Thursday 25 October 2012

Return from Missenden Abbey

It's been a couple of weeks of being back at home and work after a wonderful weekend away modelling in the beautiful surroundings of Missenden Abbey. And the food wasn't half bad this year as well...

I didn't feel that I did as much modelling over the course of this Autumn weekend as I did in my last couple of visits on the Spring weekends. This was mostly due to a large amount of socialising with the other course participants! However the enthusiasm for modelling remains. I have had a good sort out (tidy up!) of my workbench on my return, and tonight I settled down for some heavy duty metal bashing.

I had taken a number of projects along to Missenden, but mostly worked on my Coffeepot. I had stopped working on it at home, in the evenings, as I knew that the next task to be done was to make up the two sets of brake rigging, and I didn't the three or four hours of time to sit down solidly and knock this off in one session. However Missenden is perfect for this sort of task and I soon had it cracked out. That was followed by miscellaneous fittings, and the slide-bars and cylinders.

This was the point at which work at Missenden ground to a halt, as I knew that I would need my little vice and an assortment of bars to roll the forms of the cylinder covers. These are both small and a tricky reverse curve. However I cracked on, and this is the result:
Missenden Oct 12 004.jpg

Missenden Oct 12 005.jpg 
There has already been some tidying up of the soldering (I was in a splodge-it-on strategy, to get them firmly in the correct places without moving) , and tomorrow night will bring the cylinder end covers into place...



  1. Hay man, enjoying the posts! Some cool stuff you have created. I have to admit im not one for small electric powered gauges, mine are coal fired, I ran across your blog whilst looking up info on L$Y pugs, and found myself reading through almost everything, it's inspired me to keep one on the work I'm doing on my pug and all the other "projects" I've picked up over the years! Nice job with the sheet metal work too! You just holding the end in a vice and useing stock bar to bend it round?

  2. Hi Andy,

    Thanks very much for your comments - much appreciated!

    The L&Y Pug was originally going to be finished in L&Y black livery circa 1904, but following a swift change of layout plans, it's now going to be in industrial service in a chalk quarry in East Anglia in 1911...

    To answer your question: yes, all of the bending, including the ogee shape of the Coffeepot's saddle tank was just done with a length of 1/8th steel rod in a jeweller's miniature vice. The brass was trapped carefully against the rod, and firm and steady pressure applied to get the right bend without forming a crease. "Little and often" was the trick, achieving the shapes in a lot of small pressures, rather than trying to get it right in one big hit.

    I do have a set of GW Models rolling bars, but those are really for roofs and boilers as they are far to big for these tiny pieces of brass.

  3. great results, do you anneal the sheet before bending or are you just cold rolling it?

  4. The brass is cold rolled. I have tried annealing brass sheet before, but found that it actually made it too soft. I find that leaving it un-annealed means that I have a bit of resistance that helps the "little and often" approach as you cannot make a big swoop by accident.

    This is all in 4mm of course. I have no doubt that in (say) 7mm, the greater thickness of the brass fret would make annealing more essential. On the other hand, 7mm allows the use of big hammers ;-)

  5. Big hammers! Always the way forward!, my modelling is all 3 1/2" up to 7 1/4" so I dont get the choice mostly, 3mm thk sheet doesn't always want to bend cold! But on the other had I can use a big blowtorch and a large hammer or a bending press, wich makes for an easier life!