To assist the reader of my blog and its meanderings this diary page will be kept updated with news on when a page has been updated or new stuff added.

Some published pages from the start till now will not appear in the diary as I cannot remember when they were done or updated so the diary starts from October 18th 2017.

Oct. 18th 2017 Updated the axle box page with the crank axle box machining.

November 1st: added the front boiler support stretcher in Stretchers.

November 3rd; started on the inside motion plate in the stretcher chapter.

November 11th; Started on the first cylinder block …. the middle one. Also found an omission on the frames drawing as there were no holes shown for the K exhaust casting so made a note in the frames chapter.

20th November Still working on the cylinder block. Page updated with work so far. Photos to add.

22nd Nov Some photos added of the cylinder block progress.

30 Nov. all the machining on the cylinder block done and holes tapped. Valve liners and studs to do once the material is delivered. A couple of photos still to add.

4th Dec. Added a couple of photos to the cylinder block chapter and started writing on the valve liners

8th Dec. Valve liners made and fitted to block but end cap fixings have to be redesigned.

9th December ……decided to have a break from the middle cylinder work and take on the challenge of the cartazzie axle boxes for the trailing frames.

12th Dec. Started to machine the Cartazzie horn blocks ….see the horn block chapter.

16th Dec Started to machine the Cartazzie axle boxes … see the axle box chapter.

3rd Jan 2018 The Cartazzi axle is machined ( see the axle chapter) and the the cartazzi axle box problem comes to light (see the axle box chapter)

4th Jan Decision made on what to do about the Cartazzi axle boxes.

6th Jan Cartazzi axle boxes now modified and working.

17th Jan sliding and spring plates made for cartazzi axle box.

31st Jan Made the drag box to fit to the drag beam.

9th Feb Just added some pictures of the drag box, buffer blocks and finished cartazzi axle box

10th Feb. Started the eccentrics. See new chapter.

13th Feb Boiler has arrived. plus a bit more work on the eccentrics

20th February. Decided to have a start on the inside motion bits commencing with the trunnion brackets and expansion link, the trunnion brackets being the first job. This is a new chapter.

23rd Feb . Decided to do the front cover for the inside cylinder as I had to wait for some material to be delivered before I could tackle the expansion link.

27th Feb Machined and fitted the front exhaust cap for the middle cylinder.

28th Feb Started the front cylinder cover and ended up with a couple of cockups!

2nd March machined the first plate of the inside motion expansion link

7th March …Peed off as I have just discovered the expansion link is not as I had interpreted the drawing ………rework needed.

9th March Having real problems machining 1/4″ thick gauge plate for the expansion link. Two drill snapped (problem due to peck drilling CNC post processor not configuring a G code entry correctly) and three slot cutters later and still not finished. New 3/32″ cutters ordered.

14th March Made the piston for the inside cylinder. Yet to make the rings.

17th March Gave up CNC machining the expansion link, too difficult fo my X1 machine using gauge plate.

21st March Hand finished the expansion link but also looking into having the expansion links wire eroded. Piston rings are made and fitted and a start on the slide bar assembly made.

27th March Started the cross head for the inside cylinder having completed the slide bar.

2nd April Crosshead finished and fitted to the slide bar and trial fitted to the piston in the frames. Also finished off the expansion link.

9th April eccentric arm made and fitted and start made on the inside motion connecting rod.

1st May The connecting rod is now finished and awaiting a trial fit.

2nd May Connecting rod fitted.

4th May Decided to start to put primer on the frames. Started to polish the connecting rod too.

8th May started the piston valve bobbin.

17th May tackling the valve guide

25th May valve guide completed but modified to overcome a perceived weakness in the as drawn item. Completing the valve rod and bobbin and starting the piston rings.

29th May  Problem, the rings will not go over the bobbin so now have to modify the bobbin.

1st June Finished the new bobbin but found the bobbin assembled with its rings would not pass through into the liner at the valve guide end as the short acute taper would not compress the rings. So took the liner out and machined a 5 degree taper and that solved the problem.

2nd June Made and fitted the crosshead for the piston valve.

