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Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
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« Reply #320 on: Jan 5th, 2007, 7:56pm »
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hi all,
 
greg, as we've spoken since this was posted, i'll talk a little bit here about what i doing and learning.   most people know me as a pretty good wood-butcher, but earlier in my life, i built sets for stage, tv, and movies.  once in a while, someone would put a welding stinger in my hand and tell me to make a mess.   i could create a strong weld, but like the tires...it weren't pretty!  as i am posting my work here, so am i learning.  for critical weld placements, i've had some great friends help me out with past projects.  pockets has been one of them.   welding is a skill i need to get more competent at to keep progressing in the hobby.
 
after much wrestling of mind, wallet, and advice from my friendly neighborhood welding shop, i decided to take the plunge.  so, just before the christmas break, i took my chequebook...kicking and screaming down to the orange big box store.  once the paramedics re-started my heart when i paid the bill, i brought my welder home.  i've been 'playing' with it and you've been seeing the results.  i ain't good at it yet, but i'm getting better.    
 
what pockets asked about is the size of the welding wire being fed through the machine.  in my case, it's no 35 or 0.035.  like everything in life, skills like welding is part science, art, and judgment.  matching the size welding wire to technique, heat and thickness of the work metal for a perfect weld is something you just have to learn by doing (it helps if someone is talking you through it as you do it).  i can read about it all i want to, but i'm the one who will have the stringer in hand.  
 
here's the wm caboose being fitted for it's new centersill.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose
 
 
on Dec 30th, 2006, 10:39pm, pockets wrote:       (Click here for original message)
What size wire are you running in Thomas, er...., your welder?
 
Greg



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obwan
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #321 on: Jan 5th, 2007, 8:32pm »
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Hey moose!
 
These are some really helpful (and inspiring) pictures!
 
Have you any sage words about how to ensure that everything is straight (and stays so...) when you weld this frame together?  
 
I seem to think here that it's the long center beam which makes everything stay straight, and it's along that where you align everything else. How important is the square between the center beam and the cross pieces where the bolsters are mounted? Is there room for slop (say; "really amature welders") or are these joints critical?
 
Thanks much for what you've already shared (here and elsewhere!)
 
Robert


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obwan
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #322 on: Jan 5th, 2007, 8:40pm »
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... in posts 314 & 315 you show a couple of brackets that look like big red arrows. I'm not familiar with machining and welding that much - but what are these? I see that they hold the 90 degree angle for you, but are they screwed or bolted to the work table?
 
....hey ---- I can do this....  


« Last Edit: Jan 5th, 2007, 8:50pm by obwan » Logged
moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #323 on: Jan 5th, 2007, 9:44pm »
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hi obwan,
 
the 'arrows' in the prior posts are alignment magnets used to do just that(not shown were the c and bar clamps in addition to the magnets).  when the 'tack' welds are applied, the magnets are removed.  holding everything square is very important.  at the moment, i clamp the end that i'm working on to the plywood shown in the photos.  if i make sure that the centersill section is square to the section of plywood...it'll work, but it's cheating.  i really need to build a welding table that is flat and square to work from.  someday soon, i'll have one like pockets.  
 
speaking of whom, he taught me a technique for achieving a close-fit, something needed for better welds.  place the piece to by attached in place,  then take a pencil or sharpie marker and follow the contour of the main piece onto the smaller one.  clamp work-piece in a vise and use a hand grinder (angle grinder) to remove material down to the marker line.  it works!  i've used it to close-finish wood, but never thought about using it on metal.
 
moose
 
 
on Jan 5th, 2007, 8:40pm, obwan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
... in posts 314 & 315 you show a couple of brackets that look like big red arrows. I'm not familiar with machining and welding that much - but what are these? I see that they hold the 90 degree angle for you, but are they screwed or bolted to the work table?
 
....hey ---- I can do this....  



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pockets
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #324 on: Jan 5th, 2007, 11:29pm »
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WOT
The same technique, in wooden boat building, is called "scribing in". For this type of welding (yes, it's tubing, but the gauge of the material makes it sheet metal) a close fit is important.
 
