Tyneside Society
of Model and Experimental Engineers
bonding mouldings to loco bodies


A quick and easy way to do this, at least on flat surfaces, is to use Loctite 603 as an adhesive.   The essential requirements are that the surfaces to be bonded are flat and scrupulously clean.  The first can be achieved by rubbing the item on a fine flat file  and by using an abrasive on the body; the second by cleaning with cellulose thinners.

The location of the attachments should be clearly scribed on the body so that they can be placed in position rapidly- it will be found that the Loctite "sets" in 10-15 seconds, and that after a minute or two surplus Loctite can safely be removed.  A cloth dampened with "meths"  facilitates this.  These times apply to brass on brass:  steel may take rather longer.

With a long moulding it is best to attach it in no more that six inch lengths,  made slightly concave, holding it down by one end, following the scribed line and working along as the adhesive sets.

When half-round beading has to be bent to a sharp radius but remain flat, an effective way of achieving this is to machine a groove just wide enough to take the moulding and with a depth equal to the width of the moulding in a round steel bar with a diameter twice that of the outer radius of the bend.  After making the bend in this groove some minor "tweaking" may be required, followed by rubbing on a flat file to ensure flatness.

When a rectangular panel with curved corners is required, I have found it best to make it in four  pieces with a corner in each and fix two opposite corners first.  When fully set, the remaining pieces can be trimmed to length and fixed in place.

A similar procedure can be used for mitred corners, first fixing two opposite sides.

The manufacturers of Loctite state that it "may cause sensitisation by skin contact" and recommend wearing gloves.  I have not found it so as long as it is wiped off quickly using meths followed by Swarfega.  Contact with the fingers or gloves is inevitable when fixing a long moulding and it may be found that the adhesive tends to to bond the moulding to them as well.  this can be dealt with by keeping the fingers on the move and when necessary sliding them axially along the moulding.

The downside to the "Loctite"  technique  is that if something is located incorrectly,

heat will have to be used to remove it, and this may affect work already completed

However, the technique is also useful where it is difficult to hold components in place preparatory to drilling and tapping for permanent  attachment.

The photograph shows some mouldings etc applied to the body of a 4-6-4 electric locomotive;  the simulated opening panels, door and window and other  mouldings, steps and the roof mountings for the pantographs were all attached with Loctite.

                                                                                                        John Bolter



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