Steel 13T Private Owner Wagon

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

  1. farnetti

    farnetti Western Thunderer

    Lovely stuff, I've never felt confident enough to scratchbuild but this may sway me.
  2. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    I'm going to have a go at this.

    The 13T wagon will be a nice counterpoint to all the 16T minerals in my train. I shall have to get my head round what I need (read the thread again :) ) as I don't have anything suitable in stock. I've done a lot of kit bashing and adapting over the years, but never set out to build something from scratch in metal; so it will be a first for me.

  3. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Phil, it is probably laziness. Sweating the strips on would require tinning one or both surfaces before positioning the strip, or using solder paste. Both do work well. The way I do it, the strips are positioned dry the the liquid flux is applied and the capillary action draws it under the strip. When the solder is applied to the side of the strip the solder is drawn under the strip by the flux and I leave the iron in place until the solder is just visible on the other side of the strip, so the end result is the same. I do have to do some cleaning up but it is literally a stroke or two with the fibreglass pencil. Try different methods and do what suits you.
    Len Cattley, phileakins and 7mmMick like this.
  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Beautiful work - I must admit I'd agree with you regarding the soldering technique. I very rarely tin surfaces before soldering, in some ways I think it complicates matters in that the thin layer of solder is preventing the strip from lying flat on the surface you are soldering to so you need to apply a bit of pressure ( usually a 7mm wooden sleeper!) to get it to lie flat. Well that's my excuse for laziness.

    Another tip for soldering on strips like this is to use the soldering iron on the inside of the wagon. On jobs like this I tend to put a bit of solder paste on the joint with a bit of flux, but I will then put a dab on the inside. Where possible I would place the iron on the inside of the flat plate. Solder will always follow the heat, it's the line of least resistance so use the iron on the inside of the plate and you can use it to draw the solder into the joint. Then you only have to clean up the inside of the plate which is flat and easy rather than round the riveted strip.

    p.s. the only thing I'd disagree with is the fibreglass pen - I detest the things. I realise it's a personal thing but I prefer scrapers, garryflex blocks and wire brushes.
    Dog Star and 7mmMick like this.
  5. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Progress has slowed due to lack of spare time until sometime next week. One thing I have been pondering is the colour and livery for the model. The not very clear photo in post 1 does not seem to show an end door stripe and the body colour is quite a bit darker than the adjacent 16 ton wagons. This photo was taken in 1955 or 56, as was this one showing part of the same wagon (both extracts from photographs taken by Douglas Robinson and published in Railway Bylines April 2000) -
    Alt steel.jpg
    The black patch around the number is visible so the body is not black.

    Another Butterley 13 ton wagon appears in the July 1999 Railway Bylines at Norton Hill Colliery in the background of a photo taken in April 1952 by Ivo Peters.
    Norton steel.jpg
    This seems to show a wagon in similar condition and again I can't see an end door stripe.

    Does anyone have any idea what the colour is? I had thought they might be black like quite a few ex PO wagons were before they started being painted grey in 1957. Does the lack of door stripes mean the end doors were not in use? The wagon in the first photo has bottom door markings visible. I haven't found any reference to Butterley building these wagons without end doors but it is possible.
  6. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Interesting about the colour. In the first picture it's obviously not the same tonal value as the 16-tonner next to it.

    I wonder if it was bauxite? The MOWT minerals were bauxite until Nationalisation, I think. I have no evidence for this choice of colour, other than it looks about what bauxite would appear like in a black and white photo. It could equally be a darker grey, such as GWR wagon grey, for example.

    Pondering the lack of diagonal stripe, would it be possible the end doors were sealed shut for some reason once they entered the British Railways fleet?
  7. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Now for solebars. Anyone watching closely may have noticed that I made the solebars before making any of the other parts. But I didn't take any photographs so I have made some more (for a different wagon with more rivets). The method is the same.

    IMG_9965 solebar.jpg
    Start by marking the width of the three parts of the channel on the end of the strip of brass used for the body parts. The solebar is 9 inches high so 5.25mm in 7mm scale. You need to mark this part at slightly less so the solebar ends up the right height when folded. I am not certain of the width of the flanges on the channel but they will be between 3 1/2" and 4", so 2 to 2.3 mm. Score the brass on the fold lines using a scrawker, making multiple passes to cut about half way through the sheet. Mark the rivet positions. Then cut the flat solebar from the sheet.

    The rivets are punched while the solebar is flat. Then fold the flanges up. I use a length of steel angle and a steel bar (with the top edge filed down at an angle so the part can be folded to 90 degrees without squashing the rivets) held in a vice, with another piece of angle to fold the brass over. One day I will finish making a small press brake for this job. Folding with the scrawked grooves on the outside allows a sharper fold.

    IMG_9968 solebar.jpg
    IMG_9970 solebar.jpg
    IMG_9971 solebar.jpg

    And you should end up with something like the solebar on the drawing. This one ended up with the top flange being a bit too wide so it will be filed down to match the other flange.
    IMG_9793 solebar.jpg

    I tend not to fold the headstocks as the ends are visible and folded ones don't fully match the shape of a hot rolled steel section. They are soldered up from separate pieces - next time.

