Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

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tom_tom_go
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Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by tom_tom_go » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:03 pm

Started a new thread as this one is old:

https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... nne#p83919

A friend I met through the 16mm NGM Kent group rather liked my Regner whistle fitted to my Riverdale coal fired Amy and has tasked me (I know, me!) with fitting one to his Lady complete with servo.

I have thought about this for a while and I believe the following will work but would like to hear from you all if you think there will be issues.

First job would be to drill a hole into the regulator barrel before the feed from the lubricator and solder this attachment which is a Regner connector I have shortened (the connector will not be tapped inside the barrel so it will not block steam flow):

IMG_20181228_165234-01.jpeg
IMG_20181228_165135-01.jpeg

You can see below the position of the Regner whistle valve and servo placement (servo will require a custom housing which I will make and bolt to footplate):

IMG_20181228_165425-01.jpeg
IMG_20181228_165436-01.jpeg

I have tested with the body of the loco fitted and the whistle vavle fits but the arm that activates the valve will need bending so that the cab roof can close.

Let me know what you think please.

Tom

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by tom_tom_go » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:57 pm

Planning has evolved with the servo (complete with bracket I made today) now on the other side of the loco allowing more space for the whistle to go inside the fake water tank on the other side:

IMG_20181229_152313-01.jpeg

I haven't soldered the whistle valve yet as decided to silver solder this so waiting on suitable flux.

The owner also asked for the pressure gauge to be moved so that it could be seen from one of the cab windows:

IMG_20181229_133514-01.jpeg

I had to repair the pipe that connects the pressure gauge as someone had done a poor solder job and it snapped while being positioned. Years ago I would of gone fook how do I fix that but I am much more confident these days with soldering.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by Keith S » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:53 pm

That must have been a fiddly repair. I am not nearly so confident with soldering. I would have been dismayed if I had to repair a broken pipe.

I know this isn't a constructive comment, but hey-ho, this is a discussion site: I know Accucraft supplies them like this and some folk like it that way, but I think the pressure gauge peeping out one of the spectacles looks silly. I am not sure I understand why some people find the instrument so important: if the train is moving, there's sufficient pressure. If it's not moving, there isn't enough pressure, and if it's blowing off, there's too much pressure. I suppose it's nice to know if the safety valve isn't working but it's not something I worry about with Roundhouse safety-valves constantly fizzing and dripping anyway.

Oh well to each his own, eh? To me the gauge is just a bit of jewelry that comes in somewhat handy when raising stram, so I know when to turn the burner down. I don't log a lot of time driving my engine though; maybe I will learn otherwise when my railway is longer than my workbench.

I like the new location for the whistle servo. It's nice to have the servos concealed.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by TonyW » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:47 pm

Tom, I'm assuming you will take the regulator off the loco to do the silver soldering, so remember to mount the new boss on the regulator barrel far enough back to allow the regulator to rotate when screwing it back on. The pictures show it a bit too far forward and it is likely to hit the boiler when rotated. Been there, not done that...
Keith S wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:53 pm
I think the pressure gauge peeping out one of the spectacles looks silly.
So do I.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by tom_tom_go » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:18 pm

Good point Tony and the pictures only show a rough position of the boss so that will be taken into account and I will be definitely taking the regulator off to solder it! I agree as well about the pressure gauge but that's what the owner wants so that is what I have done.

If I had my way with this loco I would strip it all back and start again but not all of us have tidy pensions so I am trying to help with the funds available.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by GTB » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:30 pm

Tony made a good point about making sure the regulator will still fit with the side-arm added. I use banjo fittings as much as possible and hadn't thought of that problem. Wouldn't be the first time though that I've had to make another fitting because it wouldn't fit the first time.......

Space is usually tight in a cab for adding extra piping and fittings. It might be worth seeing if fitting the side arm horizontally and running a piece of pipe to the whistle valve mounted lower down would give you any advantage for fitting everything in and operating the whistle lever.

Definitely silver solder the new fitting in place on the regulator. Soft solder loses at least half it's strength at boiler temperatures and it isn't very strong to start with.

I broke one a while ago and found silver soldering it wasn't too difficult, but it needed a bit of improvement. From memory I drilled into the end of the copper pipe with a drill held in a pin chuck for a mm or so and cleaned up the nipple fitting so it would slide in and make a stronger joint when silver soldered than the original butt joint.

Confidence improves with practice I find. You are starting to get pretty good at this reworking locos caper, so you must be getting some practice. ;)

Regards,
Graeme

Ps. Which part of volunteer don't you understand yet? I always remember a comment from a friends father who had been in the Aust. Forces (Army I think). He reckoned a volunteer was someone who didn't understand the question.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by tom_tom_go » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:37 pm

Thanks Graeme for your input as well as Tony's.

I have added a slight curve to the boss I plan to silver solder to the regulator so that it has a better fit:

IMG_20181230_183325-01.jpeg

I am going to play about with silver soldering some old UK power plug pins before committing to the actual task.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by tom_tom_go » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:36 pm

The flux didn't turn up today so I practiced soft soldering similar shaped objects instead:

IMG_20181231_173210-01.jpeg

I have given the pictured item a fair amount of abuse and it has not fractured so do I really need to use silver solder?

