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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #4E The Flat Car with Decking

To improve the coupler height a piece of 0.020" styrene is installed and tested vs. the Kadee coupler height tool. The styrene worked.  The coupler was at the  correct height.

Before we go further with the coupler and building the draft gear, some pieces of styrene are to be added to the frame on the sides near the ends. You'll have to check the photos of the side of the prototype's frame for sizes. This photo shows the additional styrene on the bottom sides of the frame.

The balance of the design and building of the couplers' draft gear will be a photo essay with drawings, photos and short explanations. Here are the drawings made for engineering the coupler pocket. Note the piece of plastic tubing next to the draft gear for the air brake casting.

Here are photos of the building of the coupler pocket/draft gear.

As you are looking at this series of photos note what has been added as the coupler pocket is being installed and finished.

As the coupler pocket was added, additional styrene was added to the bottom end of the frame to enclose the bottom end of the brass frame. At the trail truck end of the frame, the body bolster was glued to the frame with ACC.

Next queenpost are added. These are the shortest queenpost PSC makes.

Number 49 was made by passing long steel rods through the framing and securing the rods with nuts and washers. Check the photos of the prototype as to the location of the rods. The location of the rods has to be marked on the side of the frame prior to drilling any holes. 

When I go to drill the holes and install the nut and washer castings, my  line of nuts with washers often weaves up and down. From experience I've learned to drill the holes oversize, Then when the nut-washer castings are installed, they can be positioned in a straight line. 

More styrene pieces have to be added to the frame at the trail truck end.

There is always more to come,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #4D The Flat Car with Decking

First, attach a second piece of styrene to each end of the frame to bring the end pieces of styrene up to a scale 9" thickness. When the glue has dried sand and/or dress-up the ends to make all the edges square. Remember the end pieces have to look like 2 separate pieces of lumber.

The car frame at this time with its perimeter covered with styrene is fragile. The styrene is held in place with ACC. While it's not likely to happen, the ACC brass to styrene bond can be broken. Both the brass and styrene are non-porous, very smooth surface materials. This makes the bond between the ACC and the brass or styrene less than optimal. Pressure from the side can break this bond.

Between now and when the brass car frame ends are covered in styrene handle the car frame carefully.

With the car frame in its current form, it's time to see which coupler can be used. Kadee makes a coupler with a short draft gear #806. This is the coupler of choice as the model is a small freight locomotive used to move 1-2 freight cars at a time.

The power truck was attached and car frame placed upside down on a flat surface. The draft gear from the Kadee #806 was held in place while the power truck was rotated. The draft gear prevented the power truck from being rotated more than a few degrees. The Kadee #806 flunked as the wheel flanges touched the draft gear! 

We have to go "shopping" for an appropriate coupler which will fit. After looking in the PSC catalogue,  #41237 O-On3 AAR Sharron type, standard knuckle with full working coupler looked like it would work. The hole in the coupler shank, if at a correct distance from the coupler should work out well.

These are PSC #41227 parts when the package is opened. It is a working coupler so the knuckles, lift pins and a piece of wire to hold the knuckle in place are included. Very little work is required to remove excess brass. DO NOT REMOVE BRASS FROM THE BODY OF THE LIFT PIN - ONLY REMOVE THE SPRUE.

Part of the clean-up process of a is to assemble the coupler to see if the knuckle moves plus seeing the lift pin working. If the lift pin does not fall out the bottom of the coupler there will be less problems using the coupler. If the lift pin does fall out the bottom of the coupler, when installed, a wire or chain to pull the lift pin up has to be used to hold the pin in place. I found my lift pin had to be installed from the bottom of the coupler body.

When a coupler is placed on the car frame, it looks like the coupler can be installed on the brass part of the frame. A 1-72 screw will be used to hold the coupler to the frame. This is a photo with the coupler holes drilled and tapped.

From the photo you can tell the needle beams have been glued in place.

The hole in coupler shank is too large in diameter for a 1-72 screw. Brass tubing is used to fill in the hole. The tubing is soldered in place.

