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Member postings for Derek Drover

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

Thread: The Secret Science of Sewage
26/03/2021 13:35:04

The firm I work for (ABC Stainless) were contracted to supply and install alot of the pipework there about 6 or 7 years ago during an expansion project.

Thread: Beginner's engine build. Simplex 5"g.
28/05/2020 16:26:51

Whilst we're talking about lubricating the axles... I'll again suggest sealed roller bearings, as this removes the issue altogether. This is what I'm doing on my L1 project.

What I've done on my Simplex rear axle (which needed rebuilding after only 4 years running due to ash ingress and excess wear), I now lubricate the rear axle through the ends of the axles, with a large dia hole drilled some way deep into the shaft. The end is sealed off with a stainless ball held closed by a spring. This is stopped in place by a smaller dia coned piece, loctited in. The axle shaft is then cross-drilled through somewhere about the mid position of the axlebox. This allows for oil to be pumped into the axle bearing and keep a good few ml as reserve whilst running.


27/05/2020 10:38:16

A couple of mods that are worth considering are sealed needle roller bearings on the axles (the axleboxes are very large), and instead of having an ashpan which drops as a whole and is difficult to seal to the boiler foundation ring, fabricate a fixed ashpan with a tipping grate. This I have done on mine and it works very well... so far virtually no ash landing on the rear axle/axleboxes.

Also, split your running boards to allow valve timing adjustment without the need to remove the side tanks... saves ALOT of effort !!



19/05/2020 13:59:38

Hi Oscar

With sliding valves, both faces not only need to be to a good polish, but they need to be flat. If you've not used a flat surface to polish on you may create slight gaps.

Also, are you running it dry or with a little oil applied? I'd try adding a little steam oil and see if that helps seal things up.



Thread: Co2 emissions.. Steam or diesel best?
10/01/2020 15:13:59

If people are concerned about the emissions from "model" steam locomotives which are used on a very infrequent basis, perhaps they should spend more time worrying about their own personal CO2 emissions and hold their breath !!

Thread: LNER L1 - Clarkson's designs
02/07/2019 08:21:21

Hello all.

I'm currently building the 5" LNER L1 to Clarkson's design (or lack of design).. and I'm desperate to get in touch with anyone who has one, or is in the process of building one as I'm getting very frustrated with the lack of detail in the drawings. At present I'm trying to figure out the valve gear hanger assembly, but there are no details on the plans, just the overall GA drawing.

If there is anyone out there who I can share knowledge with please get in touch.

Many thanks


Thread: Painting problems
28/04/2018 17:15:50

Hi all.

I'm in the process of spraying my Simplex, I'm using Precision PAints (Phoenix), ready mixed aerosol cans. I bought three cans.. the first can seemed to go on ok, but the second and third cans (now applying the second coat), I seem to be getting air bubbles in the surface. If I'm quick enough I'm getting the bubbles out with my scalpel before the paint starts flashing off, but I'm getting really hacked off with it.

Any ideas from anyone why I'm getting these bubbles????



Thread: Boring axle boxes
18/02/2018 11:02:51

I did it 6 months ago on my L1 axleboxes.. came out spot on !

Thread: Simplex machining the pieces.
18/02/2018 07:41:10

The top "Tee" isnt as complicated as it first appears.. the screw-in section should be turned and threaded, then measured to allow approx 30tho ball lift . You may need to use packing washers to get this. Once you have this you know the approx position of your top bars.. cut machine and thread, then silver-solder to the first piece.

Simplex isnt quite as simple as its made out to be, but then I dont think any loco is "simple" for a beginner.. but its a good way to learn, and to end up with a loco which can actually do a good days works rather than something tiny which can barely pull the skin off a rice-pudding!!!!!

Thread: Boring axle boxes
18/02/2018 07:25:36

Not having a clamp for a faceplate I recently machined my axleboxes thus:- Clock on the mill to locate centre point and centredrill deep enough for a pointed wobbler to locate. Place onto lathe in the 4-jaw with wobbler in the tailstock and a dti measuring the movement on the wobbler. Adjust till the wobbler says you're on the hole.

Once one is done and removed, even if you retighten the same jaws as loosened the next will require some reclocking, but with practice its pretty quick and accurate (so long as you were accurate to begin with).

