Decisions Decisions

I approached my modelling bench this morning with a bit of trepidation knowing that my stuff up was there waiting for me. I had revetted up the panels for the overlays on my tanks and with the new machine these then need to be trimmed to size with the small metal shear I have in my garage. The problem arose because at times the cutting blade on this small piece of equipment will move out from the cutting surface and simply bend the workpiece rather than cutting it cleanly. You get one try at this and with two hours invested in rivetting up the overlay I was reluctant to do the whole piece over and then have the same thing happen again. Anyway I’m lazy.

I found a small reject panel of rivets in my leftovers ice cream container this morning so I took it out and tried to trim it to size and the same thing happened. Conclusion? There was something wrong with the machine. One of the machine screws holding the cutting bed against the blade had come loose but there was a need for some other adjustments too, so I carried these out and a couple of test cuts proved the work. Back to the rivet press.

The workpiece I’d produced yesterday was perfect except along one edge of the bottom row of rivets on one side of the tank. What I should have done is chucked it, adjusted the shear, redone the whole piece and then trimmed it up and soldered it into position. What I’d actually done was to “test” the damaged piece against the tank blank and before I knew it I was soldering it in place. Just as a test you understand 🙂 This was a stupid thing to do because getting it off the tank former would have been a major hassle and I knew when I started that by soldering it I was going to have to live with the missing row of rivets. I hate having to put up with prominent mistakes like this and I knew when I woke up this morning I was going to have to do something about it.

This photo shows the repair I applied to the tank overlay. The bottom row of rivets is a separate strip of material I've cut into the main overlay.

This photo shows the repair I applied to the tank overlay. The bottom row of rivets is a separate strip of material I’ve cut into the main overlay.

Now I made a series of decisions about this job. The first of course was to be bloody minded and solder into place the damaged overlay instead of starting again. The second decision was that I couldn’t live with a half sheared off row of rivets and the third decision was to do something about it before I moved onto applying some detail in other areas of the loco. Of course the ideal would have been to re-do the whole thing but I’d gone past where I could do that so a repair was the only option.

I got the rivet press out and did a small 35mm long strip of rivets at the same time I was doing some strips of differently spaced rivets for the inside of the same tank. I had to cut away some of the original overlay with a Dremel tool and a slitting disk. I then built up the area with another piece of strip and then soldered the new strip of rivets into place. About an hours work in all and I was soldering strips of rivets onto another location anyway so the job was just an extension of something I was already doing.

I’m not claiming that the repair is perfect but the absence of the rivet line along the bottom edge would have been far more apparent than this cut and shut operation will be. Under a coat of paint, if it’s apparent at all, it will look like the tank was repaired. In the antiques world they call this sort of thing patina. I’ve spent this morning applying patina to my 20 class 🙂

2 thoughts on “Decisions Decisions

  1. Hi Trevor,
    I think in this case the end result is very satisfying. Who else would have thought of modelling a repaired tank after removal of the rusted out section.?

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