4th June finished off the valve guide and crosshead and all fitted to the cylinder block temporarily. Decided to start the K exhaust as this fits to the cylinder block. Easier to test fit with the block out of the frames. It also covers the inside motion so access to the motion is then a problem so it will be on and off like a fiddlers elbow!

15th June The K exhaust is completed and a start made on the combination lever.

25th June. Made a start on the radius rod having completed the combination lever.

3rd July  Radius rod completed and fitted to the expansion link OK.

5th July The drop link is partially completed. Just its holes to be done.

8th July Union link made and trial fitted.

9th July Commenced the inside motion assembly.

11th July The inside motion is assembled in the frames and a new chapter started for the weighshafts and reach rods as I will do the inside motion weighshaft and lifting arm and lifting lever next.

18th July Inside weighshaft work started and also some work on the brackets that fix to the outside of the frames

23rd July Inside weighshaft levers completed and work started on the outside weighshaft brackets.

28th July Started the slidebar brackets having completed the outside weighshaft brackets

3rd August. While waiting for material to do the spring hangers I started to do the boiler saddles. The front one first and it turned out tbe a bit of a problem….casting issues. The saddles are in the boiler page.

10th August. Well the boiler saddles are done and the material has arrived for the spring hangers so I can now make a start on those. A total of 12 have to be made eight of which are similar and the other two pair different. I think it will take a while as they are all fabricated.

14th August Spring hangers underway. They are in the Frame bracket page.

17 August.Still working on the spring hangers, a lot to do for a simple fabrication. Whilst the CNC was doing its work I began thinking about the smokebox. 6 1/2″ in diameter and between 1/8″ and 3/32″ thick is called for. I cannot roll that thickness and sourcing a tube in that size seems difficult from my early enquiries.

20th August. Finished machining the spring hanger legs. Can start on the plates to which they are silver soldered next.

21st August. Discovered the drawing for the oil wells which I could not find when doing the boiler saddles. I have updated the boiler page accordingly.

22nd August. Nearly finished making the plates for the spring hangers, three more to tidy up and then I can start assmbly silver soldering. Whilst the CNC was doing its job my thoughts turned to how I was going to turn the loco over. Normally with my loco’s I use scissor jacks modified to have a turning worm/wheel mechanism on one and a bearing on the other. The turning end fits over the buffers whilst the other end has a tongue to fit into the drawbar slot. I cannot use these as that will put them out of action when on the A1 so a new mechanism has to be made. The new mechanism also has to fit my building bench which is shorter than the loco. Hmmmmmm.

29th August The spring hangers are all done. They have to be fitted to the frames next but the fixing screws have to be obtained. In the mean time I have timed the eccentric on the crank axle ( See eccentric page).

6th September. Fixing screws have now arrived so I can finish off fitting the spring hangers.

8th September. All the main spring hangers are fitted and a start made on the smoke box saddle. This is described in the boiler chapter.

12th September the smoke box saddle progresses with a few problems.

19th September. Just added a few photos of the smoke box saddle progress.

1st October. Not much happening right now. I have been off for a few days and also doing work on our club signal equipment. Hope to be back on the A1 in a week or so.

5th October Had a break from signalling work and did a little bit on the boiler saddle to check dimensions and alignment of the smoke box with the boiler.

8th October.  Machined the curvature on the smoke box saddle.

9th October. Started the machining of the outside cylinder blocks.

16th October. Both cylinder blocks have been bored but not yet honed. Also had to read my own blog to remind myself how I did the machining of the middle cylinder ports.

17th October. Started to hone the bores on the cylinder blocks. Its a long job with amateur hones also the honing speed is uncertain for firstly best removal of material and then for finish.

24th October. Given up on honing. I cannot get the hone to cut without the stones getting blocked quickly despite using lubricant. Putting the cylinders out for professional honing.

27th October. Managed to find a firm who can roll my smoke box. Stumbled upon them when looking for someone to hone the cylinder blocks. Beleive or not they are virtually on my doorstep and the owner lives in the same town as me! So now I am waiting for the return of the cylinders and the smok box.

30th October. Cylinders are back from being honed. Happy chappy now.

