Split axles

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David Thorpe
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Split axles

Postby David Thorpe » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:01 pm

Hello, everyone,

After a gap of a lot of years, I've at last got some time to do some serious modelling again. Needless to say I'm a bit rusty - I'm finding that old skills need to be sharpened up if indeed they're even remembered - and it's also amazing how much many aspects of the hobby have moved on since I was last seriously involved.

Anyway, the long lay-off has done most of my locos no good at all and I've decided to start by seeing if I can get some of them running again, ideally rather better than before. I've never ever got on with wire (or indeed plunger) pick-ups and have decided to give split axles a try as they seem to make a lot of sense. So I've bought some from the Stores, although unfortunately the jig was not available.

So here I am staring at these axles wondering about the best way to go about putting them together and whether it is in fact reasonably possible to make a decent job of them without the jig. I've searched various indexes for instructions on them, but without success. I assume that the male portion has to be sheathed with some insulating material to give a tight fit into the female portion, with, presumably, an epoxy resin glue to ensure that everything stays together and to provide an insulation at the join, but I would very much appreciate any tips as to the best way of going about this.

Thanks in anticipation.....

David.

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Tim V
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Re: Split axles

Postby Tim V » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:38 pm

You do need the jig to assemble the axles. It is possible to make a jig out of some stiff L shaped brass, mount it at 45 degrees on some blue tac. Clean the axle components with degreaser. Put a flat on the male with a file. Remove traces of swarf and degrease again. Use 24 hour Araldite, and I like putting the whole thing on a radiator to warm through. A thin plastic/fibre washer can also be used between the two parts.

The advantage of the jig though is that, being made of insulating material, you can check you have the two sides insulated.
Tim V

davebooth

Re: Split axles

Postby davebooth » Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:54 am

DaveyTee wrote:Hello, everyone,

After a gap of a lot of years, I've at last got some time to do some serious modelling again. Needless to say I'm a bit rusty - I'm finding that old skills need to be sharpened up if indeed they're even remembered - and it's also amazing how much many aspects of the hobby have moved on since I was last seriously involved.

Anyway, the long lay-off has done most of my locos no good at all and I've decided to start by seeing if I can get some of them running again, ideally rather better than before. I've never ever got on with wire (or indeed plunger) pick-ups and have decided to give split axles a try as they seem to make a lot of sense. So I've bought some from the Stores, although unfortunately the jig was not available.

So here I am staring at these axles wondering about the best way to go about putting them together and whether it is in fact reasonably possible to make a decent job of them without the jig. I've searched various indexes for instructions on them, but without success. I assume that the male portion has to be sheathed with some insulating material to give a tight fit into the female portion, with, presumably, an epoxy resin glue to ensure that everything stays together and to provide an insulation at the join, but I would very much appreciate any tips as to the best way of going about this.

Thanks in anticipation.....

David.


Welcome back to the hobby David, and indeed welcome to the society and this forum.
Your decision to move to split axle is very sound, I too can't get along with scrapers of any type, however it does introduce little problems if only that virtually no trader provides for insulated frame spacers and very few traders provide for split axles. Tim offered one idea around lack of a suitable jig but while you mentioned that you had sourced your parts from 'stores' and that the jig was unavailable, Tim referred to the jig being made of plastic.
Unless Jeremy (keeper of Scalefour sales) has changed things, his jig is of metal and, in my view (sorry Jeremy ;) ), is not as well thought out as that available from Branchlines. This is of clear plastic and clamps the araldited parts together during the curing process, - however Branchlines change of ownership may add doubt to current availability of that too. Branchlines also retail parts for both single split and twin split axles (or did!)
EMGS stores stock ready made split axles but only with a single split and I much prefer two split axles for the gearbox axle.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to own or have easy access to a lathe then accurate curing can be achieved by holding one part in each of the two lathe chucks; this maintains concentricity of the axle parts.

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David Thorpe
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:13 pm

Re: Split axles

Postby David Thorpe » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:13 am

Thanks for your replies and your assistance, and for your welcome to the forum, Dave. I'm not however new to the Society, having at least maintained my membership of that over my inactive years, so I have been able to keep in touch with the hobby to some extent through Scalefour News.

