Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Knuckles
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Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Knuckles » Sat May 11, 2019 10:34 am

What is the quickest you have built a working chassis minus coupling rods?

To this level of completion, Gearbox built and in frames, brake pads but not rigging on, wheel quartering and pressing done, crankpins on, pickups built and on, added power and it runs acceptably with no oil and a wee bit of weight added forming a good basis to finish it off.

I very much would like to get a collective on how long it is taking you all with different methods and experience levels.

I'm asking because although I've built some etched kits and continue to here n there I've been building my own 3D printed chassis of a new non fixed axle set up and to the above amount of completion managed to bash one out from start to finish in 3 hours minus the building of the HL gearbox that usually takes me about an hour.

It's a record for me and I'd like to compare it to traditional methods.

Please share your experiences. :)
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steamraiser
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby steamraiser » Sat May 11, 2019 11:05 am

A picture of the chassis would be useful as a reference as to what you are talking about.

Gordon A

Knuckles
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Knuckles » Sat May 11, 2019 11:17 am

It would but I'm not ready to show them.

0-4-0 in this case but the 0-6-0's are not far behind.

Whole point of the question is, to the written amount of completion above what are your experiences and timings building any chassis.

Would just like a collective of average times and experiences with different methods.
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Thomas Paine

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BryanJohnson
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby BryanJohnson » Sat May 11, 2019 12:52 pm

I go for split axles with custom made frame spacers, Mashima motors and High Level gearboxes and use the Avonside Chassis Squared jig.

I've no idea on the construction time spent but the 2 locos that I've nearly finished were started in 2007 and 2010 if that helps. None of this is any reflection on the products used, just the time available and doing other builds in parallel, but much more than 3 hours.

Bryan

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Tim V
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Tim V » Sat May 11, 2019 2:58 pm

The important thing is to get a technique that suits you - and stick to it. Don't follow the latest fad if you want to build reliably and quickly. I am minded of that article by Roy Jackson 'Locomotives of Dunwich' (MRJ 18), where he broke his usual method and regretted it.

This is the professional modeller approach, build it quickly, build it once, build it right - give it a one year guarantee and don't expect to see it back.

Three hours is quite good, but a lot of time is usually spent on matching wheelbases to coupling rods, running in gearboxes, setting up pickups (if you use such arcane things, and not split axles), so that three will usually stretch to a weekend ...
Tim V

Philip Hall
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Philip Hall » Sat May 11, 2019 6:30 pm

I would be incredibly happy if I could build a chassis in three hours. Although probably not that happy really, because it will take me a great deal of time to fettle the running to the degree I require. As someone once said, you can have a quick job, or a good job, but not a quick good job.

Philip
Last edited by Philip Hall on Sun May 12, 2019 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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John Bateson
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby John Bateson » Sat May 11, 2019 7:12 pm

I suspect the timing of the build for a chassis will depend very much on the familiarity of the builder with the chassis. For a designer, or a builder who has buit a number of identical-ish chassis then the timing will be much shorter than the builder who is for the first time taking on this task. The newcomer to the chassis will have to understand the etch layout and inwardly digest the instructions as well as the soldering and all the time viewing each part with some cross checking and uncertainty as to whether it is going into the right place and downside up.
I would suggest a factor of at least 1:3 for the designer versus the newcomer. :(
John
Last edited by John Bateson on Sun May 12, 2019 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Slaving away still on GCR stuff ...
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jim s-w
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby jim s-w » Sun May 12, 2019 12:54 am

Brassmasters easy chas go together pretty quick. Ok no gearbox to worry about but what you see here...

Image

... took an afternoon

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David B
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby David B » Sun May 12, 2019 7:38 am

Philip Hall wrote:I would be incredibly happy if I could build a chassis is three hours.


I would be happy to build a chassis! Modelling is not about speed, it's about the pleasure of making and creating. If one rushes, mistakes are more likely to be made which, of course, have to be made good, which takes time . . . ..

I make mistakes when I don't rush, so heaven only knows what would happen if I tried to model against the clock.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun May 12, 2019 8:33 am

Tim V wrote:The important thing is to get a technique that suits you - and stick to it.


That is the best possible advice and works for all aspects of railway modelling be it a loco chassis, scenic work or track building. You may find alternative ways of doing things and you may find they work more effectively, in which case the wise person adopts them There may be quick methods that work and produce an accurate result but everything needs an element of skill to some degree which only comes by doing things, making mistakes and learning from them.

Terry Bendall

Knuckles
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Knuckles » Sun May 12, 2019 9:40 am

BryanJohnson wrote:I go for split axles with custom made frame spacers, Mashima motors and High Level gearboxes and use the Avonside Chassis Squared jig.

