Thursday, August 21, 2014

Canopus: Pipework

With this post I'll have finally caught up with the current state of the build at which point updates may slow down as I move onto the more complex task of getting the thing to move under it's own power. So without further ado, let's talk about pipework.

You'd already seen one small piece of pipework when I added the balance pipe, but I've now added the injectors, the vacuum pipe for the break and the lubricators to the front of the saddle tank. Only the long pipe that provides the vacuum for the break is permanently fixed, the injectors and lubricators will be permanently fixed after painting, along with the handrails.

Strangely the instructions don't mention the pipe for the vacuum break, but not only is it clearly visible on photos and the works drawing, but there is a hole for it in the etched cab front, so I made it up from a simple piece of brass wire. The rest of the pipework are cast brass fittings. Unfortunately I managed to break one of the injectors when removing it from the fret.

I'm not sure how the injector pipe broke as I didn't exert that much force, but the long section snapped in the middle. I did try soldering it back together, but the joint looked horrid and didn't seem particularly strong. In the end I cut of the broken sections, drilled holes in the two end parts and then fabricated a new pipe from brass wire. This was then slotted into the drilled holes along with some solder paint. A quick touch with the soldering iron and I had a repaired injector, which looks the part.

You may also notice that I've moved on from using a piece of wire insulation to hold the coupling rods on. Now each rod is properly attached to all three fly-cranks with a small nut. These are amazingly tiny and very fiddly to fit, especially as the bolts are cast so not a perfect screw thread. They will eventually need fixing permanently and then the remaining screw cutting off and the bolt filing thinner but that will wait until I've got the motor in so I can check the movement is nice and smooth and make any necessary tweaks.


  1. This is starting to look like a work of art.

  2. It is indeed a tiny work of art...what patience and determination, too! I'm enjoying the process, but can't wait to see the finished model.

  3. I'm impressed with the progress, but I have to say I would think twice before buying the kit after reading the story so far. I guess we forget that what was once state of the art can appear dreadfully dated to modern eyes.

    1. For all my comments I actually think the kit is pretty good. Yes there are a few issues, but some of them I could probably have avoided if I'd had more experience of these types of kit (the rear cab sheet for instance might just have needed the fold line cleaning out slightly more than I did). The issue with the gearbox comes from a change in the supplied parts, and from reading the original instructions, I think the replacement gears are better. Thinking about it a bit more there was a spare bearing in with the gearbox which might be all I need to make it work. Hopefully I'll have some news soon.

    2. It has certainly been a great read, and excellent to see the video of it on the rolling road.