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Black Five, Jinty or 4F - 3" or 5" gauge - for a Beginner?

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Bob Youldon09/02/2012 17:17:54
183 forum posts
20 photos
Hi there,
 
I've been most interested in the various postings, I think we can be fairly sure that an example from the LMS would be your first option. I have built in both 5" and 3.5" gauge but have returned to 3.5", being easier to man handle and easier on the pocket. the Derby 4F by Don Young was in his words designed for the beginner. Some may say an inside cylinder design with a crank axle and a boiler with a belpaire box isn't suitable for the tyro; having now built three examples it is probably as simple as they get and look reasonaly like the prototype; the first I built took less than 18 months start to steaming. I followed the words and music in ME and Don's writing makes the whole construction process very clear and simple so I can recomend the design without reservation. Take a look on the internet for an ME index which will give details of the relavant issues. Generally your local ME society will have copies of the ME or there will be at least one member with a set of bound volumes.
 
There are a number of other 3.5" LMS designs available, Martin Evans 8F, LBSC's Doris, his take on the black 5, hundreds built and all go well and there is the 3.5" Stanier 2-6-0 "Princess Marina" again a simple design of which many examples have been built and will always perform well; he also described a Jinty known as Molly. Blackgates have an Ivatt class 4 mogul and a Duchess, both in 3.5" gauge and there is of course Don Young's 2P 4-4-0 again based on his 4F design.
 
Regards,
 
Bob Y
 

 

Dithering09/02/2012 18:33:11
20 forum posts
Old Elan,
 
I've come to the conclusion that there must be some compromise but only some!
 
I don't think I can have my heart's desire (which is, almost certainly, a Black Five or a Jubilee) at this moment but I must have something close. Something I will really like to have when it's finished.
 
At the moment, it's a toss-up between an LMS 2P (Don Young) and an Ivatt Class 2 (Martin Evans) both in 3½" gauge. I will have seen both as a kid and they are both attractive locos and I've got the construction notes for them.
 
There's a nice description of building a 2P by Mike Clarke on LiveSteamBuilds.com which would be very useful.
 
See below.
 
Bob Y,
 
The 4F is third on my list because I don't have the construction notes for it. I can get them, one way or another, of course.
 
One problem with both the 2P and the 4F is that they are both from Reeves and their prices for castings are rather high. The Ivatt castings can be had for much lower prices.
 
That isn't really significant compared to the total build cost or the number of man hours but it does mean that someone rather scared of ruining a casting is going to be a lot more scared.
 
Perhaps the information you've supplied about it being relatively easy to build (why have you built three, I wonder?) will be the deciding factor - I can't find much information about anyone actually building the Ivatt.
 
So thanks for the advice.
 
Regards,
 
Brian.
 
PETER AYERS10/02/2012 16:45:52
avatar
25 forum posts

HI BRIAN
A MEMBER OF THE CLUB I BELONGED TO IN THE WEST COUNTRY HAD A PRNCESS MARINA AND IT WAS A VERY NICE MODEL,GOOD STEAMER AND HANDLED LOADS ON OUR PORTABLE TRACK OK.
CHEERS
PETER
John Alexander Stewart10/02/2012 20:39:24
753 forum posts
51 photos
Brian!
 
I have the Ivatt 2-6-0 (Evans design) about half completed, and I think it's great.
 
I got my castings from Norman Spink way back when; I recently saw that someone called GS supplies (http://www.gssmodelengineers.com/) sells castings now.
 
(it got shelved because work took me around the world, and I was *very* involved in raising children; now getting back to the workshop)
 
I don't particularly remember errors in the purchased drawings, but most likely, there are some.
 
The Ivatt 2-6-0 uses 2 injectors, no axle pump. I think this is the way to go, but others would argue the point. (no axle pump) It is, of course, drawn in inches, but mine is/was/will be again converted to metric for machining.
 
Also, it has piston valves; lots of debate on how best to make these. Just keep it in mind if you choose this loco.
 
Last October I happened to be at the Severn Railway, and was disappointed not to actually see their Ivatt locomotive; about 20 years ago I managed to see and take pictures of 46464 way up in Scotland.
 
