Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Scratchbuilding a side discharge rotary snow plow

82431 views
1134 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 5, 2023 5:18 AM

I have installed the proper brake wheel system and IMHO it looks pretty good!

I haven't figured out what the manual brake system should look like below the tank but I will come up with something.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 5, 2023 2:50 AM

hon30critter
Changing the brake wheel set up will be easy. I have all the parts. Changing the end platforms might be a bit of a challenge because there are slight height differences between the two sides thanks to my sloppy modeling.

Wrong on both counts! The platforms were easy, the brake wheel configuration not so much.

Changing the end platforms only took a few minutes. The slight height differences were much easier to correct than I thought they would be.

Changing the brake wheel setup has proven to be a bit of a challenge. I had a really hard time finding a gear for the rachet mechanism. Everything I had was way too big. After two days of searching through all of my spare parts I finally realized that the Tichy K style brake parts kit included a rachet mechanism molded into a small panel that was intended to serve as the base for a vertical brake column. After two attempts I was able to cut the mechanism out of the panel, and it still has some gear teeth visible. (The first attempt popped out from under my blade and disappeared into the clutter on the back of my workbenchGrumpy). I may try to make the teeth more obvious but the part is so small that that may prove to be beyond my capabilities. I'll post a photo when all is in place.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 11:26 PM

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the great photos of the tank car!

I see two details that I will have to correct. One is the way the brake wheel shaft is mounted, i.e. horizontally as opposed to vertically. The other is that there is no gap on the end platforms. I don't know why I modeled them with a gap because it doesn't make any sense to have one. Changing the brake wheel set up will be easy. I have all the parts. Changing the end platforms might be a bit of a challenge because there are slight height differences between the two sides thanks to my sloppy modeling.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 16,171 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 7:03 AM

Overmod
Will someone explain to me what that small thin tank running the length of the D&RGW car does?

I'm at a loss to even see what small thin tank you refer to. Sorry. Even after studying the soft B&W photo.

 Water Car by Patricia Henschen, on Flickr

 Rotary OY after dark by Kevin Madore, on Flickr

Excellent workmanship on those brass drop steps, Dave Bow. I would have been chasing gremlins trying to make that many solder joints without the previous ones melting free.

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,118 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 5:16 AM

Will someone explain to me what that small thin tank running the length of the D&RGW car does?  I see that it has been removed as the C&TS now has it.  Or is it only 'on the other side of the car'? -- something I'd doubt for lateral balance reasons.  

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 3:40 AM

There is going to be a pause in the snow train construction while I wait for some items to arrive. Specifically, I have two speakers on order from Scale Sound Systems which will replace the sugar cube speakers in one of the pusher locomotives and the round speaker in the other. Neither locomotive sounds particularly good to me so I'm hoping that the SSS speakers will be an improvement. Also, as I mentioned in my previous post, I'm waiting for a clesestory roofed passenger car so I can build a proper looking cook car. Both are scheduled to arrive in mid May so I won't be posting much until then.

The train will also need a tool/work car and a caboose. I have both cars already and they will run 'as is'. The caboose will be taken from my fleet of detailed Athearn units, and the tool car is a Walthers unit from their somewhat older work train set.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 2:25 AM

I need a clerestory roof for the 'Cook Car', and I found a suitable donor car on eBay for what I guess is a reasonable price. I got it for $41.00 Cdn including shipping.

I say that the price was reasonable only because everything else that was listed was $65.00 Cdn and up! Some sellers wanted $65.00 just for shipping!

Please refrain from turning this into a 'how expensive the hobby has become' rant. All I'm saying is that it seems like a lot of money just to get a roof and a frame. Most of the rest will be scrapped.Grumpy

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 10:31 PM

For those who might be interested, this is the original tank car:

I'm going to wait until I have all of the various cars built for the snow plow train before I start painting. Then I can do them all at once.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Ludington, MI
  • 1,684 posts
Posted by Water Level Route on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 5:29 AM

Looks great Dave!

Mike

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 1:08 AM

I got the brake wheel and the brake cylinder installed on the water tanker tonight. I will add more brake detail in the next few days, but other than that the water tanker is pretty much complete. All it will need it paint and decals.

Cheers!!

Dave

P.S.

I would like to offer a sincere thank you to all the people who are following this thread! I am humbled by the level of interest in my project.

