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             Rating     Building Yeovil Pen Mill in EM
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321st message | this message only posted: 30 Aug 2019 22:41
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Hi Andrew,

Is the copper-clad timber with the brass screws made from single or double-sided copper laminate? No problem if it's single-sided but if it's double-sided both top and bottom need an insulating gap to prevent the screws creating an invisible and typically intermittent short circuit.

Cheers!
Andrew
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322nd message | this message only posted: 31 Aug 2019 05:07
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Andrew Barrowman wrote: Hi Andrew,

Is the copper-clad timber with the brass screws made from single or double-sided copper laminate? No problem if it's single-sided but if it's double-sided both top and bottom need an insulating gap to prevent the screws creating an invisible and typically intermittent short circuit.

Cheers!
Andrew
Hello Andy
That’s a good question and you are quite correct to observe that it’s double sided copper clad that the brass nuts are soldered to. Ideally I’d have found some single sided of the right thickness but haven’t had any for a while now. 

So I do gap them on both sides. In fact I double gap them on both sides and avoid gaping at the same point on the timber top and bottom to avoid weakening them too much. An idea I learnt from Howard when making my latest style of tiebar a few pages back. 

Another thing I’ve tried is rather than cut the copper with a razor saw or a file, I use an abrasive stone in a Dremel to do the job. It just sort of wears away a strip across the timber which when painted is less noticeable than a fine cut I think. I also run the stone down both edges to make sure I haven’t got a thin invisible line of copper left hiding there.  Then test electrically with meter. I’ve had too many short circuits to take chances on this. Equally I’ve quite frequently got to the testing stage and found I’ve forgotten to do any of the above! Very trying. 

Thanks for the question. 
Kind regards 
Andrew


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323rd message | this message only posted: 31 Aug 2019 09:18
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew

Do you file an angled bevel on the top of these switch rails?

I also find just putting a slight curve on the top angle of the point on the switch blade helps
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324th message | this message only posted: 31 Aug 2019 09:38
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hayfield wrote: Andrew

Do you file an angled bevel on the top of these switch rails?

I also find just putting a slight curve on the top angle of the point on the switch blade helps
Hello John
If you're referring to this particular moving K crossing switch, then this is the first time I've made them so I don't have previous experience with them other than what I describe in my reply to Tony yesterday, I haven't done anything else in terms of shaping.

 If I think of what I do when constructing a fixed diamond then no I don't do any shaping at all, but maybe I should have treated it rather like a turnout switch blade...?

Kind regards
Andrew

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325th message | this message only posted: 31 Aug 2019 10:25
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew

Do you file an angled bevel on the top of these switch rails?

I also find just putting a slight curve on the top angle of the point on the switch blade helps
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326th message | this message only posted: 31 Aug 2019 19:54
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: Andrew Barrowman wrote: Hi Andrew,

Is the copper-clad timber with the brass screws made from single or double-sided copper laminate? No problem if it's single-sided but if it's double-sided both top and bottom need an insulating gap to prevent the screws creating an invisible and typically intermittent short circuit.

Cheers!
Andrew
Hello Andy
That’s a good question and you are quite correct to observe that it’s double sided copper clad that the brass nuts are soldered to. Ideally I’d have found some single sided of the right thickness but haven’t had any for a while now. 

So I do gap them on both sides. In fact I double gap them on both sides and avoid gaping at the same point on the timber top and bottom to avoid weakening them too much. An idea I learnt from Howard when making my latest style of tiebar a few pages back. 

Another thing I’ve tried is rather than cut the copper with a razor saw or a file, I use an abrasive stone in a Dremel to do the job. It just sort of wears away a strip across the timber which when painted is less noticeable than a fine cut I think. I also run the stone down both edges to make sure I haven’t got a thin invisible line of copper left hiding there.  Then test electrically with meter. I’ve had too many short circuits to take chances on this. Equally I’ve quite frequently got to the testing stage and found I’ve forgotten to do any of the above! Very trying. 

Thanks for the question. 
Kind regards 
Andrew

Hi Andrew,

Looks like you have it covered! I'd forgotten you solder nuts on the underside, so that timber must be double sided.

I use a similar technique to remove a wide section of copper. It's much less obvious than a saw cut. I do it with the edge of a cutoff wheel rather than an abrasive stone.

Cheers,
Andy

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327th message | this message only posted: 1 Sep 2019 05:37
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Andrew Duncan wrote: Hayfield wrote: Andrew


Do you file an angled bevel on the top of these switch rails?

I also find just putting a slight curve on the top angle of the point on the switch blade helps
Hello John
If you're referring to this particular moving K crossing switch, then this is the first time I've made them so I don't have previous experience with them other than what I describe in my reply to Tony yesterday, I haven't done anything else in terms of shaping.

 If I think of what I do when constructing a fixed diamond then no I don't do any shaping at all, but maybe I should have treated it rather like a turnout switch blade...?