They are a really nice locomotive. Looking forward to finishing mine, before I start on the Q1.
 
 
Another JohnS
Canada.
John Alexander Stewart11/02/2012 19:00:21
753 forum posts
51 photos
Brian;
 
I have added 2 pictures of my Ivatt, as it stands, to my photo album. I'm not sure how to get to the photo album, but, click on my name to the left, and see what it gives.
 
More parts than shown are stored in boxes. It makes a nice little locomotive; should be easily transportable. If my Tich can pull 2 people on flattish track, this little champ will be able to pull more with ease once complete.
 
The boiler needs foundation ring and firebox stays silver soldered. I re-made the back head, as I was not happy with final placement of inner firebox.
 
I do my silver soldering outside, and, as my major workshop time is inside in the winter, my soldering time is limited - too cold to stand there, and probably the propane is frozen! (smile)
 
Another JohnS
Canada.
Dithering11/02/2012 19:26:50
20 forum posts
Peter,
 
Princess Marina looks a nice loco and Reeves do a construction manual for it which helps. However, being a Reeves loco the castings are very expensive. Perhaps not a good idea for my first try.
 
John,
 
Glad you like the Ivatt - I do too. My machines are all metric so I would also have to convert all the dimensions.
 
I've looked at your pictures and they look good. I assume that you started on the temder first? If I could get that far in a reasonable time I would be very happy.
 
A major advantage of the Ivatt is that the cylinder castings (from GSS Model Engineers) are very cheap - if you go for cast iron. Anybody got an opinion on the pros and cons of cast iron versus gun metal?
 
I don't have any opinion on the advatgaes or otherwise of injectors because I don't really know what they are. I know what piston valves are but I don't have any idea of the difficulty of making them compared with, I assume, slide valves.
 
My sister lives in Canada so I know how cold it gets there. If it's any colder than it is here at the moment then God help you. Too cold to go into the workshop so I'm currently planning the upgrade of my milling machine to DRO. The Ivatt certainly has a lot of holes yo be drilled and I can't see how I'd get them in the right place any other way.
 
Regards,
 
Brian.
 
 
John Alexander Stewart11/02/2012 22:15:07
753 forum posts
51 photos
Brian;
 
re: Ivatt.
 
Yes, I started the tender first; it is almost complete. (requires the "cab extension" which will wait until I get the cab done so that they match).
 
Although I did my frames by hand, http://www.modelengineerslaser.co.uk is probably the way to go - look for the Ivatt (and, many others).
 
Read about injectors and axle pumps. For me, the thing that always needs attention is the axle pump, and they are always stuck between the frames. Injectors are relatively simple devices that put water into the boiler with minimal moving parts, but some people have difficulty getting them to work. Something for you to read about as time goes on.
 
Cast iron - I have a 3-1/2" gauge 2-8-2 here in the living room with me (my wife insisted!) and it has cast iron cylinders and iron rings. I have to ensure that there is no water in there; otherwise she'll rust. Gunmetal does not rust. I find both machine just fine; you'll get black, though from cast iron. (my Ivatt as gunmetal cylinders, my current project has cast iron everything)
 
Imperial drawings and building in metric; take the drawings, and a calculator and a pencil; convert, and round up/down, or keep the exact dimensions, as you wish.
 
I think it's going to -25c tonight here; the sidewalks (pavements to you, I think) are generally under a thick layer of ice; lots of freeze/thaw/rain/freeze cycles this winter. Sigh. Canadians love complaining about the weather; I think that's one of the many things inherited from Britain!
 
 
Another JohnS
Canada.
 
 
Bob Youldon19/02/2012 17:48:07
183 forum posts
20 photos

Hi,

Why three 4Fs, well, I sold the first, after which my wife asked what I proposed to do next, so to avoid decoratng and gardening I said I'd build another two, one each for my sons. although I've had every comment you can imagine from fellow club members from "are you still trying to get one right?" to " did you buy too much black paint then?"

Cost is a factor and not given to spending fortunes with suppliers on castings etc after building a number of locomotives it can generally turn out to be far easier to machine something from stock material. I the case of the three 4F's only wheels and cylinder castings were purchased the rest from steel stock and axleboxes, chimney etc from cast iron section. Shop around for materials is the answer, even the auction sites can sometimes come up trumps, exhibitions, rallys etc, keep an eye out in the ME for what's on; I managed to buy enough tube for the boiler barrels at a Guildford rally for less than £25!

