Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lock gates and other wonders...

I came to an awful conclusion this morning.  I had made my lovely lock gates too narrow all those years ago!  How, I can't imagine, but they wouldn't do as they were, so I had to extend them.  Not so easy as I had built them exactly like real ones, i.e. morticed and tennoned.  Not easy to take apart. But I wiggled them all free eventually and made new cross-pieces and added a few millimetres to the cross/balance beam on each gate.  By using superglue I was able to file the beams down to one size and engrave dummy shakes in the timber across the joint which will make spotting the mod. very difficult.
I also cut the walls of the lock to take the gates and then found they were too long, so that was an easy cut down job.  They now fit a treat and will benefit from the lock walls being built up around them.
The lock gates, too long.

Still too long, but cut in so the pivot side is in position.
On the other side is one of the locos I made the masters for, for N-Drive, a Ruston ZDH  in O9.  I'd made the angle iron, corrugated and wooden engine shelter a little too high so resoldered the cross bar about 10mm lower.  It has four small pins soldered into the lower parts of the angle which fit in holes in the wharf side walling.  I've also made the corrugated iron roofing from pie dish in my little plastic press and this will go on tomorrow, before the post lady brings more serious stuff (I think).
Also seen and newly made is the little cafe. I made the Lantern Cafe first and it's just too big so will be used on the Southwold set-piece and this much smaller, kind of part-timer will be used. It's made entirely in Foamex, including the brickwork being impressed.  The correct bond for a building like this wasn't available as I wanted it in common bond.  That's a course of headers and four courses of stretchers, so queen closers and three-quarter butts are required and shown.  I'm thinking that the door leaves too little room between caff and engine shelter, so will open up a new door in the end wall and make the side door look a bit more permanently closed.  I like this kind of fake history to a piece.  The caff is run by the blacksmith's wife and is also where the railway and wharf workers go for their orders, or used to be.  She used to run that, too.  These days they mostly know what's to do for a week or so in advance, so the caff just sort of grew, out of a need more for sustenance than direction.  At the weekend it has become something of a meeting place for the local "grease".  A term that refers to the local lovers of all thing motorbike and the few who actually have one.  It'll never become the Ace Cafe because it's too small, but the installation of a small caravan might cater for any expansion plans, if it can be hauled across the railway into the yard to be "lost" against the rock wall.

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