Finescale Engineering Peckett "Cranmore"

ECallinan

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Good evening ladies and gents,

Given the current situation I have had a bit of time to get back on the garden railway horse. In October of 2018 I bought a 32mm gauge live steam locomotive at the Eurospoor show in Utrecht. After a bit of googling I found that I was the proud owner of a Finescale Engineering Peckett. 1585336965832.png
Unfortunately I was unable to get her going and when I moved home to Ireland in Jan 2019 I had another crack at it and ultimately I had to concede defeat. The problem is that she will not raise steam. I have gone through a full charge of butane and the boiler only warms up slightly.

At the minute she is in bits on my workbench, so unfortunately she doesn't look as smart as above anymore.

Does anybody have any experience with these engines? I have tried flushing out the boiler with vinegar/water and it seems clea, so I am wondering if it is perhaps to do with the burner or the flame. The flame burns blue, and I have adjusted the gas valve until the flame is poking out the front end of the flue.

Any help or feedback would be appreciated, I am at a bit of a loss here.

Regards,
Eoin
 

PhilP

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Others know about these 'little dragons', but have you filled the boiler, then removed some of the water? - Limit of my knowledge, now reached!

TAC!!!???
 

dunnyrail

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Good evening ladies and gents,

Given the current situation I have had a bit of time to get back on the garden railway horse. In October of 2018 I bought a 32mm gauge live steam locomotive at the Eurospoor show in Utrecht. After a bit of googling I found that I was the proud owner of a Finescale Engineering Peckett. View attachment 263253
Unfortunately I was unable to get her going and when I moved home to Ireland in Jan 2019 I had another crack at it and ultimately I had to concede defeat. The problem is that she will not raise steam. I have gone through a full charge of butane and the boiler only warms up slightly.

At the minute she is in bits on my workbench, so unfortunately she doesn't look as smart as above anymore.

Does anybody have any experience with these engines? I have tried flushing out the boiler with vinegar/water and it seems clea, so I am wondering if it is perhaps to do with the burner or the flame. The flame burns blue, and I have adjusted the gas valve until the flame is poking out the front end of the flue.

Any help or feedback would be appreciated, I am at a bit of a loss here.

Regards,
Eoin
As a rule Live Steam Engines are a pretty reliable lot with not too much to go wrong. These are pretty small beasts so it will not take much to cause poor steaming, my thoughts are perhaps Air / Gas Mix which is regulated by how far in out or out of the Flange the actual Gas Jet is. Suggest you do a small mark where it is now and take the jet out to see if there is a screw mark that may show if it has been altered in any way. My hunch is that you may find more that one mark where the screw has been tightened so one may be correct. Good luck, lovely little Dragon.
 
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Paul M

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Making a silly suggestion, have you checked the gas valve isn't blocked? That is usually the main cause of firing problems, or as Jon D said check the mixture. Also make sure the flame is actually in the position, it's not that uncommon for the fire to burn too far forward, especially if the gas is turned up too much, if it is just try CAREFULLY blowing it back
 

tac foley

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Mr Wilmore is THE man here. If he can't fix it, or diagnose it and suggest a fix if you ca't get it to him [right now that's difficult] I'd be amazed. BTW, my post about Irish modellers was also aimed at you!!! :)
 

ECallinan

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Thank you everyone for your replies and advice. I had a look at the burner and removed the jet from the burner and there was only the one screw mark. I also couldn't find any blockages in the jet itself, it appeared clear when I turned it skywards to peek through the hold. I tried the jet in a couple of different positions to no avail and I went through the guts of a full can of gas in several refillings. I did get some sweating at one or two of the blanking nuts at the rear of the boiler but that was the extent of things. My next step is to get some pipe cleaners/something similar and physically investigate the inside of the boiler, perhaps there is a significant amount of scale which may not have been affected by the watered down vinegar.

On another note once I get the boiler raising steam I am considering rebuilding the engine into something else as the engine is 32mm gauge and what I have been building thus far has been a 45mm railway. Before I embark on this path however, would doing this be seen as a lousy thing to do to these particular engines?

