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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my New Year's resolutions is to build a locomotive chassis kit, and this isn't it. Since I haven't soldered anything apart from small pieces of wire, I thought I would learn on something static. A couple of years ago I bought a London Road Models LNWR signal box kit (link) which seems like a good place to start.

So I've read the instructions several times; identified all the bits and pieces on the frets; I'm just about ready to start and can't decide how to separate the parts from the fret without causing any damage.

Do I use a really sharp knife or do I need a good quality side cutter of some kind?


I don't know - HELP!


David
(Once my camera batteries are charged, I'll post some step by step photos)
 

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I personally use xuron precision cutters that are specifically designed for etched frets. Mainly Trains have them, part No.75575, but they are fairly dear at £14.68. They are very good quality though and do the job very well. Would like to see piccies of box when finfshed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the pointer Shep. I'll order a pair this evening. I'm a great believer in having the right tools for the job.

I promise pictures will follow!

David
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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I find a sharp blade does the business for me. I don't try and trim it right up to the tabs though as you may damage what you are trying to cut out. Leave a little bit of tab material in place and file it away after.
 

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I might have a go at this kit too as Im modelling LMS and LNWR signal boxes still abounded in the era Im modelling. Looking forward to seeing progress photos etc.
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's the etch just before I get started on it with my newly acquired Xuron cutters



This is the progress after two hours. Most of this time was spent filing whilst listening to Radio 5 Live. Glad I'm not a Baggies fan




I don't think I've done any damage yet


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is the state of play at the end of session 3


Having the front windows in makes quite a difference and my left thumb has almost recovered from the soldering iron burn .....

David
 

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How much bending is involved on this kit, and what do you use?
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So far all the bends have been 90 degrees and I have started them with a pair of angled pliers which were part of a set of five from a "bargain" bin at B&Q. All the bends have been along a half etched line which I imagine makes the process easier. I have judged the 90 degrees by eye.

The parts with bends are:-
Two on each side of the base
Along the top edge of the barge boards. One part of the bend is very small and I did the right hand one the wrong way

Each corner post apart from the one at the left rear. It does not have a face for the short side because it will be obscured by the toilet.

David
 

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Looking good there David


Also seems like a sensible way of learning to do this soldering/brass kit malarky I'll folow with interest and may just be tempted to have a go because I'd love a P2 with the A4 nose and it seems at the minimum I'll need a chassis and valve gear.

Keep up you good start.

Regards Andii
 

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the Xuron cutters are of course the best choice .As I am tight fisted I just sharpened up a small flat blade screwdriver and just press down on the offending tab.As its a direct downward thrust it works well .It will also get into awkward spots .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've just been doing some "tab" filing in preparation for the next stage and noticed that the etching for the planking of the veranda/platform is not completely through in all places. Is it wise to have a go at cleaning this up with a scalpel blade or should I leave well alone?

David
 

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Just another modeller
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***Hi David

If you are sure it should be through in all places, by all means have a go with a blade to fix it - many gentle passes rather than a hard go at it though. Also a blade with the very tip snapped off will be better - you want to scrape away a super fine slither, not cut, as this will distort the planks.

Re bending, I usually do it against a steel rule or straight file edge - locate the rule at the half etch line then bend against a hard straight surface - the ruler supports the flap as its bent and keeps it perfectly straight.

Re the soldering, I note you are using tacks at several points, and the look of the joint makes me think perhaps you are using standard solder and no flux?

The best procedure for long seam joints is:

(1) Prepare all parts by filing the etched cusp square - be gentle here, a couple of strokes will get rid of it! Now clean up the surfaces generally and then clean where solder is to go with a fibreglass brush or fine wet and dry.

(2) Option 1.
Add lots of flux to the area to be soldered and tin it/them with a very thin coat of solder (Then follow 3 on, but with very little added solder - just enough to "wet" the tip of the Iron.
(2) Option 2.
Hold the parts together and liberally apply flux.

(3) Soldering Iron set to between 370 and 400 degrees. Pick up a small amount of 145 degree or 179 degree solder with the Iron and apply to the parts, drawing the Iron along the seam. Stop as soon as the flux has boiled off

(4) If needed, add more flux and solder as appropriate. When it comes to solder "less is more" - you only need a very small amount and there is no need for larger lumps to hold parts together - it should be as thin as a paint coat!

Clean up the joint if needed using solder mop dipped in flux to remove any excess solder before going on to the next joint.

regards

Richard

(PS: I very much prefer special shears/scissors to cut the frets - they cut perfectly to the part edge so no need for cleaning up dags after removal and handle up to 0.15" brass. As a bonus, the ones I had made under DCCconcepts label are fine enough to cut the fine etching "cusp" off the edge of etched brass too!

