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Member postings for Dave Wootton

Here is a list of all the postings Dave Wootton has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher
19/01/2021 17:49:11

Lovely work Mark, a pleasure to see, going to be a lovely engine, please keep us up to date on your progress.


Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
18/01/2021 16:50:08

img_3964.jpgThanks Ian, progress slowed up a bit as I had a bit of experimenting to do with making leaf springs, I think I said in the last posting it would be a learning curve, and it certainly was. After lots of messing about with blowlamps, sand baths, tiny tin snips and needle files we finally have a set of leaf springs. I had to anneal my reclaimed spring steel and found the best way was to clamp a little stack of embryo leaves between two bits of 6mm steel, soak at dullish red and leave to cool in the hearth, steel could be drilled, filed and formed quite easily. Hardened and then let down to blue in a little sand bed before quenching in oil. Took a few goes to get right but seems ok and springy. Have made a number of different length spares to enable closer setting when the loco is nearer it's final weight.

Marking out and drilling the lower spring hanger pivot holes took ages as the casting is not symmetrical, The main pivot for the truck has had to be drilled off centre, as the axlebox slots are slightly off, it won't be seen on the finished engine, but if i hadn't done it I had visions of the pony truck crabbing down the track like a B-L Mini with a dodgy rear subframe ( remember those?). Pictures show the first trial assembly , apologies for the bits of welding rods as temporary pins, the little spring retainers were a really fiddly bit of sawing and filing. Still got to make the little straps to go around the springs, next puzzle is to work out the height for the rollers that bear the engines weight on the pony truck, something doesn't add up so a bit of investigation needed there.img_3963.jpg

Thread: 1/2'' scale drawing sources
17/01/2021 09:30:27

Hello Michael

Thank you for posting the link, very interesting, I look forward to investigating the other links on the Chaski forum.

Pleased to see the NYC Hudson picture, I did not realise there where other designs for a Hudson apart from the Miller design, and pleasantly surprised that there is someone producing castings for 2 1/2" gauge. I find the history of the hobby very interesting, comes of having a huge pile of 1930's Model Engineer magazines available to read at school, been on a downward spiral ever since!

Thanks Again


Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
15/01/2021 18:03:12

img_3960.jpgimg_3958.jpgimg_3956.jpgimg_3954.jpgThanks Tom, hope you found it useful.

Bit more progress over last couple of days, bogie has been stripped cleaned and repainted, apart from thinning the wheels to the correct width it required no rectification.This is obviously the work of the original builder, is nicely made and everything works smoothly.

On to the pony truck which was partly made with no provision for suspension, the spring that is visible above the axlebox was just wedged in! pictures show it set up on the mill for machining, this took ages as the casting is quite different to the drawings, so took some figuring out kow best to set it up, the plan was to use the DRO and mill and drill it to co-ordinates, but as the casting is not symmetrical just had to make it as even as possible.

As the rest of the chassis has leaf spring suspension, I'm going to have a go at a pair for the pony truck, I found some spring steel left over from a highly useless set of ebay piston ring compressors that's about the correct thickness, so this should be a interesting learning curve to say the least. It was not intended to start on the bogie/ pony truck yet, but at least it keeps me away from the cylinders which seem to be storing up horrors all of their own. Apologies for the out of sequence pictures, they seem to end up anywhere.img_3946.jpg

14/01/2021 18:04:14

Hi Tom

Thanks, I seem to be making progress although breaking a tap in a finished axlebox slowed things down a bit!

To use the bushes, I measured the centres of the rods as close as I could, using rods in the existing holes (the centre bush is a normal concentric bush) , the difference between the axle centres and the coupling rod centres is the offset required ( say .005" for example).

I turned the outside of the bush as normal to a light push fit in the hole in the connecting rodl, but before drilling and boring it out I removed the bar from the 3 jaw chuck, placed a .005" shim under one of the jaws, centre drilled , drilled , bored and reamed to size. I also made a slight mark on the bush next to the jaw with the shim under it, this is obviously the thin side of the eccentric bush, and parted off. If the rod is too long the mark would go on the inside to shorten the centre distance, and the mark on the outside if too short to lengthen the centres.

After fitting and checking I used some wicking grade loctite ( 290 I think) to hold it in place, although this is really screwlock it is very strong and finds its way through tiny gaps. None of the above is particularly good engineering, but it does work.

