Very Little Gravitas Indeed*

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by adrian, 30 January 2017.

  1. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    To kick off the new area I've decided to post a few things currently on my workbench. Although I'm working on a few projects at the moment I don't seem to have anything completed to show even though I seem to manage some time at the workbench.

    So I'm going to try with this thread to post a few things which don't seem to fit into the project updates.

    To start with I'll cover two new acquisitions to the workbench. My father-in-law usually gives us all a small money gift for Christmas. He is a time served plumber, an apprentice under Sir Tom Finney, he has given me a few of his lead working tools and so I like to invest his Christmas gift in more tools for my workbench. This year the funds have gone into the purchase of a Knew Concepts piercing saw. I originally tried to buy it via Palmer Metals but after a few days it appears they no longer seem to be stocking them so I went to Betts Metal. The service was excellent and the saw is very nice.
    Knew Concepts 75mm Sawframe | Betts Metal Sales
    The second item is a Haff drawing pen, I kept looking on ebay for something suitable but decided that at the price that some people on ebay were asking it would be better just getting a new pen direct.
    Drawing Pens
    It took a couple of emails to sort out an invoice, payment and shipping but I got there eventually, I just need to find the time to practice with it.

    workbench - 1 (2).jpg

    I also decided that I needed to sort out a few extras for my mini lathe. It would be nice to get a small vertical milling machine but at the moments funds don't permit. The next best option I decided was to get a vertical slide for the lathe. This was purchased quite a while ago but I could decide on the best mounting arrangement. RDG Tools do a mounting bracket but this just extends it from the cross-slide which to me just seemed to restrict it's travel across the centre line of the lathe. So I got a flat steel plate and drilled it for attaching to the cross-slide bolts but then moved the vertical slide closer to the centre line. I got a 2 1/4" angle plate to provide a clamping surface for some projects but it looks a little bit overweight for the vertical slide. So I'm currently considering getting some steel bar stock to make a smaller horizontal clamping plate.
    workbench - 2.jpg

    workbench - 3.jpg

    The final thing across the workbench recently are the new Mark Wood wheel castings for the 8F - very nice!
    Scan b LMS 8F

    workbench - 2 (1).jpg

    I had bought some tender wheels from JPL a while ago as they seemed like an improvement over the Walsall Wheels offering. However there is a slight difference between these and the Mark Wood Wheels
    workbench - 3 (1).jpg

    Mark Wood publishes a slightly different sequence to what I have used in the past
    Turning castings

    So I decided to try this method on the JPL castings to practice before tackling the Mark Wood castings so this is where I'm up to, cut 4 on his turning plan.

    workbench - 4.jpg

    the main shape has been roughed out, so the next step is removing the bulk of the material from the rear (cut 5) and then forming the profile. To form the profile the wheel is clamped between a couple of aluminium mandrels.
    Suporting castings

    As I don't have a power saw or bandsaw the thought of cutting 25mm discs in aluminium bar 1 1/2" diameter wasn't that attractive. Fortunately I found a company online offering custom cutting lengths so it worked out about £1.30 per disc, although if you have a friendly local model engineering company you might be able to find an similar arrangement possible.
    Aluminium Round Bar
    Again the service was excellent and I will use them again.

    * My final note - to explain the title of the thread. As an avid reader one of my favourite authors is Iain (M) Banks. I enjoy both genres, non-sf Crow Road and Wasp Factory etc. and the sf stuff. Many pundits rate the Player of Games as one of his best but for me the first Culture book Consider Philebas is better but my favourite is Use of Weapons. In his culture the sentient ships have a long tradition of some rather quirky names, and in the Use of Weapons one such ship was named Very Little Gravitas Indeed which appealed to my sense of humour.

    As another aside if anyone has watched SpaceX's stunning efforts to launch rockets and land them back on a barge. SES company first to use 'second-hand' SpaceX rocket - BBC News
    The two barges are named - "Just Read the instructions" and "Of course I still Love you" in homage to Iain M Banks Culture ships.
  2. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    That's an interesting comparison Adrian and confirms to me how good Mark Wood is.

    Knowing little about post 1923 (unless its motor cars!) I assumed all Stanier wheels had a V rim, but this page (half way down) shows a preserved 8F and the pony wheels don't.
    stanier wheel - Google Search
    I guess preserved engines often receive changes and are not an accurate record, but anyone (i.e. most people) know more about this than I do?
  3. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

  4. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    I think as this is a preserved loco care must be taken.
    I've just looked through loads of photos of 8F in BR service and every one with a reasonably close picture of the front have vee rims
  5. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Quite so, but in the instance of 48624, I wonder. The pony wheels it has now certainly seem to be identical to those it had at Barry (without vee rims I'd say):

    48624 at Barry


    But not in 1963 when normal wheels seem to have been fitted:

    05/10/1963 - Willesden (1A) MPD, London.

