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Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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   Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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   Author  Topic: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose  (Read 29131 times)
moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #460 on: Jun 14th, 2007, 5:34pm »
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hi all,
 
i had to lol!  please do continue to voice your opinions of the photos i post.
 
part of the problem in this madness of ours is that too many cars are 'cookie-cutter' cars.  yes, some will say that all cabooses look alike.  while that may have been true when delivered if built by a commercial builder, it was never so when done by the railroad car shops themselves.  my point is that uniqueness is not as common among rollingstock in the hobby as it should be.  if our models are to mimic real life, each one would be different.
 
when i take one of my cars to a meet, i want it to be the only one like it.  i want someone to notice it over all the other 'cookie-cutter' cabooses.  in a yard of cars that are all the same, many are over-looked.  when i see someone else with a unique feature, i know that i've found someone who cares and not just another checkbook choo choo guy.  every railroad had a personality and every piece of rollingstock showed it.  my purpose for posting my work isn't to garner acclaim, it's to inspire you to go build your own equipment.  research and education should be just as important in your project as your 'tool' kit.
 
i have people requesting copies of the plans for my work all the time.  my standard answer is 'no'!  not because they are a closely guarded secret, but because i don't use any.  why?  after doing the research, i've already built it in my mind.  i do use the 'napkin' method to jot down information i don't want to forget while working on a specific section.  i happily pass on information of what and how i do it as well as the 'standards' i build to.  but to presume to 'tell' a fellow live steamer that they 'must' build my caboose by the plans is to tell that person that what's in their imagination isn't worthy.  for too many, it's easier to pull out the checkbook and buy 'cool' equipment, but it has no soul or heart.  do you want factory-made cookies, or grandmom's homemade?
 
if you take time and put forth the effort to build to a common standard, even a plywood box on wheels has more heart than something off the shelf.  i respect anything that operates well.  i abhor factory cars that get lost in the crowd.   if you are willing to take a stand against sameness, there's a place for builders in the hobby from novice to expert.  the journey is yours to begin.  don't try to be a super-detailer until you can build to function properly.  my journey is a long one.  each new car i build will not only be unique, but further my work skills to more accurate and functional models.
 
enough soapbox, now for the fun part!
 
anthony and dg:  as an exercise, take another...deeper look at the three photos i posted previous.  drop out of choo choo mode and look a little more.  use a photo program and zoom in...now what do you see?
 
think photo no 1 doesn't belong behind a mike?  it probably did more miles than you think!  each photo shows a unique personality, one worthy of modeling.  each car had a story to tell,  with study, it is partially revealed.
what makes photo no 1 so neat?
 
can you tell me?!
 
 
moose the caboose
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
on Jun 13th, 2007, 6:42pm, anthonyd_SRR wrote:       (Click here for original message)
No.1- that one I like, I can see it on a shortline
 
No.2- I like that one the best. I think it looks the best
 
No.3- I like it but I like 2 the best
 
I defiantly agree as well 2 would be good for a mikado
Anthony



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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #461 on: Jun 17th, 2007, 3:31pm »
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happy daddy's toy day!
 
finally got to spend some time in the shop again.  the irrigation system works, the swimming pool pump motor was replaced, the swimming pool color head was repaired, and another family member made eagle scout!  yes, i know, that's no excuse for staying out of the shop, but the will of SWMBO is formidable.  
 
as of this morning, all of the window grabirons for the WM caboose have been burned, twisted, and bored.  then i ran into a problem, my dremel tool gave up the ghost...i still had some shaping to do to the grabiron ends.   SWMBO and daughter decided to replace the dremel instead of presenting me with a ticket to BORINGWORLDLAND.  works for me (and cheaper to boot)!  over the next few days, i'll grind enough pins to complete the grabirons and get them ready for silver soldering and mounting.  after that, the doors and window shades will be addressed.
 
will have more pictures to post when my camera returns from it's tour of the west.
 
moose the caboose


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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #462 on: Jun 21st, 2007, 6:09pm »
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My first post and I'm not sure if I'm in the right spot for my topic...
 
