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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I have been trying to sort out an N Gauge layout with a very gentle incline included. The tender drive loco struggles to pull any carriages up the incline, but if a Peco track rubber is balanced on top of the tender then it will manage to pull about 15 carriages up without a problem.

This points to needing more weight in the tender (it's DCC fitted), but the question is how?

Thanks in advance

Raider
 

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Hi Raider.

You don't say which loco is giving the problem so it's difficult to give a precise answer though I suspect it may be the Peco Collett Goods which is notoriously bad in the pulling power stakes.

The generally recommended method is to fix a small piece of lead into the offending loco/tender. This can either be an off-cut piece from some lead flashing or some fishing weights. Alternatively, and if space is at a real premium (which it usually is in N Gauge) try getting hold of some small shot-gun cartridge lead which will allow you to spread the weights around evenly in any little nooks and crannies. A touch of Araldite will hold it in place. Trial and error is the order of the day to get the optimum balance between additional grip/traction and additional weight.

Another alternative is to remove the artificial coal from the top of the tender, fix a false base into the recess with some lead fixed to that and then cover the whole lot up again with some real crushed & seived coal fixed in place with some good old PVA/water/meths/washing-up liquid mix. A bit like ballasting. Go easy on the water though and seal the false base to prevent water getting to the motor & chip.

Hope this helps,

Expat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, yes it is the Collet Goods and space is really at a premium.

Most of the obvious space has been taken up by the DCC decoder and I'm a little loath to start hacking away at the tender as it's £120 worth of loco.

I'll try and squeeze some liquid lead or similar into the available corners and see if that improves things before taking anything more serious to the model.

Thanks again for the reply.

Raider
 

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Hi Raider,

You're right. There's not a lot of space in the Collett Tender.

I've read somewhere on this forum that liquid lead should be avoided at all costs. Can't remember why but there must be a good reason. I suspect it might slosh around and gunge everything up for one thing but I think it was more to do with the chemical properties of the stuff.

The best I can suggest for this particular loco is to use plasticine. Fill in the underside of the tender with a thin layer. There's about 1.5 mm between the top of the motor and the underside of the tender body. You can get a small piece of lead into the water tank dome which is directly above the chip and hold it in place with some plasticine. Remove the small foam pad and replace that with plasticine also. Put some insulating tape over the chip to protect it though. You might also be able to get a bit into the corners of the tender body.

If this isn't enough weight then I'm afraid it's going to have to be surgery on the artificial coal as suggested before. The loco might be £120 but, if it does all go wrong, it's only the tender body that will need replacing which should not be prohibitive.

Let me know how you get on,

Expat.
 

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Line the tender with some cling film to prevent the weight sticking permanent for the moment if using liquid lead as removing it if it is not successful will be a lot easier, i saw this done on a tender drive loco and after testing it was fixed permanently one everything was settled with a small drop of glue.
 

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QUOTE liquid lead should be avoided at all costs. Can't remember why but there must be a good reason
The reason given was the the lead oxidises and expands. By coincidence this afternoon I checked some wagons I built about 18 months ago. A couple have burst at the seams and one or two have some bulges. So I definitely would not recommend filling small areas with the stuff. Don't think that by leaving one side open you will allow the lead to expand in the open direction. The worst affected wagon is a five plank open wagon. I won't post pictures, it's too grim. Fortunately my sloth means they have not yet been painted or had transfers applied, so I'm just down on the kit cost and time spent building them.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (dwb @ 31 Aug 2008, 18:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The reason given was the the lead oxidises and expands. By coincidence this afternoon I checked some wagons I built about 18 months ago. A couple have burst at the seams and one or two have some bulges. So I definitely would not recommend filling small areas with the stuff. Don't think that by leaving one side open you will allow the lead to expand in the open direction. The worst affected wagon is a five plank open wagon. I won't post pictures, it's too grim. Fortunately my sloth means they have not yet been painted or had transfers applied, so I'm just down on the kit cost and time spent building them.

David

Thanks for the warning on liquid lead - it did seam like it would be the ideal thing to use.

I'll give it a try with the plasticine and see what happens.

Raider
 

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Hi again Raider,

I've just had another look at my own Collet and it seems to me that, with care, the 'coal' can be ground down smooth with a Dremel and then a thin piece of lead sheet installed before 'refilling' over the top. That way you are not affecting any of the innards though you could also still glue a small lead weight inside the water tank dome without impinging into the chip space.

Cheers,

Expat.
 

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Dwb,
Thank you for the warning on using lead i must admit i didnt see the passage of time and potential harm on the loco i saw, a thin source of weight i have found is the weights sold at petshop for fish tank plants.
 

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i cant comment on the collett but i just want to add my weight to the warning about liquid lead. i have seen a beautifully built O gauge tank loco that had the boiler filled with lead. it had literally burst open and took a huge ammount of remedial work. not to mention a complete strip and repaint.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, so it looks like the liquid lead option is a non-starter - many thanks for the words of warning - it could well have saved me a great deal of heart ache.

I'll give the plasticine and bits of led shot a try first before taking something to the artificial coal on top of the tender.

I will report back and let you all know how it went.

Thanks again

Raider
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 1 Sep 2008, 04:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>i cant comment on the collett but i just want to add my weight to the warning about liquid lead. i have seen a beautifully built O gauge tank loco that had the boiler filled with lead. it had literally burst open and took a huge ammount of remedial work. not to mention a complete strip and repaint.

Peter

***Common sense says simply stop it corroding. There is NO real substitute for the lead.

Liquid Lead IS a very fine version of lead shot as far as I know... I've not seen any thats in liquid form but I suppose thats not to say someone hasn't made a soup out of it :)

Lead has been used for years but its more of a probelm now than it was before as the way its fixed (adhesive types) have changed. Metals have been stopped from corroding for centuries by covering them and stopping the atmosphere they live in doing the damage.

