Steel Grab Irons

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FLtenwheeler
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Steel Grab Irons

Post by FLtenwheeler » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:03 am

Does anyone still make these steel grab irons?

Thanks

Tim
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ccvstmr
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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by ccvstmr » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:15 am

Tim...you might check Railroad Supply Corp. Don't know if they still make these. Your other choice, would be Precision Steel Car. PSC has a larger variety of grab iron styles and lengths, but the material is "aircraft aluminum". Personally, I would opt for steel...but have to admit, when the alum grabs get smacked...they look sadly realistic! Hope that helps. Carl B.
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Trainman4602
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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by Trainman4602 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:09 am

Hi Tim
I had them made by the thousands. A company in Massachusetts made them for me they were perfect. I paid .26 cents for them. When I went to get more after the supply ran out they went up to a $1.50 big jump. They are .093 which represents a 3/4 grab iron the suppliers of today make them from 1/8 aluminum which represents a 1 inch grab iron. I do believe that the prototype is 7/8 inch. The big problem with making them is the up set end where the rivet goes . To get that right and punch the hole without distorting the end is the trick.
ALLWAYS OPERATING MY TRAIN IN A SAFE MANNER USING AUTOMATIC AIR BRAKES

Mark Landgraf
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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by Mark Landgraf » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:43 pm

Tim,

October 1987 Live Steam had an article about how to make the six bend handrails that you are asking about.

I make my own using some commercial press brake tooling. It's a 10 step process. I use 3/32 copper clad steel welding rods. This is available from most local welding supply houses. The last 2 steps are drilling a pair of 1/16 inch holes.

Some other info I had on this matter included:

Forming of Grab Irons - When I have needed to make grab irons I usually use 3/32 copper plated steel welding rod. This normally bends well. The problems occur when flattening the stock where you need to drill the hole. Cold forming this does not work well. I have made up a tool steel die with about a 7/32nds inch wide slot that is about .050 deep. Then, using a portable propane torch next to the press, I heat the end and then press it flat.

In the full size world, there is more material in the area of the hole. By examining a forming die drawing, you can see that the lower portion of the die compresses additional length of hot bar stock to form the larger section teardrop and then punches it. In wire making parlance, this is referred to as 'heading up'. In discussion with several wire forming companies, heading up is not a service that is available in the sizes that 1½ inch scale modelers need.

Mark Landgraf
Albany NY

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Marty_Escarcega
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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by Marty_Escarcega » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:47 am

Please do not offer to share or receive potentially copyrighted material from publications. Its fine to point someone to the information.
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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:57 pm

Marty, Mark is merely offering a reference which is perfectly acceptable and appreciated, then goes on to describe his own thoughts. Please don't impede a useful exchange of ideas.

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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by Marty_Escarcega » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:02 pm

The offer to copy and send potentially copyrighted material and involving the Chaski Home Machinist can not be tolerated. Making a reference to an article and citing the issue in which it appeared is not a problem.

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DavidF
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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by DavidF » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:13 pm

Is there any reason why these couldn't be done as a casting??

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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:16 pm

Hmmm, somthing must have been edited out before I read the previous notes as I didn't see anything regarding copying published material. If that was previously offered, then fair point.

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Mountaineer.

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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by Marty_Escarcega » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:21 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:16 pm
Hmmm, somthing must have been edited out before I read the previous notes as I didn't see anything regarding copying published material. If that was previously offered, then fair point.

Regards,
Mountaineer.
The reference to provide a copy of the article was removed from the original post. I apologize for that confusion.
Marty
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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by Harold_V » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:06 pm

DavidF wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:13 pm
Is there any reason why these couldn't be done as a casting??
The best reason I can offer is the lack of tensile strength of cast materials. They'd be too fragile to serve without being broken or easily bent. If a guy could cast them in steel, that most likely wouldn't be a problem. Maybe even ductile iron.

H
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Re: Steel Grab Irons

Post by FLtenwheeler » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:14 pm

Mike at Little Engines sells cast brass ones.

Tim
He who dies with the most unfinished projects: Should of put more time into their hobby.

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