Monday 23 November 2009

Riveting stuff

I had some time free on Sunday afternoon, so I thought that I would gather the tools together to turn my miscellaneous crossing timbers into something that I could construct a turnout from. First, gather the tools...

I used to have a lovely solid aluminium sawing block - the type that you clamp to the edge of a workbench - that was great for peening rivets over on. Sadly, that has disappeared in the mists of time, so i had to look for an alternative. That's the very solid block of steel making up that set square, so that will do nicely. It's propped up on the end of my soldering sponge just so that it is level.

For actually turning over the tubular rivets, of which a few can be seen in the foreground, by using the centre punch on the left. I use it unconventionally, by turning it upside down and tapping (okay, belting it quite hard..) on the pointy end with the small hammer on the right. It usually needs three or four taps to get the back of the rivet level with the sleeper, and then it's closed for good.

The most problematic bit that I found was getting the rivets into the holes in the sleepers. I had problems lining them up in the first few sleepers, and then I snapped one by mis-aligning the rivet with the hole and pressing too hard. So after that, I just reamed slightly out the holes so that they slipped in more easily. But it just shows that even on the simplest tasks it's possible to make mistakes.

I had a second template stuck down with double-sided tape, with more tape on the front to hold just the ends of the sleeper. After each sleeper was riveted, I transferred it to the appropriate position on the second template.

And after they were all in place, I dug in the spares box for some rail parts that I could recycle to save making them again. I found a pair of point blades, and a pair of wing rails.

Some work with a fibreglass brush and they'll be ready to use again. But first I need to make the 1:4 angle vee, as that is the part from which I remember that the pointwork is built from. I really should dig out the Scalefour Society Digest sheet on building turnouts, rather than trying to do it all from memory ;-)

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