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Sweet Pea build

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I just found your build log a couple of days ago. Very impressive. I bought a part built Sweet Pea over a year ago but apart from gathering some more materials I havenít progressed at all yet.

I have been looking on you tube at a Sweet Pea build by Mr Factotum and it looks like he had a similar problem with the piston rings. He made them to the drawings 1/8 inch wide and 1/8 inch radial thickness but they kept breaking. He took advice and made new ones only 1/16 inch radial thickness and they worked OK. See link to his video :
Hope you find this useful


Hi Guys,

Thanks for all your well wishes and comments.

I have now started to do some bits on the running gear built so far. Everything has been stripped off and will be refitted with a bit of fettling and adjustment. There are a couple of issues to be sorted before going further. The piston rings are an issue I will discuss with you later. My first problem that everything was getting tighter and tighter as more parts were added. While it is this tight there is no point in going further until the problem or problems are found and rectified.
Firstly the axles in the axle boxes were a little tight and needed easing. I also had very little clearance for sideways movement of the axles. They were pressing against the outer faces of the boxes. After investigation there was no option except to press the wheels off and reset them. I made two new axles a couple of millimetres longer. The shoulder the wheels sit against was exactly to the plans but made it tight so a millimetre each side allows the axle to float slightly. The axle boxes went in the four-jaw on the lathe for checking and facing squarely. Turns out they were not far out. I quartered the wheels again and fitted them back into the boxes and into the horns. They turned very easily but the axle boxes did not slide well in the horns. All four were attacked with a file to make them slide a nd twist better. This will allow for the axles to tilt slightly on uneven track. The springs were changed for some lighter ones as the ones I have that are meant for Sweet Pea are very strong and seem too inflexible. These will do for now and will be assessed when the loco is fully up to weight.
I had originally followed a plan to alter the mounting of the weighshaft to keep the valve timing more accurate. Refitting my bracket to the rear boxes the back wheels tightened up. I think the brackets put a slight twist on the boxes so no good. My other plan if this mod failed was to convert to walchaerts which is the path I am now taking. I will detail the parts another time when they are made.




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