St Williams order board :: The Gubbins

Gubbins, according to OED:

[treated as singular or plural] (British informal) miscellaneous items; paraphernalia:
“all the latest films, books, and electronic gubbins”

[treated as singular] a gadget:
“a little gubbins he had made as a boy”

Gubbins, according to me:
StW-OrderBoard-Gubbins photo StW-Stn-OrderBoard-04_zps53c8d87d.jpg

I’ve built the rest of the gubbins for the working train order board at St. Williams. The photo above illustrates what one finds buried in the benchwork. (I’ve written previously about the gubbins inside the station building.)

Since the scenery under the station is built from foam board, I first used No More Nails to apply a large plate of Masonite to give me a solid base to work on. I then built up a frame from a length of poplar trim, on which to mount a Bullfrog mechanical switch control on its side. This is glued and pinned together so it won’t fall apart under various mechanical forces, and screwed to the Masonite mounting plate.

The control rod (a product from the Radio Control airplane hobby) will go to a control mounted near, or on, the work station at St. Williams. Stupidly, I was at the RC hobby store a few days ago and neglected to pick up more of the brass clevises that I use with this system. I’ll have to make another trip.

The final piece of the puzzle was to devise a way to secure the brass tube that drops down from the station. This tube is a permanent part of the in-the-depot gubbins, so I wanted it to be held securely below-decks while also being removable for servicing.

I cut another piece of poplar trim, along with a length of brass strip to use as a keeper plate. I drilled the keeper plate to clear two small screws, then drilled the popular to accept these screws and hold the plate tight to the wood. I then backed off the screws, rotated the plate out of the way, and added a strip of double-sided tape to the edge of the wood. I carefully aligned the wood so it just touched the brass tube and secured it to the Masonite base. I then rotated the brass plate into place over the tube and tightened the screws.

The plate keeps pinches the tube against the wood and the tape, preventing it from sliding up and down as the Bullfrog acts on the piano wire control rod that runs through the tube. Incidentally, this also keeps the roof locked in position on the station.

It’s a whole lot of gadgetry to rotate a disc that’s about 1/4″ in diameter through 90 degrees, and it took a week of planning and building to create it – but definitely worth the effort!

4 thoughts on “St Williams order board :: The Gubbins

  1. “Gubbins” – a lovely and very apt word, and I also approve of your choice of dictionary (the OED).

    Enjoy teasing the guys in the RC model shop next time you visit, your other post brought back memories of me doing something similar many years ago when I was running an old V8 Rover saloon. I had a problem with the automatic slack take up mechanism of rear brakes, and the Rover agents would only sell me a complete calliper. The same Girling brake was used on Fords, and the Ford agents would then sell every single component separately. So I identified the parts, and they got them from the stores, but wanted to know the car’s capacity (3.5 litres), number of cylinders (8) and model (3500) for the invoice as part of their data collection, and the system crashed!.


    • Hi Terry:
      When I first heard “gubbins”, I knew I had to add it to my vocab.
      The R/C shop got its revenge today. I went looking for clevises, thinking there’d be only one size. Wrong-o! Fortunately, the control rods are colour-coded so I was able to find the red/yellow rod combination and figure out what size I needed.
      Great story about the Rover…

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