I'm ashamed to say my first loco Rob Roy had to have this treatment and as I had no really accurate equipment to measure the error, I made the eccentric bush slightly more eccentric (!) than I thought it needed and turned it untill everything rotated smoothly, then loctited it in, absolute heresy I know but it's still going nearly forty years later!

Hope I've made the above clear, I'm better at bodging than writing, any questions please ask.



Edited By Dave Wootton on 14/01/2021 18:04:46

13/01/2021 17:23:40

img_3949.jpgimg_3944.jpgimg_3943.jpgBit more progress on President Washington chassis, Coupling rods, cleaned up, bushed and fitted , i'm afraid I had to use eccentric bushes to get the centres correct, whoever made these got them all over the place, one side was .017" too long and the other side .008" too short. I know i should have bored them to the correct centres, but the nickel silver rods were very thin around the bushes and I didn't want to weaken it any further.

While fitting it all back together I noticed there was little room for the brake hangers, after a bit of puzzling I realised the wheels were over width by about .050", I checked the diameters but not the width, goes to show trust nothing. I had to machine the wheel faces off by holding the finished wheel sets between centres, the cast iron is horrible to machine, maybe the reason they were left oversize as the original builder probably didn't have carbide tools to work with. On checking the bogie and pony truck wheels were also oversize on the width, so out of the intended sequence I had to face these off as well, I like to strip the lathe and clean it out after a cast iron session, so this saved me doing it twice.

Pictures show the rods assembled on the chassis, it all turns nicely now, The bogie is very nicely made, presumably by the original builder, with a nice little leaf spring and everything well fitted and working well, just needs painting while apart. Hopefully pictures below will be self explanatory. Will post more as things progress.img_3942.jpg

13/01/2021 17:02:58

Hi Tony

Nice to see 2 1/2" gauge builders on the site, Black 5 is a lovely engine, keep them coming!


13/01/2021 09:44:56

Hi Ian

Thanks, I have been visiting the site ever since I got the chassis, i'm pleased to see the loco is now under cover, at one time it was in the open looking very sorry for itself.

Should have the coupling rods finished today, and I'll post some more pictures.


Thread: Juliet no 2
12/01/2021 20:54:00

Thanks for posting Tony , Is the Baker valve gear an option on LBSC's design or your own application? I've seen Juliets with various valve gears, I'm sure a friend had one with slip eccentrics, or maybe stephensons, memory going!


Thread: 3.5 gauge Juliet no.2
12/01/2021 20:47:45

Nice work- almost there! thanks for posting a pleasure to see.


Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
12/01/2021 14:24:44



Thanks I'm hoping to encourage others to post, if I can do it anyone can! I think it was Dobwalls that sparked my interest in American ( and Canadian ) railroads, it was a great day out, the kids never moaned all day!


It was drilled like that! not sure what went on but the brackets and expansion links are very well made by the original builder, but Mr Hamfisted one of the later builders seems to have fitted them carelessly, it was easily put right with some brass silver soldered on and redrilled, it now all lines up.

Interesting that the design was also marketed in Canada, I'm pleased that there is at least one running still, the drawings are good, obviously things like the boiler design is of it's time, with cast gunmetal throatplate and foundation ring, I'm attempting to redraw the boiler up to acceptable standards, which is a slow process for me( I can't do CAD, there's lots of rubbing out going on!)


Thread: Interest in pictures of models
12/01/2021 12:45:11

Hi All

I've got all brave and posted a bit of a build log on my 2 1/2" gauge loco rebuild, with some rather jumbled pictures, hopefully this may encourage others, I like to see all types of construction threads, even ones I probably wouldn't build, we can learn so much from other disciplines.

looking forward to seeing some more pictures.


Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
12/01/2021 12:37:38

img_3939.jpgimg_3941.jpgimg_3940.jpgPresident RodsHaving just seen a request for more model pictures to be posted, and as I always like to see others build logs on the forum, here's my attempt.

The loco is a 2 1/2" gauge B&O RR Class P7 " President Washington" that has been partly built to the design of H.J Coventry of the USA in 1928, castings were available in the UK from George Kennion in the very early thirties.I bought the chassis from a fellow 2 1/2" gauge Association member some years ago after seeing it at a rally and pestering him a bit! He had bought it some years before on ebay but had not had time to work on it. The original builder did a good job, but others have had a go over the years and undone his good work., whoever quartered the wheels and made the coupling rods got everything wrong then proceeded to file bits off in order to try and get the wheels to go round, the result being sloppy axleboxes and wheels pointing in all directions.

