Friday, April 01, 2011

Faking springs

Die and springFor the Class 26 diesel sideframes, I can't be bothered to mess around with real springs. The things would be flying in all directions when I try to hold them and anyway, they cost money. I wanted something cheap and easy.

Since the sideframes are plastic, the obvious thing to do is to make the springs from the same material. At least it can be stuck with liquid glue. My cunning plan was to run an 8BA die up a plastic rod to give a nice grooved finish.

The biggest problem was to find the right rod. From the Plastruct display there are a couple of possibilities. The 2mm version worked well but it has a steel wire in the centre which made it impossible to cut, even with a piercing saw, to an accurate length.

Digging around in my materials pot I found a solid hard plastic rod. Not idea as I don't know exactly what the material is other than it seems to brittle for styrene. Getting the die up it was as tough as doing the same job on brass not helped by the difficulty holding the rod to stop it turning. I've no idea where this stuff came from, it might even have been salvaged from some rubbish, but I'll look out for some more in the future.

The results look nice to me. I'll stick them to the frames and let you know how I get on next week.

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