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Author Topic: Loco handrails  (Read 426 times)

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Offline Papyrus

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Loco handrails
« on: March 28, 2020, 08:58:18 PM »
I have an old Poole Farish 8f which I plan to tart up and renumber, and I got this crazy idea to fit separate handrails to improve the look of it. The reason I say it is crazy is because I have never done this before, it looks very fiddly, and I have an unlimited capacity to make a complete hash of things.

I've searched the forum and handrails are mentioned dozens of times but everybody seems to assume everybody else knows how it is done! Would some kind expert please write a tutorial on the subject? I'd like help on removing the moulded handrail to leave a smooth finish, how to drill the holes for the knobs evenly and how to fit and bend the rail. I don't expect I would achieve the sort of finish produced by many members but I feel I ought to have a go.

Cheers,

Chris
"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."  Groucho Marx

Online exmouthcraig

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2020, 09:14:27 PM »
Evening Chris, firstly this is no expert advice!! Dr Al and The Brighton are the boys for this!!!!

I too felt that an old GF rebuilt Merchant Navy needed this doing to it. This metal does not file well!!! You'll carve loads off, hack loads off and then attempt to file it smooth.

Dr Al told me, that you HAVE TO REPAINT the loco, absolutely no way you can not do that because of the amount of filing done to get every trace gone. You then have to constantly check that your filing the boiler shape not horrible angles and flat!!!!

Once that's done you have to scribe your straight line, with a tapered diminishing boiler, and mark out the centres for the knobs  :doh: then attempt to drill this metal with something like a 0.45mm drill bit, you'll need about 10 drill bits to drill 12 holes!!!

You'll then have to work out how to get 6 knobs onto a 0.25mm wire, without them falling off so you can get them into the holes you've drilled, they need to be fixed from inside the boiler but all need to be straight, then you have to bend the wire over the Smokebox door and go all down the other side.

Needless to say I have a stripped bare MN body with all the holes drilled in it but no knobs and no handrail.

I genuinely wish you all the luck in the world. It really is a magnificent skill to learn. I will do it,  I just dont know how many years I can put it off for!!!!

Offline Doc Pye

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 10:05:09 PM »
As stated, checkout Dr Al's builds on the forum and you will see how this is done. You can order the N-Gauge bits and then just solder away!

Offline Papyrus

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2020, 10:59:12 AM »
Evening Chris, firstly this is no expert advice!! Dr Al and The Brighton are the boys for this!!!!

I too felt that an old GF rebuilt Merchant Navy needed this doing to it. This metal does not file well!!! You'll carve loads off, hack loads off and then attempt to file it smooth.

Dr Al told me, that you HAVE TO REPAINT the loco, absolutely no way you can not do that because of the amount of filing done to get every trace gone. You then have to constantly check that your filing the boiler shape not horrible angles and flat!!!!

Once that's done you have to scribe your straight line, with a tapered diminishing boiler, and mark out the centres for the knobs  :doh: then attempt to drill this metal with something like a 0.45mm drill bit, you'll need about 10 drill bits to drill 12 holes!!!

You'll then have to work out how to get 6 knobs onto a 0.25mm wire, without them falling off so you can get them into the holes you've drilled, they need to be fixed from inside the boiler but all need to be straight, then you have to bend the wire over the Smokebox door and go all down the other side.

Needless to say I have a stripped bare MN body with all the holes drilled in it but no knobs and no handrail.

I genuinely wish you all the luck in the world. It really is a magnificent skill to learn. I will do it,  I just dont know how many years I can put it off for!!!!

That's not encouraging!!  ;D

I've seen Dr Al's fabulous work. I'll go through some of his posts and see how he does it.

Cheers,

Chris
"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."  Groucho Marx

Online thebrighton

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2020, 12:01:57 PM »
Removing the old, moulded handrails is easy on a UM loco. You can gently carve/scrape them off with a craft knife down to boiler level. This will leave a straight, shiny line at the correct height so you can easily drill holes (I use a 0.4mm drill bit) in the right place. Now you can give the surface a gentle sanding with wet and dry paper but you will need to break out the paint to touch up or you may need a more comprehensive repaint.

Use 0.3mm wire which will slide through the handrail knobs that NBrass, 2mm SA etc produce. Once the handrail is bent to shape I thread on the knobs and pop a spot of super glue in the first hole using a needle and pop the first knob in making sure it is standing proud of the boiler at the correct distance and then carry on with each knob individually until it's done.