I've no idea on the construction time spent but the 2 locos that I've nearly finished were started in 2007 and 2010 if that helps. None of this is any reflection on the products used, just the time available and doing other builds in parallel, but much more than 3 hours.

Bryan


I've never tried split axles, I'm interested in them for the lack of friction as pick ups are to me a pain as they require a lot of tweakage yet the idea of cutting an axle and gluing it back perfectly sends me running. Seems way more of a faff.

Tim V wrote:The important thing is to get a technique that suits you - and stick to it. Don't follow the latest fad if you want to build reliably and quickly. I am minded of that article by Roy Jackson 'Locomotives of Dunwich' (MRJ 18), where he broke his usual method and regretted it.

This is the professional modeller approach, build it quickly, build it once, build it right - give it a one year guarantee and don't expect to see it back.

Three hours is quite good, but a lot of time is usually spent on matching wheelbases to coupling rods, running in gearboxes, setting up pickups (if you use such arcane things, and not split axles), so that three will usually stretch to a weekend ...


Thanks for the info, building it once and right yet quickly and with an easy method not needing a jig is what I'm after, for me and others. So far getting there slowly.


Philip Hall wrote:I would be incredibly happy if I could build a chassis is three hours. Although probably not that happy really, because it will take me a great deal of time to fettle the running to the degree I require. As someone once said, you can have a quick job, or a good job, but not a quick good job.

Philip


Not always, it is possible to do both, but I know what you mean.


John Bateson wrote:I suspect the timing of the build for a chassis will depend very much on the familiarity of the builder with the chassis. For a designer, or a builder who has buit a number of identical-ish chassis then the timing will be much shorter than the builder who is for the first time taking on this task. The newcomer to the chassis will have to understand the etch layout and inwardly digest the instructions as well as the soldering and all the time viewing each part with some cross checking and uncertainty as to whether it is going into the right place and downside up.
I would suggest a factor of at least 1:3 for the designer versus the newcomer. :(
John


Good points, many thanks, will keep that in mind.




David B wrote:
Philip Hall wrote:I would be incredibly happy if I could build a chassis is three hours.


I would be happy to build a chassis! Modelling is not about speed, it's about the pleasure of making and creating. If one rushes, mistakes are more likely to be made which, of course, have to be made good, which takes time . . . ..

I make mistakes when I don't rush, so heaven only knows what would happen if I tried to model against the clock.


I'd disagree slightly with this,
Modelling is not about speed, it's about the pleasure of making and creating.


Modelling is about making and creating as you said, yet the speed and pleasure is purely a personal subjective addition to the definition. I do enjoy modelling mostly and by speed I do not mean rushing - there is a distinct difference here. It depends on personal goals, for me I have a LOT to build if I'm to do the layout's I want and with no one to help, speed (with accuracy) is very important to me. Some jobs are pleasurable and some bore me - yet they all need doing.


Terry Bendall wrote:
Tim V wrote:The important thing is to get a technique that suits you - and stick to it.


That is the best possible advice and works for all aspects of railway modelling be it a loco chassis, scenic work or track building. You may find alternative ways of doing things and you may find they work more effectively, in which case the wise person adopts them There may be quick methods that work and produce an accurate result but everything needs an element of skill to some degree which only comes by doing things, making mistakes and learning from them.

Terry Bendall


Very true. :) At the moment it's just basic compensation but 3D printed in a non fixed way instead. I can't see anyone here being interested in them as they are not (yet) metal and there are some visual compromises made in order for the quicker set up to happen so I doubt they will be taken seriously and if no one else is, I certainly am as I'm getting things done way easier and quicker, I'll have enough video evidence to show them eventually. Currently building the 5th one of its type.

Many thanks for all your comments. :)
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Thomas Paine

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Mostly offering Loco kits & bits in 4mm.
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Julian Roberts
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Julian Roberts » Mon May 13, 2019 5:33 pm

jim s-w wrote:Sounds like you are taking the fun out of it if I'm honest

Jim

Knuckles - Jim said that on the related thread in answer to Andy's similar ideas of speedy but accurate chassis build kits, and 5 minute crossing assembly. At first I agreed but then thought how my ideas of what I might achieve in my lifetime could be transformed. Rather than a few locomotives perhaps a complete layout too. A small group might achieve a mainline station and junction rather than a sleepy backwater. The fun which I have making a loco would not be lost but changed.

At the same time a lot of my enjoyment is in tailoring a loco to how I think it should be made and the more everything is preplanned, prescribed and perfected by the kit maker the less freedom I have to perfect it in my own way - or botch it up! A speedy kit would have to be dead right. One kit I made, not P4, theoretically had fold up frames but was a disaster and required much surgery to become something related to drawings and photos.