Kind regards
Andrew
Hello JohnI hope I’ve answered your question above. Seems to have come through twice?
Andrew 


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328th message | this message only posted: 1 Sep 2019 11:18
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Andrew Barrowman wroteHi Andrew,

Looks like you have it covered! I'd forgotten you solder nuts on the underside, so that timber must be double sided.

I use a similar technique to remove a wide section of copper. It's much less obvious than a saw cut. I do it with the edge of a cutoff wheel rather than an abrasive stone.

Cheers,
Andy
Let’s hope so!
Another couple of pictures here to show you what I did last night and first thing this morning. 

Well blow me down I’ve got the gauge correct through the middle of the slip with very little in the way of reference points! Time for a glass of something? Well perhaps not as it’s before the sun hits the yard arm, so I’ll make do with a coffee and slice of panettone, buttered of course. Very satisfying
(Edit) Actually having congratulated myself on getting the gauge correct through the middle I’m now a bit concerned at the gap opening up to the left hand end of the gauge. I’m hoping that that’s because the whole thing is on a sharpish curve, about 3’6” from memory. Better take a look at it with the mirror to see if I’ve got a misalignment somewhere there?




And here’s the “odd”support rail ( the one with the dotted black line) shoved roughly in place to give me an idea of how it will fit and how I’m going to fix it, probably soldered to the brass strips and then slide chairs cut and extended in length enoug to still stick out the other side of the K crossing switch to do their job properly of supporting said switch.  

Difficult to describe so I’ll post a photo when I’ve done it. 



And lastly a photo close up of the “odd” support rail where finished close to the K crossing. I shall be tempted to make this gap a 1mm one but suspect it’ll end up being a bit more to not catch wheel flanges passing by. Well see!



Ok, sad though this may sound, this is getting rather exciting. It’s every bit as challenging as the double slip was and I’ve a feeling it’ll work a lot better if I can only get the subtle curves right and switches a snug fit. 

Kind regards 
Andrew



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329th message | this message only posted: 2 Sep 2019 08:55
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: Andrew Duncan wrote: Hayfield wrote: Andrew


Do you file an angled bevel on the top of these switch rails?

I also find just putting a slight curve on the top angle of the point on the switch blade helps
Hello John
If you're referring to this particular moving K crossing switch, then this is the first time I've made them so I don't have previous experience with them other than what I describe in my reply to Tony yesterday, I haven't done anything else in terms of shaping.

 If I think of what I do when constructing a fixed diamond then no I don't do any shaping at all, but maybe I should have treated it rather like a turnout switch blade...?

Kind regards
Andrew
Hello JohnI hope I’ve answered your question above. Seems to have come through twice?
Andrew 

Andrew It was just a thought, I am with you on a fixed diamond, but then they do not move. I just thought as you are taking the tips right up to the bend it may help smooth the travel over the crossing  out
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330th message | this message only posted: 2 Sep 2019 09:02
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote:







And lastly a photo close up of the “odd” support rail where finished close to the K crossing. I shall be tempted to make this gap a 1mm one but suspect it’ll end up being a bit more to not catch wheel flanges passing by. Well see!



Ok, sad though this may sound, this is getting rather exciting. It’s every bit as challenging as the double slip was and I’ve a feeling it’ll work a lot better if I can only get the subtle curves right and switches a snug fit. 

Kind regards 
Andrew


A thought over copperclad timbers and sleepers, I make a shallow cut with a hacksaw to break the copper foil, I mix up some Green Squadron filler with liquid poly (to make it very runny). Leave it 24 hours to set hard, then file flat. When painted the cut is invisible
I tried using a razor saw to cut the gaps, but current jumped the gap, hacksaw blade width cut is fine

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331st message | this message only posted: 2 Sep 2019 17:26
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Andrew, John,

I use a small round sanding drum in a mini drill to 'gap' the pcb. I aim to remove the copper over a width of maybe 8-10mm on straight track size sleepers and make sure the gap tapers very gently towards the ends so there is no visible step in the sleeper surface. No filler is needed - just paint the sleeper in the normal way.

In tight situations around crossing work you need to plan ahead and make the gaps before all the rails are in place.

Rob


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332nd message | this message only posted: 2 Sep 2019 22:10
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hayfield wrote: Andrew Duncan wrote: Andrew Duncan
Hello JohnI hope I’ve answered your question above. Seems to have come through twice?
Andrew 

Andrew It was just a thought, I am with you on a fixed diamond, but then they do not move. I just thought as you are taking the tips right up to the bend it may help smooth the travel over the crossing  out
Hello John
Ok I’m with you now and I think you may well be right.  I’ll give it try!
Kind regards 
Andrew



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333rd message | this message only posted: 2 Sep 2019 22:24
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello Rob and John
For some reason the thought of using filler and then sanding down seems pretty extreme to me.  Not sure why I can cheerfully say that, and in another breath be soldering little brass nuts to the underside of sleepers to make loose heel hinges, which might also be construed as a little over the top! To each his own?

But anyway with this you probably tell I'm closer to Rob’s suggestion although I think my current approach is pretty similar and fairly unobtrusive. Hadn’t thought of removing it over wider area though?