The 2P was I think described in Don Youngs own magazine Locomotives Large and Small, it's well worth trying to locate the relevant issues even as a reference tool.

By the way, the 31/2" Jubilee by Martin Evans is in fact a Stanier 2-6-4 tank not the 4-6-0 tender locomotive as one would expect; althought his design is good one and runs well.

Regards,

Bob Y

nick feast20/02/2012 16:06:51
avatar
75 forum posts
7 photos

A note for dithering and anyone else thinking of building the Derby 4F or the 2P, the description of the cylinders, valves and valve gear in my Q1 articles will be of help as I based it all on Don Young's proven design, only slightly modified to suit the dimensions of the Q1. Axles, axleboxes and hornguides ditto. Parts available from Polly Engineering are reasonably priced. The 4F construction series published in ME during 1975 contained no photos of any of the construction, thanks to modern electronic decices I took plenty, this may be useful reference.

Nick Feast

Dithering21/02/2012 15:07:45
20 forum posts

Bob,

I like the fact that you made whatever you could from scratch rather than using castings. I've never been sure why people use castings - is it just to reduce the amount of work or because the parts simply cannot be machined using hand-controlled equipment? You seem to have found that they can so that's encouraging.

Reducing effort isn't my aim so I will be making what I can and I will not be using laser-cut frames.

I have the construction notes for the 2P which is why it's so high up my shortlist.

Nick,

I'ld be interested in the Q1 if it wasn't Southern and the ugliest locomotive ever built but I'll certainly look at your construction articles. In fact, I've just been doing so.

Thanks also for the warning about the lack of photos in the 4F contruction details. I think I'll scratch that one from the list at the moment which makes it 2P versus Ivatt.

Regards,

Brian.

Springbok21/02/2012 20:08:31
avatar
879 forum posts
34 photos

Hi Dithering,

As librarian for BSMEE we have evey volume going back to No1 and as long as David has no objections copywright wise I can dig them out for you.

Now to the subject on hand. 3.5 fiddly have built 3 . 7.25 built one never again needed a engine hoist to move around.

5" just nice building a Thompson B1 Springbok which can be moved around nicely. now makeing all the "Fidely bits" Helen of Western steam is makeing the boiler.

So my concensus is 5"

Bob

Bazyle23/02/2012 17:24:43
avatar
4763 forum posts
187 photos

Hey Brian,

According to the other thread you've started so what is it to be?

Dithering23/02/2012 18:12:48
20 forum posts

Actually, Bazyle, it could still be either the 2P or the Ivatt because the frame steel is the same for both.

I'm actually going to start on the Ivatt. I'm starting small - buffer beams rather than main frames - so I can still change my mind.

Even the buffer beams are a problem, The Ivatt needs 1" x 1" x 1/8" BMS and I can't get any. The best I can do is 30mm x 30mm x 3mm black steel. I can machine the 30mm down to 1" but 3mm is thinner than it should be.

On the other hand, the 2P requires 3/32" mild steel and (so far as I can see) it just don't exist!

Lifes's a bitch isn't it?

Having seen how many holes need to be drilled in the main frames (particularly on the Ivatt) I decided that a DRO is a necessity so I spent most of this week fitting a scale to the x-axis of my milling machine. I'm just about to start on the y-axis so I can put off actually cutting metal for a few days more.

Regards,

Brian.

PETER AYERS24/02/2012 12:39:04
avatar
25 forum posts

Hi Brian

Dont worry about the 3mm steel it's only 8 thou smaller than 3 mm just keep the internal ditance between frames as the drawing. My 5 inch Stirling only has 3 mm frames and they seem ok. By the way 3/32 inch is near enough 2.5 mm.

Good luck with the build

Peter

PETER AYERS24/02/2012 12:39:12
avatar
25 forum posts

Hi Brian

Dont worry about the 3mm steel it's only 8 thou smaller than 3 mm just keep the internal ditance between frames as the drawing. My 5 inch Stirling only has 3 mm frames and they seem ok. By the way 3/32 inch is near enough 2.5 mm.

