I need a break from building buildings, so I decided to start the Coal project:
Jim figured out how to modify a BLW/PVC Phase II car, and Mike contributed 3d prints of the stakes. Paul Vaughn custom packaged 10 kits for me and even included more correct urethane end beams. The end beams need some work to fit.
Well, let me think about this ... It rained like hell all Saturday, so I rebuilt the
coilbox in my Model TT and then cut down the seat tracks on a pair of heated
leather seats to install in my truck, and generally cleaned up the shop, as stuff
piles up during the week from work. Today, I cleaned up some more in the shop,
then cut and installed new base trim in the stairwell landing where I put down
new carpet last week. Then I moved upstairs and began work on framing the
south side rake wall in the new addition. The house was not framed squarely,
so marrying in the new with the old requires some finesse and a lot of head scratching.
Spare time this week has been spent sanding, so not much visible progress. The end beams have some air bubbles that require filling and a couple of the truss rod ends were missing. Drilling out the missing pieces and so .020 wire did the trick:
As Keith, Mike and I discussed how to build these cars, Mike tended to want to scratch build out of wood, while Keith and I opted to use the BLW/PVC phase 2 coal car kit, with its injected molded frame, floor and hidden weight as well as cast in coupler pockets.
Keith's post and a recent email finally got me off my butt and back to the work bench--this is my progress so far:
Not ready to haul coal yet, but getting there.
To modify the PVC kit, given the 9" side sills of the phase 2 cars and overly thick deck in the kit, I found that adding Evergreen HO 4x6 strip styrene (0.044"x0.066") to the bottom of the side sills came up with a new notched side sill of just shy of 12 scale inches. Since the St Charles cars had individual corner irons, I couldn't use the PVC kit ends, so I sliced off the upper end planks from the end beam, carved off the phase two coupler striker casting and truss rod end bolts and made new wood buffer blocks:
I built my first pair of sides from S scale Evergreen 2x10s (0.032"x 0.1563") but found that when mounted to the floor against the stakes, Mike's stakes appeared a bit short (Mike's stakes are right on, the over thick PVC kit floor is again responsible).
So I built new sides of Evergreen 0.030 x 0.156 strip styrene which made the 4-board sides just a wee bit shorter. The scale 2" thick side boards are a bit delicate, and one might use Evergreen 0.040 x 0.156 strip for strength (0.040" yields S scale 2.5" thick side boards). I was surprised that the printed plastic stakes seem to weld to the Evergreen styrene with MEK pretty well, but will probably run ACC along the joints for strength.
For this car I will be using the 4'-0" wheelbase St Charles arch bar trucks, first produced by Cimarron Works, now sold by Paul Vaughn at PVC. Keith will be using PVC's ASF 4'-0" arch bar trucks for his car. The St Charles trucks, from delivery until USSA refitting in the mid-teens, had outside hung wooden brake beams (see builders photo above). I will be modifying Leadville Shops brass castings of wood brake beams/shoes to fit the trucks.
To modify the underframe, I removed the phase 2 brake cylinder mounts and added Evergreen S scale 1x8 over the bolsters to represent the plate bolsters of the earlier car. I also added inboard brake beam hanger blocks and tie rods. The main train line is Plastistruct 0.020 rod with PBL "tee" and Grandt On3 scale elbow castings for the cross over pipe. Many NBWs are in the future.
Next up will be the ends to give the box body strength, so's the side stakes don't pop off.
Well, I guess I'd better start on my coal cars now too! As Jim mentioned, I'll be using wood for my cars, although I'll do one starting with the PVC kit. I told the guys I'd have brass etched corner brackets made, guess I'd better follow through with that too. I'll do one or two cars with the individual brackets and the others with GrandtLine full corners.
These brackets will follow the pattern as seen in the photo of 4090 that Jim posted. The illustration represents one car's worth. The blue line will be a shallow etch on the back side for bending. My cars will be for a freelance road with a C&S influence. Got all the other parts and trucks, enough to build four.
The Shapeways stakes DID come out nicely... guess I'd better format the drawing for etching and send it out.
The feature that most distinguishes the St Charles cars from the 1902 coal cars are the four extra stake pockets on the car sides. Grandt S scale "single U-bolt" stake pockets match Derrell Poole's drawings exactly. Tichey 0.035" and 0.030" rivets were used for the bolster bolt heads on the side sills and and for the brake cylinder mounting bolts.
Ends and end details:
As built, the St Charles coal cars had a pair of stakes on the outside of each end. Per Derrell's notes, sometime before 1907 (likely when automatic couplers were installed c1903), the stakes were removed and new stakes installed on the inside of the ends, leaving two visible vertical rows of bolt heads to mark the position of the inside stakes.
Coal car 4160 c1902 with the original outside stakes. Note truss rod bolt heads and washers, original retainer position. Also note the wood brake beams.
Coal car 4188 in Blackhawk, 1913. Note the vertical rows of bolt heads for the relocated stakes, and repositioned retainer pipe. The purpose of the extra stake pockets is explained.
To model the stake bolt heads, I used Tichey 0.025" rivets, positioned per Derrell's plans. The new inside end stakes are Grandt "high-side" gon stakes cut to fit. The individual corner irons will be applied last, after the car is painted C&S red and the corner irons are blackened or painted "grimey black".
The St Charles cars had an unusual vertical, rectangular truss rod washers, and the truss rods were secured to the end beams with large square bolt heads, not threaded nuts--the turn buckles must have been the only way to tighten the truss rods. I used Evergreen HO 1x6 strip (0.044 x 0.066) for the washers and squares cut from 0.020 x 0.040 strip for all 4 truss rod bolt heads, including the inner two on the buffer block face plate.
Tichey 0.030" rivets were used for the smaller bolt heads on the end beam. The retainer is from the PVC kit. Retainer pipe is Plastistruct 0.010" rod; it may need to be replaced with 0.008" wire..
This week: Grab irons, coupler lift levers, brakeman's end platforms (both ends in 1909!), then to the paint shop to paint and weather the interior.