wooden hopper car

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by nachoman, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

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    Thanks Kevin
    That is a great little hopper
    I've dug up the original magazine article, and think I'll make a batch of them.
    Bill S
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i'm glad to see others have interest in building the same car. I managed to dig out my old issue with the plans. I suppose I can scan it for anyone interested.

    kevin
  3. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    I bought the materials for it today at the LHS! :D I'm going to build it out of Basswood and dimensional lumber, does this sound like a wise choice?
  4. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

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    Miles,
    I was thinking the same way.
    Let us know how it turns out.
    Bill S
  5. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Miles,

    I think you will have fun building this. If I was to make more, I would use stripwood. It is not that much more expensive than the illustration board, does not take much longer, but I think would look better. And if you are only building just a few cars, I think it is a wise choice. Mine are built in HOn3, of course. I used a brake wheel for the door winding mechanism. The tricky part is how to add weight. If you can come across some lead sheets, you can cut pieces to fit under the sloped bottom sheets. I wound up using A-line 1/4 stick on weights cut in half. I only managed to squeeze in about 1/4 oz per car, which is okay for hon3 but probably too light for standard gauge.

    kevin
  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Hm...Perhaps I could fashion the slope sheets out of old metal weights from one of my many bachmann scrap cars, do you think that could happen? I'd then just laminate the wood to the outside. What did you use to hold the side braces in? they look like old flatcar U braces. What are they, and where did you get them?
  8. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

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    For weight I was thinking of making the bolsters, frame pieces and sills (all the stuff you see in fig 3 of the original article) of brass. For that matter, the spaces between the frames and the center sill (still looking at fig 3) could be solid brass --- no one will ever see it if they don't turn the car over. (No --- wait --- I was presuming that there is flooring covering the frames. Now that I have a second look, perhaps that is not true, and one can see daylite down between the frame pieces --- looking from the ends. Typical of plans in the MRR press, such details are not shown. How did you interpret that, Kevin?)
    Bill S
  9. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    My car has open frames on the ends - no decking. It would definitley be noticable if you made them solid. You are definitely right in that the plans and instructions can be a little hard to follow I got confused about the instructions for making the doors. They arent really shown in the plans that well, and the instructions are vague. I just made something that looked good.

    The details on the side supports are "stake pockets" - It shows how to make them in the article, but I bought mine as plastic detail parts from Grandt Line (I think), and glued them on with CA.

    kevin
  10. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

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    This thread, having kindled my interest in period hoppers, encouraged me to haul out my copy of “The American Railroad Freight Car” by John White. On page 328 are drawings for a very similar car --- nearly identical proportions, but a hopper-bottom gondola rather than a pure hopper. The difference (for the uninitiated) is that the car has flat floors interrupted by the hopper bottom rather than having the slope of the hopper bottom continue to the car ends.

    Hopper-bottom gons had the advantage of being usable to haul other goods besides coal or ore. The disadvantage was that after the dump, workers had to crawl into the car and shovel the remaining coal from the flat floors into the hopper. For the modeler the hopper bottom gon MIGHT be a little easier to model, and would provide space for hidden weights under the floor at each end.

    My prime reason for mentioning this is that the drawings in White’s book --- reproduced from the Railroad gazette, April 17, 1896 --- show a lot more details than the Model Railroader drawings for Jack Work’s article, and would be helpful in building either car.

    If anyone out there is unfamiliar with “The American Railroad Freight Car” I should tell you that this is an essential reference for period car scratch builders. It covers, “from the wood-car era to the coming of steel,” and is 656 large-format pages of terrific drawings, photographs, and text. It’s available new from Amazon,com at $43, used from $40. Alibris.com and Biblio.com also have used copies from $35. Not cheap, but consider that this isn’t much more than the price of one ready-to-run car from the likes of Walthers, and contains a lifetime’s worth of modeling reference information. There is also a companion, two-volume set called “The American Railroad Passenger Car” which I have found equally invaluable.

    Bill S