The wheels are firmly held in the frames and as they are made from mdf, trying to dismantle them would probably result in irrevocably delaminating the mdf. Can anyone advise as to whether, if or how I might be able to ease the b2bs while the wheels are in situ?
Here's a photo of the chassis during construction.
A test piece of scrap MDF assembled in the same manner and then separated this way could be the answer.
For 45mm gauge, the 16mm Society recommends a back to back of 40mm, a check gauge of 41.5mm and a wheel width of 6mm. Check gauge is the back to back plus the thickness of one flange. Wheelsets with those dimensions are supposed to work OK with commercial turnouts like LGB and Aristocraft.
If your wheels are to those dimensions, then you need to check the turnout, as it may be out of gauge.
Only way I can think of widening the B to B in-situ would be to make up a screw jack to force them apart. Basically a heavy bolt and matching nut with a slot in them so they can fit over the axle and press on the back of the wheels. The pulleys and gear don't make it easy, so you'd need a short one and a longer one, but if the wheelsets were assembled by pressing, or with Loctite, they'll require considerable force to move them.
Looking at the instructions, the chassis parts interlock, so the only way to remove the wheelsets without major damage would be to excavate the bottom of the axlebox covers carefully with a mini-drill to release the brass bearings, so the wheelsets can be removed.
I'll investigate whether I can get the wheelsets out which might make the process easier
If you can get the axlesets out of the chassis it will be a lot easier. You can just support the wheel on the vice jaws and tap the axle end to adjust the B to B. Use a piece of brass, or a hardwood block, if you hit the axle end directly with a hammer there's a risk of mushrooming the end of the axle.
It would be worth asking David at HGLW how the wheels are fixed to the axles, ie. press fit, Loctite, etc.........
The b2bs are presently 38.84mm and the check gauge is 40.28mm and the wheel width is 5.4mm. So, look like I need to ease them out a mm or so.
I pointed out this Topic to David Hippey (Mr HGLW) - if you get in contact with him he will sort you out. Thank You.
When I tried to remove one of these MDF axleboxes with a sharp knife it actually shred a little (like paper) but was still re-usable. My understanding is these HGLW wheel sets are assembled using Loctite 603.
(edited to update message from David Hippey).
How did I do it?
Following David's advice, I removed the axle boxes from one side with a craft knife, and then removed both wheelsets. I then applied some heat to one wheel on each axle to soften the Loctite. I was then able to move the wheel along the axle using gloved hands. The glue remained soft long enough for me to measure and tweak until the wheel was in the right position. After cooling down, wheelsets were re-installed and the axle boxes glued back into place. I'd say the whole process took no more than around 20mins.
Thanks David. I am now even more in awe of your marvellous kits and your after sales service.
So pleased it was easily sorted. If you have any loctite it would be worth adding a drop to lock the wheels you adjusted as the heated glue may break down over time (or just leave it until it does and fix it then ).
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