To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunset NSL Silverliners #8B - Ends & Sides

On page 147 of C.E.R.A. Bulletin 107, Route of the Electroliners, is a brief discussion of the rebuilding of cars into Silverliners. There is a nice drawing of the "Solid Vestibule Passage". Diaphragms were added to a number of NSL passenger cars whether they were rebuilt into Silverliners or not. This is not the time to get into how the diaphragms were used on the North Shore. However, for the passenger, passing between cars of a moving NSL train could be quite an adventure without the diaphragms.

What the C.E.R.A. Bulletin does not tell you is how the diaphragms were attached to the NSL cars. If you look at the end of a NSL passenger car without a diaphragm you'll notice the numerous rivets in the metal around the end door doorway. To the motorman's side of the doorway are the hand/foot holds used to go to the roof. The attachment of the diaphragm requites a flat smooth surface. To accomplish this, the NSL attached a wood frame to the metal doorway first. The hand/foot holds were reworked into "V" shaped metal work pointed toward the motorman and still attached at the doorway. The wood frame had cup shaped gouges for the rivets and appropriate gouges for the hand/foot holds. A educated guess would be, the piece of wood use for the frame would be approximately 2" x 4" (0.040" x 0.080" styrene strip).

I am not planning to remove the Sunset supplied diaphragms on my models. Greg King told me he is planning on replacing the Sunset diaphragms with epoxy castings available from Eric Bronsky a long time ago. This is a photo of one of Eric's diaphragms. I've used them on other NSL models I have. (NOTE – Eric no longer has the diaphragms available.)
Eric Bronsky Collection

If you do replace the diaphragms or for that matter remove and reuse the Sunset diaphragms and install the styrene "wood" frame, a styrene frame thicker than 0.040" is not recommend. When the diaphragms were installed, when not being used, they were latched in a closed position so as to not obstruct the motorman's vision to the left.

For all 3 models there are 4 hand/foot holds to go to the roof and the 2 grab irons with chain inside of the diaphragm to be installed on or near the diaphragm.

A supply of grab irons were made from 0.020" brass wire. The grab irons are a scale 18" long. Brass chain of 24 links per inch was chosen. The 0.020" wire will pass through the end links. A 24 links per inch chain is available from BlueJacket Ship Crafters . This vendor has other interesting small parts which may come in handy in model traction models.

If you order the chain be careful. I misread the pricing and ended up ordering 95' of chain - that was not 95 scale feet of chain but an actual 95'. Someone from BlueJacket called to inquire about my purchase. In ordering 95', I must have ordered more than they sell in a year!

A large number of hand/foot holds were made from 0.019" nickle-silver wire trolley wire. The nickle-silver wire was chosen for its ability to hold its shape after being bent. Note one leg of the hand/foot hold is longer than the other. The plan is to drill only the top hole for these. The longer leg will be installed in the hole. Each leg was carefully cut to length. For the prototype hand/foot holds both legs were mounted on the car.

Next holes were drilled between the door frame of all the models – coaches and 415 -and the diaphragm. This wasn't an easy of task. Sometimes the diaphragm is well soldered to the body and other times not. A "tool" was made to keep the distance from the roof the same for each set of holes. For the hand/foot irons, only the top hole was drilled. (See explaination and photo above.)

All measurements were taken from a drawing of exact size for O scale. This helped to speed up the work. Also, holes were drilled from the longest to shortest distance from the roof. This meant the "tool" was shortened as the drilling progressed.

The final holes to drill are those for the windshield wipers. A hole on the right side (looking out from the interior) of the motorman’s window will hold the base of the windshield wiper. I prefer using Cal Scale #190-3017 Windshield Wipers. They are available from Bowser . You will need 3 pairs. At the same time you can order Bowser’s Foam Work Cradle #24 you don’t have any. After painting the windshield wipers put them in a safe secure location. They will be the very last items installed on the models.

When all the holes were drilled, the handrails inside the diaphragms were mounted. But, first the chain was cut the length. Then the chain was chemically blackening with a solution for this purpose. Chemical blackening was chosen over painting because paint tends to fill in and block individual chain links. Chemical blackening does not fill in chain links and at the same time leaves the chain flexible. Chemical blackening makes it easier to put the grab iron through a chain link to hold the chain in place.

This is a model with the handrails and chain in place.

This is the end of a model after the handrails, chain, and the hand/foot holds have been install with partial painting. Note the smaller hand/foot hold in front of the motorman's window.

This is the handrails and chain after painting.

There are other details on the diaphragms such as latches to hold the diaphragms in a closed position or when in use to another diaphragm. There are pins and holes to position the face of the daiphragm to another diaphragm when in use. These details will be skipped.

I know the trolley retrievers look out of sorts - too this and too that. I didn't have the guts to do anything with them other than to paint them a dull black.

There are more items to be done to the exterior of the cars. These will be done after the 415 is finished.

Next is the assembly of the coaches.


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