An interesting B&O box car of 1867

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by modelsof1900, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Here is a new modelling project which is already in progress for a few months.

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    (Click for larger image)

    Some times ago I found a short feature of a very unusually B&O box car in an older Railmodel Journal with a short description and sketches with four or five dimensions data that was built in 1867 (!) already. However I thought it could be very interesting to model a B&O box car with an extraordinary length of more than 53” in that time and equipped with ends those look like that of a hopper. The background of this unusual feature is the load – wheat flour that was transported in barrels at that time.
    Do I can ever use this model on a layout? Can it run with a train of my preferred time period of around 1900? I think no in all requests but I would like to build this very interesting and unusual model!
    First of all I studied a few very old pictures of railroad cars before 1900 in a few magazines. Additionally, I am a proud owner of the book “The American Railroad Freight Car – From the wood car era to the coming of steel” from John H. White and so I have a lot of possibilities to read more about all those details and features. I have to say this book is really brilliant. A wonderful book with pictures, drawings and excellent descriptions with regard to technologies and information of American freight cars until 1900 – and with 100 and more ideas for my next modelling jobs that still I would like all to do. This book is a right encyclopedia for model builders working in railroad´s wood era - as I am too.
    After all I made a few fast sketches (not that what you see above) and I built and built and changed again – until the differences were too great like that what I would like to get and so I finished my first attempt.

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    Here in this picture you see the temporary finish of “my model” – a very old trackside structure on a friend’s layout. (Sorry, but he was lucky to get my scrapped “model”.) After the fast finish of my first attempt I started with a few scale drawings a second time (shown above) and with a firm intention to build a better model than before.

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    I will use again parts also which I have from my first attempt like brake shoes and aged trucks. Would you like to see that the truck has got a wood bolster that is stiffened by truss rods? I am sure that probably nobody will see this detail but it is a typical characteristic of the trucks of 1870/1880. I was lucky to find a pair of old sprunged trucks with metal side frames and equipped with a shorter wheelbase that fitted exactly this time modelling. I am not sure if these trucks are old Athern parts but who can find in scrap boxes such old metal archbar trucks having a shorter wheelbase than Kadee trucks – I would be very pleased to hear from you!

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    Like the first time I modelled these side wall girders at first and I did not start again with the frame. I think that it would be easier to build these side girders on an even workbench then mounting rectangular on frame beams. These side girders were the only parts which I could built still very exactly after the original sketches. For all other modelling works I studied again and again the old technologies of the railroad freight cars in order to get a very model-fair reproduction of such old car. Like already mentioned the book from John H. White was and it is currently a very large assistance for me to realize my modelling ideas.
    Next steps of this modelling job will follow.
    An addition: Model is built in HO scale.

    Bernhard
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Off to another fine start! :) :thumb: Interesting prototype. While it is "generally agreed" that most rosters in the 1800s were made up of box cars and flats, it is still cool to find these "purpose-built" cars.

    Andrew
  3. CSX

    CSX Member

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    Good luck with your project! Looks great!
  4. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Pictures show next steps of my modelling job. My construction changes to a box (car).

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    The side girders are connected at the ends by end beams to a box and all inner frame beams are added. In order to give more stability for the frame beams I added already the two crossbars for the queenposts below of the door beams. Additionally bracing at the ends of the center frame beams are preparations for coupler mounting at a later time. Top bracing across upper girder beams are only temporary glued stripes until the car body is equipped with its full braces. In most cases I build with longer beams then the finished model will be need really - here in detail the lower girder beams and the end beams. Because this handling I can sand the ends after the completion of such crossovers on a completely accurate length without breaks and edges.
    Especially you can see my general construction principle at the end view or in other high resolution pictures too. I try to build all crossing points of wood strips with cutouts so that parts get a mechanical stability additionally to gluing. With the next steps you will see that this method will be absolute necessary for my further construction.

    Bernhard
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Nice work Bernhard. The mortised framework should add a lot of strength to the car and I especially like the nice work you've done on the brake rigging.
    Wayne
  6. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    Looks good.
    Wish I had the patience for "board by board" construction.
  7. zedob

    zedob Member

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    Yeah, I don't think it's going to fall apart.

