Sorting out the accumulated part done and not yet started things workbench

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by Martin Shaw, 28 March 2020.

  1. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Only a little bit done today, busy with outdoor things, the rain held off until tonight when it assumed biblical proportions. The axleboxes which are a separate casting need drilled for the bearings, this seems like overkill for a little job

    but it does remove a lot of the variables, shaky hands, drill bit not vertical, casting gripped in the vice rather than delicate fingers so it makes sense. The castings were drilled to a depth of 4mm dia 2.6mm, the bearing is a snug fit. The whole thing will need to be dry assembled to establish whether the depth is adequate and what protusion from the casting is necessary for the axle to run on it's point. You do have to be careful not to horse the vice which will distort or destroy the casting.


    Emboldened by this I thought it worth a try with the buffer castings, pretty succesful barring a broken 1.2mm drill when it choked on the swarf, fortunately I was able to drift it out. A little playing about with various diameter drills found the sweet spot where upon the paint will gum it up of course. A reasonable end to this evenings efforts.


    Best wishes
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  2. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    I spent a good deal of yesterday afternoon attempting to solder five step board brackets to a solebar, vertical and square, thoroughly soul destroying if I say so. Having had enough of that and lacking any desire at this stage to attempt the other side thoughts turned to basic assembly and squareness, principally of the axles to the body and also to each other. The problem is compounded by the axleguards being individually attached with no witness marks. I could do it by eye and it would be more or less ok but I felt a more rigorous approach would give a better than even chance so I thought, aha a jig is what I need. A piece of ali 1" by 5/8" was ordered which arrived at lunchtime today so a length was squared up in the mill on all six faces, any excuse to use the face mill which gives an absolutely superb finish, think of a mirror with faint tool marks.

    This is ready to have two 1/8" grooves cut in it at a scale 10' 6" apart which will hold the wheels and axles at the correct distance apart and square to each other, hang the rest of the model on the axles and fix it all together, it all sounds so simple, it probably won't be.

    Hopefully the postie will bring the 1/8" cutters tomorrow.

    Best wishes
  3. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    The postman was most apologetic yesterday, maybe tomorrow he said, and he was right. This afternoon it was an ideal time therefore to make the axle spacing jig. Unfortunately I had miscalculated the overall length required so I had to start again, the first attempt will probably become a 9' 0" jig in due course. After squaring up the stock and getting the length right it was a fairly simple exercise if a bit trepidatious to cut the slots. The 1/8" diameter cutter whizzing round at 2000rpm does make you think "what if" which fortunately didn't happen. I'm pleased with the end result, axles spaced at the required 10' 6" and parallel to each other, and even more wonderously at 90 degs to the longitudinal plane. Having achieved a major dimensional success some thoughts as to how I am going to proceed.

    First off the axleboxes to be assembled to the axleguards, and then one to be permanently fitted to the solebar. The position isn't critical but the cast rivet details shows where. The body will then be tacked together, sides and ends, the wheelsets and bearings fitted into the jig and the body offered up using the fixed axleguard. The other axleguard on the same side can then be tacked onto the solebar which gets the wheelbase correct. The other two axleguards are then tacked to the opposite solebar which should make everything parallel. Carefully dismantle and solder up all joints as required. Feels like a good'un to me, tomorrow will tell.
    Best wishes
  4. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    This week has seen some progress on the brakevan, but the carefully worked out plan obviously needed more care, and I seem to have forgotten how to solder whitemetal. A whole evening was spent feebly attempting to attach an end to a side, in the end I thought s*d this and went to bed. Meanwhile I have finished building something, the instructions tell me I started this in May 1998 which is quite along time ago I realise, when I was slimish and handsomeish. I will point out before anyone else that lampirons are still missing, I need to consult Mr Yeadon, but 69137 is ready for the paintshop. Given my rate of progress it might well be another 22 years but frankly I can't see myself wielding a spray can at 88.

