Author Topic: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car  (Read 19562 times)

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Tallmatt

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #90 on: March 23, 2020, 09:07:44 AM »
+1
I'm not usually one for me too comments - but it's a pleasure to see such wonderful craftsmanship, thank you for sharing the build, warts and all to learn from.

BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #91 on: March 23, 2020, 06:58:04 PM »
0
Coupler Pockets & End Sills (Part 2)
This installment covers the installation of the end sill pieces.  Each half of the end sill comprises an inner piece .020" x .125" and an outer piece .020" x .156".  The inner piece provides the correct height at the outside end and the outer piece provides the correct height at the inner end.  The outer piece will be cut to the angled profile using the inner piece as a guide.  Here are the end sill pieces ready for installation:




These were dressed to the exact length required on the True Sander so as to butt up against the sides of the coupler pocket and line up with the inside surface of the side sills.  The cars were placed upside down on .040" thick strip styrene shims so that the running plates were flat on the sims.  The end sills need to sit .010" below the running plates, so a .010" thick shim was needed underneath the end sill pieces during installation.  I glued a small block to the end of this shim for ease of handling.  Here is the arrangement for gluing in the end sill pieces:




The inner end sill pieces went on well and as the photograph below shows, I was able to achieve the .010" difference in height with the running plates:




The outer end sill pieces went on next, and needed to be set at the same height so the .010" shim was used again.  These also went on well and looked like this after installation:




Adding the end sills after installation of the coupler pockets worked well and I am happy with the results.  Next is fabrication and installation of the corner gussets and final trimming of the end sills.


Tim


« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 07:53:48 PM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

John

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #92 on: March 23, 2020, 07:31:15 PM »
0
I'm not usually one for me too comments - but it's a pleasure to see such wonderful craftsmanship, thank you for sharing the build, warts and all to learn from.

I agree -- I scratch built a couple of 89' flat cars years ago .. not nearly as good as what this build it .. I recall it was a lot of work .. but fun ..

I have to wonder with the resin printers we have now if parts of this project couldn't be mass produced, such as the underframe .. but then again, Tim has a couple of unique one of a kind models .. awesome job ..

BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #93 on: March 24, 2020, 08:16:30 PM »
+3
Coupler Pockets & End Sills (Part 3)
At each corner of the car there is a small triangular gusset plate which joins the end of the side sill to the end sill.  These were fabricated from .010" x .060" strip styrene which was cut into squares, and then into triangles.  With parts this tiny it is best to make a bunch and select the best ones.  This photograph was taken during fabrication of the gusset pates:




This extreme close-up view shows a gusset plate in place where the side sill meets the end sill:




The next task was to taper the profile of the end sills.  This was done by standing the model on end and cutting across the back of the end sills.  The inner end sill piece acts as a guide for the outer end, and the coupler pocket acts as a guide for the inner end, resulting in a taper down toward the middle of the car along the bottom edge of the end sill.  This is what that process looked like:




The last step in the end sill construction was to place the cars on the True Sander and lightly dress the end sills for a nice smooth finish and to eliminate any protrusion of the coupler pocket top or sides.  Due to the chain pockets protruding from the side sills, I used lengths of .040" thick styrene between the guide and the model to ensure that things were square before sanding:




Here is a close-up end view of the cars showing the final profile of the end sills:




And an overall view with end sills and coupler pockets installed:




And a view of one of the cars sitting on its trucks for the first time after installation of the end sills and coupler pockets:




Time to bring in the Micro-Trains coupler height gauge and see how the installation of the coupler pockets pans out:




To my delight, the coupler mounting surfaces inside the pockets are all exactly where they should be right on top of the coupler height gauge, so the coupler height should be fine.  I should also mention that at this point, with the end sill pieces added to the running plate supports and coupler pocket sides, the coupler pockets are now very secure in place and should be able to withstand the pulling forces anticipated.


This completes the installation of the coupler pockets and end sills.  I am pleased to reach this stage as this step had me worried for a while, and taking some time away to think about a different approach resulted in a successful installation.  I am also pleased because with this step finished, the basic structure of the cars is now essentially complete - from here on I will mostly be adding details.

I hadn't done much planning beyond this point so will now need to sit down and make  a list of remaining tasks, which will include brake equipment, safety fittings, and the all-important TOFC appliances.


