51L Iron Ore Hoppers

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Wizard of the Moor
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:51 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:Stenson Models do a useful range of handwheels which are very nice.


Indeed they do and I have a good selection in stock, but none that match the size of these ones.

Actually, 51L do some frets of handwheels that are much better than these ones.
James Dickie

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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:27 pm

A cruel (no, what's a couple of stages on from cruel?) close-up showing the state of these handwheel etches.

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Top row: those from a 2nd generation etch, soldered to shafts, cleaned up by spinning in the Dremel against fine wet and dry paper, then lightly dished. The one at the very right needs another polishing session! You can see that not all of the polygonal surfaces have been blended in.

Middle row: those from the 1st generation etch. How do I know that? Well, the placement of the components was different. These look a bit chunkier to me.

Bottom row: those from the other second generation etch. The amount of mismatch between the two halves of the photo tool is very evident. I think these are for the scrapbox, to be honest.
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:19 pm

Having got the handwheels polished to my satisfaction/limit of attention span, they were added to the hopper door cross-shafts and then fixed to the underframes.

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This shot highlights the ends of the outer vee hangers sitting in mid-air, rather than being just below the bend in the brackets fixing them to the solebars. I should have trimmed the top edge off the solebars before fitting them and then made up new brackets. Ah well, theres always next time :cry:
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Sun May 10, 2020 1:38 pm

I see that there have been 1883 views of this thread, so time for another update.

Andrew from Wizard Models has been very helpful (as always!) in helping me understand the castings for the hopper door control gear. You may remember this picture, where I highlighted the two different casting shapes that were in my kits.

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The castings on the bottom right are the correct ones. The triangular part to the left of the bracket represents the semi-circular plates that lock the door open. Geoff Kent mentions adding these in his MRJ article, so the 51L moulds must've been updated at some point to better represent this. New castings arrived very quickly in the post.

I still felt, though, that the two plates need to be included. These were marked out on a 3mm x 0.25mm strip of nickel silver from the useful Palantine Models etch. I guesstimated the curved part to be 2.6mm tall, 3.5mm wide and a radius of 4mm seems to work ok. There is a lug at the top, which I made 0.5mm square.

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These were roughed out with jeweller's snips and then filed to shape. The castings have a very pronounced draft, so I used a curved scalpel blade to scrape this back a bit so that the plates would stand vertically. The new plates could then be Loctite'd in place. The photo attempts to show the marked out plates, the draft of the castings, and a finished unit.

Holding such small pieces to shape them accurately is always a challenge. Seeing the lines to file to is even more so. By adjusting my vice to hold the parts at a comfortable attitude and arranged to catch the light, the filing process wasn't too bad. I even managed to avoid feeding the carpet monster on this occasion.

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One further point about these castings: they are intended to be fixed to the underside of the wagon top-plate such that the bracket assembly pokes up into the holes in the top-plate. Before fixing, cut about 3mm from each end of the bar, otherwise this will impede the bearing carriers. As I've moved the spring position 1mm further away from the wagon floor than intended, this would just impede the spring movement. If built as designed, the ends of the beams will try to occupy the same space as the tops of the bearing carriers. This is pretty obvious, but not called out directly in the instructions.
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Sun May 10, 2020 6:37 pm

Having dealt with all the hopper door control castings, I decided it would be a good idea to work out how the hopper bodies should be attached to the underframes. There is no provision in the kit for getting the two aligned. Geoff Kent describes how he used a rectangle of 20 thou platic card glued onto the bottom of the hopper to engage with the central hole in the top plate. I've done similar, but with nickel silver, as it was the first sheet of the right thickness to come to hand.

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I found it really tricky to mark out the bottom of the hopper, as there are no right angles anywhere to run the leg of my calipers along. Anyway, a little perseverance and everything worked out fine. The hoppers can now be put in position to check clearances for the next stage, which is the operating handles for the door.

One of the hopper castings was warped, so a quick dip in some hot water to soften it, then holding it on the base of a flat container and pouring cold water on it sorted that. And then again and again and again to try and correct the bowing that developed in the sides :cry: Next time I'll ask Andrew if he can sell me a replacement casting.
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby jim s-w » Wed May 13, 2020 12:21 pm

Despite all your tribulations this thread is ticking my awkward kit interest. Tempted to get one now! :D :D

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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:16 pm

Well, it's been a while and Jim has made a great job of his kit. Carrying on from the last instalment, the next task was constructing the hopper operating levers and their supports. The instructions state that these would be too difficult to etch and so they should be cobbled up from bits of wire and scrap fret. So I did, and flushed with my success I thought that I would put the finished wagon chassis in the ultrasonic cleaner before taking some pictures.

One of the off-forum messages that I've had said something like, "Your struggle with those hopper wagons has made me realise that I need to avoid any kits that don't just fall together." Fair enough, especially if you're working on a lifetime vision type of layout.

