I decided I can give the tender some attention because that doesn't need a workshop. It just needed an awful lot of things dug out of the workshop!
I'd resoldered the beading on before we left the house.
The tender has been taken apart and cleaned with soapy water, wax & grease remover, and enamel thinners. There was oil stuck in the joins in frames somehow and all sorts of gunk had accumulated over the years and got into anywhere there was a join or two pieces sitting on each other. Something horrible had splashed onto one side while it was under my bench and that took sandpaper, dremel sized wire wheels, and plastic abrasive wheels to get off.
Still some rust to remove from a few of the steel parts. Serves me right for allowing it to sit for 8 years, many of them in an unlined steel garage. So there is a lot of irritating remedial work getting done but it is getting there.
You can see in one of the pictures some really bad rust in a couple of places where I'd soft-soldered some fittings. I can't get to that with anything much but will do my best with the dremel and then Fertan.
I've painted the top of the water tank with bitumen paint to protect the steel and will have to do a lot more caulking when I put it together because the fits are atrocious (up to 1mm gaps) but have been told there is a product that should help me out.
Will try and buy some primer and paint this week. I couldn't find the pot for my old spray gun so had to buy a new one today. I've never used one so will be doing some bits like the wheels and the bottom of the floor first for practice!
The rust removal went better than expected. I was able to get most of it with a steel brush about a 25mm dia (end on if you see what I mean, rather than a disk.) A little wire wheel in the dremel was able to reach a good amount of the rest. Then sandpaper wrapped around pliers.
The cab has taught me that even though it now looks cleanish that awful Bakers Fluid is still hiding in the joints and will no doubt bring some rust back. But it will look okay until some fertan and paint go over it, and it can't be seen when the rust bubbles up in future because it's underneath the tender!
Continuing with things I can do without a workshop, or even a garage.
Much cleaning later, a lot of painting has been done on the tender. The underframe and tank floor were done a few weeks ago and are in the workshop at home collecting dust, but hopefully not getting chipped.
This is my painting setup - a bit difficult to keep the dust and wind down. I actually paint in the the yard so I can move about and see better, but rest the result under here to try and stop leaves falling onto it before moving it inside after a few hours.
I put two coats on a bit over a week ago and then ran out of paint (in spray cans). It looked a bit dull and the coal plate was obviously patchy so I bought some more paint on Christmas eve and put another two coats on the other day hoping that would gloss up a bit. I painted a couple of bits of the well tank beforehand to check if the paint would play up and it seems to be fine. The finish is still quite flat so this brand's satin must just be like that.
Given it was done by me with spray cans in the back yard in the wind, I'm quite happy with the result. It wouldn't satisfy most around here but it turned out better than I was expecting. There are a lot of bits of 'stuff' that fell into it and every stray filing mark, dimple, ripple, whatever now seems to be highlighted! There's things I can see now that I never noticed in the bare brass or steel, but I'm going to live with it. The paint's not sticking too well either, despite cleaning with was & grease remover and using etch primer. However I did find youngest son (10 yo) running one piece up and down along the rivets on the tank one night because he liked the sound so that wasn't helping!
I still have to do the brakes, axleboxes, and wheels, and then figure out how it all goes back together.
I've been spending a couple of hours each day over my holiday trying to get the tender back together but it's slow going. I'm still finding parts to clean and paint, and finding a lot of traps I set myself 10 years ago when I forgot to make bits, didn't follow the instructions, forgot the instructions while taking it apart for cleaning, or just did things a bit differently.
I've been going back to my workshop every day this week and plugging in a long trail of extension leads back to the fusebox at the front of the house to make or modify various bits. The power is off except for a single powerpoint the builders have bodged into the fuse board.
Aside from the end plates of the dummy well tank I've not managed to get any other bits on! The next parts to go on are the dummy brake cylinders and pipes and it's all gone a bit pear shaped.
The picture shows the tale of woe!
1. While I was adding some plug welds I'd forgotten all about late last year I decided to add some welds to the corners of the dummy well tank because they looked pretty frail. I'd forgotten the mounting plate for the dummy brake cylinders goes right in that corner and now it wouldn't fit because the welds were in the way and the sides of the tank had been pulled in slightly by the distortion. So that plate has been narrowed by about 0.5mm and had cutouts added to accomodate the welds. I also skimmed down the rivet heads next to the mounting screw holes so I can use longer screws which are easier to get started.
2. At some point recently I'm sure I found a 6mm cube of steel with a hole through it, wondered why on earth I had it, and threw it away. I now know it was a spacer for a brake lever so I had to make another one. I'm not in a position to make the cube again so it's a 6mm cylinder of brass this time. It was meant to be soldered to the plate but I drilled through and put a screw through it which is why it was loose.
3. These steel pipes are meant to be soldered into the cylinders. I can't get soft solder to stick to them properly and even if I could the next problem means it still wouldn't work.The bakers fluid is at the workshop somewhere and I didn't want to use it anyway so tried a different flux which seemed to work ok on another piece of wire, but not these ones :-\
4. The pipes are meant to be soldered into the little brass fittings on these cylinders. But the cylinders are soaking up all the heat and I can't tin the fittings nicely. One of them got so hot the dummy tap popped out and nearly took my eye out. That must have been loctited in and the expanding air behind it must have shot it out. Obviously the paint is now buggered too.
I think I need to desolder the fittings or drill them out and make new ones and do the soldering while they're not in the cylinders, then loctite or epoxy the fittings in.
So that's the last week of my leave gone and not a lot of progress for about 5 weeks of working on it other than the paint.
