Steel 13T Private Owner Wagon

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by Overseer, 1 October 2014.

  1. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    One of the wagons missing from my 1950s gas works project is a steel 13 ton ex-Private Owner wagon. They were quite distinctive as the thinner sides, ends and floors meant they were slightly lower than the equivalent wooden wagons to maintain the same cubic capacity. They look something like the centre wagon in this image -
    Steel 13T mineral.jpg
    I am pretty sure this is a 1930s Butterley built wagon. Paul Bartlett has a number of very useful photographs on his website of a couple of very similar wagons at the very end of their existence.

    I am not aware of a suitable kit in 7mm scale so I will be scratch building one. The attached drawing is based on a few dimensions and the available photographs. It should be reasonably accurate but there are no guarantees. One area I am unsure about is the end door hinge arrangement as it is not visible in the photographs I have studied.

    This wagon is an ideal scratch building project in brass or nickel silver and could be a good way to develop or practice some skills which are useful for more complex projects. I know plenty of WT members have (or have access to) rivet presses, soldering irons and the hand tools needed to make this wagon.

    If there is interest I will do a blow by blow account of scratch building the wagon. I won't have time to start this for a week or two, so there is time for people to get the necessary bits together and have a go at the same time as my build progresses if they wish. As well as 0.2 and 0.25mm (8 thou and 10 thou) brass sheet, I will be using an Exactoscale 9' wheelbase 9" solebar underframe unit (there are other options), RCH buffers and axleboxes. If you don't have a non-ferrous metal merchant nearby a packet or two of K&S 10 thou brass sheet shouldn't be too hard to find locally, or order from Eileens or Metalsmith. Other similar wagons will be similar to build so you don't have to build the Butterley wagon.

    Any interest?

    Attached Files:

    Stumpytrain, Ian G, Wagonman and 3 others like this.
  2. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    While I may not actually follow along on the bench, I'd certainly be interested in seeing the techniques used. So, yes, I am interested.
  3. flexible_coupling

    flexible_coupling Western Thunderer

    I'm interested for sure - I'm thinking of trying to build a press at some stage in the relatively-near future in lieu of funds to buy one.
  4. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    Yes. :)

  5. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Very interested indeed (especially in the drawing; the 7mm wagon is a bit big for my purposes). :)

  6. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Probably out of my period (even 1963 Aberbeeg) but it seems to be very interesting scatter gun project, so count me in.
    Dog Star likes this.
  7. iak63

    iak63 Western Thunderer

    Wagon naughtiness will always attract my attention.
    Bring forth Mon and enlighten. :)
    40126 and Dog Star like this.
  8. 7mmMick

    7mmMick Western Thunderer

    Interested ??? Absoultley, this is right up my street for period and interest and something I considered building at some stage. So I would be really greatful for a blow by blow account thank you. Do you have the articles on these wagons which appeared in modellers backtrack as they have a lot of useful photos, if not I can scan and send?

    Cheers Mick
  9. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Yes please.
    Simon, given that the prototype appears to be all steel... how about a parallel exercise in preparing CAD and etch tools from scratch?
  10. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    It's an interesting proposal, to me it would rather depend on what every one else wants. I would not want to divert this thread though.

    Len Cattley likes this.
  11. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Yes please Fraser:thumbs:
  12. BrushType4

    BrushType4 Western Thunderer

    Yes! Very interested :thumbs:
  13. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    OK, blow by blow it will be. Thanks for the interest, now I need to keep it interesting. I will start with the basics but expect people to tell me if it is too basic, or if more detail is needed. Questions will be welcome. I will put together a short list of tools before starting, most are common and probably won't involve new purchases if you have built kits. One thing which is very important is a good engineer's square, around 100mm size.

    Mick, I don't recall the Modellers Backtrack article amongst my very incomplete and random collection of MB so a copy will be very useful.
  14. John Miller

    John Miller Western Thunderer

    Yes, I would be very interested in that - especially if you could quote suppliers and some idea of cost for the type of tools I have yet to aquire, e.g. - rivet press (hand or bench mount) - rivet embosser - temperature controlled soldering iron - induction soldering device - tube and sheet bender - materials and their treatment fluids etc. etc.

    Many thanks
    Dog Star likes this.
  15. phileakins

    phileakins Western Thunderer

    OK John - how much money do you wish to spend?

    Revet press - Metalsmith - £62.50 + extra punch and anvil sets at 15.80 each. See also e-bay. A blunt nail and a hammer - not a lot. :)

    Induction soldering device - do you mean resistance soldering? Say £180 - I got mine from Swanage Models (Peter LeJune) but I really can't remember exactly how much ... Recommended though.

    Temperature Controlled Soldering Iron - See Maplin 60W Professional Soldering Station (Google is your friend) - about £60 - cheapskates go for the 48W £20 option, works for me!

    For the rest see Chronos and/or Eileen's Emporium web sites. Eileen's will sell you the metal - better to attend your local model shop and save postage. Chronos tools are reasonable value.

    Hand tools - many and various - none of which can be blamed for ham fistedness, God knows I've tried! Marking out, cutting and filing - make a friend of your local hardware shop manager.

    Good luck.

    Wagonman likes this.
  16. phileakins

    phileakins Western Thunderer

    PS - Yes, Ill give it a go.

  17. John Miller

    John Miller Western Thunderer

    Hey Phil! - Many thanks for such a comprehensive reply to my request .... :thumbs:

    Perhaps I should explain my motivation a little more - my interest in steam engines has passed from 5" gauge - through 16 mm narrow gauge - to my current passion with main line gauge one and having aquired my first loco (a black five) I want to set up a small work space in my tiny flat to make - or at least modify - rolling stock which tends on the whole, to be much more sophisticated and expensive than 16mm stock.