Thanks for all your feedback and ideas, much appreciated as always. 
Kind regards 
Andrew

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334th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2019 08:42
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: Hello Rob and John
For some reason the thought of using filler and then sanding down seems pretty extreme to me.  Not sure why I can cheerfully say that, and in another breath be soldering little brass nuts to the underside of sleepers to make loose heel hinges, which might also be construed as a little over the top! To each his own?

But anyway with this you probably tell I'm closer to Rob’s suggestion although I think my current approach is pretty similar and fairly unobtrusive. Hadn’t thought of removing it over wider area though?

Thanks for all your feedback and ideas, much appreciated as always. 
Kind regards 
Andrew
Andrew
One of the great things about building your own track is the variety of methods at our disposal, as for loose hinges, I follow a method shown to me by I think Norman Solomon, which os to use cast brass fishplates, soldering one joint only

As for sanding PCB strip, I am with you when the PCB strips are in situ, however with a bit of pre-planning it takes seconds to a a dollop of filler, then once set hard seconds to file flat. I guess its far easier to sand off the copper foil before adding the sleeper/timber to the item being built

Other fixings that I do nor see used often are cast chairs, especially when used in conjunction with plastic chairs with plastic chairs

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335th message | this message only posted: 4 Sep 2019 20:44
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from:
Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: Tony W wrote: Andrew Duncan wrote:
So here you can see (at the bottom of the photo ) the elbow is snuggly up against its Stock Rail (?) whereas the one opposite ( above in the photo) is sitting just a touch proud of the rail that it’s abutted to, but enough I expect to derail anything travelling over it.



Hi Andrew.
The lower switch blade looks fine to me, but as you rightly state, the upper one needs some attention. It is too long and overlaps the center of the bend in the stock rail. The tip is also too thick. If you can duplicate the fit of the lower switch rail with the other three I don't foresee any great problems with the running.
Regards
Tony.
Hello Tony

Thanks for your thoughts on the switch blades and I’m interested in your observations of the upper blade being too thick. I’m using steel rail and as I produced this one in the Scalefour society jig, I went a touch too far and filed too much off leaving the centre web very thin (foil like), I tried repairing it by filing back the point to get to more solid rail but maybe went a bit far and as a result have too blunt a nose. 

But here my question to you is, how different is this point ( on a moving K crossing) to the blunt nose of a common crossing, which really is quite blunt? Should it be rounded off reduced in height by a smidgen as with a common crossing, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

I mentioned the rail being steel as I’ve been dipping in and out of your treatise on turnout construction over on E4rum, which is excellent by the way, and noticed your comments about steel being less forgiving in this sort of situation. 

Kind regards 
Andrew 

Hi Andrew.
You need to treat the moving K blades as very short switch blades and file them accordingly rather than a crossing nose. Having said that, you will of course be using the crossing filing jig to produce the required angle, but you do not need to file the whole height of the blade tip to a razors edge. The important area is the running head and this does need to be filed down to a very fine width at the tip in order to pick up an oncoming wheel without the flange hitting it. So just thinning down the top edge is all that is really needed for the final stage. I try to leave the foot on the inside of the switch rail, short though it is for added strength. I will see if I can find you a picture to illustrate this.
The fun bit, as you have discovered, is forming the curves in switch rails to produce an even curve whilst maintaining the track gauge. Because of the curve, I would expect the mint gauge to run out to some degree as it does in your picture.
Regards
Tony.

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336th message | this message only posted: 4 Sep 2019 22:05
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hayfield wrote: Andrew Duncan Andrew One of the great things about building your own track is the variety of methods at our disposal, as for loose hinges, I follow a method shown to me by I think Norman Solomon, which os to use cast brass fishplates, soldering one joint only

As for sanding PCB strip, I am with you when the PCB strips are in situ, however with a bit of pre-planning it takes seconds to a a dollop of filler, then once set hard seconds to file flat. I guess its far easier to sand off the copper foil before adding the sleeper/timber to the item being built

Other fixings that I do nor see used often are cast chairs, especially when used in conjunction with plastic chairs with plastic chairs
Hello John
 Yup I agree there so often a number of different approaches to building track as there are with so many things in life.  I rather like the sound of the caste fishplate idea, quite prototypical. How do you get the power feed to the switches themselves or can you rely on the fishplate to give reliable contact?

Thanks again for your ideas. 
Kind regards 
Andrew


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337th message | this message only posted: 4 Sep 2019 22:15
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Tony W wrote: Andrew Duncan wrote:Hello Tony

Thanks for your thoughts on the switch blades and I’m interested in your observations of the upper blade being too thick. I’m using steel rail and as I produced this one in the Scalefour society jig, I went a touch too far and filed too much off leaving the centre web very thin (foil like), I tried repairing it by filing back the point to get to more solid rail but maybe went a bit far and as a result have too blunt a nose. 