Tac, b'fhéidir gur cuimhin leat, rinne me cúpla pósta faoi mo bhóthar iarann, an Mid Clare Railway, i rith an tsamhraidh 2017. Ó shin, bhain mé céim amach as Ollscoil Luimnigh mar innealtóir meicniúil i 2018 agus ansin chuaigh mé thar lear. D'fhill mé abhaile in Eanair 2019 agus thosaigh mé ag a-thógáil an Mid Clare. Anois leis an quarantine tá níos mó am agam chun a bheith ag obair ar an íarnród ach bhí mé ag féachaint ar an suíomh seo an t-am ar fad ó 2016. Ceapaim go bhfuil níos mó "íarnród-óirí" mar mise, ag féachaint go ciúin ach gan aon póstaí seolta.
 

Paul M

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Such a shame you're unable to get it running. It does look similar to a loco a friend was trying to repair, but he couldn't get it going properly. He said it was something to do with the pipework being too small. As it was a scale model, the pipes had been scale down too
 

dunnyrail

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Next option possibly a new Gas Jet, these can be quite finicky so may help. Cost not too large if you can find one at the moment. Note that as the hole in these is so small any damage or crud caused by use (invisible) can effect them. If that fails I would seek expert professional attention, I doubt that you could do much with it to change it to something else except for perhaps a Steam Tram in 45 gauge, but even then the Steaming issues are likely to remain.
 

tac foley

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Right there is your first mistake! Do NOT use watered-down vinegar, but the cheapest, strongest you can buy! Leave it at least 24 hours and then rinse out thoroughly. THEN we can start to look at the other things that might be amiss.

Anyhow, in deference to those poor souls here who do not have the Irish, I'll just reply once and then leave the rest to English - Murab ionann agus tusa, leis na buntáistí a bhaineann le maireachtáil i ndáiríre in Éirinn, ní raibh agam ach m’athair a rugadh i gCorcaigh chun buíochas a ghabháil as an eolas beag atá agam ar an nGaeilge, agus is é an t-aon uair a úsáidim é ar shuíomhanna Gréasáin mar seo áit a bhfuil seans beag ag cainteoir Gaeilge eile !! Tá súil agam go ndéanfaidh tú dearmad ar mo bhotúin, Ar a laghad táim ag iarraidh an teanga a choinneáil beo anseo faoin tuath i Cambridgeshire !!
 
... I am considering rebuilding the engine into something else as the engine is 32mm gauge and what I have been building thus far has been a 45mm railway. Before I embark on this path however, would doing this be seen as a lousy thing to do to these particular engines?
That all depends on whether you wish to take truly one of the most desired and collectable model steam locos produced in this scale and wreck it, so destroying its value and desirability completely.

If it doesn't suit your needs you have two choices:
1) Change your railway to 32mm, which is what I would do if I owned one of these.
2) Sell it and buy a brand-new loco more suited to your requirements. I'd buy it from you, name your price. My email is locoworks@rhoshelyg.me.uk

PS It was reported that "the boiler only warms up slightly". Unless the boiler is ram-jam full of something undesirable, and so visible through the safety valve bush, I find it hard to believe that any amount of descaling is going to make any difference at all. But hey, I've not seen the loco.
 
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tac foley

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Tony has hit the chicken right on the kettle here. I recall a friend of mine in Japan eagerly awaiting one of these beautiful models for almost two years, and the sheer excitement when he set it running from us all in the Yokohama Live Steamers. Most had never seen such a beautiful miniature work of art in live-steam, and were amazed when it ran for over twenty minutes on one fill - a credit to the skill and craftsmanship of the builder.

How on earth you would convert it to 45mm, with its tiny 32mm gauge wheel-set inside the frames, would be beyond most of us, and, I suspect, you, too, as you don't seem to me to be totally au fait with even making it run, let alone rebuilding such a precision model. See below. As is readily apparent, the slip-eccentric valve gear actually drives off the outside of the wheels directly into the steam chests - very clever, too. It is actually a scale model of a real locomotive, and you would be trying to convert it into something it never was.

