Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

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David B
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby David B » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:21 am

ICollett wrote:Still having little joy in paring/filing back the Ratio and Coopercraft solebars to take off the etched W irons, the back wall of the solebar is so close to the line of the plastic W iron that I'm finding myself tearing through.


I don't understand why you are removing the W irons by thinning the solebars, Ian. Am I right to presume you are using something like the Society rocking irons or Bill Bedford's units - you mentioned the axle alignment jig - in which case, why not just cut the W irons off? You can thin the solebars if you wish, but just stick them on again outside the brass units that hold the wheels. You can then add the springs and axle boxes to the new brass W irons or the springs to the solebars and axleboxes to the irons. This way you retain the solebar detail.

I have converted some Coopercraft wagons this way that I made 30 years ago in OO. The solebars were a bit narrow on the floor for P4 and I had to remove them but I compromised by thinning them a bit and then moving them out to accommodate the axle units. This may not be entirely accurate so I reduced the inaccuracy by thinning the solebars, but not enough to destroy them. There are times in our modelling when we do have to make compromises.

I gave up on salvaging the plastic springs and boxes - time is too short - and use MJT bits from Dart Castings, but then I don't come from Yorkshire!

David

jayell

Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby jayell » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:11 am

dave k wrote:
ICollett wrote:Still having little joy in paring/filing back the Ratio and Coopercraft solebars to take off the etched W irons, the back wall of the solebar is so close to the line of the plastic W iron that I'm finding myself tearing through. One alternative I'm going to try is 3mmx1mm brass channel from Eileen's Emporium


You could use etched solebars. Southwark Bridge Models do a combined etched solebar/brake etch for GW 10' wagons which allows you make up any version of Dean Churchward brake or Morgan Design do a range of etched compensated underframes to which you can get etched solebars. However, if you don't want to go that far, Evergreen do 3 x 1 plastic channel.


I plan on building some coopercraft 4 plank wagons using morgan etches for the sprung w-irons but like Dave am concerned about using any of the coopercraft underframing as it requires a lot of fettling before it can be used, so am thinking of building new underframes from scratch. I now have a small stock of the morgan etches, grease axleboxes, springs etc from Dart Castings in readiness.

First off though will be a one (or two planker) based on a description of building one in the Farthing Sidings blog. This will be a wooden underframe so flat strip will be required, I have put off buying this for now as the four plankers really need bulb iron solebars but will have to make do with channel, but what to get is the problem .

The Evergreen channel would seem to be oversize at 3.2mm x1.2 mm, would this be noticeable when used for a 4mm scale wagon?

I would prefer to use plastic rather than the 3x1 brass channel to avoid the need to solder it to the w-iron etches but Plastruct don't seem to do any suitable channel. I will get some of their flat strip for the wooden underframes though.

John

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Dave K
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Dave K » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:22 am

johnlewis wrote:I plan on building some coopercraft 4 plank wagons using morgan etches for the sprung w-irons but like Dave am concerned about using any of the coopercraft underframing as it requires a lot of fettling before it can be used, so am thinking of building new underframes from scratch. I now have a small stock of the morgan etches, grease axleboxes, springs etc from Dart Castings in readiness. John


John,

If you are going to use Morgan Design etches for the sprung w-iron I would use his solesbars as well, they are to scale and need little if any fettering. Depending on the period you are modelling he also does replacement non-reversiable brakes (as per the drawing of the DC1 brake in GWW). And then Dart Castings for axleboxes etc.

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:24 am

johnlewis wrote:
The Evergreen channel would seem to be oversize at 3.2mm x1.2 mm, would this be noticeable when used for a 4mm scale wagon?

I would prefer to use plastic rather than the 3x1 brass channel to avoid the need to solder it to the w-iron etches but Plastruct don't seem to do any suitable channel. I will get some of their flat strip for the wooden underframes though.

John


I don't think the additional 0.2mm solebar depth would be noticeable but you might want to check how it matches up to the kit's buffer beam if you are retaining them. Flange thickness for the 1/8" channel is given as 0.012" which I make to be 0.3mm which actually may be better than the brass channel which is nominal 0.35mm, close enough 1" (the GWR original was 9" x 3" x 3/8" for vehicles up to 14 tons) that's a flange of 0.125mm which would probably be unable to retain its shape in either brass or plastic. I previously rejected plastic channel because the flange thickness I saw was circa 0.5mm and looked much to thick, however, that wasn't Evergreen and I may investigate further.

However, I actually like the idea of soldering the solebar to the Bill Bedford W irons which then permits other items such as brake gear from Mainly Trains to be soldered to the solebar also.