But here my question to you is, how different is this point ( on a moving K crossing) to the blunt nose of a common crossing, which really is quite blunt? Should it be rounded off reduced in height by a smidgen as with a common crossing, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

I mentioned the rail being steel as I’ve been dipping in and out of your treatise on turnout construction over on E4rum, which is excellent by the way, and noticed your comments about steel being less forgiving in this sort of situation. 

Kind regards 
Andrew 

Hi Andrew.
You need to treat the moving K blades as very short switch blades and file them accordingly rather than a crossing nose. Having said that, you will of course be using the crossing filing jig to produce the required angle, but you do not need to file the whole height of the blade tip to a razors edge. The important area is the running head and this does need to be filed down to a very fine width at the tip in order to pick up an oncoming wheel without the flange hitting it. So just thinning down the top edge is all that is really needed for the final stage. I try to leave the foot on the inside of the switch rail, short though it is for added strength. I will see if I can find you a picture to illustrate this.
The fun bit, as you have discovered, is forming the curves in switch rails to produce an even curve whilst maintaining the track gauge. Because of the curve, I would expect the mint gauge to run out to some degree as it does in your picture.
Regards
Tony.
Hello Tony
Thanks for your guidance on this. I’ll make the tip as fine as practicable and suck it and see!

I’ll report back as soon as I’ve got a result!

Kind regards 
Andrew 



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338th message | this message only posted: 5 Sep 2019 08:49
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote:
Hayfield wrote: Andrew Duncan Andrew One of the great things about building your own track is the variety of methods at our disposal, as for loose hinges, I follow a method shown to me by I think Norman Solomon, which os to use cast brass fishplates, soldering one joint only

As for sanding PCB strip, I am with you when the PCB strips are in situ, however with a bit of pre-planning it takes seconds to a a dollop of filler, then once set hard seconds to file flat. I guess its far easier to sand off the copper foil before adding the sleeper/timber to the item being built

Other fixings that I do nor see used often are cast chairs, especially when used in conjunction with plastic chairs with plastic chairs
Hello John
 Yup I agree there so often a number of different approaches to building track as there are with so many things in life.  I rather like the sound of the caste fishplate idea, quite prototypical. How do you get the power feed to the switches themselves or can you rely on the fishplate to give reliable contact?

Thanks again for your ideas. 
Kind regards 
Andrew

Andrew
Usually I like to bond the switch rails to the stockrails to aid electrical conductivity, but with this method at least you have 2 places of contact, being the fishplate and the tip of the slide rail touching the stock rail. If I have used the timber under the tip of the switch rail by using a copperclad timber and a cast slide chair (slide plate cut away from the chair and soldered to both the timber and switch rail) that gives a third point of contact. For belt and braces a dropper wire could be attached to the switch rail close to the fishplate to under the base board, just ensure its quite thin/flexible 

I quite often think we do not make enough use of the cast rail parts in track building, going in some cases for exocitc rather than a simple solution

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339th message | this message only posted: 7 Sep 2019 22:49
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello John
Thanks for your thoughts on loose heels. Like you I think I’d always put some positive connection in for the electric feed. I take a wire off the bottom end of the brass bolt which the switch hinges on. 

I made a bit a progress today. Soldered up a pair of switches at one end of the slip and installed the “odd” support rail beside them. One or both may actually need removing and shortening if the flanges just catch their tips. I hope the photo makes clear what I’m referring to. 

The bit I’m concerned about is towards the top of the photo just below the moving elbow. The support rail stops just short of the elbow but leaving only a 1mm gap for the wheel flange to squeeze past. theoretically this  should be enough but I’m not sure my track making skills are consistent enough to make that work. When I’ve assembled the switches for the other end of the slip and I can run my test wagon through I’ll know whether I’m better than I thought, or it’s time to take them out and shorten then a tad to open up the gap. 

,

Looking at this photo John I’m wondering if I’ve missed a trick ( as you were saying in your previous post) in not using brass slide chairs more, either pinned to the timbers or soldered to copper paxolin timbers down the middle of the slip where I’ve put brass strips. It would have been neater and stronger to use them rather than brass strips that have to be shortened and half chairs glued in place to disguise their presence.  

Live and learn but I’m not about to take it all out and start again!

Kind regards 
Andrew



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340th message | this message only posted: 17 Sep 2019 08:44
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew

Sorry for the delay in replying, but been away in Italy on holiday.

Quite often we become slaves to what we are used to rather than explore other methods. Many shy away from cast brass chairs and fishplates, presumably due to their cost. If used sparingly they add little extra to the overall cost. Same with using copperclad timbers either with ply of plastic timbered units, once painted they will not be noticeable, but the benefits are well worth breaking with convention

Wagons whilst being very convenient to use in testing may not be as demanding as a six coupled chassis, I think Norman uses a free rolling loco chassis for testing, certainly I try to use a powered chassis as soon as practicable (using crock clips on power leads and jumper cables etc)

I must admit to missing the relevance of the support rails, perhaps using a bit of modellers licence with their length may solve the issue
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341st message | this message only posted: 21 Sep 2019 15:07
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hayfield wrote: Andrew

Sorry for the delay in replying, but been away in Italy on holiday.