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

  • Member since
    January 2021
  • 495 posts
Posted by Attuvian1 on Sunday, April 30, 2023 8:27 AM

Great looking tanker, Dave!  Thumbs Up

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 30, 2023 6:42 AM

WOW!!

Just went over 60,000 views! Amazing!

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 30, 2023 3:22 AM

I have been working on all of the hand rails and grab irons on the water car. Tedious fussy work, but I'm getting there. I will post pictures in a couple of days when all the bits and the rivet decals are in place.

Cheers!!

Dave

Edit: Update! I have installed all of the hand rails and grab irons. The ladders going up to the dome are a bit heavy but I can live with that.

I discovered a problem with one of the couplers. Apparently when I was gluing the side platforms into place some of the CA seeped into one of the coupler pockets.Grumpy I managed to get the coupler to move but it is way too stiff to be functional. I will have to cut the coupler box out of the frame and replace the whole thing.Dunce

Next will come the rivet decals. It will be a bit of a PITA to apply them under the hand rails but, after my experience with so many rivet decals coming off of the plow when I was handling it, I decided to leave them until last.

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 10:09 PM

Thanks John and TF.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 7,957 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 6:16 AM

Looks good from here DaveYes

TF

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 3:38 AM

I have made a little more progress on the water tanker. I have installed the tool boxes and the platforms on the tops of the ladder assemblies, and I have reduced the size of the platform around the dome.

The next steps will be to add the supports and guard railings for the dome platform. I also have to install a railing around the upper half of the tank and some grabs above the ladders. After that, I will be adding rivet details to the tank and the tool boxes.

I am going to state clearly that my work is a bit crude. Many things don't line up as they should. The platforms above the ladders are a prime example. However, I have decided that the old adage that it is "good enough" will be applied in liberal quantities to my modelling. Like I have said before, if the trains don't look very good then just run them faster!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 5,325 posts
Posted by York1 on Monday, April 24, 2023 8:40 AM

Great work!Yes

York1 John       

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 24, 2023 2:25 AM

I have the ladders installed. They still need to be cleaned up and adjusted a bit. I still have to add the planks on top. They don't foul the trucks which is amazing since I just eyeballed everything.

It took me three days of head scratching trying to figure out how to securely attach the ladders to the platform frames. I conjured up all sorts of scenarios, most of which involved rebuilding all of the ladders which I wasn't about to do, and finally I decided to just solder the things together and it worked fine. The alignment isn't perfect on the angle iron platform frames but even up close I can't tell so who cares.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 7,957 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, April 20, 2023 10:24 PM

SmileTF

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 17, 2023 7:38 AM

I spent most of the night creating the somewhat complex ladders and platforms for the water tanker. I also started construction of the four separate platforms for the tanker.

In this photo you can see the ladders as well as the 'C' shaped brass angle iron pieces that will form the outer frames for the side platforms. They have yet to be trimmed to size:

It took me a while to figure out how to make the ladders without having a whole bunch of solder joints that would be prone to melting when the next piece was being added. Ultimately I came up with a very simple pattern that has only two pieces and two solder joints. I will have to add a third rung at the top of the ladders but I think I will use CA to hold that in place.

I wasn't quite sure what to cover the platforms with. I was thinking of using expanded brass mesh but instead I have decided to use styrene planking. That will match the planking around the dome.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 16, 2023 2:56 AM

Hi folks,

Again, sorry for the silence. I have been doing our income tax returns and I ran into a couple of situations where I couldn't get the information I needed or I couldn't see where a credit was actually included in the calculations. I'm still working on that. The good news is that we are both getting nice refunds!

I'm going to force myself to go to the workbench right now so I can make some progress. Stay tuned!

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 8:30 PM

Well, I tried to modify several Tichy archbar truck sideframes to replace the springs with a solid beam and I didn't have much success. The styrene side frames are simply too delicate. After breaking the bars on several trucks I decided to seek another solution.

I'm going to see if I can find some delrin archbar trucks. They will be much tougher.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    January 2021
  • 495 posts
Posted by Attuvian1 on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 12:29 AM

hon30critter

While I don’t wish to be a spoilsport, and as I view your recreation of the truck and flanger that Ed linked to as magnificent, referring back to the original photos on page 1, where there is no indication of a flanger fitted, I then have to ask, why???

Hi Bear,

I asked myself the same question. I'm going to stick with the front truck design as shown on the prototype. I have some unassembled Tichy arch bar trucks so it will be easy to remove the springs and insert a fixed beam. I'll save Ed's truck for another project.