Unfortunately my office/workshop is currently too much in use for its primary purpose and hobby time is in short supply at the moment. Once I can clear the decks and get some construction done I'll post some photos.

jayell

Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby jayell » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:44 pm

I sent off an order to EE this morning for some of the Evergreen channel and the Plastruct flat strip I need for wooden underframes.

John

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:16 pm

I have just taken delivery of 'The 4mm Coal Wagon' by John Hayes published by Wild Swan and purchased from the Pendon Museum bookshop http://www.pendonmuseum.com/shop/view.php?id=50&category=6 which I can heartily recommend - ordered Sunday night, delivered Tuesday morning - excellent :thumb .
John Hayes' book is up to Wild Swan's usual high standard and is a feast for the eye that just makes my fingers itch to pick up a scalpel and start cutting some plasticard.

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:33 am

Took delivery of a Silhouette Portrait cutting machine the other day and have been getting to grips with the software and operation with a first attempt at the Lambourn goods shed. Not a traditional GWR structure as it was built by the Lambourn Valley Light Railway before the GWR took over the line, but an interesting little all timber structure.

The building is marked up using a software package, there are several suitable but this was drawn using the program that came with the machine -

First Silhouette File.JPG
Silhouette Studio Software for building sides, end walls, floor, roof trusses and roof
First Silhouette File.JPG (120.14 KiB) Viewed 6633 times


A great advantage over pen/paper drafting is that once an element has been completed, such as a wall or a window frame or a roof truss, copy and paste means that multiple copies of the object can be generated with all of them completely identical. Actually this is necessary as the Silhouette is unable to cut material much thicker than 15thou, parts are then laminated up into thicker components. However, the parts used for this building were scribed by the machine onto 30thou and a second cut made on 20 thou. The 30thou took quite heavy cutting with a scalpel to complete (which it does anyway), while the 20thou just needed a blade quickly running along the scribed lines. BTW - duplicating the page just required putting a fresh sheet of styrene in the machine, adjusting some settings (mainly for experimentation purposes) and pressing "go". One of the roof trusses in the photo was cut from the 30thou - very laborious, while completing a pair in 20thou took only a few moments and then they were stuck together with perfect registration, very satisfactory.

The main advantage from my point of view is that the marking out is dimensional accurate, at least for all the components in relation to each other. Walls can be copied, allowances made for material thickness, 'handed' items such as the awning supports can be duplicated using a mirror function, and then the whole design can be scribed onto the styrene to within, it appears, 0.1mm accuracy. A lovely feature - I wanted to test the roof trusses against the end walls to check there was 30thou clearance each side for the side walls - there was, but because the truss was 60thou narrower the roof slope was all wrong - easily fixed with a single click and mouse move, but exactly the sort of thing I previously only used to discover after cutting the parts!

You can also put a pen in the Silhouette and use it as a plotter - mine is the smaller machine so maximum width is that of an A4 sheet, but according to the manual, maximum length is 10 feet for material passing through the machine. Now I cannot vouch for its accuracy over that length of print, but the software allows it to accept standard CAD file formats - so potentially it could draw Templot diagrams of quite some length, although as noted the width is limited to 8" for the Portrait and 12" for the larger Cameo model.

LGS Interior1.jpg
Building shell 30thou styrene card
LGS Interior1.jpg (112.04 KiB) Viewed 6633 times


The parts cut out easily and went together almost like building a kit - very enjoyable, and confidence was increased by knowing that all the angles were 90 degrees and the dimensions accurate. I have a scrapbox of failed attempts at styrene sheet buildings, I have a feeling this one will not be joining them. Although the interior planking, which was scribed by hand, demonstrates my personal reasons for getting this computerised Stanley knife.

LGS Interior2.jpg
With interior planking (hand) scribed on 20thou
LGS Interior2.jpg (45.26 KiB) Viewed 6633 times


While I'm still at the bottom of the learning curve of this machine I have to say that so far I'm completely delighted, and there are lots of plans being developed for some of the wagons in the GWR Wagons book - a few W3 small cattle trucks are definitely on the order books for the wagon works.

As regards rolling stock building plans - well, a handful of orders were placed with various suppliers for umpteen parts such as brake gear etches etc. to arrive during the half-term holiday which I had booked as leave, and indeed some of them turned up... but not the ones I particularly wanted. They have now all appeared, unfortunately after the end of the holiday week when I'm back ploughing through all the emails and cases that built up over the holiday. I'm determined not to let this get to me this time around, I shall order in good time and expect things to arrive when I see them, I have no deadlines (get plenty of them at work) and now I have my new toy all I need is a couple of sheets of styrene and a pot of glue and I can happily entertain myself for hours.

