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3 1/2 inch small boilered TICH

Construction of TICH according to the words and music by LBSC

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IanT18/12/2013 15:58:41
1324 forum posts
136 photos

Hi Ryan,

A very nice job you are doing there - congratulations.

Not sure how to phonetically spell Tich but the best I can offer is that "Tich" is like 'ITCH' with a 'T 'in front !!

Keep up the running commentary, I'm sure everyone will enjoy watching your progress.



Ian T

Edited By IanT on 18/12/2013 15:59:41

OldMetaller18/12/2013 16:12:22
151 forum posts
14 photos

Hi Ryan, I love the way you've done the wheels, I'm still at the stage of having four slices of mild steel, waiting for me to make the drawbar for the 2MT mandrel I intend to use for turning the wheels to profile. I think I may fabricate the boss and balance weight like you have done. The red looks great too!

I too have used some metric fabricated pump stay is tapped 12mm for the pump body.

'Tich' is said as though it is spelled with an extra 't'- 'Titch', the 'ch' being like the beginning of 'church'. You sometimes see it spelled with the extra 't' on ebay or even in Model Engineer!

Good luck, and keep up the good work!


John G.

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 06:42:52
190 forum posts
774 photos

"Slip eccentrics on the front axle - I put mine on the rear, and the ash pan is a bit of a bother!

Hi John, my mistake the slip eccentrics are supposed to be on the rear axle. embarrassed

As for the boiler, I had planned on following the words and music as I know that is should work. I will however try and make the boiler to the best possible standard and if this means I need to alter the construction method slightly, then so be it.

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 07:02:24
190 forum posts
774 photos

As I said yesterday, I would post some pics of the tools described in LBSC's book.

Below are a few that I have had to make thus far (see the captions below the pictures):

1 tools.jpg

From the left, a D-bit, two different size counter-bores, two different size split bushes and the step chuck/bush required for turning the cylinder covers.

2 wheel turning jig.jpg

Above is the jig described for turning the wheels.

3 hornblock machining clamp.jpg

3.1 hornblock machining clamp.jpg

Above is the clamp for machining the hornblocks. The part that looks like an axle box fits into the hornblock, whilst the tee bolt slides into the vertical slide of the lathe. The nut is used to tighten/clamp the horn block to the slide ready for machining.

4 crank pin hole drilling jig.jpg

Here is the crank hole drilling jig. The boss fits snugly into the wheel axle hole and the whole lot is clamped up tightly. The hole is then used as a guide to drill the crank pin holes. This setup allows for very accurate drilling of the pin holes at a specific distance from the axle hole.

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 07:17:34
190 forum posts
774 photos

Here are a couple of other items that I have made in the interim.

12.1 fire grate and coupling hooks.jpg

Fire grate bars from 304 stainless and the two draw bar hooks

4 pump eccentric collar marked out.jpg

Pump eccentric collar as marked out.

5 pump eccentric turning jig.jpg

Pump eccentric turning jig.

8 ash pan.jpg

Ash pan

boiler plate formers.jpg

Boiler plate formers

7 boiler former.jpg

Boiler former (Made from super wood)

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 09:13:20
190 forum posts
774 photos

I have not taken any photos of the axle pump fabrication however I have included some Pictures of the pump in situ.

The pump has been connected up to some tubing and tested by turning the wheels. It is nearly impossible to block the outlet due to the pressure produced- I take that as a success.

23 axle pump.jpg

The visible gland nut was fluted using a home made dividing attachment that uses the lathe gears.

24 bottom of pump.jpg

At the moment, the pump ram is only attached to the eccentric with a piece of s/s rod. The wrist pin is still to be made.

25 inlet and outlet of pump.jpg















Edited By Ryan Norton on 19/12/2013 09:25:28

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 09:23:55
190 forum posts
774 photos

Here are some photos of TICH as she is at the moment.

26 all together.jpg

27 all together.jpg

28 all together.jpg

29 all together.jpg

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 09:41:27
190 forum posts
774 photos

The next thing on my list was the cylinders. This too was causing all kinds of stress as I did not want to ruin the castings. Here is where the saying, "Measure twice, cut once" is very useful!

Following the description by Curly, the castings were slowly but surely transformed into beautiful locomotive cylinders.

First up was the facing of the cylinder and the boring.

1 machining cylinder cover face.jpg

Next was the facing of the port and bolting faces

2 machining cylinder bolting face.jpg

(Note the counter balance on the face plate)

You may also note that there is a new beautiful 0.18kW motor driving my Myford. I took some time out to replace the old motor with a new one, as well as a VSD which is a huge help.

3 machining cylinder bolting face.jpg

4 machining cylinder bolting face.jpg

After machining the faces and boring operations, the faces were marked for machining the ports.

