Economy Box 'n Reef

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:35 am

CLIMBING THE LADDER

Next detail to cover will be the corner ladders. For the box and reefer, a total of (8) ladders were needed. There was one minor catch...the mounting standoffs for the end ladders had to be located to coincide with the dreadnaught cast aluminum ends.

For these cars, decided to use 1/4" x 1/4" x .030" brass angle for ladder rails and 1/8" brazing rod for the ladder rungs. Figured the brass angle would withstand and accidental hit by some passerby as opposed to brass flat stock. Well, back in 2006 when the ladders were made, could still get this brass angle in 36" lengths from Special Shapes/K&S. Have no idea if anybody is offering such brass stock in lengths OTHER than 12" long.

After determining how long the ladder rails needed to be (based on the number of ladder rungs), would cut the brass angle stock to length. Made a fixture to go in the mill to hold the brass angle so a small center drill could be used to place a hole at the proper rung locations. A shallow recess was cut the length of the fixture to locate the brass angle and a couple hold down blocks keep the angle in place. Holding one end of the angle to a stop block, could use the same DRO readings to spot the holes consistently for all the ladder rails.

IMG_4736.JPG

The 1/8" brass rod was cut to length as needed. The ends were ground pointed on a belt sander. All the ladder pieces then come together on another fixture held in the bench vise. Clamps are used to hold the parts in the fixture. Have a block of copper I used as a weight as well. Would use some brass bar clamps if there was a problem keeping the assembly aligned with the fixture.

10ladder rungs ready for solder.jpg

Was concerned that silver soldering such light weight brass pieces would lead to warping/twisting...opted to soft solder the ladder parts. After each rail/rung joint was fluxed, a propane torch was used to heat each joint and apply some solder. This operation goes quickly. Here's the face and back side of a couple soldered ladders and a pair of loose ladder rails drilled and ready for assembly to the right.

11ladders soldered#1.JPG

After the ladders were all soldered, was time to add the stand offs. Used 1/4" x .030 brass stock again. These were measured, cut, and bent so the standoff heights would be the same for all. A mounting hole was drilled too. The standoffs screwed to the ladder soldering fixture. The raised ends of the standoffs were bent slightly outward. This would hold help the ladder in place for solder the standoffs.

Believe the standoffs were drilled for a 6-32 screw. In hindsight...should have drilled a smaller hole...something for a 4-40 screw instead. Eventually, will need to screw these to the sides/ends of the cars.

16ladder jig with standoffs.jpg

With the ladder in place, the entire fixture was turned upside down on the bench vise and a weight placed on top to hold things in place while the standoffs were soft soldered.

18ladder ready for solder.jpg

There's still a few more ladder building points. Will cover those in the next post. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:00 am

CLIMBING THE LADDER - STILL...

With the ladder and ladder fixture holding the standoffs...can prepare to solder the stand offs in place.

19ladder standoffs soldered.jpg

Here's a close up of the standoffs "squeezing/holding" the ladder in place. As long as the ladders are properly located vertically on the standoffs, the ladders will all end up at the same height on the side/end of the car.

20ladder standoff closeup.JPG

Here's a soldered ladder being held to the end of the car (bottom of the car is to the left). Can see how the standoffs coincide with the raised areas of the dread naught end car casting. Eventually, the car end would be drilled/tapped for 4-40 button head screws to hold the end ladders in place. Ladders for the car sides had parallel standoffs.

21ladder position on car end.jpg

Thereafter, the soldered brass ladder assemblies were sand blasted and primed. In 2006, didn't know what colors were needed for the 2 cars, so applied a primer coating only. In 2021 as the final assembly of the cars was underway and the colors determined, the ladders received their final paint job. Found ladders need to be painted in both right side up as well as up side down orientations to ensure the underside of the rungs were adequately painted.

Here's some of the ladders on the "drying rack". In the foreground, are (2) box car ladders painted Rustoleum gloss marigold (this is yellow with a slight orange tint). In the background, are (2) reefer ladders "painted" with Rustoleum flat red primer and later oversprayed with a Minwax satic clear polyurethane (won't say yet what road name was selected for the reefer...yet). There's a couple box car roof right angle grab irons hanging there was well.