Thanks for looking,

Tim

« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 08:19:24 PM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #94 on: March 26, 2020, 06:39:18 PM »
+2
Running Plates
The running plates on these cars (the surface on which the trailer wheels rolled) was solid treadplate.  The aprons (or ramps) had the same treadplate on their upper surface.  Over time the paint rubbed off and the treadplate rusted, which served to highlight its texture:




I was searching for a way to capture this on my models and came across a package of etched treadplate in N Scale by BLMA Models (#250):




The package happened to include two strips exactly 30" wide which is the width of the running plates.  I calculated that I would need five packages to do the running plates and aprons for two cars.  Fortunately I was able to acquire the requisite number of packages.  I spent some time learning how to make square cuts across the strips, and used these first scrap pieces to test out how well the thin brass would glue to the styrene.  I opted to try thin CA first and found that it worked very well, but there was very limited working time.  I glued the scrap pieces to one of the test sections I had built years ago:




This was the look I was after.  The strips were easily de-sprued with an Xacto knife:




A fine file was used to clean up any burrs remaining on the sides of the strips:




Some of the strips were a little warped, so to borrow a currently common catchphrase, I used weights to "flatten the curves":




The running plates are 84'-0" in length overall.  The strips are 40'-6" or so overall, so I elected to trim off a bit and make them 40' feet long.  Each running plate would require two 40' strips plus a short 4' strip.  I made a bunch of 4' long strips as this is also the length for the aprons.  To cut the strips I placed them under a square and made repeated gentle strokes with a #11 Xacto blade until the strip was cut through:




Here are the component strips arranged for one car:




I learned that the thin CA is more effective if used fairly generously.  It also has to go on quickly, particularly when gluing down the 40' sections, as it can easily dry before you get the part to the model.  I learned that the best way was actually to pour it directly from the bottle onto the styrene running plate:




and then spread it out with a pin bent into an L shape:




and then get the part onto the model.  After gluing the first pieces down I tested them with a #17 blade to see if I could get them to lift off, and no, they are down quite securely.  A #17 Xacto blade was used to scrape away any stray bits of CA.

Here are the two cars after installation of the etched running plates:




Boy does that change the look of the models!  Hopefully the etched treadplate will offer some interesting weathering opportunities when that time comes.  So another big step forward for these models.

At this point I am thinking that I will flip the cars over and work on the brake equipment.  This will be a challenge as I do not have a structural drawing to work from, and the few photographs I have do not show the brake equipment well at all.  I am aware that there was a handbrake lever on the left side of the car, with a chain going down and underneath the car.  This would have gone to the brake cylinder first.  I am also aware that the AB reservoir and triple valve would be somewhere near the centre of the car, and potentially on opposite sides.  I am also unsure if the piping would have been suspended below the cross-members or if it would have gone through them (they were 8" deep; the piping will have to go through the diaphragm plates which are much deeper).  In the end I will likely have to go with a best guess arrangement for locating the components and piping.


Until next time,

Tim
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 06:44:29 PM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
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BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
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peteski

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #95 on: March 26, 2020, 06:58:22 PM »
0
Tread-plate looks really good (and close to scale pattern).  But I have bad experience bonding thin long brass pieces to styrene (using CA glue).  Sure they stick really well, but after some time (and possibly ambient temperature changes), the brass pieces pop up creating humps.  This is also easily observed in factory installed photoetched brass roofwalks - they often pip up and bow out.

I would hate to see the same thing happen to your scratch-built car.  Solution is to use flexible adhesive (like Walther's Goo, but I Goo is difficult to apply to large areas, and since it contains acetone, it can attack and warp styrene.

If I was building this car, I would have skipped the tread-plate (regardless of how good it looks).
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BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #96 on: March 27, 2020, 01:19:18 AM »
+1
I am familiar with this issue from several resin kits, where the cast resin has changed over time in relation to the etched running boards, and the possibility you suggest did occur to me.  I have not had any issues with styrene and brass parts.  I have been watching the models carefully during the last few months for any sign of change and so far so good.  There is already metal in the cars; the centre sills contain the tungsten weights.  While the two halves of each car were joined back in January, the assemblies comprising each half of the car date from September 2010 so have had lots of time to settle out.  I was warned back then that the parts might warp over time and for the most part that has not transpired.

I did consider other adhesives, but tests showed that the thin CA did not harm the styrene in any way and achieved a solid bond when applied generously.

