Blackout Modelling

We had a good old blow this evening, which made cycling across the Lions Gate Bridge very interesting indeed and also knocked the power out.   My Christmas project, which is consuming most of my spare time these days and seriously hampering progress on the layout, requires a computer and Internet. So, I took some time to think about the next big project.

The next big project is, of course, a second and third locomotive. I need two more engines to run the full schedule for Pembroke, and I’m hoping to start on them in mid-2016 so that they can be operating before VanRail 2017.

Because I want to build two engines, the next models are going to be a bit like kits, and will make use of etching, laser cutting, 3D printing and casting to accelerate the process.  These processes raise opportunities that were not there when I was building #10. So, I spent the evening thinking about how to improve on some of the mechanical aspects of my first foray into steam engine building.

It starts with the frame. On #10, i equalized the drivers inside the firebox. The beams and fulcrums took up space that would have been better filled with lead. So this time I will attempt to push the equalizing beams outside the firebox and into rebates in the bar frames.  The pages of my notebook illustrate the idea (note the photos were taken by candlelight, hence the weird shadows).


5 thoughts on “Blackout Modelling

  1. Just a quick thought, but you could probably fit a compensation beam into the confines of the frame as easily as a spring. It would be a lot simpler: just the one moving part each side, and once in place, in need of no further adjustment.


    1. Fair enough. I like the idea of springing as well as compensation; having said that, I think the spring on #10 is too heavy, and it is therefore effectively a compensation beam anyway.

      1. Do you have access to a milling machine, and a small end or side cutter? It might be possible to mill a slot on the inside face of the frames, which would be hidden from view by the firebox, but accessible when servicing.

      2. More invisible and keeps thw bottom edge looking solid: no other reason. I presume that a full service involves separating the various main components fron each other. Once you have it all set up, further adjustment should be unnecessary.

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