little long to fit.

    Crystal_palace - 12.jpg

    So the bit at the bottom was gently filed out to slot the guard ducket through.

    Crystal_palace - 13.jpg

    So now I'm up to date with the posting - 4 sides for which I need to add dozen of handrails - I just need to find a drill small enough.

    Crystal_palace - 14.jpg
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  14. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer


    Cracking job here, I saw the pictures on my phone.

    Mick S
  15. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    A small update. The Crystal Palace was notable for it's many distinctive handrails.
    crystal_palace_2 - 2.jpeg

    So this was the next task. I decided to use some o.2mm spring wire that I had as being a suitable size but unfortunately this was smaller than any number drill I had. So when the better half was away I purloined a fine needle from her workbox. A few minutes on a small diamond plate saw the end flattened off and then a couple of cutting flats ground on the end made a nice little spade drill of the right size to drill out the holes.
    crystal_palace_2 - 3.jpeg

    Each side has a couple of overlays for the door in the veranda end. The alignment whilst solder was achieved by inserting a locating wire through the holes for the handrails.

    So from top to bottom
    1. component parts - 2 overlays for the veranda
    2. overlays soldered together prior to soldering to the body side
    3. Door soldered in - note tiny strapping on the top left hand corner has broken off - just too fine and man handling too much it didn't survive. Fortunately the etch has a few spares so it can be repaired once the body is soldered up.
    4. Final finish on the body side with all handrails fitted.

    crystal_palace_2 - 1.jpeg

    As mentioned the handrails are distinctive and unfortunately a simple bent handrail wouldn't work as the vertical handrail would interfere with the horizontal hand rails unless there was a joggle in the handrail.

    First attempt was just to try to bend it freehand with a pair of pliers but it didn't work cleanly. The second attempt was to make a little jig to press in the joggle. This was better but I still couldn't get a clean sharp joggle.
    crystal_palace_2 - 5.jpeg

    It took a few days mulling over the problem before I came up with this solution. I sacrificed a pair of pliers, using a piercing saw I cut a fine slot in one jaw of the pliers close to the edge. I then filed the edges of the pliers close to and square to the slot. So the first bend of the wire is a simple 90 deg. bend.

    crystal_palace_2 - 7.jpeg

    This 90 deg bend is then held in the slot and the pliers held closed. Then the wire is folded on both sides

    crystal_palace_2 - 6.jpeg

    Which allows a suitable joggle to be formed. So one side done only 3 to go!! It's going to take a little while as the concentration required means that there is no way I will do a side in one session. I find I can manage 3 or 4 handrails in one session then I have to walk away and do something else. They are damn fiddly to fit!! So slowly but surely I will get there.

    crystal_palace_2 - 4.jpeg

    crystal_palace_2 - 8.jpeg
  16. John57sharp

    John57sharp Western Thunderer

    Nice work Adrian, well worth the effort and the pliers! I’m glad it’s not just me struggling with small bits being broken off and I’ll fitting duckets too! (Another vehicle)

  17. Tim Watson

    Tim Watson Western Thunderer


  18. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    A small update as things are ticking along slowly. Having decided to make 2 at once unfortunately it did mean rather a lot of handrails to make. 44 in total any many more scrap items along the way.

    Once cleaned up these are the components to make up the body. The sides are a little bowed with all the work on them but they will be straightened up before soldering together.

    Crystal_palace - 2.jpeg

    The inside veranda piece and a couple of the body stretchers have these little tabs to aid location. However I found them more trouble than they're worth. The problem was the little slots they were supposed to fit into were a little tight and stopped the side making a nice flush fit so they all got filed off.

    Still needs a good clean and a wash but it's slowly getting there.

    Crystal_palace - 3.jpeg

    Crystal_palace - 1.jpeg

    As usual the photo's shows up things I've missed. There aren't any LNWR buffers for these brake vans available but the 2mmFS Association have some nice brass cast OLEO buffers which are pretty close in size and bulk. The only thing is they have a cast web at the side of the buffer shank which needs removing to be more representative of the LNWR buffer. I've done the far side one but the one nearest the camera (isn't that always the way!) still needs doctoring!

    One final photo - the next kit I'm making is going to be anything without handrails. It got rather tedious towards the end - to the extent that I even tidied up the workbench in preference to folding up another couple of handrails.:eek: :eek: :eek:

    Crystal_palace - 4.jpeg
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  19. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    A little update - when building the 2nd brake van I actually remembered the camera so I thought I'd run through the build sequence to show the journey rather than just the destination.

    So I started with the interior verandah and one side. For one it's easier to start from the inside and work outwards and second the verandah with the right-angled floor made it nice and stable so it would sit square on the side without any additional support. One small tack solder point to hold it in place.

    crystal palace part 2 - 7.jpeg

    As mentioned previously I struggled with the tab and slots - good for location but they prevented the end plate sitting flush with the verandah floor which would mean that it wasn't square to the side.

    crystal palace part 2 - 8.jpeg

    With the tabs I usually find that chamfering the sides of the tabs with a small file so they become more like sharpened teeth then they sit in the slots better. After a little dressing with the file.

    crystal palace part 2 - 6.jpeg

    Note that although it might not be perfectly flush to the floor the important thing is that the gap is consistent along the length of the end plate so square to the side.

    crystal palace part 2 - 3.jpeg

    The other side can then be tacked in place. It's placed on a small anvil to check that the body is square.

    crystal palace part 2 - 4.jpeg

    At the other end there is a small cross brace - again located with a couple of small tabs so I soldered this in place so that it would provide a postive location for the end plate.

    crystal palace part 2 - 9.jpeg

    So the other end plate soldered in place and one of the little braces survived to be wrapped around!

    crystal palace part 2 - 5.jpeg

    One final piece is adding a cross brace in the middle. In posting the picture I've realised I've missed soldering a small nut to this cross piece. This is required to fix the body to the chassis. Also note that at this stage everything is still tack soldered allowing small adjustments if the body isn't square. Once this was done I soldered up all the joints.
    crystal palace part 2 - 10.jpeg

    The corner strapping around the top corners was then added, then added the buffers, rolled the roofs. The roof won't be be fixed yet as they both need a damn good clean up now and I can't get inside the body once the roof is soldered on.

    So I think the last few jobs are a coupling hook and draw plate, roof, pipe for the stove - also I must remember to remove a couple of the window bars in the non-verandah range.

    crystal palace part 2 - 2.jpeg
  20. John57sharp

    John57sharp Western Thunderer

    Thanks Adrian. Some good tips in there and nice vans of course.

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