IMG_4318_1.jpg

In hindsight...if I had to do these ladders over, would have opted for 7 rung ladders instead of 8...which meant the ladders would have been slightly shorter. Would keep the ladder ends somewhat protected from getting caught on loose clothing. In case you're wondering, the same technique and fixtures can be used for making caboose ladders. One difference, would replace the brass angle side rails with 1/4" wide flat brass strips that are .060" thick.

Next time, we'll look at another detail. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:35 pm

GRAB 'EM WHEN YOU CAN

Thought I'd make up some drop grab irons for the ends of the box 'n reefer. These are relatively easy to make using 1/8" steel rod and a supply of my brass 1/4" x 1/2" brass ovals for mounting pads. So, here's how these were made.

Started by using a forming block made several years ago to make other grab irons. The steel rod was cut to length plus a little extra that can be trimmed off later. Two rods are set on the forming block to be pressed.

IMG_6627.JPG

Using a laboratory 12.5 ton hydraulic press, the steel rods were pressed into "U" shapes.

IMG_6629.JPG

One the "U" shape is formed, can square up the bends. The ends eventually need to fit a soldering fixture to add the brass oval mounting pads.

IMG_6633.JPG

A 1/2" spacer is placed under the bent grab iron. After the vise is closed, the spacer is removed.

IMG_6634.JPG

A hammer and block of wood or piece of scrap metal were used to drive the extended part of the grab iron down flush with the vise.

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Here's the results of my efforts so far.

IMG_6636.JPG

Sadly, I didn't finish these. Why? When these grab irons were held up against the car ends, realized the car ends would be "busy" looking. Not only that, the drop down grab irons would get in the way of the brake rigging and worse...get in the way of the safety chain eye hooks. Opted NOT to use these. Perhaps there will be need in the future for these. Nothing really lost here except an hour or so. Hold on. There's another type of grab iron coming up. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:58 pm

STILL GRABBING FOR SOMETHING


Another type of grab iron needed for the box and reefer were side grab irons on the end opposite the ladder. Got some "forged" brass/bronze grab irons years ago from somebody. Thought this would be a good time dip into that supply.

Realized quickly, the mounting pads were only large enough for an escutcheon pin. Didn't think those pins would securely anchor the grab iron to the car body. Decided then, would cut off the "forged mounting pads" and replace with the brass oval pads I had been using. Here's how these grab irons were turned into something usable.

One at a time, put the grab irons in the mill on top of a ultra thin parallel and machined the ends of the grab irons to the same length.

IMG_4306.JPG

Here's the original formed grab irons (in the center) and the machined grab irons (outside).

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One again, made a fixture to hold the grab irons vertical over the brass oval mounting pads for silver soldering. You might notice there's a slight recess milled on both sides where the brass mounting pad "sits" to keep the pad in alignment until after the solder cools. Could have machined those recesses so the mounting pad was soldered at a right angle with respect to the grab iron. For these cars...wanted everything to straight.

IMG_4308.JPG

After the first soldering attempt, went back and modified the soldering fixture to remove more of the fixture. There was so much steel there, it was sucking the heat away from the part before the silver solder would melt. btw...most of these small part can be silver soldered with a hardware propane torch. There was no need to break out the Oxy-Acet torch.

IMG_4313.JPG

After all the brass mounting pads were soldered in place, ran a wire thru the one side of each grab iron before heading to the sand blast cabinet. Last thing I wanted to do was sift thru the sand looking for dropped parts.

IMG_4314.JPG

When the sand blasting was done, the grab irons were held upright in a block of wood. The intent was to be able to hold the block up or hang the block, so the underside of the grab irons could be painted all at the same time. Readers will note the (2) yellows used. The upper grab irons are for the Rutland box car and were painted Rustoleum gloss marigold. The other grab irons were painted with Rustoleum Old Caterpillar Yellow. While both paints were classified as yellow...there was a distinct difference in the resulting colors.

IMG_4328.JPG

In the background, is a G gauge Rutland box car used for reference during the build. Also had an HO version for reference as well. At the least, used the G gauge car to match the yellow and green for the paint and vinyl graphics.

Miracle Graphics was most helpful in sending yellow and green samples that could be compared with the car color...and what was available on the Rustoleum rattle can pallet.

