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 New 18'-0" boxcar Build

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Richard Gardner Posted - 09/07/2011 : 11:56:47 PM
My name is Richard Gardner and I live inNew Orleans. I've been a member for some time but due to health reasons have not participated. Well... I've got my mojo back and I'm building once again. I would like to start by building a couple of boxcars for my Sweet Haven Railroad. One will be a standard car and the other will have an outside frame. I hope you'll take the time to follow along with me, should be some fun. Below are the drawings I'll be working from. If you'd like a copy of them in scalable pdf format, drop me a line at rlgardner@cox.net and I'll shoot them out to you.

I'll be building this car mostly in wood. I just sign my retirement checks to Kappler Lumber Co. Since this railroad is small, mostly porters, the cars are small to go with it. Hence, the 18' boxcar length capable of negotiating a micro sized 12" radius. I'll be using the old standby, Kadee HO archbar truck frames with NWSL 40" HO nickel silver wheels. On the other hand, call me crazy, I've fallen in love with San Juan's evolution On3 couplers. They're big and chunky for this size of railroad, but they look great and couple like butter. They will also mate with HO couplers quite nicely. I cut the pins off so I can uncouple them by hand. If anything, I would encourage the use of at least KD On3 couplers. The don't have the mass of the SJ's and will couple with everything and don't look puny on Bachmann sized boxcars.

The first thing I'll be starting on is the frame. It's made up of 4 1/2" x 7 1/2" (3/32" x 5/32") wood. I built a jig out of some scrap styrene so that all future frames would be alike. See below...

I've also started on the roof framing, they'll be alike for both cars. The long pieces are 1/16" sq. and the "rafters?" are cut out of 1/32" stock with mortises for the long pieces. Another jig to make things go smoothly.

Thats all for today. It took me all night to figure out how to post messages with pictures. I think I've got down now. Now, I'll have to learn how to post an avatar at the beginning of my posts.

But for now, I'll be able to answer any questions / comments and help explain some of my more eccentric methods.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Philip Posted - 09/23/2020 : 10:22:54 AM
Just found this thread, Great stuff!

thayer Posted - 09/22/2020 : 11:18:04 AM

Thanks for the offer. It would be best though, to pass it along to someone else. I have plenty of rail stashed, salvaged from flex track, and will be hand laying if and when I plan an expansion. I've been distracted of late, and haven't touched any model rail projects in 2020.

Jerry Kemp Posted - 09/04/2020 : 6:18:36 PM
Originally posted by thayer

Well, I got a bit distracted by Thanksgiving, but am back at home now and making a little more progress. I now have four cars framed up and most of the roofing cut waiting for assembly.

I am planning to first use these cars on a mini layout as I get back into the hobby with my son and since I haven't figured out where to buy 12-inch radius track and suitable switches I decided to rip the rails out of some Atlas flex track and roll my own. I'm lucky to have the A2Z CNC mill and used that and some aluminum plate to create some fixtures inspired by the Fast Tracks system.

Yep - I'm replying to a 6 year old post.


I have 9 pieces of Atlas brand 12" radius track. I picked this up from an old hobby shop in the 1970's that closed a couple of years after I purchased it.

Been carrying it around since then, never used it, but its such an oddity, I just want to find a good home for it.

PM me if you (or anyone if Thayer no longer needs it) can provide a good home for it.
thayer Posted - 01/23/2017 : 11:39:57 PM
Yes, as per the previous page, the drawings are available on Martin's web site.


I haven't done much lately on mine, but they were still on the active list.

Dr. Alan A. Aagaard Posted - 01/23/2017 : 4:58:55 PM
I tried replying to your eMail on your very first photo (of plans) and it instantly bounced back claiming no such eMail...


Dr. Alan A. Aagaard
retired Professon

jmartin Posted - 01/23/2017 : 4:34:49 PM

Are plans for this still available somewhere? I was unaware that Richard had passed. I'd like to get a set to start work on a good sized fleet of them.

southpier Posted - 12/14/2016 : 04:18:37 AM
yes; many thanks for the link to them.
Atherton999 Posted - 12/13/2016 : 9:22:53 PM
Martin I just had to let you know how much I appreciate you preserving Richards build thread.i read it a couple of years ago and almost cried when I got to the end.
Martin Welberg Posted - 12/13/2016 : 7:51:53 PM
Yup, I still have and they will remain there..
thtroll Posted - 12/13/2016 : 3:44:09 PM
Our good friend and amazing modeler, Martin has them on his site.


southpier Posted - 12/13/2016 : 1:34:58 PM
wonderful thread. is the offer for plans still on the workbench?
thayer Posted - 07/02/2015 : 03:50:35 AM
Me too...

All I have had time for recently is to cast and add some lead slugs to fill in between the bolsters and the floor on one of the frames. I then glued the flooring in place and mounted a pair of the BVM T2 trucks. Beyond that though, I haven't had a chance yet to even check the coupler height on them or snap a pic. Also, my shop seems to have swallowed up my roof walks. Most annoying. I am sure they will turn up though, as soon as I build another set.

BigLars Posted - 07/01/2015 : 7:52:37 PM
Waiting to see the progress.
thayer Posted - 05/28/2015 : 01:21:44 AM
Thanks for the kind words Lars. I am very pleased with how they are looking, though not my recent progress.

Yes, my Gardner boxcars have been stalled for a while. I've been distracted by work and a few other projects, but they are still very close to the active workbench. In the meantime, I have picked up most of the accessory details that I will need to complete them. Once they get back on the bench I should have some something to show for the effort fairly quickly.

BigLars Posted - 05/27/2015 : 8:20:20 PM
The woodwork and color of the cars is fantastic.

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