Cylinder drain cocks and levers

So why do these at this stage of the build ( a running chassis on air). Well all the front end shafts and levers are inside the frames and at the very front under the cylinders and the front bogie cannot be done/ fitted until all the drain cock levers are in place.

There are three shafts within the frames all 5/32″ diameter. The first is under the cylinders and protrudes beyond the frames for the extended lever to fit onto for operating the outside cylinder draincock. There is a middle lever for operating the middle cylinder and and a further lever to connect to the second shaft.

The second shaft is at the top of the frames and and it sits with no extension outside the frames and has the operating lever to connect to the front shaft and the third shaft which is further back which is much longer and extends on the outside of the right hand frame under the running board and from there its levers connect to the back of the loco in the cab for the operating lever.

The first problem became evident as the front shaft cannot be fitted with the cylinders in place as the cylinder bottom diameter cover the frame holes. The solution to this was to make a split shaft in the form shown below.

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Split front shaft.

However even this cannot be fitted as there is insufficient clearance to fit the shaft pieces from the inside for them to be screwed together.

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The problem of insufficent hole clearance to allow the split shaft to be screwed together.

The solution to this was to open out the hole in the frame so the shaft could pass through the frame and fit a bearing bush to make the bearing surface good again. Opening out the hole was done using a small grindstone in a right angled head fitted to a Dremal drill. The result was not a perfectly round hole of course but with the bushing being a reasonably good fit (to be loctited in position when all the levers are fitted) the shaft can be fitted to run true.

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The fitted shaft and bushing

The operating levers are an assembly of a bush and lever silver soldered together. The levers are held on the shafts by grub screws. At this stage I am only fitting the levers from the front shaft down to the one shown above to enable me to complete the drain cock assembly so I can eventually mount the front bogie which I will be making next.

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The first cylinder levers fitted. The drain cocks are commercial as quite honestly the cost of them far outweighed the time and effort to make them. They are of the tapered cock type.

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All three cylinders done. The brass levers are 1/16″ thick half hard brass 3/16″ wide cut from sheet.

With all three cylinders fitted the force on the operating lever is quite high as it only 1/2″ long and I found the single grub screw attaching it to the shaft was prone to sliping. It has all got to be dismantled for the levers to be painted, so next time it is assembled I think I will apply some Loctite to the shaft to provide some additional grip.

The drain cocks cannot be finally fitted of course as the cylinder cladding has to be fitted first.