Today I found the time to finish making the pony truck and get it installed into the chassis.
After I finished making the truck I moved onto installing a small piece of angle with a hole drilled in it from which the truck pivots by use of a bolt. I may install some sort of springing to keep the truck on the track and smooth out its ride but I may just install some lead as a weight and leave it at that. I’ll think about this on the trip to Sydney and back over the coming weekend. Getting the piece of angle installed at the correct height and properly centred turned out to be a lot more difficult than I’d anticipated. There’s probably some smick way of doing these sorts of jobs but I’ve yet to find a better method than trial and error. I soldered the little piece on and pulled it off again about 4 times before I was happy with its position.
I’d left the tail on the pony truck over long to allow it to be trimmed to length once I was able to place it under the chassis on a length of track. The height of the pivot point was fairly critical because the leaf spring castings project above the top of the wheel and if the truck isn’t sitting level with the rail head this sticks out like a sore thumb. Once I was happy with the position of the truck I trimmed the tail to length, rounded the end of it and bolted it into position.
Getting all the wheels installed is a bit of a milestone really because it marks the end of the “engineering” stage of the project. I still have to install the power pickups but essentially the chassis is complete from an operational perspective: everything else I do from here on is essentially putting on the non-operational details. I have a lot to do but it won’t be long before I cut metal for the footplate and that really will mark a stage in the project, moving from the chassis to the loco body. Very exciting 🙂