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

Canonical flat car and load

In order to get swappable loads, I need to not only get the stake pockets all aligned, but also the side sills the same distance apart and aligned relative to one another.  I should count my blessings that these cars do not appear to have end pockets!   I had thought that simply building all cars with identical side and end sills would achieve this … Continue reading Canonical flat car and load