    Mind you, at that point it had a Fowler tender. In between this point and withdrawal therefore it seems to have had some work done, gaining a Stanier tender and - perhaps - non-standard wheels.

    warren haywood likes this.
  6. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    AJC likes this.
  7. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

  8. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I have at least a couple of dozen photos of 8Fs, and you are welcome to use all of them in your research, if of any help. Of those shots where the bogie wheel detail can be made out 48117 probably has plain wheels, (where I use the term "probably" it's because the photo could be open to interpretation both ways) 48385, 48518 (one good shot at Willesden in 1985, and a "probable" at Barry in 1968), all plain. 48115, 48132, 48173, 48182 (probably), 48217 (probably), 48321, 48325, 48368, 48373, 48518 (probably), 48606, 48686 (probably), 48700, 48753 all Vee,

    In the meantime here's mine of 48624 at Barry which may just show the bogie wheels a bit better.

    Until this thread came up I'd never noted the difference in the bogie wheels! It's only taken 50 years to find that out! Still, I like to learn something new every day. I wonder if this will ever come up in the pub quiz.......


    48624.  Barry.  9 Nov 1968.  FINAL.  Photo by Brian Dale.jpg
    richard carr likes this.
  9. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Apologies - going through the list above again I note that I have 48518 in both camps! That's an error as my two photos of the loco appear to have plain bogie wheels, so delete it from the list of "Vee" wheels, please. And finger trouble has says that the loco was at Willesden in 1985. That should read 1965.

  10. AndyB

    AndyB Western Thunderer

    I don't believe that the axleguards (W irons) would have been changed. The Midland only ever built 24 Creosote tank wagons, 12 each in Lots 320 (June 1893) & 839 (September 1913).
    Lot 964 (June 1921) was for 5 new underframes on which to mount old Creosote tanks.
    Other old tanks were remounted on a variety of underfames - the one that still exists at Swanwick (picture here) being on a D664 covered goods underframe.
    Axleboxes, wheels, etc of course did get regularly exchanged - but with the usage that these tanks had (certainly in their later lives) I doubt that they got much in the way of maintenance!
    geoff_nicholls likes this.
  11. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Andy - it was the tank in the photo linked to by @daifly that I had in mind (the Bartlett picture was linked to for type comparison). Since the former picture is issued under a Creative Commons Licence, I'm reasonably happy to crop form it:


    The BR axleboxes are very obvious and the hole of the 1947 type 'W' iron pretty clear, I think? 'W' iron swapping, I've noticed, is more common than I'd have suspected, though as you say, in this instance, rather surprising. I accept that this might not have been the original underframe, but going on the buffers and springs, I doubt that this underframe was built with those 'W' irons, not least because BR built their own creosote wagons.


    Edit - apologies, Adrian, for heading off down this particular rabbit hole, where nothing can usefully be said about machine tools, nor even 8Fs (though they are my second favourite midland locos, after Ivatt 4s).
    Last edited: 31 January 2017
  12. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of Culture ship names here List of spacecraft in the Culture series - Wikipedia

    I think " A Momentary Lapse of Sanity " is my current favourite, although " Slightly Bent " comes a close second . " Consider Phlebas " is my favourite book .

    Sorry but at least I am relating to the thread title:oops:
    Lyndhurstman likes this.
  13. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I managed to grab a bit of spare time over the weekend to visit the Leigh trade show - which reinvigorated my enthusiasm to get something done.

    I had turned up the mandrels for finishing of the wheels, I seem to have forgotten to take any photos apart from this one using the form tool to make the tyre profile.
    workbench1 - 1.jpg

    Still plenty of wheels to turn so perhaps more photos next time. Anyway back from the Leigh show my first task was a damn good clean up and tidy. The joys of an empty cutting mat.
    workbench1 - 2.jpg

    Then I mod I'd been planning for a while but never got round to. The base on my bench drill was clamped in place with a large nut and bolt which needed a tommy bar to tighten up. A while ago I ended up with a quick release spindle from a push bike and thought I might be able to modify it for the bench drill. It ended up being quite a simple job to shorten the spindle and thread the end 5mm and now a quick release clamp on my bench drill.

    workbench1 - 3.jpg

    Back to the wheels, the plan was to make some telescopic axles pinned with a taper pin. I wanted to make a drilling jig to simplify drilling the hole for the taper pin. I machined up a block of steel for the jig but then got stuck on how to mill the V slot in the jig. I don't have a milling machine so it was trying to sort out some method in the lathe with the vertical slide. It became a stumbling block because I couldn't work out how to hold the piece securely. During these deliberations I started playing with a V block to test how to machine the slot when it struck me - why bother machining a V slot when I could use the V block for the jig. :headbang:

    So this is now how to turn a V block into a centre drilling jig!