Quite often we become slaves to what we are used to rather than explore other methods. Many shy away from cast brass chairs and fishplates, presumably due to their cost. If used sparingly they add little extra to the overall cost. Same with using copperclad timbers either with ply of plastic timbered units, once painted they will not be noticeable, but the benefits are well worth breaking with convention

Wagons whilst being very convenient to use in testing may not be as demanding as a six coupled chassis, I think Norman uses a free rolling loco chassis for testing, certainly I try to use a powered chassis as soon as practicable (using crock clips on power leads and jumper cables etc)

I must admit to missing the relevance of the support rails, perhaps using a bit of modellers licence with their length may solve the issue
Hello John
Yup it’s human nature to stick with what we know and either deliberately not look elsewhere or just forget to.

 I know your right to point out that a wagon doesn’t really test track work like a long wheelbased tank loco, a pannier being a good example. So I shall remember to test it just as soon as I can under power with my one EM gauge loco. All the others are still in 00!

As to the support rails either side of the flexible switches I’m either why they put in the support rails. Was it because they would otherwise have used loose heeled switches which I seem to understand we’re shorter and so had less unsupported length. But with the longer flexible switches they perhaps felt extra support was necessary?

Kind regards 
Andrew


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Hayfield
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As for what type of wagons and locos to use, I have found long wheelbase vans to be more critical than standard wheelbase wagons, but I still use the latter. Also with locos it seems how much side play the chassis have also determines how they perform

When building 00 gauge turnouts and crossings I have an old Mainline 0-6-0 chassis where all three axles have differing back to backs. Ideal test loco as it this loco works anything will !!

Keep up the good work as I am enjoying the thread
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hayfield wrote: As for what type of wagons and locos to use, I have found long wheelbase vans to be more critical than standard wheelbase wagons, but I still use the latter. Also with locos it seems how much side play the chassis have also determines how they perform

When building 00 gauge turnouts and crossings I have an old Mainline 0-6-0 chassis where all three axles have differing back to backs. Ideal test loco as it this loco works anything will !!

Keep up the good work as I am enjoying the thread
Hello John

Yup your right to remind me about long wheel base wagons as a greater test...time to convert a Toad me thinks! 

As to locos I always make sure the slack is non existent on front and rear wheels and plenty on the middle pair ( something Iain Rice taught me when showing me how to build a decent chassis) and that they can slide really easily from side to side. I’m guilty of having pretty slack coupling rods as well to aid this free running, but the benefit is very smooth running, no “ dot and carry one” here! (A Rice-ism) And they can  negotiate pretty tight curves and horrible track as well!

I like the idea of varying back to backs. Reminds me of Len Newman and “go” “no go” back to back gauges. 

And lastly John thanks for the encouragement, I’m glad your enjoying it. 

Kind regards
Andrew




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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello everyone 

I was at Scaleforum yesterday and was impressed once again with the standard of demonstrators. In a track context Tony Wilkins and Phil Tattershall we’re there teaching people (3 at a time) how to make Crossings and Switches blades respectively. It was in  talking to Phil quite a few years ago, when he was demoing track making, that I finally decided to have a go at track making and whilst I was at it convert to EM from 00 and learn how to use Templot, and go it alone without expert help from Iain Rice who’d built much of my original point work for Maiden Newton and Yeovil Mk1. Sorry about the long sentence!

And Tony was doing a very practical and encouraging approach to building really accurate crossings which I always find the hardest part of any turnout to build consistently. I certainly owe a lot to people like them for the kind, patient and non judgmental approach they take to their hobby which allows me to feel comfortable asking “silly” questions and being rewarded with clear explanations that allow me to improve little by little. Invaluable and ultimately very rewarding. Thanks chaps. 

As a matter of interest the Great Western Study group / David Smith have just brought out a fascinating tome on Great Western Signaling Practice which I just couldn’t resist despite its quite hefty price tag and having dipped into the first dozen or so,pages when I got home, I think this going to be a really good informative well illustrated read. Well done Mr Smith and the GWSG. 

I managed not to buy anything on the bring and buy stand despite a vey tempting Blacksmith Dean Goods, one of my all time favourite locos. But I still have in my pile under the bench, a Finney one to build which I shall do, with a bit of modellers licence, in original round topped firebox form, which makes them look even more elegant than the later and more time appropriate Belpaire type. 

Back to track work briefly, John’s( Hayfield) contribution last week got me thinking a bit more about the selective use of brass chars and in particular that of slide chairs and the inherent weakness in model form that they introduce into turnout construction. Its all very well soldering the slide chair to the rail but then supergluing it to the sleeper seems a bit of a bodge. So I thought I’d reinforce it by pinning it through the sleeper. As result last week I found myself drilling a minute hole (0.6mm) in the slide chair base, counter sinking it to take a pin head flush to the working surface and sat back somewhat amused and mystified at myself!  I’m an EM modeller for heavens sake not a P4er. I’m a “broad brush stroke” sort of bloke and here I am drilling tiny holes in tiny brass castings that I can barely  see. Have I really taken leave of my senses?

