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Upgrading a GEM Cauliflower Model to EM - Kit Bashing - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 03:55 pm
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Brossard
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The LNWR Cauliflower loco is one of my favourites.  This particular model was bought 3rd hand back in the mists of prehistory.  The original owner had built the body and tender with epoxy and to this day it has held together.  Unfortunately he has slipped this mortal coil.

My contribution to the model was to semi scratchbuild a chassis using Gibson frames and other bought in components.  I also painted and decorated (such as that was) it:




It ran quite well until a phosphor bronze spring on the front axle failed and I could never get it right again.

In the meantime, I dabbled with the chassis but was never really happy with it - although in it's compensated configuration, the chassis is very free running.

I had a thought that I might be able to get it converted to EM but was put off by a couple of people who said the GEM loco couldn't be done.  However, being someone who has always marched to the the beat of his own drum I perservered.  In my research I came across someone who's friend has the GEM model in EM gauge, so, we were off.

During this time I had become aware of a system called Continuous Beam Suspension (CBS).  This system uses hornblocks on all wheels and steel wire as a spring medium.  I won't bore you with the technical minutiae, for those interested, you can read all about it here: http://www.clag.org.uk/

First things first, though and the preliminaries.

1)  Soldering.  No way around it, if you want to build a great loco chassis, there will have to be soldering at some point.  I recently got myself a soldering station from Weller:





This unit actually reads back the tip temperature.  The minimum temperature setting is 180C.  This is a little high for white metal, but I've soldered it at higher temperatures with my old iron.  More damage is done to whitemetal castings by using an underpowered iron and lingering too long.  I think it was Tony Wright who mentioned in his loco building DVD that a good rule of thumb is to set the tip temperature to twice the melting point of the solder you are using.  As soon as the tip contacts the work piece, the tip temperature plummets and recovery takes some time.

2) Next, flux.  For years I have used phosphoric acid flux from Carr's (C&L).  This works well with the Carr's solders (70C for whitemetal, 145 and 188C for brass/nickel silver etc.), but it does fume fiercely and literally gets up my nose.

In a soldering discussion on another forum, someone mentioned that they started using a paste flux (I think of the sort used by plumbers).  The brand mentioned was Templer's Telux.  This got me thinking so I tootled off to the hardware store to have a look.  I didn't fing Templer's brand but I did find a paste flux:




This is a white paste.  I tried it for the first time yesterday and it does seem to do good job with Carr's 145 with no fumes.  I did a test piece with some scrap brass and deliberately didn't wash it - I want to see what the effect of the flux is.  The test joint this morning was still shiny - acid flux joints tend to go a dull grey colour.

Now, back to the loco.

The current state of affairs:




Looking forlorn and beat up, but it'll be all right on the night.

For those who are interested, here's alook under the bonnet:




The front two axles are mounted in hornblocks and you can see the compensating beam.

However, I thought to myself, why not start afresh with a more advanced chassis build.  To do this I knew I would need a new chassis.  Lytchett Models ( http://www.lytchettmanor.co.uk/OO_locomotives.html ) came to the rescue with their range of GEM kits and new chassis kits.  I duly purchased one and was very impressed when it arrived:




It looks to be well engineered and the instructions are comprehensive and professional looking.  There's also a tender chassis.

In the interim, I also got myself some bits from High Level to do the CBS.

I made a start yesterday and the first order of business was to calculate the location of the fulcrums (or is that fulcra?).  CLAG very helpfully provide a spreadsheet that does all the hard math for you.  There are basically two inputs:

1) Loco weight in grams

2) Wheelbase in mm

Plop these in and the program gives you the info you need:




Points P, Q and R are the axle locations and A, B, C and D (cut off) the fulcrum locations.  As far as I can tell, fulcrums are nothing more than handrail knobs.

The spring steel wire diameter is 0.14mm.

