I managed to get most of another day in Tim & Julian’s joinery workshop. With the assistance of Tim, we managed to get the three boards assembled with pattern maker’s dowels; along with the beginnings of the ground profiles.
A start was also made on the last of the four boards that will form the main station area. I didn’t want an ordinary square board on the corner as the layout will be viewed both front on and from the end. Therefore, we have had to profile the corner piece around a mould.
But all this help does have a price……………………. Tim and Julian have recently acquired Benfieldside. This rather exquisite layout was built by Martin Wright and was subsequently owned by John James. If you want to see how good it is, find yourself MRJ 38 and you will see what I mean!
Over the years, the layout has suffered some damage so it is going to need to be restored. This is where the use of Tim and Julian’s joinery shop ceases to be free – there are a number of damaged signals and even more that are missing altogether. My brief is restore those that still exist and to set them up for servo operation. Here are the first three; all of which have different issues.
This one has a shattered post and is missing its access gantry/ladder. In addition, the signal arm has become detached and as the signal is slotted (ie the arm is within a slot in the post), this is going to be quite difficult to fix in situ.
This one also suffers from problems associated with the slotting – when Martin made this he only used lattice work for the front and back in order to provide a slot for the arm. This however has made the signal very weak. In addition, the gantry and ladder are missing.
One of the arms us detached from its operating arm, its ladder and finial are also missing.
Fortunately, the North Eastern used Mackenzie & Holland as their signal suppliers as well as the Highland. Therefore, I will get to use my etches! Anyway, the signals have been stripped and restoration has started; a post next week will show how they are coming along.
I have managed to finished (for now anyway, see below) the first bracket signal for the layout. So here are some pictures:
One error I did manage to include in the build was to make the holes in the balance levers, the crank elbows and the signal arms a tad to big for the operating wire I used. I used 12 gauge guitar wire and the slop that this creates in a 0.5mm hole is rather too much. 0.5mm drills were the smallest I had when I built this so I have invested in a stack of 0.4mm and 0.3mm from drillsuk (on ebay). Next time I will try these really small drills because the thin operating wire does look the part.
The effect of this is to allow the arms to slop too much and they will not be capable of being made to bounce properly. This signal will be in a cutting of the proposed layout, so I will have to replace the wire with something a bit thicker to overcome this.
You live and learn!
I am also having a bit of trouble with the MERG servo drivers; I may be cooking them with my power supply so this needs a bit of work too