Well I don’t know but I did get certain satisfaction out of it despite the fact that I later thought that, had I planned ahead, I could have used copper paxolin sleepers and soldered the whole thing up solid with the touch of my soldering iron. Strange what our hobby does to us sometimes....?

Here’s a photo of my mad moment. 

Kind regards from lunatic asylum....






Andrew


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Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew

What a good idea, especially when retrofitting. An Idea which needs testing, but may save a bit of time could be to glue rather than pin chairs.

I was talking to a Canadian customer not only about soldering brass chairs.fishplates whilst building track but also the use of certain glues

Over the past two years, but not the older type but the range of newer glues

Last year after running out of what was my favourite thin superglue (well known brand from DIY stores & supermarkets) I was introduced to an industrial grade which is far stronger.

Whilst having a kitchen fitted as well as new double glazing both sets of fitters used a mitre bond product (the stuff which you use an activator with) also a modern glue I guess like No More Nails (I use Extreme by Schtuk)

In using for the purpose we require we just need something which is not degraded by heat. Well its an idea that might save a bit of time

I liked the piece of trackwork on display ann the stands where Common crossing and switch rails were being demonstrated. Also there seemed to be far more interest in trackwork this year from the public, even though the footfall seemed well down this year
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hayfield wrote: Andrew

What a good idea, especially when retrofitting. An Idea which needs testing, but may save a bit of time could be to glue rather than pin chairs.

I was talking to a Canadian customer not only about soldering brass chairs.fishplates whilst building track but also the use of certain glues

Over the past two years, but not the older type but the range of newer glues

Last year after running out of what was my favourite thin superglue (well known brand from DIY stores & supermarkets) I was introduced to an industrial grade which is far stronger.

Whilst having a kitchen fitted as well as new double glazing both sets of fitters used a mitre bond product (the stuff which you use an activator with) also a modern glue I guess like No More Nails (I use Extreme by Schtuk)

In using for the purpose we require we just need something which is not degraded by heat. Well its an idea that might save a bit of time

I liked the piece of trackwork on display ann the stands where Common crossing and switch rails were being demonstrated. Also there seemed to be far more interest in trackwork this year from the public, even though the footfall seemed well down this year
Hello John

Yes a heat proof glue would be a real bonus especially if  didn’t “take” immediately so allowing some fine adjustment before setting. 

And yes I assume that you’re referring to the piece of Tony’s layout that he had on display. Extremely neat work. Did you try pushing the coach bogie he had there. When I tried it, it went through all those S4 crossings as if they weren’t there, not a murmur, not even a suggestion of a bump. Impressive. 

Andrew




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Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: And yes I assume that you’re referring to the piece of Tony’s layout that he had on display. Extremely neat work. Did you try pushing the coach bogie he had there. When I tried it, it went through all those S4 crossings as if they weren’t there, not a murmur, not even a suggestion of a bump. Impressive. 

That used to be the Studiolith sales pitch all of fifty years ago when P4 hit the market.   They had a crossover on their sales stand with a coach bogie to wheel across the crossings.  And that sold me on much finer track standards,  although I did it in S rather than 4mm.    The battlkes came later. :D

Jim.

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Hayfield
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The trackwork was excellent. truly showed a great deal of high quality workmanship, P4 wheels are also a good indicator of the quality of workmanship owing to the tiny flanges

I may be wrong but I think coach bogies are the easiest test (unless they are compensated), a nice ridgid whitemetal bogie with pin point bearings should wiz through without any wheel drop despite having small wheels.
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Godfrey Earnshaw
Crawley, United Kingdom

 

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Hayfield wrote: The trackwork was excellent. truly showed a great deal of high quality workmanship, P4 wheels are also a good indicator of the quality of workmanship owing to the tiny flanges I may be wrong but I think coach bogies are the easiest test (unless they are compensated), a nice ridgid whitemetal bogie with pin point bearings should wiz through without any wheel drop despite having small wheels.Hi Hayfield, I know this is nitpicking but I would like to point out that the diameter of a wheel is not a factor and mention of it can cause confusion. It is only the width of the wheel (tread) that matters. "The reason is that the width of the gap in the V-crossing at its widest part just in front of the nose of the vee is the same at any angle, and is approximately equal to 2 flangeway gaps plus the blunt nose width on the vee, as you say. If the wheel is wider than this it cannot fall into the gap and will run smoothly over the V-crossing remaining fully supported on the wing rails. The angle of the V-crossing and the length of the gap is immaterial." Quote Martin Wynne - (message ref: 16325) [size="4" style=""] [size="4" style=""]Imagine you were rolling a 1mm dia rod over the crossing, at no time would it drop in. [size="4" style=""] [size="4" style=""]Godders
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Hayfield
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Godfrey Earnshaw wrote: Hayfield wrote: The trackwork was excellent. truly showed a great deal of high quality workmanship, P4 wheels are also a good indicator of the quality of workmanship owing to the tiny flanges I may be wrong but I think coach bogies are the easiest test (unless they are compensated), a nice ridgid whitemetal bogie with pin point bearings should wiz through without any wheel drop despite having small wheels.Hi Hayfield, I know this is nitpicking but I would like to point out that the diameter of a wheel is not a factor and mention of it can cause confusion. It is only the width of the wheel (tread) that matters. "The reason is that the width of the gap in the V-crossing at its widest part just in front of the nose of the vee is the same at any angle, and is approximately equal to 2 flangeway gaps plus the blunt nose width on the vee, as you say. If the wheel is wider than this it cannot fall into the gap and will run smoothly over the V-crossing remaining fully supported on the wing rails. The angle of the V-crossing and the length of the gap is immaterial." Quote Martin Wynne - (message ref: 16325) [size="4" style=""] [size="4" style=""]Imagine you were rolling a 1mm dia rod over the crossing, at no time would it drop in. [size="4" style=""] [size="4" style=""]Godders Godders
Thank you, my error was in thinking the larger the diameter the wheel the larger gap it could cross 