Thread: 5" Thompson L1 to Clarkson designs
15/10/2017 21:25:01

So far frames and stretchers done but to ME std widths not the plans, wheels quartered, axleboxes to my own design with roller bearings. Cylinders machined and fitted. Buffer beams thicker than on plans and buffers unscrew to aid lifting. Boiler is on order.. Oh... Smoke box is rough machined and saddle done BUT not using Blackgates casting as this is unsuitable. That's just about where I'm at.. All on hold this winter whilst I rebuild my Simplex. Del.

Thread: The Workshop Progress Thread (2016)
07/02/2016 19:42:45

Well having moved house two weeks before Xmas, and a builder has just extended our garage, I'm now rebuilding the workshop... Walls all painted white and it's so bright with only one batten light fitted I cant believe it ! Wish i'd painted the walls in my previous workshop.

Thread: Re-Building a Simplex Loco
07/02/2016 19:39:27

I too bought an unfinished Simplex that had been started some 20 years previous and changed a few hands... Thankfully I managed to complete it without having to bin too much, but it has taken a fair bit of re-jigging to get things to go together.. I dont think many Simplex's will win beauty awards, but when they're running well they're powerful and reliable locos.. I know mine shocked some of the gents at Bedford SME with the load it can pull.


Thread: Bantam cock injector size
12/02/2015 19:39:15

I concur... I have a Chiverton No4 injector on my Simplex and its excellent. Cleaned regularly it gives reliable service. I'd previously gone through two other "commercial" injectors which were useless.


Thread: Ball lift in a water pump.
12/02/2015 19:36:28

I think most people aim for about 30 tho. Any more and you loose out on the time it takes to re-seat from the lift, especially if running fast.


Thread: blackgates engineering
10/02/2015 19:36:47

Hello Julian.

Thankfully I'm not a complete novice as I've successfully built my Simplex and was looking at the L1 as my next venture as I do like the big tank engines. Having spent a lot of time inspecting the plans I came to the conclusion that to ensure I'm going to do this right, I'd best re-create it in CAD.. at least that way it should all fit together.

There's alot of missing dimensioning.. and I don't quite trust trying to take measurements off the paper plans directly.. I also don't like the running position of the axle boxes when sprung (not enough upward travel).. so I'm redrawing with the axles in a lower position, but that of course changes the angle of the cylinders slightly... All has been redrawn and last weekend tested on a valve timing simulator (valve timing appeared to work better if the union link is extended to 1.5".

I'm a little stuck with regards the smokebox saddle, screw reverser, regulator and the bracket that holds the cross-head slide bar/radius link pivot.. these do not appear on the drawings.



Edited By Derek Drover on 10/02/2015 19:37:27

09/02/2015 20:45:42

Ahh.... someone else attempting to build the L1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I made a general cry for anyone who might be attempting one of these as I've gained a set of the plans and am very disappointed with them. I am presently redrawing them on CAD as there is too little detail and dimensioning, and no detail at all regarding some of the items.

I've asked Blackgates for a price quote on the castings as the only way I'm going to be able to re-draw some of the items is to take rough dimensions from the castings.

Where abouts are you????



Thread: Help with GWR 14xx 5"
09/02/2015 20:41:24

That sounds like one of the old Modelworks kits then (or one of the former names of the same company).. I would suggest getting in contact with your nearest club and seeking advice from more experienced model engineers.. these kits often require a substantial amount of "fettling" to get to work.



Thread: 5" Thompson L1 to Clarkson designs
29/12/2014 19:28:30

Hello there.

Well for Xmas the dear wife bought me a set of plans from Blackgates for the Thompson L1. I'd been looking at making this my next project for some time since having completed my Simplex.

Now I'm not a novice, but I'm not an expert either, and these plans are turning my hair even greyer than they were before Xmas. I'm resorting to recreating the whole affair on 2D CAD just to ensure that I can create dimensions which don't exist on the plans.. BUT (and its a big one).. there are so many items not drawn that I'm at a loss as to what to do.. i.e. regulator, saddle, valve timing bracket, reverser and quite probably a lot more that I haven't come across... yet !

So what I'm really looking for (apart from a crystal ball), is if there are any people out there who have either built one of these, maybe have one they own but didn't build.. or who has knowledge of the design & construction to get in touch so that if (when) I get stuck I have someone who's brains I might be able to pick or share pictures etc..

Many thanks.


Thread: Actual size Drawings
30/11/2014 11:59:33

Cheap photocopy reproductions always change the size/ratio of the copy to the master.. they're never the same.

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