2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

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Harlock
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2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by Harlock » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:40 am

I had a flatcar with a bench for the MEG's train, which used to be the chassis for the original boxcar that it came with. It was an odd thing with 2 1/2" scale trucks but 1 1/2" scale couplers and coupler height, all welded in place and difficult to change, so it had to go.

Now I am building a new bench flatcar using the same simple body technique from my "gondola in a day" project, except this is more like the "flatcar in 6 months" project since I set it aside for a while to finish off the speeder. I don't have any photos from putting the base body together, but the sides and ends are all poplar, wood-screwed into a piece of 3/4" plywood in a way that hides all the screws when you're done. For more detail on how that was done with the end beams, see this post from the gondola thread: http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/vie ... 75#p300975

For the sides, the screws are located exactly where the stake pockets will cover them up. On the other gondola I had wood stakes bolted directly to the car (based on a real D&RG MOW gondola I had seen that was put together like this) but this one will have real pockets. To that end I purchased some excellent aluminum castings from Tom Artsburger, plus his brass U-bolts.

The steel under-frame is identical to the gondola's. To avoid any heads or nuts on the top, there are instead a lot of short sheet metal screws that go into the plywood. the quantity makes up for the length.

The car will work at 2 1/2 or small 3" scale. It is 20" wide and 5ft long like the rest of my equipment, and this one uses mostly 2 1/2" scale hardware throughout.
Attachments
14-11-23_flatcar-5209.JPG
14-11-23_flatcar-5208.JPG
14-11-23_flatcar-5211.JPG
Last edited by Harlock on Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:55 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Harlock
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale Flatcar

Post by Harlock » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:42 am

Here is the car painted with decking sitting on top for fitting and sizing, and the frame screwed in and the stake pockets and U-bolts being painted with a custom rattle can full of D&RG MOW Grey from Jimmy Booth.

The next steps are to put the pockets on, then a lot of finishing work on the decking with pilot holes for escucheon pins, notches for pockets, general sanding etc, then stain and seal.
Attachments
15-01-18_flatcar-4949.jpg
15-01-18_flatcar-4965.jpg
15-01-18_flatcar-4961.jpg
IMG_4332.jpg
IMG_4333.jpg
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by DJSteamer3017 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:09 pm

Mike,
I love the Colorado influence that you've put into your Box Car, Gondola, Caboose and now flat car to boot. All you need now is a Tank Car. Would love to see an Album on your website with all of your rolling stock. Thanks and Keep on' Steamin' My Friend!!

David
The 1" Scale Junkie ... But steam of all sizes is cool with me!!
"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney

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Harlock
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by Harlock » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:57 am

Putting the pockets on now. Some extensive modification is required underneath since I did not plan for these when I built the car. More pics later...
Attachments
15-01-24_flatcar-frame-7054.jpg
15-01-24_flatcar-frame-7050.jpg
15-01-24_flatcar-frame-7056.jpg
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
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Harlock
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by Harlock » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:30 am

In the last post I mentioned that I had to extensively modify the frame to accomodate the pockets which I got later.

Turns out that the pockets want to be flush with the top of the frame underneath the decking, and to do that with this car I'd have to mill a recess into the hidden plywood base. I also had to double the side frames to accommodate the length of the U-bolts, then I took a little out while milling the pockets and it was perfect. It was a big long side detour but it's done and works. I put the whole car in the mill and the setup was kind of a bitch.

On the identically built gondola I did not use pockets so this did not come up.
Attachments
15-02-05_flatcar-7093.jpg
15-02-05_flatcar-7089.jpg
15-02-05_flatcar-7119.jpg
15-02-05_flatcar-7120.jpg
15-02-05_flatcar-7127.jpg
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Harlock
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by Harlock » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:35 am

Fast forward to a month and a half later and I finally got some quality shop time in.

The decking is alder hobby board from Home Depot, pre cut to width and planed to 1/4" height and in 4ft lengths. Even with that done there is a lot left to do, much drilling of pilot holes for escutcheon pins and milling out recesses for the stake pockets. A variety of mill vice stops were used to do all this which greatly sped up the process. The cutouts were then filed square. All the pieces are marked and numbered underneath and have an exact order now. I then stained everything with miniwax golden oak. Additional clear coat tomorrow since people will be stepping on this to ride.

You can see in the close up how the pocket hides the wood screw used to hold the side on to the plywood base frame.
Attachments
15-02-22_flatcar-0254.jpg
15-02-22_flatcar-0260.jpg
15-02-22_flatcar-0262.jpg
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by steamin10 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:56 am

I appreciate the thinking and moving on process, that the "murphy' measurements handed you. Well done in the 'git er' done attitude. A little problem of things not fitting did not stop your progress. I like it.
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by DRS_RR » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:52 pm

Mike, Great stuff, appreciate you sharing how you build your cars. They are top notch and look great. Can't wait to see your caboose behind the whole train you've been working on. it's all work of art!

Dave

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Harlock
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by Harlock » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:53 am

At the risk of jinxing it, I'm trying really hard to wrap up the caboose in the next month or so as well. It's slow going when you get maybe an hour or two a night on a good day until a clear weekend comes along...

-M
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by ccvstmr » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:49 pm

Mike, good recovery on the flat car for the stack pocket attachment "fix". There's nothing like having a $2800 whittling machine to make nice clean recess cuts. The extended X-axis table is another neat modification. :wink:

Like the fact that you cut the planks to fit around the stake pocket. All too often, I see people cut the planks off even with the edge of the car. Nice touch. Would hope your planks don't change dimensionally after staining/clear coating from swelling. Guess you'll find out when you go back to install the planks. Either start from the center and work out...or start from the ends and work inward to minimize any "creep" if the planks widths did change.

Looking forward to your next car building series installment. Carl B.
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by Harlock » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:25 pm

ccvstmr wrote:Mike, good recovery on the flat car for the stack pocket attachment "fix". There's nothing like having a $2800 whittling machine to make nice clean recess cuts. The extended X-axis table is another neat modification. :wink:

Like the fact that you cut the planks to fit around the stake pocket. All too often, I see people cut the planks off even with the edge of the car. Nice touch. Would hope your planks don't change dimensionally after staining/clear coating from swelling. Guess you'll find out when you go back to install the planks. Either start from the center and work out...or start from the ends and work inward to minimize any "creep" if the planks widths did change.

Looking forward to your next car building series installment. Carl B.
The wood is a hardwood so it's pretty stable. The one thing I have to do is sand down the overspill along the mating edges, I wasn't able to wipe all of it off and the clear coat can bunch up and have a thickness. But that will not take very long. I did the gondola like this and did not run into any trouble.

I am not sure why prototype cars had planks hanging over and then trimmed for the pockets, rather than just have all of them stop at the edge of the car. It looks a lot better this way in any case. Flush with the car side would be pretty boring aesthetically speaking, but a lot easier otherwise.

-M
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Re: 2 1/2" / 3" scale flatcar

Post by tomc » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:33 am

[quote="Harlock I am not sure why prototype cars had planks hanging over and then trimmed for the pockets, rather than just have all of them stop at the edge of the car. It looks a lot better this way in any case. Flush with the car side would be pretty boring aesthetically speaking, but a lot easier otherwise. -M[/quote]

I think it acts as a drip edge to keep water off the sills as one reason.

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