Mail Wagon - part 5

by brae  

Continuing work on the Mail Wagon. I put together the rear axle assembly.

The front assembly required drilling a hole using the provided jig.  I was able to use my hand tools - a pin vise - to make this hole.  For the rear assembly, the metal was thicker and the pinvise was no match.  I got a blister and two shallow pilot holes for my efforts.  :\

To finish drilling the holes, I bought the Dremel chuck #4486, which holds bits with 1/32" to 1/8" shanks.  The buggy kit provides a 1/32" drill bit (shown here in the pin vise).

Since the metal parts are delicate and easily marred by pliers, I had to figure out a way to safely hold the assembly while also not breaking any of the parts already assembled.  I folded a small hand towel to protect and brace the assembly.  I attempted to drill, and the metal wagon spring heated up fast, so I added a tipped clamp to hold and protect my fingers from the heat.

The first hole worked great since I had been able to get further into the metal with the pin vise.  The other hole wanted to wander, so I had to work more with the pin vise to get the pilot hole deeper and in the right line.  The excess hole will not be visible after assembly.

I reapplied the epoxy to the wood piece that sits on top of the wagon spring.  I added the brass rods right away to make sure everything lined up properly while the epoxy set.

I added the square nuts and trimmed the brass rod to complete the rear axle assembly.  It's not very level or straight, but that is a limitation of the cast metal spring.  It's somewhat pliable, so it doesn't want to hold the proper shape.  I think it will be barely noticeable once the parts are painted a uniform color and the wagon cabin is added.

There is a spring for the front axle assembly, but that will have to be added later since I'm not using the reach (the rod that connects the front and rear axle assemblies).  I'll be making my own reach once I have the wagon cabin built, so the front spring will have to wait for now.  Next up will be working on the wheels, which seems like it will labor intensive.  If all turns out, they should be beautiful.  :]

12 comments

Comment from: Debora L. [Visitor]
This is beautiful. I love the intricate details of the spring. Looks like a labor of love to me. :D
06/09/19 @ 22:47
Comment from: Chris M. [Visitor]
Wonderful, as always! As a constructive suggestion, it looks like you need a #00 center drill (bit), just to get holes started so the drill bit doesn't walk all over the place The center drill will have a 1/8" diameter shaft, which should go into a collet in your dremel, and a 0.025" diameter point that you can use to just start the hole. The large shaft will prevent it from wobbling around while you try to start your hole. Buy it on eBay - you don't need a super high $$ one. It's OK if it says drill/countersink and it doesn't really matter whether it's a 60 degree or a 90 degree countersink - you aren't going to use it for countersinking. Alternately, a #0 center drill has a 0.032" diameter point on it, which is a little larger, a little less delicate, and might still be small enough for the holes you're drilling.
06/09/19 @ 23:42
Comment from: Sherrill [Visitor]
What a relief to have all those tiny pieces assembled! I’ll bet you are ready to work on a different component.
06/10/19 @ 00:20
Comment from: Sheila Lester [Visitor]
You amaze me. I just would not have the patience.
06/10/19 @ 03:08
Comment from: Tony [Visitor]
Looking good Brae, i have a particular interest in watching you build this as many years ago i served a 5 year apprenticeship learning how to restore and repaint horse drawn vehicles for museums :) A jewelers hand vise is a valuable tool for tricky jobs like this :) Tony.
06/10/19 @ 05:45
Comment from: Pat [Visitor]
How long did it take you to do just this part? Looks labor intensive.
06/10/19 @ 11:46
Comment from: ann [Visitor]
The pleasure in watching you work is your knowledge about building miniatures. The success of good--even artistic--building relies on a steady hand and good eyesight, but more on knowing the tools and glues to use. You are teaching us well.
06/12/19 @ 12:45
Comment from: betsy rogers [Visitor]
You are really going the extra mile with this project! Those teensy brass pieces .... and drilling the holes.... yikes! But WOW, the realism is awesome! This is going to be an incredible wagon when you are done! :):)
06/18/19 @ 23:45
Comment from: Kristine [Visitor]
Very neat. I can just see how these delicate pieces will add to the realism!
06/19/19 @ 00:23
Comment from: Petra [Visitor]
Brae... early on in this lot of interesting photographs there's a pic of a mail delivery, about 1914. Just look at that cart!
06/22/19 @ 16:41
Comment from: elizabeth s [Visitor]
Always 100% clean and Very meticulous detailed work- however do you manage to do it????? :D
06/24/19 @ 06:43
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you! :>> The assembly goes fairly quickly once you get the gist of the instructions and get on a roll.

Thank you, Chris, for the suggestion. The kit does supply two bits, but neither seemed to want to go through the metal. :no:

Tony, that must have been a fascinating job! :D

Petra - I don't know if you meant to send a link - it didn't come through.
06/26/19 @ 01:16


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