Final note - I believe the Silhouette was mentioned in the Scalefour News, and in particular the excellent thread running on RMWeb at http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79025-a-guide-to-using-the-silhouette-cameo-cutter/ for anyone interested in these machines I can't recommend this thread highly enough, and the work being done there is quite remarkable.

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David B
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby David B » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:48 am

Very interesting, Ian. The cutter is a most useful tool saving time and helping to get really good results like yours.

I started a thread on Die Cutters at the beginning of the year and to hear of your positive experience is most encouraging. They seem to me to be a more cost effective way of getting much of the 2D materials without the expense of a laser cutter. They are limited in the materials that can be cut, but how often might we need to cut materials like perspex or plywood when we can use plasticard and ordinary card just as well?

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:27 pm

Thanks for the kind words David. My intention was to start as simply as possible with a very basic shed and I think it's achieving my intention of a basic "Hello World" project.

There are running cost issues with these machines, the cost of a replacement blade and holder from the manufacturer is very high (around £11 per blade from UK suppliers) and using the cutter on materials such as styrene sheet will blunt the blade fairly quickly. There are "work arounds" to this which can be found on the RMWeb thread, there's a blade holder known as the CB09 (costs around £15) that takes replacement blades available at £20 for five. This reduces the running cost a little, and allows the use of different blade angles, 30 and 45 degree for 'heavy' cutting, 60 degree for fine detail, but it's still much more expensive than normal scalpel blades.

While I'm a complete beginner with both this technology and proper hands on modelling I see these machines primarily as a Marking Out Tool - a design can be developed using CAD to precise dimensions which the machine can transfer to the selected construction material as scribed lines that appear accurate +/- 0.1mm. I'm awaiting delivery of a diamond tipped grinding wheel dresser (again there are details on the RMWeb thread) that can be used in the Silhouette's pen holder, this should mark the sheet material, styrene or brass, scribing in the cut lines, planking and hole centre markings allowing conventional (and much cheaper) cutting tools to take over the 'heavy lifting'. Being a diamond tip I'm hoping for a fairly lengthy working life from it, plus they are £2.38 each so it's not a big expense and others on the RMWeb thread have had some interesting results scribing brass

The Silhouette Portrait is a plastic machine much like an inkjet printer except the rollers are able to move the 'print' medium backwards as well as forwards, the head moves side to side wielding a blade (or pen) instead of an ink cartridge/print head. But this is a low-end consumer hobby use machine that, for around £150, let's you dip your toe in the CAD/CAM water. The manufacturer doesn't advocate the use of materials such as 30thou styrene, although it will accept material up to 0.8mm so 30thou is the practical limit. The Silver Bullet is a more commercial machine with a price tag to match at about £650, and then of course you start moving into the 3D CNC router machines, such as the Shapeoko2 that can move a Dremmel or high speed spindle head through X,Y,Z co-ordinates - a Shapeoko2 with a suitable spindle, cutters and a skilled operator would be able to machine a locomotive dome or chimney, engrave brass sheet to cut out parts and put on bolt head detail, or mill nickel silver chassis parts etc etc - all up hardware cost probably around £1,000. But this amount of money would also buy an awful lot of lost wax castings and etched brass, and of course you would still have the ongoing cost of materials and tooling.

BTW, the Silhouette can also cut material suitable for use as etch resist, so with a bottle of Ferric Chloride and a sheet of sticky backed plastic you could possibly do your own etching.

I have heard it said that Finescale is where Railway Modelling starts to merge into Model Engineering. We are entering interesting times with powerful personal computers that can manipulate detailed engineering drawings on a computer screen using free software, and now we are seeing the availability of peripherals that don't just print those drawing onto paper, but can transcribe the design into materials suitable for final manufacture.

Perhaps there's a debate to be had here about the pros-and-cons of Computer Aided Manufacture and the use of traditional equipment, but IMHO if it makes it easier for people to enter the hobby and scratch-build the items they are interested in then I'm all for it.

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David B
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby David B » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:33 pm

ICollett wrote:I have heard it said that Finescale is where Railway Modelling starts to merge into Model Engineering. We are entering interesting times with powerful personal computers that can manipulate detailed engineering drawings on a computer screen using free software, and now we are seeing the availability of peripherals that don't just print those drawing onto paper, but can transcribe the design into materials suitable for final manufacture.

Perhaps there's a debate to be had here about the pros-and-cons of Computer Aided Manufacture and the use of traditional equipment, but IMHO if it makes it easier for people to enter the hobby and scratch-build the items they are interested in then I'm all for it.


