Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A matter of the utmost gravity

I have been rereading an article by Martin Collins about 009 slate waggons.  Martin was not happy with the running of the axles in the plastic axleboxes and so got worsley works to etch up some new chassis for the waggons. These utilise an etched chassis with holes for brass bearings. There are three types – 16mm for FR 3 ton, 11mm for FR 2 ton and 10.5mm for TR 3 bar slates that can be converted to looks like FR 2 ton wooden slate waggons. 
So I decided to get out my slate waggon collection and see how many waggons could benefit from these new chassis, with one eye on Shepton Mallet coming up…
The test I developed was that a waggon would be deemed to have passed if both wheels would freely rotate when it was pushed gently along track with a finger from the end with no extra weight applied to the top. i.e. if the track were inclined enough I would expect the waggon to roll along nicely.
The inital pass had mixed results, some were excellent, some had just the one wheel acceptable and some were sliding along the track not rolling.  However I soon came along a fix, that of filing off the pointed end of the axle a little to give it more of a blunt end.  This improved a number of waggons and with brake gear snagging on some wheels too being sorted  was getting somewhere.
In the end the waggons pictured above on my bookcase have all passed the test – some 32.  There were just 3 waggons in the end that I couldn’t fix easily and so these will be sold.
I therefore see no reason to invest in the new chassis.

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