Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Progress - Mid December

In the last few weeks, I have been working on the single fairlie. I have completed machining the crossheads, and inserted the bearings. After that, I fitted the motion plates, then the slide bars. Finally, I have started work on the connecting rods. My aim is to have these completed and fitted before Xmas. A few days ago, the wheels for the next two tinkerbells arrived.

Friday, 2 November 2012


Now that the cylinders are mounted on the frames, attention has moved to the crossheads. These are castings supplied by Rod Burnley, however these are not the shape I'd like them to be, so I've been doing a lot of chopping with the milling machine to get them where I want them to be.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Here is a photo of where I am up to with the single fairlie power bogie - the cylinders are now all machined and attached to the frames, we're getting there!!

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Earlier this month I got the piston rods for the Fairlie made, and then fitted and finish turned the pistons. I also turned up the piston rod glands. I have now fitted one of the cylinders to the frames. I have also part machined the valves. So that project is coming along quite nicely.
I took Zebedee to the 7.25" gauge AGM at Woking last Wednesday. I chose the first day of running so that it would be less hectic that I remember them to be from my youth - but I didn't expect to have the track to myself!!! The sun shone, the people were lovely, and Zebedee (of course) was the star of the show. The signalman told me afterwards that she had covered over 15 miles between 13:00 and 17:00 - much more than she could have done in the same time at Swanley but then Woking is a circuit, so you save the turnround time. Zebedee leaves for Inverness next weekend, and I'm now confident that she's well run in and all the gremlins are out of her system.
I must get on with Marc's tink so that I have an excuse to go back to Woking - they were amazed by how good a real locomotive is (as opposed to a model). 'Responsive' 'Comfortable' 'Easy to drive' were just some of the comments I got - I just find it amazing the number of people that haven't experienced a real locomotive!!
Real work is currently getting in the way of serious locomotive building at the moment, but I found some time the week before last to bore out 2 sets of tinkerbell coupling rods. As well as Marc's, a chap from East Anglia has asked me to build him a very basic rolling chassis, so when I can easily do so I'm going to make parts for Zebedee's brother as well.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Post-Olympic work

I have made almost no progress on my projects in the past month due to being a volunteer at the Olympics - OK, and playing trains occasionally too!!
Today I got a bit of time to myself and I got some work on the Fairlie done:
1) Made piston rods
2) Attached pistons
3) Drilled rear cylinder covers for fixing bolts

So, in terms of the cylinders, that leaves:
1) Finish turn pistons
2) Make piston rod glands
3) Machine valves
4) Make valve rods and buckles

And then I can get the cylinders on to the frames. Now that will be progress!!!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Projects on the go (etc.)

Current projects are:

1) Single fairlie - cylinder blocks machined, front covers fitted, along with steam chests, covers and valve glands. The pistons have been roughed out. So the next steps here are to make the piston rods and finish the pistons, machine the rear covers and glands, then the valve rods and valves. After that, the cylinders can go on the frames, which are already assembled with cranks quartered and conn rods fitted.

2) Tinkerbell - my third!! - Came to me as a stalled project - I have just quartered the cranks and fitted the conn rods. The cylinder blocks are machined (did those a while back), so the next steps there are to complete the cylinder assemblies and get them on the frames too, along with making the rear truck plungers to keep the back end up.

There are more in the pipeline, but I won't worry you with details until they become reality. . . . .

Yesterday, I travelled on a train carrying the olympic flame in Barking Park. This train was hauled by a loco I built and the coaches ran on bogies I built. A very special day for me.

I don't see me having a great deal of time to do things next month (August) because I'm a volunteer at the Olympics - but who knows??

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

First post

Welcome to my blog. In the past, I have documented projects via a website (Siusaidh), a blog (Zebedee and Zanna), and facebook (start of the Fairlie project). I am now completing a tinkerbell for a friend, so have now decided to document all my activities via a blog (this one). I hope you enjoy reading this, and that it gives you help, inspiration or just some fun.