Git 'er done, Moosey,
Greg B.


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R/Cpullerdude
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #325 on: Jan 5th, 2007, 11:52pm »
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That is amazing.  Those are the most detailed, biggest, most impressive non-prototype rolling stock I've seen.  
 
Now for the questions.  How does the brake system work?  Also, how much would an assembled frame of just the metal parts cost?  Would it be okay to use Bettendorfs on a caboose that has no prototype?  Lastly, could that frame be used on other rolling stock?  I've got an idea to use a $50.00 grill from a store and hide it in a coupla, but I need a caboose first.


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ErieAtlantic7597
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #326 on: Jan 6th, 2007, 8:12pm »
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   Hey R/C,
 
   Aside from your desire to install a grill in an 1 1/2 inch piece of rolling stock, I do believe that if Greg(pockets) or George T (Moose) can't help you to accomplish this feat, then probably there are very few others that can. These two guys can not only help but can show you some very, very good methods in scale car building.
 
   I know from personal expierience with these guys. Their work is above the norm.
 
   Ask them some serious questions, and I'm fairly sure they can come up with a good way to do what you want to do in car building.
 
   Take care,  
 
   Bruce


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #327 on: Jan 6th, 2007, 8:41pm »
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hi r/c and all,
 
i had to laugh , yes, there are prototypes for just about everything i build, but you are right in that i don't build a specific model.  i do follow prototypical practice as far as 'what' the cars are.  as in the small scales, you can alibi just about anything.  somewhere at sometime, a railroad needed a piece of equipment and had to make do with what they had.  many shortlines were/are short on cash and long on needs, turning a box car into a caboose or crew car was a matter of necessity.  many times, home-brew equipment worked much better than what was on the market.  why? because the design/build team generally had experience in its intended use.  
 
my favorite 'kit-bashers'?  the national railways of mexico takes the top spot in my book.  who else would match an f3 crew section with the long hood of a gp7 or gp9?  who else would do the reverse and use a gp7 short hood, cab, and f3 car-body? the NdeM.
 
about the steel.  r/c, depending on pricing in your area, you are going to spend @ $26 to $28 for a 21' stick of 1" x 2" rectangular steel tubing.  you won't need that much for a single caboose.  unless the supplier allows a purchase by the foot, you'll buy the whole stick.  for the most common 36' caboose, the centersill will be 54" in 1 1/2" scale.  how much total tubing will you use? about 66in (1 - 54"  centersill, 4 - 3" body bolsters), due to losses to saw kerfs, buy a 6' stick in possible.  if you're going to run this car on a club track, you'll want to add eye-bolt anchors for safety chains.  as previous photos show, i suggest making them from 1" x 1" steel tubing (i use 1" x 1" x 1 1/2" with a sloppy 1/4" hole drilled 3/8" from the outer end).
 
about the trucks, you can use what ever you want to use.  you're paying for it, get what you want, and use what you want...but try and get them before you buy the steel.  find a copy of the ibls standards to keep at your computer-side...don't try to make sense of them until we get a chance guide you further either on the list (i hope you will post to show how easy it can be done...with patience) or off-list.  make sure you contact us here on railfan before the first weld is made.  we can guide you in the placement of welds and workpieces, as well as where to bore holes for attachments.
 
for your first car, it is wise to have the trucks and couplers on-hand before you get too far into your project.   not all trucks are built the same, there's some basic 'fitting-up' that has to be done before the car-body is installed.  for the car to be able to couple to other cars, the coupler heights have to match.  this is where many a miniature railroader falls down (real live steamers get it right!).  if a car has a mis-matched set of couplers and no safety chains, it won't be a joy to pull.  it can easily become 're-kitified' by the train following it.  
 
as to the train brakes, many don't use them...sadly.  those that do, have a choice of using commercially available positive pressure (air, nitrogen, etc) or vacuum.  most people opt for positive air pressure via a small automotive air pump, regulated compressed air, regulated nitrogen, etc(the choice is yours, most train brakes react to 15 - 25 psi during activation).  if you look back at the posts of the drover's caboose or commissary car, you'll see the air lines running along the centersill.  if you look at the last post of the centersill of the wm caboose, you'll see the body bolsters are already bored for air lines.
 
