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Scratchbuilding a side discharge rotary snow plow

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  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, July 3, 2023 10:53 AM

Your determination on this project is inspiring, Dave!

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 3, 2023 6:25 AM

I spent the night adding the final details to the Cook Car. It was a very frustrating experience! My hands were shaking badly so trying to get holes drilled in the right places and then trying to get the 0.0125" phosphor bronze wire into those holes took forever! I lost no less than four pieces of hand fabricated railing and one grab iron into the ether.

I also rearranged some of the interior pieces in the Cook Car. I realized that I had placed the cook stove right in front of two of the larger windows.DunceGrumpy Of course moving things around didn't go smoothly either. I managed to break the locking magnetic reed switch when I was unsoldering it.Grumpy Fortunately I have a bunch of spares. Then the floor partially came loose when I was cutting through the stove and sink legs. Then I had to cut a second chunk out of the back of the cold storage cabinets to accommodate one end of the reed switch. I had already removed part of the back panel to accommodate the power pick up wiring.  The holes can't be seen with the shell on, but If I want to take the shell off to show the interior details I'll have to figure out how to patch them up.

Just to demonstrate how fussy I am, the new arrangement doesn't make sense. Previously I had the countertop right next to the stove so that anything that had to be taken off of the stove could be set down immediately right next to the stove. Now the cook has to carry the hot pots past the woodpile and past the sink before they can put them down. That offends my kitchen design and safety sensibilities!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh How anal can I get?!? I wonder if anyone will ever notice.

Now that the Cook Car is complete (except for paint and decals of course) I'll have to choose what car to work on next. I need a crew car and a tool car amongst others. I'm not sure how much detail I will add to their interiors because it will be practically impossible to see inside unless the shells are removed. Who knows, I may follow the Cook Car lead and detail the interiors just for the heck of it.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 29, 2023 4:47 AM

I have almost completed the railings, grab irons and the ladder on one end of the Cook Car. Some of the details like the grab iron stand offs are a bit oversized but I'm not going to complain:

I have decided to not attach the ladders to the roof. They seem to stand up pretty solidly on their own. That will make removing the shell very easy.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 7:34 PM

SeeYou190
I have never driled brass stock for ladder rungs. Amazing.

I'll admit that it was a bit tedious. The hardest part was getting the starting marks in the right place. The styles are 1/16" x 1/32". Getting a tiny indentation in the middle of 1/16" wide stock takes some patience. I suffered many failures where the starting point was not centered with the result that the drill bit wandered towards the edge of the strip. If it gets too close to the edge the style will crack and is then useless.

To make the starting marks I first started with a compass point. (Thanks to doctorwayne for the suggestion). That put a very tiny indentation into the brass but the indentation was too small to use as a drill starting point. The next step was to use a small center punch to enlarge the starting point. After several tries I was able to feel when the punch center point was in the mark made by the compass point (I couldn't see where the punch was sitting because my fingers were in the way). Then I gave the center punch a very light tap with a small hammer. That created a large enough indentation for the drill bit to stay in place when I started to drill.

I did the styles one at a time and Lady Luck made most of the holes line up so the rungs were level. For the couple of spots where the rung holes didn't line up I put the rung wire through the hole on one of the styles that was at the right height and then butt soldered the rung to the other style. The rung spacing is not perfectly even but any differences are not noticeable. I should have used the compass to get the spacing exactly even (as doctorwayne had suggested), but I guess I was just being lazy.Embarrassed It's good enough for me.

By the way, the drill bits that I was having such a hard time with when I was trying to make the drilling jig worked perfectly for drilling the styles. Go figure!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 2:46 AM

I got the extra rungs added to the tops of the ladders. They look much better. On to the end railings.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 1:24 AM

Attuvian1
The photo of the C&T cook car hints at another rung on the ladder, which would be a second on the upper curvature.

Hi John,

I definitely need to add another rung at the top of the ladder. The gap is just too great. Adding the rung will be a bit tricky now that the ladder is assembled. I'll have to make a jig to support the styles as I drill the holes, and soldering the additional rung into place will have to be done very quickly in order to not disturb the other soldered joints. I will use some damp tissue paper to protect the other joints.

Thank you for your compliments about the car. I have to say that I am rather pleased with the way it is turning out. Doing the interior was a lot of fun.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Attuvian1 on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 1:06 AM

hon30critter

. . .  although I may put another rung at the top of the ladders because the current gap between the existing top rung and the roof is rather large.

Cheers!!

Dave 

Dave,

The photo of the C&T cook car hints at another rung on the ladder, which would be a second on the upper curvature.  To me, it is being masked in your prototype photo by the shadow of the roof overhang.  I can't confirm because I can't blow up the photo sufficiently to examine more closely.

