split axles and motor gearbox

philpill

split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:29 pm

Hi i am interested in trying to use split axles in my next loco construction em stores stock them with the split offset this is ok for the non motorised axles but how can i insulate when using a high level gearbox is insulated bearings in the gearbox axle holes the answer ?
Last edited by philpill on Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:43 pm

Reading Scalefour News 196 this morning i noticed Knuckles use of "insulted materials" (page 8) and now we have "insulted bearings", coincidence? or the latest microsoft plot. :)

Anyway, on a more serious note insulated bearings would be one possible solution, if you can find a suitable material, tufnol perhaps. The more usual method, I understand, is to make up a 3 part axle so the gearbox sits on the central section. Does limit you to the narrower designs of gearbox.
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Knuckles
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby Knuckles » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:25 pm

BUGGER! (With brass knobs on)

One of my infamous typo's. :shock:
Maybe our Editor missed it. My apologies.
Unless you are suggesting it could be an automatic correction by the software, seems so. it has done a few things like that to me too.

How about highly polished ABS? (Same plastic as LEGO)


[goes to look...]
I haven't actually seen the latest edition so will do so now if it is online.

EDIT: Looked, not yet. Waiting for Postman Pat then. :D
Last edited by Knuckles on Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Andy W
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby Andy W » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:54 pm

I wrote a thread on making split axles here: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2377&hilit=Split+axle+Andy

It's best if you use the slimline range of gearboxes - gives you a bit more space. If you do it's possible to use Branchlines split axles. They sell three part axels with a central neutral area as well as two part ones. They need gluing in a jig, but work well. No website but Brian attends shows like expo em and (I think) Railex.
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philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:09 pm

Hi have read your article interesting i was hoping to use insulated bearings as 2 part split axles are readly available from em stores regards phil

garethashenden
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby garethashenden » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:53 pm

I've done it with a two part axle. The EMGS axles are overlong anyway, so they need an end trimmed. They can be cut in such a way that the gap falls between the gearbox bearing and the hornblock. Then use a plastic or paper washer to keep the gearbox and hornblock apart. The gearbox is now live to one frame, but I think that's far easier than three part axles or insulated bearings.

philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:05 pm

thanks will give it a try phil

philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:33 pm

eventually found some non conducive bearings some type of plastic on 2 commercial sites 3.1mm bore but plenty of wall to ream out 3.2mm and onlt 19p each ex vat great i thought only problem was a minimum of 1000 any takers on the remaining 990

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Flymo748
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:12 pm

philpill wrote:eventually found some non conducive bearings some type of plastic on 2 commercial sites 3.1mm bore but plenty of wall to ream out 3.2mm and onlt 19p each ex vat great i thought only problem was a minimum of 1000 any takers on the remaining 990


Hi Phil,

I'm easily confused, but I can't work out why you need insulating bearings.

Are these to go into the frames or the gearbox? I'm trying to understand in my head which bits are "live to rails" and which bits are electrically insulated.

I'm building a split-frame chassis at the moment and using a three-part axle (the branchlines one again) to isolate the gearbox from the two live frames.

Missenden Mar'15 02.JPG


Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:03 pm

Hi i am new to split axle but giving it a try as i am useless at pickups thanks for the photo what gearbox is it and its width ,i was considering the plastic bearings if only a 2 piece axle was available regards phil

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Flymo748
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:06 am

philpill wrote:Hi i am new to split axle but giving it a try as i am useless at pickups thanks for the photo what gearbox is it and its width ,i was considering the plastic bearings if only a 2 piece axle was available regards phil


Hi Phil,

I'm about to get ready and go out to work. However I haven't forgotten your question about the gearbox. It was something done at Missenden last year, and as the Spring Weekend is very close I really must dig the kit out again.

I'll do an explanatory post on my own workbench thread, and let you know where to find it.

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

essdee
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby essdee » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:45 am

Phil,

I know Paul/Flymo will be coming back to you on this later, but since I discussed gearboxes/insulated axles with him at Missenden last year, I suspect he may say much of what I suggest here? It may well be that the gearbox example he illustrates is the one we discussed.

The crux of the matter was that the articulated section of the High Level Kits gearbox being used, was of a width which meant it could short across one or both of the isolating gaps in the insulated axle, with or without axle sideplay.