You will know the time I take is not hours but months or even years. I'd love to cut that down if the result was something that worked as I like.

Dave Holt
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Dave Holt » Mon May 13, 2019 7:42 pm

Mmm... Definitely not the quickest - the Ivatt 2 tank chassis I've almost finished was started in 1995! Perhaps the slowest build ever? Actually, I had it running years ago, so not the whole 24 years to reach the stage Knuckles specified.
Since I model purely as a hobby, speed is not a consideration. Indeed, part of the reason to model is to fill time in retirement, so fast builds would be self defeating for me.
Dave.

davebradwell
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby davebradwell » Mon May 13, 2019 7:47 pm

It takes a long time to build a decent chassis, mainly because of all the obscure stuff you have to check - are all the wheels the same size, for example? I can assemble one of my own kit chassis pretty quickly but by the time I've done all the checks and measurements the time just passes. Going back to doing it your own favourite way I would add that anybody else's chassis takes me much longer. The quickest way is also the slowest!

I will move the discussion on by adding one vital point - it's quicker to do the job once and get it measured and checked rather than have to go back and fiddle. It also gives a better result. I put the rods on once, at the end and I know they are going to be correct. I've measured the hornblock spacings and confirmed the holes are in the middle of the axleboxes so they must fit.

DaveB

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon May 13, 2019 8:25 pm

Knuckles wrote:What is the quickest you have built a working chassis minus coupling rods?

Given that the coupling rods are central to setting up the chassis the way I have so far built them, and also central to smooth running (ie no tight spots) not sure its possible to estimate a time minus coupling rods? sorry ;)
Tim Lee

Jeremy Suter
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Jeremy Suter » Mon May 13, 2019 9:20 pm

The quickest I have built a S4 Running Chassis including the Coupling Rods was a North Staffs 242t from the Eric Moleneux kit now London Rd. Models, is approximately 3 hours of working time. It was done over 2 days as the chassis was built and washed on the first day then painted in the morning of next day. The wheels were put on in the evening, it did have a Portescap motor so didn't have to build the gearbox. The chassis was painted with Halfords spray Grey Primer and Satin Black. In the mean time I built the body. It then took about 3 weeks to paint it in NSR Livery.
I will add I was building it as a job and not for myself.

Dave Franks
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby Dave Franks » Mon May 13, 2019 9:31 pm

Hi All, building loco chassis at speed, huh, joke right..
Yes it can be done if the chassis is well designed so it goes together well and you're in a hurry but if you want a good job doing then take your time and get it right first time. Building a four wheeled tram chassis has nothing what so ever to do with what we need for steam locos.
When I build an etched chassis I fettle the edges so it looks nice not just so I don't cut my fingers, if it's a fold up design then good but, sometimes these don't quite line up well enough for our needs so a bit of fettling needs done there too. Fitting separate hornblocks needs care but first one needs to make up the coupling rods, do they match each other? Good, then we can use them to set the hornblocks. Suspension of some sort will be needed, did the kit designer think of that? Good but is it what you want, me? I go for CSB because it works for me so I have to work it out and mark out the frames before any construction. Then there is the mechanism to think of too, does it need a gearbox and torque reaction arm so that is another scratch built item to be added. Pickups, what do you like, I like plungers but they aren't for everyone so they need to be fitted so they don't interfere with beams or gearbox. Then there is the brakegear and the pullrods with their overlays and pins, do they clear the gearbox, sand pipes or bogie pivot. So it goes on....
I've built many loco chassis in my time and sometimes I do wonder did the designer actually trial build the chassis because this bit and that bit don't quite fit.
As for speed building yes I do it but they are a known entity and I know this particular designer gets them right, maybe not the first time but that is why I trial build them for him and the corrected version can be done in a couple of days, a complete running 0-6-0 chassis, all fettled, running nicely and built as per the instructions to check them out too. Yes if it was for me I might change a few things to suit my way of doing things but that's my choice.
As regards the four wheel tram/dmu chassis comment, I did once put together a four wheeled thing with a motor, fixed axles, simple back scratcher pickups, no brakegear and single thickness rods. It took probably over hour as a mate was coming over that evening and I had promised it would be ready.... But as I say nothing like what we do with our loco chassis :o

Anyway no loco building being done at the moment, viaduct construction in the spare minutes I have.

Dave Franks.

billbedford
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Re: Chassis Speed Building - Records and Methods

Postby billbedford » Tue May 14, 2019 7:20 am

I'd ask a bunch of 20 year old Chinese girls to do it...
Bill Bedford
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