Tuesday, May 31, 2016


This afternoon I cut the channel for the doors of the boxcar.  Drilled holes and installed them on the car.  

Nancy and I also tied down the rolling stock and took a ride through the neighborhood alleyways.  It worked well.  

Nancy and I also removed the plastic from the decals.  It worked much better waiting a day.  There are a few pulled / distorted serifs but nothing that can be noticed at 5 feet away.

Then it started raining.  We got a out a tarp... eventually it filled with water and started filling the bed of the truck.  When the rain slowed we emptied the water and parked the truck in the garage.

Monday, May 30, 2016


Thank you Nancy for going to the hardware store three, or was it four times today.

A sheet of 3/4", some 2x4s some 1x2 & screws.  All so I could empty my shelves.

No not like this the cars are too close together.


By raising the cars above the wheel wells they can be separated.  And the flat cars fit underneath.

Next is to tie the cars down.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


This morning after breakfast I wanted to take a nap.  I stayed up too late last night.  Remembering something from a Scott Adams book I choose to get dressed and go outside and organize the garage and get ready for making a box around loco 2.

I used the skill saw to cut off the sides and end boards from a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood.

I cut them oversized and trimmed to size on the table saw.  I found by cutting on the left, then rotating 180 and moving the fence slightly I was able to have two parallel cuts in three passes.

The same was done for the two roof sections, with a 7 degree angles cut on a 1x6 to stiffen the ridge.  It is strong enough for Lilli to sit on.  All was assembled with gorilla glue and 1 inch brads.

The doors were cut with a jig saw.  Two side doors and one end lumber door.

There is lots of work left to complete:
Reset the journal positions to tighten the chains.
Pin the journals so they do not move again.
Make doors from 1/8th ply.
Put blocks in the corner to mount the box to the frame.
Rewire the charge system.
Rewire the drive system.
Make and install brakes.
Make real body.
Add details such as ladders and brake rigging.
Add a volt and amp meter.
Add an spedometer and odometer.

Friday, May 27, 2016

White Creek

Thursday and Friday Robb, Rick & I ran freight trains at White Creek.  Robb's loco on the head end and my loco on the tail.

Thursday evening I tested #2 by pulling it around, adding chains and pulling it around again.
Friday night Robb wired up #2.  I ran it as a passenger train three times Saturday.  It did quite well. but the chains did pull the axles back towards the jack shafts.  Even with loose chains it did quite well.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Safety Chains

Today a visit to both Lowes and Menard's to pick up hooks for the safety chains.  Lowes was $1 each and Menards $0.40 each.  After I bent all 8 hooks opened I added chains to 4 and closed them up.  Then I bolted them to the coal car and Loco #2.  Drilling the holes in the loco was a challenge.  Finding a drill bit that worked was a challenge.  I moved 4 bits to the recycle bin.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

bolting together

Today I bolted together loco number 2.

Made the chains to length.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Battery Hold 2

 Today I made the outer battery holds and drilled the holes to mount on the frame.
 I was quite happy to see how matched the pair are.  I used my propane torch to heat the corners and bent it with a pliers.  It took several heatings to bend to the full 90.  After bending the first corner on each I made a story pole 10.25" long from a wood scrap and used to help bend the second corner.
Setbacks include my bandsaw blade breaking, good thing I had a replacement.  But the replacement is cutting at an angle.  I will have to play around to see if I can get it to cut square.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Battery holds

Nancy helped me out by picking up some 1x1 L from Samson Fabrication today.  This evening I cut it into sections to hold the battery in place.

 I also notched the inboard ones for the motor mounts and chain.  I wish I had a mill, it would have been much easier than the hack saw, dremel, and file I used.
Now looking at the pictures I wonder if I should have made the bracket one piece and bent is around the battery.  

Friday, May 06, 2016


What should be the number on the coal car?  

How to decide?

First I decided I wanted a black NYC car.  Good since the car is painted black.

What number?  Prototypical or something significant, like a birthdate, or build date.

This site has a list of all the NYC railcars.  I narrowed the list down the to the 30 to 32 foot 2 bay coal cars with seven ribs.

A number starting with a 4 not an 8.

A car built before 1920.

Still quite a few cars, in the thousands.
Nancy wanted a number with an 8, and a 7 in it.  That narrowed the list down to 1600.

I did not want one with three digits repeating.  

Numbers ending with odd looked better than evens.

Oh lets use a random generator to cut the list in half.  Twice.  Three times?

70 choices.

Go through each one in the pairs between the ribs.  41 87 33  what looks good? 40  17  89  What has good visual weight.  What does not look like a prison number.    41  81  74  Ok I am at 30 good choices.

Rate my top three.  Have Nancy, Lilli and Anna do the same.  One top vote... 8 others.   Put them up on the screen and talk through each one with Nancy.   Narrow it down to three choices.  two built in 1917 one in 1907.  Look back at the construction information for the three.  Look at the drawings and the pictures.

One vote each Anna, Ryan, Nancy.

Are there pictures?   No.   Yes.  And Yes .

Two choices.   John left side or right side... NYC 418137 is the final answer.   Email sent to Miracle Graphics asking for a quote.

I also started bolting loco #2 together tonight.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

back from the powder coater

I gave the powder coater the coal car upside down, and he hung and painted it upside down.  Once I got it upright at home I realized the coating is thin on the inside of the frames at the ends where it was hard to see to coat.  I had seen one little spot while there.  We talked about next time I can provide some sticks to go into the coupler pockets that will allow the car to hang upright.

Next is to measure and order some graphics to go on the car.

While we wait for the graphics I am assembling loco number 2.  

 I am worried about lack of travel for the axles.  We shall see how it tracks at White Creek in a few weeks.