It might come to pass that the brass strips will buckle and pop up over time, and I will be watching the models for any sign of that from this point forward as I work to complete the models.  In that case I will have to pry it all off and repaint.  The running plates will not be obstructed by any other addition to the models so that would be possible.  Until that happens, I am prepared to accept the risk in order to have the treadplate.  Time will tell!


Thank you,

Tim


« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 01:23:20 AM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
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BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
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BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #97 on: March 29, 2020, 02:20:55 AM »
+4
Brake Equipment (Part 1)
The first stage in adding the brake equipment underneath the car has been to engage in some detective work to determine the location and arrangement of the main appliances and piping, as I do not have a structural drawing or underside photographs of the cars.  In the end it will have to be an educated guess, but for those of you who might be interested in the process . . . . .

I began with a Google search for "brake equipment 89' TOFC flatcar" which led me to a very useful document on the NMRA website:  https://www.nmra.org/sites/default/files/d9o.pdf.  This document provides an overview of railway brake equipment and provides diagrams of typical arrangements for different types of freight cars including the long TOFC flatcars (see pages 12 and 13).  There are two diagrams, one for each half of the car, so I printed the pages, cut them out and taped them together.  I then scanned the underside of one of my models and printed that out so I could transfer the locations onto my car.  From the depiction of the trainline running the length of the car, which always terminates on the right hand side of the draft gear at the trainline air hose, I determined that the diagrams are arranged as if you are looking down through the floor.  This meant that I would have to reverse everything when looking at the underside of my models.  This photograph shows the NMRA diagram and the scan of my car:




I then went back to the few prototype photographs of the cars I have to see if I could confirm the location of the various appliances.  I knew that there was a handbrake stand on the 'BL' corner of the car, and that this actuated a chain which went through a guide and down underneath the car, presumably to connect to some sort of linkage below.  The next component after that would be the brake cylinder, presumably forward of the rear diaphragm plate.  This photograph of the left side of BCOL 7104 was used to confirm the location of the triple valve just behind the centre sill step, and below the side sill:




This location more or less matched that suggested by the NMRA diagram, which placed the AB reservoir in the same location on the opposite side of the car.  This publicity photograph of the right side of a car shortly after delivery (from the railway's newsletter The Coupler), confirms the location of the AB reservoir (just ahead of the three officials standing beside the car), which is made visible thanks to the white stencilling on it:




The NMRA diagram provides a typical arrangement for piping, which includes the trainline from end to end, the line from the handbrake to the brake cylinder and on to the triple valve, lines to each truck, and lines between the triple valve and AB reservoir. With everything more or less figured out, I could now proceed with a reasonable installation on my models:




For the main brake appliances I used the Precision Scale castings, which can be obtained in brass or plastic, and for the piping I used Detail Associates brass wire:




Out of the package, from left to right:  AB reservoirs, brake cylinders, and triple valves:




The parts have some nice detail, and also some flash which is easily cleaned up with a file:




Photographs clearly indicate that these components are located below the side sill, which means that they are likely suspended on brackets between cross-members.  The next step will be to cut those from styrene, install them and drill the mounting holes.


Tim

« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 02:24:48 AM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
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BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
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BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2020, 01:24:50 AM »
+3
Brake Equipment (Part 2)
The next step in adding the brake equipment was to install mounts for the major appliances.  Having determined that they were likely suspended from brackets between cross-members, I installed styrene strip in the three locations.  When the glue had dried, I located a #80 hole in the centre of the bracket and then opened it up to #66 for the brake cylinder and #64 for the AB reservoir and triple valve.  The AB reservoir does not actually have a locating pin; these were often suspended from vertical brackets at either end so I made some small triangular brackets.

Here are the two models with mounting brackets for the appliances installed, and triangular end brackets for the AB reservoir:




And a close-up of the mounting brackets on one car:




Before the appliances can be installed, the various piping has to be installed.  There are two pipes going from the triple valve through the centre sill to each compartment of the AB reservoir.  I cannot pass the wires all the way though the centre sills due to the tungsten weight hidden inside, so I simply drilled through the styrene as far as the weight in order to to have holes in which to anchor the end of the wires:




The piping was cut from .012" brass wire, cut to length and glued in place with ACC.  At the triple valves the usual arrangement is for the pipes to bend inward so I did that.  I also formed a wire coming out of the triple valve and running to the brake cylinder, and drilled a #79 hole in the rear of the brake cylinder for the wire to lock int.  This photograph shows the piping between the triple valve (top) and the AB reservoir (bottom), and the piping to the brake cylinder (right):




From the brake cylinder, a linkage extends to the handbrake on the 'BL' corner of the car.  This wire has to pass through the diaphragm plate so a hole was drilled.  I am not yet sure how I will link to the handbrake so I simply bent the wire at a right angle to go to the handbrake location for now.  I placed a truck on the bolster hub to ensure that the piping would not impede rotation of the truck or wheels:




My next step will be to figure out how to build the handbrake stand and linkage.


