Reply To: Tips for installing continuous spring beams

Members Forum Kit Building Loco Chassis Tips for installing continuous spring beams Reply To: Tips for installing continuous spring beams

Paul Willis
    On John Cutler said

    Why install csbs?


    6. Make a keeper plate to keep the wheel set in place. This only needs to be temporary. I used a strip of brass drilled with 2 holes which went over the bolts for holding the pickup pcbs in place. Otherwise you will go nuts with the hornblocks dropping out of the chassis as you try to thread the springs through them and the fulcrum points.

    7. Try to use a narrow gearbox if you can. A wide gearbox will make it trickier to see what you are doing as you try to thread the spring through the hornblock next to it. Easier said than done though if, like me, you want a high reduction gearbox like the Humpshunter for a shunting loco like the Adams G6.

    8. The perceived wisdom seems to advise fixing stopblocks to the frames to prevent the csbs falling out after installation. My simpler solution is to make the csb longer than required and put a right-angle bend in one end allowing 4 or 5 mms to stick out. Now drill a hole as small as possible (but larger than the spring diameter) towards one end of the frame and in line with the fulcrum points. With the csb in place, push the short stub of the spring through this hole. Shove a tiny bit of Blutak in the hole from the inside of the frame to hold it in place. Now cut off the excess of csb to length. A bit should protrude from the outside frame but will be unnoticeable.


    Hi John,

    Thank you for writing such an excellent summary of some of the points about CSBs.  It’s good to see positive comments about the benefits they give.  Other than where a kit is specifically designed to be compensated and includes the relevant beams etc, I always will build CSB now.

    A couple of comments on what you have written, which may help others.

    #6 – If you are using High Level hornblocks, which I infer that you are, you don’t need a keeper plate.  You just use the two tiny “ears” at the bottom of the horn cheeks to thread a piece of wire through.  If you _do_ need to remove the hornblocks at any point, you just snip it through and drop them.  This is how they are on a GER 2-4-0 chassis:

    #7 – whilst a slimliner is the gearbox of choice, I wouldn’t see any problem with using a multistage gearbox as long as it all fits when you narrow it.  Chris’s “+” range of gearboxes with the rotating final stage give a further range of possibilities as well.  If all else fails, cut it down the middle and narrow it!

    #8 – I have never heard of the use of “stopblocks” to prevent the wires falling out.  Equally, the approach that you use with blutack and extra holes seems over-engineered.  I just make my wires about 4-5mm overlength at each end, and bend the last bit at a right angle.  This is within the frames, and it doesn’t show in any way.  As long as the wire is still free to move within the pivot points (handrail knobs) then you should have no problems.

    Thanks again for the notes, and I hope that you have dispelled a little bit of reluctance.  We may well see some better running locomotives on track soon.