I'm wanting to build a freight car (of some type) for my local 7-1/2" gauge live steam club but I need some plans.  I'm trying to cut costs and not just go out and buy one so I'd like to see if anyone has some they would like to trade in exchange for metal work.  When I mean metal work, I have available to me a laser cutter, plate metal former/roller, sheet metal break press,  sheer, and punch.  I can also do some light welding and spot welding.  The company I work for has given me permission to use their scrap or smaller sized plate or sheet metal pieces to do misc stuff and I can use their equipment.  I figured I would put it to good use and build the local club a car of some type.  So, in exchange for some plans (paper or electronic [preferred]), I would supply the material and cut/form it to your specs if I have the material available.  Exchange of plans wouldn't have to happen until after I created and shipped your part.  I can ship for free if it isn't too large.
 
If this isn't the right place, please excuse me and point me in the right direction.  Thanks!


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Murfreesboro, TN
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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #463 on: Jun 21st, 2007, 10:41pm »
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hi southerner,
 
welcome to the live steam board here on railfan!  as for this being the right place, yes it is.  we welcome your enthusiam and willingness to swap what you know for what you wish to know.  
 
what you build in a rail car depends on the requirements of it's use.  if you want to use a freight car to haul people in...generally a gondola is what some clubs use, but it's not the best design for the job.  if you are wanting a freight car for display and simulated railroad operations, then the design changes again.  my particular interest is in cabooses, boxcars, and passenger cars.  my skills are based on woodworking, but like many others, i'm also trying to develop my metalworking skills.  
 
what you propose is a fabulous trade of knowledge for knowledge.  no doubt more than a few will wish to add their projects to your list.  as i've said in earlier posts, i haven't created plans for the cars that i build.  i am working to create a cad library of my work for my future reference.  it's not my way to take advange of you, but i would enjoy working with you to guide you in the building process.  email me through the railfan.net system and i'll forward my voice-to-voice information.  
 
once we have a list of specifications and common practices for you to build to, the rest is your own creativity.  the hard part is building it complete before ever having put pen to paper or electrons to screen.  
 
others may come up with some different ideas, but getting you into design/build mode is not only my priority, but folks like pockets, erie-atlantic, justin, steaming ray, and others.  it's a delight to have you start your first project with us here on railfan!  
 
(i'm away at the moment, but will be back by tuesday)
 
moose the caboose
 
on Jun 21st, 2007, 6:09pm, Southerner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
My first post and I'm not sure if I'm in the right spot for my topic...
 
I'm wanting to build a freight car (of some type) for my local 7-1/2" gauge live steam club but I need some plans.  I'm trying to cut costs and not just go out and buy one so I'd like to see if anyone has some they would like to trade in exchange for metal work.  When I mean metal work, I have available to me a laser cutter, plate metal former/roller, sheet metal break press,  sheer, and punch.  I can also do some light welding and spot welding.  The company I work for has given me permission to use their scrap or smaller sized plate or sheet metal pieces to do misc stuff and I can use their equipment.  I figured I would put it to good use and build the local club a car of some type.  So, in exchange for some plans (paper or electronic [preferred]), I would supply the material and cut/form it to your specs if I have the material available.  Exchange of plans wouldn't have to happen until after I created and shipped your part.  I can ship for free if it isn't too large.
 
If this isn't the right place, please excuse me and point me in the right direction.  Thanks!



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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #464 on: Jun 22nd, 2007, 11:50am »
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Thanks for the quick reply.  It doesn't matter to me which one I build but I'm not much or a freelance designer.  If I have a sketch with dimensions then I'm pretty good.  I haven't gotten into any details with the club so I figured I would check and see if it was even feasable out here on the boards before I promised the club anything.  I figured even it it was a very simple box car then I could get their logo or club info painted on it just for advertisement during their public runs.
 
I work at an ASME boiler shop so I have quite a large assortment of equipment at my hands.  Not that I can use it all but I have permission to get stuff run through with normal production here and there.  Especially if someone already has it in a CAD file b/c most of our stuff is automated (laser, punching cells, etc).  Not sure if I can lend any physical skills to the group but I can help wherever I can.  I guess what I can offer is to let me produce the small, common, precise, and/or mass-quantity metal items while others can concentrate on the custom, hand-formed, larger pieces so I may free up some of their time.
 
Since I am in a boiler shop, I am very tempted to build a steam engine... but I don't want to press my luck nor do I want to abuse the facility and equipment resources that I have available.


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Murfreesboro, TN
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #465 on: Jun 22nd, 2007, 6:01pm »
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Southern:
 
I work in CADD alot, matter of fact, i am sitting in Chattanooga going to Nashville, TN for winning first place in CADD at a state competition.  I did my entire GE 44 TONNER in wood with a 45 watt laser and then fiberglassed it.  I am looking at building a flatcar, which I am drawing up plans for it right now.  
 