Attuvian1 John

BTW, that's a great lookin' car you've bult there!  Yes

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, June 26, 2023 11:44 PM

Overmod
In my opinion those ladders need to work like caboose ladders -- the sides need to extend up past the roofline and then 'crook' over and attach to the roof or the edges of the walkway to serve as 'handrails'

Hi Overmod,

That would make sense, but the Cumbres and Toltec car that I am using as a prototype had the ladders formed exactly as I have done:

I guess the railing on the roof is to be used to allow the person to pull themselves up onto the walkway.

My walkway has a very slight slope to the outside. I won't claim that that was intentional but it seems to have worked out. I haven't got the ends of the boards even yet but a quick touch with a sanding disc will cure that.

Next step is to form the end handrails. I also have to figure out how to make the shell removable with the ladders installed. I'm still figuring that out.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, June 26, 2023 11:43 AM

hon30critter
It took me nearly three hours just to get the styles drilled.

I have never driled brass stock for ladder rungs.

Amazing.

Bow

-Kevin

Living the dream.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 26, 2023 7:23 AM

In my opinion those ladders need to work like caboose ladders -- the sides need to extend up past the roofline and then 'crook' over and attach to the roof or the edges of the walkway to serve as 'handrails'.  The way you have them now, you'd need at least one or two grabs on the roof itself for the poor crew to hitch themselves up, when the alternative is pretty straightforward both for going up and going down...

I would be tempted to raise the walkway slightly, so that the inside edge is clear of the roof by at least an inch or two (for drainage) and since this is to be used extensively in snow and ice, inclining the walkway very slightly toward the center of the roof.

Where's the brakewheel on this car going to be?

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, June 26, 2023 7:13 AM

The second ladder is assembled, and I got the roof walk installed on the Cook Car:

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, June 26, 2023 2:56 AM

I managed to make one of the end ladders for the Cook Car!

I took everyone's advice and threw it all out the window (sorry, no offense intended. Your ideas were great). I simply decided that I had to do more accurate work. I started by using a compass point (I will credit doctorwayne for that idea) to put a tiny indentation in the styles at each rung position. Then I used a small center punch to enlarge the indentations. Then I drilled the holes freehand using my slow speed electric drill.

Okay, I will admit that I threw out several styles before I got four that I could use, and I will admit that it took me nearly three hours just to get the styles drilled.

The results aren't perfect but they are good enough for me, although I may put another rung at the top of the ladders because the current gap between the existing top rung and the roof is rather large. Hopefully I can do as well on the second ladder.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, June 25, 2023 2:16 PM

BATMAN
try turning the drill bit around in the drill, pointy end down.

Hi Brent,

What if I'm holding the drill with the chuck pointing up?Smile, Wink & GrinLaughClown

Hi Mark,

I don't have a drill press. I have tried using a pin vise and two different electric drills. One drill turns very slowly and I have used it successfully to drill tons of holes without problems. The other drill is variable speed but it didn't matter what speed I tried.

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the leads on the etched ladders. I'm just about frustrated enough to go that route.

Hi Overmod,

I suspect that you are right in that the drill bit is spinning on loose cuttings or a loose solder plug. There is almost nothing in the flutes. I did try tapping the pipe to see if anything came out but nothing did. I'll give your suggestion about creating an exit hole for the cuttings a try.

I got an email from doctorwayne suggesting a method for scribing the ladder sides to mark the drilling points. It requires a level of accuracy which I'm not sure I am capable of achieving but I will give it a try.

Thanks very much everyone for your suggestions (including Brent).

 

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 24, 2023 7:59 PM

Try countersinking the hole in the bottom of the bar, away from the tube.

Alternatively, cut a gap in the bar either side of where the bit will come through opposite the guide tube.

I'm suspecting that you're cutting chips that the flutes in the drill won't clear up the tube.  They jam, lubrication doesn't really help, ouch!

So what you need is a way to knock or blow the chips sideways as they are cut, so they don't immediately jam in the fluting.

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, June 24, 2023 3:29 PM

I don't know if this will be any help or not. Sometimes when I'm faced with a challenge I simply have to resort to costly, yet less frustrating solutions:

 Westerfield ladder PRR X23 by Edmund, on Flickr

Westerfield offers an etched brass ladder. I have a few I bought for my X23 and R7 kits and haven't tackled them just yet.

 Westerfield ladder rung by Edmund, on Flickr

I don't know if anyone in Canada offers these or even if Westerfield ships to Canada. Maybe eBay? Anyway, just another option. The X23 isn't a very tall car and I'm not sure if Westerfield makes a longer ladder.

