When I was working on preparing the wheel-sets for the rear bogie on my Z20 scratch built locomotive I found that the screws that retain the Slaters wheels had rusted up. I’d purchased these wheel-sets quite a few years ago and the steel components obviously didn’t like the humidity in the places they’d been stored. Anyway, in trying to get the screws out of the axle ends I managed to twist the head from the top of one of them, thus ruining not just the screw but also the axle. It was only after I’d done this that a method was suggested to me for getting these screws out of the axles if they get into this condition. You live and learn.

The result of this minor bit of metal work mangling on my part was that I had to order some more axles and screws plus the tiny allen key that you use to tighten the nuts. I searched high and low in local hardware stores and couldn’t find one small enough for this job so I got it from Slaters along with the hardware. I was dying to test the chassis on a piece of track but not being able to retain the wheels ment that I had to wait. The package with the new screws and allen key arrived today so I finally got the chance to run the chassis.

This photo shows the chassis sitting on the track after I ran it back and forth a couple of times with the motor leads hooked up to a tansformer.

This photo shows the chassis sitting on the track after I ran it back and forth a couple of times with the motor leads hooked up to a transformer.

I got the wheels attached and screwed the bogie into position and sat the chassis on a length of track on my layout Morpeth. As I was only able to run this with the motor leads hooked up to a couple of alligator clips the test wasn’t over a very long length of track, but this rig up served well enough. I don’t impress myself very often with my own modelling: I’m far too aware how much tinkering, cursing and flip-flopping goes into my projects for that. However if I had to use just one word to describe how the chassis ran it would have to be “wow”! Silent, smooth and deliciously free running is the best descriptive words I can come up with. So free running that I almost ran the bloody thing off the end of the layout! 🙂 If ever I had any doubts that the ball race horn blocks and the coreless Maxon motor were worth the cost and effort those doubts have been put to bed by this one test. This is far and away the very best loco mechanism I’ve ever built, bar none, and the result has been worth every cent of the cost and the waiting around for the components to arrive.

Very happy 🙂

4 thoughts on “Wow!

  1. Well done, Trevor. How exciting to see the work of your own hands rolling down the track under its own power. i imagine the bet with Bruce is now well and truly leaning in your favour! I look forward to the next instalment with real expectation.

    • Lindsay,

      If I were a betting man, and I’m not in spite of having the bet with Bruce, i wouldn’t be putting my money on me. I have a feeling Keiran is really giving the kit a push now and that as soon as Bruce gets his hands on it I reckon I’ve got about 6 weeks. Then again, Bruce might do me a favour and decide to take a 12 month holiday in Patagonia the day before the kit comes out 🙂


  2. Trevor

    The real “wow” is in the gearbox, the one you chose to use is so free running that you almost need actual brakes to stop the over run. I doubt the ball races had very much to do with the free running. Image what would happen with a flywheel attached.

    The moral of the build is spend on the motor and gearbox, the ball races are just an additional expense and would have done little for free running when using a conventional worm drive.

    By the way, just how did you remove the rusted in wheel screws. I always make sure that I grease the screws before inserting and storing, as after some time, removal can be almost impossible.

    David Lord

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