The trick is to either totally coat it with glue (make a "mash" of lead pellets and thinned rubber type glue or latex) then add it - OR you can add it into an enclosed space and add only a barrier to stop it dopping out.

Other things to fix it with... varnish or enamel or emulsion/water based acrylic paint actually works fine but it needs a good long time to dry properly too!

Any hard chemical adhesive like ACC, cheap PVA (usually quite acid) will create a problem long term if the stuff is not totally coated.. its L/Lead that is jammed in then only partially protected from oxidisation, or prevented from expansion while leaving it open to chemical attack that is the problem

like most things that go wrong, it is not the product but the way its used or the use made of it....

By the way - most "shotgun type" shot is no longer lead, and I suspect it'll be hard to buy in EU as genuine lead shot now. most sources have been changed to a steel shot! probably Expat in Dubai and Ebaykal in Turkey and definately myself here in Au can still buy the real thing, but its brand limited too - only "good ole USA based Remington" still use real lead for their shotgun pellets now as far as our local gunsmith is aware...

Richard
 

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QUOTE (zmil @ 1 Sep 2008, 13:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi All
Another alternative, is to use some solder , a lead tin alloy that is common and corrosion resistant
Regards Zmil

***Except its not all that heavy compared to the original loco castings (solder is at best just on 40% lead) and still corrodes - a bit of solder and a bit of lead left in the same circumstances will both corrode similarly but a slightly different rate - depending on the formulation, there will be a slightly different set of compounds but in general a similar result will happen.

The answer really is most of all to be careful what you fix it into the model with.... and coat it all over so no moisture or air gets to it

Richard
 

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Not seen this product yet, but a simple location which has worked for me in the past on similar items is to replace the chassis baseplate / keeper plate in lead sheet; or if this is not suitable in some way for replacement, to thin it down as much as possible and then glue on lead sheet. This puts the extra weight low down, never a bad idea. Evostick for choice as the adhesive, no reaction with the lead, strong enough but relatively easy to break the bond for removal should that ever be necessary. Paint the lead once installed, for your own and others protection.

Don't fiddle around with expensive commercial concoctions for your lead. Go to a builder's or plumber's merchant and buy a small piece of code 5 (N gauge) or code 7 (larger gauges) lead sheet. A merchant may well have an offcut handy, as many take back the offcuts for recycling. You get more density for your cash, and I have never known lead flashing to corrode when used in models, when you get it you will find it has a dark shiny surface and it stays that way. By comparison most lead shot has a matt light grey dusty appearance: that's lead oxide which is much less dense, and more readily absorbed into the environment to do damage as a toxin. If the sheet needs to be thinner for a particular application a few enoyable minutes with a hammer will produce it.
 

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QUOTE (34C @ 1 Sep 2008, 16:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Not seen this product yet, but a simple location which has worked for me in the past on similar items is to replace the chassis baseplate / keeper plate in lead sheet; or if this is not suitable in some way for replacement, to thin it down as much as possible and then glue on lead sheet. This puts the extra weight low down, never a bad idea. Evostick for choice as the adhesive, no reaction with the lead, strong enough but relatively easy to break the bond for removal should that ever be necessary. Paint the lead once installed, for your own and others protection.

Don't fiddle around with expensive commercial concoctions for your lead. Go to a builder's or plumber's merchant and buy a small piece of code 5 (N gauge) or code 7 (larger gauges) lead sheet. A merchant may well have an offcut handy, as many take back the offcuts for recycling. You get more density for your cash, and I have never known lead flashing to corrode when used in models, when you get it you will find it has a dark shiny surface and it stays that way. By comparison most lead shot has a matt light grey dusty appearance: that's lead oxide which is much less dense, and more readily absorbed into the environment to do damage as a toxin. If the sheet needs to be thinner for a particular application a few enoyable minutes with a hammer will produce it.

***Remington birdshot is actually also dark and shiny - I've never seen the light and dusty stuff, although I have no doubt that if its made for low cost, it'll be lesser quality.

I agree re using the sheet for most jobs by the way - I bought a couple of meters, and its lasted me for a very very long time.... it was an amazingly heavy wee parcel! I'd probably buy less now as lead was much cheaper before china decided they wanted all of it!! -

where locos can still come to grief with using sheet is via the rolling of sheet into a tube to go into a boiler.... When rolled tightly its already under some stress as its rolled, and a slight oxidisation + a high temperature shift expands it enough to distort the boiler - again the answer is don't pack it too tight, and do paint it all over to seal it.

Its better to buy a cheap pot, put it on the stove when nobody is looking and cast it to shape: That is, to a slug slightly smaller in idameter than the boiler it will fill....

Not hard to do - Use wood as a casting mould. First dry the wood thoroughly in the microwave (on defrost for a while does most of it it) then leave it at least a couple of days in the airing cupboard if U have one..... drill a hole the right size in the end grain of the block of wood with an Irwin or forstner type wood bit, and pour in the molten lead.

Drying it is very important - any water present and it'll explode the wood at worst, spatter molten lead or steam etc...

Have fun

Richard
 

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Hadn't thought of wood as a mould. I have used short lengths of steel pipe with a smear of grease on the inside, standing on a steel block. The cast lead just drops out. Precise diameter doesn't matter as lead is so malleable that adjustment with the 'Birmingham screwdriver' is a simple matter. Good point about not jamming a model shell tight with the lead, a loose sliding fit will both avoid risk of damage and ease subsequent removal should that be necessary.
 
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