I cant say that I am the best at drawing 3D parts and making them all connect together, and I never have built a railroad car yet.  
 
I would be more than happy to help you out some if you need some basic 2D parts, and I could send you the files.  I do need some flatcar ends cut and some braces, hhhmmmm, i might contact you in the future for that!  If you get some dims I could draw out the sides but I am not sure if I could draw out the entire car.  
 
Anywho, good luck with your cars, happy steaming!


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Dean
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #466 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 12:46am »
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I was planning on taking any drawings or files and putting them into SolidEdge and creating a 3D model and having all parts as individual files.  I don't think it will be that hard.  Maybe just a little time consuming.  If you need any small parts made, let me know and I will see what I can do.  Send me CAD file and material desired.

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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #467 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 9:37am »
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Anyone have links to places where I can buy plans to freight cars for the 7-1/2" gauge?  Wasn't sure if such a place existed.

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Murfreesboro, TN
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #468 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 1:08pm »
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Southerner, there is a great car builder by the name of Paul Karposki. His method is to take an HO car of the type he wants and using a scale rule, he takes the measurements directly from the model. He has made some very realistic models. I believe you can see some of his work in the DiscoverLiveSteam for sale pages. He has posted some of his techniques in the Yahoo group "Live Diesel" also.  
 
You can also check out back copies of Railroad Model Craftsman or Model Railroader for car plans.  
 
I guess my point is that you don't need to spend good money on plans.
 
Bobby


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #469 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 6:55pm »
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hi all,
 
southerner: you can use ho scale drawings, old erection floor drawings, and even good ole time pictures if you've learned the art of finding a scale reference point (hint: most caboose doors are in the range of 6' 3", while most household doors are 6' 8").  
 
i've gotten back in the shop today after a family trip.
 
here's a photo of some of the work i did last week before for the dremel tool bit the dust.  the grab-irons have be made, but still need a little shaping and the 'bolts' silver soldered in place.  i will get to that in a day or two.  after that, it's off to painting and priming!
 
moose the caboose


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LiveSteam/wm_caboose_photos_6-26-07_005.jpg
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« Reply #470 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 7:08pm »
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hi all,
 
here's a photo of some of the work i did today.  i've been thinking of how to do the window shades for the wm caboose.  i knew that i wanted to use brass stock, but what thickness and what to do with it.  i did some experimenting today and decided that .005 shim brass would be fine, except for being sharp-edged.  by folding 1/8" under and then flat, the edges are no longer sharp to the feel.  it also stiffened the window shade nicely.  i still have to silver solder the joints together  to clean up the ends, but it looks like it will do what i want it to when painted flat black.    
 
three more to go in this size, then two to go above the cupola side windows.  when they are mounted, it will be time for the doors!
 
moose the caboose


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LiveSteam/wm_caboose_photos_6-26-07_003.jpg
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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #471 on: Jun 30th, 2007, 9:55pm »
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hi all,
 
in the proceeding post, i showed how the window shades would look when completed.  what i needed to show was how i got there.  the photo below shows the various stages in the construction of the shades.  from .005 brass shim stock to semi-finished shade going from left to right.  for my purposes, i cut a strip of 1 1/4" wide by the 10" length for each of the shades i needed.  brass shim stock is not only thin, but sharp as well...use with care!  i wanted to wind up with a shade that was 7/8" wide  with a 1/8th" front folded edge and a 1/4" mounting tab at the back (that's why 1 1/4).  with my strips cut and marked, i was ready for bending.  i happen to have one of the small 18" metal brakes, but this same task can be done by sandwiching the shim stock between two pieces of steel and held by clamps.  if you use this method, gently tap the shim stock with a piece of wood no heavier than a 1x2.  ease the brass over a little at a time going the entire lenght of the piece before making another pass.  don't strike the piece straight down, but it's a good idea to have the piece in a vise and lightly push away from you (or to you) as you strike the brass.
 
i'm no metals genius, but i am learning (yes, pockets, you said brass will do strange things) that patience, practice, and technique win the day!  my first bend is the leading edge where 1/8th" is initially bent to 90 degrees, then with stick method, it is finally turned under and back on itself.  now i have an edge that is not only smooth, but a little stiffer.
 
