Removable Car Floors How-to?

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by bigdonnie, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. bigdonnie

    bigdonnie Member

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    I am currently making two interurban car kits and a Sylvan CNR wooden caboose kit. For all 3 of these, I would like to be able to easily remove the floors.

    What are some of the ways of doing this? I know that typically people use very small screws through the car floor, but are these typically going into pieces of tapped styrene or tapped metal? What size screws would you recommend? How big is the piece of material that is 'screwed into'.

    All suggestions/advice galdly accepted.[​IMG]
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Gotta ask... why do you need to remove the floors?

    But to answer the question - screws are probably the way to go. If the "underfloor" is either white metal or styrene, it can be drilled and tapped for a short 2-56 screw using a tap (well duh hamr). Anyway, taps are a couple of dollars, and cut a much nicer, reusable threaded hole than just trying to put the screw into a pilot hole.

    Andrew
  3. bigdonnie

    bigdonnie Member

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    To answer your question Andrew --- the two interurban cars I am building will initially be for use with DC, but I will be making the leap into DCC before the end of the year so I want to be able to easily get at the interior of the cars to install decoders at that time.

    I think my question should have perhaps been more specific --- I know that I will need to tap through the floor, but the screws will need to go into something attached to the interior wall of the car. Should this be a small block of styene? Aluminum? Something else?
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Sorry - still not following - I think that you are saying that you want to body to come off...? The way I read it was that you were going to have an interior floor to remove from the rest of the underframe...? :confused:

    If all you want to do is to remove the body, then yes - cement some small blocks of styrene in strategic places, and tap into them from underneath.

    Alternately, you could pin it together as described by my friend Stan in his CN passenger car project: http://http-server.carleton.ca/~sconley/CNR_Combination_car/cn.html

    Andrew
  5. bigdonnie

    bigdonnie Member

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    Sorry for the confusion --- as you have guessed, I simply want to be able to remove the body from the underframe to get at the interior of the body. I will give the styrene blocks a try.

    BTW --- thanks for the link. Its given me additional ideas that I will tuck away for future use. I smiled when I saw that it was a passenger car kit from BGR --- John Newland, the owner of BGR, is my model railroading greoup in Oakville and its always great to see him being supported. I love his kits, but unfortunately I've never been particularly interested in passenger trains. Its probably a good thing, however, since I already HAVE too many projects/kits waiting to be worked on!! :D

    Thanks again
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I understand why you would want to do this: on the few cars that I've ever "sealed up", something has always happened (loose weight, missing window "glass", etc.) that requires access to the inside of the carbody. Here's a photo of a Sylvan CNR caboose that was built to allow interior access.

    [​IMG]

    I cut the floor and frame just outboard of the truck bolsters (the couplers and a short section of floor and centre sill remain with the carbody). I used CA to fasten some 1/4" square styrene strip to the inside of the car sides, then drilled and tapped it to accept countersunk screws driven up through the floor. There are two screws per side, just inboard of the trucks. So far, no need to open it up, yet.:D

    Wayne
  7. bigdonnie

    bigdonnie Member

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    What you've done with the CNR caboose floor is an excellent idea --- if you don't mind, I'm going to steal your idea and do the same on my kit. :) What diameter of screws do you normally use?

    You have really done an excellent job on the Sylvan kit --- I'll be happy if mine is half as good as this. :thumb: Great picture too --- I'm going to print it on good quality photo

    BTW --- what orange paint did you use --- the CN Orange from the CN SIG? If so, did you use it straight out of the bottle or tone it down with a bit of white? Colour looks perfect.
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks, bigdonnie. The screws are 2-56, with a head similar to that of a woodscrew. I used a #40 drill to provide a bit of a countersink on the underside of the floor.
    The caboose in the picture is one of two that I built at the same time, the other being for my good friend cn nutbar. I put the various castings in lacquer thinner to remove the mould release residue, but several of the parts deformed severely before I could retrieve them. I managed to salvage enough to complete Mister nutbar's model, but some of the window muntins were completely gone, requiring scratchbuilt replacements. You'll notice in the photograph that the cupola window is open, and that the sash of the rearmost side window has been "raised", both ploys to repair damaged details. The screens (and screen doors on the car ends), are fabricated from sheet styrene and silk screening fabric.

