Oahu RRwy Passenger car build question

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Glenn Brooks
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Oahu RRwy Passenger car build question

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:45 am

Hello All,

I am starting work on a partially rebuilt Oahu Railway 40’ wood passenger car restoration. The frame and undercarriage is all wood construction dating from around 1880. So,far the frame and deck have been rebuilt. This week I will start drilling and bolting the 2” x 10” side sills down through the completed deck and frame timbers.

In talking over the rebuild process with the RRway society Director of Restoration, we came up with an interesting question - that I hope someone here on Chaski might answer.

The question is: How was the under deck 2x4 cross framing originally attached to the primary longitudinal car frame timbers? (We know the cross framing was/is laid on 24” centers, from side to side, spanning all the longitudinal beams.)

However, we don’t know if these cross timbers were thru bolted to each beam, or designed to “float” across the frame, and simply attached at the ends - thus allowing a certain degree of movement, with the wood decking essentially floating on top of the frame.

An analogy would be wood frame cabinet doors in your kitchen are usually built to float in the frame, so the wood can expand and contract with different seasonal moisture content- and not split the door frames apart.

Anybody have a recommendation about how these old original wood cars were built?

Thanks
Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by Erskine Tramway » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:44 am

Hi Glenn...…

Here's a drawing from the 1908 "Science of Railways" series. Sorry, part of it didn't scan very well, the book is pretty thick, 711 pages.

According to this, there are no framing members on top of the sills. The frame is build pretty much like a house floor, except that the 2x4 and 2x8 cross members are mortised into the sills. There were a few cross bolts, but generally, it looks like the parts were just 'stacked' together, and the floor held the parts in line.

The text says that the floor is generally two, 7/8", layers thick. The first layer is laid at 45 degrees across the frame, and the second, longitudinally. They also specify "tar, or building", paper between the sills and first floor course. The flooring was nailed right to the sills, though I suspect the top layer was Tounge & Groove, and nailed like a house floor. The book says that the flooring was generally yellow pine, with a hardwood sometimes used for the boards in the aisle.

Hope that's some help.

Mike
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Passenger car floor framing.jpg
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:24 am

Mike, thanks for the scan doc and narrative. Very helpful and interesting. I’ll go crawl underneath this weekend and look for some flooring details. The floor is installed and painted,however one side still un covered - so it might be possible to inspect.

The old timer who built up the frame and floor is now in his 80’s. He fell off the roof a year or 18 months ago and broke a bunch of ribs and bones, so hasn’t been back in the shops for a long time. He is actually quite lucky, as apparently he had a heart attack on the roof, blacked,out then fell. When he landed on the ground, the shock and broken bones restarted his heart! Enabling him to survive. But with a lot of recuperation. He is the only one who knows all the restoration details, as he did all the work himself, before his injury.

I’ll try to post some construction details next time Iam on site. Also we have an original passenger coach, in advanced stage of decay. But all the struxural parts are still in tact. Barely. It’s opening up at every seam and nail, so quite possible to capture a lot of original construction detail, and joinery styles. I don’t think the RR society has captured this level of detail. I’ll ask around and find out. Maybe worth taking a bunch of photos and notes before it collapses into a heap of termite dust.

Thanks
Glenn,
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

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lfisher
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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by lfisher » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:51 am

Glenn

There are a coach and combine at Travel Town Museum here in Los Angeles. I’ve worked with Mike Massee to document the construction of the combine. Interestingly, we’ve not yet examined the floor boards to the extent you are interested. I’d be happy to visit the cars and look at the floor details. As the cars are somewhat deteriorating, particularly at the platforms, I may be able to get a good look at the construction.

Larry

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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:51 am

Thanks Larry, yes, I’d be interested in learning what you discover. Out internal drawings do not show construction detail, such as how vertical frame members are attached to the floor or sill beams. We do have good dimensions on all the joinery. And there is a vast amount of joinery in these old wood cars... but no,planimetric drawings or specifics about how the superstructure attaches to the frame. So anything you might uncover would be much appreciated.

Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by Erskine Tramway » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:02 pm

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:51 am
Thanks Larry, yes, I’d be interested in learning what you discover. Out internal drawings do not show construction detail, such as how vertical frame members are attached to the floor or sill beams. We do have good dimensions on all the joinery. And there is a vast amount of joinery in these old wood cars... but no,planimetric drawings or specifics about how the superstructure attaches to the frame. So anything you might uncover would be much appreciated.

Glenn
Glenn......

Your wish is my command. Again from the 1908 'Science of Railways', the side framing of a Passenger car.