You are right, Ian. Elsewhere there has been some recent discussion on track construction concerning rivets and plastic chairs. Technology has developed to a considerable extent making it possible for the modeller to do things which could only have been either dreamed of or achieved with expensive machinery as little as 10 years ago.

I don't believe in hanging on to methods because that is the way one has learned to do something, though if it works for you then carry on. However, I do believe one needs at least to be aware of developments and what they offer. Where serious amounts of time can be saved I think it could be of considerable benefit as is the ease with which repetitious tasks are done. Many of us find ourselves short of time, so if we can get a machine to produce the parts then why not let it do so. It is then little different to buying a kit and assembling it which is what you have said above.

Cost can be the downside and new technologies are not within everybody's budget but it may be possible for them to be bought by clubs and groups. Communal working is often more fun and productive than slaving on one's own. It does not have to be a modelling club - more libraries and Hackspaces have things like 3D and laser cutters for people to use and you just pay for the job without the capital outlay.
Last edited by David B on Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jayell

Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby jayell » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:01 pm

ICollett wrote:Thanks for the kind words David. My intention was to start as simply as possible with a very basic shed and I think it's achieving my intention of a basic "Hello World" project.
<snipped>
The Silhouette Portrait is a plastic machine much like an inkjet printer except the rollers are able to move the 'print' medium backwards as well as forwards, the head moves side to side wielding a blade (or pen) instead of an ink cartridge/print head. But this is a low-end consumer hobby use machine that, for around £150, let's you dip your toe in the CAD/CAM water. The manufacturer doesn't advocate the use of materials such as 30thou styrene, although it will accept material up to 0.8mm so 30thou is the practical limit
<snipped>
Perhaps there's a debate to be had here about the pros-and-cons of Computer Aided Manufacture and the use of traditional equipment, but IMHO if it makes it easier for people to enter the hobby and scratch-build the items they are interested in then I'm all for it.


I think that trying to cut 30 thou styrene isn't the way to go, I think cutting much thinner stuff and laminating it would be better. This would make it easier to build outside framed GWR vans for example. Building up a body with multiple layers of styrene isn't new but this type of tool would make creating the layers more accurately and with less risk than trying to use a scalpel as was done for the styrene coaches described recently.

(edited to add)
If laminating styrene is problematical then perhaps alternative materials should be considered. How about paper or card? Papier mache is very strong and has survived for centuries ;)

John

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:26 pm

johnlewis wrote:I think that trying to cut 30 thou styrene isn't the way to go, I think cutting much thinner stuff and laminating it would be better. This would make it easier to build outside framed GWR vans for example. Building up a body with multiple layers of styrene isn't new but this type of tool would make creating the layers more accurately and with less risk than trying to use a scalpel as was done for the styrene coaches described recently. If laminating styrene is problematical then perhaps alternative materials should be considered. How about paper or card? Papier mache is very strong and has survived for centuries ;)

John


I don't disagree John, I stuck 30thou into the machine mainly to find out what it would do, there was a chance it might spit it back out again, but it didn't.

As with all things the material to use depends entirely on what your building - for something like an open wagon then two layers, interior and exterior, cut and scribed on 15thou gives a 30 thou wall thickness, equivalent to 2.33" timber so pretty close to GWR 2.5" timber - although, I doubt I would be scratch building GWR open wagons when there are plenty of kits available. A W3 cattle wagon needs interior and exterior detailing, and I can't locate a kit, so that's an application. For box wagons then the wall thickness isn't so much of an issue, thinner walls can be strengthened inside any way you wish.

My main application for the machine is marking out and scribing planks, so if it will do that on 30thou then I'm well happy.

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:50 pm

ADDENDUM

I can't edit the above so a quick additional note.

There is an advantage to NOT cutting on a Silhouette machine - cutting through the material leaves score marks on the carrier sheet that holds the material as it passes through the machine. If the cut depth is set incorrectly then, worst case scenario, you can cut right through the mat. Over time these score marks mount up and the carrier mat needs to be replaced (about £12), but, if you don't cut through, score the styrene and finish cutting with a scalpel, then your carrier mat is unmarked and should last a lot longer.

I'm waiting for these diamond tools to turn up - see http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79025-a-guide-to-using-the-silhouette-cameo-cutter/page-22 Post #541 by Mike Oxon. If these diamonds can make a good job of leaving a straight line suitable for cutting along then I may give the Silhouette knife (which are expensive) extended leave and only use it when I'm cutting out tricky curves.


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