My Penny Project

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by liven_letdie, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    This topic came up on the HO Railroading group on Yahoo a couple of months back so I wanted to do a little tutorial here to try to give something back. It could easily be adapted to other scales too. To paraphrase the post on Yahoo the gentleman was tired of paying high prices for ¼ oz lead nuggets so he came up with the idea of using pennies for weight because it would only cost him pennies =]. Most Athearn and Roundhouse cars need about ½ to ¾ oz added to reach NMRA standards of 1 oz plus ½ oz per inch of length. Five pennies weight ¼ oz so it is a great way to save some money. The neat thing is that you can actually fine-tune the weight down to 1/20th of an ounce which would be plus minus a penny. Since I try to do something to do with modeling every night, usually while reading posts on the Gauge =] I worked up a “jig” and an assembly line system with favorable results. Here is the walkthrough of my process, hope this helps in your own modeling efforts.



    Get together a couple of piles of 5 pennies each:

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  2. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    [font=&quot]Lay out the pennies in a row and then dab a little bit of white glue on FOUR of the pennies:[/font]

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  3. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    Stack the pennies up and insert them into your homemade jig as far back as they will go:

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  4. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    [font=&quot]Put together your assembly line:[/font]

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  5. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    [font=&quot]Now you need to apply super glue CA adhesive to the three exposed sides of the pennies and let dry:[/font]

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  6. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    Now you have a bunch of weights, they can be stuck in cars using any kind of glue you prefer or taped down (my preference):

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  7. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    Now you may ask why I use both white glue and CA. I tried it with just white glue and they don’t stay together very well since you are not supposed to use Elmer’s to glue metal! I also tried it without using white glue and just using CA and the pennies didn’t have any thing to keep them “tacky” in the jig and they slipped apart and made a mess. This is just a basic idea, you can do whatever strikes your fancy. Hopefully this will save us all a lot of money in the long run, or at least free up more money to buy other stuff with!



    Happy Modeling,



    Cory in Turlock
  8. railroader9731

    railroader9731 Member

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    pennies

    what about hot glue gun?
    :D
  9. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

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    Pretty cool! This gives me a whole new appreciation for that aggrevating, neverending, stack of pennies in the console of the goat.:D
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Nice little tutorial and a good idea. Every one has pennies lying around and it seems they are less and less wanted in real trade and commerce. These weights are good for all railroad debts public and private! :)
    Ralph
  11. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    It is a good idea......
    Thats what I've used on my IHC Heavyweights.
    These are super glued flat. The interiors sit right on top. Haven't had any problems....Yet!

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  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I put them together with 5 minute epoxy, and they don't need clamping. I just put the epoxy between the pennies and stack them in fours or fives and let it set up. I since bought a bag of lead bird shot, so I use that for weights now, but with lead be careful to wash your hands after use. Also don't snack on anything while working with the lead. The lead shot works very well for passenger cars. I put about 1/4 inch of wet epoxy on the bottom of the boxes and bits cast into the bottom of passenger cars, and then add shot to cover the bottom with one layer. I let it set up (5 minute epoxy), then add another 1/4 inch of wet epoxy and cover it with lead shot. I repeat the process until the lead shot is level with the bottom of the car floor.
  13. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    Russ,

    Are you weighting to some particular benchmark with the shot, for example do you weigh it before hand or have you just found that an equal layer works best? I am definately liking the ideas that are going on here, making me think of more stuff =]. Has anyone tried that low temp stuff? The stuff you melt into cavities and such? I would like to know how that works, good applications etc, price effectiveness, alternative sources of low temp etc.

    Cory in Turlock
  14. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Thanks for the ideas. I won't have to buy any more lead weights!
  15. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

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    I have used pennies for a few years, I use Walthers Goo to hold them together as well as attaching them to the cars. It's about 1/10th the cost of A-Line weights.
  16. zedob

    zedob Member

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    Might want to make sure they are at least ten years old.

    I don't know what year the Gov started it, but in recent years they started minting pennies out of copper plated aluminum ( I believe it's Al).

    I happened to find that out by accident. I was twisting a penny in a vise, for some forgotten reason, and was surprised when it twisted in half fairly easily. I examined the break and noticed the shiny silver interior.
    However, if one knew the date of the last all copper penny minting, one could have a convienient supply of fine tuning weights, if one were to need them.
  17. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    The pennies have actually had a Zinc interior since 1982, so all your pennies before are about 95% copper, now it is the other way around. The difference is about .6 grams but i am not sure what that works out to in ounces. I guess i hadn't paid that much attention, but that is a really good point.

    Cory
  18. KCS

    KCS Member

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    Lord, I've been using pennies for years. It's a heck of a deal but here lately I've been getting lead weight blocks for nothing because they don't sell so they are given to me rather than this other guy in our club who likes to weight his cars to prototype weight! He goes through a set of trucks about every 3 months. Walthers Goo is the best way to adhere them with. But here these days those pennies have been paying the government their sales tax on my cigarettes. Now come to think of it. Where can I purchase that lead bird shot at?