A pair of Tinkerbells

A pair of Tinkerbells

After (nearly) completing the big engine, I decided that my next project was to be a pair of Tinkerbells. The idea is that two are not that much harder to build than one. Apparently the collective for fairy is a herd, so I guess I'm making a (small) herd of Tinkerbells. Quite appropriate when I look at the space I'll need to find in the workshop . . .

Having done this, two guys at Swanley asked if they could 'piggy back' on my project by getting frames etc. cut at the same time as me. You never know, I might save a few bob this way, although, even then, quantities are hardly huge. But it never hurts to help out a friend (or two).

I'm going to follow the approach I used with Siusaidh - laser/water cutting wherever possible (to cut down build time), take up bearings for axleboxes, roller bearings on all rotating surfaces. I will be using needle rollers this time for most of the motionwork, with grease nipple lubrication, the only metal to metal contact will be the slider block of the Heywood valve gear.

So, if you're interested in building one, keep watching. I'm not going to do an LBSC-style (there's me showing my age again !!) blow by blow account of how to build it, but I will show you everything as I go along, and tell you what it cost, where I got it from, etc. If you have any questions, just email me and I'll do what I can to help you. I'm not doing this for money, and I don't claim to be an expert (I'm just a bloke with a shed and a lathe), but I will try and help wherever I can. This is a very simple locomotive to build and run, but, even so, it's not just a simple bolt together kit. Whatever happens, have fun with it !!

Loco specification
The basis for this engine is Roger Marsh's Tinkerbell. However, numerous changes have been made to reflect up to date thinking. These have mainly come from Moors Valley Railway practice, so are well proven in hard commercial service. These include:

  • 12mm thick frames, laser cut, with conveyor take-up bearings for axleboxes
  • Sealed for life roller bearings for coupling and connecting rods
  • Needle roller bearings for valve gear - one pump of grease in the morning and your lubrication's done for the day
  • Laser and water jet cutting used wherever possible to save time and effort
  • Cab 6" longer than drawn so that ordinary mortals can sit in it comfortably
  • 8" diameter driving wheels for additional tractive effort
  • Locomotive boiler, cylinders bored out to 2.75" diameter
  • Valve gear slightly modified and optimised using computer-based simulation
  • Double-bar crosshead to reduce width which then allows a straight coupling rod (the original used a bent connecting rod to clear the wide, single bar crosshead)
  • Commercial, off the shelf components used wherever possible

    Outline drawing of how the first loco will look

    Outline drawing of how the second loco could look, with a bunker and removable cab roof