    On the colour issue, I am tending to the same conclusion as Heather, a bauxite, but possibly a slightly more red oxide rather than the later brownish bauxite adopted for fitted stock just to make it look a bit different. Presumably these wagons would have been painted grey if they were repainted during the 1950s.

    It is very good to see people having a go scratch building (on the -Practical thread). It is often easier to scratch build a wagon than it is to build some kits, it just takes a bit more thought at the beginning.
  8. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    A little more progress. First the vertical part of the headstocks were cut from some 15 thou brass sheet. The thickness is not that critical. The buffer holes and coupling hook slot were drilled and filed to shape before soldering to the ends of the floor. The solebars were then soldered in place (the position had previously been marked on the floor). The bottom flange of the solebars should be trimmed back to allow for the lower flange of the headstock to fit - I trimmed mine a bit too much so will have to fill the gaps. Then strips of 15 thou were cut to size and the ends filed to taper across the width to represent the shape of a hot rolled channel, and soldered in place. Short lengths of the strip were then added to represent the ends of the upper flange of the headstocks, I only put these on the outside of the solebars where they are visible.

    IMG_9982 solebars.jpg
    IMG_9980 solebars.jpg
    IMG_9984 us.jpg

    Next to do are the side door catches and hinges, the solebar brackets and other bits and pieces.
    Slow Train, 3 LINK, Wagonman and 15 others like this.
  9. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Some progress on the details -
    IMG_0016 body us.jpg
    The brackets connecting the side verticals to the solebar were marked out, scribed, folded and cut to size before soldering in place. Then the four diagonal brackets were formed from a strip of brass, riveted and soldered in place. Then strips of 15 thou brass were cut to length to form the hinge support below the door. The thickness is not important. File small triangular slots in the top edge for the hinge wires before soldering in place. The thickness of the brackets sets the hinge support back slightly from the side, as it should be. Wire, I think 0.4mm diameter, was bent to form the hinge pins and pushed into place before starting to bend the hinge plates around them. When the bend is formed more than 90 degrees they were trimmed to length and bent down to surround the wire. The fixed flap of the hinges were from more 0.2mm strip riveted and cut to length before being slid under the hinge and all soldered in place. The horse rope wires (towards the left end of the solebars) were bent to shape and inserted into predrilled holes and soldered in place. The Slaters brass buffer housings were also soldered into position but they could be left until later. The underframe unit is still loose so may not be lined up properly in the photos.
    IMG_0012 hinges.jpg

    The door catches are a bit fiddly but not too hard to make. One end of a piece of 0.2mm brass was marked out to the size of the brackets and the fold lines scribed with the P-Cutter. Rivets were punched and individual catches cut off using a fine blade in the jewellers saw. Make some extra, I had a few fall apart while being folded. Fold the centre folds first with the lines on the inside, holding the brass with fine needle nosed pliers. Then fold the outer folds back the other way. Mine aren't perfect but they will do.
    IMG_0023 door catches.jpg
    The folded parts along with the drop catch parts filed from some 15 thou brass. I did a batch by filing a groove across the end of a strip of brass using the edge of a tapered jewellers file and filing the end at 45 degrees before cutting the individual pieces off with the jewellers saw. Finish off by filing the other end of each to 45 degrees.
    IMG_0024 door catches.jpg

    Then solder in place. I find putting some flux in position helps to hold the small pieces in position. It might sound odd but the surface tension of the liquid flux tends to hold the parts, but I do use a wooden stick to hold them down while soldering. It is quite easy to make the catches work but I soldered them solid to make sure nothing gets lost during handling.
    IMG_0028 body.jpg
    IMG_0031 door.jpg

    The door end has had some work done to represent the folded over ends of the door locking channel and pins added from lengths of wire. I am not sure yet about the locking mechanism. I am also unsure of the end door hinging detail so haven't added anything yet.
    IMG_0034 end.jpg
    The coupling hook plates have been added at both ends. A bit of cleaning up to do still.
    IMG_0035 end.jpg

    IMG_0036 body.jpg
    So the body is nearly done, total working time about 21 hours since starting.

    I think I should have made the hinge straps slightly thicker but think they look OK and can live with them. One thing I did forget to do was bend the joggle in the tops of the side verticals to represent the characteristic joggles on the prototype left over from the Butterley patent design with folded over tops to the sides. I think I will add some small pieces of strip to represent the joggles.

    I have also prepared the Exactoscale underframe and brake parts but probably won't get time to put it all together for a couple of weeks.

    Dikitriki is progressing very well with his nickel silver wagon which is making mine look a bit rough and ready, and Steve is underway with 3 in different scales. I would be very interested to see any more models started and can probably provide better explanations for some of the techniques if anyone gets stuck.
  10. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Excellent stuff.

    I wanted to try to do all my side door detailing in the flat, before body assembly, so I'm glad you've gone through this now. I'm not particularly looking forward to the retaining catches!

  11. Colin M

    Colin M Western Thunderer

    Awesome accuracy and square'ness (not sure if that is a proper word??) in marking and cutting!

