Finescale - of a sort?!

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Peter Insole, 26 December 2016.

  1. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    Ditto , amazing.....

  2. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

  3. cmax

    cmax Western Thunderer

    Peter, Awesome modelling!!
  4. Tim Watson

    Tim Watson Western Thunderer

    For a “creaky, prematurely ageing novice”, that is amazing!

  5. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    'Like' is so utterly inadequate for that Peter!!!! To slightly mis-quote Adam, to achieve that with just hand tools "is indeed incredible"
    AJC likes this.
  6. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you all so very much for your kind comments. I have been desperately trying to find the words for a reply, but don't seem to be able!

    Only one thought comes to mind, and that is if anyone has enjoyed seeing what I have been doing, and even better that it encourages someone else to "have a go", then that is the true worth of all the effort!

  7. chigley

    chigley Active Member

    fantastic build, very impressed, ken
    AdeMoore likes this.
  8. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    What Adam said..
  9. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Western Thunderer

    So, When I'm allowed to do this whole "indoors" stuff again... When can I book my Lessons in to show me some of this brass work techniques?!

    Very impressive work on the little hand wheel. I think I need to learn the brazing bit as that's so well done it looks one piece. Bravo!!
    Peter Insole likes this.
  10. Giles

    Giles Western Thunderer

    Well, well.....

    This - and all that has gone before - is at the heart of engineering. Making a good job of what you have to hand, with the tools you have to hand, and you have achieved it (through blood, sweat, tears and bloody persistence) in spades!

    I take my hat off to you Sir !
  11. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Giles, you are too kind !

    I am perpetually humbled by the enormous array of knowledge and fabulous skills demonstrated here on WT. I am also proud to have met and associated with some of the finest artists and engineers, each in their respective fields of interest.

    I might aspire, but feel condemned to struggle with every technique attempted, and am often surprised when it appears that I have "more or less got away with it" from time to time ?!

    I remember many years ago, an exasperated good friend once said to me:

    "For goodness sake Pete, stop worrying and just do it!"

    So I did.

    A short while later he loudly exclaimed:

    "What the hell do you think you are doing?" !!

    Rob Pulham, 3 LINK, Ressaldar and 2 others like this.
  12. Allen M

    Allen M Western Thunderer

    Hi Pete and all
    Very many years ago now when I had just purchased a small lathe I was struggling to master it (still can't do everything it is capable of).
    Speaking to a friend who was building live steam in G1 & 16mm NG he reassured me "a finished model is a collection of bits that did not make it to the scrap bin".
    That reminded me of my late fathers comment" there is such a thing as must not, there is no such thing a can't"
    So I say, as I reach 80 in a few months time, just do your best and enjoy it.
    Rob Pulham, simond, Bagpuss and 4 others like this.
  13. Bagpuss

    Bagpuss Western Thunderer

    That is such a nice little hand wheel Peter. You do manage some amazing work with just hand tools. I have worked in engineering all my life and I would really struggle to make something that good. Intact I dont know if I could.
  14. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    I am getting a bit behind with posting on the metal work, but following Tom's glowing coals report ("Full steam ahead") it might indeed be timely to show my own latest efforts?

    Backheads and fireboxes do seem to be a family affair at the moment!

    Here is some more plodding progress:

    After spending an arm aching age sawing out and then filing down two 8mm deep, parallel strips from a 2mm thick bar of steel, the fun really started when trying to bend a loop in each end...


    The first part of the curves were tapped round with a hammer against a previously filed former made from another oddment of thicker flat steel bar. When more or less reaching the limit possible by that method, at half a turn, the remaining tuck under was eventually achieved by squeezing the strips between the vice jaws and an old round wire nail !


    Whewee! That made me huff and puff a bit !!

    You can see that I hadn't fully taken into account the amount of spring-back over the former at the joints?

    Naughty gaps.

    I was intending to try and give these hinges a little more of the wrought iron appearance by partly filling the rolled under sections with a fillet of solder anyway, so I was not too worried.

    It is nice enjoying brief moments of optimism every now and then isn't it..?

    hSAM_yx5357.JPG hSAM_yx5359.JPG

    Some amongst you might be surprised by a slight shift away from my apparently preferred use of timber, plywood, resin or some other polymer material for this object?

    Apart from the very sturdy hinges making the thin door plate rigid in their immediate vicinity, I feared that significant warpage was too likely to occur at the free, outer end, either on a vertical axis, horizontally or even worse, both at the same time! Besides that unacceptable risk, I particularly wanted the door to be heavy enough to overcome any possible resistance in the latch mechanism, plus the dragging of chain attachments, and perhaps most importantly, to swing smoothly and "slam" shut in a satisfying way !

    Metal was the only option!

