Newbie to forum

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Newbie to forum

Post  Doogle on Sun 16 Jun 2013, 4:18 am

Hi all
New on here, iv been wanting for years to build an engine but so many kits in the past have seemed to need a fair amount of 'finishing' and not being an engineer with full workshop facilities I have always put it off but have just found these kits an the forum and am really considering starting a build (help convince me)
Cost is an issue so it might have to wait a little bit, maybe start later in the year but I'm looking at 4'' as a nice scale that could be rallied. Really inspired by the many build threads on here but not sure whether to go SCC or DCC. Definately a tractor though just a shame I can't stretch to the Devonshire Wink
Any way thought I'd say Hi!

Doug.

Doogle

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Re: Newbie to forum

Post  highpressure on Sun 16 Jun 2013, 5:06 am

I wouldnt hesitate!! I have no engineering skills and no patience ( as some will testify ) but have managed without aggro to complete the DCC Road Loco. Definately stick to 4" as they are the best for firing and driving, doesnt have an issue with the most challenging of grounds. If cost is the factor then the SC agricultural is best value, if you want to be different on the rally field then SCC will certainly be uncommon to start off unitl the kit run has finished then there will be some more. The DCC in either form is the ultimate but will be the highest cost. Most issues in the build have been discovered and documented on this forum and questions are usually answered very quickly so go and commit, you only live once.cheers

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Re: Newbie to forum

Post  Robfishman on Sun 16 Jun 2013, 5:47 am

Hi Doug

It sounds like you are in a similar  position as me before I started.  I had no workshop, no equipment, and had never done any metalwork in my life. 

Although I like to think I am reasonably practically minded I spend the week sat behind a desk.  I had glossed a few skirting boards and door frames etc not ever painted anything like this either so it was a bit daunting thinking about it.  However we put up a workshop in the garden built a bench and away we went.  Equipment wise all I have brought was an engineer's vice, a bench grinder for polishing, a variable speed mop, and a Dremel Drill with flexi drive.  A tap set is useful and I brought a set from Aldi, its only needed to clear paint from threads though so no need to splash out on high quality set.  No need for any lathes and such equipment, just hand tools really.

There is an amount of finishing required but to be honest this is quite minimal, and the main thing for us that took the time was finishing the edges of the spokes.  Don't let this put you off though because so far this really the only finishing we have needed to do, and this was probably not required to the degree we did.  Everything else had been done quite easily with a flap wheel in a drill.  It's like everything though the quality of finish depends on the time spent in preparation.   Dean and I had a long chat on the phone before I signed up and he did point out it was not just a maccano set, but so far for use it's all gone together quite easily (I think he was managing my expectations here).  It's possible that as I started 18 months after everyone else the design had been refined and any problems had been ironed out before I got to them.

Having said that though I read every post before I signed up I didn't pick up on any major problems, what came across was that most were really enjoying the build process and the help and support of both STW and other members of the forum was making it all the more pleasurable, certainly this has been the case for us.  I hope you pick up the same feeling, the forum speaks for itself and where there is a problem it's out there for all to see, thinking here of the cylinder problem which I am sure you will have read, which also shows STW's commitment to customer service.

All I would say is give Dean a call and talk through any concerns you have, he certainly alleviated my fears, to the point that I bit the bullet and decided to go for the 4" Showmans. Either that or post them up here and we will have a go.  Then sign up and if its anything like our build you won't regret it.  Yes things do go wrong, it will rain 30 seconds after you finish spraying outdoors and bugger up the finish, the spanner will slip and take all the skin off your knuckles but that's all part of the experience.  I've felt the feeling of satisfaction when something is finished, painted and lined.  I've seen the look on the faces of those who have finished and proudly drive their engines around the field, and I bet there is not one of them who regrets having started.

Not sure where you are on the Island, but how's the festival going?  Hope the traffic is better than last year, its certainly better this side of the water.

Robfishman

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Re: Newbie to forum

Post  Doogle on Sun 16 Jun 2013, 1:27 pm

Thanks for the replies. I hope I could do it justice, being reasonably practical but no engineer. I'v just finished restoring an MG and fancy a new challenge really, I grew up around restoration and my parents showed tractors for many years with Dorset as our main holiday/show of the year but never got as far as taking the leap into steam. 
Having a friends Ruston stationary engine here recently and 're-commissioning' it has got me thinking again about the model steam idea which has been in my head for a few years but as a bit of a nipper it wasn't affordable and I love the idea of not needing a lathe or pillar drill for this! I'v seen other companies in the past whose kits are made up of rough castings for the more accomplished engineer to take on.
Your a braver man than I am taking on a showmans first though!

Festival is as mad as ever, I try to avoid it to be honest. Went into Newport earlier today and it wasn't too bad really just a bit busier than normal! The weather has certainly helped.

Doogle

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Re: Newbie to forum

Post  lynnr on Sun 16 Jun 2013, 2:06 pm

Go for it.

My first shot into the world of steam is all the credit of Steam Traction World and their Showmans. Just had a glorious two days at castle Fraser steam fair running her. Yesterday she ran for 11.5 hours, Friday evening 5 hours and today for 7 hours. Wonderful.

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