Author Topic: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)  (Read 11129 times)

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GaryHinshaw

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Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« on: February 21, 2011, 11:59:53 PM »
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Ok, I know I've started an etching thread in the past, but this time I mean 'business'.  As noted in the Weekend Update, I happened upon a handrail kit from Athabasca Shops that lit my fire:



[Found at Central Hobbies in Vancouver, BTW.  A great example of how brick & mortar shops can still surprise us.]

The set is etched from .010 stainless steel, with lots of stanchion detail half-etched.  The squarish profile of the railings is quite imperceptible in person, and the stanchions themselves are prototypically thin and unobtrusive.  This kit is for an SW1200RS, which I have no use for, but it serves as a good example for how to make a kit for any other diesel. 

Recently, Chris333 remarked that he was giving up home etching because he was getting such good results from PPD etchings, so I'm going to give them a try.

My plan is to start by drafting up a kit for a Kato SD70MAC handrail set (the rails on that loco are abysmal), and posting it here for feedback.  Once I have artwork I'm happy with, I'll ask PPD for a quote and ask if anyone wants in.  I think it would also make sense to post the artwork so that anyone who wants some later can just send the file to them and get them made up. 

If that works out, I'll work out plans for AC4400s, C44-9Ws, and, best of all, SD40-2s.

Comments?

-Gary

P.S. Any recommendations on free 2d CA software that will run on a Mac? ;)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 02:53:01 AM by GaryHinshaw »

stuntman

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 12:50:43 AM »
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Let me know if you get around to doing SD40T-2 and SD45T-2 handrails.  I have a fleet to do. :)

Hyperion

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 01:40:11 AM »
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You make it work out, and pending seeing one to confirm it looks as good as I think it will, and you'll sell these things by the ton.  I'd be in for at least a half-dozen of each of the locos you mentioned, more if you can work a GEVO and some ACes into the mix.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 01:42:16 AM by Hyperion »
-Mark

Chris333

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 01:58:52 AM »
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I was very happy with PPD, but I may have not sent work out if it wasn't for problems at home. For some reason the ink wasn't drying on the transparentcies even after 2 days.

But like I have always said any bulk production is just too much for at home. It is one thing to spend an hour to make a part. It is another to spend an hour, mess it up, and toss it in the trash. Try doing that 10 times in a row.

PPD is great though.

Chris333

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 03:36:55 AM »
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BTW I used autoCAD, but these other yahoo's  :-*  Use Adobe and Corel.

And here is the sheet I had made:

I sent them a file and asked for 20 copies in .008" brass. It cost £30 + VAT + Post. Paypal says it was £42 or $69.13. They ended up fitting 21 pieces on the sheet so each piece was only $3.29. This is a "piece":


I don't know exactly how it breaks down, but if I wanted more of this made it would be cheaper since the artwork is already made for the first order.

It took about 2-1/2 weeks from the day I sent the file to the day it was at my porch.

James Costello

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 04:03:14 AM »
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I'm interested Gary, but how does it look longitudinally?
James Costello
Espee into the 90's

DKS

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 06:16:36 AM »
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For some reason the ink wasn't drying on the transparentcies even after 2 days.

That sounds an awful lot like you printed the image on the wrong side of the transparency. One side has a coating for the ink, the other doesn't, and without the coating, the ink just sits there.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 07:02:39 AM »
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I'm interested Gary, but how does it look longitudinally?


James, I'm not sure I know what you mean by longitudinal in this case, but I'll guess.  I cut one of the parts off and set it next to the '70MAC handrails for comparison (sorry for the quick grab shot, but it's late...):



The thin profile really shines in this comparison, and looks a lot more like what I think handrails should look like:

http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=44875

When I grip the bottom of the stanchions with the pliers the whole thing is quite stiff and a bit springy.  Nonetheless, I think I'd prefer a 'runner' along the bottom that is foldable and doubles as a mounting bracket.  Not quite sure how that geometry is going to work though - it might need to be a face sheet over the existing side sill.

Chris, thanks for the info!  That whole project is so awesome, and the price and turnaround time seem hard to beat.  A couple of questions:

* Did you make the artwork for 1 'piece' and have them lay out the multiple pieces and attach a frame?

* Are your rivets non-etch surrounded by half etch?  If so, the half-etch surface looks impressively smooth.

I downloaded DraftSight tonight, which is a free 2D CAD package from the SolidWorks company (a lot of the engineers I used to work with at NASA use SolidWorks), so I'm going to start doodling with it.  Once I get something down, I'll post it for feedback. 