If the loco is an old Farish one I will struggle for a while trying to remove the rock hard metal handrails and will probably give up but if I succeed there will need to be a lot of work to smooth things over. Next I will bulk order drill bits to give me a vague chance of drilling all the required holes but the last will snap with one hole to go. I will then attempt to remove the broken drill bits that are firmly imbedded in the bodywork without success. I will then look at the resulting mess and think to myself that the moulded handrails didn't look that bad afterall and decide what kit I'm going to build to put on the spare chassis I now have ;)

Offline Papyrus

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2020, 01:37:28 PM »
Perhaps an old Farish loco is not the place to start then...  :hmmm:

I'll see what else I've got that I can practice on.

Cheers,

Chris
"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."  Groucho Marx

Online exmouthcraig

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2020, 10:26:18 AM »
Well as Chris @Papyrus mentioned this last week and with me attempting to better my soldering skills I thought I might as well dig this out from the back of the bench and see if I can make an acceptable job of adding the handrails to my Rebuilt Bullied Pacific.

Having @thebrighton confirm that even the best struggle with drilling the holes and contemplating giving up gave me belief that iwasnt doing anything wrong it's the nature of the beast.

I've still not attempted to put them round the smoke deflectors but I have to try at some point so any advice, criticism or even praise  :D greatly appreciated



As you can see the knob slap bang in the middle (not me) no.4 I've managed to get too much solder ball up on that one so im going to have to be creative as to how I thin that out!!!

Online Snowwolflair

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2020, 10:47:07 AM »
Use flux and solder wick.



Online exmouthcraig

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2020, 10:52:13 AM »
Everyday IS a school day!!!!

 :thankyousign: @Snowwolflair yet another soldering necessity I've never heard of!!!

Online thebrighton

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2020, 11:27:31 AM »
As you can see the knob slap bang in the middle (not me) no.4 I've managed to get too much solder ball up on that one so im going to have to be creative as to how I thin that out!!!

Getting keen with that soldering iron! To date I've never gone near a handrail knob with a soldering iron. A spot of superglue in the hole in the body is good enough to hold the knob in and a couple of touches of superglue on the handrail by a knob is sufficient to stop the hand rail moving. Main reason is on a Farish body soldering isn't easy and on the knobs you can end up with too much solder ;)

Online exmouthcraig

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2020, 11:35:42 AM »
 ;D before I get that frustrated with it and launch it over the barn I thought I'd try and get something else off the list.

I re read your earlier post and clocked your mentioned GLUE  :smackedface:

I have also realised how hard this "metal" is at getting solder to stick to it!!! It simply doesnt, well I cant get anything too so I'll get No. 4 cleaned up and IF I can ever bring myself to do this again I'll definitely glue them on!!

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2020, 12:36:05 PM »
To date I've never gone near a handrail knob with a soldering iron.

Interesting to hear how you do it.

I have to say, I'm in the solder camp - indeed I usually now tin the entire handrail knob so it can be low melt soldered to whitemetal bodies (usually from behind). This is necessity, or the low melt will struggle to take to the brass. Only use glue to 3D prints, or Farish mazak shells, but even then the knobs are soldered to the rail. The primary reason is for strength - as rails can be vulnerable.

Whatever works though!

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2020, 12:36:57 PM »
I have also realised how hard this "metal" is at getting solder to stick to it!!!

The rails should take solder easily with flux. The Mazak used for the Farish body will not, so should be glued.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Online thebrighton

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2020, 12:48:59 PM »
Interesting to hear how you do it.

I have to say, I'm in the solder camp - indeed I usually now tin the entire handrail knob so it can be low melt soldered to whitemetal bodies (usually from behind). This is necessity, or the low melt will struggle to take to the brass. Only use glue to 3D prints, or Farish mazak shells, but even then the knobs are soldered to the rail. The primary reason is for strength - as rails can be vulnerable.


It's interesting the different ways you can build things and end up with the same result. I will happily solder etched kits together all day long but, again like handrails, have never used solder with a white metal kit. Super glue all the way and never had any problems and like handrails never had any strength issues and, fingers crossed, am yet to damage them.

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Loco handrails
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2020, 01:34:33 PM »
Interesting - my intro to whitemetal was acquisition of old pre-built models, that were in some cases coming apart because of being glued. That did rather put me off glue, apart from it's major benefit that you can tear down an old poor build and rebuild it with solder! This has particular value for old, rare kits, like Graham Hughes etc - the recoveries that can be made are surprising.

Glue is quicker and in many ways easier, but solder is stronger, particularly for small or thin joints that can't get much gluing area. But soldering those small joints is harder for sure.

Of course 3D print, Mazak there's no choice, but for whitemetal or brass or nickel silver I'd always try and solder first off.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

 

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