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Author Topic: GWR 6-ton yard crane from NBrassLocos  (Read 161 times)

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Offline LAandNQFan

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GWR 6-ton yard crane from NBrassLocos
« on: July 01, 2019, 02:04:04 PM »
I bought two of Nick Tilston's etched brass kits for GWR yard cranes for my layout:  Aberayron to Pencader.  These are the most difficult kits I have made because of the tiny components, but having completed them I am very pleased with my results.  I chose to glue rather than solder the kits, distrusting my soldering ability in such fine work.  I used Loctite Powerflex Gel to add components and Loctite Precision Liquid when I had placed components and needed capilliary action to join them.
This is not so much a tutorial, as Nick's instructions cannot be bettered, but rather a pictorial record showing the stages of construction to supplement his 2-D drawings.  I found that the pieces fitted together brilliantly; there was no need to ream out the holes if I remembered to file the burrs off the wires when they had been cut.
Stage 1
I used the barrel of a small craft knife to bend the base ring into a circle. The ends of the ring are etched to allow a neat overlap join at the correct circumference.  The lugs on the pivot top support click into slots in the main body to locate it firmly and ensure that the body is squared properly.


Having made the first kit, I recalled having a problem sliding the crane rotation bracket into place after the other axles were in.  Supposing that I could better Nick's instructions, I put the crane rotation bracket and handle in first, and then found that fitting the rachet gear wheel fouled the handle, making it more difficult!  Follow Nick's instructions!   


Right-hand side gearbox


When I made the first kit, I cut the brackets off the fret, tried to pick them up with fine tweezers and spent half an hour trying (unsuccessfully) to find them again as they pinged out of the tweezers and ended in the carpet pile.  Second time around, I threaded them onto a length of 0.3mm wire before cutting them off the fret, held in a vertical position.


The brake drum and lever can then be added, positioning the lever between the two brackets.


And the brackets, lever and drum can be glued.  My eyesight isn't good enough to notice that there is no wire through the lower holes when the crane is finished - however, the super-macro lens tells no lies!


As the body of the crane is 10mm wide, and my fingers are 17mm, there was no way I could insert the axle through the side, fit a boss, two drum sides and another boss onto the axle.  I threaded the components onto the axle, then slid it into its hole from the inside of the body and then located the other end into the opposite hole.  As you have 1mm of play on each side of the body if you follow Nick's instruction to cut a 13mm axle, you have to be very careful not to move the unfixed axle sideways when separating the drum sides and placing the drum between them. You can see that I cheated, using a 16mm axle and then trimming it when everything was solid.  I used locking scissors to hold the drum onto the axle while the glue dried, then rotated the axle to hide the slot before gluing the axle in place.


The left hand side gearbox is next.  The rear tie bar and completed drum assembly can be seen behind it.  It seemed a shame that the beautifully detailed brake wheel disappeared forever behind the gearbox housing!


Jib construction is the most delicate part of the construction.  Make sure that you put no strain on the tiny tabs joining the unfolded sides of the jib to the top either when cutting or when folding.  Glue the re-inforcing wire on the inside of the joint straight away and let it set fully before attempting to add the bottom of the jib.  As you can see, I broke the right-hand side (it's upside down) and had to use a wider piece of brass rather than a wire to re-inforce, but it "disappears" after painting.


The completed jib.  To ensure that the hook assembly looked square I wanted to use solid rather than flexible wire for the hanging wires, but did not have any thin steel wire spare.  These are on the thick side.  Remembering how hard it was to paint the inside of the jib (no airbrush) on the first kit, I added thinner to my paint pot, dipped each end of the jib into the thinned paint and then shook and brushed the excess off.


All that remained was to fit the jib and tie bars to the body.


I am very pleased with the result.  The skill is Nick's at nbrasslocos and mistakes and deficiencies are mine!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 08:24:04 PM by LAandNQFan »
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