My concept here is kind of an open source model - I envision posting artwork so that a) anyone can download it and improve it, and b) anyone can send in an order themselves, using the posted art.  After the news that JnJ is folding, it got me to thinking that there must be a better way to keep esoterica like this going, and this seems like a plausible approach, for etchings at least.  We'll see.

-gfh

P.S. I'm willing to do a group order to start out with, but I'm really not looking to get into this as a business.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 03:10:13 PM by GaryHinshaw »

SebastianLee

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 10:05:37 AM »
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P.S. Any recommendations on free 2d CA software that will run on a Mac? ;)


PPD website says they will take the following formats ...

Quote
Autocad 2010  - .dwg, .dxf, .dgn
CorelDraw Version 14  - .cdr, .pdf, .eps, .ai
Adobe Illustrator CS4  - .ai, .pdf, .eps
Turbocad Version 15  - .tcw
Autosketch Version 7  - .skf

Out of those options, turbocad is the cheapest:
TurboCAD MAC Designer 2D V5 MSRP:$69.99
TurboCAD MAC Deluxe 2D/3D V5 MSRP:$129.99

Some free/ inexpensive options are listed below, just be aware that even though they say the software will work with above formats listed it may not be 100% accurate.  For example .dwg may be based on the Open design Alliance file spec. and not autocad 2010. Just to be on the safe side I would recommend verifying your finished file with someone that has one of the PPD software listed.

CADintosh is a $30 shareware program that will import/export to .dxf
Draftsight is freeware
Qcad has a free comunnity edition, but you have to compile it yourself
Doublecad  is windows only (just including it if some windows people are interested) its a lot like autocad LT, but costs a lot less, there is a free version and pay ($75)

Chris333

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2011, 01:15:53 PM »
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Quote
* Did you make the artwork for 1 'piece' and have them lay out the multiple pieces and attach a frame?

I just drew the 1 piece, it was around 2x3" and was ready to go. All they really had to do was copy it over and over then add the ties so they would stay together. I could have done this myself if I would have asked them what sized sheet they had first. I don't know if they charged to do this, but they said my artwork was prefect.


Quote
* Are your rivets non-etch surrounded by half etch?  If so, the half-etch surface looks impressively smooth.

Yes most of the sides and ends are all half etched. It is pretty smooth.

TiVoPrince

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 01:21:36 PM »
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Let me know if you get around to doing SD40T-2 and SD45T-2 handrails.  I have a fleet to do. :)

SP  
and DRGW specific handrails for these have me lining up, Mr. Wallet in hand and properly sedated.  Even if IM igored the differences they are noticeable to the knowledgeable among us.  

Adding details IM missed (or ignored)  like anticlimbers (where applicable), split equiptment cab subbase doors, 4hole plate jacking pads, horn brackets (to use those nifty new brass horns), cab vents (oval, round and roof), locotrol and antenna platforms pushes the desire meter way past the 'skip meals if necesary' mark on the budget balance sheet.  Last physical tunnel motor count means I need at least 32 sets immediately to repair/upgrade my 'fleet' to the standard they should have been if the IM hype had been true...
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Heath

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2011, 01:44:55 PM »
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I'm in for any of kato sd's and GE's.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2011, 02:08:24 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback gents.

Sebastian, thanks for the summary!  DraftSight does specifically import/export .dwg format, and it is intended to be compatible with full-blown CAD.  But I'll definitely post one or more examples and ask someone to check it for compatibility.  

Can anyone recommend a free (or cheap) file server?  I don't really want to hang these off my work server, and my home internet provider (Telus) is likely to change.  Google Docs?

thx,
-gfh

Sokramiketes

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2011, 02:27:43 PM »
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Can anyone recommend a free (or cheap) file server?  I don't really want to hang these off my work server, and my home internet provider (Telus) is likely to change.  Google Docs?

thx,
-gfh


Gary-

We can support the file hosting on the Model160 servers.  I assume you just need a page listing the drawings/revisions available and links to download those files.  We can handle that.  When you have something ready to publish, or if Chris wants to share a sample drawing, shoot me an email at mike@model160.com

I can post some sample artwork as well and get a page running.
Mike

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SebastianLee

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Re: Etching ideas - (biased towards diesel handrails)
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 02:30:10 PM »
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I use dropbox for the random file every now and then. There's a few options out there, MS Skydrive looks promising with its 25GB storage (files are limited to 50MB max).