After filing the couplers looked like this.

Now it's time to find out if the coupler is at the correct height. But 1st the car frame has to sit on a piece of track at the correct height. The car bolster which came with the trucks had to be shimmed with styrene.

Plus, a thin piece of brass had to be used between the truck and the body bolster.

With both trucks in place and a coupler screwed to the car frame, the coupler height can be tested vs. a Kadee coupler height gauge. The brass coupler matches up and couples to the Kadee coupler.

The coupler is slightly too high. The center line of the brass coupler should be at the same height as the center line of the Kadee coupler. Something has to be done to correct this.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #4C The Flat Car with Decking

It's time to get back to the AE&FRE #49. As the construction is covered, an explanation of what caused the delay will be explained.

In earlier post, the need to find and understand photos, drawings, etc. of the model you wish to build was explained.

From the book of "I should Have Looked Better at the Big Blue Binder Given to Me" comes the following. About 2 or so years ago someone gave me a large blue 3-ring binder containing many 8x10" photos of the Chicago Aurora & Elgin cars. I briefly looked through the photos and then placed the binder on the shelf.

If you recall, you may have to read prior post on the on the construction of 49, I and others have only been able to locate photos of the AE&FRE 49 which are of the motorman's side. I called these "west side" photos. As far as I knew no photos of the other side of the locomotive existed. A few days ago I picked-up the blue binder to look at the photos. The second to the last photo was the only non-CA&E photo in the binder. It was a photo of the non-motorman's or "east side" of 49! I was floored!

I do not recall who gave me the blue binder with the photos. Also, the photo is not marked as to whom took the photo of the east side of 49. The discovery of this photo came after my model of the 49 was completed. The effects of finding the photo after the completion of the 49 will come up in later posts.

This is a copy of the photo recently discovered.

The construction covered in this post was completed many months ago. This means the information is not as fresh in my mind as needed. As work was done photos were taken. The photos are used to show you the construction as well as to refresh my memory.

Styrene will be applied to sides, ends, top, and part of the bottom end of the brass frame. When this styrene application is completed the styrene will enclose the ends of the frame. The reason for this is to prevent the brass frame from coming loose from the styrene frame and body. 

Remember to work on either wax paper or "Saran Wrap". This way the ACC will not get on and/or attach the frame to your work bench. You can place the frame on the wax paper as a way to keep everything level. 

Before cutting any styrene take a long look at the photos of the side of the car's deck from the truck center to the end of the car. You should note the side of the deck frame members are higher from the body bolster to the end of the car.

Also when looking at the side of the deck at the ends of the car, the end of the deck is made up of 2 different pieces of lumber. Two pieces of styrene of appropriate dimensions will be used on each end.  They will be added to the ends of the frame in different steps. 

For the sides, cut styrene of appropriate dimensional size and length. Attach to the sides of the brass frame with ACC. After the ACC has set, the ends may have to be sanded if the styrene was cut too long. 

Remember a scale 9" have to be added to each end of the car's deck for clearance of the truck frames. The brass frame as it is currently is the actual length of the real #49. From the photo the 9" will be made up of 2 pieces at each end. 

Cut 2 pieces of styrene for the end pieces. They should make up only 1/2 of the 9" end piece. More will appear on this later. Attach them to the end of the frame with ACC. Allow the frame to "cure" for up to 12 hours.

After the 12 hours apply plastic glue to any styrene to styrene joints. But none where ACC was used. Allow the plastic glue to completely set.

The following photo requires a few explanations.

The 2 pieces of styrene in the center of the frame were made to space the beams of the frame. The brass and styrene side pieces may have a slight warp and/or may not be exactly spaced. These 2 styrene pieces will help when the decking is glued in place.

The top piece of the 2 spacers will be used as the needle beams. The needle beams along with the 5 pieces of styrene attached will eventually be glued in place.

The end styrene pieces were cut longer than required. They will be sanded to length once the glue used for the styrene to styrene joint has completely cured.

There is a lot more to come.