Drawing 19 - Footplates and Details
1. Footplate Brackets    
As drawn, the side footplate brackets have the holes in the wrong place, causing the footplate to be 5/32" too high. Also, there are only two per side, but no means of supporting the front section. To overcome this I have remachined the frame-mounting holes into a slot, extended a further 3/16", and made an extra four brackets, one for each side of the cylinder mounting plates. I have also made some brackets from 3/8" brass angle to support the front platform and the risers. New holes had to be drilled in the frames for the rising ones.
Once they were all remachined I then bolted them back on, this time using washers, and set about getting them all adjusted to the correct height. They will have to come off again later for painting etc but it means I can get all the other parts made and fitting correctly. I had calculated that the distance from the top of the frames to the top of the bracket, or underside of the footplate, was 1.243" so two lots of packing were created to lift the frames to this height. All this meant that the loco had to be upended so, to make it lighter, I removed the bogie and the pony truck. I then set it on a special piece of worktop, which I keep stored vertically to ensure it stays flat, and onto the packing. It was then quite simple to set all eight brackets at exactly the right height and square to the worktop.
2. Front Platform    
The drawing calls for all platework to be made from 20swg material but I'm using 1.15mm (approx. 18.5swg) galvanised steel because I have a good quantity of it. Dimensions have been adjusted accordingly. I have made the front platform as a single piece, milling slots to accomodate the frames, and making a series of holes to fix the plate with 8BA countersunk screws. I then made the central rising plate, adjusting the cutout by pivoting the smokebox up and down on the rear fixing screws until the front screws lined up.
3. Front Footplate    
The valance starts as a pelmet at the front of the platform, becomes like a cornice as it travels up the riser and reverts to being a pelmet again when it reaches the front footplate section. Marking out this side panel was achieved by tracing the drawing onto the material and working by trial and error - do some filing, offer it up, do more filing, offer it up and so on. Some of the various section are seen to the left. As each part was made, it was temporarily fixed in place, holes drilled and tapped etc. and generally tinkered with until it was correct, quite time-consuming but neccessary. I then made the curved pelmet section for the lower front section and this has been soldered into place. It's not a good picture, unfortunately.
This turned out to be a less-than-smart move because the front platform cannot now be positioned without removing the buffer beam. The lifting eye strengtheners on the frames get in the way when trying to slide the platform in. The answer was to separate the platform into three sections - they are bolted down separately anyway - but, for now, I have dropped the buffer beam, fitted the platform and reassembled it all. This last photo shows the assembly to date.
4. Front Steps    
The front steps are now made and there is one tip I would like to pass on. Don't be frightened to experiment with alternative tools if the first-choice tool is not available. Here, I needed to create a 7/16" wide slot but didn't have a slot drill that was suitable. However, the step drill that I bought from Toolstation (as part of a set of three) is made from HSS and did the job perfectly.
The treads were then soldered on and the rear support bracket made and bolted to the frames. I am going to experiment with a different way of getting the chequered-plate effect on the steps but more on that later. I have also made the lower sections of the smoke deflectors, soldered the footplate steps into position and made the smoke deflector footplate brackets.
5. Smoke Deflectors    
The smoke deflector panels were next and all the holes were drilled on the mill using co-ordinate drilling using the DRO. I have deviated from drawing and have provided extra holes for the front smokebox ties and tried to copy the bolting arrangement of the upper and lower sections. However, the lower bolt holes are where I want them to be, not where they're supposed to be. and here are the parts all bolted together with the smokebox temporarily back in place. It takes on a whole new perspective now.
The next job was soldering the half-round beading on. Soldering brass to mild steel was something I hadn't done before and my first efforts were very poor but after some practise I managed to get a decent bond between the two. I used Fluxite and soft solder, tinning both parts before clamping together with more flux and gently heating the plate and adding a little more solder. I've also finished the handrails on the deflectors and the smokebox door and it completely changes the look of the loco.
6. Smokebox Platform    
The smokebox platform is drawn with the side mounting flanges drawn facing downwards but I have made my platform as per the prototype, facing upwards. The platform was cut out from a single piece of 20 swg MS plate then bent and drilled. I have dispensed with the rearward flange and the front support has three dummy rivets.
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