Frustrations with KATO grab irons

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TruckLover, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Hi Guys, what size drill bit should i use to drill the wholes slightly bigger so that the grabs will actually slide in? Im assembling a KATO SD90/43MAC and the grabs are just a pain in the :curse::curse::curse:

    This is the first problem that ive had with assembling an KATO engines, they usually are fairly easy to me, but this one is just so stubborn and i have to order new grabs to now finish the model do to so many being broken or lost.... wall1 wall1 wall1
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    Just go get yourself some Detail Associates Metal Grabs.
    You'll have to touch up paint them, maybe cut them down a little, but I think you'll be plesaed with the results.

    When I was assembling my GE C44-9W, I tossed the supplied Katos, and used the DA's.
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    Yeah, i had the same problems on my SD80MAC. metal grabs look better, so go with them. I'd almost say just go out and buy brass handrails as well, (I know they sell them for the old RPP SD90/43MACs), because, atleast on my SD80MAC, the corner handrails are seperate (and i think the hood handrails are in two parts as well), and you'll find them to be a MAJOR pain in the @$$. you can glue them but it will still never be as good as a solid part.
  4. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Don't get piXXed

    It is a hobby. Be cool! Trains are meant to be injoyed. When something got to you as a kid, you would just walk away from it. Come back to it later.
    As to whtazzz go'n on. Before I got these metal handrails I would get a 0-60 and 60 to 80 drill bit index's. Also a good push drill that has a very small chuck or better replaceable chuck inserts. Also a pin can be used here. These holes are usually tightest at the opening on top. You need something to ream out the top of the hole. Sometimes all you need is to open the top of the hole by pressing a pin point into it wiggleing it around. Or get a pin slightly wider than the hole and useing it's tapered point to ream open up the hole top. Also put a very small drop of oil on a surface that will not obsorbe it, using your small pin's point weted, ( not a drop ) lube the opening. When this fails you go to the drill bit. Finding one ever so slightly larger. Then drilling it open. Remember those drill bits are small and fragile. They break easily! Their is only one of each size in the index.
    Good luck. Take your time.
    frank
  5. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

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    IMO, a very useful modeling tool is a dial caliper. In this case, you could use one to measure the grab diameter, which would answer the drill bit size question.

    You can find them here and there relatively inexpensively - examples:
    http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action=Catalog&Type=Product&ID=80973
    or
    http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action=Catalog&Type=Product&ID=82556

    Gun shops, Sears and about any other tool shop should carry the lower end calipers - and that's all you need for modeling.

    Matt
  6. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Thanks 88 and Chris for the reply's. When i get some money, im going to buy a bunch of metal grabs and start replacing them when i build kits that require grab irons to be installed. I agree, they look WAY better :mrgreen:
  7. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Thanks Frank :mrgreen: this advise is something i think some of us forget sometimes. When you get angry or impatient with a kit or whatever your working on, if you keep going its only going to get worse :eek: :rolleyes: Last nigth after i posted this thread, i packed up the engine before i broke or lost any more grabs, then continued this morning after i had slept off all my frustrations LOL. Well in the end, i just barely had enough grabs to finish the engine off, and i only had to use one grab iron that was not supposed to go in that spot, but i made it work anyways and you cannot even tell lol the extra grab was left over and was not going to be used on the loco.

    Come to find out, i found a sorta U shaped pin in the kit, and in the directions, it says that you can use it to "open" up the wholes before sticking the grabs in. I took a pair of needle nose plyers and opened up the wholes with the pin and sure enough, that was all it needed. This along with a better attitude got the job done :mrgreen: :mrgreen: guess this is another example where reading pays lol
  8. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Thanks Matt, i actually have a high end dial caliper that my grandpa gave to me, i always forget i have it LOL. Thanks for the tip :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    do you have a pinvise set? i have a little metal case that has various sizes from what i think is #60 to #80, and then i have a secondary set that has some doubles of the first, and larger ones in the #50s range.
  10. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    They DA's are really cheap. Maybe two or three dollars for a pack of 25 or so.
    Can do a lot of locos with one pack.
  11. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    JOSH : Job well done !

    Josh : This is a cool hobby. You are a locomotive engineer running a train up and down grade thro turns and long straight aways. A craftsmen assembling and custom detailing your equipment to your railroads standards. You design and build your railroad. Track work, structures, scenery, & wireing. It is like you get to build your own world, active but peacefull. And you get to share ti will others. I like this hobby !
    frank
  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    I do have a pin vise with a couple sizes of bits i got from Walthers. I need to order a set of them though and get a few extras in a couple of the most common used sizes
  13. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    All the more reason to get some metal grabs :mrgreen: do they bend easy? Like by bend i mean not in a good way...
  14. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Thank-you Frank :mrgreen: those are some GREAT points as to why this hobby is so AMAZING :thumb: :mrgreen:
  15. railroader9731

    railroader9731 Member

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    I got a new sd70mac from a co-worker and found they wernt to bad to deal with considering i only lost 2 grab irons. Yet i did feel some of your frustrations Trucklover.
  16. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    Only in a head on....
    Seriously, once installed they are pretty tough. They do take a lot of man-handling.
  17. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Ive done grabs on 3 KATO SD70MAC's and never had problems with them either, i member when i did my other UP SD90/43MAC last year, it did give me a tough time on a couple holes but nothing like this one did lol. This one just needed all the holes opened up :mrgreen: :thumb: little to much factory paint i guess lol
  18. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Just the info i wanted to know :mrgreen: thats definitely a plus :mrgreen: Thanks 88
  19. wjstix

    wjstix Member

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    I just use a sharp X-acto knife. Stick the point in the hole and rotate it 360 degrees a time or two. It usually does the trick, allows you to put the handrail in place but leaves the hole small enough that the handrail stays in place without needing to be glued in.
  20. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    Thanks for the advise Stix. When i use a hobby knife, i usually over due it and open it up to much :oops: wall1 LOL guess i should just rotate it one time and then test fit it :thumb: