Six holes of triumph

It’s midnight, and I’m having a little celebration over having drilled six holes in the flatcars. Ordinarily, drilling a few clearance holes through the weights wouldn’t be cause for a happy dance. However, it feels so long since I overcame the calls of work, family and community to spend a little time on my projects, that I feel positively buoyant. Even if it was only … Continue reading Six holes of triumph

Not that much room under flat cars

The Vancouver Train Expo seems a long time ago now. The bolster pattern that I worked on there? Yeah, it didn’t work out. I had forgotten to leave room for the straps and bolts on the tops of the trucks. Well, one nice thing about modelling in styrene is that mistakes are quick and cheap to correct. With a car propped on the new bolster, … Continue reading Not that much room under flat cars

Flat car ends finished

Please excuse the dreadful iPhone photo.  It’s been one of those nights.  One of those nights when I should have just stayed upstairs. As expected, I wound up shaving off the outer-most nut bolt washer (NBW) castings so I could centre them relative to the side sills.  This also made it easier to add the ends of the end sills, which are actually lengths of … Continue reading Flat car ends finished

No-measure flat car ends and stringers

Measure once cut twice.  These are words to live by. Reasoning that there are only two truss rods on these 20-ton, 33-foot cars, and given the number of bolt heads on the ends, I felt six stringers were in order.  That makes 18 in total, which would be a disagreeable amount of fiddling to get them all to be straight. So, I spent some time … Continue reading No-measure flat car ends and stringers

Integral weights for flat cars

Okay, so the approach of welding the sides to the ends didn’t work so well.  The weights themselves pose a much larger gluing surface, however, and so, I made them integral to the cars. To do this, I first coloured up some paper to look like the bottoms of the deck boards, and spray-glued it to the bottoms of the weights.  I actually glued this … Continue reading Integral weights for flat cars

Flat cars teach a Lean lesson

The Toyota Production System — Lean Manufacturing here in North America — will tell you that batch-building is bonkers.  Lean suggests that we should limit work in progress, and build things one at a time.  By building in batches, we build batches of blunders. Maybe they’re right.  As I started assembling the flat car sides and ends tonight, I found that the outermost nut-bolt-washer casting … Continue reading Flat cars teach a Lean lesson

Flat car sides and ends

The evening of detailing did nothing to shake my conviction that three models is enough. Once I’d trapped the little wandering buggers with some tape, the stake pocket jig and its low-tech companion, the end sill template, worked beautifully.  Okay, the “end sill template” is just a piece of paper with ticks on it; to use it, I simply lined each bolt head with the tick. … Continue reading Flat car sides and ends