    [​IMG]

    Both models were painted with SMP Accupaint, thinned slightly with lacquer thinner, and applied with an airbrush. The paint number is AP-17 CN Orange. Accupaint dries to a semi-gloss sheen, perfect for decaling, so I applied a coat of Dulcote to help the dry transfer lettering to adhere better. The roof and underbody were done with Floquil Roof Brown. Nutbar's caboose was lettered with the modern version of the "green-leaf" scheme, using the C-D-S HO-71 lettering that came with the kit, while I opted for the older-style leaf in white, even though it's a bit too modern for my modelled era. The C-D-S set number is HO-29(b), which also is used for the Mineral Brown version, sans the leaf herald. You could probably use any of the four versions of the leaf herald that were used on the boxcars, too, if you don't like the supplied version.

    Wayne
  9. bigdonnie

    bigdonnie Member

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    Thanks for the additional info Wayne.

    I'm not sure that Accupaint is even available anymore? Do you know?
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    It's still available, but the supply seems to be not too dependable. The one that I use the most is CN Green #11, not only for CNR passenger equipment and diesels for cn nutbar, but also for my own Grand Valley and Elora Gorge & Eastern passenger cars. When I do come across it, I usually buy whatever the dealer has on hand, as it seems to keep very well. If you're doing CNR diesels, their Accucals, also hard to find, are excellent, and an exact colour-match with the paint. Accupaint is listed in my 2005 issue of the Walthers catalogue, so you might ask your dealer to order some. If it's not presently available, the Scalecoat/CNR sig paint should also work. I've used their Green #11, which is a bit darker than the SMP version, so I would imagine that the orange will be suitably close. Don't use the CN Red/Orange, from either manufacturer, as it's intended for diesels in the noodle and/or zebra-stripe schemes.

    Wayne
  11. bigdonnie

    bigdonnie Member

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    Thanks again for the great information Wayne.

    I already have the Scalecoat/CN SIG Orange, so I'll give that a whirl and see how it comes out. From talking to others who have used this particular colour, apparently it needs to be toned down with some white or the end result is too bright. I've used their CN Green in the past for airbrushing girder bridges and was very pleased with the results.

    One last question. What digital camera do you use? The pics it takes are very sharp and the depth of field is much better than you typical;y see. I am thinking about upgrading to a digital SLR (probably the Nikon D50), so am curious as to whether your shots have been taken by a point & shoot or an SLR.

    Thanks for the all the pointers --- perhaps we'll bump into one another one day at a MRR show since I live in Oakville.
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    All of my pictures, so far, were taken using my daughter's cheapie Kodak. About the only adjustments on it are for exposure and the ability to turn off the flash. I was surprised by the quality of the pictures it produces, especially the depth-of-field. My kids gave me a better quality Kodak for my birthday in April, but I haven't used it too much, as my computer is incapable of retrieving pictures from it. It's more complicated to use, and from what I see on the viewer, not as good in the depth-of-field department. Its main advantage is the availability of zoom, both optical and digital, which allows me to avoid including extraneous details, like the layout room ceiling,:rolleyes: in the photos. Once I get a better computer, and am able to view the pictures, I hope to learn how to wring better results from it. It should be good for roster shots and builder's photos, but I generally prefer shooting entire scenes. If I had been able to justify the expense, I would have considered a digital SLR, as I have quite a few lenses and attachments, including a pinhole lense, for my film SLR's that could have been useful.
    I don't get to too many train shows: there's not much that really grabs my attention as far as making a purchase goes, particularily with the spate of rtr and DCC stuff. I can honestly say that there's not much that I really need in the way of trains, either, other than maybe to get rid of a few.:D I do go to the show in Ancaster, but that's mainly to buy a ticket for the H.O.M.E.S. layout tour.

    Wayne
  13. bigdonnie

    bigdonnie Member

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    Great pics for a 'cheapie' Kodak. I think I'm going to try my daughter's cheapie Olympus and compare it to mine!

    Which Ancaster show are you referring to --- the one at the 'fairgrounds' or somewhere else? I always enjoy that show since I always seen to stumble upon something of interest.
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    The one to which I'm referring is at Merritt Hall, which is, I believe, at the Fairgrounds. I've not been to the one at Copetown, although I may go to the next one, as I've heard that it's quite good. I don't see a listing for either of these shows in RMC, so I'll have to check at the LHS. I haven't had time for much railroading this summer, and the picture doesn't look all that promising yet.

    Wayne
  15. bigdonnie

    bigdonnie Member

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    That's the one --- I always forget the name of the Hall. I always enjoy this show because I seem to frequently stumble across something of interest that's a bit different. I think I've only missed a couple of their shows in the last 10 years.

    Went to the last Copetown show in the spring and it was quite good. There were a couple of very interesting layouts that I had not seen at other shows. Not many vendors, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Mt. Albert Scale Lumber was there, so I stocked up on their 24" wood for scratchbuilding. All in all, quite worhwhile.