31st October. Started to machine the cylinder block fixing holes and steam inlet cross drillings.

2nd November. All fixing holes drilled and tapped for both cylinder blocks including the end covers. Machined the ports from cylinder to valve chest and managed to cock one up. Not too serious a problem fortunately. Also found I had mistakenly drilled the front cover holes wrong having totally forgotton my middle cylinder experience (should have read my own blog). Again a recoverable error. Not a good day at the office as they say.

3rd November. The drain cock holes have been drilled and tapped and a trial fit to the frames resulted in finding out the K exhaust must be fixed in position with countersunk screws as otherwise the cylinder block cannot fit flush to the frames.

9th November. Busy making four valve liners. Just the turning and boring at the moment

11th November. Liners fitted.

12th November. A few drillings done on the cylinder block and collected the smoke box from being rolled and started a new chapter for the smoke box with a picture of the tube on the saddle. Not likely to do any work on the smoke box for a while as I want to get the outside cylinder finished and fitted.

14th November. Cylinder end caps are in progress whilst awaiting material to do the exhaust steam way on the cylinders.

15th November. Finished the end caps.

16th November. Started the exhaust channels. They just have to be jig drilled and machined to match the cylinder block rear so nearly finished too.

19th November. Made a start on the driving wheels as a break from the cylinder blocks. Started the leading drivers and ran into problems straight away as the Myford is too small to use a four jaw chuck and the wheels have to be turned on the faceplate. Anyway part way into doing the first wheel.

20th November. First driving wheel finished ……just 5 more to do.

24th November. Not much to write about at the moment, still doing wheels. The front and middle axles are done but two more to do for the trailing axle. Crank pins have to be made and fitted to all and all need fettling.

26th November.  Six wheels have been turned and bored to fit their axles. Next job is to do the crank pins, but first I must go back and finish the exhaust channels for the cylinder blocks. Just two to make and fit.

30th November. The cylinder blocks are now finished with the exhaust channels bolted on. I have decided to start the outside motion by doing the pistons rather than carry on with the wheels at the moment.

1st December. First piston turned and check fitted in its bore OK. No rings yet.

2nd December. Second piston completed.

4th December. The pistons are now fitted with rings into their respective cylinder blocks and the front covers finally fitted. The rear covers will not be finally fitted until I have done the valve guides. But first the valve bobbins have to be done.

8th December. Working on the valve bobbins. Quite a few bits to make for one bobbin.

15th December. Not much happening at the moment. I have been away for a few days and just before I left I had an unfortunate accident with my parting off tool and I have to replace it. One is on order. I have used the Greenwood Q-cut one for years  and went to replace the insert only for it to slightly damage its clamp jaws when taking a cut and the insert coming out. This tool has been superceeded by Greenwood tools but is expensive so I am trying a cheaper tool. However one bobin is complete but no rings yet.

19th December. Accidents seem to come in threes …..had another one today whilst attempting a pressfit of the driving pin into the middle driving wheel only for the boss around it to crack. It was caused by my not supporting the rear of the boss whilst pressing it in as I had forgot the back of the boss is not flush with the rear of the wheel. I think the wheel can be saved by some clever welding as the crack is barely visible. I also found that my ER collet chuck runs 2 1/2 thou out. Only found that out having turned the drive pin in the chuck for its main diameter and the fixing diameter into the wheel but had to turn the other end of the pin for the return crank and thought the collet chuck would automatically ensure it ran true …… it did’n’t.

23rd December. Not much happening at the moment. I did enquire about having my cracked driving wheel welded but the advice was not to bother as the outcome could not be certain and the cost of having it done was a lot more than a new casting. That has to wait until the new year to find out if I can get just one.

Not sure what to do about the ER collet chuck. I’m wondering if the taper could be ground true on the Myford mandrel.

So …. nothing more now until the New Year, so a happy Christmas and healthy New Year to all my readers.

28th December. Had some time to spare so used it to make the valve piston rings and fitted the bobbins into the cylinder blocks.

29th December. Another couple of spare hours so I made a start on what I thought would be a simple job of making the trailing axle spring hangers. ……. that turned out not to be simple………. a poor casting.