My suggestion was that the articulated gearbox section could be sawn down the middle, and further filed if necessary, to reduce its width to fit well within the isolated centre section of the axle, whilst still allowing plenty of room for the drive gear. Paul's illustrated example uses the High Level slim drive gear, without a grub screw boss, but I recall checking to find that the wider grub screw version (much preferable...) could also be installed if you are using an articulated gearbox that utilises one of these. I suspect that excess boss thickness could be milled/filed off without losing the grub screw bore, if clearance proved tight. For those using the slimline final drive gear, the limiting factor will be the final step-down nylon gear, as seen in Paul's illustration.

Obviously, by doing this you lose some of the inherent engineering excellence built into a Chris Gibbon product, but by fitting the axle bearings before sawing the gearbox frame, you can then mount the two halves on an axle, with 2mm rod through the idler gear axle holes, before soldering a covering plate above the cut to re-unite the two halves. I recommend 188 deg solder for this, so it is less likely to come adrift when you eventually solder the articulated section to the main gearbox at its desired angle, using 145deg solder. Paul can advise exactly how he did his, which he sawed and re-united and installed in the following work session at Missenden.

The narrowed articulated gearbox section will obviously need some washers installed on the 2mm gear axle, to centralise it in the unaltered, wider main gearbox section - you will be installing it between the latter's frames, rather than outside them as originally. Some adjustment of the kit's provided gear spacer sleeve and washering will also be required. It would be wise to fully familiarise yourself with the consequences of this whole exercise, before picking up the saw!

I am quite a devotee of sawing up or otherwise tweaking High Level Components to fit particular situations, beyond the already wide range that Chris's designs can reach. So far I have not had a disaster - so I have fingers crossed that Paul is not about to return and say he had to bin my suggestion and start again....it certainly looked OK on the day.

Best wishes,

Steve

philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:02 am

thanks for the advice would like to visit Missenden but would probably need a visa to leave cornwall

philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:43 pm

Hi all just received a 44xx chassis beautifully built for me by John James to split frame very smooth runner he has one of the bearings on the high level gearbox sleeved and the other must be live this looks like it is used as the supply to one of the motor contacts not sure will have to check with him would like him to do all my chassis requirements but funds are limited

Terry Bendall
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:50 pm

My answer on the plastic top hat bearings thread may be useful here.

Terry Bendall

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Flymo748
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:33 pm

essdee wrote:Phil,

I know Paul/Flymo will be coming back to you on this later, but since I discussed gearboxes/insulated axles with him at Missenden last year, I suspect he may say much of what I suggest here? It may well be that the gearbox example he illustrates is the one we discussed.


Hi Phil,

Steve has done an excellent job in describing the process that I went though to build this gearbox. First of all, it should be said that without his suggestion and urging, I'd never have tried it. I would have been in the situation of having no gearbox to fit the model as I had built it so far.

As Steve has described the process so well, this is more of a photo essay of how I did it and what the result was. Because of the curing times needed to build split axles, I'd already made these the week before Missenden, and had them complete with me. They are Branchlines ones, and built using the Branchlines axle jig clamp making them was a very painless process. The only thing that I made very sure off was to grease it very well. I forget with what, but I think that the instructions mention it. It may have been silicone spray from working on the motorbikes, but I'm sure that other things would do as well. Oh, and the other thing was that I didn't just leave the axles in the jig for 24 hours to set, but three or four days.

I had taken a number of High Level gearboxes with me. I keep a variety "in stock" as I like to have different options of laying out the drivetrain when starting a kit. I had found a shape that fitted the locomotive, but until I'd built up the gearbox I hadn't realised that it would be wider than the gaps in the axle. It was at this point when I was staring forlornly at it and Steve made the suggestion to cut it in half. As he has mentioned, I had already fitted the bearings to the gearbox sideplates and folded it up. That was the point at which I found that it bridged the axle.

So removing all of the gubbins (technical term) I scribed two parallel lines down the flat face of it. I'm afraid that I can't remember how far apart even they were. The key thing is that you need to leave enough "land" to be able to solder the two pieces to a new backing plate. However on the plus side they don't even have to be truly straight or parallel as you will leave a gap between them.

I then used a bit of spare nickel silver (probably some scrap from an etch) and positioned them on that. As Steve has already mentioned, it was possible to use the various axles to align the two sides. So it looked like this after roughly soldering down the outsides:

Gearbox 1.JPG


Gearbox 2.JPG


I also soldered down the middle seam after removing the axles. Then it was a matter of using a piercing saw to remove the excess baseplate, and try it for size and running smoothness:

Gearbox 3.JPG


Gearbox 4.JPG


And finally, this is the gearbox installed in its position in the chassis. You can just see where the insulating gaps will fall in relation to the hornblocks and the narrowed gearbox.

