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 New 18'-0" boxcar Build
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Author Previous Topic: 1/48, 1/43, 1/50 - 25, 28, 32, 40 mm, figure ref. Topic Next Topic: Coast Line RR vol 7
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Richard Gardner
Section Hand

Posted - 09/07/2011 :  11:56:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.


Country: USA | Posts: 81


Posted - 09/08/2011 :  12:11:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit adrian_batey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I love the use of styrene jigs.

12 months ago i would have used styrene for a lot of my building of structures and things but now all i seem to do is make jigs with it. Just makes everything easy.

Owen Pass Lumber Company
HO Logging Layout in a Shed.

Country: Australia | Posts: 1308 Go to Top of Page

Richard Gardner
Section Hand

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  12:20:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Adrian. I have also in the past used styrene for a lot of projects, and just like you, I now mainly use it for jigs. The wood glue doesn't stick to it, making removal of the wood pieces much easer. On the other hand, I use wood for jigs to construct styrene frames. Reason being, much the same as wood, the styrene solvent doesn't stick to the wood.

Country: USA | Posts: 81 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  12:33:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice to see you back in action ... looking forward to more of your build(s)!


Chambers Gas & Oil -- structure build
Quality craftsmanship with a sense of humor!

Country: USA | Posts: 4674 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  12:43:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit MinerFortyNiner's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow, Richard, this will be an interesting project to follow. I will have to investigate the Evolution couplers for my larger cars with knuckle couplers.

Country: USA | Posts: 2793 Go to Top of Page

scott robertson
Crew Chief

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  02:31:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit scott robertson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I like the little people in the background watching you build. Scott

Country: USA | Posts: 891 Go to Top of Page

Leo Starrenburg
Crew Chief

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  02:46:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Neat work Richard, and the pictures are perfect !

Did you do your own drawings ? Must have been quite a job.

cheers, Leo.

Country: | Posts: 963 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2011 :  03:23:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice plans Richard,

Thanks for the drawings.


Sitting along side the orignal Central Pacific Rail Road.

Home of The Great On30 Barn Meet, that will be held May 16th 2015

Country: USA | Posts: 1407 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2011 :  04:08:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit andykins's Homepage  Reply with Quote
off to a flying start, they look like nice little cars!

Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 4279 Go to Top of Page

Richard Gardner
Section Hand

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  04:39:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To MinerFortyNiner, I'll show some comparison pictures of the various couplers in the morning...

Scott, these geezers show up every morning. I think they're from the Yakima Social Club on St. Peter street. They have breakfast at Poppy's on Royal, grab a café au lait to go and show up at my desk to keep me company, I don't think they have anything else to do. They do get rather grumpy if I set something in front of them...

Leo, I do my own drawings on the computer. They are rather labor intensive, but you only have to draw something once. After awhile it gets much easier. For instance, I may scan a truck side-frame and carefully re-construct the image in a cad program but once done, next time I need a truck drawing, Bam! (as Emiril would say) I just pop it in...

John, you're welcome to the drawings, hope you and your friends get some use out of them...

Country: USA | Posts: 81 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2011 :  05:50:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am interested in these cars....nice jigs...
looking great so far. And of course, "Welcome back"!
Give the "geezers" my email addy, maybe I can join
then one morning...;-)
A set of those plans would be deeply appreciated -
Thanks in advance Richard.....

Country: USA | Posts: 12973 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2011 :  08:06:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks like it is going to be an interesting build.

Chuck Faist
Burlington, Ontario
Enjoy yourself it is later than you think!

Country: Canada | Posts: 3489 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/08/2011 :  08:07:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Richard it's good to see you modeling again,. Those are going to be some great little cars.

You drew some nice plans, may I have a set please( cassshayno5@aol.com) Thank you.



Country: USA | Posts: 6444 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  08:26:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking forward to following this build. I'll send an e-mail for the pdfs.


Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 516 Go to Top of Page

Martin Welberg

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  09:12:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit Martin Welberg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good start !! Send you an e-mail too, thanks in advance..

Country: Netherlands | Posts: 6736 Go to Top of Page

Richard Gardner
Section Hand

Posted - 09/08/2011 :  3:30:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I promised some comparison photos of some coupler options I've investigated... The first photo is three couplers all lined up. Starting from the top, we have an HO #5, then a Kadee #803 and a San Juan in a Kadee coupler box. San Juan doesn't make a coupler box yet, there's talk that they might. For now I just use the 803 box. It is what San Juan had in mind when they designed theirs. The bottom coupler is the SJ out of the box. Notice that the centering mechanism is built in to the coupler rather than a spring, much like the McHenry or Kadee's whisker. This does not have the "slack" issues that the 803"s have or the older HO couplers had. Kadee abandoned the slack issue when they came out with the #5 but never saw a market advantage to upgrading the On3 coupler. Just my guess...

This photo shows the SJ on the flat car coupled to the #803 on the boxcar.

This photo shows the SJ coupled to an HO coupler on the Porter. This combination couples surprisingly well.

And this photo shows the Kadee On3 on the flatcar coupled to the HO coupler on the Porter. Same ease of coupling.

The interesting thing here is that the HO and On3 coupler boxes utilize the same mounting distance from the end of the car, but... and why is there always a but? the HO uses a 2-56 mounting screw whilst the 803 uses a #0 screw. This means that if you want to swap out, you have to figure out how to make the mounting hole smaller. For my tests, I just filled the hole with some wax and stuffed a screw in there. No problem for me, I'll be building all new stuff anyway.

This last photo is a closeup of the guys that keep me company, Geezer says that the one on the left looks like his cousin Fred. Anybody recognize the other two?

That's it for now, I have some boxcars to build. I'm going to start on the end and side panels. We'll not be using a jig for this, just a print out of the art for a template...

'Till then...

Country: USA | Posts: 81 Go to Top of Page
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