Two grabs down...no waiting! Next time, will cover the brake wheel parts and installation. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:22 am

BRAKE IT ON DOWN

Brake detail work took place in 2016 during one of several "gotta get back to the box and reefer" moments. Didn't finish the cars back then, but pushed them along to live until another day for completion.

Purchased some of the brake hardware from Precision Steel Car. Their components were fitting for the period of car constructions. The rest, had to make myself. Used 1/16" x 1/4" brass flat stock for supports. With the dreadnaught aluminum end castings, there was nothing flat to attach parts to. Only option was to make brackets that would span the ribs on the car ends. Used some scrap perforated steel screen material to make the brakeman's platform. Used clock chain and a PSC straight grab iron for the chain drop.

1st items to be mounted were the PSC Klasing bell crank. This was used to transfer vertical motion on the end of the car as the brake wheel drew up the chain...to lateral motion underneath the car (talking the real cars here, not the model cars). Don't recall if I made own bell crank bracket or purchased same from PSC.

IMG_1854.jpg

Having the steel angle iron under the car ends for the end sills...provided a secure place to mount the bell crank bracket. The bracket had to be mounted early on...and the bell crank installed later on after some of the car painting. While installing the bell crank bracket, had to situate the brackets between the draft gear and the safety chain eye bolt mounting boss.

IMG_1852.jpg

Next photo, a short piece of clock chain was fastened to the bell crank using a 2-56 screw and nut...and simply screwed to the underside of the wood floor leaving a little slack (as if the brakes were off).

IMG_4327.JPG

Next, had to prepare to mount the brake wheel platform and the brake wheel housing. All the brackets needed to be made in pairs using 1/16" x 1/4" brass flat stock for this. The stuff is easy to form. A small 3-in-1 bending machine with a small square helps. Brackets were drilled and tapped for 2-56 brass hex head screws. Attached a flat washer inside the rear of the brake housing to secure the top of the chain for the brakes. Drilled a hole in the brake wheel platform to drop the clock chain through.

IMG_8327.JPG

Would eventually transfer the mounting hole locations to the car aluminum end castings for 2-56 hex head brass screws and PRAYING, the tap would not break during the threading process. (Note: no 2-56 taps were harmed during assembly).

IMG_8329.JPG

Standing back, could now see the entire arrangement of the car end hardware (and yes, the car was on it's side when the photo was taken). Turned the photo so you wouldn't hurt your necks!

IMG_8328.JPG

This would be a good time to point out a few items. Drew a vertical line along the car end center line. Drew another vertical line where the center line of the brake chain and hardware would be located...to fall between the coupler draft gear and the safety chain eye bolt mount. The location with respect to the ladder might not be prototypic...but maintaining the "look and feel" of the hardware arrangement outweighed scale dimensions.

Readers might also note the bottom edge of the aluminum end casting and understand why I opted NOT to install the drop down grab irons. Would have ground off some of the cast-on rivets...but there was already too much going on there to shoe horn more stuff on the car ends.

Have one more detail item to cover...but think I'll leave that for when I cover the roof construction. We'll be back. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:57 am

ccvstmr wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:35 pm
Thought I'd make up some drop grab irons for the ends of the box 'n reefer. These are relatively easy to make using 1/8" steel rod and a supply of my brass 1/4" x 1/2" brass ovals for mounting pads...
From where did you obtain those brass ovals?
——————————————————————————————————
Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:11 am

BigDumbDinosaur wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:57 am
ccvstmr wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:35 pm
Thought I'd make up some drop grab irons for the ends of the box 'n reefer. These are relatively easy to make using 1/8" steel rod and a supply of my brass 1/4" x 1/2" brass ovals for mounting pads...
From where did you obtain those brass ovals?
BDD...made them (mindless work). Have a friend that has a 4 ton hand operated punch press (not the same as an arbor press). He had the die set to punch 1/4" w x 1/2" l ovals. Once set up, just kept feeding as much brass stock as I had available. As the die wears, the brass would "drag" during the punching process. Had to go back and remove that (lightly) on a belt sander. Then, locate and drill the hole for the wire rod and screw hole.

