Sunday, October 29, 2006

Locomotive #2 - Frames

A rather heavy parcel of metal arrived at the front door this week, so I have been able to commence work on the next locomotive. I would like to make mention of M-Machines in Durham who were extremely helpful in dealing with my inexperience when I phoned the order in, and everything arrived a few days later without fuss.

The frames are being marked out ready for cutting. 1" x 1/16" mild steel.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Idea from Ikea

These little things come from the kitchen department of Ikea. I think they are going to make neat under girders for a bridge or two in the near future. I know I could make them myself, but at 45p each it's hardly worth getting the drill out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In the light of day

Following on from the recent golden spike picture, here are some more showing better detail of how the work has progressed.

First we had Nelly strength test the formation - as you can see, Nelly is 3'6" tall and weighs a lot!!

This is the (new) hole in the wall that provided....

The bricks etc to chuck in the bottom of the new "raised beds" - on the left hand side, the soil has already been added.

Here's the long view with the foreman guarding the brew!

Above mentioned foreman on her pedestal.

Work in progress shot showing the whole loop.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Real Progress!

This murky image of a smiling John shows the "golden spike" being driven in on the new raised loop. This marked the end of a long weekend of graft as we struggled to get the two ends to meet on the right level following some "bother" with roots.

The end result was hastily tested in the gloom, and Jesty managed to get around the loop a few times without any problems other thansome debris on the line.

It only remains now to fit 2 points and a short chord to turn the original oval into a reversing loop and we will have our continuous run. There is still a lot of timber work to do, then loads of planting and tidying, but the track is - at last - down.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A glimpse underneath

Just found this early shot of the underframe for the bogie brake. You can see the basic buiding blocks of stripwood and lolly sticks, surrounded by the clutter in my pod!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Locomotive #2

I have decided to take the plunge and build my first live steam locomotive.

The loco will be a small de Winton in 16mm scale as designed by Dave Watkins:

This is Dave's model.

The build will be documented and will appear here as I go along.

I have been very encouraged by my good mate Jim who has also managed to dredge up a load of metal oddments that are going to come in handy. This is Jim researching something really exciting - axleboxes!

Note the discarded keep out sign!! Jim is building one of these in 16mm too.

I have ordered some more metal today from MM-Machines in Durham, so we can get going soon!

Head of steel marches on

Two views of the patio curve - in the bottom one you can see how close the extension runs to the original loop and how much the line climbs to the top of the garden - the new lline is dead level with the top - hence the blocks.

I have stolen the basic construction method from Keef of the Catnap & Frog (previously Chidham Light) Railway - the spaces between the boards will be filled and planted, and there will probably be some planting in front of the boards too. These Thermalite blocks are a breeze (ha!) to use - you can even saw them in half - or thirds or anyway you like.

The paving stone path will be lifted soon - the slabs to be re-used as a possible cut and cover tunnel further along the line.

Below are two shots of the first train down the new line - the top one just to show the amazing amount of steam on a cool damp evening.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Progress Report

The good news is that there has been major progress on the construction of the extension. A really nice sunny day today gave us a boost and the trackbed - now up to 1 1/2 blocks high is cemented in up to the edge of the patio.

This is the scene early of today with the first of the blocks already in (coming in from top right) and work progressing on the next run. Note the folly behind - that's my stockpile!

This is the view the other way, showing the curve to the right where the patio is. All of these blocks are now aligned, leveled and cemented in place. The thermalite blocks are great, light to use, easy to saw in half if you need to - and I have most of these ones will have a half hight block beneath them to raise them up to level.

Here we see the works train - see earlier in the week after getting the track down as far as where the blocks start. The wood blocks all need treating and this will be done soon before everything is nailled down. The crew have taken the loco back up the line - probably to find some snap.

Here's me placing another block - dressed for protection against the pesky mosquitos that plague this area at this time of the year - we live by the Dee Marshes and there is always a queue of the beasties waiting to have a drop of blood whenever they get the chance.

"Yes you can have the screwdriver, but I want it back as soon as you have finished with it - and I have counted the screws - you can have 2." - Matlida - Clerk of Works