DETAILS - End beams & Railings
Since the discussion regarding the corner steps was just completed, figured the next logical details to describe would be the end beams and railings.
For consistency, the end beams for car #7 would follow the same design as the end beams made for cars #5 and #6. For that matter, Honest Dave's Central Pacific #1 and #2 were built following the #5 and #6 end beams. Why reinvent the wheel? Design work and machining were already done.
Originally, made (9) end beams...but only used (8). Would need an additional end beam for car #7 using the same dimensions as the original beams.
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Beams were "machined" from white oak material. After planing the material to height and width, cut the boards to length. Then, headed for the mill to cut the tapered bottom edges and the recessed face surfaces on the beam ends. The final end rounding was done with a belt sander
The back side of the end beams was machined to make a recess for the coupler end plate. Will see this again shortly.
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The idea for the tapered end railing posts came from my cupola caboose rebuild effort in '15 based on the Rutland RR post practice. Those posts were made by cutting a series of shoulders and then using a file to shave off those shoulders. Honest Dave would do no such thing. He had a taper attachment for his lathe. So, let Dave make the tapered railing post. If I remember, used 3/8" diameter steel round stock for the posts. This would provide a nice sized stanchion base. The base was drilled/tapped for 10-32 screws. Machined a nice "foot" on the post and tapered the rest. The top end of the post was drill/tapped for a 2-56 screw to hold the handrail. Needed a longer stanchion to make the end post as these would be wrapped around a piece of round stock (1.5" diam?) to make the curved end. Wasn't until later when Dave realized the original (4) cars would need a total of 48 posts! He thought this was turning into a "production job"....well, it was...kind of.
For car #7, would need another (6) posts. What? Why only (6)? Had something else in mind for #7's rear railing. Turned the post fabrication back over to Honest Dave to drill, tap and taper the needed posts.
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Then, Honest Dave made a small fixture to be held in a vise while the end of the long posts could be heated and wrapped around the round stock. A small shoulder was turned on the end as this would interlock with a slot on the end of a 1/8" x 1/4" flat steel bar for the railing. An unused end beam was used as a mock up to hold all the railing parts 'n pieces. 2-56 studs were screwed into the tops of the short posts. The railing, already cut to length and drilled for the post studs, was set on top and be held in place with some 2-56 square nuts. Then, the railing joint could be silver soldered.
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After the silver soldered joint was completed, the joint was dressed with a file or other to smooth off any burrs. A piece of brass plated clock chain was used to "close" the railing gap. Eventually, the railing pieces were sand blasted prior to painting.
The next photo is a good view of the beam back side showing the coupler plate mounted in the rear beam recess. Coupler plate mounting holes were drill and countersunk for (4) 10-32 stainless socket flat head screws. This left a flush surface for mounting the end beam assembly on the end of the car. Safety chain eye bolt holes were located and drill with a #7 drill.
Once positioned on the car end and clamped, would drill thru the brackets under the corner steps with the same #7 drill...and then tap those brackets 1/4-20. Holes in the end beam coupler plate would be opened to 1/4". While the end beam is held in place with the safety chain eye bolts, those eye bolts are secured to the car thru the corner step assembly. Haven't pulled anything out of place yet.
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On the face side of the end beam assembly, a piece of 1/2" steel angle was TIG welded to the coupler plate under the coupler shank opening. This is more decorative than anything else, but does provide additional support for the coupler.
The (4) flat head screws inserted from the back of the beam, are held in place with sand blasted stainless #10 flat washers AND #8 stainless square nuts that were drilled/tapped with 10-32 thread. Why? This way, the square nut wouldn't look excessively large. Used this method of drilling/tapping smaller threaded square nut holes MANY times for all the passenger cars built and the trucks they ride on.
At the time the next photo was taken, only thing left to do was give the end beam assembly a couple coatings of satin black spray paint.
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So that's how the end beams were made and at least (1) of the railings fabricated and mounted. Won't get to the other railing for a while. Next time, will look at the end platform preparations. Carl B.