    Impressive, to say the least. I always love your work. All your models are so unique.
  8. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Next steps are done, wood construction of car ends is finished. Look also for inner diagonal braces where car's inner end side planks are mounted.

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    Here are two pictures of my model under construction - frame end beams are glued to base.
    In many cases I use white glue for my jobs, everywhere when larger glueing areas exist. But then I must fix parts until glue is dryed - like here fixing by nails together with two wood strips. I glue with ACC only smaller connections (liquid also like gel) but I preffer to use white glue where I can use it.

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    In this picture I glue two smaller wood strips on ends using my larger press jig. These strips are then the background for end fascias.

    Bernhard
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Nice work, Bernhard, as usual. I also like your clamping jig: you probably put more skill into fixtures like that than many of us put into a finished model. I also agree with you about the use of white glue versus acc. While acc is very useful in some applications, I have always been leery of the longevity of joints made with it where there is no complimentary mechanical joint. While I usually prefer to work in styrene, I have found that yellow carpenters glue offers even more strength for wood-to-wood joints than white glue, although considering the care with which you fit the parts, white glue should be more than adequate. I'm looking forward to seeing your next installment about this car.

    Wayne
  10. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Thank you, Wayne.

    But please write me a short info, what are yellow carpenters? A carperter glue I think. Can you give me one or two product names please? Then I'll try that I can get such a glue from a friend in PA for a few tests. Learning of new materials and technologies is never ending - and I'm in (early) sixties already.
    And I'm looking forward. 13 months yet then I retire and I'm sure to spend more time for our hobby.

    Bernhard
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Bernhard,
    I went to check the label on my container of carpenter's glue, but there was no information on it about the glue (this is an applicator bottle that I had put the glue into from the large jug of glue that I had originally purchased). I had bought a gallon of it, since it is very useful for woodworking projects and repairs around the house, like loose joints on furniture. It's stronger than white glue and more water-resistant, although not waterproof. It allows some working time, but sets up quickly and, like white glue, benefits from clamping. Since I no longer have the original container, I googled "yellow carpenter's glue". As with most google searches, not much real information, but it did mention that it's an aliphatic resin, whatever help that might be. It did list some brand names: Elmer's, Tite Bond, Dap, and Lepage's. It also went on to note that there is no difference between these glues, regardless of brand names, and that any generic "yellow carpenter's glue" would be similar, so don't be fooled into thinking that a more expensive brand is better.
    Hope this is of some assistance.
    Wayne
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    "Yellow" carpenters' glue is (as Wayne) noted supposed to be more water-resistant (or even waterproof when dry) than the standard white glue.

    For your applications Bernhard, I would think that they would perform about the same. Clamping your pieces, and having proper fitting parts, strengthens the joint far beyond any difference between the white or yellow glue.

    Andrew
  13. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Regular Yellow carpenter's glue has about the same strength as white, but you guys are right in that the difference in them is that the yellow is waterproof. I would use the white for any indoor project, especially if you think you need to undo anything. I use yellow on anything that might stand a chance of getting wet, like a table top. There is now a third type, Titebond I (white), Titebond II (yellow) and Titebond III, (also yellow, but higher strength). Tightbond is expensive compared to other brands. I have bought other brands in both the yellow and white in gallon containers for a bit over the cost of a quart of Titebond.

    Using the white glue on my layout has been a blessing when I wanted to move some rails around. Soaking the ballast in water for a few minutes, and they came right up.
  14. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Thanks to all for hints and explanation to carpenter's glue.
    I think that I can find a few other products and in a few respects also better products as I'm using. And I think also that this is the good sense of this forum - learning from others. But in this case I think and I'm sure that my models don't run while a thunder storm in a garden, so that I can disregard the need of waterproof. But from time to time I need to get also connections with a higher strength. In such cases I use than ACC often. But others - in special situations I try to find a solution that is closer to reality, additional (scale) nails or like in reality outside mounted iron strips especially at corner posts and so on. And you will see with my present project, such bents are glued and additional nailed on the wood.
    Thanks all you for discussion and explanations and I think that I need your help also in future again.

