I hate going back and re-doing things – but sometimes, it has to be done. A case in point is the big exhaust pipes hanging off the back of the feed water heater on my brass CNR 2-8-2 project.
Given the size of the brass rod involved, these pipes were a royal pain to bend. And they soak up heat like nobody’s business, which made them a pain to solder in place, too. The problem was, they should drop almost straight down after coming out of the appliance – but I’d made the top bend too far back and then compounded the error to bring them back forward, around the front of the cylinder saddle. It really changed the look of the whole front end of the model and I wasn’t happy.
When I mentioned this to my friend Andy Malette at the start of yesterday’s work session, he advised that it’s up to me to decide if I can life with the inaccuracies – but that if I was having doubts, I should probably correct it now, before the locomotive is painted, etc. Andy also pointed out that brass is forgiving, and relatively cheap. If I don’t like something, I can unsolder it, either re-bend or fabricate another one, and reattach it.
He’s right. So I did: I unsoldered the pipes from both sides, re-bent them, and put the new pipes in place.
Looking at an older photo from 2017 (below) and the lead photo, taken after yesterday’s work, I’m glad I spent the work session addressing the problem. It looks a lot better now.
(This older photo shows my first, failed attempt at fabricating the exhaust pipe from the feed water heater)
Speaking of piping, there’s more to do – but probably not until sometime next year…