Gearbox 5.JPG


I'd just like to say that without Steve's encouragement, I'd have never attempted this. Whilst perhaps the convivial atmosphere of Missenden really helps share ideas and particularly over a beer, it's something that is done so often here on the Forum that we really do have a great source of encouragement and problem solving.

Mind you, nothing beats Missenden, as David Brandreth's smile shows ;-)

Missenden Mar'15 08.JPG


Cheers
Flymo
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www.5522models.co.uk

essdee
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby essdee » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:20 pm

Nice photo-essay Paul; very pleased that worked out to your satisfaction!

And to reinforce his comments re the 'off-piste' exchanges and socialising at Missenden, yes it made for a great weekend. My 'bonus' was Paul's letting me use his Prussian Blue cellulose mixed auto-paint can in my painting class - quite a revelation; and I have since acquired a similar satin black, lovely finish. I had quite a saga at Halford's paint-match counter; they insisted they needed the car part number, couldn't just do 'satin Black'; all very Monty Python cheese shop sketch. The first time I have ever rested my head on the counter in despair......and the staff were agreeing with me.

See you Wakefield!

Best wishes

Steve

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Andy W
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby Andy W » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:33 pm

That's an extremely neat solution to the over sized gearbox. It's also worth downloading one of High Level's planning sheet from there site and printing on transparent film. Brilliant for deciding which motor/gear combination will fit your loco.
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Build a wall along the Herefordshire border and make them pay for it.

philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:07 pm

Hi Paul just received a slimliner gearbox from high level ,the lower swivel section when folded fits inside the upper section and according to website has a dimension of about 6.3mm The 3 part axle i made up from branchlines has a centre section of about 8mm plus 0.7mm for the 2 washers and so the axle bearing section doesnt look like it needs to be reduced perhaps 2 fibre washers fixed over the plastic axle washers will keep it centralised and not creep into the other live sections i can't remember what gearbox you used but i dont think it was a slimliner regards phil :)

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Flymo748
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby Flymo748 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:59 am

philpill wrote:Hi Paul just received a slimliner gearbox from high level ,the lower swivel section when folded fits inside the upper section and according to website has a dimension of about 6.3mm The 3 part axle i made up from branchlines has a centre section of about 8mm plus 0.7mm for the 2 washers and so the axle bearing section doesnt look like it needs to be reduced perhaps 2 fibre washers fixed over the plastic axle washers will keep it centralised and not creep into the other live sections i can't remember what gearbox you used but i dont think it was a slimliner regards phil :)


Hi Phil,

Thanks for your reply. I'm glad that you have found a High Level gearbox that works for you without needing any messing about. Life is much simpler that way!

I'm sure that your suggestion of fibre washers will be successful. Do keep me posted with progress.
Cheers
Flymo
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www.5522models.co.uk

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jim s-w
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby jim s-w » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:00 am

I have to say, while I find it a fascinating subject I just can't see the point of split axles. It all comes over as a massive faff with loads of complexity all for the sake of not having to solder a bit of phosphor bronze wire to a bit of copper clad. What am I missing?

Jim

philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:37 pm

Sorry cant agree ready made split axles are available as are ones from branchlines which although fiddly can be made esp from someone like me whose got 10 thumbs frame spacers are also easily made no more trouble fixing them than brass ones bottom connection needs to be insulated but again no great deal and no fiddly pickups to make which i hate doing i've had a 4mm and a 7mm chassis built this way and they run perfectly

FCA
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby FCA » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:05 am

In my experience the point of making split axles is that, whilst it's a bit of a faff at the outset, you never, ever have to bother about picks-ups again. And you can pretty much guarantee that they will do just that; pick up that is.

Richard

philpill

Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby philpill » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:21 am

well said must admit i'm only just started to make my first split frame but things look good hope i dont have to eat my words

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jim s-w
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Re: split axles and motor gearbox

Postby jim s-w » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:47 pm

FCA wrote:In my experience the point of making split axles is that, whilst it's a bit of a faff at the outset, you never, ever have to bother about picks-ups again. And you can pretty much guarantee that they will do just that; pick up that is.

Richard


Hi Richard

My experience is just that too. One pick ups are done you never have to bother with them again and they just pick up. Is this another of those theoretical p4 problems that doesn't actually exist I wonder?

Each to their own as always and if people want to use split axles that's their choice but let's not say pick ups don't work or require some sort of regular adjustment because it's simply not the case.

Cheers

Jim


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