Day 1: What’s in a Spares Box?

In order to “future proof” a fleet of Poole Graham Farish locomotives so as to enjoy them for years to come, you are most likely going to need a spares box, containing essentials such as springs, brushes, gears, wheelsets, and so forth. Luckily these can still be acquired as follows;

  1. BR Lines – if they don’t stock what you want then it’s unlikely you will be able to source it anywhere else
  2. Peter’s Spares – limited range of Poole spares, but worth a look
  3. Bachmann – only likely to have Poole spares if they were utilised on later Chinese designs
  4. ebay – try your luck, but as they say “you pays your money, you takes your chances!”

Every day this week I would like to share with you what a well stocked spares box should look like. Each day I shall be posting a picture of a drawer from my spares box, outlining what is in it and why those spares might be needed. At some point spares will become harder to obtain, and so it was with this in mind that I decided to “future proof” the fleet.

Before posting drawer No.1, here is a picture of a very useful box from Clas Ohlson, which make very handy spares boxes. I have two for my spares, which means eight drawers, plus the top compartments. It’s handy to split your spares into categories and I have split mine as follows;

  1. Battery Boxes & Glazing
  2. Bogie Chassis
  3. Gearing & Bogies
  4. Pick-ups & Springs
  5. Bogie Frames
  6. Nuts & Bolts, Drive Springs & Couplings
  7. Bearings & Couplings
  8. Motive

The top compartments house components such as carbon brushes and magnets.

Rather than just put all of your spares in one compartment, it is helpful to separate them and label their compartments. This helps you to locate them easily and also prevent delicate spares, such as springs, from getting damaged.

Below is an example of a Clas Ohlson spares box;


And now for the first drawer …


Drawer No. 1: Battery Boxes & Glazing

There’s not much to this box and it consists mostly of, errr, well …. battery boxes! Graham Farish battery box clips were notorious for breaking, especially if you were unaware of how they unclipped. If one clip snapped off, not a probem. Snap off two and you needed blue-tac to keep it in place. Indeed class 47 battery boxes are difficult to come by now. Other items in the box include;

  1. Glazing for class 37/47/50 diesels, just in case I come across some second-hand locos without their windows
  2. Class 20 yellow ends – also famous for breaking off (indeed these ones are awaiting repair)
  3. Class 158 (or is it 159) air dams – came with a batch of 158/159 spares and this seemed the best box to put them in
  4. Class 50 cab ends from BH Enterprises – those Farish class 50’s are notorious for having the buffer locating holes break
  5. A class 101 DMU coach chassis which was used in the motor bogie version – hence the retangular hole at one end

Check back tomorrow when we’ll have a look at Drawer No. 2: Bogie Chassis

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