I’m still slowly working at the NP boxcar. Sometimes I’m getting 5 minutes here or there, and occasionally some more. Summer is a busy time around our house, but I am making progress.
I decided to work on the grab irons for this car. There are three styles of grab needed, and each has had it’s own learning involved.
The car sides have 24” grabs with the nut/bolt casting already on the car. They’re cast into the sides, with dimples that I had pre-drilled with a #78 bit. The challenge here and the learning, was to bend consistent grabs by hand. To do this, I employed a simple jig from San Juan Car Co. The jig allowed me to size the grabs, and then my Xuron bending plier made the corners neat. I tried using the jig to make the tight bends, but after a few tries, I found that the plier was much better at that part of the task. After bending the grabs and cutting them to length, I added them to the locations on the car sides, and spaced them from the car body using a .050 piece of scrap styrene. They were then glued in place.
The car ends on this model include drilling dimples for 18” grabs, but there is no cast-in nut/bolt/washer. Looking at the car, this allows for drilling of all the holes to take place without the grabs then intersecting and interfering inside the car. However, this also then required a different type of grab. I tested out and marked the holes I had drilled with the #78 bit with 18” Tichy grabs, and they lined up the way I wanted. I then used those #78 holes as pre-drilled locations to open them up with a #67 bit. Once the holes were larger, grab iron matings in brass from Precision Scale were added that include the nut/bolt/washer. The ends require 8 total of these each. One additional 24” grab was bent for a single location on the car end.
With grabs on, I then drilled more #78 holes for the eye bolts required to mount the uncoupling lever. Tichy eyebolts were used, and I once again bent my own lever from .020 wire. I found measuring the distances in O, once again, was easier than I used to find this in HO.
Once the uncoupling lever was in place, I then added a roof walk support from Chooch to complete the A end of the car. The B end assembly is almost exactly the same, though as of this writing, it is still in progress. I need to add the brake staff, piping, retainer, and platform before I add the uncoupling lever. I am also in the process of bending the grabs that go on the laterals on the roof. Hopefully that work will be done in the next few days and I can get the brake system on the car and be ready to prime and paint when I have a chance.