A brace of long tubes.

Discussion in 'GB1. The 4 Plank or Greater Wagon Build' started by adrian, 17 March 2018.

  1. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    When the group build was originally proposed I didn't think I had anything suitable to do, but then I remembered a set of parts I had languishing in a an old ice-cream tub. So I dug it out to see what I had, hopefully the group build will give me the impetus to actually get them finished.

    The intention was to build a couple of LMS long tube wagons (Diag.1945) - something like this

    LMS Tube wagons | KDM499768 STO

    It was inspired by the series of articles on wagon building in MRJ by Chris Croft. So after more than a few years delay this is my starting point.

    IMG_4231 2.JPG

    The bodywork is birch plywood with the planking scored in. I have 4 sides, 4 ends and a couple of floors. The corner strapping was fashioned from an empty beer can, a little wet and dry to remove the print, cut with a knife and folded. Some brass channel for the subframe, scale7 wheels and some cast axle-boxes.

    I have some sprung W irons on order, some buffers in a box somewhere otherwise that is the "kit".
  2. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Having a vague recollection of having made a few other bits a little searching revealed 4 buffer beams, they needed a little cleaning up but that's one less job.

    channel - 1.jpg

    I then realised that for the solebars and buffer beam channel I had filed them down from some deeper drawn channel. You can see the before and after here.

    channel - 2.jpg

    This is probably why it has languished in a box as it was a real P.I.T.A. The only problem was that I needed a lot more for all the internal bracing and framework. The other problem was that I couldn't find any more channel to file down. So I spent the morning browsing various websites for some suitably sized channel to make some progress. It was difficult to find suitable replacement and after a while I came to the conclusion that the solebars and headstocks I'd made were using K&S 1/4" channel. I have a vague recollection it was surplus from one of my Dad's industrial modelling job. I started working out how much channel I would need to build the subframe and it was going be costing £30-£40 just for the K&S channel. :eek: I'd just spent £15 on some sprung W irons so at this rate it was going to be cheaper to buy the equivalent kit from Mr Parkins than scratch build it.

    So instead I thought I'd have a go making my own channel. So I had a couple of lengths of 1/8" x 1/4" steel bar, drilled and pinned 1/16" at each end to make a former for the channel. It was a nice little filing exercise as it needed reducing to a whisker under 13/64" to account for the material thickness.
    channel - 3.jpg

    So this was my first attempt, I cut a strip of 15 thou nickel silver sheet 3/8" wide, clamped it in the former and tapped it over with the rawhide mallet. Turn it over and bash the other side, a quick trim with the file and one channel formed. With the added bonus that's it's in nickel-silver rather than brass!

    channel - 5.jpg

    You may have noticed the little steel blocks in the background. This was my simple solution to aligning the plate in the former. I needed to get the plate parallel to the former before making the angle. So the small steel blocks are 3/32" thick spacers and just raise the steel former enough so the plate is symmetrical either side of the former.

    channel - 4.jpg

    So a side by side comparison I hope shows my homemade channel matches pretty well the K&S channel - at a fraction of the cost! I'm happy with the result but it's going to keep me busy as I probably need to make somewhere in the region of 300' scale for the subframe.:eek:

    channel - 6.jpg
    Last edited: 19 March 2018
  3. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    The build is ticking along slowly, although there was a pause for couple of weeks break due to the Easter holidays, one of which was teaching my eldest how to drive! :eek:

    You'll have to indulge me whilst I go off topic slightly - my eldest lad is approaching 17 yrs old so obviously attention is turning to getting him to drive (chauffeur us to and from the pub at least!). For various reasons I took my Institute of Advanced Motorcyclist test last year and in the IAM magazine there was an article about a Pathfinder Project. This is an intensive 5 day driving course for teenagers to learn how to drive. They have just launched a new venue at Driffield and it was the week after the York exhibition. So I managed to spend a day wandering around the exhibition and bump into a few WT'ers. Anyway the driving course was excellent, after 5 days tuition my son was being introduced to various advanced driving skills (IPSGA, TUG for those who have done similar). I think it was a brilliant course to educate teenagers in safe driving so I want to publicise it as much as possible. I've created a post on my website with more details Pathfinder Project - Cherry Clan . If you know any 15-17yrs old interested in learning to drive then please please encourage them to consider this course. They will not regret it and if nothing else hopefully the course will be running in a couple of years when my youngest lad needs to learn! - end of the public service broadcast.

    So back to 5 plank long tube wagons. For the first time in a while I think I managed to wear out some piercing saw blades rather than breaking them. It wasn't until I started the job that I realised that I'd need the best part of 40 strips of nickel-silver for the internal bracing. Still it was quite therapeutic and good practice cutting to a line, by the end of it I think I was pretty good at keeping close to the line.

    channel_pieces - 1.jpg

    I was looking forward to the next stage as well, there's always something primeval about bashing bits of metal with a hammer/mallet. One of my favourite cartoons is Calvin and Hobbes which sums it perfectly for me!