Yarmouth is another source:

https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-306

 

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, June 24, 2023 11:46 AM

hon30critter

My problem, as I stated above, is that my Chicago-Latrobe #77 drill bits refuse to drill the hole through the drilling guide. I have tried three different bits, with and without lubrication, and at various speeds. Nada!! I even tried a #78 bit thinking that the brass tube might have been slightly crushed which might have caused the #77 bits to bind, but when I removed (read - broke) the tube off of the drill guide, the #77 drill bit passed through it just fine.

All I'm trying to drill through is lead solder and brass. What am I doing wrong????AngryBang HeadBang HeadBang HeadGrumpyGrumpyCrying I have never had a problem like this before using the same drill bits.

Cheers!!

Dave

A question:

What type of drill are you using? Pin vice, Drill press, hand-held Dremel, ...?

If it's a drill press of some sort, does it have drill stops? If so, are they set properly? Maybe the stop is preventing the drill from feeding the bit into the work?

Dumb thing, I know, but I had that happen to me in shop class way back in 1968 and I've never forgotten that lesson.

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Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, June 24, 2023 10:11 AM

hon30critter
All I'm trying to drill through is lead solder and brass. What am I doing wrong???? I have never had a problem like this before using the same drill bits.

We're all getting long in the tooth Dave, try turning the drill bit around in the drill, pointy end down.WhistlingLaughSmile, Wink & Grin

Brent

"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, June 23, 2023 11:31 PM

Well, making the drilling jig for the Cook Car ladders is defying me!Angry I can't get my supposedly good quality #77 and #78 drill bits to cut through to the bottom of the drilling guide and I don't understand why.

The drilling guide is very simple. It consists of a 1/16" x 1/32" bar about 3/4" long to which is soldered a 1/16" OD brass tube at a right angle. The second part of the jig is a board with a 1/16" wide x 3/32" deep slot, with the slot being marked for the proper spacing of the ladder rungs. To use the jig, you place two strips of 1/16" x 1/32" brass stock flat side down in the groove with a little CA between the two strips so that they can't move relative to each other, and then place the drilling guide in the slot above the brass strips. Then you drill the rung holes at the proper intervals according to the markings on the board.

My problem, as I stated above, is that my Chicago-Latrobe #77 drill bits refuse to drill the hole through the drilling guide. I have tried three different bits, with and without lubrication, and at various speeds. Nada!! I even tried a #78 bit thinking that the brass tube might have been slightly crushed which might have caused the #77 bits to bind, but when I removed (read - broke) the tube off of the drill guide, the #77 drill bit passed through it just fine.

All I'm trying to drill through is lead solder and brass. What am I doing wrong????AngryBang HeadBang HeadBang HeadGrumpyGrumpyCrying I have never had a problem like this before using the same drill bits.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, June 23, 2023 9:15 PM

I gave Overmod's suggested method a try. I was able to cut a suitably sized groove in a piece of pine, and I was able to make up the drilling jig using a short piece of brass strip the same size as the ladder rails and a tiny piece of brass tube the same size as the drill bit to be used to drill the rung holes.

I ran into a problem when I was trying to drill the hole through the drilling jig. For reasons I don't understand the drill bit stopped cutting. I'll have to find a fresh bit but I decided to leave it for the night.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 9:14 PM

Overmod
Cut a square straight-sided groove just the width of the ladder upright stock into a block of hardwood, deep enough for three or more thicknesses of stock.  Mark an index on the edge of the groove with the ring spacing. Solder or attach tubing with clearance diameter for your bit on a piece of the strip stock, then drill the stock through using the tube as a guide.  This may be easier if you have a small drill press or equivalent. Make up your pairs of uprights and line them up in the groove so they align where the rungs are to go.  Then put the stock with the tube in the slot, slide it longitudinally to each position, and drill through everything at once.

Hi Overmod,

Thank you very much for sharing that method. It sounds much easier than trying to do things freehand which is essentially what I was doing. Doctorwayne used a wooden jig as well but his had the curve at the top of the ladder built in. The Cook Car ladders are somewhat unusual in that each side has a slightly different profile in the curves at the top, but the proper alignment of the rungs could still be achieved in the curves using your method.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 6:25 PM

Cut a square straight-sided groove just the width of the ladder upright stock into a block of hardwood, deep enough for three or more thicknesses of stock.  Mark an index on the edge of the groove with the ring spacing.

Solder or attach tubing with clearance diameter for your bit on a piece of the strip stock, then drill the stock through using the tube as a guide.  This may be easier if you have a small drill press or equivalent.