    Really enjoying this thread. :thumbs:
  12. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Glad you are enjoying it. Squareness is a very proper word, and cutting the parts square is very important to the final outcome of any model. My first engineers 'square' was cheap and turned out to be not quite square. It was frustrating trying to make things (mostly in styrene at the time) and having them end up a bit twisted and out of shape. It is worth buying a good quality small square and looking after it. Try not to drop it on the floor or let anyone use it as a hammer (yes it has been known to happen). Then practice measuring and marking out shapes with the square and scriber - watch how you hold the scriber and keep the angle of the scriber to the square constant so the scribed line is parallel with the blade of the square. After marking out parts double check the squareness by turning the square over and line it up with the line. If the scribed line is not parallel to the blade of the square it is time to get a new square.
  13. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I have just been looking at Paul Bartlett's photos again and think I might have missed some rivets off the end door, and the associated vertical strips on the inside. See . It looks like this one has three vertical rows of 5 rivets, one in the centre and one each side. Not sure if this is a modification to the door hinge arrangement or not. I think I will leave mine as it is but anyone else building a Butterley wagon might like to add the extra rivets and strips. 15 more rivets.......

    I will be adding the two handrails on the end door as they seem to be on all the wagons, but didn't include them on the drawing.

    At least with scratch building if you get something wrong it is only one or two wagons, not thousands like the RTR manufacturers do. There was also plenty of variety in the prototype wagons by the time they were 20 years old and had changed ownership at least once.
  14. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    I spotted the rivets and wondered whether they retained the hinge straps. As I haven't yet made the box, I can still add the detail relatively easily. I'm sure that by the mid-late 50s there would have been all sorts of variations and repairs, and few wagons would have been identical.

    Edit: I'd missed that photo you linked to - I have a little bit of rebuilding to do!

  15. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Looking at the photo Fraser linked to, I have just realised that some of these at least ran on the LNER - my interest has just moved up another notch from enjoying the builds to mmm.. how many might I need?
  16. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Having looked at the photos of Butterley wagons again, as mentioned in post 53, I have revised the drawing to show what seems to be the standard end door arrangement. Not sure where things went wrong with the previous drawing, I think I looked at some non-Butterley wagons and convinced myself there was no reason for Butterley to have used three hinge straps (carried over from the wooden wagons) to carry the single sheet of steel.

    I am now thinking that I will add the 15 rivets, but do it the hard way inserting bits of wire into holes drilled in the end to avoid taking the body apart.

    Attached Files:

  17. Susie

    Susie Western Thunderer

    Hi Fraser,

    I'm finding this all very inspiring. Thank you for all the work you're doing to get us to scratchbuild!

    Could you please clarify something for me regarding the flat, rivetted strips at either end of the sides? At the fixed end, are they part of an angle section round the corner to hold that end together? At the door end, is it just a doubler to give some rigidity, or another angle to act as a door stop?

    Many thanks,

    Dog Star likes this.
  18. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Hi Susie,
    Yes, the fixed end has angles riveted to the sides and end. I am less certain about the door end, the photos seem to show only a plate riveted to the outside to provide some stiffness, it certainly isn't an angle on the outside and the door closes between the side sheets. But whether there were angles or other reinforcing on the inside I am not sure, it seems not. There were variations in these wagons in BR days as alterations occurred when the body panels were replaced.

    I should be able to post more progress on the wagon later this week.
    Dog Star and Susie like this.
  19. hrmspaul

    hrmspaul Western Thunderer

    I don't believe the reference has been given, it is
    Fidczuk, Peter. (1991a) The 16ton steel mineral wagon, part one Prewar and wartime designs. ModellersBacktrack vol. 1 (part 3) pp 124 - 133.
    Unfortunately, because the article was about 16ton minerals, Peter didn't include a drawing from the wagons we measured at York BSC.

    Paul Bartlett
    Dog Star likes this.
  20. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Thanks Paul.

    A bit more progress, but not so many in progress photos. The Exactoscale underframe is now fitted and brake gear mostly put together. The end door hinge rivets put in, together with the internal hinge straps and hinge bar.
    IMG_0150 side.jpg
    IMG_0151 end.jpg
    IMG_0143 end.jpg
    Still to add the locking pins, rings and chains. The end door hinge rivets were done the hard way, well not that hard just more time consuming than punching them. 0.6mm holes were drilled through the outside, then the straps soldered on the inside. Then drill through the straps and file the end of a piece of 0.6 brass wire to a dome shape and insert from the inside before cutting off with side cutters. The small lengths of wire should have enough friction to stay in place until all are in and soldered in one go. Then clean up the inside.
    IMG_0144 inside.jpg
    IMG_0146 under.jpg
    I have only installed transoms, or cross bars, but not the longitudinals or diagonals, using 5mm brass channel. It is not much more work to add the remainder of the members but I am not certain of the actual layout so will leave them out for now.
    IMG_0154 side.jpg
    There are still some body details to add (corner reinforcing plates on top of fixed corners, label clips, bottom door levers, end door pins) before adding the springs and gluing on the axleboxes. It should look the part once it is painted and weathered.