Thursday, February 19, 2015


Here is a picture of my in progress tank car.  The center sill is held at coupler height, with the boards of the flat sitting on top and the tank sitting on those.  Under it is a pair of 4.125 diameter wheels.  Next to the flat, behind Tad is a 5 inch diameter paper towel roll.  This is the same diameter as the goodman cast straight spoke wheels I like.  They do not fit under the flat.  I could have an inside frame and not have the flat stick out.  But then the people have the problem reaching the top of the tank to load it.  They need to stand somewhere.  Raising the flat and tank up will make the car more top heavy and unstable.

The last wheel is my seven inch diameter curly spoke wheel.  While neat I think this will be for an outside frame gravel car.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wheels  I am drooling at his finely detailed spiral spoke wheels.  I sent an email via the web page feb 9th.  -have not heard anything on the 19th

over the pond is the Ffestinion railway.  They use the spiral spoke wheels  I emailed  they sent me a picture.  It is 74.60 pounds for 4 blanks  that is $113 in USD today.  is a link to a straight spoke wheel.  I emailed the guy Feb 9th  heard back, about $35 to $45 per casting for six inch diameter  Nor have I contacted these people.  Nor have I asked about these wheels.  i could ask for some laser cut wheels or something.   nice spokes for 18 dollars each.  I keep coming back to these, 5 inch diameter, straight spoke.

Add this to the wheels I have started that are 7.5 inch diameter and I have the potential to have a wide variety of wheels for carts that go with the SBT.  I would love to have a string of ten carts to go with the SBT, at $200 each they would cost about $2000 total.  Quite a bit of cash for something I can not ride on, well maybe with proper design I could ride on them.

Fred w Hanks company sells CNC Steel wheels $18  Cleveland, Ohio.  CNC machined steel wheels. 4.375 tread diameter, .500 reamed axle hole. For more information PM Kevin Harris on facebook.  "We do not stock axles because of the differences in bearing sizes everyone wants to use for bearings. I usually use a 3/8 ID bearing, but others use other ones. It is relatively easy to change the hole size on the wheel, or adjust the un made axle to fit a wheel. It is a bit harder I keep the axle perfectly true when adjusting a bearing surface." sells steel wheels machined on a CNC lathe to IBLS wheel standards. ½” center hole. The tread is 4.375” dia. Pricing : for black oxide finish is $20.00 each; for a “raw steel” finish is $18.50 each, plus shipping. Flat back profiled front.  is $23 per wheel or $69.95 for an axle steel wheel.  I purchased blanks, Robb made axles, and there is a noticeable out of roundness between the bearings and the wheel face.  Flat back profiled front. is $80 for an axle, cast iron cnc machined. $27 for steel wheel profiled both sides.  $340 for a set of 8 5" wheels with keyway, good for locomotives. that is $42.50 each has holed wheels for $90 each.  $300 for an axle.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Center Sills

Today's task was making two centersills for the small tank cars.  If I had made square ends it would have taken about 5 minutes.  But I decided to match the coupler pockets of the SBT.  I think I did a better job on these than I did on the first set on the SBT.

First I cut two eighteen inch sections of 1x2 tube.  Then I used the same template as the SBT to mark the curve.  Then I marked each side one inch in for the flat on the sides.  I then used the band saw to cut 45 degree off each corner.  Then I used the saw to make the flat on the edge, last was cutting the edge out with the bandsaw.  Then on to the hand action cleaning up the cuts with a hacksaw.  Then on to using a file and the bench grinder.  Last was sand paper to clean up everything nicely.
Then I ruined all my hard work by drilling two 5/16th holes on each end, one at the standard place for Tom Bee couplers, the other is for links.  This is the same way as the SBT.  It took some time to clean the holes up, and remove the burrs without damaging the ends.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tank Flat

Today I used my new table saw and my shop vacuum to collect the dust.  I took some pallet wood and ripped all 4 sides on the saw.  I tried out the jointer, but the blades need to be replaced, too many uneven gouges.  Nancy ordered the new blades from Amazon.  

I also had trouble keeping the board flat on the jointer, it seams to rise up / rock at the middle so I end up with a thick middle and thin ends.  I will try some things later, shallower cuts, etc to get better results.  

The end result is a platform / flat car for the tank cars.  They are about 15 inch long, and will be about 11 inches wide.  Trying to decide how far I should go without having wheels... 

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Modifications, New Tools

This past spring I had purchased a pair of 30 inch long tanks 10 inch diameter.  I started dis-assembly  on one of them, to make them more scale in appearance.  removing the top platform, and PVC nozzle.  The three nylon tank bands had to go.  I also removed the oversized mounting blocks.  The last task was to split the tank in half.  Because there was an internal disk at the centerline I used my new table saw and cut just to the right and left.  I was left with two 14.5" tanks, I reused the disk for the end of one of them and got a disk for the other on the bandsaw.  My blade bends outboard as it cuts so it took three tries.  The first two I used a jig to make, the third freehand, it is not a perfect circle, but it is close enough.  Afterword I cut a 3x3 inche piece of pallet wood to fit inside from head to head, this I glued in with gorrila glue and nailed all the staves to the head with the airgun and one inch nails.  

These two tanks will go onto frames to look like industrial tanks on 4 wheel flats similar in size to what the Jeffrey company had.
I am trying to decide if I should use the wheel sets I currently have on hand, on the archbar trucks under the utility flat or get some more.

In other news I showed the girls at Anna's birthday party my crayon art.  One of them begged for this drawing,  I figured it would be better to have it seen than to put it back into storage.  I gave one of the other girls a drawing on canvas.  I hope both of them take care of them.