    Another reason is that my main workshop (which is set up for work on cars and motorcycles) is several miles from home.

    It appears from my initial research that some kind of x and z axis indexing is desirable to adequately control the positioning and spacing of the rivets - so I was hoping perhaps to hear of the OP's or others recomendations for this.

    My early attemps at brass soldering have been plagued by contamination and my idea here is to try to minimise the oxidation that occurs when the temperature of an unregulated iron runs away too high.

    Yes - I looked at the Chronos site and they do seem to have some interesting stuff.

    Thanks again! .... John
  18. phileakins

    phileakins Western Thunderer

    Sorry I butted in Overseer - Over to you. :)

  19. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I hesitate to get involved in this as I know to my cost that specific tools can be a very personal matter. However, I've found the GW rivet press to suit my needs. There are several types, including one with a base plate allowing adjustment of x and y co-ordinates such that it will produce regular rivet impressions even in a circle if required. For gauge 1 you may need the top of the range heavy duty model, so I suggest a call to GW models may be a good idea. (Look up GW Models Rivet Press on Google). These are not normally available from stock but may be produced to special order. They look a bit steep in price, at about £160 but will last a lifetime.

    Alternatively, consider Archer transfer rivets - not such a high capital outlay although if you build a lot of models a machine is worthwhile.

    The temperature controlled iron I use is an Antex with digital readout - I think a 690D. It was a little over £100 when I bought it. I'd not be without it now and if it ever went wrong would replace it. I have quite a few of the various shaped bits but nowadays for almost everything (even the smallest bits of soldering) use a large wedge shaped bit. The Antex is, in my opinion, fine for a bodger like me, or indeed if you are not in to vast numbers of vehicles or professional building but there are better "professional" models available from ther makers.

    Resistance soldering iron - hmm! I have one and certainly use it but could manage without. It's a convenience really but there are builders who use a resistance iron very successfully for everything. If they work for colleagues who am I to argue?

    For the other tools, as has been said so many times before, buy the best you can afford. Avoid Chinese saw blades! The few pence extra Swiss or German blades will cost will repay the additional amount many times over. Inexpensive pliers and cutters may be fine initially but will rapidly wear, but could be an inexpensive initial purchase in the knowledge that you'll replace with better quality as they wear out. Needle files - go straight for Vallorbe if filing brass or nickel silver. However I also have a set or two of really inexpensive needle files for white metal. Equally you may find that disposable nail files from Boots are of greater value than their cost may imply.

    Other tools from Eileens, Squires or Chronos, as suggested - or better still go to one of the large model engineering exhibitions and you'll be amazed at the high quality tools you can obtain at give-away prices.

    Dunno if all this is of any help whatsoever. As I've said, this is a very personal choice. I have quite a few tools I've bought on recommendation and then rarely used as I've found they don't suit my style of bodging.

  20. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Thanks to Phil and Brian for your input. There will be as many opinions on what tools to use as there are modellers. The intention with this build is to keep things simple, to get people started and develop skills without spending lots of money. This doesn't mean you should buy the cheapest possible tools, they are often a complete waste of money, but it is about selecting tools that are fit for purpose. Once you have learnt the basics you can upgrade if you want to, choosing tools which suit how you work.

    The basic tool list for building this wagon from 0.2 or 0.25mm sheet brass -

    Soldering iron - you do not need a temperature controlled iron for this project. If you have one it may work (most temperature controlled irons are designed for electronics and the cheaper ones may not have enough thermal mass or wattage to get enough heat into the brass quickly enough), so try it. If buying a soldering iron for this project you need at least a 40 Watt iron. A cheap one will probably do the job, and will be enough to learn to solder with. Soldering irons do wear out so this is one tool which can be replaced with a better one if you find yourself enjoying soldering. Because I have them, I will be using a Weller 40 Watt iron and a Weller 60 Watt (the one with a temperature sensor in the tip to maintain the temperature - needs to be the 427 degree version to work with brass) and a 25 Watt Antex for fine details.

    Cutting tools - we will look at several ways of cutting brass. As a minimum you will need a Stanley knife and straight edge. A jewellers saw is useful (with quality blades as Brian pointed out) but not absolutely required for this project. Small tin snips may suit some people, don't waste money on cheap ones, I have some nice small Gilbow snips so will discuss using them. I also have a guillotine which makes cutting sheet metal quick and easy although it is not necessary, but if you know someone with one it is worth trying.

    Files - only a largish (8 inch or so) millsaw or similar fairly fine toothed file is needed to build the wagon. Jewellers files are useful and will be used for parts of the underframe, buy reasonable quality but not too expensive as they will be on the workbench with flux and solder.

    Marking out tools - a scriber with a fine point and an engineers square, 100mm will probably do. A felt tip marker can help with marking out.

    Rivet press - this is one specialist tool that is necessary to produce a satisfactory result. I will be using a Double L press with no x-y or other frills. The GW Models press will work fine, as will any other that produces consistent rivets. A friend has a home made press which is the best rivet press I have ever tried even though it doesn't look like much. There must be lots of under used rivet presses around so if you don't have one borrow one or arrange to go and visit a friend who has one for an hour or two.

    Wooden working board - screw or glue a piece of pine along one edge of a piece of plywood or board, less than A4 size will do. Check the angle between the board and the pine upstand is 90 degrees.

    Holding implements - wooden coffee stirrers or similar sticks are useful to hold hot brass while being soldered and wooden sprung cloths pegs can be useful for holding things in place.

    Solder and flux - I will be using fine 60/40 cored electronics solder. Other solders can be used but aren't necessary for this model. I will also be using Green label flux.

    That should be about it. Most modellers will already have what they need to get started.
    Dog Star likes this.