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NS class 5000

Chassis construction

The project started with ordering a Poppy's Woodtech Loco Builder's Box for 10 coupled locomotives.

Experience with the AD60 has taught me that getting four coupled axles all touching the rail is not self-evident. The holes for the axle bearings were a bit off so each unit of the Garratt would stand on just four of its eight wheels. Having a build with ten coupled wheels in the prospect I decided to look for some tooling to help me. There are several chassis building tools in the market but they are generally very expensive.

Admittedly the price tag is less than a reasonable locomotive kit, but it still a serious price tag. On the other side of the spectrum are Markits steel alignment jigs (M4RALJ-1ss) costing just a few pounds per three, so max £10 for a tencoupler.

While browsing for information on the WD 2-10-0 I stumbled over a website referring to Poppy's Woodtech about an assembly jig and with a price tag of under £35 for a tencoupled loco. It seemed worth a try. On the referring site the writer expressed worries that on the long term the wood of the jig might wear, but hey, suppose you can build five loco's with it which I presume feasible looking at the quality and hardness of the used MDF, and then buy a new jig, even then you be able to build no less than 7 times 5 loco's for the same budget. There will be few of us that reach such numbers.

Okay, the jig is far simpler than the beautifully designed Hobby Holiday's and Avonside chassis jigs, so I presume functionality of the jig will be less and consequently handling of the model in the jig will be a bit more awkward. But I my guess is that for an nonprofessional occasional builder it will do fine, even if it does not offer the top of the range ease of use.

Communication with Poppy's Woodtech was cordial, direct and quick. A recommend supplier!

The contents of the package.

The package contained

A. A sheet with detailed and clear assembly instructions.

B. The jig parts. On the right the side was deliberately laid wrong to show you the engraved ruler on the side.

C. Five witness axles

D. Silicone tubes to hold parts

E. Self-adhesive anti-slip underlay


First the jig was assembled "dry" to see how things would go together and if any corrections were needed and also to rehearse the assembly sequence once glue was brought into play. Well nothing needed to be corrected, the materials are cut absolutely true and to size.

Then white superstrong white PVA-glue was applied over the teeth of the joints and the whole thing was put together in one go. Do NOT use the quick setting version of the PVA-glue. You need some time to check and correct the assembly and the normal-speed PVA will allow you just that. After assembly the jig also serves to store the other parts until use..

The one thing that is absolutely essential with this jig is that all axle are in one line

which seems to be the case