Saturday, April 18, 2009
Chip fork tools
However as soon as I looked at the model from the front it was obvious that the side tanks were both leaning in at the top. Handy for aerodynamics if this were a VTOL steam engine but a bit rubbish for the model I'm building. The problem stems from the tack solder joins pulling the tanks and boiler together. Of course there should be a gap between them. I couldn't leave it like this and had to fix the problem imediatly.
Heating up the solder blobs took more effort that expected and it quickly became obvious that even with a gas torch I wasn't going to get both sides separate at the same time. Plan B therefore involved heating the join and stuffing a spacer in to force the gap.
Now I'm not posh. When I occasionally eat chips after the odd beer I use my fingers. It's not that I'm too drunk to accuratly stab a chip with a fork, it's just that chips in paper are perfectly natural and shouldn't involve cutlery, even of the temporary wooden sort. Despite this my local takeaway insists on proving me with a chip fork. Sensible people would throw these away but I stick them in the same drawer that contains half a forest worth of wooden coffee stirrers. I find all sorts of wooden utensils useful for holding hot metal while soldering so it's not such a daft idea.
Anyway, a pair of chip forks slightly sharpened worked a treat for putting the boiler-tank space in. The forked ends span the tabs in the inside tank sides that support the boiler. There's probably a proper engineers way to do this but this is cheaper and you get chips too !