with the leading edge folded, it's time to turn a 90 degree tab on the back edge.  again, i did this with my brake, but it could have been done in the manner described above.  i also needed side supports for my window shades.  to do this, i centered the main window opening measurement in my work piece.  with the outside measurement now marked, i took my shade width measurement (7/8th") and marked that amount on outboard of the window opening marks.  by marking a diagonal line from the window opening mark on the leading edge to the root edge of the 1/4" tab at the additional 7/8th" mark, i now have one of my next fold lines.  to make things easier, where the window opening marks meet the 1/4" tab, i cut the tab to the root of the 90 degree bend.  with that done, i flattened out ends that won't be part of the piece much longer.  because i wanted to wind up with a shallower angle than 45 degrees, where the diagonal line was drawn i measured from the root of the tab towards the leading edge for a distance of 5/8th".  from that new mark, i drew a line to the root of the 90 degree angle at the window opening measurement.   that established my next fold line.  that's just one side, as they say, "reverse and repeat" for the other side.  you can fold as it is, but that leaves some sharp edges.  i created 1/8th" folding tabs outboard of my main folding lines to create an edge that wouldn't cut my fingers.
 
using needle-nose pliers, i made the folds as described and made the side wings.  i then trued up the side wings to the window shade and tab.  i carefully silvered soldered the assemblies to help stiffen and neaten them.  there are a lot more elegant ways to do this, but i wanted to show that you could do some interesting stuff with modest shop tools and a little practice.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose
 
 
 
 
 
 


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LiveSteam/wm_caboose_photos_6-30-07_008.jpg
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #472 on: Jun 30th, 2007, 10:01pm »
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hi all,
 
i also wanted to show how the grab-iron construction was coming along.  here's a photo of the raw grab-irons as the first couple were fitted to the window.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose
 
 
 
 
 
 


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LiveSteam/wm_caboose_photos_6-30-07_013.jpg
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #473 on: Jul 1st, 2007, 12:41am »
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Southerner, welcome to the boards.  As Moose said, the best way is to find plans in a MR, RMC, or any other RR magazine.  If you're lucky, you will come across builders erection drawings.
 
Also, as many say, the best form of flattery is imitation, so your best bet is to find a model of something you like that someone has built already.  Then go and pick their brain about how they built it, take some measurements, and go build your own.  Most guys are more than happy to lend advice/pointers if you are building something around what they have built.  If they have done it already, learn from there mistakes and shortcuts.
 
Another way is to find the prototype (if still around) and take some measurements and scale them down.  I'm currently doing that with a caboose that I am starting.  Sometimes we are not that lucky and your best bet is to locate pictures and attempt to get dimensions and scale them down.  One trick is to find something that you roughly know what size is and compare that to the thing you are modeling in the same photo (i.e. a normal RR tie is roughly 7" x 9" when trying to find the dimensions of a prototype).  That method has worked for many people.  I have a friend that owns a steamer that was built using no prototype measurements and just from photographs and is close to a dead ringer for an exact match of the prototype.
 
I'm sure there are more modelers tricks out there, but those have been the ones that have worked for me.  Good luck.
 
Steve L.


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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #474 on: Jul 2nd, 2007, 2:10pm »
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Hey  Moose,  
 
That is really nice. I would just like to know how you put that on the engine? It looks like it is screwed on, Great job so far.
 
Anthony


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« Reply #475 on: Jul 3rd, 2007, 6:01pm »
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hi all,
 
anthony:  that's a great question and thanks for the compliment!  the short answer is patience and prodding from folks on the forum like you.  in this case, ole' pockets asked me why i couldn't make it look like the grab-irons had bolts holding them on.  he'd already told me about how to fasten the end catwalk brackets to the roof by drilling the bracket feet and roof fascia.  when the matching holes were done, it would be easy to thread a piece of soft copper wire and buck the end over to look like a rivot.  the idea struck me that it would work for this application with one modification.  the wire needed to be strong enough to mount and hold the grab-irons on for the life of the model.  
 
so, i took 1/16th brass rod and cut it to a total 16 1/2" lengths.  each 1/2" piece was then pointed on one end.  instead of just glueing the grab-iron and brass pieces together, i silver soldered them.  normal household solders proved too weak to hold.  i tried the commercial high-bearing silver solders and ran into heat problems (my fault more than likely).  i happened on a 3% silver bearing solder normally used to fasten electrical and electronic connections on devices that take alot of vibration (like railcars).  this solder in combination with the commonly available water-soluable flux gel, gets the job done for me.  by design, the joints i make are tougher than normal, but no so hard to undo.  as my experience grows, i may find another solder that handles better.  only time will tell.
 
