I felt a mild surge of anticipation as I cut the firebox free of the fret and set to embossing the stay bolts and rivets from the back. Others are able to use half-etched rivet holes to make convincing, even rivets. Beautiful, even. So far, this is not a skill I can count on. Maybe […]

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Driver bearings

I looked around at the various offerings for bearings in both the HO scale and 4mm markets and found they were universally too large for my purposes. Maybe a more modern engine would have such a large axle box, but my little teakettle needed daintier fittings. So, I decided to make my own. I believe […]

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Bearings and the finest line

I read once that the finest line in model railroading is the one that separates running clearance from slop. I made four driver bearings on the weekend, starting with a 1/8″ drilled hole in the end of some brass hex. Only after I’d completed all four did I examine them critically on an axle. They […]

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3D CAD Clinic

Four modellers from the North Van NMRA group came by to enjoy a dry run of my clinic for the Railway Modellers’ Meet. It was a bit of an eye-opener! I had thought that I would offer the clinic in both OnShape and SketchUp, but fortunately, everyone chose OnShape; two hours is not enough time […]

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Rods for 622

As I was starting to turn up the crank pins, I figured I’d better find out if they would fit through the holes in the rods. They don’t, but rather than keep dragging out the whole etched sheet, I parted them off. Then, thought I, well I may as well fold them over and solder […]

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Finished with casting drivers

After a couple of do-overs, I’ve finished casting the drivers for 622. It has not been a fast process, but at least it works, and I believe it results in a reasonably good wheel. I really should have remastered the mold before starting, as every wheel needed a little carving to account for overzealous application […]

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Etchings arrive

The package from PPD arrived today and like a ten-year-old freeing a puppy on his birthday, I couldn’t wait to rip open the package! And then cut, and then rip some more, for PPD don’t mess around when it comes to getting their product to you safely. The two sheets were wrapped in tissue, then […]

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Towards an audacious goal

The Railway Modellers’ Meet is coming up in less than two months. I’m actually the chair of the organizing committee, and I should know better than to set myself modelling goals before the meet. Especially if I am also delivering a 2-hour hands-on tutorial on 3D CAD. However, I’m going to put it in writing […]

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Drivers on half-axles

Before mounting the drivers on their half-axles, I had to clean up their backs. This is a touchy task due to the Proto:87 flanges, which disappear in a heartbeat and a string of expletives if you’re not paying attention. The best approach was to face only up to the portion of the wheel formed by […]

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