    Best wishes
  5. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Sunday afternoon saw me putting the lamp irons on, even with the resistance soldering kit it was a major faff,
    and the photo has highlighted the the middle one isn't in the middle, I did three at the back as well which I haven't pictured, dare not cos they're bound to be awry. I probably won't fit a top one at the back as they inevitably get bent. By the late 50s alot of olocos had the top iron in front of the chimney moved to the smokebox to minimise the risk of touching the 25kV. This I will have to source or make, the NB ones in the kit aren't suitable.
    I started cleaning it with an old toothbrush and cleaner, it obviously wasn't adequate so I've bitten the bullet and bought an ultrasonic cleaner which should be here tomorrow. Difficult to justify really at least in terms of the quantity of kits I build but at least part built stuff has a chance of being kept reasonable. In the process the whitemetal pressure gauge in the cab announced it was in the wrong place and for once the superglue had actually stuck so it was bent a bit in removal. A new brass one was wizzed up on the lathe, its a bit too deep but it'll be lost in the gloom of the cab roof.
    I have also moved the brakevan on, the assembly was set up with one side and two ends attached with the axleguides fixed, the other side had one guide tacked in a semblance of the right place and the ewhole lot clamped up. The axle jig is sitting keeping the wheelsets parallel etc and the two small clamps are holding the unfixed guide to the solebar. It was all disassembled and all the tacked bits fully soldered, it's the sort of job where three hands would be useful. The wood panelling has been glued in, most of the plank joins are somewhere near each other, by the time it's painted you won't notice, he muttered quietly.

    Best wishes

  6. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Not a lot today, bit chilly here apart from anything else. I moved the errant lamp iron, only took two gos to get it right, after which DPD came with a box which had this in it.
    Big so and so isn't it. I thought for the first try the N15 would be a good candidate. I was uncertain how some of the adhesives might cope so it was suspended upside down and had 30 mins full power at 40deg C, just using water. I reckon if OMO had been this good my childhood clothing would have benefited, some amount of muck ended up in the water. What it won't do is remove tarnish, polish, or otherwise make it look pretty, but it does remove all the flux residue, the odd green spots have disappeared and perhaps importantly the interior spaces normally unreachable are also cleaned. There is a good chance that paint applied will be onto the base metal rather than a layer of crud, so yes it's expensive as most good useful tools are, but the investment will be justified if one paint job isn't ruined by poor prep. It needs a bit more trying out and finding the right cleaning solution but for one go it works well.

    The only casualty was the two cab sandboxes that fell out, it rather looks that I never actually fixed them and gravity and interference fit had held them for the last however so long, a touch of glue to sort.

    Last edited: 24 September 2020
  7. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

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  8. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Thank you Simon for the info, I'll have a look at that in the future. And now for a disaster, as I said upthread the N15 has had a go in the ultrasonic cleaner with good effect on the brass, however with a view to putting a coat of primer on to show all the flaws, it has also highlighted the effects of cavitational erosion on whitemetal. I had a look online where it is apparently a known effect especially it seems with crankshafts rotating in whitemetal shell bearings and lubricating oils, who knew. Well I do now and I did it on purpose, silly boy.
    My first thought is that some filler might work, there are other spots that need filling/cleaning and it does mean that majoy surgery could be avoided. The other way is replacement castings which are all available, however most of them are epoxied on and removing them without damage to the platework or unsoldering with the application of heat is fraught. I think a curse on the gods and a ponder is in order.

    I hope your Sunday is better than mine.
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  9. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Try googling for 'Mr Surfacer' ;)

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  10. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Thanks Steph, I had a google and it looks to be just the job, however after my ponder I decided on the brutal approach on the basis that if it was successful then new castings would be a lot less work, and if it wasn't the bin was close at hand. The dome tried to resist so I chopped the top off to give some leverage in the remaining bit which worked, and I thought the smokebox door wasn't going to play but a chisel and a tap with a small hammer triumphed. There are times when I am grateful that the glueing wasn't as thorough as it might have been. Off to order bits, no going back now.
  11. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Ouch, I have never seen such an effect when I’ve used my ultrasonic bath.