    Cutting and trimming some 2mm steel sheet to the precise shape for the door plate required the usual care, but slightly less effort than expected, while the 1.5mm stuff chopped from an old bracket for the latch lever was almost too easy !

    hSAM_yx5360.JPG hSAM_yx5361.JPG

    That previously mentioned optimism rapidly evaporated when attempting to apply solder to this lot !

    It seemed like a good idea to fill the "dummy rivet" screw heads at the same time as bolstering the extended ends of the hinge straps to reduce the risk of them getting accidentally bent outwards. I normally have just enough confidence to tackle soldering brass and copper with the promise of some degree of success, but for some reason always end up having to fight with steel on steel.

    There was some trouble indoors when a terrible smell and clouds of smoke spread from the cellar workshop to every corner of the house on that afternoon!

    Some of you may even be wondering if proper rivets might have been simpler and far more sensible for the task rather than all the fuss with machine screws?

    Quite apart from not having any of the right size in stock, I have to live in rather close proximity to "locked down" neighbours, some with sensitive hearing, and for the time being still working from their homes. It was either incur the wrath of the nearest and dearest with a lingering pong and some flux muck splattered around the sink, or aggravating nearby residents (again) with a load more bish, bash, and bosh?!

    I just like making things difficult!

    Last edited: 19 March 2021
  15. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Bagpuss! I am always utterly astounded when I seem to get away with committing so many crimes against proper engineering principals !

    Bagpuss likes this.
  16. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    The firebox door saga continues!

    I spent ages contemplating the issue of a suitable material and method for making up the hinge brackets. As previously mentioned, the door is quite heavy, so the brackets would need to be equally sturdy. Fortunately, the backhead is itself a fairly thick lamination of plywood with an additional outer layer of decorative MDF. Shaping the hinges with integral, long and large as possible diameter bolts should prove the assembly to be solid enough?

    Repeated junk hunts were frustratingly fruitless, save one oversize length of square steel bar. Taking full advantage of a rare moment when both the nearest neighbours were out of earshot, I grabbed the saw and started noisily hacking and rasping again with the increasingly toothless blade and file:

    hSAM_yx5362.JPG hSAM_yx5365.JPG hSAM_yx5367.JPG

    My big planning error was trying to file the round bolt section after cutting the head to a rectangle...

    What an idiot! I could not then grip it in the drill chuck for a final, smoothing spin.

    The only solution that I could imagine, apart from starting over, was to leave the rough cut at least 1mm over on each side (which is just about evident in the second of the three images above) and then carefully, and perhaps dangerously run an M7 die, the next size up, all the way along the shaft. The next trick was to file it all back down to the level of the lowest points of the part cut threads. That then ensured that the diameter was true enough for a reasonably good final cut at M6 !

    Then came the next mistake...

    I only wanted sufficient thread at the outer end of each bolt, with the smooth shank middles passing right through the backhead and thus permitting an element of fine adjustment when finally hanging the door. The large protruding nuts inside the firebox would be hidden from view, mainly by the internal lip around the firehole.

    While fine for the upper hinge, I completely failed to note that the lower one coincided with the alignment of the grate !!

    Dunce !

    One end had to be chopped orf, and the thread cut all the rest of the way:


    No, not such a good cut on this one, and yes, it did prove to be a nightmare getting it to line up properly, and at the same time desperately trying not to knacker the tapped wooden hole when I tried to screw it fully home !!

    Working out exactly where to drill said holes also had me in a lather for a while.

    Fortunately, I had left the outer "rivet" screws, intended for fitting a baffle plate, just long enough to protrude beyond that internal firehole lip.


    Two drilled offcuts sufficed to clamp the door firmly while marking out.

    Just for once, I guess that was a proper, pukka engineering solution way of going about it?

    hSAM_yx5376.JPG hSAM_yx5377.JPG

    I suppose it is the end result that really matters... Any attempt to otherwise describe the action and motion of the door fails me, so dare I say?: It has turned out a great little swinger, and bangs like...

    No, no!

    I'm innocent y'ronner, that's not what I meant...!


    I was not only getting tired, but had run out of decibel allowance by the time it came to sorting out a latch.

    That would have to wait for the next, late morning.

    Last edited: 20 March 2021
  17. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Western Thunderer

    This is looking mighty impressive now. I keep going through the images trying to watch back some of the work done to achieve the results and just sit in awe of the time and work spend in hand filing and cutting metal to make such beautiful parts. I really can't wait to come open and close the door and listen to the little clink or clunk it makes in person!

    Fantastic work
  18. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    I've had this comical thought in my head of the ruckus that will take place in the Insole household when it comes to who's turn it is once it's finished and the Grand-kids out in the garden saying one to the other " Oh just let 'em get on with it they'll soon get bored " ! :)):))

  19. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    It’s almost a dead cert that at some stage someone is going to forget how it was constructed and light a fire in the box!
  20. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Western Thunderer

    Ah, You've had that same thought too... Whoops. We're not that mad about trains honest Guvnor... ;) Just this one a little bit...