    Unfortunately I dropped a clanger fairly early on - can you guess what it was? :oops: :oops: :oops:

    channel_pieces - 2.jpg

    I just wasn't paying attention. I think I put it in the vice for folding and after checking realised it was the wrong way round for bending so I turned it around. I then got distracted and forgot that I had turned it around so I turn it around yet again! Doh!! :headbang:

    Only 35 bits and a few spares to go.
    markjj, michl080, Rob Pulham and 15 others like this.
  4. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Not to worry - the man who never made mistakes, never made anything.
    I heartily approve of your 'public service broadcast' by the way - the more young people who can be taught to drive safely, the better imho. My two young nephews have now both passed their tests but what worried me, when the first 'passer' got a new car, he was more concerned with how his mobile connected to it than how the engine looked or worked!?! And, he works for an engineering company!
    Very different generation, evidently.
  5. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Having spent the best part of the last month on my 2mmFS Holywell Town project I've switched back to the Tube wagons in a desperate effort to get them finished for LarkRail.

    Metal bashing has continued so now I have a full set of channel sections - 7mm modelling doesn't have to be expensive it's cost me £2 for the nickel-silver and a couple of broken piercing saw blades. I reckon the equivalent in K&S channel would have been the best part of £32!

    pipe wagon - 1.jpg

    The next problem to solve was soldering up the framework. Looking through the reference books, including Doug Hewson's bible building 5" wagons, it shows the channel is just butt jointed and then they have separately formed knee joints and flat plates. This seemed a tad over the top even for a Scale7 wagon so I decided to swage in the end of the channel to fit inside the mating channel.

    In the photo above you can see a short length of steel bar (middle left) with a small inset filed at the ends. I used this as a former and again a quick tap with a mallet and a bit of tool steel swaged the ends. I then got out my glass flat plate to start soldering up and keep everything square.

    The photo below shows how the swaged ends fits inside the cross channel.

    pipe wagon - 4.jpg

    I cut out a few sets of small wooden chocks to help with the spacing when soldering. So one centre section is completed and the parts on the right for the second wagon.

    pipe wagon - 3.jpg

    Finally two centre sections completed.

    pipe wagon - 9.jpg

    The next issue I need to decide is how to join the main wagon wooden body onto the underframe. My current feeling is to build up the wooden body and fit the end stanchions to the wooden ends. Then build up the under frame as a separate unit, get it painted and then a dab of glue or solder to fix the end stanchions to the buffer beams. This probably means I need to concentrate on the wooden body and end stanchions next as the under frame will have to be built to fit this.
  6. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    So work has switched to getting the bodywork sorted. To remind myself of what glue I used I went back and had a read through again of Chris Croft's articles in MRJ. I'm glad I did as he recommended drilling the corner plates for the bolts prior to assembly as just making life easier.

    So after making a small test piece the body sides were marked out and drilled.

    pipe_body - 3.jpg

    It was then a case of snipping lots of short lengths of 0.7mm n/s wire and fitting. I used some high-strength retainer and then filed them to length. The masking tape is just to protect the wood whilst working on the metal work.

    pipe_body - 4.jpg

    I then turned to the end stanchions which required some T shaped stock. I didn't have any of a suitable size so I decided to make some.

    I cut some lengths of nickel silver strip and put a small 90 degree bend at each end to hold it upright. This was then held on a flat sheet of nickel-silver with some soft wire. I then silver soldered the strips onto the plate.

    pipe_body - 1.jpg

    This was then chopped into suitable lengths

    pipe_body - 2.jpg

    Yet more marking out and drilling ensued, taking a little care as they are handed. After a little cleaning up I have the end stanchions made.

    pipe_body - 5.jpg

    pipe_body - 6.jpg
  7. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    After the summer sojourn (real life was getting in the way!!) I finally managed some time back at the workbench today.

    I think I may have worked out how to fix the wooden body to the metal underframe. Whether it works or not remains to be seen but I'll give it a go. I've decided to drill and pin the end stanchions to the wooden body. So the intention is to assemble the wooden body as one piece and then use the pinned stanchions to hold it in place on the underframe.

    So I've used some Tamyia masking tape to provide a positive location for the stanchions whilst drilling, it has the added benefit of protecting the wood from my grubby fingerprints. Some nickel-silver wire was then soldered in (that was done on a scrap piece of wood to avoid marking the wagon parts. They do seem to fit quite well so it might actually work. :eek:

    pipe_end - 1.jpg
  8. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Now the summer holidays are over and suitably enthused after a visit to Guildex I dusted off the workbench and made a little more progress on the wagons.