2nd Jan 2019. back to the workshop. Just a simple job to ease into 2019, turning the piston rod gland bushes for the outside cylinders. Done just the same as the inside cylinder so nothing new there. But the valve rod guides are next on the list.

4th Jan. The valve rod guide castings have been part machined and one nearly finished.

7th Jan. Both valve rod guides are finished, just need to do their cross heads next.

13th Jan. Finished machining the replacement driver wheel for the one that I cracked. I plan to do the valve rod cross heads next to finish off the valve guides and then get back to the wheels to make the drive pins.

15th January. The outside cylinder valve guide cross heads are finished and the valve guides finally secured to the cylinderblocks.

16th January. Finished fitting the cylinder blocks to the frames. Next job back to wheels.

23rd January. Apart from having a few days away I have been putting a coat of black paint onto the frames. Once the wheels are done and painted and in the frames I don’t want to keep on dissasembling them from the frames if I can avoid it. Just trying to think ahead a bit.

25th January. The crank pins are now all press fitted to the driving wheels OK. Just need to fettle the wheels before giving them a coat of undercoat.

28th January. First wheel set has been “thirded”

1st February. All wheels are now “thirded” and having a coat of udercoat/primer applied. They will then be painted black. After that its back to the motion and making the slide bars.

5th February. All wheels painted but not pinned. That’s a job once they have been checked in the frames. Going to start the slide bars next.

8th February. Slide bars are making progress in that they are made but not assembled. The cylinder end covers to which they fix have to be drilled and tapped, one of which is done. This gives the opportunity to check the gap between piston rod and slide bar and at the same time see what packing is needed between the slide bar and its frame support to ensure it is parallel with the piston rod.

Whilst trial fitting one of the wheel sets it became evident that a turnover building frame was now needed so I am in the process of designing one suitable for the building bench. My other loco’s use a pair of scissor jacks but these will not fit on my building bench satisfactorily due to the length of the A1.

11th February. Trial fitted the slide bar assembly to the outside cylinder.

13th Feb. The first slide bar is now fitted OK and the second one underway but I have a difference in space between the slide bar and its support bracket between the two sides which is under investigation.

15th Feb. Found the reason for the different spacing. An error by me some many months back on the cylinder block machining. I think it can be left as is without having to do worry too much about the loco not running.

19th February. Made a start on the cross heads as I cannot complete the far side slide bar until I have built the turnover frame ( in progress).

26th Feb. Just in case anyone is wondering there is not much happening on the loco at the moment. I have only just decided how to machine a couple of components for the cross head ( drop link and cover plate). I was hoping to machine them as one piece but have decided against it so it will be two pieces and then silver soldered. I am also still in the throes of getting the turnover frame put together. I need some welding done and hopefully that will occur in a couple of days. All this plus work on the Clubs signalling has kept me busy.

2nd March. A little more done on the cross heads. The closing plates have been silver soldered on.

14th March. Not much happening at the moment. Busy building the turnover frame and our clubs signalling. One cross head has been completed but not many photos of it in progress so I will have to take photos of the second one as it is being built.

1st April. The cross heads are now fitted and it just remains to make the oilers to complete them.

3rd April. The three driving wheels sets have been assembled in the frames (unsprung at this stage) and the front driver connecting rod and expansion link rod connected only to find the motion jammed when turning the wheel set. This turns out to be a problem of insufficient clearance in the bottom of the fork of the radius rod where the combination lever joins it. So now the radius rod has to be taken out to machine a larger clearance.

12th April. Finally got the inside motion to move freely in forward and reverse direction. Turns out there was more than one inteference problem.

19th April. Returned to the cartazzi axle making the dummy springing and eventually its wheels.

22nd April. First wheel of the cartazzi wheel set machined.

23rd April Both wheels machined and fitted to the axle plus a coat of undercoat.

3rd May. The cartazzi axle is now fitted to the frames and complete. So I am now starting the coupling rods and the first blank has been machined for the front rod.

8th May. First coupling rod is done and the second whilst fitted needs to be completed – but the wheels turn.