about the centersills.  yes, with a little adaption, this same centersill can be used with several different car types.
 
as to your grill...the phrase "we be smokin' now!"  shouldn't apply to your rolling stock.  open lights and railcars didn't mix in the 'olden days' and certainly aren't welcomed on club tracks now.  don't give up your idea of a novelty car, though, but think about delaying it a bit until you're ready to build an all steel car.
 
hope this helps,
 
moose the caboose
 
 
on Jan 5th, 2007, 11:52pm, R/Cpullerdude wrote:       (Click here for original message)
That is amazing.  Those are the most detailed, biggest, most impressive non-prototype rolling stock I've seen.  
 
Now for the questions.  How does the brake system work?  Also, how much would an assembled frame of just the metal parts cost?  Would it be okay to use Bettendorfs on a caboose that has no prototype?  Lastly, could that frame be used on other rolling stock?  I've got an idea to use a $50.00 grill from a store and hide it in a coupla, but I need a caboose first.    



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R/Cpullerdude
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #328 on: Jan 6th, 2007, 9:50pm »
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Thanks for the assistance.  Where can I get IBLS standards?  I inquired about the in the "Jawn Henry" thread, should've come here first.  I'm looking at MCC's Bettendorf trucks.  I hope to be able to get a set sometime over the summer, couplers go on e-Bay all the time, so no problem there.  Some of my family welds, so no problem there.  Thanks for pointing out the fact that grills and wood don't go togeather, I didn't think of that.  It'd be a shame to burn a perfectly edible hot dog because some crummy decided to burn up.  I will be sure to post my progress of all three future cars when it starts (if i ever figure the camera out).  Thanks.

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pockets
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #329 on: Jan 6th, 2007, 10:07pm »
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R/C
I have to go along with George, on this one. Unless I was building a steel prototype, I'd pass on the grill caboose. I have, however, seen some dandy ones built from a tank car. Spot it in the pass, build the fire and throw some burgers at it. The people will throng around.  
 
The only place for mobile fire, on a live steam railroad, is in the firebox of a locomotive. One thing I've observed about the graybeards of the HOBBY, is that they tend to think through the ramifications of an action. They dont always come up with the right answer, but it increases the odds. I hate to preach, but RULE 1, for any aspect of the HOBBY, is SAFETY FIRST.  
 
One thing that needs to be kept at the front of our thought processes is that, like so many other hobby activities, if we don't police ourselves and exhibit concientious behavior, in the way we build and operate, there WILL be a clueless legislative body, trying to justify it's existance, that will. Much to our detriment
 
 
 
If you have some specific questions, we'll try to help.
 
Greg B.


« Last Edit: Jan 8th, 2007, 2:11pm by pockets » Logged


Mechanical engineers build weapons, whereas civil engineers build targets.

When the man at the door said," Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms", I, naturally assumed it was a delivery!
R/Cpullerdude
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #330 on: Jan 6th, 2007, 10:22pm »
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In the name of safety, we wouldn't want a large, wood fired, EOT lamp.  That is a really bad idea in retrospect.  
 
I want to build a real, working cooler in a reefer to hold food and drinks, a flat to hold me, and a caboose for storage.  I think it would be really cool to be a conductor so I could show others what railroading is and help promote railroad safety.  Thanks.  


