Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today I lost it

I decided that I needed to get another sand valve constructed. Well, the first thing to do is examine the two I'd built and get inspiration. I would also double check my method and madness.

They were gone!

I knew they were on the work bench two days ago. I knew that I was the only one who'd been near my work bench. Maybe "ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night" had snuck in. I didn't buy that idea. So I went to my drill press in the garaage. I knew I'd left my high intensity light there. I hoped. Sure enough it was there.

Years ago I learned that the best way to find small parts was with the aid of a high intensity light shining sideways across the floor.

My fear was that in the interim I'd managed to either step on or roll a desk chair over the parts and crushed them into oblivion. I also remembered that I'd wisely decided to make the pieces and leave them attached to a longer piece of wire.

I plugged in the light and a few minutes later what was lost was found.

Imagine something close to the size of the head of a pin. Actually about .025 inches on each side. That is the larger wire bent into a precise ninety degree bend. Attached to each end is a piece of .01 inch diameter brass wire. On the outside corner I've even filed in the approximate profile of the valve cap.

Yeah. That's small. And easy to lose. Now I've got two more partially finished. Soon I'll have four to lose. When they get attached to the locomotive- hopefully- they won't get lost.