First time builders' page

This page gives a list of things to think about before starting out on your first project. It doesn’t list everything that might be a problem, rather a list of what I have discovered.

·       The time it will take – I estimate it will take about 300 hours (spread over 16 months) to get even close to a rolling chassis.

·       The cost – a locomotive of this type will cost from £4,000 to £6,000, depending on how much you do yourself. Add it all up (castings, materials, fittings, tools etc.) and add at least 30% contingency for those ‘little extras’ you’ve forgotten.

·       Where are you going to run it ?

·       If the answer to the above is not ‘at home’, how will you transport it (It weighs about 300Kg)

·       Where are you going to keep it ? (It’s valuable, so needs to be secure)

·       Do you have machine(s) big enough ? If not, can you get access to them ? (The majority of the work was done on a Boxford, but some items need something bigger. Also, a milling machine is useful)

·       It will take a lot of work to get anything sizeable done – in the first stages, you will have nothing much to look at and say ‘I made that’ 

·       You will make mistakes and, sometimes, hours of work will have to go into the bin. Be HONEST with yourself: if it isn’t good enough, dump it.