Rods & Brasses

Again, I used "key stock" for the rods & straps, since it's available in suitable dimensions, and the surface is so smooth that it needs very little attention, just a little emery paper to get a nice lustre. The straps are a bit thicker, proportionally, than the original, but I feel I needed the extra strength here. I also beveled the edges of the rods, as they were in life-size practice.

The straps are of course removable, and the brasses are positioned precisely with the help of thin brass shims, thus getting exactly the right coupling rod length. I thought this was stronger & safer than making wedges, as used in the prototype - I may yet add cosmetic wedges... I have yet to decide if I should split the brasses, or make the coupling pin flanges removable... Suggestions?

This copy from the original 1875 drawing shows the main road ends, with the brasses and wedges. I'm working on these now, modifying the design to better suit 1:8 scale...

For instance, I have obtained special bearings for the main rods, and also adapted the previously made coupling rod brasses to accept them.

This type of bearing (lower right, above) is in fact just a sleeve of steel, with a teflon-type plastic inner surface. It provides a maintenance-free, simple method of constructing a rod end (here, the big end of the main rod). Notice how both the strap and the brass insert are milled out to accept the sleeve, which is a tight press fit in the hole in the brass. These sleeves cost very little, less than 50 US cents each. Time will show whether they stand up to dust and grime, but they are at least easily replaceable! The oil cups became entirely cosmetic after I changed to these bearing sleeves.

The finsihed rods (less cosmetic wedges) with couplng pins ready, waiting for the wheels to be cast...

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