Next, I started to think about the chassis, and more particularly the springy bits.  I decided to start by trying to see where things might fit.  The first thing was the gearbox.  The original GB was  Romford 60:1, basically a single stage with worm and spur gear.  These are not easy (for me anyway) to set up in that you have to get the backlash just so.  With 60:1, the gear teeth are very fine to start with so I generally found that I was either too tight or too loose.

By now you might have guessed that I like well engineered kit and find it gratifying to make it all work.  Not to everyone's taste I know.

So, again, High Level products to the fore, this time their Loadhauler 80:1 three stage gearbox.  I built that yesterday and, while I needed to get up to speed, the instructions were quite good and it went together in a straightforward way.  Installing the motor positioned the worm on the first stage gear exactly - no futzing about with backlash and fag paper.




I haven't installed the final drive gear yet.  That empty hole will take the driven axle.  That is the old Mashima open frame motor.

Next, I thought I'd take a look at the hornblocks, High Level again.  Again I was very impressed.  The design folds up without the need for solder.  I've made other hornblocks that require soldering and usually have to spend quite a lot of time fettling to get rid of stray solder.  These are a joy.




You can get a sense of the process here.  Starting with a flat etch, fold so that the Xs are inside.  When folded, bend over the catch at the top so it engages the pip on the bottom.  Use a file to bend over the horn guides and that's pretty much it.  The next phase is to gently file and polish the sliding surfaces of the bearing and hornguides so that the bearing wants to fall out under it's own weight.

That's it for now.

John



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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 04:13 pm
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Spurno
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I can't ever see myself having the confidence to build a loco but this is very interesting.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 04:19 pm
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Brossard
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Well, Alan, you have to start somewhere and I firmly believe there's a progression to these things.  Start simple and small, build your experience and keep going.  I haven't done anything with outside valve gear yet.

John

 



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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 04:23 pm
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Spurno
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John,i've got big hands and the eyes are getting tired,i'll leave it to you.However never say never.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 04:41 pm
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Brossard
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Well, OK, just as long as you're entertained.

John



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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 04:45 pm
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Looking at it so far i reckon you've got the X factor.:doublethumb



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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 07:11 pm
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Brossard
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A bit more progress this afternoon, I drilled the holes in the frames for the fulcrums:




A very cunning device this.  There are two sets of holes.  The bottom set are spaced at 1mm intervals, the top set are also spaced at 1mm intervals but offset by 0.5mm, enabling accurate drilling to within 0.5mm.

I also discovered that there are holes that let me drill to mark out the slots for the hornblocks.  I've done this before by using a felt marker, steel rule and scriber.

John



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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 07:16 pm
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shunter1
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Nice one John,
I have been looking forward to this chassis build.
Tell me, Did you remove the cauliflower wheel splasher,s to give you some room to work in the EM gauged driving wheels.
I assume you may fabricate new ones from brass or N/S if things do not go well with thinning the old white metal jobs?
I do like that new solder iron station you have aquired.
Regarding flux paste, Good idea.
Have you tried useing solder paste for brass or N/S construction, Its handy stuff and does not leave a big cleanup afterwards.
Also those hornblocks look very handy.
It will be nice to see the old cauliflower after its make over.
Good luck with the construction.

Derek.

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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2013 07:42 pm
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Brossard
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Cheers Derek.

As to the splashers, well, they fell off.:shock:  I tried to thin them as much as possible without realising how much epoxy there was.  Once I'd scraped that away, they came away cleanly.  I plan to re-use them and fix them with cyano.

I have looked into solder paste and recognise it's utility.  However, the prices were pretty offputting.  So far, the soldering has gone neatly.  I like to cut off a tiny amount and place it on the fluxed work before applying the iron.  Controlling the amount of solder helps to keep things tidy.

John



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 Posted: Sat Oct 19th, 2013 01:06 am
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Brossard
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A bit more progress this evening - doing battle with the coupling rods.  The fret has solid ones so I had to cut them just so to articulate them.