Quoting: "The posts are framed to both sill and plate with tenons, which are usually 1-1/4 inches thick, those entering the sill being 3 inches long, and of a driving fit for the purpose of giving the car lateral stiffness." And: "The plate is secured by vertical rods placed at intervals of about 3 feet or at every second post; these rods are either of 3/8-inch iron and have 1/2-inch screw ends or are 1/2-inch throughout." And: "The outer edges of the posts are notched to receive the belt and, between this and the sill one, but usually two, panel rails." And: "Above the belt, when the space between the pots is not so narrow that the posts themselves occupy the whole of it, three or four blocks, termed window panel furring are provided."

It's amazing what you used to be able to buy for a couple bucks in the '60's down in the Used Book section in Owen Davies basement :D

Mike
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Passenger car side framing.jpg
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:57 pm

Mike, perfect! This is almost exactly what the car remenants look like, which includes an original car, in advance stage of decomposition. So we can inspect some existing parts and pieces. However, I’ve not found any sign of fastenings, tenons, or mortise yet related to the framing. So will go look some more. The frames, being wood are heavily decayed by dry rot and terminates.

Any idea what and where is the ”plate” they mention, and if the tenons are carved out of the post ends, or some kind of separate joinery?

Again, many thanks!

Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by Marty_Knox » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:20 pm

You might want to pick up a copy of 'The Work of the Railway Carman' by Edmond Hogan. It was put out by the Carman's Union. I believe it has been reprinted by Orange Empire Railway Museum.

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by Greg_Lewis » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:01 pm

Another book from the Orange Empire museum is "Railway Car Construction," which is an 1892 volume.

There is an original up on Google Books which you can access: https://books.google.com/books/about/Ra ... M1AQAAMAAJ

Check Chapter XVI and page 90 second paragraph and on. There might be something there that would help.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Oahu RRwy apassenger car build qu

Post by Erskine Tramway » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:55 pm

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:57 pm
Mike, perfect! This is almost exactly what the car remenants look like, which includes an original car, in advance stage of decomposition. So we can inspect some existing parts and pieces. However, I’ve not found any sign of fastenings, tenons, or mortise yet related to the framing. So will go look some more. The frames, being wood are heavily decayed by dry rot and terminates.

Any idea what and where is the ”plate” they mention, and if the tenons are carved out of the post ends, or some kind of separate joinery?

Again, many thanks!

Glenn
Hi Glenn....

The 'plate' is the same as in house framing, it's the top longitudinal member on the car side, supporting the roof framing. Sill at the bottom, plate at the top, posts, aka studs, between. In the drawing, the plate is on top of the window openings. The tenons would have been cut on the ends of the posts, not separate. The tenon would be like this one on my Bulkhead flatcar frame.
6-4-17 bulkhead wagon bearing spacer.jpg
It isn't specified, but I'd guess that the tenon may have gone all the way through the plate, account the plate is comparatively thin.

You're welcome!

Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Oahu RRwy Passenger car build question

Post by Glenn Brooks » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:24 pm

Excellent, thanks, Mike. The photo is very helpful also. I’ve only made up small tenon’s that get buried in the mortise, with the ends and sides nipped off. I think this full size cAr restoration will end up being a very interesting learning experience.

Gregg and Marty, thanks much for the references. The “Railway Car Construction” seems very high quality copy and quite readable. I’ll search for Hogan’s book and see if I can get a copy.

I noticed a page on nomenclature for a Pullman sleeper car in the 1895 car builders cyclopedia that contained well over 600 distinct parts in each passenger car. All the structural parts and sheeting were mittered on at least one or two sides. Phenomenal amount of craftsmanship and material went into building one.

Glenn

Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Oahu RRwy Passenger car build question

Post by Glenn Brooks » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:37 pm

Hello Mike and Gregg,

Iam back home in Seattle after working on the Oahy Railway coach for the winter. We made some progress that I documented in the Museum section, under Oahu Rr thread. Mainly installing the 2x10 truss plates on both sides of the car frame.

Now, back home here in the PNW, have decided to set about build8ng one or two riding 10’ riding cars in 3” scale for my backyard rail 12” pike.

mike, if you read this, may I ask which volume you have that references the car diagrams you scanned to this thread a couple of months ago??

I had to leave all the drawings and reference books at the RR, so only have your scans of the wood car construction pages to go by. I researched your book and discovered there is something like a 6 volume set. I’d like to order the volume relating to car construction.

Thanks much for any info you might be able to provide.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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