23rd May Both front coupling rods are now finished having been in holiday mood as well so not a lot has been done. The next job is to start on the rear coupling rods.

4th June. Made the first blank of a trailing coupling rod today only to find I had made it too short! That’s 3 hours down the drain. I had forgotton to make the allowance for the pin diameters at each end. Plonker!

8th June. Yet another mistake ……..having made the connecting rod to the right length and trial fitted it to one side and  it was looking good tried it on the other side only to find the thirding of the wheel set was wrong!  No idea what I did to get it wrong but fortunately I had anticipated the potential for errors on the thirding and had not pinned the wheels. So pressed the offending wheel off and set the wheel set up on the mill table and using height gauges under the drive pins reset the wheel on the axle with Loctite. Once set the wheel set was put back in the frames and all lined up OK.

12th June. Made the second trailing wheel connecting rod and trial fitted it and all was well. All wheels turning satisfactorily. The next task was to finish machining the two rods by thining down and fluting. The first was done OK and the second one was in the process of fluting when the woodruffe cutter caught and wipped the rod out of its fixings and resulted in one mangled rod and a broken cutter.  Expletives followed! So back to square one with the second rod with material and a new cutter on order.


One ruined coupling rod

28th June 2019 Well the side rods are all now successfully completed and fitted, and the wheels turn OK. Now I can turn my attention to making the piston connecting rods.

29th June. Made an adjustable connecting rod to check the measured centres of the RH wheels set and turned the wheel set over successfully.

5th July. In the process of machining the first connecting rod.

10th July. The first connecting rod is complete and fitted OK. Also the driving wheel sets have been pinned now I am happy the motion turns over OK.

28th July. Just in case anyone was wondering I have had a weeks break away and now I am back and can get on with the second connecting rod.

5th August. The second connecting rod is now completed and fitted OK although I did struggle to get this one done.

I think I will have a break from motion work and tackle the main driving wheel springs next.

13th August. Work on the A1 has been slow of late. Too many other things to attend to. I had a derailment on my 7 1/4″ ground level loco that needed some minor repairs to the drain cock operating rods. Paint scratches have yet to be attended to under the cylinder covers. My 5″ Jubilee has been test run following some repairs to the inside cylinder rear cover that had produced a steam leak and our club ground level signalling had two train detection treadles that needed attention. Anyway I made a start on the springs which is described in the wheel section.

15th August. Did a rough weighing of the loco/boiler bits to date to see if the driver spring loading is in the right ball park. Results are in the wheel chapter. Also busy making the bits for the spring hangers. Last bits to be made are the buckles but I need to decide exactly how the springs will be made up so I can determin the correct depth of the buckle.

27th August. Still plugging away at the main springs. The spring make up is determined and the buckles made apart from the radius around the buckle pin. Three springs are assembled…. three to go.

6th September. All springs now made and commenced fitting them to the axles. Not straight forward as it turned out.

8th September. All six springs now fitted OK. Musing what to do next. I really want to get back onto the outside motion as there is a lot of work there to be done but feel like a little more relaxing task so I have decided to do the axle lubrication for the middle and rear axle.

11th September. Lubrication wells and pipework for the middle and rear axle is completed. Howeve not too happy as the wells are slightly lower than the running plate and whilst they are made to drawing I found a GA that implies they should be proud of the running plate. I am leaving it as is.

13th September, I know Friday the 13th is unlucky, so they say, but I made a start on the outside motion lever workings. The weighshaft for the lifting levers was the first to be done and is fitted OK, but it did have a minor issue to be fixed before it was satisfactory.

18th September. The weighshaft lever on the main shaft is done and so is the weighshaft link rod.

24th Sept. Many hours being spent on resolving fouls when assembling the connecting link between the the two weighshafts.

28th Sept. The main weighshaft lifting arms are completed and fitted.

1st October. Made a start on the outside expansion links.

2nd October. Outside plates for the expansion link are completed.

10th October. First combination lever machined and fitted for outside motion.

11th October. Second combination lever finished and fitted.

14th October. Made a start on the radius rods ……. not an easy one this.