Flat car sides and ends

The evening of detailing did nothing to shake my conviction that three models is enough. Once I’d trapped the little wandering buggers with some tape, the stake pocket jig and its low-tech companion, the end sill template, worked beautifully.  Okay, the “end sill template” is just a piece of paper with ticks on it; to use […]

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Flat car build plan

I can see that I’m going to finish these flat cars with a little kit of jigs and templates. Hopefully when I go to dust them off one day, I will remember this series of posts. Here, for example, is the plan that shows how pieces of the frame are supposed to fit together. If […]

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It’s in the red drawer!

“Which drawer is it in?” She hollered from in front of the basement cabinets. “The one with all the party supplies!” I yelled from my comfortable perch beneath my book. The sounds of drawer slides and the abuse of soft-close pistons floated up from the basement.  Oh for Pete’s sake, I thought, as I got […]

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Canonical flat car and load

In order to get swappable loads, I need to not only get the stake pockets all aligned, but also the side sills the same distance apart and aligned relative to one another.  I should count my blessings that these cars do not appear to have end pockets!   I had thought that simply building all […]

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A second bench for the workshop

I keep having to tell myself that all this work on the workshop is in fact work towards the locomotive.  Finally this weekend, I managed to get the second cabinet finished to the point where it can be painted.  Like the first, it is almost entirely made from scraps left over from my other projects. […]

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Towards swappable loads

It is a strange fact that I have never scratchbuilt a flat car before.  I clearly remember the Kalmbach book, Easy to Build Model Railroad Freight Cars, recommending that you should start out with a flat and work your way up to house cars; of course, I also clearly remember ignoring that advice and leaping […]

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Three flats is enough

Ellen Hood played flute in high school band across from me and my clarinet.  Apparently, I was poorer than most kids at hiding my hobby as she found out about it, and introduced me to her dad, Tom.  For several years afterward, I joined Tom’s work sessions on Tuesday evenings, I guess until I moved […]

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