QUOTE (dwb @ 2 Feb 2009, 03:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've just been doing some "tab" filing in preparation for the next stage and noticed that the etching for the planking of the veranda/platform is not completely through in all places. Is it wise to have a go at cleaning this up with a scalpel blade or should I leave well alone?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you very much for the soldering lesson Richard. I have never been taught soldering and that which I have done has all been electrical where liquid flux is the devil's own ..... well you know what I mean.

As it happens, my tool box contains fibre glass brushes (how do you avoid the shards?), some Carr's Green flux and some wet & dry from a car project years ago.

Here's the result. I'm not sure if you can see my "new" soldering but I used flux every time - honest. I think I just need some practice.



The windows and hand rails are now all present.
The platform is secured and the toilet is complete but not yet secured to the main building. That fold down each side of the end frame was a nightmare!

All that's left in the kit are the steps and the cantilever brackets for the platform that runs under the windows. I've to make the base myself.

David
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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QUOTE (dwb @ 3 Feb 2009, 07:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As it happens, my tool box contains fibre glass brushes (how do you avoid the shards?), some Carr's Green flux and some wet & dry from a car project years ago.

You can't really. One way is to do all the fibre glass burnishing under running water in the laundry sink. I however wear plastic food prep gloves that you can buy a box of several hundred for a few bob. Religiously put them on at the start of a session and this has the added bonus of preventing greazy finger prints being applied to the etches too.

QUOTE (dwb @ 3 Feb 2009, 07:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Here's the result. I'm not sure if you can see my "new" soldering but I used flux every time - honest. I think I just need some practice.

Yep that is all it takes is practice. And the beauty of soldering this together is you can undo it and redo it if you are not happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have now completed the steps. I'm rather pleased with how they have turned out.



If you look closely at the platform brackets just under the end window you will see that I haven't mastered the art of attaching small objects to large chunks of metal. There are still great big blobs of solder and I haven't worked out how to get the solder to flow like paint on the big mass of metal. As I hope the step assembly shows, I'm fine with the small stuff.

Can someone give me some clues? Is this a case where the shape of the tip is important? I'm using quite a pointy tip at the moment.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb)how do you avoid the shards?

hello david

You dont but you do learn to remove them effeciently!

its comming along nicely! i must admit i was a bit worried after your first picture. the folds looked a bit dodgey and i was a bit shy about saying so but its turned out very nice.

for soldering little objects to big ones, this is where you really need the power of the iron. i find it best to cut a tiny shard of solder and place it exactly where i want it with a pair of tweezers right next to the small item. then, with the aid of plenty of flux, sweat the whole thing together.
in other words, get the parts and the solder and the flux where you want it before applying lots of heat. make sure the tip of the iron is freshly wiped, the less time the iron is touching the object the less chance there is of all he other joints falling apart!

those little brackets are a particlarly difficult joint. the solder has tendency to capilary down the grooves in the boards.

if you have a couple of different temperatures of solder, then i would do evry other step with high temp then go and do the ones inbetween with the lower temp.

i find it fascinating seeing other people solder. i was tought to do electrical soldering and soldering stained glass windows. i have never used the technique that most modellers are using.
 

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Thats some nice work there David,looks like a test in patience! Im ashamed to say that I lost my temper with my iron and its sadly no longer with us.R.I.P,it was a rather c**p one so a new one is on its way.I'd like to try a kit but it looks awkward,especially if your more used to stitching together cat dozer blades.
 

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*** Hello David

TIP - you should be using a 2 to 3mm chisel tip. Sorry, I should have mentioned that last post. (single sided chisel)

Small items: Use this method for all exposed seams, small items etc. "Thin" means spread out to almost nothing at all when I talk about tinning.

The best way is to clean both items with fibreglass brush and then carefully tin both items with a very, very thin layer of solder. (flux them and rub tip over the surface to be joined with almost no solder on the tip. "Less is more" when tinning).

Then, re-apply flux (be generous) and hold them together. Apply Iron with almost no added solder at all on the tip and the joint will flow together nicely with minimal solder thickness. Any excess will need little or no cleanup with a fibreglass brush.

re the existing joints with too much solder. Remove the parts and wipe over the area with solder wick/mop dipped in flux / Iron on top as your "broom handle". This will remove almost al excess and the remaining "tinned" surface can be cleaned up with the fibreglass brush or very fine wet and dry used wet. Just smooth any remaining tiny bumps really, and leave a thin layer of tinning in place as it will allow easy resoldering with almost no added solder. The tinned part should end up so thin that it won't really show under paint at all.

Richard

If you look closely at the platform brackets just under the end window you will see that I haven't mastered the art of attaching small objects to large chunks of metal. There are still great big blobs of solder and I haven't worked out how to get the solder to flow like paint on the big mass of metal. As I hope the step assembly shows, I'm fine with the small stuff.

Can someone give me some clues? Is this a case where the shape of the tip is important? I'm using quite a pointy tip at the moment.

David
<Endquote David>
 
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