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- Scratch Building Steam Locomotives -
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 Posted: Thu Oct 26th, 2017 02:42 pm
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Si.
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" Thanks for this thread, chaps. I've ordered the John Ahern book for future reference "



Hi Daniel :wave:



Did the 'Miniature Locomotive Construction' book arrive ...

... and what did you think of it ?



:bg:



Si.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 16th, 2017 08:53 pm
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Reg H
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Si:
I have the Ahern book.  It is good.  I built some loco decades ago and hope to do some more of that.

I wish somebody would publish a compilation of Thornburgh articles.  My first attempts were guided by his work.  

Basic hand tools, and practice, are all you need to build model locomotives.  It is amazing what you can do with a good jewelers saw, some files, needle nose pliers and a hefty soldering iron. 

Of course, now I have a full machine shop.  Talk about a learning curve.

Reg



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 Posted: Thu Nov 16th, 2017 09:02 pm
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Reg H
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Woodie:

I remember, as a teenager, visiting an O scale railroad and watching a fully sprung and equalized mallet (GN prototype, I forget which one) moving, very  slowly, from the turntable.  There was a very slight elevation difference between the turntable and the track.

It was a very impressive sight.  One that has stayed with me for over 50 years.  Hard to describe.

Reg







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 Posted: Sat Nov 18th, 2017 09:28 am
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Paglesham
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Gents,

I have had a copy (now 2!) of the Aherne book since I was a young teenager.
I also have his books on Landscape Modelling and Miniature Building Construction.
They have always been my modelmaking bibles and without them, I would have had to find some other way to earn a living.
They really are that good.

I was immensely fortunate to have been mentored by the great J.K. "Jack" Nelson and he recommended the Aherne books too.
Thank heavens the local library (when we had such things in every small town) had copies and the only stamps in the back were for me, one after another.
People are still making buildings from the delightful plans in the back of his building model book.
I made my first locos entirely from his book.

I have a lathe today, but back then I had a piercing saw, a hand full of files given me by my uncle (a toolmaker), which I still have, a pin chuck and other files I have bought from Sunday Markets from the old tools stool.
I also have a few small bench vices, which I have literally filed and sawn away over the years.
A small hammer is useful.
I have a large soldering iron and a smaller one and I now have a mini blowtorch that works on lighter fuel gas.
My hearth is the innards of a gas fire.

If you have evening classes nearby, they might run curses that give you access to a lathe for making your own chimneys and domes.
Only wheels are expensive, alas.
Can be made, but very fiddly things to do.
Gears and motors you gotta buy, I'm afraid, unless you have a pal who is a closet gear hobber!

Good luck.
There is no loco you can't make.

Martin



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 Posted: Sat Nov 18th, 2017 05:36 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Martin,  good outline that you posted

Of course, someone will all ways come along with an addition, that they will think is "essential", but I find it interesting that the better the craftsman the smaller the tool assortment that he uses day to day. Yes, he may have others, but they seem to get used only on rare occasion. I think that if someone would start out with a tool collection that would fit in a lunch box, and then concentrate on models, in a little time he will feel the need for expensive tools lessens.

What would be next? I guess that a small lathe--although Mel Thornbaugh made exceptional locomotive models turning parts with a hand drill clamped in a vise, and various files held against the work. I think that any serious aspiring modelmaker should keep  a pantograph mill in mind IF he has the space, and money. they are becoming more and more rare, being displaced by computer machines.

I agree that the Aherne  books are top notch. Mine are starting to fall apart.

Unfortunately "shop classes" in this country are becoming strictly how to program CNC machines, to try to prepare kids for a job. If they did have a regular lathe in the shop, they probably wouldn't let anyone other that a pupil run it because of the liability. SUE! SUE!

Enough rant from me

Herb



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 Posted: Sat Nov 18th, 2017 07:12 pm
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Helmut
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@Herb
as long as a lawsuit, however ridiculous, renders a profit for the lawyer, it will continue to keep us all away from making real-life experiences. Here in Germany that sort of nonsense gets hold, too.



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 Posted: Sat Nov 18th, 2017 09:54 pm
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Kurt Ubl
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Helmut, I agree, think of the Modellwerkstatt!

Kurt



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