Tim

« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 01:30:20 AM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
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BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

Philip H

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #99 on: March 30, 2020, 11:58:33 AM »
+3
Railwire Publishing Company Senior Editor @tom mann  :tommann: needs to find a way to make a book out of these articles.
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BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #100 on: March 31, 2020, 01:49:49 AM »
+2
Brake Equipment (Part 3)
The next part of the brake system to deal with is the handbrake stand.  This is one of the more challenging items due to the fact that it will be fairly delicate, yet is located prominently above the side sill and deck of the car.  The photograph below was taken by pioneer PGE modeller William Hewlett (who built an HO Scale model of one of these cars in wood back in the 1960s) and illustrates the handbrake stand on the 'BL' corner of the car:




As can be seen in the photograph, the stand comprises two vertical posts which appear to be made from 3" angle iron, a typical brake housing, and a large lever.  The two posts are attached to the side sill and come down through a cut-out in the top flange which I took care of during construction of the side sills.  From the brake housing, a chain extends down and into a chain guide underneath the side sill.  From there it appears to hang down underneath the car and then presumably connects to a linkage running to the brake cylinder.

My components for the stand include the two posts which I assembled from two strips of .010" x .020" glued together to form the angle stock, the brake housing which I patterned on the one in the Intermountain boxcar kits, and the chain guide made from .030" thick strip styrene:




For the handbrake chain, I will dip into an old package of etched brass chain from Athabasca Models (sadly no longer available):




The one component I have no idea how to make is the handbrake lever.  I make it out to be about 21" long and forming it from styrene is not really an option.  I am not aware of any proprietary part for these.  I will have to see if I can try and get some etched.  Unfortunately it will be a highly visible part as it is mounted above the deck and is painted Yellow!

In order to mount the chain guide underneath the side sill, I installed a short cross-member .050" deep between the side sill and the coupler box.  Prior to installing the chain guide, I drilled a #80 hole for the etched chain to go into, and another one for the linkage from the brake cylinder to plug into.  I then glued the chain guides in place underneath the side sills, taking care to ensure that the guide was aligned with the location of the handbrake, and that the hole for the chain was outboard of the side sill:




The handbrake stand itself I will leave off the models for now.  They need to be assembled in place on the models (posts first, then the brake housings, then the chains) and they would be highly prone to breakage while still working on the models.  For now I will bag the parts and add them at the very end.


This instalment also covers installation of the trainline which runs the entire length of the car and terminates at the trainline air hose at each end of the car.  These are located to the right of the couplers at each end so the trainline must cross from one side to the other through the centre sills at some point during its run.  The NMRA diagram shows this happening between the brake cylinder and the other appliances.  I ran the trainline through the end sills, across the underside of the cross-members, through the diaphragms, and then bent them to turn into a hole drilled into the centre sill.  Care was taken to locate the holes on opposite sides directly across from each other to give the appearance of the line passing through the centre sill.  When the wires were in place and sitting correctly, I glued them in place:




For the trainline air hoses, I will use the brass ones which come in the Precision Scale Co. brake package.  I forgot to include these in the earlier photograph of that kit, so here they are still on the sprue:




I cut the wires for the trainlines short of the end sills, and enlarged the holes in the end sills with a #77 drill.  When I de-sprued the air hoses I left as much of the sprue as possible for a longer mounting pin.  When I insert the air hose parts into the holes, the sprue will extend right through the end sill and line up with the trainline:






I did not glue the air hoses in place as they will also be prone to breakage at this time.  I removed and bagged them for installation later on.


Next up will be the piping runs to each truck, after which the main appliances can finally be glued in place.


All for now,

Tim

« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 01:56:35 AM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

mmagliaro

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #101 on: March 31, 2020, 03:26:57 AM »
0
The treadplate looks FANTASTIC.  I have used that stuff myself, and it is wonderful.  I would second the suggestion on using a rubber based flexible adhesive.  It is much easier to manage on the large surfaces than CA.  I tried using CA on it a few times, and it either setup faster than I could work with it, or the bond was just too brittle.  Over time, a little flexing makes the metal parts pop off.  If you are concerned about the solvent properties of Walthers Goo on styrene, try a water-based rubbery adhesive, something like Woodland Scenics Foam Tack Glue.  It has the added advantage that it dries clear, you can clean up your fingers with water (instead of the solvent and stringy mess that Walther Goo can make!).

