Due to an unexpected evening off (should have been driving the evening train tonight) I can do a Townsend Hook castings progress update in between the excitement of defrosting the freezer and reading Felix the Huddersfield Station Cats latest best selling book.

In the last update I explained the two sources and the two processes being used to get the castings for this project back on track and the slightly different routes being followed.

Method One was to get the items printed as waxes. These arrived today via Royal Mail and internal FR mail. I had arranged for them to be sent to Julie, the works administrator (& Garratt fireman) rather than to me.  This was a shrewd move. In the past I’ve had mail addressed to me handed to me whilst I am on an engine. Yesterday was the hottest for a long time and I was driving a double Fairlie, not the best place for heat sensitive parts!!

I took the parts out of a mass of cotton wool to mark them for where they need runners attaching and took this photo at that time. All is looking good and they will go off in the post tomorrow to the casters in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.

The second method was to send the CAD files to a company that will both print the waxes and cast the items in brass.  As well as dual sourcing the slightly different production methods may mean that some castings may be better by one method and other by the other.

There isn’t a lot to show yet for this method beyond an online graphic that shows that most of it is in production and a few items have made it to packing.

I get home from messing about with steam engines on the 5th August and I expect that both these processes will deliver at about that time. I’ll do the next update around then once they have arrived.

2 thoughts on “Progress

  1. Will be interesting to see how the brasses from method two turn out — looking at the image I’m guessing that’s Shapeways.

    Having had parts printed in brass by them before (the chassis in the OO9 Hudson Hunslet kit for Narrow Planet) I wouldn’t use that route for detail parts as the surface quality isn’t great, especially in places that are hard to clean where I assume the wax master retained traces of support material.

    My guess is you’ll have lots of cleaning up to do before they would be usable as masters. Fingers crossed I’m wrong, but those other waxes look superb so you should be alright with those if nothing else.

    • As you say, i await with interest what arrives. I have had them do brass in the past with excellent results. If you’ve seen the NGG16 built by Nick Dunhill the valve gear on that was shapeways direct stuff. I suspect there are two methods available (are or were?) from Shapeways. At one time they would print brass using one of the sintered metal processes but now they seem to only print waxes for casting in the more traditional way

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