for heat, i use a little tiny cheap butane torch commonly available at the big box hardware stores.  a word of caution, buy your butane fuels from a shop that sells pipe lighters.  like everything in life, i found that all butane fuels aren't the same.  the heat has to be just right for the combination of solder and flux that you are using.
 
the photo below shows the pieces and a very simple jig used to put them together.  it isn't rocket science and doesn't require super precision, just good preparation of the materials.  the tops of the grab-iron tabs are super clean (i file them prior to soldering just to make sure), while the bottoms of the tabs are left dirty.  even with flux, the 'dirt' won't allow the solder to stick to the undersides of the tabs.  the solder goes where i want it...the top of the tab and the rod.  after cooling, a little judicious filing to shape the solder and you have a 'bolt'.  
 
to mount the grab-irons?  i simply drill holes in the carbody and super-glue them in.  why super-glue?  because with a slightly laid hammer blow, i can cleanly remove the part for renewal or replacement.  
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose
 
 
on Jul 2nd, 2007, 2:10pm, anthonyd_SRR wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hey  Moose,  
 
That is really nice. I would just like to know how you put that on the engine? It looks like it is screwed on, Great job so far.
 
Anthony



http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LiveSteam/wm_caboose_photos_7-3-07_002.jpg
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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #476 on: Jul 6th, 2007, 5:00pm »
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hi all,
 
just about all of the brass work is finished on the wm caboose.  priming and painting are all that's left before installation.  so now i've moved on to building the 4-panel doors.   want a reference?  either check out your own front door or the doors at a big box hardware store.  the most common will be a 6 panel because of size.  that's what i'm building!
 
i must give credit where credit is due.  the idea about how to do the doors this way came from my good friend pete bialecki.  because of my background, i knew how to do it in the real world, but wasn't sure of my skills for 1 1/2" scale.  i happened to view one of pete's cabs and noticed the doors...my jaw just about hit the ground!  there was what i was missing on my cars, a 4 panel door!  pete happily explained how he did it.  shortly, i'll be showing you how i will be doing it.
 
thanks pete, for pushing me off dead-center.  my skills are sharpened by your attention!
 
moose the caboose


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« Reply #477 on: Jul 8th, 2007, 8:53pm »
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hi all,
 
the weekend has literally flown by!  i wanted to show you the progress that i've made on the caboose doors.  over the last 4 days, the design has changed several times, but the building technique has remained the same.  initially, i wanted to build a 6-panel or 4-panel door.  in the building stock that i created last week, i put a 1/4" groove for a tongue-and-groove fit.  once the door pieces were cut and fit, it seemed to me that it just didn't look right.  back to the drawing board!
 
i happen to notice in one of the pieces that i created in error, that a 1/8" groove worked better with the materials at hand.  the upshot is that i've created a 2-panel door with window.  as the photo shows below, the work isn't finished yet.  still some cutting, fitting, and shaping left to go before assembly.  keep your fingers crossed!  the hardest part is duplicating everything for a second door.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LiveSteam/wm_caboose_photos_7-8-07_004.jpg
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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
  wm_caboose_photos_7-21-07_001.jpg - 31850 Bytes
« Reply #478 on: Jul 21st, 2007, 12:16pm »
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hi all,
 
due to weather patterns here in central florida, shop-time now comes at a premium.  electrically powered tools and lightning aren't a good mix.  however, today was productive in terms of getting things further along.  most to the grabirons have been permanently mounted and the first door has been sorted out.   here's a view of what the finished door will look like when assembled.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LiveSteam/wm_caboose_photos_7-21-07_001.jpg
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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #479 on: Jul 21st, 2007, 12:28pm »
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hi all,
 
there are those who would say that this part of the project isn't for beginners, but with extreme care and guidance from an old hand, it can be done.  a word of caution!  please, please follow all instructions and use the safety features on your power equipment!  as in railroading, safety is first and formost in the shop as well....i have the scars to prove it!  if it cuts, twists, drills, or trys to move the work-piece in any fashion, build a jig to hold it!
 
you can go years without an incident.  no, i haven't had an accident, but did want to make the point, be ever vigilent!  
 
here's an exploded view of how the doors are made.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LiveSteam/wm_caboose_photos_7-21-07_006.jpg
Click Image to Resize

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