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I need lots of grab iron info

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I need lots of grab iron info
Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Thursday, February 21, 2019 5:13 PM

I am getting kinda bored of my rulling stock and athearn RTR f7s having molded in details or completely lacking them. I have seen an impressive improvement with pictures of train equipment that have grab irons and stirrups, so I want to start there. What is the correct wire thickness? How can I manufacture drill jigs? How can I make jigs to bend these irons and stirrups correctly? I am thinking of first starting with my great nothern F7. Anyone know how to detail these for cheap? I am modelling ho scale.

BNSF: Big and Noisy but Surely Fascinating!

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 21, 2019 5:24 PM

Walthers has these:

https://www.walthers.com/diesel-dress-up-kit-athearn-f7-and-f9-a-b-units

That should get you started.

And to make your own jigs, what wire size, etc., just hold on, as DrWayne will see this, and you'll be on your way,  Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Thursday, February 21, 2019 6:16 PM

Thanks! That kit is perfect! The only probem is, the cheapest shipping is another $11...

Guess we will have to wait for DrWayne!

BNSF: Big and Noisy but Surely Fascinating!

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 21, 2019 6:57 PM

Yea, that's one problem with Walthers, you can buy a $1 part and shipping is always $11.

Mike.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:17 PM

look on Ebay, there is one seller who will ship for $4.81 and the cost of the kit is cheaper than Walthers.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

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Posted by j. c. on Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:35 PM

this might be a  better solution than buying premade grabs https://www.micromark.com/Grab-Iron-Bending-Gauge 

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Posted by Attuvian on Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:56 PM

j. c.

this might be a  better solution than buying premade grabs https://www.micromark.com/Grab-Iron-Bending-Gauge 

 
Well, a very hearty maybe on this gizzie.  First, note the price.  Add to that Micromark's shipping.  And then note the only review that is currently attached to the link.  Apparently not so hot for HO equipment.
 
Doctor Wayne must be having a late dinner . . .  He'll be here in due time.
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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 21, 2019 8:04 PM

Until he shows up, this is one of Doc Wayne's threads on roof corner grab irons.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/13/p/273669/3115167.aspx#3115167

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, February 21, 2019 9:45 PM

Unless the grabirons that you're replacing are an unusual size, I'd suggest the pre-bent ones from Tichy.   Here's a link to Tichy's catalogue.  It takes a few minutes to load, but you'll see plenty of stuff for detailing freight cars, including phosphor bronze wire for making your own grabirons - I prefer the .0125" diameter, while others like the .010". Scroll down to page 49 for the pre-bent grabirons, straight- or drop-style, both in either standard 18" width or 24" width.  These are done in the .0125" wire, and I'd recommend them as opposed to bending your own - I reserve custom bending only for when the width needed is not available ready-made.  If you're doing hundreds of cars, they're well-worth the price for the time they'll save.

As for the diesel dress-up kit, I have a set, marked as complete, which was given to me in a box of other stuff.  It's yours if you'll PM me your mailing address.

If you decide to buy stuff from Tichy, I'd suggest buying it directly from Tichy, rather than through a third-party seller.  Their shipping (even to Canada) is reasonable, and I've found Don Tichy to be very prompt answering questions, too.  Often, they'll have discounts on various items - I get notices of them, so you may wish to sign-up for that, too.

If you have other questions, lemme know.

Wayne

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Posted by NS6770fan on Friday, February 22, 2019 5:48 AM

If you want to go the extra mile, get piano wire from your LHS. Bend it up with a pair of needle nose pliers.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, February 22, 2019 6:14 AM

Unless you are married to these Athearn locomotives, I would strongly suggest buying replacement locomotives from Stewart/Kato. These can be had for around $50.00, they run superb, and the bodies come with pre-dimpled locators for the details in the Walthers F Unit Dress-Up kit.

.

Installing the Walthers kit on a Stewart/Kato unit is a great way to start.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by tstage on Friday, February 22, 2019 6:27 AM

I'll 2nd Kevin's suggestion.  Stewart drives are 2nd-to-none for smoothness.  And the shells make it easy to add those metal grabirons and handrails.  Bowser also sells the Cal Scale F-unit detail kits that have everything you need to detail them.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, February 22, 2019 6:27 AM

I use the Tichy, I keep both drop and straight in stock, and most specialty stuff I bend my self from bronze wire, which is also Tichy.

Looks like Wayne's got a diesel dressup kit for the OP, that will be a good start

I've made my jigs from styrene, as far as spacing on diesel locos, and once all grabs are in place, I use a piece of .040 to get'em all even as far as space between loco and grabs, then I bend the tails over on the inside of the loco and secure with CA.  Nothing new and inovating.

It is nice to see the real grabs, in place of the cast-ons, it just gives a new level of detail in appearance.  Oh, and yea, I carefully remove the cast-ons, and try to save the little dipple that represents the rivet or bolt, and drill just under it.

Mike.

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, February 22, 2019 10:10 AM

If you are removing cast on grab irons and other details, MicroMark offers (and yeah see above about shipping costs but every now and then they offer free shipping so I kind of keep a running shopping list going for those times) very good chisel tools, one wide and one narrow, that I find more helpful that chisel blades in an Xacto handle, although those are good to have around as well.

You can do very precise work with those MicroMark chisel tools but it is still a good idea to cover surrounding details (rivets etc) with blue masking tape.

There are many details one sees on real F units that are not on Athearn shells (and other makes as well) so it pays to keep track of useful articles in the various magazines.  And many such details are totally railroad specific.  Unfortunately some of the most useful articles about railroad specific details are in the magazines that do not exist anymore such as Rail Model Journal and Model Railroading and Mainline Modeler.

Unless they have changed by the way, the old Walthers diesel dress up kit has rather oversized grabs compared to what most meticulous modelers are using now.  But then I bought mine 35 years ago ....  

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, February 22, 2019 10:29 AM

Same here Dave, got mine about 1990, still unopened, but I have a project in the works, so I'll use them.  The grabs and handles are just a wee bit bigger.

The set that Tom links to looks good.

Some of the parts I'll be using will come from Highliners.

https://highlinersonline.com/

Mike.

 

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Friday, February 22, 2019 6:04 PM

Well, the good news is, a guy at the club swapped both the athearn chassi with stewart ones. So only the shells are actually athearn.

EDIT:

I just checked out the Tichy catalogue. I have to say I am very impressed. They have just about every detail part I could ever want, and the prices and shipping costs are outstanding. Thanks for that link.

BNSF: Big and Noisy but Surely Fascinating!

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