This image is courtesy of Marc Horowitz -

1585755167218.png

The best thing you could do before you take the hacksaw to it would be to send it over to Tony at Rhos Helyg LW and see if he can fix it - something he does professionally in any case. And then, after he has fixed it, perhaps you might consider selling it on to somebody who wants it for what it is, rather than what it never was.

You can easily see what a professional modeller thinks of it - 'I'd buy it from you, name your price. My email is locoworks@rhoshelyg.me.uk'

But hey-ho, it IS yours, so I guess you'll just do whatever you think fit.
 
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PhilP

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I think the answer here is to pause a little..

Have a think, what sort of railway do you want? - Then find, or ask, if there are suitable 45mm gauge loco's more suited to that goal.
(You could even ask Tony if he has such a loco, perhaps?)

I think you will find this loco (even as it presently is) may well finance something in the correct gauge, and more suited to your ideals?

Just a thought? :):think:
 

Paul M

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PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't change it. It really is a smashing loco, and I'm sure that it cannot have a very serious fault. Perhaps the others are right, sell or swap it
 

ECallinan

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That all depends on whether you wish to take truly one of the most desired and collectable model steam locos produced in this scale and wreck it, so destroying its value and desirability completely.

If it doesn't suit your needs you have two choices:
1) Change your railway to 32mm, which is what I would do if I owned one of these.
2) Sell it and buy a brand-new loco more suited to your requirements. I'd buy it from you, name your price. My email is locoworks@rhoshelyg.me.uk

PS It was reported that "the boiler only warms up slightly". Unless the boiler is ram-jam full of something undesirable, and so visible through the safety valve bush, I find it hard to believe that any amount of descaling is going to make any difference at all. But hey, I've not seen the loco.

Tony has hit the chicken right on the kettle here. I recall a friend of mine in Japan eagerly awaiting one of these beautiful models for almost two years, and the sheer excitement when he set it running from us all in the Yokohama Live Steamers. Most had never seen such a beautiful miniature work of art in live-steam, and were amazed when it ran for over twenty minutes on one fill - a credit to the skill and craftsmanship of the builder.

How on earth you would convert it to 45mm, with its tiny 32mm gauge wheel-set inside the frames, would be beyond most of us, and, I suspect, you, too, as you don't seem to me to be totally au fait with even making it run, let alone rebuilding such a precision model. See below. As is readily apparent, the slip-eccentric valve gear actually drives off the outside of the wheels directly into the steam chests - very clever, too. It is actually a scale model of a real locomotive, and you would be trying to convert it into something it never was.

This image is courtesy of Marc Horowitz -

View attachment 263520

The best thing you could do before you take the hacksaw to it would be to send it over to Tony at Rhos Helyg LW and see if he can fix it - something he does professionally in any case. And then, after he has fixed it, perhaps you might consider selling it on to somebody who wants it for what it is, rather than what it never was.

You can easily see what a professional modeller thinks of it - 'I'd buy it from you, name your price. My email is locoworks@rhoshelyg.me.uk'

But hey-ho, it IS yours, so I guess you'll just do whatever you think fit.


This is exactly what I needed to hear. I won't be rebuilding it into anything, but I won't be converting to 32mm either as I have spent far too much time hand spiking sleepers and laying track to 45mm to go changing now, in addition to writing off all my G scale stuff for the sake of one engine. I might get some O gauge track at least so I can run it.

Tony I might send it to you after the current crisis is over for you to have a look at it and quote me for what it would cost to repair.

I do apologise for any consternation I might have caused at the suggestion that I might rebuild it, that was a "thinking out loud" remark which came from my ignorance of how well regarded these Pecketts are.