Some people at the club had a look over the paint job and thought it was pretty good so that's a win.
I decided to clean up the mess I'd made trying to solder things in with a small wire brush and JB-Weld the pipes in place. They seem stuck well enough to stay there if nothing tries to tear them off. They're a bit vulnerable but I reckon they'd still get torn out if they caught something on the track even if they were soldered so we'll see how it goes.
I gave that assembly a coat of black primer this morning, over the existing paint and grey primer, and screwed it on after a few hours. There's still a brake actuating rod missing which I cannot find but I should be able to fit that at any time later as long as the brakes don't get in the way.
I've been puzzling over the order the tender goes back together and after a few false starts I hope the base and body can stay together now. I'd painted everything separately to try and get paint between all adjoining surfaces in an attempt to avoid rust in future but this just meant a lot of paint came off while putting it back together.
The biggest trick was getting the handrail brackets on - the bolts just didn't want to go through. On one side I drilled the holes in the tender front out to 2.4mm, putting masking tape on each side of the hole to try and protect the paint. The other side was even worse and as I was shining a light through the tape to see where the holes were I noticed there were 2 sets of holes! I'd cleared the paint out of one set and couldn't see the other set due to the black paint. I figured I'd give them a try and the bracket fit better with this set of holes. This was because I'd had to make a second bracket after leaving the first one in some phosphoric acid for too long (I don't know why it was in there to begin with...) and obviously it wasn't the same as the first one.
Anyway, got that done and then looked at a photo of Barry's one and saw the nuts were supposed to be on the outside :( I'm not taking them off again so mine will look a little different. They're quite difficult to get at with the tender at this stage, it's a lot easier when you can put the tank on it's side and the little trays are in the way too.
It's difficult to photograph but I'll try again tomorrow in the sunlight.
I've now attached the tank to the chassis because the next job is to make a couple of water pipes that go in the dummy well tank so everything above the wheels, including the water taps, has to be in place.
I must have bought the manual mill by the time I did that plate!
The underframe is nearly together now. I *think* there is only one strap for the air tank left to go on. I've just made that now, with some boiler band material, side cutters, and a pin vice because the power has been off all day. I've just given it a coat of black primer and will put it on tomorrow. I've run out of black paint so the primer will have to do it. I assume I made it before but I have no idea where the original is.
All the bits I thought were on for good with the paint touched up around them had to come off again to get the brakes on, so a lot more paint has come off. It's really not stuck to the brass with any tenacity despite the cleaning and priming, and there's a lot of scratches around the steel where screws have had to be undone and redone. I guess another can of paint will be procured during the week.
The air tank has some dents in it, but the other side with the seam is about 20x worse so I'm glad I had the foresight to make that side the hidden one.
4 of the 6 brake shoes make some sort of contact with the wheels which I think is pretty good going (there's no adjustment available) and should be enough to stop it rolling away on the steaming bay. I think the representation of the brakes is pretty good but getting them on was a real trial because the bolts are in very difficult to get to places, and the nuts holding them in place are worse! I'm going to put a lot of paint on them to try and keep them in place because I could only hand tighten them.
Nope, I forgot a stretcher that goes between the frames too. I have it painted and went to put it on and hit the same problem I had with the brake shaft yesterday which is the frames seem to be somewhere between 1 and 2mm closer together than when I made all this stuff and had it together years ago... Not sure how that happened it's a lot more than can be explained by paint. I filed somewhere between 1 and 2mm off the brake shaft and will have to shave this H shaped spacer on the mill back home, then paint the ends again because it's steel.
Looking really good Dave. That paint finish is just right.
Thanks Barry. I'm pretty happy with it given the conditions. I do wish it was stuck on a bit better though, I'm hoping you can shed some light on why the etch primer doesn't seem to be getting into the brass and helping the paint stick.
It's on its wheels and one of the dummy sandboxes is on, with the sandbox handle operating the water tap hidden within.
The bad news is the paint continues to chip off if I so much as look at it too hard, and the second water tap seems blocked!
You'd think I'd have checked them before getting this far but they worked about 8 years ago so why wouldn't they now? (Joking - I'm sure there are many points of potential failure between now and then). I'm pretty sure both pipes I made that go through the dummy well tank aren't blocked but I'm going to have to flip it over, take off the frame stretcher, air tank and well tank bottom (and pray that's all) and investigate. It could even be the elbow that takes the water out of the tender, I don't know if I ever checked it was clear.
The o-rings that have to go over the tap shafts are not having an easy time of it either. They're getting shredded going over the top of the shafts and squashed pretty badly inside the nuts. We'll just have to see how they go. If I knew then what I knew now I'd have chamfered the tops of the shafts and filed the slot edges smooth. A relief at the top of the nuts for the o-rings probably wouldn't hurt but that's a bridge too far.
Take heart David, we've all thought 'Gee if I knew then what I know now I'd have.....' it's the path to acquiring knowledge and so far I think you're doing a great job in creating a nicely made and detailed model of the NSWGR B class Mogul.
I bit the bullet tonight and flipped the tender over to get the tap out. It was quite a fight and a few bits had to come off. It's going to be even more so getting it back in because I had to straighten the pipe to unblock it.
It was blocked in both places where the pipes meet the tap body. It's all brass and copper, so it isn't rust. I have it sitting in a bath of vinegar in the hopes it will dissolve anything left in there. I don't have any citric acid or I'd have used that.
You probably can't see it in the photo but there is a lot of specs and flakes of crud in the bottom of the container so that's what I'm trying to get rid of before it goes straight into the combining cone of the injector.