« Last Edit: Jan 8th, 2007, 8:31pm by R/Cpullerdude » Logged

moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #331 on: Jan 8th, 2007, 6:45pm »
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hi all,
 
the wm caboose is finally back on its trucks tonight.  the fitting up process is almost complete.  because this car has to couple to other cars to become part of a train, the coupler heights have to match.  the trucks sent to me for use were an older type from one of the earliest suppliers in the hobby.  when the centersill was mated to the trucks earlier this week, the horizontal center-line of the couplers were a proud 5/8" below the acceptable level of 4 3/8".  NOTE:  the ibls standards require that the coupler horizontal centerline to the top of the rail-head be 4 7/16".  i have a particular reason for doing mine a tad shy(not a good one, but it's mine).  the goal should be to build to 4 7/16".  i constructed 5/8" steel pads the same diameter of the trucks' center kingpin pad and welded them on.  
 
in operation, there must be some ability for the body to move (rock) from side to side.  for the best performance, a maximum of 1/4" is all that should be allowed.  you can get away with less rock, but you run the risk that your car won't be able to read rough track.  if the trucks are allowed to read the track, you keep rolling along.  if they read the car, the car will find its way to the ground.  more on this a little later.
 
 
moose the caboose


« Last Edit: Jan 10th, 2007, 7:32pm by moose_the_caboose » Logged

pockets
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« Reply #332 on: Jan 8th, 2007, 7:14pm »
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RC,
If one is in the proper scale (I am), he can ride in his caboose with his drinks and nosh..... Then you only need one set of trucks and couplers.
 
Greg B.


« Last Edit: Jan 8th, 2007, 7:15pm by pockets » Logged


Mechanical engineers build weapons, whereas civil engineers build targets.

When the man at the door said," Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms", I, naturally assumed it was a delivery!
moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #333 on: Jan 9th, 2007, 7:23pm »
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hi all,
 
hey greg and r/c, you could build a 40' work-caboose!   you could use the caboose section as dry storage(or cold storage); put a pedestal and boat seat towards the 'a' end of the gon/flat section; and mount 2 workboxes (lunch boxes) between!?
 
that's the ticket!
 
anyway, progress was made today on creating endsills and porch fillers for the wm caboose.  when i started this project early last year, i'd planned on using my own step-unit patterns and installation style.  it's a quick and easy way to do it, but it's just not accurate to the 1:1 wm caboose #1894 that i posted earlier in this thread.  the fillers are 3"x 3"x3/4" blocks that will be installed tomorrow.  once installed, they will be covered by scale 1"x3" flooring just as the 1:1 caboose was.
 
in my conversations with pockets, i learned some new skills...with practice, i can work with metals!  so, shortly i will be doing some of the metal step-units that those you see on wm caboose 1894.  to mount them effectively, there had to be framework there to work from.  thus, the necessity for the filler blocks.  this also meant a change to how i normally do endsills.  in photos posted earlier in this thread, you can see that they are one piece, shaped 3/4" poplar wood.  nice hardwood to work with, but won't take much punishment when milled less than 3/4".  in the 1:1 world, most of the older rail cars used 6" and 8" hardwoods for endsills.  in our 1 1/2" world, any common hardwood (red oak, white oak, ash, hickory, etc) less than 1/2" just isn't going to have the durability needed to survive the banging around that the equipment can receive.
 
several months ago, i decided that i wanted make this project conform a little closer to the original rather a freelance of it.  so, i thought about a gift of white oak i received from pockets.  the new endsills are thinner (1/2") than i normally do and will have a different look.  i'll post pictures shortly, very shortly!
 
moose the caboose


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pockets
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« Reply #334 on: Jan 9th, 2007, 8:15pm »
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I walked up to a couple of big, white gons (you know whose) that had those seats and looked inside for the oars.....
 
Greg B


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Mechanical engineers build weapons, whereas civil engineers build targets.

When the man at the door said," Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms", I, naturally assumed it was a delivery!
R/Cpullerdude
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #335 on: Jan 9th, 2007, 10:58pm »
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on Jan 9th, 2007, 7:23pm, moose_the_caboose wrote:       (Click here for original message)
hi all,
 
hey greg and r/c, you could build a 40' work-caboose!   you could use the caboose section as dry storage(or cold storage); put a pedestal and boat seat towards the 'a' end of the gon/flat section; and mount 2 workboxes (lunch boxes) between!?
 
that's the ticket!
 
moose the caboose

 
Sure is.  That can save me money and time because 3 cars would be consolidated into one.  Also, earlier you spoke of making lead weights.  If it's been asked or stated, I'm sorry, but, what kind of lead do you use, and where can one purchase it?
 
