Post by don9f on Jun 10, 2020 19:59:18 GMT
Hi, now that the 3F is finished and the 9F overhaul nearly so, I’ve been wondering for a few weeks, what to do next? I’ve got all the castings and some laser cut parts for a Galloways Non Dead Centre Engine, but don’t feel it’s what I want to tackle at the moment, I want another locomotive project!
So.....I’ve taken the plunge and acquired the “rolling chassis” of an LMS Fowler 7F 0-8-0 engine. They were nicknamed “Austin 7s” for some reason to do with the car of that name being made at the time. There’s no boiler or tender etc. so there’s enough to keep me busy for quite a while. I have made contact with a chap who offers a design for a 5” gauge LNWR Super D 0-8-0 and we are hopeful that his boiler will fit. The tender was a Fowler 3500 gallon type, like that paired with a Horwich Crab, a Don Young design, so that’s easily available.
There are no members of this once 175 strong class of early LMS freight workhorses preserved and probably not much written about them....they were all scrapped by 1962, but there are quite a few photos online to go on like this one. I think they were quite powerful engines, but a major factor in their early demise was their poor axlebox performance....a legacy of old fashioned thinking during their design in the late 1920’s.
Anyway onto the model....I think it’s probably quite old but don’t currently know anything at all of its history etc. It seems to be quite well made and incorporates some intricate and novel features, especially with its “Joy” valvegear, something until a few days ago, I knew nothing about! This aspect itself is slightly odd, because the real ones had inside Walschearts gear, but I like a challenge and intend to do a complete strip down, remove all the old paint and check everything goes back together ok. There are a lot of round headed screws that I’ve already discovered are not very tight and these will have to go and be replaced by hex ones, suitably locked in place where necessary. Joy gear with all its links and pins, reminds me of helicopter rotor head linkages and the need for Loctite!
Enough rambling, here are some photos and relevant observations so far, starting with the gunmetal cylinder block with slide valves on top. Note the proliferation of oil points, wicks, feed pipes etc. to all the valvegear pins and so on:-
These engines had a larger spacing between the 1st & 2nd axles than the others:-
I was keen to figure out how the slide valves worked, porting etc. so the first thing I did was take the top of the valvechest off, for a look inside:-
Can’t say I’ve seen anything quite like this before:-
Moving on to wheels and rods etc. the front three sets of crankpins have some sort of self-aligning bearings and there is a bit too much side play in the 1st, 3rd & 4th axles for my liking, but maybe it was built to run on sharply curved track? We may never know!
It has “conventional” axlebox springing....note how the 1st axle has a stronger nested spring arrangement and also you can see the underneath of some of the Joy valvegear, plus the beautifully made big ends:-
The final photo today shows part of the most complex cylinder drains operating linkage I’ve ever seen, which links it’s five valves together, also note the worm/wheel gear for adjusting the main piston rod glands, which is obviously intended to be done from under the boiler, using a small square socket!
Hope that’s been of interest....