Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Steam loco flight box upgrade


Taking a live steam loco out involves a certain amount of equipment - fuel, water and oil, plus things to light it up with and some tools, just to be on the safe side. 

I've been using a "flight box" designed for model aircraft people to lug my stuff around. It works, but the taller items don't stay upright in the top tray. And over time I'd filled the drawers with stuff that didn't need to be there. 

I decided that the top tray needed some holes in it so the tall stuff could drop down a bit, and be partially held in place. This meant sacrificing the top draw, but I decided it could still be opened if I emptied the tray, so perhaps it would make a useful secret compartment. 

Anyway, work started with a pencil drawing the holes to be made and then some hole-saw action in the garage. Butane gas and the smaller water bottle are easy enough, some round holes will be fine. The Jackson squezzy spray is an odder shape, but with a little work overlapping the holes, I got the worst out and finished off with a rasp. 

Plenty of sanding hopefully removes the danger of splinters - not pleasent when you have oily hands. 

After that, a couple of coats of floor varnish and the job was done. 

The finishing touch is a spare dry powder fire extinguisher screwed to the side. It's a bit of a last resort, since cleaning up afterwards will be hard work, but if it's a choice between cleaning and something, or someone, being on fire, I'll get my marrigolds out. 

A sensible selection of tools, including cheap pliers and screwdrivers from Baz's Models on Sunday, fill the drawers. I've learnt from the model boating, that I don't need to be able to take a loco to pieces, just tinker. If it needs a lot of work, better bring it back to the workbench where I can sort things out properly.

1 comment:

Woz said...

G'day Phil,

You could've added an open bottom box to the top tray with the required cutouts for your items thus still utilising the top tray.

Cheers Woz