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Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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Hayfield wrote: The trackwork was excellent. truly showed a great deal of high quality workmanship, P4 wheels are also a good indicator of the quality of workmanship owing to the tiny flanges

I may be wrong but I think coach bogies are the easiest test (unless they are compensated), a nice ridgid whitemetal bogie with pin point bearings should wiz through without any wheel drop despite having small wheels.

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for the nice comments about my trackwork and common crossing workshop at Scaleforum recently. It is nice to know ones efforts are appreciated.
Secondly, the test coach bogie I commonly use for track testing is rather less than that being an MJT coach bogie compensating etched frame with no additional weight which happened to be spare at the time. The lack of weight means the compensating effect is probably minimal unless finger weighted, but I find it does show up any irregularities in alignment, both by feel and by sight.
Regards
Tony.

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Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Godfrey Earnshaw wrote: Hayfield wrote: The trackwork was excellent. truly showed a great deal of high quality workmanship, P4 wheels are also a good indicator of the quality of workmanship owing to the tiny flanges I may be wrong but I think coach bogies are the easiest test (unless they are compensated), a nice ridgid whitemetal bogie with pin point bearings should wiz through without any wheel drop despite having small wheels.Hi Hayfield, I know this is nitpicking but I would like to point out that the diameter of a wheel is not a factor and mention of it can cause confusion. It is only the width of the wheel (tread) that matters. "The reason is that the width of the gap in the V-crossing at its widest part just in front of the nose of the vee is the same at any angle, and is approximately equal to 2 flangeway gaps plus the blunt nose width on the vee, as you say. If the wheel is wider than this it cannot fall into the gap and will run smoothly over the V-crossing remaining fully supported on the wing rails. The angle of the V-crossing and the length of the gap is immaterial." Quote Martin Wynne - (message ref: 16325) [size="4" style=""] [size="4" style=""]Imagine you were rolling a 1mm dia rod over the crossing, at no time would it drop in. [size="4" style=""] [size="4" style=""]Godders Hi Godders,

Just to add a bit more detail, assuming the wheels are coned there will be a slight bump. As the wheel approaches the nose it is running "downhill" as the contact point on the cone runs along the wing rail.

Do full-scale railways compensate for that effect at all? Perhaps the wing rails are adjusted upwards slightly. I'm pretty sure Martin will know.

There is a simple solution on model railways; don't cone the wheels, but I suspect that wouldn't be popular. I have quite a lot of wheels that are not coned and they seem to work just as well as coned wheels.

Cheers!
Andy


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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Andrew Barrowman wrote:Do full-scale railways compensate for that effect at all? Perhaps the wing rails are adjusted upwards slightly. I'm pretty sure Martin will know.Hi Andy,

Yes they do. The nose of the vee is taken down below the level of the wing rails. The slight rolling depression is taken up by the wheel suspension, there is no bump:


thanks to Mick Nicholson for the photo

It is well worth taking a few thou off the top of the nose of model vees for the same reason (assuming coned wheels).

p.s. wheel coning serves no practical purpose on a model. It is purely for appearance.

cheers,

Martin.

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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Martin Wynne wrote: Andrew Barrowman wrote:Do full-scale railways compensate for that effect at all? Perhaps the wing rails are adjusted upwards slightly. I'm pretty sure Martin will know.Hi Andy,

Yes they do. The nose of the vee is taken down below the level of the wing rails. The slight rolling depression is taken up by the wheel suspension, there is no bump:


thanks to Mick Nicholson for the photo

It is well worth taking a few thou off the top of the nose of model vees for the same reason (assuming coned wheels).

p.s. wheel coning serves no practical purpose on a model. It is purely for appearance.

cheers,

Martin.
Hello Martin
I'm surprised to hear that the coning serves no purpose in miniature scales? I thought it was a cunning ruse to keep the relative speed of the wheels at each end of the axle the same when negotiating a curve. Is my understanding naive in the context of model railways because of the sharpness of the curves that the wheels have to negotiate?