A ten minute ultrasonic cycle later, I found that these kits had literally fallen apart. All of the glue had been cleaned out, leaving a pile of beautifully shiny parts in the tank. At this point a certain lack of enthusiasm set in and I did other stuff instead. A polite enquiry as to progress earlier this month reminded me that these wagons are to run on someone else's layout and so I've slowly put them back together again. Some further reseach has turned up a suitable prototype picture that shows the finished state that I'm now aiming for.

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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:48 pm

The second time around I wasn't going to be satisfied with the scrap fret and wire approach for those hopper levers. A bit of a think and a rummage in my stock of bits brought up some 3mm square tube, 3 mm I girder and some 18 thou by 10 thou brass bar. Slices of the tube were parted off in the lathe, lugs pf 0.3mm square wire were soldered on to the top edge and the central portion of the bottom edge cut out with a piercing saw. This gives the front support frame that the lever rests on.

A slice of the I girder had diagonally opposite 'ears' filed off to make it into an elongated Z section. A gusset from Palatine Models strip was soldered on to one face and this makes the bracket that the lever pivots on.

Lengths of the brass bar were joined at right angles by a minute detailing component from a Rumney models brakegear etch. Once soldered together, this was filed down further to make it the same width as the brass lever. A 90 degree twist was introduced to the lever between the pivot bracket and support frame.

This approach was much easier, quicker and more consistent than the previous attempt.

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I think I'm happy with that.
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:03 pm

With the hoppers now fixed to the underframes, then the stanchions can start going on. They're beginning to look like hopper wagons now.

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In this picture, it's possible to see where some of the whitemetal castings have been affected by the ultrasonic cleaning. They have developed a very dull grey, pitted surface.

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Craig Warton
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Craig Warton » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:52 am

They really are looking very good, far better than I was expecting from earlier on when reality hit you in the face. I am amazed you have continued with them, I suspect if it was me fighting with these they would have been back in the cupboard quite a while back,

Regards,

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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:58 pm

Thanks, Craig! I must admit, getting on with live-steam Gauge 1 projects was much more fun for a while. However, I set out with the mindset that I was going to build a rake of D1/163 wagons from the supplied components rather than assemble some kits. Now that the etched components are out of the way, I'm feeling like these wagons will turn out alright.

Cleaning up all the whitemetal stanchions is tedious though...
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:18 pm

Some decent progress has been made this weekend, with all the central stanchions attached to the wagons.

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Now, looking at photos of the real thing shows that there's a pretty substantial skirt that goes along the hopper sides. I've replicated this with lengths of 1.5mm triangular section styrene. On one side of the wagons, that with the hoop between the V hangers, the hinge straps for the hopper doors stick out from under this skirt. These have been added with little strips of 15thou by 30thou strip with 0.6mm 'bolt heads' on top. It's very difficult to see exactly how many of these there are and their precise positions, so I've gone for three pairs either side of the stanchions.

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On the other side of the wagon, there are boltheads on the skirt itself. Presumably these are for the hopper door latches. Once again, I punched out some bolt heads from 10thou black Evergreen sheet. This makes them much easier to work with compared to white ones on a white background. By way of experimentation, there are some 0.6mm round, 0.7mm round and 0.7mm hex ones. By the time the hex ones have been washed with butanone, I'm not sure that there's any visible difference...

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I know that this isn't 100% accurate, but short of a trip to see the preserved wagon at Preston and take some measurements, it'll have to do. Funnily enough, the instructions don't make any mention of all this. I can understand that the skirt can't be on the main hopper casting, but doing it as a separate base with some location for the stanchions would make life easier.
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Re: 51L Iron Ore Hoppers

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:53 pm

The next job is to clean up the end or corner stanchions. These are simple bars bent to an angle so that they rest on the top plate. The instructions suggest that they need to be lightly filed to achieve the correct angle that enbles them to sit on the top plate.

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The stanchions as supplied are shown on the left and need to be altered as shown on the right. My crude annotation shows that the tip needs to be filed back to be at right angles to the outside face. If there were only a couple to do then I'd attempt to eyeball it, but for a dozen (not having any spares!) I thought about a way to hold the stanchions to make life easier.

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Whilst walking by the canal earlier, I realised that I could use my 1-2-3 blocks (actually 10-20-40 blocks, 'coz they're metric) from Arc Euro Trade to hold the stanchions and act as a filing jig to get the angle correct. The blocks are tapped for M6 screws, so they can be bolted together in various ways. Very handy for creating a right-angle jig when resistance soldering.

The stanchions measure about 1.5mm wide, so I've found a scrap of 60thou plastic card to act as a spacer and prevent the blocks skewing when tightened together.

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The blocks are finger-tightened on the spacer and then slipped on top of a stanchion sitting fce down on a block of wood. The wood is only needed because I'm using screws that stick out beyond the sides of the blocks. Now adjust the stanchion so that the top edge of the angle is level with the edge of the blocks.

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Nip up the screws and the stanchion is positioned just right for the excess to be filed off.

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The blocks aren't hardened, but going gently with the file won't do any major damage. A few strokes and the stachion is taken down level with the blocks.

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Slacken off the screws and the geometry can be seen easily.

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The result is a spot-on fit on the wagon.

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I love it when a plan comes together.
James Dickie

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