Regards,
Eoin
 

Paul M

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Thanks for your response, I think that you've probably started to decrease the mounting blood pressure you inflicted on some the forum:rofl:
 

tac foley

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Phew.......................................Eoin, take a look at either of Accucraft's great-looking 0-4-0 steamers - 'Talgarth' and 'Sabrina' - two versions with a single chassis/wiggly-bits underneath with proper-looking valve gear. They are only around £1000 or so, and with John and Neil track shack in the IoM nearer you than anybody either of them might make you happier. They are just screamin' for some added-on details from Locoworks and others, maybe even a lining job.
1585820027086.png

1585819999464.png

Images courtesy of Accucraft UK.
 
Tony I might send it to you after the current crisis is over for you to have a look at it and quote me for what it would cost to repair.
OK, thank you. If you don't wish to wait, and I am working normally at the moment, as far as I am aware post between the UK and ROI is running fine at the moment, and is certainly working well within the UK. As for cost, I am convinced that there is nothing much wrong with it so minimal charges will probably apply.
 
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Mark P

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I just came across your thread and wondered if you got your Peckett working? I have an identical one which I bought new in 1992 and which still runs perfectly:


These Finescale locos usually run like sewing machines. My slightly newer (mid 1990s) Hunslet was out running in the snow this morning:


First some basics: is the whistle valve in the cab closed? Have you put oil in the lubricator up to the level of the jet and closed the drain valve below the footplate? Have you checked all the o-rings and fibre washers on the back of the boiler are sealing? There should be no steam leaking from any of them. I have just put a couple of new ones on my engines as they go hard over time and fail to seal causing steam to leak into the cab rather than going into the cylinders.

It sounds like the gas jet is working ok, just don't open the gas vale too far. You need the flame in the boiler, not in the smokebox. So the next question is whether it raises enough steam to make the safety valve operate? This is generally more reliable than the pressure gauge, which has a very tiny pipe which sometimes gets clogged with limescale. If you are not getting enough pressure to cause the safety valve to operate then it is worth removing the burner by removing the gas jet and pipe and poker that goes inside the boiler, and checking if the burner poker has a fine metal gauze over it. The two screws on the brass plate on the back of the boiler hold the poker in place.

I accidentally allowed the Hunslet to run out of water once when double heading and the gauze fused into almost a solid piece of metal and almost extinguishes the flame. I believe the gauze was both a safety feature and also to make the gas jet silent - it should make virtually no noise when running in summer. If the engine is running normally the gauze does not fuse because the water in the boiler takes the heat away from the burner and gauze. If the gauze looks fused, replace it with some from a model shop/supplier.

If you are getting pressure, the next thing to check on the Peckett is the exhaust regulator which you have fitted in your photo because the brass disc (looks like a brass 0.5p) is poking out of the chimney. This is a threaded rod which screws into the exhaust pipe in the chimney. Make sure that this is unscrewed and removed completely and try running the engine on blocks - not the track. Normally you must have the exhaust regulator screwed in as the Pecketts are very free steaming and will happily romp away at a completely unrealistic speed, until they reach a curve when they will fly off the track. I know from bitter experience on this one.

Your engine has the chimney cap on the exhaust regulator rod, so you might like to remove it with a big soldering iron/small blow lamp. I found that on rough track that the weight of the cap would cause the regulator to unscrew, causing unexpected acceleration and consequent derailment. To drive this engine I open the regulator in the cab fully and just use the exhaust regulator to control the speed. Remember that the exhaust regulator gets very, very hot so use a cloth or gloves to adjust it.

Assuming full pressure and no exhaust regulator, it might be time to remove the exhaust pipe using the nuts on the bottom of the cylinders and check that the pipe is not blocked. After that the rest of the pipework needs checking, ideally by a specialist.

These engines are highly sought after by 16mm modellers as the are pretty, reasonably accurate models and good runners. It really is worth spending some time looking into the problem as I have seen Pecketts for sale for thousands more than they originally cost.
 

Narrow_Gauge

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Finescale Engineering still operates from its premises in Warwickshire. I'm sure they would be able to help.