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David Holman

David's Workbench

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Much to my surprise, the hornblocks and bearings arrived in the post on Monday, despite the website suggesting up to 21 days - so well done Dart Castings & the Postie. Any ideas of continuing with the cab of the railcar were therefore ditched in favouring the chassis completed & this is what I have been doing these past few days.

 Having made a rolling chassis that really did run well first time, there was more than a bit of trepidation in modifying it, but the hornblock/compensation system is very forgiving. Indeed, I could probably have left the front axle as it was, but decided to follow the instructions and cut four slots 6mm wide and 4mm above axle centre line in the frames. A small engineers' square and a scriber was all that was needed, along with a slitting disc in the mini drill to do the cutting - seemed a tad more subtle than the brute force of the Dremel...

 A bit of tidying up with files and I was then able to solder in new fixed bearings for the driven axle. The sliding hornblocks have to be made up from the etches supplied. Nothing daunting, just a couple of folds and a bit of solder. A bit more filing was needed to enable the bearings to slide freely, but they were soon ready to be fitted to the chassis. It was at this point that I found my hornblocks alignment axles were 3/16" diameter, but it was not too difficult to make some 1/8 ones out of some old standard gauge axles in the scrap box. The axle ends need tapering, so you can fit the coupling rods over them, to ensure they are properly aligned. Just a few rude words and with the help of a couple of hair grips, the hornblocks were soldered in place. All that was then needed was a pivot, to ensure the rear axle sits level. This was easily done by drilling a hole in the rear spacer & soldering a piece of 1mm wire along the centre line of the chassis, thereby giving it the characteristics of the three legged stool - ie it will always sit level on the track, regardless of imperfections, with obvious advantages for electrical pick up as well as running quality.

 However, while I know the above to be true, I am also a devout believer in the Law of Sod, so there was a certain amount of trepidation when re-assembling the wheels & rods, but all was indeed well. Course, it then needed dismantling again, so I could fit the motor/gearbox! A small Mashima & 40:1 gearbox was duly installed, along with pickups [0.3mm phosphor bronze wire], followed by a bit of test running, before it was all dismantle AGAIN, to enable painting. Hopefully that will be the last time I have to re-assemble it for a while!

 A bit more work has since been done on the cab, while the two sandboxes were filed up from some 80thou plastic, laminated to the required thickness. Finers crossed, I'll be able to make a start on the passenger section soon, though attention is back on Arigna Town at the moment, with a show at Brighton over the weekend - so a bit of TLC required on locos - wheel cleaning, pick ups, lubrication & the like.

 As for the latest photos, the bottle of meths is always close at hand in my workshop - purely for cleaning purposes of course!

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