Thanks.


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #336 on: Jan 10th, 2007, 2:45pm »
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hi r/c and all,
 
r/c, you asked about what type of lead, well i use lead...just pure lead.  sorry, i shouldn't do that!  the real answer is still lead.  know this, it IS hazardous to your health!  there are many reasons to use it and quite a few for not using it.  plumber's lead and melting pots are now very hard to come by.  those who still want to use it must gather it from scrap dealers, tire stores, or other outlets.  most miniature railroaders just give up and use seement blocks (bruce knows what i meant).  
 
as pockets will point out, the best option is to 'tune' the suspension to where the extra weight isn't needed.  that's the approach we will take in this thread.   once a miniature railroader starts building equipment and not just buying it, they begin to understand how it works.  tuning a suspension is a balancing act.  it should be soft enough for the trucks to read the track, but hard enough to support the rail car and it's cargo with good ride charateristics.
 
btw, a work caboose would be a good choice for a first car.  it would be easier to do and have the added bonus of there being few of them in the hobby.  you might give it some serious thought!
 
 
moose the caboose


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ErieAtlantic7597
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Cabaoose
 
« Reply #337 on: Jan 10th, 2007, 3:25pm »
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   To all interested parties,
 
   That heavy steel center sill that is pictured in reply320 is very important for many reasons. One of the most important is to create a coupler pocket. There are coupler pockets that can be attached to the wooden floor. But when a car in this scale is coupled up in a train, it is not always gentle. There can be quite a bit of shock involved. And a pocket that is fastened to the floor can, and I've seen it happen, be broken right away from the car bottom.
   That steel center sill which George and most of the rest of us install, takes the complete shock of coupling instead of the car body. Nothing worse than haveing a nice car at a meet, and not being able to run it in a train becasue the coupler pockets are broken free of the car.
   Then there is the time when we all get crazy and tie together 90 plus cars in a mega train. With the steel spine in the wooden car, no pulling stress is exerted on the beautiful wooden body of the car.  
 
   Take care,  
 
   Bruce


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R/Cpullerdude
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« Reply #338 on: Jan 10th, 2007, 5:17pm »
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Thanks for the info on the lead.   With the main thing I'd use it for, I really don't have a choice of lead or cement blocks.

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moose_the_caboose
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« Reply #339 on: Jan 10th, 2007, 7:50pm »
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hi all,
 
bruce is right in bringing up the topic of the centersill.  this hobby can be rough on rolling stock.  in the photo below, you can see that the centersill is visible and available to take the full impact of a hard couple or accidental impact.  it will also take the abuse being in a long train.
 
in addition of the above, the photo also shows some of the progress i've made in converting from inboard step-units to outboard.  the clamps are holding everything in registration as well as holding pressure on the glue joints and under-bracing.  shortly, the joints will disappear.  the endsills are temporarily in place and won't be permenantly installed until just before delivery.  i'm starting some of the detail pieces that will make the draft-gear stand out a little.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose
 
on Jan 10th, 2007, 3:25pm, ErieAtlantic7597 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
   To all interested parties,
 
   That heavy steel center sill that is pictured in reply320 is very important for many reasons. One of the most important is to create a coupler pocket. There are coupler pockets that can be attached to the wooden floor. But when a car in this scale is coupled up in a train, it is not always gentle. There can be quite a bit of shock involved. And a pocket that is fastened to the floor can, and I've seen it happen, be broken right away from the car bottom.
   That steel center sill which George and most of the rest of us install, takes the complete shock of coupling instead of the car body. Nothing worse than haveing a nice car at a meet, and not being able to run it in a train becasue the coupler pockets are broken free of the car.
   Then there is the time when we all get crazy and tie together 90 plus cars in a mega train. With the steel spine in the wooden car, no pulling stress is exerted on the beautiful wooden body of the car.  
 
   Take care,  
 
   Bruce



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