Cheers!!

Dave

 
Thumbs Up  Reasonable decision, Dave.  If one's going to such a great effort to model a particular prototype, staring to add significant (or any) mods seems kind of counter-intuitive.
 
John
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 10, 2023 8:05 PM

While I don’t wish to be a spoilsport, and as I view your recreation of the truck and flanger that Ed linked to as magnificent, referring back to the original photos on page 1, where there is no indication of a flanger fitted, I then have to ask, why???

Hi Bear,

I asked myself the same question. I'm going to stick with the front truck design as shown on the prototype. I have some unassembled Tichy arch bar trucks so it will be easy to remove the springs and insert a fixed beam. I'll save Ed's truck for another project.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,037 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, April 9, 2023 3:03 PM

hon30critter

 ...I decided to take a shot at building the snow plow front truck with the attached flanger that Ed had posted. Here is what I have so far:

Getting enough clearance under the plow frame will require a few adjustments but I think I can make it work.

Cheers!!

Dave

 

HmmUMMMM, Dave??!! While I don’t wish to be a spoilsport, and as I view your recreation of the truck and flanger that Ed linked to as magnificent, Bow referring back to the original photos on page 1, where there is no indication of a flanger fitted, I then have to ask, why???
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 9, 2023 11:24 AM

While I was waiting for the glue on the water tanker adjustments to dry, I decided to take a shot at building the snow plow front truck with the attached flanger that Ed had posted. Here is what I have so far:

Getting enough clearance under the plow frame will require a few adjustments but I think I can make it work.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, April 8, 2023 11:27 PM

The water car is up on its wheels and the couplers are mounted. I haven't got the frame at quite the right height because it sits slightly lower than the wheel flanges. It should be above the flanges, but there is still plenty of room for the trucks to pivot so I'm not going to worry about it for now. If it starts to bug me then I will tear it apart and raise the frame. The couplers are at the right height now.

Cheers!!

Dave

Edit:

I decided that I wasn't happy with the low frame position on the water car so I cut out the glued in coupler boxes and added about 3/32nds to the bottom of the bolsters. Now the trucks ride at the right height relative to the frame. I am in the process of lowering the couplers but that has proven to be easy to do as well. This time they will be screwed in. Pictures to follow.

Also, I have studied Ed's picture of the rigid front plow truck and I'm going to take a stab at it. I think I will attempt to include the ice cutter blades. They can always be removed if they fowl the turnouts.

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,509 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, April 8, 2023 11:09 PM

Overmod
I'm going by the first picture of the Ideal plow you provided in starting this thread: i can clearly see the difference between the bolster construction in the front and rear trucks,

Hi Overmod,

Okay, now I understand what you are referring to. I had noticed the difference between the trucks but I had totally forgotten all about it.

Hi Bear,

Thanks for the detailed picture of the flanger. I can clearly see the difference in the bolsters.

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the picture of the rotary plow truck. I doubt that there is a commercially available version but it wouldn't be too difficult to scratchbuild.

I'm going to finish the water car first, and then I might have a go at building a more specialized front truck for the plow. I might leave the ice cutter blades off because of the risk of them fouling the turnouts. They would have to be the same width as the wheel flanges, and they wouldn't normally be visible under the front of the stationary plow blade anyhow. However, the flanger blade shown in Ed's illustration should be relatively easy to model and it would show quite nicely.

Thanks for your help guys!!

At this rate we might just get to 100,000 views before tis thing is done!

Cheers!!

Dave

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

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,037 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, April 8, 2023 11:04 PM
I’ve tried to make the trucks from the original photo in this thread clearer to see without them becoming a pixelated blob.
 
Working on the premise that “I’d rather look a fool than open my mouth and prove it”, the only comment that I’m prepared to make is that the front truck has had its springs removed whereas the rear truck still retains its springs. This is, of course, obvious, but I only noticed it when prompted by Overmod to have another look! Bang HeadBang Head
 
 
Cheers, the Bear.Embarrassed

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,118 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, April 8, 2023 4:49 PM

I'm going by the first picture of the Ideal plow you provided in starting this thread: i can clearly see the difference between the bolster construction in the front and rear trucks, even though some of the members of the archbar construction in the front truck are unclear (snow packed in 'em?) so I can't be completely sure that the construction is heavier.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!