Friday, April 03, 2015

Tank Car

This morning I rode with the family around to several stores looking for parts for the SBT.  Radio Shack is closing... I picked up a few things I thought might be useful at half price.  I also showed my article in the March April Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette to the patrons at Caboose Stop Hobbies.  My third hobby magazine byline.  This one is a short photo essay on the prototype and my SBT.

I did not find the relay I needed, I talked to Robb, he will send me one, and the project box that is the handheld.  The wire arrived today for the handheld, nice flexible 8 conductor wire, supposed to be used for ham radio antennas.  I am still waiting for the connectors, and the relay to be able to wire the machine up.

Seeing how it is unwise to start the SBT wiring without all the parts I decided to work on the tank cars.  I got the wheels, but two of them fell out of the box in shipping, so I had 6 wheels and 4 axles.  Very nice work.  I will order from MR-motion again, well OK I am disappointed about the USPS priority box opening and because all the contents were loose some of the contents were able to fall out.  Eaton engineering and Tom Bee both had wrapped cardboard and tape around the parts to make one unit then placed them into the priority box.  Even with the reservation about packing job the quality of the parts was spot on.  Nancy is helping me work with the PO for the insurance & replacement parts.

I had enough wheels and axles to start one tank.  I set up the model on the coupler stand and measured down to the axles to get a height of just over three inches.  

 I found some 1x4 stock, aspen, and marked out where I wanted the axles to be.  Thinking I would outsmart the problem of them being off from eachother I clamped all 4 together and drill all at the same time with a long 1/8th drillbit.
 The drill wandered at the bottom of the second hole... ruining two of my blanks.

 Next I ran to lowes and purchased a forsner bit in 1-3/8th and set up to drill halfway through the wood for the bearing.  I followed this with a 3/4 inch bit to provide clearance, it is a good think I made six blanks so I could throw out the two bad ones.
 I then used the jointer to take some off the top to set the coupler height properly.  These are unsprung cars so I went with the lower end of the recommended coupler height range.
 Notice how I set the jointer on a skateboard, same as with the miter saw, now they are easier to take out and put away, but I have to sit on the floor to use.
 Next was adding buffer beams to the end of the car.  Some time with the jointer, miter saw, and band saw to turn some 3/4 by 1-1/8th oak into the correct size.  I have to notch the body sills so they fit in place.  Since I had the chop saw set up to length I cut all 20 flat car top pieces also, talk about repetitive work.
 That will be tomorrows task.  Along with making a retainer for the bearings, determining how the tank will mount to the flat, painting and so much else.

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