Bill Bedford W Irons

Discussion in 'S7 Group' started by Linton, 13 March 2018.

  1. Linton

    Linton Member


    I was wondering if anyone uses sprung Bill Bedford W Irons?

    In regards to the W Irons and the Slaters S7 wheel bearings, what is the normal method to fit the 2.54 mm bearing in the etched recess (2.3mm wide) where it will slide up and down.

    Do people take some material off the bearing or do they remove material off the etch?

    Perhaps I have the wrong W Iron kit?

  2. BrushType4

    BrushType4 Western Thunderer

    Do you have any pictures to show to help explain to the thicko’s like me? :(
  3. Linton

    Linton Member

    Attached Files:

  4. Linton

    Linton Member

    The bearing is 2.54mm in diameter and the slot on the W Iron is about 2.3mm.

    It seems you can remove a section out to increase the gap to around 3.7mm. I assume this is for a different manufacturers bearing.

    The instructions state suitable for slaters bearings.
  5. Oz7mm

    Oz7mm Western Thunderer


    I have been working on sprung W iron units for light and heavy NSWR W irons (i.e. S & K wagons etc) together with axlebox castings. Contact me by PM and I will explain.

  6. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Please do not whisper.

    In the temporary (?) absence of Exactoscale 7mm sprung suspension for wagons there may be several who are interested in your endeavours.
    BrushType4 likes this.
  7. PaxtonP4

    PaxtonP4 Active Member

    To use Bill Bedford sprung 'W' irons the standard Slater's bearing slides inside the unaltered 'W' iron except that a light pass with either a round file or (preferably) rolled up emery paper inside the slot until the bearing slides easily (but no slop).

    As regards bearing length I reduce the bearing length to little more than 2.5mm so as to make it easier for the bearing to clear the fixed molded axle box. I also reduce the length of the Slater's axle by about 1.5mm to correspond with the length of the now shortened bearing.

    You will need two 10BA washers between the wheel and the bearing on both sides to centre the wheel set.

    When fitting the spring wire simply crimp into place - do not solder.


    Last edited: 13 March 2018
    BrushType4 likes this.
  8. Michael D

    Michael D Western Thunderer

    Like these ones?
    Im just retro-fitting some to a slaters wagon, very easy not a lot of packing needed standard slaters wheels and bearings unaltered.
    Does the job very well..
    Ill take more pics if anyones interested ?anyon 15209447221771563252692.jpg
    Best Michael
  9. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    Hi Linton

    I'm fairly certain that a Slaters wagon bearing should be 2.38mm in diameter which would be an easy fit into the etch with a little bit of filing.

  10. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I think the picture is clear enough although your experience of them would be useful. I'm considering an entry into the group build project Steve has proposed but I will need some sprung W irons. It seems that Exactoscale units are unavailable so as far as I can tell my 3 options are from Ambis, Bill Bedford or MMP.
  11. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    Slaters do their own type too for certain wagons

  12. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Snap! I went for the MMP ones....

  13. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Jim G and I did some in our respective scales as discussed here a couple of years ago. Mine were for the MDOs that I was building for Aberbeeg. They worked differently to Bill or Len's ideas other than a guitar spring for suspension. Still fail to fall off the layout;).
    PS. This might need the help of a Daifly as I am useless at searching for stuff on here.
  14. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I found my thread here. :)

    1/32 - Wagons for the Garden

    The "W" irons work very well in 1:32 scale and I'm going to re-visit my etch for S scale to apply the same methods.

  15. PaxtonP4

    PaxtonP4 Active Member

    The problem of leaving the axles at their original length is that once you fix the 'W' iron in place (with wheel set) then the wheels are there for good. You won't be able to spring the 'W' irons apart sufficiently to remove the axle.

    The other issue is fixing the 'W' iron to the wagon. I solder 10BA nuts into the two holes that are provided and then use countersunk 10BA screws to fix the 'W' iron in place. This enables the 'W' iron and spring unit to be fixed as a unit, and with my shortened axle, enables the wheel set to be sprung into place after fixing (and taken out again if need be).


  16. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I know I should have included them in my options but I just can't get on with the little coil springs. Either they ping off to all 4 corners or I struggle to get the balance right. It just seems easier to me with the spring wire of the other units, with half a dozen different sizes of guitar strings it's easy to adjust the spring rates.
    Cheers - the Bill Bedford units seem the closest to your design.
    Wagonman likes this.
  17. Michael D

    Michael D Western Thunderer

    I agree with Alan and after using these understand and agree with his approach, but they do have quite a bit of give in them and Ive not had a problem springing the wheels out if needed, and anything to reduce the size of the bearing is a good thing regarding axlebox fitting.I think im right in saying the 7mm bearings and axle length is more generous than the 4mm offerings? But generally these are good robust and simpler to make than the exactoscale versions, its worth experimenting with different strength springs as well....
    best wishes Michael 20180314_074022_resized.jpg
  18. NewportRod

    NewportRod Member

    I'm used to a recommended axle weight of 25g/axle; 50g/wagon in S4 and wondered if there is an equivalent in S7 for sprung wagons. I've come across 1g/mm; 125g minimum. For a typical wagon of 15'6" over the headstocks that would work out at 110g, so the 125g would apply. Any thoughts?

  19. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Not sure if I should admit to this but I have been building S7 wagons for over 20 years and haven't weighed one yet so I don't know how much any of my wagons weigh. The actual weight is not critical, provided the trains stay on the track and the springs suit the weight. Usually the weight of the materials used in construction is enough. I have heavy ABS white metal vans and light Parkside kits that run together without problems on my small layout and when visiting other layouts, including one outdoors. Too much weight is not good as it causes more wear and tear, and you will need heavier locos.
  20. Bill Bedford

    Bill Bedford Western Thunderer

    Recommended by whom exactly? Since you are using a weight per length I would guess that these figures originated with American modellers who were concerned with long cars being pulled sideways off the rails on sharp curves. Since this is not a particularly common scenario on UK models I cannot see the relevance.

    You could try the logical approach and weigh your wagon in proportion to the originals, say 7g/ton in 7mm, but then if you start thinking about whether you should use tare or loaded weights you quickly realise that the ain't no magic formula.