Elongated Hinge and Jig

Smokebox door hinge alignment

In order to make the hinge for the smokebox door I first created an elongated hinge and jig. Not perfect, but gave me a good alignment of each side. This alignment of each side of the hinge is important. Fundamentally an aligned hinge works better. This being the smokebox for the 1/20th scale Burrell traction engine everything is small.

smokebox door and hinge parts

The brass etched door panel has been silver soldered to the mild steel door. This door has then been bolted to a stainless steel plate.

The brass tube is for both halves of the hinge. Hopefully you can just see the head of one of the bolts that forms the other side of the hinge. The two bolts will have a small piece of brass tube fixed to the heads and these will bolt to the smokebox frame.

In this photo the hinge points have been extended in length, thus reducing the likelihood of brazing them all together. At the same time allowing them to all be aligned.

back of the smokebox door jig

At the back of the jig you can see the bracket locking the door in place. Also, you can see the 2 bolts that form the other side of the hinge poking through.

The two brass bolts are 8BA and I filed the domed heads so that the brass tube sits snugly in the head of the bolt.

The bolt through the centre of the door is 10BA and is just there to lock the door in place, hence the stainless steel bracket at the back.

Silver Soldering

The elongated hinge and jig have allowed me to silver solder the tube and align everything.

Smokebox door hinge alignment
the silver soldered hinge still on the jig

At this point I’m a tad worried about the silver solder that has run onto the surface of the brass etching.

elongated smokebox door hinge

Offering the door up to the smokebox shows the extent of the elongated hinge.

The long brass tube now needs to be cut at a number of points, thus creating the hinge. The important thing is that this long tube means it is all aligned. I know, I keep repeating this, but hopefully this is obvious at the next stage.

Aligning and Cutting to Length

The steel piano wire used in the centre of the hinge is used to mark the smokebox and hence locate the holes for the bolts that form the other side of the hinge.

About Nigel 358 Articles
I've been making models since I was around 7 years old and using a lathe from the age of 11, a self taught engineer with a passion for making model engines.

2 Comments

  1. Hi I’m wondering how will you connect the smokebox door to the hinge. Im building the traction engine by myfordboy and I wanted a opening smokebox door so I’m making my own instead of using the casting from him. I was going to make a strap hinge for the door part and bold on with 0-80 bolts to look more into scale.Also using them for box to boiler and door fixings.If you get a chance to email me I would appreciate it.ITs hard to see with the pics small and the writing on it. What are you going to use to fuel your boiler. I’m using a propane/butane and a ceramic burner. OK Thanks for reading Dave

    • Hi Dave,

      I made the hinge from brass tube with a thin 2mm steel rod through the centre. The end tubes were soldered to bolts and these fixed to the smokebox itself. However, since making this I’ve re-etched the door as I didn’t think it was good enough and that means I need to re-make the hinge – I will post another article on this and go through the process.

      My plan for fuel was methylated spirits as I can use a defined quantity, but I would really like to use coal at least once. That means I need a water pump to refill and to fit a proper grate. The calculations on meths look ok, but my engine is very similar in size to a Mamod.

      Keep in touch as this is a work in progress and I will post as much as possible, best regards, Nigel

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