    The first part was gluing the sides and ends up to form the main body and then drilling all the corner platework for the bolts.

    tube_body - 2.jpg

    The reason for this is that I needed to work out the overall body length so that I could cut and file the main solebars to provide a snug fit.

    tube_body - 3.jpg

    Prior to soldering up the chassis I remembered to add some rivet detail to the solebars.

    tube_body - 1.jpg
  9. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    A quick update - once everything was trimmed to the right length I dug out my glass flat plate to start soldering up the frame with the centre section I'd made previously.

    tube_frame - 1.jpg

    It worked out rather better than I could have hoped for and once soldered up the bodies clipped over the frame all nice and square and snug -it's starting to take shape.

    tube_frame - 2.jpg

    Work on this has been limited due to other new projects fortunately it is literally a mini project. I will admit to getting a little annoyed at times when people use 'literally' incorrectly. I see someone say this 'literally blew my mind' and wonder how they can type a response after blowing their mind! :rant::rant:

    So it is quite satisfying to claim it is literally a mini project.

    My latest mini project
    tube_frame - 3.jpg

    :D :D :D :D
  10. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Seriously inspirational stuff, Adrian!

    Dave Bowden likes this.
  11. Dave Bowden

    Dave Bowden Western Thunderer

    Adrian seeing the method you have used for your chassis has given me the confidence to have a go at a project I looked at quite some time ago.

    Here's a photo of a 1/32 GWR Open C Tube body that was put together for me by Poppy Wood-Tech with a view to producing some. This is made from lazer cut MDF and is very cheap to produce, this was the prototype, the internal planking is the wrong way round but would be corrected if we decide to go ahead and produce more.

    I also like your idea on the corner strapping as well. I did a SR open recently and the strapping on that was very thin lead Drink cans are a far better idea. I look forward to seeing what you intend to use for the side angle strappings.
    Open C_2.jpg
    Rob Pulham likes this.
  12. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    You're not the only one :eek: - I've just been drilling the vertical side stanchions so the angle straps are looming large. I think I'll have to go back and have a look though the Chris Crofts article again.
  13. Dave Bowden

    Dave Bowden Western Thunderer

    I have read through all of the Chris Croft articles today (6 MRJs) lots of information but mostly LMS & LNER. So good for your LMS Tube Open.

    On the Tony Riley SR open I built and I still have two more to complete, he uses plastic moldings and same for the rivets. After it's painted you wouldn't know what the parts are made of. See #6 here on another one of my postings .

    I also meant to say your model is going to be far superior to the MDF model that might get built one day, so keep it coming :D

    By the way what gauge is this? I couldn't see it mentioned above.

    Last edited: 20 September 2018
  14. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Saw this and thought of you! Correct use though. AE7AC6FC-3C42-48FE-AE63-CB12E325D33E.jpeg

    On train from Toronto to Buffalo, NY at the moment.
  15. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Oscillating between 2mmFS and 7mm as the mood takes. Whilst waiting for the paint to dry on some 2mm wagons I decided to do a little more on the Tubes.

    So I've been filing and fitting the rest of the channels for the chassis.

    tube-w - 1.jpg

    To compare and contrast the difference I spotted that the 2mmFS wagon would fit on the inner channels quite nicely!

    tube-w - 2.jpg

    I then started looking at the W-irons. I got some Ambis units as they had some suitable ones for the tube wagons with the extra riveted plate and diagonal bracing. These can be built as rocking units or sprung but they fit across the wagon as one unit so I had to chop them into the individual W irons before fitting.

    tube-w - 3.jpg

    Now the observant among you may realise there is a subtle difference between the 2 frames here. The one at the front is the first one I did just soldering the W iron to the back of the U channel. I tried the wheels in place to see how it looked and there seemed to be a little too much sideplay available. I then looked at the drawing and the W irons were too far apart by a scale 4" which is when I realised that each W iron is supposed to have a 2" joggle inwards just below the solebar. I wasn't sure the Ambis springing would work with a joggle so I cheated and fitted a packing piece to offset the W iron inwards. Which is how the rear chassis is built.

    From the front the difference is apparent. The gap between the wheel and the W iron is much better on the modified (right-hand) chassis. It also means that the dummy springs I have fit a lot better as they don't overhang the U channel any more. I just need to remove the W-irons from the other chassis and fit the packing pieces.

    tube-w - 4.jpg

    To keep the enthusiasm going a quick look at how they are shaping up.

    tube-w - 5.jpg
  16. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Western Thunderer


    Flipping excellent :thumbs:

  17. jamiepage

    jamiepage Western Thunderer

    Literally excellent.