Bowser - Help Page
Kit Builder's Tips
|| You may want to
superdetail your loco before painting.
We suggest that you do not paint your loco until it is thoroughly
track tested as disassembly and handling generally ruins a paint
Take your locomotive apart so that the various parts may be painted
without getting paint on moving parts.
Valve gear, side rods, bearings, pony truck, etc. will not operate
properly if paint gets into the joints of moving parts.
Parts to be painted should be degreased with a solvent like paint
thinner and pickled in acetic acid solution (vinegar) or oxalic
acid solution (5%) for a few minutes before applying paint. Rinse
with clean water.
Do not handle the surfaces to be painted.
CAUTION: Do not immerse wheels, underframe or cover
plate in acid solution or cleaners.
Brush cleaner and acid solutions on metal frames of lead and trailing
trucks and on underframe surfaces to be painted (NOT ON WHEELS,
AXLES OR BEARING SLOTS). Drivers are pre-blackened and can
be touched up, after removing flash, without using cleaner or acid.
I recommend a glossy paint be used (PRR locos were painted Brunswick
Green). Apply a smooth, uniform coat of good grade model railroad
paint. I like to spray paint my models. Work carefully
to avoid piling up paint around small details. Painting exposed
surfaces of main frame will add to final appearance of model,
but be careful not to get paint in any bearings.
2: Hex Head Wrench
(Cheap and Easy)
|| Go to your hardware
store and buy Socket Head Cap Screws or Set Screws in
many different sizes. They have the hex shape machined in
the head and will work for tightening hex head screws.
Sure to Wear Eye Protection
First be sure everything is clean.
Put flux on both parts. Hold together and place solder iron
at joint. The solder will flow to the hot area. Solder
should not form a ball. This indicates the area was not hot
To tin your soldering iron so that solder will stick to
When cold clean the tip with a file. Put a little flux on
tip. Turn on iron and apply solder to the tip as soon as it
gets hot. If this does not work. Clean the tip while
hot and dip tip in a drop of flux (while hot) and immediately put
solder on tip.
4: Cleaning A File When the Grooves Fill
|| When filing parts,
the grooves in a file will fill with the metal you are filing.
This metal can be removed quickly by using a small piece of thin
steel (1/16 to 1/8" thick) and sliding the steel on the file
in the direction of the grooves.
The chips that remain can be removed by sliding a sharp knife in
each groove. This may take awhile to clean each groove.
I do this only as a last resort.
To keep most of the chips from sticking while you file, apply a
thin oil to the file before filing.
5: Drilling Small Holes
|| To drill metal
with small drills it is best to use powered tools. Dremel
tool or a small drill press. Hand drilling with a pin vise
will work but is much slower.
You must drill straight. Drills do not bend they break.
Use a lubricant on the drill. Cutting oil is best, but
you can use a bar of Ivory Soap.
Put the lube on the drill before starting.
I recommend peck drilling. (Drill about 1 or 2
times the diameter of the drill and remove the drill from the hole.
Clean off the chips. Lube the drill and repeat.)
Take your time.
It is very important to clean the chips from the flutes of the drill.
When the flutes fill with chips the drill will break.
The smaller the drill the more you need to peck drill.
6: Tapping a Drilled Hole
|| First be sure your
hole is the proper size.
These drill sizes are one size larger than the charts. We
feel they work very well for steel, brass and zinc.
- 00-90 Taps #60
- 0-80 Taps #55
- 2-56 Tap #49
- 4-40 Tap #43
You must tap straight. Taps do not bend they break.
Use a lubricant on the tap. Cutting oil is best but you can
use a bar of Ivory Soap.
Put the lube on the tap before starting.
Turn in tap to get it started (1 or 2 turns). Back off 1/2
turn. This breaks the chips that form when tapping.
Repeat above. As the hole gets deeper you will have to back
off the tap more often. If you are tapping a very deep hole
you will have to back off the tap after as little as 1/2 turn.