I thought Mamod stuff was still soft soldered even their boilers?

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by tom_tom_go » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:01 pm

I now know why silver solder is required, I dropped the piece I had soft soldered on my workshop floor with 'some force' and it broke apart 8)

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by Keith S » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:27 am

The boilers on Mamods don't get as hot as Roundhouse ones. At 40 psi boiling water is much hotter than it is at 15 psi or whatever Mamods run at. You're wise to silver solder it. Also if your friend ever ran his loco dry by accident, the whistle would just drop off!

Nice job on the practice piece. I haven't tried silver soldering yet so I am interested in hearing how it turns out.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by tom_tom_go » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:44 pm

So I got my flux and tried to silver solder this evening, f@&king disaster!

IMG-20190104-WA0004-01.jpeg

Fortunately, this is just a test piece but the problems I am having are the flux evaporates before the solder melts. When the solder does melt (I have to apply a crap load of heat) it just melts into balls.

Appreciate any advice as I have no one local to help me.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by Keith S » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:03 pm

Hi Tom, I haven't done silver soldering myself yet, so please take what I say with a grain of salt, but you might try again with two bits of hardwood insulating the peice from the metal clamps.Or maybe some little squares of ceramic or other heat-proof material. I'd be willng to wager that the metal clamps are conducting away too much heat. Sure it gets hot enough to "fry" the flux, and the heat from your torch can directly heat the solder enough that it eventually melts, but the workpeice is not getting hot enough.

You should be able to form the solder wire into a ring that you can lay around the joint, with some flux under it, and apply the flame indirectly so that the heat conducts through the peice and melts the solder by conduction, rather than melting the solder directly with the heat of the torch.

The size of the peice probably makes this all very tricky, but anyway I would try to insulate it from the clamps, and you may get on better. I've made this mistake myself trying to braze steel-wire landing gears for model aeroplanes. It never worked when the wires were in my metal vice. I had to make a wooden bit to insulate the jaws of the vice.

I apologize if this is pedantic or wrong advice. Just a thought.

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by tom_tom_go » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:03 pm

Thanks Keith for the support.

I had another go using the clamp and bits of wood (wood caught fire mind) but this time I placed the clamp on a breeze block and ta da!

IMG_20190104_204912-01.jpeg

Need to practice on more test bits as I think I have deformed the brass pieces shown due to heat and don't want to do that on the actual parts I need to solder!

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by pandsrowe » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:03 am

Tom, a bit late with this post as I can see you are beginning to master the art of silver soldering but your first photo shows the classic symptoms of insufficient heat. The flux can be seen to have only partially melted, it should bubble and boil to look like water around the joint and at that point the silver solder can be introduced and if it is hot enough the solder will "flash" around the joint. However, as Keith says a ring of preformed silver solder wire around the joint is much easier on small fittings like this as you can concentrate on getting the heat right and you don't have to worry about adding the solder. I find the easiest way to produce these rings is to wind the solder wire around something like the shank of a suitable sized drill so that it ends up slightly smaller than the diameter of the fitting and this way it will grip on the fitting and not slide around or worse still fall off at the critical moment.
Phil

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Re: Roundhouse Lady Anne Regner whistle fitting

Post by GTB » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:56 am

tom_tom_go wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:03 pm
I had another go using the clamp and bits of wood (wood caught fire mind) but this time I placed the clamp on a breeze block and ta da!
That last one looks OK. Better than my early attempts back in the '70s.

Try and find a couple of insulating firebricks to make your hearth. Breeze blocks can explode when they get hot, as the cement contains water which becomes steam and builds up an internal pressure. Pottery/ceramics suppliers usually carry it, as well as jewellery suppliers. The firebrick you want is the lightweight insulating type, not the heavy type used in stoves and fireplaces as that soaks up heat, but insulating brick reflects it back into the parts being brazed.

If you can't find insulating firebrick locally, I've read that aerated cement blocks can be used. I think 'Thermalite' is one of the UK brands.

As already mentioned, the problem with your first attempt was lack of heat. The torch wasn't big enough to bring the part being brazed up to the right temperature while trying to heat up the clamp as well.

Too much heat shouldn't deform the brass parts unless you get them up to yellow heat and they start to melt. The main problem while brazing is stopping parts moving around as the flux heats up and boils out the water before it starts to melt and do it's job.

The heating sequence with flux is that the water boils out first, the flux turns white and fluffy, then melts down to a black gunge and finally goes thin and transparent and soon after that the silver solder melts and flashes into the joint. Once that happens the job is complete. Heating it further just boils out some of the metal and you can get a porous joint. Once hot, it's very difficult to tell the difference between molten flux and molten silver solder......

I use thin stainless steel tie wire sometimes to keep parts aligned and I've got a pile of rusty bits of steel to use as packers to support things in line. Being rusty they don't end up brazed solidly to the parts......... :roll: I also move the flame around so the parts start to heat up slowly, so the water is driven out with minimal violence to stop parts being displaced.

There are probably video tutorials on Youtube, although I prefer books and found the Tubal Cain book on Soldering and Brazing which is no. 9 in the Workshop Practice Series to be worth the shelf space.

Regards,
Graeme

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