Walker-Fenn Rebuild

While discussing rare/obscure trains in another thread, I posted a couple of pictures of my Walker-Fenn clockwork locomotive.  The locomotive was in rough condition when I bought it and needed extensive repairs to make it presentable.  I did this project several years ago, so the details aren't fresh in my memory but thankfully I have several pictures of the project.

I acquired the locomotive from a gentleman in England who packed it carefully and shipped it over the Atlantic to me.  I believe the locomotive had been dropped and damaged many years ago.  The majority of the cab was missing, and there was damage to many areas of the body.  Someone had made a crude cab wall out of galvanized sheet metal and soldered it on the locomotive.  There was some old correspondence included where a former owner had inquired about a replacement mainspring and received a drawing for making a new cab roof.  The poor engine had obviously been in this condition for many years!

This is how the locomotive appeared when I received it:

8March2013back

8March2013Front

The non-original rear cab wall had to be removed before making other repairs:

CabBefore

I fabricated new parts out of sheet metal:

CabBackParts

And soldered everything in place:

13March13Cab

As you might be able to see in the last picture, I also fabricated some steps for the cab.  I added some reinforcement to the frame under the cab as it seemed weak and had to be straightened before adding the new cab pieces.  I didn't have an original W-F to inspect in person, so I did the best I could to make the parts from various pictures I could find on the internet.  So, this really isn't a 100% accurate restoration; instead, I would characterize it as a rebuild.

I tried to straighten up as many dents & problems in the sheet metal body as I could (there are still some dings in the side tanks, but I wasn't willing to unsolder the tanks to straighten out a few relatively minor dents).  I also re-soldered some of the buffers that were loose, and made a couple of replacement parts for minor details that I soldered in place.  With all that work done, I primered the body:

14March13Primer

It seems that a lot of W-F locos were painted in a black paint scheme, although I have seen pictures of one in a classy red & black scheme and another in a green paint scheme.  I decided to paint mine in a blue & black scheme inspired by a Great Eastern Railway locomotive.  I'm not a very good painter, but managed to find some spray bombs in the desired colors and proceeded to paint the body.  I wanted to rubber-stamp the lettering on the loco, but the process left a lot to be desired.  It is one part of the job that I really don't think turned out well... otherwise, the paint is ok:

23March2013Lettered

The motor was running when I got it, but it didn't run nearly as well as it should have.  There was a lot of wear in the siderods, so I did quite a bit of work fitting bushings to them and making new crankpins for the drivers.  First, the rods were bored out for new bushings using a milling machine to accurately locate the holes:

18March2013SiderodBoring

Next, I machined new bushings and pressed them into the side rods:

18March2013SiderodBushing

Rather than have the bushings ride haphazardly on a machine screw, I acquired some appropriate machine screws and spacers, then machined small journals to mate with the new rod bushings.  The picture below shows the parts next to a machinist's scale that is graduated in 32nd's of an inch:

26March2013RodJournal

I had to use spacers so that the rods would clear the axle nuts:

26March2013RodJournal2

Then did some fiddling with the governor to get the locomotive to run...

26March2013Governor

There wasn't anything wrong with the governor per se, but since it is driven by a worm gear the thrust bearing and end play are very finicky.  

Finally, the locomotive was reassembled:

26March2013WFandKey26March2013WFRight

The locomotive runs fairly good, although at the super-low speeds that the Walker-Fenn is known for, it has a slight hitch in its get-along.  I strongly suspect that if I was to disassemble it, I would find some slight damage to one of the axles.  I tried several things short of disassembling the motor to check the axles accurately, but never could quite get rid of the tendency to "catch" slightly at low speeds.  I put this on my "someday" list to take it apart, and check the axles and quartering to within a gnat's eyelash... but, someday hasn't arrived yet.  Don't get me wrong - it runs ok, it just isn't perfect.  Someday...

 

 - James

 

"Clockwork guys really know how to unwind!"

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Magnificent job.  I have a V. Reimsdyk controlled clockwork locomotive but can't figure out the shell.  It reminds me of the Marklin controlled clockwork shell, but I don't think they are the same.  Probably a kit item.  It was from W&H

a k a Walkers & Holtzapfell.  Here it is.  Lew Schneider64 W&H CONTROLLED CLOCKWORK WITH BRITISH FLYER

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Lew, I also have a Walker-Riemsdyk in the collection.  It doesn't quite have the heft of the Walker-Fenn, but it is a fine running locomotive.  Different type of adjustable governor than the W-F as well:

WRleft

I have a 1953 W&H catalog that advertises the locomotive - here is a scan of the page:

WHcatalog1953

The only other clockwork I have with an adjustable governor is a Bassett-Lowke, but it is a future project that is in pieces right now.

EDIT: Your shell looks like the one on my Walker-Fenn.  I have heard that the W-F used a Marklin mechanism with the addition of the gramophone style governor, but I don't know if the body was made by Marklin or W-F (I thought they made their own - not sure).  I wonder if the W-R locos used leftover pre-war bodies postwar on their own mechanisms before going to the style seen in the 1953 W-H catalog.  Of course, the other possibility is that someone with a pre-war W-F acquired a postwar mechanism to power it.  Hard to say...

 - James

 

"Clockwork guys really know how to unwind!"

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