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Simplex machining the pieces.

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David Fox 315/02/2018 11:04:38
9 forum posts

Last year I decided to make the Simplex 5 inch gauge tank engine. It was described as a beginners locomotive. Now I have been on a very steep learning curve and have produced a very high quantity of swarf and various paperweights which now stand on the sill in the shed! BUT I am learning and slowly progressing in my task. But certain items are, I'm sure, there to defeat me. One is the axle pump. Now the pump itself although it holds a few large challenges is not the problem but the outlet tee is. It seems to combine the top of the outlet valve the two outlets and nut to tighten it down all in one piece. How are you supposed to machine an item like that and when tightened down it points in the right direction? Is it supposed to be silver soldered from more than one piece of brass or what?

In the book of words for Simplex - although I'm trying to build the later alternative pump - there are no construction details whatsoever! Beginners?

Hoping for a positive response

Dave F

J Hancock16/02/2018 07:58:25
406 forum posts

Welcome to the world of ' Loctite' thread sealant.

Not everything needs to be pulled down bar tight onto a fibre washer to make a seal anymore.

Not suitable for every application, it has to be used as per the instructions.

Brian Baker 116/02/2018 08:13:37
118 forum posts
24 photos

Greetings, you will find that Simplex is a good performer on the track.

There is a "book of words" for simplex, and they fetch very high prices, so you might be better in getting the ME magazine articles when it was first described.

Vol 141 7 142.

there also is described, "Super Simplex" which has a few changes to the design, mostly vol 162.



Russell Eberhardt16/02/2018 11:15:28
2577 forum posts
85 photos

David - I have sent you a pm (private message)


Derek Drover18/02/2018 07:41:10
85 forum posts

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!!!!!

OuBallie18/02/2018 12:08:17
1149 forum posts
661 photos


Don't dispair!

"Beginners" anything is a misnomer in the extreme especially when it comes to building a miniature locomotive.

The machining skills needed are hard earned, not taking into account the time and equipment needed.

Not surprised at the swarf you have produced.

We ALL or most of us started with swarf at the beginning, BUT improved.

The learning curve IS steep, but persevere as the first time you are pulled by your Simplex WILL make it all worthwhile as I found with mine.

A magic moment hard to describe and never forgotten, even more so with a carriage full of passengers behind that the loco you built is capable of pulling with utter ease.


Geoff - Back on antibiotics again for 2nd effing waterworks infection, so everything has ground to a halt.

Edited By OuBallie on 18/02/2018 12:09:34

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