    I’ve used it for a shorter time - 10 minutes usually, or perhaps mine is less powerful.

    learning curve... :(
  12. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Martin , i was about to recommend Tamiya surface primer but i see you have found another method , that'll work as well .
    Cheers Paul
  13. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    A bit of an update. There is no doubt that ultrasonics are an elegant and supposedly non intrusive way of cleaning things, I think that is a fair statement but as you saw from yesterdays post whitemetal castings are susceptible to damage if overdone and to my horror today I found two corner joints in the cab platework had effectively been shaken apart. As it is I decided to let capillary action and some superglue sort it out, the model, is way beyond a point where cleaning off the paint and resoldering would be sensible. I have also realised that I'm worrying this thing to sillyness, so the new castings will be epoxied on and thats it. I really should have not left this untouched for so long and in truth I'm caught in the gap between finishing it and it no longer being much interested. My patience has probably expired.
  14. michl080

    michl080 Western Thunderer

    same here, never saw anything like that. I am sonicating my parts up to 40 minutes.
    I checked and it appears that Martins bath may have 300-400W ultrasonic power depending on its size of 9 or 13 l. This is not so far from from my bath with 240W @ 4 l.
    This might be a chemical issue with demineralized water or a problem with the white metal alloy.

  15. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Just checked, mine is only 150W, and as I’m using it for about a third of the time, I’m only putting around a sixth of the energy in.

    still, much surprised.

  16. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Chaps, it's certainly happened to me in the past; enough that I no longer use an ultrasonic cleaner for whitemetal at all.

    I wouldn't be without it though as it's so useful for cleaning chassis parts, and with no solvents necessary.

  17. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Michael, Simon

    It is the 300w version, it does have a delicate setting which I guess might be half power and I suppose the lesson learnt is that it is possible to overdo it. I am perplexed by the way castings turned out even so, they are some twenty years old and might have chemically altered in that time, doesn't seem likely does it. That there has also been break in soldered joints is also of concern, I suppose if you mechanically stress a soldered joint often enough it will break, that's logical, back to the lesson learnt. I don't think it's an issue with water, it is so soft here that scale in the kettle, of all sizes, is an unknown problem. It is probably on the big side purely for models but it was obtained to do other things as well. I think in future that the best option is to ultrasound it after soldering and before glueing castings on, at least repairing soldering damage is relatively easy. I might see if I can lay my hands on a newer casting that can become sacrificial.

    Steph has just posted some concurring evidence, the good thing is perhaps that it's not just me.

    Oh well, onwards and upwards.
  18. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    Several decades ago I thinned down some copper rectangular tubes for use as wave guides, the wall thickness being reduced to a foil like 0.003". The tube was first filled with Cerrobend to withstand the process, and then melted out later. As some mucky residue remained, an ultrasonic cleaner was used - whereupon the tubes disintegrated from the vibration causing additional work hardening.

    Have had no further experience with ultrasonic cleaning since, but would be cautious with soldered thin sheet brass assemblies.

    My then employer also had vapour degreasing equipment - which was a puzzle to me as to how it worked. Parts sat on a grill as vapour wafted upward - not unlike smoking fish. Don't know if that procedure has any use for preparing models - but more than I want to read is at:

    -Brian McK.
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  19. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the thought chaps, it is most interesting. I suppose the message is, don't overdo it. On a somewhat happier note the brakevan is not giving me so much grief.
    Putting the box together was a three handed job, you have to manipulate the free side into the three cross pieces as well as getting the wheels with bearings into the axleboxes and also inserting the 4 copper coated rods into holes in the axleguards, with the brakegear flapping around generally getting in the way. It took most of Saturday evening and two of the foot step brackets detached themselves in the process, fortunately they haven't been consumed by the carpet monster. The axle jig has worked well, I would do that bit again but it does look a bit skewed, it probably is although the axles are square and it now rolls along quite happily in a straight line, you won't see it when the roof is on.

    The kit gives you some plasticard for the roof, I might substitute nickel silver. This is the first whitemetal kit I've built in many years and it rather shows it's age, the fit of parts together can be a bit wayward, having said that getting the depth of the framework on an etched kit would be a challenge as well. I think the end product will look ok.
  20. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer



    A test I have used to check that my ultrasonic tank is working is to suspend a bit of kitchen foil in the liquid - in my case water - and the tank action punches a tapestry of holes in the foil within seconds. Maybe your whitemetal reacted similarly.