    I drilled and tapped (5mm) a series of holes along the V block. I cut a couple of strips of steel strip, the outside holes being a very generous oversize hole for a 5mm thread to allow them to shift about a bit. One centre hole was drilled and tapped, again 5mm, as the clamping plate. The other plate centre hole was drilled and reamed 1/4".

    workbench1 - 4.jpg

    I then turned a 45deg. bevel on a 1/4" bar, when inserted in one bar it allows the plate to be clamped dead centre on the V.

    workbench1 - 5.jpg

    I then turned a steel bush drilled with the size of drill required, this was then hardened. The alignment peg is then removed and replaced with the drilling bush.
    workbench1 - 6.jpg

    The axles were clamped in the jig and drilled, this was then followed with the taper reamer. Now to sort the insulation!

    workbench1 - 7.jpg
  14. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    2 things to follow up on your post, if I may:

    1. Is there any reason you choose not to use the clamp(s) that were/ should have been provided with your v-blocks?

    2. Although I'm not quite there yet, I was expecting to be drilling the axles after they're mounted in the wheels. I was expecting to use a single jig to set back -to- back and quartering, then drill the axle once in position.

  15. Locomodels

    Locomodels Western Thunderer


    I am with Steph on the second question. I built myself a B-to-B and Quartering jig with a cross drilling plate for the taper pin. It will set the crank pins at either 90 or 120 degrees. I will try to get a picture of it today and post it here.

  16. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Now this is an interesting question... drill then fit or fit then drill? Please can Adrian / Steph / Paul give the pros and cons of one way or the other?

    Paul, since we have been a beneficiary of wheels set via your jig, how did you proceed when an A4 wheelset was returned for repair after one wheel moved on the telescopic axle? (AGH castings with tufnol bushes to each wheel, wheels mounted on a telescopic axle with taper pin)

    regards Graham

    (@adrian , @Steph Dale , @Locomodels )
    Last edited: 24 April 2017
  17. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    No problem at all.
    The reason I didn't use the V block clamps supplied are that they are big bow legged affairs and just got in the way of the drill chuck, by using the smaller plate I could clamp the bar closer to where I was drilling it.

    I never really thought it through all the way so would be interested in the single jig, although I'm quite content to do each stage separately. This jig was just going to be a general purpose cross drilling jig so I just focussed on the one task.

    This one's a little easier being tender wheels so not too fussed about the quartering, I was going to sort the insulation next, then fix the wheels. The axles have been cut over length so once the wheels are mounted I can put them back in the lathe and trim the axles to length. As for quartering to be honest I've never really bothered with a jig, I've always done it by eye, wheels pushed on by hand, lining up spokes etc., testing the chassis with the other wheel set and coupling rods. If it rolls fine and doesn't bind then the wheels are then pushed on to the requisite B2B.
  18. Locomodels

    Locomodels Western Thunderer

    Now this is an interesting question... drill then fit or fit then drill? Please can Adrian / Steph / Paul give the pros and cons of one way or the other?

    Paul, since we have been a beneficiary of wheels set via your jig, how did you proceed when an A4 wheelset was returned for repair after one wheel moved on the axle? (AGH castings with tufnol bushes to each wheel)

    regards Graham


    In answer to your first question, it is easier to fit the axle to the wheel and then assemble the telescopic axles, fit in the quartering jig and drill for the taper pin. To do it the other way round one would have to press the wheels on and then quarter them, using brute force, which could loosen them on the axle. Just my opinion and I am ready to be proved wrong.

    As to the A4 repair, it required removal of both bushes from the wheels, by pressing them out, fitting new bushes and axle, then 'quartering' at 120 degrees, if that can be quartering, and drilling for the taper pin. Simples, as a Meerkat might say.

    I have not yet got round to taking pix of the jig I am afraid, too busy doing big joinery down at the 'mill. Promise I will get to it later this afternoon.

    Len Cattley, Dog Star and Rob Pulham like this.
  19. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

    Nice work Adrian. :thumbs:

    I'd be interested in seeing how you insulate the axles in due course.


  20. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I'm just nicking Steph's solution
    Split axle pick-up in 0-gauge, Page 3

    The non-telescopic bit has been drilled and reamed for the 2mm GRP rod.
    Dan Randall likes this.