Kind regards
Andrew

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Andrew Barrowman
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Thanks Martin.

That raises quite a few further questions but as they have nothing to do with Yeovil I should probably put them in a different thread. :D
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Andrew Barrowman
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Andrew Duncan wrote: Martin Wynne wrotHello Martin
I'm surprised to hear that the coning serves no purpose in miniature scales? I thought it was a cunning ruse to keep the relative speed of the wheels at each end of the axle the same when negotiating a curve. Is my understanding naive in the context of model railways because of the sharpness of the curves that the wheels have to negotiate?

Kind regards
Andrew

Hi Andrew,

I'll jump in :)

Yes, Martin is quite right. Coning works a bit like the differential on a car but it only works at large turning radii. It also requires a lot of friction between the wheels and the rail, a lot more than we typically see on model railways. It's just another example of how things don't scale very well between large scale ratios, and 1:76 is a large ratio.

I'll go slightly heretical and suggest that it actually makes things worse (shock, horror!)

As Martin points out, the vehicle's suspension will take up the change in level that coning creates through a crossing. But what if the vehicle has coned wheels but it does not have any suspension? (Like a large amount of 00 equipment.)

That introduces an opportunity for "wobble" and potentially loss of electrical contact. I have an unproven theory that unsprung model vehicles would actually perform better with unconed wheels. Maybe someone has done some experiments?

Cheers!
Andy



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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Andrew Duncan wrote:Hello Martin
I'm surprised to hear that the coning serves no purpose in miniature scales? I thought it was a cunning ruse to keep the relative speed of the wheels at each end of the axle the same when negotiating a curve. Is my understanding naive in the context of model railways because of the sharpness of the curves that the wheels have to negotiate?
Hi Andrew,

Even on the prototype coning works for steering on gentle high-speed curves only. If that was not so we wouldn't hear the common wheel squeal on sharp curves, and there would be no need for the flange lubricators often seen on such curves.

Generally model curves are much sharper than the prototype, so likewise any coning of the wheels has no effect -- it is the wheel flanges which guide wheels round curves. On straighter track, variations in model axle alignments, variations in rail height, and tolerances on wheel diameter mean that any steering effect from model coning is effectively destroyed.

It is easily demonstrated -- turn the flanges off some coned wheels, and try running trains. :)

The rail head has a radiused top, so with or without coning, the wheel makes only a point contact with the inclined rail head until some rail wear has occurred. That is generally a slow process on models, usually resulting more from track cleaning than running trains.

In practice the lack of working coning is a good thing. With no differential between the opposite wheels on a fixed axle, it means that one or other wheel is always slipping slightly instead of pure rolling. Which helps to keep wheels and rails clean. If our wheels only ever rolled, any dirt would be very quickly compacted into them to impair electrical pickup.

If you have run a large layout for any length of time, you have probably noticed that pickup is better on the curves than on straight track.

cheers,

Martin.

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Andrew Barrowman
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More than slightly "off topic" but I seem to remember that, to reduce "hunting", the high-speed trains in Japan have almost no coning on their wheels.

(Hunting is when rail vehicles oscillate slowly from side to side on straight track, like a pendulum.)
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello Martin
This (coning achieves nothing other than looks) is a bit of a revelation to me but it all makes sense although, a part of me at least, wants to believe that the combination of compensated locos and coned wheels would give a superior performance over a rigid chassis. But maybe I'm unnecessarily mixing things up to bring in compensation into the arguement which in 00 and EM are more for traction (keeping all wheels on the rails) than whether it stays on the rails or not as in P4. 

Having said that I'm pleased that it helps keep the rails clean on curved track at least!

Hello Andy

All this talk of coning and hunting are making me think of the article in Scalefour News a while back which was from an old "Railway Modeller" from the sixties about a chap (with a double barrelled name?) who obviously studied the subject of rail and wheel synergy to good effect and was able to reverse his trains through crossovers at a scale 60mph! Not many of us could do that without mishap I suspect? Interestingly he used no coning  and if I remember correctly no pin points and I think his locos had rigid chassis to boot...
Makes me wonder if I've been fooling myself about the benefits of compensation even?  But as soon as i say that I remember that I have two locos that are fully compensated and the way that they glide along the track, even my track, is a delight. Gone are the sudden upward movements that characterise all my other locos when hitting a miss aligned crossing nose or point blade. They float  effortlessly over the lot. Lovely!


Time for a cup of tea and some chocolate I think....and maybe a small cognac, in the appropriate Riedel glass?

Andrew



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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Andrew Duncan wrote: ....and maybe a small cognac, in the appropriate Riedel glass?

Andrew


...or maybe a whiskey in an old Ravenglass tumbler :D

Interesting watching the compensation debate. Wheels that are free to find their own level within a chassis have a lot more chance of helping with stability, traction and current collection.

Have you tried this method - CSB

Hope you are keeping OK.

Rob


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