Good luck with the build

Peter

Dithering03/03/2012 21:10:02
20 forum posts

Hi Everyone,

The decision's made - it's going to be the Derby 2P. The reasons are that it's rather pretty and looks easier to build than the other candidates.

The one problem is the amount Reeves charge for the castings. It isn't the money, as such, but the fear of machining £200 worth of cylinder castings and possibly ruining them!

Bob Youldon has made LMS 4Fs (which are very similar to the 2P) by machining most things from stock but not the cylinders. I have seen a couple of items on the web referring to people machining their own cylinders - has anyone here done that?

So far as I can see, none of the cylinder castings should be difficult to make from stock other than the cylinder block itself and even that just looks like a solid lump of metal in which you have to drill a lot of holes. I assume that the bores are cored but is anything else? Can it be machined from solid brass or, preferably, cast iron?

(Does anyone know why it always has to be gunmetal or cast iron rather than mild steel, brass or even aluminium?)

Regards,

Brian.

Bazyle04/03/2012 00:54:44
avatar
4763 forum posts
187 photos

Steel rusts like crazy, aluminium corrodes around the steel screws, brass is ok but wears though still plenty of Mamods around, bronze is perfect but expensive so that leaves cast iron which used to be dead cheap when every town had a foundry. Strangely cast iron does not rust anything like as quick as mild steel.

If you make your own patterns there is still some chance of getting them cast.

Dithering04/03/2012 10:37:25
20 forum posts

Thanks for the comments Bazyle. Corrosion doesn't worry me because the cylinders aren't likely ever to get wet!

If, in the next year, I can get to the stage of having a rolling chassis running on air (see www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tQRtnREiCg) I shall think my life has been worthwhile. Whether I ever build a boiler is another matter.

Now, I'll come clean here. If you have the latest issue of ME, read the letter from Eddie Jenner. He sounds lke he could be my twin brother.

Many years ago I bought the parts for a Gauge 1 loco "The Project". More recently, but still quite a lot of years ago, bought the parts for a horizontal mill engine called "Tina". I haven't started on either of them and the reason is the same - I'm scared of machining the castings and ruining them. At the moment they have a value - I could sell them. If I ruin them they won't have a value and I don't like that idea.

At the last model engineering show I attended I told a man from SMEE about this. He couldn't help because, frankly, he couldn't comprehend the problem. He didn't lack confidence - I do.

So I would prefer to make something that doesn't need expensive castings and the two questions are:

1. Can I machine a cylinder block from a solid block of metal.

2. If I used aluminium (because it is cheap and readily available) would it work on air - at least for a while.

If I can get the thing working on air I think I would have the confidence to do it again properly. Time isn't an issue. Not getting it badly wrong and giving up in despair is very much an issue. Screwing up a cheap block of aluminium doesn't count as getting it wrong. Junking a £200 casting definitely does.

Regards,

Brian.

NJH04/03/2012 11:32:16
avatar
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Hi Brian

I'm sure it is quite possible to make your model without the use of any castings however it is likely to be much easier and quicker to use some. It is surely just a matter of confidence. You say that you have an extensive workshop and have experience in restoring the equipment you have purchased to good order but it sounds like you have not fully explored the possibilities it offers. It's a bit like a diver - as he progresses he needs to move up to higher boards and probably needs to steel himself for that first dive from the 3 and then the 5 metre platform! Whilst I can appreciate your reluctance to risk " junking" expensive purchases you don't need to put , as you say, £200 at risk! The casting suppliers will provide parts of engines not just the full set.. Why not pick a small ( cheaper castings) stationary engine and buy just the cylinder and, maybe, steam chest casting from Reeves, Stuart, Polly Model etc . and treat it as an investment and learning exercise ? The basic principles are just the same for all cylinder castings. I'm sure you will find it easier than you imagine.

Regards

Norman

PETER AYERS04/03/2012 12:03:29
avatar
25 forum posts

Hi Brian

Try polly engineering for the cast iron cylinder block for the Q1 . It isa a solid block of cast iron with 2 cored holes, not very dear and I think could be used with the 2P.

Good luck

Peter

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