A first visit to the National Archives 

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The National Archives in Kew has long been on my list to visit whilst on my quest to discover as much as I can about St Pancras. On the initial visit to collect my pass I found this lithograph hand painted and addressed to Sir Gilbert Scott to his home address – what an amazing find on trip 1!

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In China etching and 3d printing St Pancras

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I’m in China (more on that in another post) whilst I have been here I really wanted to find a photo etcher and visit some 3d printing factories.

Well I did just that and here are some samples from St Pancras Roof which are 10 thou brass with some nice detail and some sample 3d prints of St Pancras windows, I’m really happy with the result.

Missenden Abbey Engineering Weekend 

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Opportunity to learn some hands on engineering at the residential Missenden Abbey Engineering Weekend. There was a huge mix of activities broken out into about 8 different areas ranging from paint spraying to metal work. I took the opportunity to work on the Midland Spinner frame which I am very happy with progress so far, definitely got to break in quite a bit of the equipment I have been collecting (think I took everything but the kitchen sink).

We even saw some snow!

Dinner in the clock tower!!

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Some may say I have a slight obsession with St Pancras, I was delighted to have the opportunity therefore to have a 5 course Argentinian inspired meal prepared by a top Chef. I had the opportunity to give a brief talk about the history of the Grand Midland Hotel and even met the owner who gave me a clock tower mug 🙂

Didcot Railway Centre Swindon Panel Museum Electronics

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I think this is the first time I wore a hard hat! Had a fab time at Didcot Railway Centre testing out some electronics I am preparing for the Swindon Panel display. The electronics operate a signal from a control board out the window by the track. Fairly simple arduino and xbee combination which during testing worked very well.

A go at casting

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I recently wanted to get a feel for how difficult casting may be. A bit of trial and error going on here which seems a subject with actually very little detailed information on google – lots of high level but I failed to get any decent examples.

So jumping in I used some rubber tool silicone to make a negative cast which I then made a wax mould from which in theory I could then cast with investment powder. Lot more experimenting and a good book needed to proceed I think. But not a terrible outcome from an afternoon just jumping in and experimenting.

The idea being that with a good wax cast (and I think I had the wrong wax) I could make a number of patterns that I could cast in brass using some equipment available to me.

The makings of St Pancras V3

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I have reprinted the plans of St Pancras in my final quest of making St Pancras, now in 2mm scale. Here are the first sample outputs of the drawings which are taken from the plans and then re-drawn in Adobe Illustrator and then fiddled about with in InkScape via svg and dxf formats for cutting – all very complicated!

These flat structures will have a number of detail added to them by the way of low resolution printing I have been testing.