Mske up your pairs of uprights and line them up in the groove so they align where the rungs are to go.  Then put the stock with the tube in the slot, slide it longitudinally to each position, and drill through everything at once.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 3:03 AM

I spent some time tonight trying to build the end ladders for the Cook Car. I want to build them the same way that doctorwayne makes his caboose ladders because his ladders are so realistic.

To say that I didn't succeed would be a gross understatement!! I started with 1/16" x 1/32" brass strips for the ladder side rails. I was able to bend them into the proper shape without too much difficulty. Then I lightly soldered the two side rails together so that I could get the rung holes at exactly the same height on both sides. So far, so good.

Then I tried to drill the holes for the rungs. That's when the trouble started. I used a small center punch to make a tiny indentation for the drill bit, but I couldn't get the marks in the exact center of the rails. I tried to to compensate by angling the drill bit but that didn't accomplish anything.

I have asked doctorwayne if he would be willing to re-post his ladder making method on this thread.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, June 19, 2023 5:47 AM

hon30critter

I do believe that, when modeling, sometimes there are situations where having things a bit oversized makes for a better appearance. 

Dave



I've long felt that way about KD couplers. Real couplers are bulky. I model in HO and the scale couplers just look too tiny. I prefer the look of standard sized KDs. 

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, June 19, 2023 4:49 AM

I got the roof railing installed but, as you can see, I still have a lot of clean up to do. It took a little while to get the railing straight and level but I think it looks okay.

I also applied another coat of paint to the 'canvas' and it has made the weave less obvious. I still have to deal with a few bumps and uneven edges. I was able to sand some of the bumps off the roof before I applied the second coat without damaging the fabric. The second coat of paint should make the fabric pretty stable so I can be a little more agressive with the sanding.

Next will be the walkway and then I will have to figure out how to build the ladders.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, June 17, 2023 5:41 AM

Nothing to report for the last three days because I have been hobbled by my right knee. I can get downstairs without too much difficulty but going back upstairs is extremely painfull. Getting out of a chair ain't no fun neither. I managed to score an appointment with my knee surgeon for next Thursday because he had a cancellation, but it could be months before the operation can be performed. Things are still chronically backlogged as a result of Covid.

While I'm down here tonight I will see what I can do to create the roof walkway and handrails.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 10:59 AM

I think the roof looks fine.  This kind of car did not get perfect repairs when needed.  They were probably ready to slap another piece of ragged canvas on top of any problem, and no one cared if it looked OK.

York1 John       

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 10:44 AM

Hi Overmod,

There's my excuse for the shoddy roofing job! It is a maintenance of way car that isn't getting the tlc that a proper paid service car would be getting.BowLaugh

One side of the lower roof will be hidden by a walkway and there be a handrail on the upper roof as well. Hopefully those will draw some attention away from the quality of the roofing job.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 8:15 AM

hon30critter

Hi rrebell,

You are absolutely correct. It is too thick and the edges aren't perfectly straight. I probably could have done a better job with plain tissue paper, but what's done is done. I personally like the look and I'm not going to start over again. I will say that the camera makes the seams look more pronounced then they are to the naked eye (at least to my eyes which aren't all that great).

I do believe that, when modeling, sometimes there are situations where having things a bit oversized makes for a better appearance. For example, I don't like the look of a true to scale HO sand pile because you can't see the sand. I used fine real beach sand for my sanding house despite the fact that the individual grains are far too large. There is no question that it is a sand pile instead of a blob of whatever.

Each to his own.

Cheers!!

Dave

 

 

Totally agree with the sand pile. On my layout I have a Campbell sanding station and luckily it came with sand, way out of scale but smaller than beach sand and more consistant size wize.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 12, 2023 9:57 PM

The thing to cut this kind of fabric is a rotary cutter.  Carefully use pins on a self-healing board to pull the weave of the fabric piece square, not under excessive tension, and then run the cutter along a straightedge that is holding the 'good' side down.

I go for overkill and lap the cutting edge of the wheel with that 3M film to make it as keen and smooth an edge as possible, but that might just be OCD.

I do think that roof is too heavy to represent typical tarred canvas... but it would be credible (I think) for MOW equipment to have the roof done like a building with tarpaper... which is what that looks like to me.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, June 12, 2023 7:54 PM

Hi Bear,

That is a very nice flatcar load! It took me a minute to realize that it was a model. I had to zoom into it to see the frayed edges you referred to.

Today I took a major step forward towards getting back to work on my layout. I ordered new LED lighting for the garage. The existing fluorescent fixtures are over 30 years old and only a few of them still worked. Changing the tubes didn't help because the ballasts are shot.

The lights get installed tomorrow morning.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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