5.20.2005

fortune smiles (gearing)

I was in luck yesterday. A spontaneous trip to a not-so-local hobby shop yielded a selection of NWSL components at very low prices. Two such gems were re-gearing kits for HO MDC steam locos. These are 72:1, compound reduction designs (sans gearbox surround). The gears are intended to drop into the MDC die-cast chassis, replacing the stock set. Low speed operation and pulling power are greatly enhanced.

I will be using them for other projects than HO, of course. My dad is the HO modeller; I wander about in scale and gauge, era and theme so much that I no longer say, "I'm in X scale", or even, "I'm a Canadian National modeller".

The other source I patronise for gearing is Ultrascale in the UK. They carry (and will produce) a wide selection of gears up to 100dp. Another promising vendor with gearboxes up to 108:1 reduction is High Level Kits who have, so far, remained unresponsive to my inquiries. Perhaps my requests have been lost in the ether.

I must remember to pick up some 3mm and 3/32" oil-hardened drill rod for larger axles and shafts. The 1/16", 2mm, and 1/8" stock on-hand will be sufficient for smaller applications. The practice of substituting 2.4mm stock for 3/32" works fine, as the dimensions vary just over 1/2 a thou, which should not affect a press fit in this case.

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