Sunday, January 10, 2010


I ran out today to pick up some needed Evergreen plastic sizes so I could continue working on my gate valves for the primary coolers.    There is a hobby store nearby that is open on a sunday and that does almost always have what I need.   The problem is the people that work there are, well for lack of a better word, assholes, for the most part.  They pretty much make you feel like they are doing you a favor by taking your money.  Why do I go there?  Well they have everything, and everything in quantity.  The store shares a building and ownership with a national hobby distributor.  That means, if something isn't on the shelf, they go in the back and get it.  When it comes to model railroading, they only distribute a limited number of things, but some that they do are Grandt Line, Scale Structures Limited, Tichy, Evergreen, and Plastruct.    That means if I go in there and need 20 packages of a certain Grandt Line or Tichy window, chances are they have them.  Same goes for Evergreen or Plastruct.    So I will make a deal with the devil on a Sunday to get my plastic fix.  Otherwise, all my business is with other local hobby stores - we have an excellent HO only train store within a half hour, and a model store, specializing in aviation models, five minutes away.  
The plastic I needed was .030x.060 plastic strip - this was used to form the lateral lip around the valve body.    For the rectangular housing at the top of the gear body I use .040x.156 strip.  Additional strips of .030x.040 where used to fill in the upper valve body detail.    I then built the valve operating rod out of .032 brass rod, with  3/32 tubing at the top and bottom, and .020x.125 strip supports.  A small disk finished off the top of the valve stem, leaving about 5/8" of the valve stem protruding - this represents an open valve.   Typically gate valves could be operated manually three ways  -  using a handwheel mounted right on top of the valve body -  when the valve is mounted high up sideways, like on a three pass stove, a pulley and chain system would be used - or as in my case, a secondary axle, linked to the valve stem with chain or a gear drive could be used.  I modeled this by using the .020x.125 strip to form an extension off the valve and then .032 rod as the secondary drive shaft.  A Tichy wheel was mounted on the shaft, and the two shafts were connected using a styrene "belt".

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