5 marking out steam ports.jpg

6 marking out steam ports.jpg

7 marking out steam ports, bore finished.jpg

The blocks were then sut up for machining

8 setup for machining ports.jpg

9 one port complete.jpg

10 port machining.jpg

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 09:43:46
190 forum posts
774 photos

Here is a picture of both cylinders with finished steam ports

11 steam ports finished.jpg

A pic of the exhaust hole

12 exhaust hole drilled and tapped.jpg

13 cylinder bolting face and exhaust hole.jpg

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 09:51:42
190 forum posts
774 photos

At this stage the next step was to drill the steam passages. I first filled a flat, joining the bore with the cover face that was at an angle calculated to be perpendicular with the CL of the passages. The drilling of the passages is tricky as they are not all parallel with each other. I managed to overcome this by altering the angle of the drill press platform.

Unfortunately there are no pictures of this setup.

Here is the start.

14 beginings of the holes joing the cylinder bore to the ports.jpg

Ryan Norton19/12/2013 10:01:24
190 forum posts
774 photos

The front and rear covers were made from brass. The rear covers were fabricated with the bosses silver soldered to the cover. The step chuck as described in the "words and music" came in very handy here to machine the outside.

To machine the locating register a wee knob was soft soldered to the cover temporarily.

The reminants of the soft solder can be seen in the photos below.

15 front covers fitted.jpg

I am still undecided as to what finish I should leave on the covers, I like both finishes above.....

16 rear covers fitted.jpg

The steam passages can just be seen in the picture above. I was slightly wonky however, this should not affect performance.

17 rear covers fitted.jpg

The piston rod blanks are in place in the photos. These, along with the valve spindles will be made from 4mm stainless steel rod.

18 covers fitted.jpg

Jeff Dayman19/12/2013 13:55:15
1621 forum posts
40 photos

Looks like you are making great progress. Well done! JD

fizzy20/12/2013 18:25:29
1614 forum posts
109 photos

I note your hornblocks/axle blocks and eccentric are in brass. I have always thought that brass on steel was a no-no. I do hope that I am wrong as the standard of work looks superb.

Ryan Norton23/12/2013 08:04:08
190 forum posts
774 photos

Hi Fizzy

Thanks for the complement. I have used brass as this material is all I have. I have also gone according to LBSC where he states that if nothing else is available, then brass will do, (only for certain items obviously).

What sort of issues could crop up with this combination? Corrosion? I am well aware that brass will wear more quickly than bronze but relatively speaking how long will it take for this to have a negative impact on the performance of the locomotive?

Ryan Norton23/12/2013 08:25:21
190 forum posts
774 photos

Here is some inspiration:

I have no idea who this locomotive belongs to, but it is suberb!


John Alexander Stewart23/12/2013 13:18:59
752 forum posts
51 photos

What sort of issues could crop up with this combination? Corrosion? I am well aware that brass will wear more quickly than bronze but relatively speaking how long will it take for this to have a negative impact on the performance of the locomotive?

Hi Ryan; jumping over Fizzy's toes (as the question was directed at him)

I had a look at my little large boilered slip eccentric Tich when putting her away for the winter; axle boxes (hot pressed brass, from Reeves decades ago) are fine; rod bushings are ok, the worst is the slip eccentrics where they join into the cross-frame swinging link (whatever it's called)

I would not worry about it. My little Tich runs like you would not believe, despite wearing in. I think it'll outlast me - especially as, with the Wesh Coal I use, the tubes, grate, etc plugs up and I need to stop and clean the fire out after a few laps.

My Tich (or, maybe all Tiches) are not a run-all-day locomotive, which suits me fine - run for a bit, natter with the natives, clean the locomotive (lift it up by front buffer, shake, put it back on rails) and then run again.

What you may want to do is to ensure that you lubricate the axle boxes in the horns; generally I over-oil, but better that than under-oiling.

Another JohnS.

Ryan Norton24/12/2013 07:14:17
190 forum posts
774 photos

Hi John

Thanks for the reassurance! I have actually drilled lateral holes in the sides of the axle boxes that join the spring/oil holes. These will allow for increased lubrication between the boxes and horns as you say. There is also a central vertical lubrication hole directly above the axle which is different to the original design.

Ryan Norton24/12/2013 07:19:42
190 forum posts
774 photos

John, just out of curiosity what type of riding car do you have for your Tich? It is obviously something I need to build and I cant seem to find any information on a typical design?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

John Alexander Stewart24/12/2013 13:44:55
752 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by Ryan Norton on 24/12/2013 07:19:42:

John, just out of curiosity what type of riding car do you have for your Tich? It is obviously something I need to build and I cant seem to find any information on a typical design?


I have a 3-1/2" gauge riding car, steel frame, that weighs about 10x what Tich weighs, but the price was right. I have a plastic (kitchen container) auxiliary tender piped to the bottom of the axle pump, so the axle pump has a tee on it's suction line, not an "L".

I do have stirrups, but some clubs over here ride side saddle, so I can remove stirrups easily.

A smaller, wider riding car would be nicer, as 3-1/2" is a bit narrow for people with either a wide draft, or balance worries. Our local track has 5" gauge whilst almost all others within a couple of days driving have 4-3/4", so I do have a 4-3/4" riding car also, but don't use it unless travelling.

Basically, anything that is comfortable, that has wheels to go on rails works - many people don't worry overly about what the riding car looks like.

Another JohnS.

Stub Mandrel24/12/2013 21:18:01
4306 forum posts
291 photos

Looks like a nice piece of work, Ryan.


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