IMG_2226.JPG
IMG_2248.JPG

Would have to say, cabooses are the worst as they'll eat up as many as 40 mounting pads for all the different grabs and hand holds.

Hope that helps. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

hoppercar
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by hoppercar » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:37 am

Very interesting reading...really enjoying this series....but somehow I missed how you formed the roof panels?...how did you make the small 90 degree bends, that form the drip edge, where the roof meets the sidewalls ?

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:44 pm

Hello Hoppercar...must have just missed your comment. Sorry. Glad to read you're "enjoying" the article.

Now for your question. No, I didn't form the roof panels...so you didn't miss anything. I contacted a friend that had a principle interest in a sheet metal fabrication operation on the Left Coast and asked if he could help. Gave him the dimensions (edge rise, roof angle, etc.). Originally asked the panels be made formed in aluminum to avoid rust issues. For whatever reason, those panels didn't work. Don't know if the edge rises were too long or the distance from the edge to the ridge wasn't right. The bend for the roof edge was tight and that showed signs of cracking. Didn't matter. Couldn't use those unless I put more time into them.

Asked if he could redo the panels with a new drawing (which was provided)...and then, another package showed up at my door with the steel roof panels. Didn't realize it at the time, but was glad he switched from aluminum to steel. Was easier for his people to form the roof edge bends the 2nd time around. You'll see why the steel worked out better soon enough when the ribs were attached.

How's that? Did I answer your question? Keep on watching. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:38 pm

FIDDLIN' ON THE ROOF - PART 1

Hmmm, had already written part 1 of this post and submitted that. But now I see it was never posted. Maybe it fell into the bit bucket somewhere along the line. Have no choice except to recreate the original post...and go from there. Drat...hate that when that happens! So, here we go again.

As noted in my previous response, had the roof panels cut and formed to my dimensions. While the original aluminum panels didn't fit right, the steel do-overs fit great. Most important, the bends had to coincide with the aluminum dreadnaught end castings.

It was early January 2021, time to kick this project in the donkey and get the box and reefer completed and moved out of the shop. Had another project waiting for me to get started. With the 2 car bodies moved out, that would provide more room in the shop to be swinging materials around.

Long ago, sat down using the CAD system to draw up the roof panel rib layouts. Wanted a separate layout for each car. Knew the reefer would have one less rib at each end. The box car needed (11) ribs. The reefer needed (9) ribs...so there was space on the ends for the ice hatches.

If memory serves, the roof ribs were purchased from Precision Steel Car. Believe Morris Loco Works also sells similar ribs, but not familiar with their rib lengths or shape. The PSC ribs come completely formed with a bend in the center to sit on the roof ridge. There's plenty of "tab" material on the ends to wrap over the roof edge and remove the excess.

IMG_4223.JPG

Didn't take long to realize these ribs were too long for the width of these roof panels. While the "tabs" would eventually be shortened, there was no way to get around this without cutting the rib in half...and removing additional material. For now, will set the ribs aside and get back to those AFTER the roof walk risers are attached. Would be easier if I didn't have to work over or around other obstructions on the roof.

IMG_4226.JPG

The next matter to address would be a means of holding the parts in place during fastening. Instead of purchasing and extra long set of vise grips, decided to modify a few vise grips (was cheaper in the long run). Made some aluminum "shoes" using a ball end mill that would fit over the ribs and hold the "rib flats" against the roof surface. Rivets holding the original shoe clamps were ground off. The center of the original clamps were drilled and countersunk for a flat head screw. The new aluminum rib shoes were drilled/tapped to be held in place with that screw...but left loose enough so the shoes could still swivel. The original rivet was replaced with an allen socket head screw and Nylok nut.

IMG_4230.JPG

And if that wasn't enough, the longest clamp STILL wasn't long enough to reach the roof ridge. So, called upon the band saw to cut the arms on (1) pair of vise grips. Took (2) pieces of steel angle and sandwiched the ends of each vise grip tong and bolted everything back together. Voila'...a long reach pair of vise grips.

IMG_4233.JPG

With long, medium and short reach vise grips, was ready to proceed with the 1st part of the roof work. The swiveling "shoes" allowed me to clamp the item to be held, but still swing the clamps to the side for drilled/tapping or other access.