Full brake detail with the chain and brake stand.  This, sir, is really an A+ job!

( but remember, N Scale isn't for scratch builders  ;) )

BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #102 on: March 31, 2020, 10:19:47 AM »
0
Hi Max:

I hadn't thought of using Foam Tack Glue, which I have left over from tracklaying; I have some canopy glue here which is likely similar.  The treadplate is on now with ACC and so far so good.  The limited working time was a challenge but the bond seems very strong.  I had to pry one piece up a bit to re-seat it for a better fit and it was very difficult to get up.  I really like the look of the treadplate and will just have to hope it stays in place.  I will keep your suggestion in mind for future builds.

Your words of encouragement much appreciated; these are progressing well at present.


Tim
T. Horton
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BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #103 on: April 01, 2020, 08:04:32 PM »
+1
Brake Equipment (Part 4)
This instalment begins with installation of the brake runs to the trucks.  I should mention that I am going primarily for an approximation and suggestion here rather than an exact replication as I just don't know the exact arrangement, and I have to be careful not to foul operation of the trucks and wheels.  For this reason I have left off the levers at each truck as they wouldn't be seen anyway.

The NMRA diagram shows the truck runs on the same side of the car as the AB reservoir with a linkage across the car to the brake cylinder.  That doesn't work on a car with deep centre sills, so I moved it over to the same side as the brake cylinder, which is what I see on later BCR trailer flatcars.  I ran the wire along the bottom of the cross-members and through the diaphragm plates, terminating on the bolster up against but below the bearing plates so as not to foul the trucks.  The run had to be bent up (actually down as the cars are currently upside down) over the pipes into the triple valve and the trainline, and then back down (up) again.  When all was in place I secured it with CA glue.  Here is the right side side of both cars with the truck runs in place:




With these last wire runs now in place, I could proceed with installation of the main brake appliances.  The AB reservoir is the hardest to mount as it does not have a mounting pin, and is essentially oval-shaped with a collar joining the two compartments.  it won't sit level on its own, so I drilled into it and installed a mounting pin made from .022" brass wire:




The reservoirs were then glued in place with CA, taking care to ensure that they were horizontally level and longitudinally straight:




I then installed those tiny triangular brackets at each end of the reservoirs:






After all the construction work, it is fun to be adding detail parts!  Installation of the triple valve on the opposite side of the car is much easier as it has a solid mounting pin.  Again, care was taken to ensure a straight and level fit.  I was pleased with the effect of the two pipes going into each appliance:





Next up will be installation of the brake cylinder and connections to the triple valve and handbrake.

Tim
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 08:07:47 PM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
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BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

BCR 570

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Re: Scratchbuild Project - CC&F Twin Trailer Flat Car
« Reply #104 on: Yesterday at 01:04:15 AM »
+3
Brake Equipment (Part 5)
The brake cylinder is next; also an easy installation thanks to its mounting pin and flat base.  It needs to be straight, level, and pointing towards the 'B' end of the car:




Prior to installation I drilled a hole in the rear of the brake cylinder and the side of the triple valve.  This allowed me to insert the piping between them into those holes for a solid mechanical fit, after which the wire was glued in place:




The linkage to the handbrake was routed through the diaphragm and into the back of the chain guide below the handrake.  A hole was drilled into the chain guide prior to installation for the wire to plug into.  The linkage at the end of the brake cylinder shaft was opened up slightly to join with the wire.  The wire was glued in place at each end and at the bolster and cross-members:




This just about completes the installation of the brake equipment underneath the car.  There is a slack adjuster on the right side which I still need to install, and as mentioned previously, the handbrake will be left off until the end in order to prevent damage.  This photograph of the underside of the two cars shows the completed brake equipment installation, with one car turned around to show both sides:




This will be the normal viewing angle for these cars on my upper deck.  Here we see the left side of the car with the triple valve and brake cylinder:




And the right side of the car with the AB reservoir:




I am really pleased to get this section of the build finished.  With the cars still upside down, I will tackle the various safety fittings next.

Tim
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 01:15:30 AM by BCR 570 »
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca