Wantage Upper Yard

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Stevesopwith, 16 August 2012.

  1. Stevesopwith

    Stevesopwith Western Thunderer

    Thanks everyone, I'm glad you liked it!

    I'm on a roll at the moment, but who knows what will happen when Dave's GER Axleboxes drop through the letter-box ;).

    So, I can't make any predictions about reaching some exhibitable state, especially as it would be quite tricky to transport.

    Graham... you are right about the W.E.Co.... it's a c0ke wagon. Thanks for reminding me.

    Cheers.... Steve.
  2. Stevesopwith

    Stevesopwith Western Thunderer

    I can't believe it's been five years since I posted anything on Wantage!

    I have though, been busy with the baseboards and track for my GER terminus based very loosely on Thaxted. ( More later)

    Having reached the point operation stage, I wanted to connect up the dummy point levers so they matched the set of the point. Things stalled because I was unable to find a way to reproduce the very distinctive knuckle joint between the point levers and the stretcher bars.

    A chance encounter with Chris Brown at Telford resulted in a plan to produce these joints by 3D printing.

    The first attempt, using plastic prints failed due to the material at these sizes being too fragile. A second attempt resulted in some excellent brass castings, which stood up to the necessary minor fettling and drilling. Once fitted into 0.8 mm brass tube, and assembled using 0.6 mm hex bolts from 'Prime Miniatures', I finally had the key to unlock progress on the layout.

    I could not have done this without the help from Chris, and I am very grateful.

    Wantage Point Lever A.jpg
  3. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Lovely photograph. How have you made the insulated stretcher bar?

    regards, Graham
    AdeMoore likes this.
  4. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    ..........and seven years since you started the thread mate ! :p.....but then I started Bow Creek in the same year :rolleyes: :D :)).

    3 LINK likes this.
  5. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    That does look exceptional hats off to you.
  6. Stevesopwith

    Stevesopwith Western Thunderer


    The stretcher bars are far easier to make than to explain how, but I'll try.

    Materials : Brass tube, 0.8 mm OD... 0.6 mm ID from Albion.

    0.6 mm Nickel Silver wire from Eileens.

    0.5 mm 'Plastic Beams' from Lion Roar. ( Hard to source at present )

    Tools : A set of bending form tools... the base of .015 N/S, and the 'dies' of 1 mm N/S. In the photos the upper die is soldered to the base, while the lower die is clamped in two positions as shown. NB The first image shows a completed bar half.... at the stage shown the wire/tube would be straight.

    I annealed a 30 mm length of wire, and cut a 15 mm length of tube. ( I hold the tube in a pin chuck in a vice, and cut it with a very fine piercing saw using backward strokes. )

    I don't remember if I annealed the tube... I do remember it burning away to nothing on one attempt.

    I then inserted the wire into the tube, such that it was 5 mm short of the tube end. A simple gauging pin of 0.6 mm wire ensures consistency.

    After marking the tube at 10 mm from the open end, it was placed on the jig base with the tube mark in line with the jig mark. The straight part ( A ) of the A/B die is pushed up to the tube and clamped in position.

    The protruding wire and tube can then be bent around the die, using a pointed end paxolin sleeper, or other suitable pusher.

    Leaving the wire where it is, the A/B die can be changed over to the B side, clamped, and the reverse bend produced as before. The wire will need some gentle easing to bring the ends into line.

    You now have half a stretcher bar, with a hollow tube at what will be the track centre.

    Once the second one is made, they can be joined with a length of the plastic beam, about 11 mm long.

    This make of plastic rod is much less brittle than Evergreen or Slaters... it bends rather than snaps... but there may be alternatives more readily available... glass fibre perhaps?

    The exact length of the bar can be controlled by fine adjustments to the rod, and then super-glued in place. The join can then be filled with epoxy, which once dressed down and painted should be invisible.

    The outer wire lengths can be then trimmed to length, so they fit between the switch tongues hard up against each stock rail. The tougues are drilled at appropriate places, the stretcher stub wires fitted into the hole while the tongues are attached to the TOU. The stretchers are not glued or soldered to the tongues, so there is no stress on any of the arrangement as the switch is operated.

    While it might be tempting to try, I have doubts about making these bars workable... in my case, the TOUs and droppers do all the work... and I don't think the bars would stand up to the forces on their own, especially if the switches are the more common fixed heel type.

    Wantage Stretcher Bar Jig A.jpg

    Wantage Stretcher Bar Jig B.jpg

    Good Luck ! Steve.
    Podartist79, chrisb, AJC and 10 others like this.
  7. chrisb

    chrisb Western Thunderer

    Lovely stuff Steve!
  8. Stevesopwith

    Stevesopwith Western Thunderer

    Having completed the point operation and wiring stages, ( perhaps more details later ), I've turned to track detailing: baulking etc.

    Unfortunately this has revealed the fragility of these stretcher bars when other work is going on around them. Without being aware of it at the time, I've snapped one at the plastic insulating joint.

    With the knuckle joint super-glued in place I can't dismantle it to carry out a proper repair, and I doubt if a glued butt joint would last very long.

    I may try a very narrow strip of 0.25 PCB strip as a joiner, soldered to the underside of the bar, and hope that the plastic inside doesn't do anything unhelpful, and that once the ballast etc is applied it will become less noticeable.

    I shall just have to take extra precautions over the remaining five bars... a bit of card to cover them perhaps?

    I shan't be using this type of bar on my 'other layout'; I'll give Chris Brown's recently posted versions a try instead. They seem much more robust.
  9. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Sorry to hear that Steve.

    I think at some point miniature engineering on structural joints needs to give way to something a bit more meaty and slightly less scale.

    AdeMoore likes this.
  10. Stevesopwith

    Stevesopwith Western Thunderer

    I agree Jonathan, but at the time I couldn't think of a stronger way at all especially as the bars are only cosmetic, they are not subject to any forces when operating normally... only when thumped !

    The plastic core seemed resilient enough when testing it... it bent rather than snapped.... but the epoxy I applied to smooth the joint may have made them brittle.

    I do think that Chris's version with cast bars and short insulating bushes at each end will be much stronger without being overscale.