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Tufnol or tufnol substitute

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Chris Trotman18/07/2022 16:44:48
1 forum posts

Having scratch built several 16mm steam locos I am now moving up to 3½" gauge. I'm using Blackgate's drawings of Lilla. One area that I have seen various options for is the springing. I would like to use leaf springs and the drawings suggest using Tufnol.

Can anyone advise where and what type of Tufnol is best for leaf springs please?

The drawings shows leafs from longest 3½" x 7/16" x 0.07" approx down to shortest at about 1½" in length. There are six tufnol leafs between the top and bottom ones which are spring steel.

Any advice welcome, thanks, Chris.

Baz18/07/2022 19:00:11
755 forum posts
2 photos

Most probably Blackgates sell the correct Tufnol, if not try Reeves. I seem to remember that the Tufnol needs heat treating to get a curve in to it and I seem to remember Martin Evans saying that it is coiled into a circular tin of the correct size and heated until just before it blisters, I don’t know how you know what size tin is correct and I have no idea at all how you heat it to a point just before blistering occurs, much like his other statements of make in the usual way, when he couldn’t be bothered to describe a process. Many years ago I was going to build Evans’s Conway but the faffing about with the Tufnol put me off. As you may have already guessed I am not a fan of Evans. Have you got the articles published in EIM on Lila, they may throw some light on the springs.

paul rushmer18/07/2022 19:37:24
95 forum posts
17 photos

Hi I have used tufnol for springs, the correct type is the sort made with canvas (not paper) the finer type it has the name of a fish possibly carp. As for temperature try 120 C rolled in a tin, the tin is used to not take to must heat from the oven it will spring back so you need a tighter radius. You could use bronze and if to stif machine a stot in the middle.


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