Tender Bulkhead

I need to make the tender bulkhead for the Burrell traction engine. This is the bulkhead that sits at an angle and provides a volume for the coal. I may not use coal in this tiny traction engine model, but it needs this volume.

brass sheet inked up for the tender

First of all I cut a piece of 0.6mm brass sheet on the bandsaw to the correct height. I use a piece on the bandsaw table to reduce the clearance to the blade and to stop the brass going under the fence.

I then marked the location of the bulkhead on top edge of the tender. This distance was then transferred to the brass sheet.

maun parallel pliers

Maun Industries parallel pliers that we reviewed some weeks ago are great for sheet metal work.

The plain jaws and parallel action is very effective at removing creases that have been created with tin snips or whilst working the material.

bending the edges of the bulkhead

I originally made this clamp as a filing clamp for the lamppost engine project. This time I’m clamping the edge of the brass to get an accurate bend line. It is simply two pieces of 1/4 inch thick mild steel with case hardened edges.

The brass has been coated in permanent marker. This gives a higher contrast for the scribed lines.

bulkhead trial fit
bulkhead test fit

The bulkhead now has a basic fit. The angle looks good. However, the flange bends for the attachment need tweaking.

There is a gap under bulkhead as the floor flange stops it being pushed all the way down.

notches in the bulkhead

I had to just cut simple gaps in the panel to accommodate the floor flange and rivets. Not the most elegant, but the panel now goes down to the floor. As you can see in the photograph, the bulkhead top edge sits slightly lower than the top edge of the tender.


bulkhead top edge beading
I soft soldered a piece of 2mm half-round beading to the top edge of the bulkhead.

Rivets to Bolts

threaded rivet and nut

This bulkhead divides the space in the tender. This makes it a more difficult area to work in. Plus I think I will have to remove it to get access to the floor area.

Therefore, rather than rivet it in permanently I decided to bolt it in place. Rather than just using 10BA bolts where the heads would not look great I decided to turn the rivets into bolts. To achieve this I had to make a special chuck to hold the rivets.

bolted in bulkhead
The bulkhead held in place with “Rivet Bolts”.

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