So far I've remachined the horn slots in the cast gunmetal frames, made new axleboxes, bored on the faceplate in a little fixture to keep them all the same, axles, crankpins. Sorted out the expansion link bracket, as can be seen the trunnion bushes were a little out!. The wheels have been quartered, and at the moment I'm sorting out the cast nickel silver coupling rods, I'll post some oictures of those when they are finished.

The idea is to get the engine completed to be steamable, repairing and conserving as many of the original parts as possible, it is a long term project, I only started it as I can't get on with the boiler for my Crab loco at the moment, but I will update as i hopefully make some progress.President washington

I don't seem to have much control over where the pictures go, so they are all a bit out of sequence, but I'm sure you can work out whst they are!


Thread: 1/2'' scale drawing sources
11/01/2021 19:14:01

Ian T

Thanks for the links in your post fascinating stuff, I'd heard of Mr Shattock but wasn't aware of his great achievements, must have been quite a guy.

love the bit about the authorities invstigating possible insurrection and discovering a model railway!


11/01/2021 19:01:47

Hi Brainsparks

As IanT states 1/2" to the foot scale was phased out in the 20's ish in the UK, but in the USA because of the larger prototypes 1/2" scale was stilln used untill the scale faded out in preference to the larger scales.

I don't believe there are any suppliers of 1/2" scale US outline drawings or castings available, a few years ago a company in the US was advertising castings and drawings for the Timken four aces loco in 2 1/2" gauge, I did try to contact them at the time but no response.

Drawings are available for the Baltimore & Ohio "President Washington" class P7 pacific from the 2 1/2" association, but no castings. These have not been available for many years, I have been told since the early thirties, I have the unfinished chassis of one I am working on at the moment. The design uses a great number of castings, even the coupling and connecting rods are nickel silver castings, one of the association members has recently completed a fully fabricated example.

On ebay a few years ago copies of 1/2" scale drawings for a NYC Hudson designed by Millar were being sold from the US, taken from the original 1930's drawings, unfortunately by the time I found out they were available the listings had disappeared.

My own loco pictured below ( I hope!) has passed through several hands by the look of it and needs considerable rectification work, it has the original cast gunmetal main frames, and many of the original cast parts, I hope to have it as a rolling chassis soon.

If you are interested in this sort of thing I can recommend the Friends models site, he is remanufacturing the 3 1/2" gauge President Washington castings, there's quite a lot on the US scene in the 30's. Worth joining the association, friendly, helpful bunch.



President washington

Thread: The Repair Shop is getting to me...
09/01/2021 19:03:05

I quite like it, as Tug says it is light entertainment, and if it makes people aware of some of the skills possesed by repairers and makers it's no bad thing. I'm in awe of the porcelain repairer, the art restorer and the saddlemaker, about time craftsmanship was celebrated.

If they take it off we would just get more "celebrity" programmes to replace it, I'm sure no one wants that!

09/01/2021 16:46:09

I broke a tap off in a nearly completed bronze axlebox this afternoon, there was some blubbing,and now even more machining!

I wasn't happy with that!

Edited By Dave Wootton on 09/01/2021 16:47:28

Thread: Workshop Clearance - Advice
09/01/2021 13:44:13

A friend had to do a similar thing with his fathers workshop a few years ago, he wanted everything gone as a job lot because the workshop was in the midlands several hundred miles from his home. He tried several dealers and received a couple of paltry offers. He contacted David Anchell of Quillstar who made a reasonable offer and collected promptly, I have no connection with the business, but I did buy a lathe from him years ago and was very pleased with the whole thing. Might be worth a phone call, I just checked and he still has a website so still trading.

Hope this helps i know how difficult clearing a workshop can be, and how unreasonable some buyers are. Hopefully others on the site who have had reasonable offers from dealers will share their experiences.


Tony from Lathes UK will draft an advert and value things (at a cost) it's a good service that i have used, but maybe not the best in the current situation, or for a collection of machines.


Edited By Dave Wootton on 09/01/2021 13:46:57

Thread: Oil Blackening and other Oil Issues
09/01/2021 11:52:36

I use the Birchwood Casey gun blue a lot for small parts, and if parts are thoroughly degreased before application it lasts well and looks good. Not as hard wearing as proper chemical blacking but a lot less faff for parts not subjected to constant handling.

I apply it with very fine wire wool and treat it with ACF50 after application which seems to prevent corrosion.


Thread: A finished project - at last!
07/01/2021 11:11:46


Lovely work, a pleasure to see, thank you for posting this, an inspiration to get out into the workshop.


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