Here you can see my sacrificial altar where there have been many burnt offerings.  At the bottom you can see the two halves of the rods cut from the fret.  At the top, the cut rods arranged so that the middle bosses overlap.  I have tinned both inside faces with 188 solder (soldering iron set to 360C - wince!).




Both sets have been sweated together.  I fashioned a fake hinge for the middle boss.  This cruel closeup shows I got solder in the fluting - must do some more cleaning.

I will need these to use as jigs when I assemble the frames - you'll see what I mean.

John



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 Posted: Sat Oct 19th, 2013 08:49 pm
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Brossard
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I may put a hold on the chassis build for a week or so.  Today, I decided to try to get the body apart (by dropping it into boiling water, which tends to loosen glued joints) and in the process, broke the footplate.  Looking at it, the model does look tatty so, I've ordered a new body kit.  I reckon it's a shame to spoil the ship etc.

I'll start another project in the meantime just to keep you all amused.

John



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 Posted: Sun Oct 20th, 2013 06:33 am
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shunter1
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Hard luck with the old body kit John.
Hmm glue tends to be tricky, I have used the hot water on white metal lowmelt soldered loco bodies. Which works okay.
So a new Cauliflower will rise from the ashes.
I will be interested in the quality of the new body kit if its a white metal job? When it arrives.
regards,

Derek.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 20th, 2013 08:06 am
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col.stephens
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I bet that as soon as you finish this model, Bachmann will bring out a ready-to-run version. :lol:

Terry

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 Posted: Sun Oct 20th, 2013 11:39 am
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Yes Derek, a bit disappointing, but the final model should be a good 'un.  I will take copious pictures.

Terry, you may be right, but given the gestation period, any model that is announced in 2014 will not be on shelves much before 2016, so I do have a chance.

I'm debating with myself over the L&Y 2-4-2T.  I have the old Cotswold whitemetal kit and to go with it, I got Bill Bedford to do an EM version of his etched chassis.  This will be an interesting build -- sprung as well.

I can happily buy the two 1F versions and look into pushing the wheels out.

John



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 Posted: Sun Oct 20th, 2013 04:11 pm
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Nice one John, Its nice to see a Lanky model being built.
Seems we have similar tastes LNWR,L&Y.
Have you taken a look at the London Road loco kits?
They do some nice brass and N/S pre grouping loco,s.
Is Bill Bedford now in partnership with Mousa Models they are selling all the Bill Bedford range and developing lots of new models.
regards,

Derek.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 20th, 2013 04:38 pm
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Brossard
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I am aware of LRM Derek, and, had I not already bought the GEM chassis kit, I might well have gone for their Cauliflower.

I actually got LRM to sell me the chassis for the L&Y 0-6-0ST to go under my 00Works body.  It's not a chassis kit because there are things you don't get (I forget which), but I have a source of spares on the 00Works model, so that's no problem.

I didn't know about the Mousa partnership, that is good news.  Bill's stuff is superb.


Actually my interest is in the LMS and I want to build up a stud of their various locos, mostly smaller ones.  I have a lot in the pending box :roll:


John



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 Posted: Sun Oct 20th, 2013 04:54 pm
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http://mousa.biz/index.html

link to mousa John.
regards,

Derek.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 20th, 2013 05:04 pm
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Brossard
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Thanks Derek.  Check out my workbench thread, there's something there I think you will like.

John

 



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 Posted: Tue Oct 22nd, 2013 03:28 pm
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Nice one John,
I had an e-mail from Bill Bedford ref developing LNWR loco kits.
He runs and owns mousa models which he is developing a load of goodies for.
They will be produced in batches on a demand basis.
So thats a mystery solved.

regards,

Derek.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 22nd, 2013 05:58 pm
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Brossard
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His site already includes a load of goodies!  Must keep an eye out for new loco kits.  However, I have a ton of kits and conversions on the shelf so I must try to be realistic.

John



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