Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

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SPSteam2491
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:42 pm

Mike, yes there will be alternate pricing for not including the MDF skin. It will be cheaper but how much will depend on how many get ordered that way.
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John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

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SPSteam2491
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:38 pm

The structure of the roof is assembled with 12mm Baltic Birch with a skin of 1/4" MDF applied later. The roof pieces are tabbed together and with the exception of the center spline, all the pieces are symmetrical. This helps to eliminate potentials error in assembling the pieces.
Step 9.jpg
I marked the center along the top to provide locations for adding screws to help hold the splines to the roof when gluing. Long reach clamps could also be used.
Step 10.jpg
Then I glued up half the structure and applied 1" brad nails at all the joints in addition to (4) screws . The center spline was also clamped to the roof while the glue set up.
Step 11.jpg
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John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

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SPSteam2491
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:06 pm

After allowing the glue to set, the other half is glued onto the assembly. Nails and screws were again applied and clamps added to keep all the support pieces flush to the roof.
Step 12.jpg
Step 13.jpg
With that, the structure of the car is complete and the car starts to look like a train car.
Step 14.jpg
For reference, it took about 2½ hours with no additional help to get to this point of which 60 minutes was waiting for glue to dry and for clamps to fee up.

Over the weekend, the sides and roof will be applied and the car will really start to take shape. Stay tuned for updates on Monday!
Thanks
John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

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SPSteam2491
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:21 pm

The MDF sides are started by gluing on the two ends. I used a scrap piece of 3/8" steel to set the correct offset and drove in a couple 5/8" brad nails before clamping. The nails just keep the piece from sliding all over.
Step 15.jpg
Step 16.jpg
I used an old kitchen cabinet door to provide clamping pressure and the towel helped to even out the load.
After the ends are glued on, the sides going on next. Rather than use a ton of clamps, I went with a simpler method of using bricks to apply pressure.
Step 17.jpg
After putting the roof back on, the car starts to look the part of a reefer.
Step 18.jpg
Thanks
John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

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SPSteam2491
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:31 pm

The roof can be assembled one of two ways. The wood grooves can be placed up to simulate the R-30 versions of the cars:
Step 18a.jpg
Or the grooves can be placed down to simulate a rebuilt car with a steel roof:
Step 18b.jpg
Depending on which style you order, the different hatch parts will included. For example, the steel roof versions will include all the parts to build a wood platform around the hatch as PFE found the steel roofs were slippery when icing while the roof roof versions just need the hatch.

For this car, I am going to build the wood roof version but I will show the mock ups of the wood platform for a steel roof version.
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John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

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SPSteam2491
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:40 pm

Start by centering the roof pieces and clamping one side.
Step 19.jpg
Then glue and apply clamps to the opposite side.
Step 20.jpg
Once the first side has set up, glue and clamp the second side.
Step 21.jpg
After the glue is all dry, the exterior is now complete.
Step 22.jpg
Next up is adding the trim work, walkways, hatches, and door. Stay tuned!
Thanks
John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

rkcarguy
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:57 pm

Your kits look great! Awaiting the addition of the details which will really complete it.

As a resident of the sopping wet PNW, my only concern is how well the MDF will hold up to wet weather, even well painted?
I know it's a tough one, because grooved plywood can still delaminate and splinter at the edges too.

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SPSteam2491
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:40 pm

Yeah that is something I considered when designing the kits. For areas with high humidity or with lots of rain, the best prevention against splitting will be to use a higher quality exterior paint. Nothing different than what you would use on a house. One of the cars that my grandfather built back in the 1970's has a MDF exterior to simulate a steel gondola and aside from a few spots on the edges, the car still looks like it was made from metal. This car has been used as a tender for a steam engine for a majority of it's life and has been well used too. Lots of oil, water, and coals spills in the car.

Of course, keeping the car out of the rain also helps. But as long as the water is not pooling, the paint should protect the surface and provide many decades of use. The roof also overhangs the edges of the car.

Also just an FYI on the updates, I will post them on Friday. It is just too darn cold here in Wisconsin to work out in the garage! You know it's cold out when the table saw doesn't want to start :shock: :lol:
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John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

jcbrock
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by jcbrock » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:27 pm

SPSteam2491 wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:40 pm
It is just too darn cold here in Wisconsin to work out in the garage!
I agree, so move to the kitchen table. Of course then you may be sleeping in the garage so you'll have to use some judgement there John. I've gotten soft and start whining when it is below 50.
John Brock

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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:38 pm

He is a funny moment that should be titled "kids do the darnedest things". My kid is 18 month old and loves trains (the busy CN mainline is visible from the patio door and he says "chugga chugga" when ever one goes past). He has really been liking dad building the reefer car in the basement because he can play in it. I will put him into the body and he sits in it like he is going down the tracks doing his best steam engine sound. Well today I get a message from my wife that he got a little to curious with the car:
STUCK.jpg
Poor guy got stuck trying to crawl through the door opening. I guess maybe that means it is time to do 2.5" scale? :lol:
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John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

rkcarguy
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:27 pm

A double door model boxcar would give him the needed access:)

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SPSteam2491
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Re: Pacific Fruit Express Reefer Kits - 1½" & 1" Scale

Post by SPSteam2491 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:32 pm

Onto the details of the car. It is amazing how a little bit of wood can take the car from looking like a box to the actual reefer. The walkway supports are positioned on the car and glued into place. The ¼" Baltic Birch walkways can now be added though they shouldn't attached permanently until after painting.
Step 23.jpg
The hatch covers are glued up next. The base is a ¼" piece of MDF that individual 1/8" Baltic Birch strips can be glued to.
Step 24.jpg
When a steel roof version is desired, additional pieces will be supplied to make the deck around the hatch. Here is a mock up in CAD of the deck:
Step 24b.jpg
The hatch can be glued (or screwed from underneath) onto the roof, or it can be fastened down with hinges to make the hatch open and close.
Step 25.jpg
There are a few more detail pieces to add to the car before paint. Those will be finished up over the weekend and the first coats of paint applied. Stayed tuned for updates on Monday and the pricing of the kits will be revealed next week!
Thanks
John LaFavor
Pacific Design Shops

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