    Bernhard
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I use the yellow glue on my cardboard models because I think it sets up faster than the white. I hope none of my models gets wet -- the glue would be the only bit to survive!
  16. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Built in 1867 - and then like new??

    Talking with a friend - Your models are soo excellently - and why they must look like old models again? A car, built in 1867, can it looks like fresh from the shop?
    I think this can open a philosophical discussion here in forum. But I have a fixed mean for this. All my models have got more or lesser aging and weathering - and then this model fresh from the car builder shop with fresh colors? No, not with such a very old model! And so I started here with first steps giving this model its age.

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    Holding in a water bath until wood don't sook in more water and press whole construction with the big press jig.
    Whole frame is set on two base woods exaktly there, where trucks will mounted in future and pressed on top by a thin press board that has two guides additionally in order to hold top strips of frame in a fixed straight position. I fixed outer and inner sides by heavy wood blocks, then all of pressing power must transmitted from top by righted posts down to heavy frame strips. And the result?

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    Unwrapping from the jig after two days of drying ...

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    ... the model is aged for 15 or 20 years and only two of the wood connections needed a new fixing, this time with ACC.
    Model is sagging 1/8 inch and best of all - the bidiagonal bents at both ends have redirected all frame strips so that frame ends have hold their position like before bending. Very good effects and very near to reality. Old wood cars have had exactly this form after 10 or 20 years of use in railroad service.
    Pictures of old wood cars are the proof.
    And now - we can discuss why I have given the model its sagging after the frame has got this nearly completed condition.

    Bernhard
  17. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Model in progress - with small steps.
    Coupler boxes and frame bolsters are mounted. Note the small high of frame bolsters. The reason for it are the strong truck bolsters. Two truss rods at each frame bolster are prepared in order to stiffen the frame against deformations, features which ware commonly in time of wood cars.
    And good to see, I added steel rods at all posts in order to hold lower and upper frame beams in a fixed position together. The needed NBW's at lower ends of rods will be added with last steps of finishing of my model.
    Also to see, I removed the two beams for queen posts again, since they were not placed in the right position. In addition then with the next pictures still more.

    Bernhard
  18. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    As usual, Bernhard, more of the precision work for which you're known. This is really prototypical weathering. I'm looking forward to your next installment.

    Wayne
  19. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    After a longer time of hibernation I'll add a few new pictures of my 1867 B&O boxcar looking like a hopper.
    Here a picture of my second model that I must equip with Kadee trucks. Compare the differences at car bolster with last picture. Here you see also the truss rods which I added in pairs to each body bolster.

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    More pictures 'll follow in next posts.

    Bernhard
  20. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    After long delaying of my models I added scribed Northeastern wood planks on bottom and on all insides as I filled the endsides also. In all cases I sanded the scribbed sides to reduce the scribbing high for a more realistic look of sheathing. And you see also first demolished sides. Remember - the car was originally built in 1867!

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    Inside of car you can see also one of two lead blocks to give the model the right weight after NMRA rules.

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    To give the model a really solid base I glued a thin plywood sheet inside of upper plate before I added all the roof parts.
    In next steps I glued fascias on end plates and glued the ridge and intermediate poles on the plywood sheet. After drying of glue I sanded the profile in this pitched roof of models.

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    For preparing the roof boards I fixed the wood strips with a clear adhesive tape to bundles and I have sliced board bundles in length.

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    This is the fastest way also to glue the planks in bundles on the roof poles. And before the glue was dryed I have given a few planks lesser or more heavy demages looking like a very old roof without repairs. All these details I have found in Robert H. White's book "The American freight car ..." that is a great help for me to do this modeling job.

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    Because I glued the boards from ends to center so I must fill the center gap with a few single boards which I must sand for an exact width and a closing look. Small differences in width of the boards aren't seen after closing the gap.

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    After that all I have sanded the roof boards to the right lenght ...

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    ... and I think I have built a nice looking car body with a few near to reality aged details.
    Next steps 'll follow - shorter than a half year.

    Bernhard