A beginner's first essays

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QuentinD
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A beginner's first essays

Postby QuentinD » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:49 pm

An equally appropriate title for this might have been "Learning to walk before crawling".

Received wisdom and hindsight suggest trying out a new building method on something simple, say, a wagon kit. For reasons spanning the hilariously small gap between 'ambition' and 'stupidity', I bought a PDK (Maunsell) Q class for my initial foray into the world of brass. Theretofore I'd only soldered basic electrics and rail to PCB. This more than anything accounts for the glacial progress--it's been a year and a half and I've only recently reached the stage where the main components have come together.

The kit has done little to help me along. It and the instructions are very basic, and some of the parts are/were unusable. Where possible, I'm trying to improve upon the kit as-supplied. Needless to say, I've accrued a list of errors of my own..

The upper frames were soldered inside out because I didn't know that the holes were rivets meant to be 'tapped out'--I'll eventually fashion some using appropriately sized styrene wire. The firebox front was cast poorly and by the time I had made it sit level I'd lost about .5mm of height; this created a minor dispute between the firebox+boiler and the outermost smokebox wrapper (which had informed the drilling of holes). The resultant mistake was not caught until the handrails had been soldered in place :( In addition, I didn't pay enough attention to photos and superglued the dome according to the hole in the boiler. As a result it's 2mm aft of where it ought to be. I don't have solutions for these last two just yet..

Some filling work will need to be done in places, especially the whitemetal front of the firebox and where a spot where a boiler band mysteriously disintegrated, due to the heat of the iron I think (?).

Anyway, this is the current state of affairs:

File_000 (1).jpeg


It's 'impressionistic' I guess. Obviously a number of small parts are still in the box.

The loco has been built with CSBs and the tender will soon be retrofitted with an easichas--I've emailed John and he's happy to sell just the tender components, but I don't know what to buy! My best bet looks to be either the 3F or the 4F. Can anyone tell me which of those has a 6'6"+6'6" wheelbase?

I hope my efforts aren't too offensive!

Quentin

Philip Hall
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:15 pm

For a first effort I have to say this is pretty d..m good. I have recently hacked (there is no other word) a DJH Q from EM to P4 and although my customer was pleased with the conversion, yours is a whole lot better! PDK kits are generally quite good, within their limitations, and the bits generally fit even if you're sometime not too sure where they should go. And being brass, not a lot is beyond redemption.

I admire you for, at this stage in your P4 career, having a go at at suspending the thing with CSBs. I have yet to try that myself, not having had the need, but I suspect that may change in the near future. I can't help you with the tender components however, anything north of Watford and I'm hopeless. However, to remove the dome, apply a little gentle heat adjacent to it on the boiler and the dome should loosen. Superglue doesn't like heat. If the dome starts to melt, you've overdone it!

It actually really looks like a Q. Looking forward to seeing it painted and finished.

Philip
Last edited by Philip Hall on Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:32 pm

Quentin,

Looking good. As I have been over 2 years playing around with and re-building my DJH Barney as a 'first go', I know just the process! From my own experience I think you should be pretty pleased with this outcome so far.

I suspect if you had been able to look at where you are now when you first started you would have been well chuffed ! ... the trouble is the eye gets educated throughout the process - which makes you very aware of the shortcomings (I suggest more so than others).

Looking forward to watching progress.

Tim
Tim Lee

dal-t
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby dal-t » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:43 pm

Looks pretty respectable to me as well. The benefits of tackling a more ambitious prototype early in your building career are (a) you don't really know what you should be 'afraid' of, and (b) if it turns out well, you can feel really proud of your achievement. In your case, I think you should be really pleased. Personally, the second-ever kit I built was a Black Five, after what I thought was success with a rather plain and lop-sided Coal Tank. Somewhere around the connecting rods/valve gear I got a bit stuck, so most of it remains in the box (50-odd years later) - and I've largely stuck to inside-cylinder stuff ever since! I would just say about the dome, beware of the fumes if you use Philip's method to remove it. Killing superglue with heat is very effective, but it gives off gases that can have the same effect on you. Depending on what else is attached in a similar method - and assuming you don't want to return everything to component parts to start again - you might get away with just pouring boiling water on the offending item.
David L-T

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Will L
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby Will L » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:57 pm

QuentinD wrote:An equally appropriate title for this might have been "Learning to walk before crawling".

Learning by doing is the right approach. The game goes to those that persist.
The firebox front was cast poorly and by the time I had made it sit level I'd lost about .5mm of height; this created a minor dispute between the firebox+boiler and the outermost smokebox wrapper (which had informed the drilling of holes). The resultant mistake was not caught until the handrails had been soldered in place :( In addition, I didn't pay enough attention to photos and superglued the dome according to the hole in the boiler. As a result it's 2mm aft of where it ought to be. I don't have solutions for these last two just yet.

Hint, superglue joints are, when push comes to shove, brittle, a sharp tap will usually shift something like a misplaced dome. My favourite tool for the job is my XACTO craft knife handle which is basilica a round aluminium bar half an inch across and about 5 inches long.

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iak
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby iak » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:20 pm

An excellent starter for 10.... :thumb
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Noel
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby Noel » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:00 pm

QuentinD wrote:My best bet looks to be either the 3F or the 4F. Can anyone tell me which of those has a 6'6"+6'6" wheelbase?


This wheelbase seems to be pretty much standard for all Fowler designed tenders, so the 4F should be OK so far as wheelbase is concerned, but the Q tender is longer overall. The supplier ought to be able to give you the wheelbases, etc. of his products...
Regards
Noel

Highpeak
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby Highpeak » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:52 pm

It looks like you jumped in a long way over to the deep end, especially with a kit that doesn't seem to have made life easy and could well have turned lesser souls off for a while if not for good.
But you appear to have done very well with it, and the bigger the challenge, the greater the reward of seeing something come together where there was only a box of bits. Well done, and an inspiration to other beginners like me.
Neville
If at first you don't succeed, try reading the instructions.

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Andy W
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby Andy W » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:58 pm

Looks good Quentin. I've removed the odd superglued item by laying a piece of balsa on it and giving that a sharp tap. That avoids damaging the white metal.
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Highpeak
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby Highpeak » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:08 am

Zap makes a debonder, from a spot of googling it appears to be mostly acetone, so you could try swabbing it with acetone if the thought of physical removal makes you uneasy. That said, Will L is quite correct, superglues joints are quite brittle.
Neville
If at first you don't succeed, try reading the instructions.

QuentinD
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:41 am

Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby QuentinD » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:05 am

Thank you to all for the warm and helpful comments! :D

I was able to pop the dome off using Will's method--I inverted the loco in my cradle and lined up a screwdriver through into the boiler hole underneath--one quick tap with the xacto handle and all was done, no disaster!

Slight clarification has been received from Brassmasters on the tender chassis, which has me looking into other options. There was a miscommunication, entirely due to my lack of clarity, about which tender frames (outside or functional).

Sadly Dave Franks does not ship the US, but other options include the Comet offering and one by Bill Bedford. I guess I'll be doing some digging on suitable chassis before committing!

Quentin

P.S. I'll certainly be more selective about which kits I buy in the future!

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Will L
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Re: A beginner's first essays

Postby Will L » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:57 am

QuentinD wrote:I was able to pop the dome off using Will's method--I inverted the loco in my cradle and lined up a screwdriver through into the boiler hole underneath--one quick tap with the xacto handle and all was done, no disaster! !

:thumb


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