The Barclay Well Tanks of the Great War
Model Engineer|4630
This constructional series addresses Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 narrow gauge locomotives supplied for use in the First World War. Built without the use of castings, the 0-4-0 design is described as two versions; asbuilt for the British Admiralty in 1918 and as rebuilt and currently running on the Talyllyn Railway as their locomotive No.6, Douglas. The 0-6-0 engines described were built in 1917 and operated on 60 centimetre gauge track at the Western Front in France. These were small, spartan machines of which only 25 were supplied and none have survived into preservation.
Terence Holland

Commercial fittings

Following on from fitting up the injectors, now might be a good time to discuss the use of commercial and home-made pipe fittings. Before continuing however, note that the driver’s water lever on Douglas requires a spacer, about 3/8 inch long, to allow clearance for the bottom of the reversing lever when in its reverse position.

For some applications, particularly feed pipework to injector and pumps, small diameter commercial copper elbows and tees are very useful. They are easy to modify for our purposes by removing the soft solder ring (if fitted) and can be cut down to size. The use of commercial 22mm copper elbows has already been addressed herein as a useful shortcut for making the motion brackets. Remove the solder ring using a scriber (but don’t stab yourself as I did once) or, alternatively, hacksaw below or across the ring to simultaneously remove the ring and shorten the fitting.

I use commercially available copper tube to supply my pumps and injectors but sometimes it’s difficult to get the tight bends required and maintain an acceptable look on the locomotive, especially in the larger sizes. This is where these commercial elbows can come in useful.

Other commercial fittings that are useful on narrow gauge work are screwed imperial unions, elbows and tees. I’m running out of my stock of these, which was acquired at scrap prices many years ago when imperial sizes were replaced with their metric equivalents and huge amounts of useful ‘stuff’ was scrapped. As with most model engineers, however, I have plenty of hexagon brass rod, a screw cutting gearbox on the lathe and suitable sets of BSP, BSB etc. taps and dies so it’s not difficult to make what’s required.

For some applications a slight reduction in pipe diameter is needed to fit a specific size of union. It is however, fairly easy to reduce the end of a piece of tube to a smaller size. Take a straight length and anneal the end. Make a press tool from two off-cuts of steel about 1 inch long, clamp them together and drill through the centre with a drill of the new diameter. Open out one end to the size of the copper tube for about ½ inch. Clean off any burrs. Insert a piece of silver steel of the new internal diameter required up inside the annealed tube and assemble in the tool. Close up in a vice – the bigger the better as some force is required even though the tube has been annealed. Clean up with a file and check the fit in the union nut. If it’s too big or a bit tight, reduce the diameter using a fine file.

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