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  • Topic: Request Opinion -- Smallbrook Studio Motor Block

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    • March 26, 2021 11:26 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

      It was, in fact, my error.  The proprietor wrote back the following:

       

      Although I do not mention the matter in the instructions, in my email to you of the 19th January I did say that to get the chassis to run satisfactorily on LGB track a number of spacers needed to be fitted to the inside of the wheels on the axles and that these would be supplied. 

      It doesn't look as if you have fitted any to your chassis? Please remember that there are four etched washers that will simply slip onto the axles but there are also a further eight 4 BA brass washes that need to be opened out and squared in the inside that will also need to be fitted to gain the correct back to back for the wheels to run on the track, this should then do the trick.

       

      I admitted my misunderstanding and thanked the proprietor profusely as a first step to getting on with this project.  I hope to get the chassis together this weekend to close this review and proceed to the intended project.

       

      Eric

       

    • March 27, 2021 1:33 PM EDT
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      there are also a further eight 4 BA brass washes that need to be opened out and squared in the inside

      That sounds like hard work - squaring the inside? With what?  I assume they are meant to fit the square Slaters axles. Looking at my photos, it seems the axle has a shoulder after the square bit (see attached) so any washer that fits over the squared end but against the shoulder will work to widen the wheels set.

       

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at March 28, 2021 3:56 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • March 27, 2021 2:49 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Pete Thornton said:

       

      ...That sounds like hard work - squaring the inside? With what? ....

       

      And the learning continues!  All part of moving up the complexity scale in our projects, I suppose.  I'll try to turn to on this project later.  I think I'll do a bit of tinkering and experimenting along the way to get things to set right. and go from there.

       

      Eric

    • March 28, 2021 3:52 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      OK,

       

      I had some time to work on this today.  The kit comes with 8 brass washers and an additional four that are "squared."  You can see the daisy-chained "squared" ones next to a standar washer below:

      You can also see, as Pete T. mentioned, the square axle end.  The "squared" washer needed a little bit of work using the jewelers file to the left, but it did pop over the end relatively simply.  After installing all four of the "squared" washers, the chassis did sit on the rails, but only just:

      Here's the rub.  How do I "square" those other washers?  I tried the jewelers file, but that wasn't getting me anywhere.  It was too late to drag out the Dremel, but I am not sure that is the solution.   The file I used to clean up the outside of the other washers just so happens to have a handle that is almost the right size an shape:

       

      What if I seat that handle in the hole of the washer and bash the other end with a hammer, effectively "stamping" the shape?  Or, I could just procure a washer with a slightly larger radius, which would be easier but less fun.

       

      Hope all are having a good weekend!

       

      Eric

       

    • March 28, 2021 9:56 AM EDT
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      I could just procure a washer with a slightly larger radius, which would be easier but less fun.

      I think that is what I was suggesting - definitely less fun. But what do you have to lose? Hit it!

       

      the chassis did sit on the rails, but only just

      Eric, you mentioned the existing wheels were 4mm wide. From your earlier photo, you need to move the wheels at least that much to get them even to be on the rails?

      My Slaters wheels are more like 7mm wide - similar to an LGB wheel. And what's puzzling is Smallbrook's idea that the wheels need washers for LGB track. While LGB rails might be cruder than finescale, they are still supposed to be 45mm apart so any fine scale wheels should fit. (Might be worth checking your LGB track - I have a couple of straights which are 45.2mm.)

      Even more interesting is that Smallbrook had you order 40mm axles. That's the right size for 45mm track. You should not need washers.

       

      Well, I found your wheels. I remembered Slaters had a partial catalog and the 16mm 2' "small england" (that's a Tallylyn loco type,) seems to match what you have got.

       

       

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at March 29, 2021 8:14 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • March 28, 2021 8:09 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Pete T.,

       

      Thanks for the suggestion and the legwork.  The Slater's website is a bit overwhelming and not especially easy to use.  I am sure some of my track is a bit out of whack, but this was a whole treadwidth too small.  If I take three washers and stack them, they are about 2mm wide.  Since everything was about 4m too narrow, that will solve the issue.  

       

      Anyway, I bashed the center (which was, indeed, quite satisfying), filed the notches, and Dremel-ed a washer to fit.   The next washer shot across the lanai.  I'm glad I had my safety goggles on!  The frustration and safety risk not being worth modifying the other washers, I'll get what I need at the hardware store.

       

      Eric

    • March 29, 2021 2:38 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      P.S.  Washers procured.  I installed one per side.  It'll track:

       

      VideoProof It'll Track

       

      I used 0-5-0 power to push it onto some sidings. It did derail on the frog ~50% of the time.  Let's see how it does when I get the batteries on top and let it move on its own power.

       

      Have a great week everyone!

       

      Eric

    • April 8, 2021 3:57 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

      Belated Happy Easter to all who celebrate! Despite the Holiday and lead-up observances, I did some tinkering on this project.

       

      The first order of business was some light sanding and painting of the rods:

      The instructions note you may have to slightly enlarge the elongated holes on the connecting rods (left).  As fate would have it, I should have just done it, as I found some binding after I got them on.  You also have to drill out the holes in the connecting rods for the crank pins.  I just lined up on the dimples and hand drilled these.  I'll note the piston rods are basically cotter pins.  There is no valve gear.  This is fine for my intended purposes.

       

      All of these stack with washers and an itty-bitty not and then screw into the wheels.  I found this a bit iterative as I tried to get the crank pins in the recommended distance and set the nut.  I was still iterating when I heard dinner call this evening.  You can see the layout of washers and nuts in the photo below:

      Hmmmm...that metallic paint doesn't look so good next to flat black...anyway, here is a side shot:

      Yeah....that paint looks awful...Good thing I have to take the rods off to enlarge those holes!

       

      I did play with this a bit today as I was slowly screwing the rods into place to see if getting the rods on mystically fixed the issue with this chassis not riding over the frogs on my LGB turn-outs.  I'd say the results are inconclusive.   I am going to attack the issue from two angles.  Pete T. and I are brainstorming (Pete is brainstorming; I am thought stealing!) via e-mail.  The easiest answer may be to see if Slater's makes a wheel of the same diameter with a wider tread.  Of course, then I am out $50 and maybe no closer to a solution.  Meanwhile, I am going to keep puttering away with the kit as is.   Maybe it works just fine with everything set and operating at design speed under its own power?  Maybe there is just some rookie error I simply cannot see due to personal inexperience?  If nothing else, I feel some need to get this thing to "stock" to make this a reasonably valid review!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

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