IMG_4235.JPG

Now, I could get to work. 1st items to be attached to the roof would be the roof risers. Remember, starting with a "clean slate" meant starting at the roof ridge. Some time back, one of the hobby suppliers showed up a train club annual meet. He had a 120 volt spot welder in the back of his truck. Asked if that unit was for sale. Response...YES. SOLD...how much do you want for that? Now had another tool for the shop arsenal.

However, didn't feel comfortable using the spot welded to attach the roof walk risers. The roof walk would be used as a handle if/when the roof panel would be removed. Didn't want to grab the roof walk and have the spot welds break loose. Decided to drill/tap the roof for some small 4-40 button head screws to hold the risers in place.

This would be the 1st test of the long reach vise grips. When the roof walk risers were made, holes were drilled in the mounting flats to fasten the riser to the roof. The rib and riser locations were drawn on the roof in pencil. Simply had to center the riser on the roof and locate the pencil lines by looking thru the mounting holes. Clamp the riser in place. Drill the roof. Tap the roof. And open the hole in the riser for a 4-40 clearance hole. Then, attach the riser. Next!

After the end risers and a riser in the middle were fastened, clamped an aluminum straight edge at the roof ends and clamped the bar to the center riser. No longer had to measure side to side to insure the riser was centered. After that, riser installation went quickly.

IMG_4237.JPG

Next time, we'll finish the roof riser installation...and move on from there. Stay tuned. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by ccvstmr » Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:42 am

FIDDLIN' ON THE ROOF - PART 2

In the last post, was just started to attached the roof walk risers. After securing risers at the roof ends and center, was able to clamp a length of aluminum bar stock to the roof and use as a straight edge. To align the remaining risers, just had to spot each riser over the pencil reference lines drawn on the roof. Clamp. Drill. Remove the riser. Deburr the hole. Tap. Take the riser to the drill press. Open that hole. Duburr and install. That process was repeated (26) times: (11) risers for each box 'n reefer roof plus (4) more risers on the box car for the end roof walk returns.

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With all the risers in place on the box car roof, was time to set the roof walk over the risers and take a look at what was created.

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The roof walk ends would NORMALLY be a little longer and supported by a bracket. I opted to shorten the roof walk and eliminate that bracket. WHY? I knew the roofs for both the box and reefer would be fastened to the car body...but could be set aside by removing (2) screws. A couple larger button head screws located under the roof walk ends stood a better chance of surviving such wear and tear compared to a brass form brackets and a couple 2-56 hex head screws. This was a matter of simplicity and practicality. Or in other words...builders choice.

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Here's both roofs standing tall and proud to the side in the shop. Notice the blocks of wood on the floor. With the roof walk overhang, the roofs needed some support to prevent roof walk damage.

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With the roof risers out of the way, it was time for a in-house shop rib fest. I purchased a few extra ribs long ago just in case...

Started by working on (1) rib until I was sure how the ribs would be prepared for mounting. After studying some photos, decided I wanted the formed rib to sit approx. 1/4" back from the roof edge. Set the rib in place on the roof, clamped and bent the tab over the roof edge. Marked and cut off the excess. Setting the rib up snug to the edge of the roof, could then mark where the rib crossed roof ridge...and cut off the excess rib at the roof ridge. Set the disk sander table to the corresponding roof angle and sanded the end of the roof rib. Prepared the other half of the rib in the same manner.

After the 1st pair of ribs were fitted, it was time to examine the arrangement. Think we got a plan now.

IMG_4247.JPG

The process of cutting, fitting, sanding, etc. was completed for the remaining box car roof ribs. These were numbered in pairs in the event one half was slightly longer than the other half so I could match the pairs during installation. Nobody would see the cut lines along the roof ridge. Those would all be hidden by the roof walk.

Used a sheet metal pliers to insure the rib edge wrap was close and tight to the roof. Sheet metal pliers are a smooth jaw pliers...that are approx. 3" wide. Doubt I'll ever use these again, but you never know.

IMG_4261.JPG

We'll pick up here next time as we creep up on the actual rib fastening. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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NP317
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Re: Economy Box 'n Reef

Post by NP317 » Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:45 am

Carl:
I am reading all you present and learning.
Thanks, and keep posting.
RussN

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