I've been in touch with Branclines and they do still do split axles and the jig, so I'll be placing an order today. I have also been reminded of the split axles that Bill Bedford used to supply, and which were simplicity itself. They consisted of a 1/8 inch diameter mild steel tube and a thinner hard steel rod. The idea was to bind sewing cotton round the rod, smear it all with araldite, and then push the sticky and now insulted rod up into the tube. When the araldite had cured you cut through the tube where required to achieve insulation, filling the resulting gap with araldite. Unfortunately Bill seems to have discontinued these and I haven't been able to find any source for suitable 1/8 diameter steel tube - if I could, I'd probably give that idea a try.

David.

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John Bateson
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Re: Split axles

Postby John Bateson » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:32 pm

Split axle bits are still in the stores list under SA-A, SA-B and SA-C at 35p each
Slaving away still on GCR stuff ...
Avoiding the soaps ...
http://www.greatcentralmodels.co.uk

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David Thorpe
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Re: Split axles

Postby David Thorpe » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:24 am

I'm now making some progress on this and have dealt with the driving wheels. However, I'm a bit stuck with regard to tender wheels that require 2mm axles and which I would also like to pick up current. The problem is that I have been unable to source 2mm split axles and have been unable to think of a way of getting round the problem in any other way. The same would of course apply to locos such as a 2-4-2T where the leading and trailing wheels are located in the main frame but require to pick up current. I don't have access to a lathe or, for that matter, the skill to use it. Any ideas would be much appreciated!

David.

Dave Searle
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:24 am

Re: Split axles

Postby Dave Searle » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:43 pm

Hi David,

Branchlines used to do 2mm split axles, but I don't know if the new owners stock them. When I asked at Scaleforum last year they didn't have any split axles (either 2mm or 1/8") in stock.

It might be worth asking them.

Cheers,

Dave

nigelcliffe
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Re: Split axles

Postby nigelcliffe » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:17 pm

A random thought - could one do tender wheels with an external insulating muff, which is the standard way for split axles in 2mm scale ?

Essentially, saw a plain axle in half, file a little off the length, slide the half-axles into a plastic tube, secure with small amount of araldite. Cross-drilling the tube with an air hole may be necessary to make it possible to get the axles to stay in the tube.

The axle is assembled in the frames, and if it is needed to remove, destroying the plastic muff with a soldering iron is the easy way.

I have not tried the method, just thrown in as an idea.

- Nigel

davebooth

Re: Split axles

Postby davebooth » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:07 am

nigelcliffe wrote:A random thought - could one do tender wheels with an external insulating muff, which is the standard way for split axles in 2mm scale ?

Essentially, saw a plain axle in half, file a little off the length, slide the half-axles into a plastic tube, secure with small amount of araldite. Cross-drilling the tube with an air hole may be necessary to make it possible to get the axles to stay in the tube.

The axle is assembled in the frames, and if it is needed to remove, destroying the plastic muff with a soldering iron is the easy way.

I have not tried the method, just thrown in as an idea.
- Nigel


That's the method I use for tender axles, but I turn my own muffs from tufnol. Without a lathe, then obtaining rigid plastic tube of the correct internal diameter and also reliably concentric, raises a problem. Can anyone direct Davey to a source of suitable tube?

nigelcliffe
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Re: Split axles

Postby nigelcliffe » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:42 am

davebooth wrote:
nigelcliffe wrote:A random thought - could one do tender wheels with an external insulating muff, which is the standard way for split axles in 2mm scale ?



That's the method I use for tender axles, but I turn my own muffs from tufnol. Without a lathe, then obtaining rigid plastic tube of the correct internal diameter and also reliably concentric, raises a problem. Can anyone direct Davey to a source of suitable tube?


The muff for a tender axle only requires a moderately accurate hole in it, the outside does not need to be concentric with the inside hole. Sorry, no I don't have any plastic tube sources as I am another lathe owner :-), however, suggest looking at Plastrut and Evergreen stands in the better model suppliers. Whilst the stuff tends to be Imperial dimensions, would probably find something close enough.

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David Thorpe
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:13 pm

Re: Split axles

Postby David Thorpe » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:30 pm

Thanks for all this, guys - unfortunately, decent model shops are few and far between round here, so it's an extra incentive to try to get down to Scalefour North this year (Scaleforum is just that bit too far).


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