Saturday 8 April 2023

Refurbishing Old Wagons

I'm currently embarked on an exercise of getting some old Nine Lines Welshpool wagons ready for transfers and have also been looking closely at the detail and running qualities of my existing wagons. Several of my existing wagons do not run well. Van number 4 is a prime example. It used to sway sideways when running. Some of it was down to the wheels which were old and eccentric but some of it was down to bearing holes that were worn out.

The quick solution would be to drill (at a slight angle) and fit bearings but a close look at the underside of the wagon shows how crude is the original solebar and W Iron mould. I don't know if this has been improved now the range has been taken over by N-Drive Productions but I saw a challenge I wanted to meet. 

You can see the W Iron on the picture below. It's just a flat piece of moulding.

The solebars easily came off using some blunt nosed pliers and I was able to apply myself to designing a replacement solebar. The book "The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway" by Glyn Williams has some very good drawings that are hopefully reasonably accurate. They allowed me to create the following item.

It took a few versions but eventually I got an assembly I was happy with. The solebars are recessed to take the Dundas DP09 Bearings though the holes need drilling out. Getting resin to drain from horizontal holes is a real challenge! There's two versions, one with the brake lever bracket and one without.

Here's a picture of the van with the new solebars before painting.

The next stage was to design and print the brake lever and brake shoe. These wagons literally only had one brake shoe. Again, after a few versions I got to the right shape. Here is a picture of the van before painting the lever and shoe.

Finally, here is the finished version, all painted.

With the bearings and the latest Dundas/Mosskito wheels it runs a treat. Mind you, having looked at the photograph more closely I realise that I have forgotten the works and wagon plates but I designed and printed those a long time ago so it won't take long to resolve.

I now have a range of parts for refurbishing my other wagons so I guess I need to get my skates on and update them all. The big question for me is whether there is a market out there for these types of refurbishment kits. 

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