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    • May 6, 2020 9:11 PM EDT
    • I don't have a problem with a fairly soft bend. It does have to be fairly accurate in order for the corners to line up enabling them to be glued. My problem so far with heat bending the styrene is overheating and deforming the areas on either side of the bend. A little of that might be OK too once painted it may look like deformation from use.

       

      Sean is right; I don't need any more ideas - but working on this is helping me keep my sanity while stuck at home. Perhaps I should give it a shot in styrene and see how it turns out. I have plenty of material and plenty of time. Failure is not a problem

    • May 6, 2020 4:05 PM EDT
    • Andy Clarke said:

      Jon, do the bends really need to be neat and clean??

      Seams to me they would get beaten up from the coal dropping on it anyway...

       

      Just my 2 cents worth...    

      Andy look how long it took him to get this far ...don't give him any more idea's ..

    • May 6, 2020 1:57 PM EDT
    • Jon, do the bends really need to be neat and clean??

      Seams to me they would get beaten up from the coal dropping on it anyway...

       

      Just my 2 cents worth...    

    • May 6, 2020 11:10 AM EDT
    • I took Al's suggestion and made the sides a little steeper. A 48 degree slope is about the best I can get without compromising clearance underneath. As is I will be hard pressed to fit even a 50's vintage dump truck under the hopper.  From the top...

       

      And from "street" level...

       

      So far I have not been successful in getting 90 degree bends in styrene that I am happy with. I've got an old warming tray that is big enough to warm the entire sheet. Might give that a try next.

    • May 5, 2020 2:01 PM EDT
    • Al Pomeroy said:

      Jon,

       

      My only thought would be to make the hopper sides a little steeper so they in theory have a chance to self clean. other wise looking good!

       

      Al P.

      Thanks for that suggestion Al.  Definitely do-able, but I'll probably need to make the opening larger (not a problem) as I want to keep clearance under the hopper at 7' 6"  minimum. The top beam of the trestle / bottom of the stringer is at 9 foot. That gives me about 18" to accommodate the slope sheet.

    • May 5, 2020 1:13 PM EDT
    • Jon,

       

      My only thought would be to make the hopper sides a little steeper so they in theory have a chance to self clean. other wise looking good!

       

      Al P.

    • May 5, 2020 11:42 AM EDT
    • Looks like a plan to me, Jon...  As Chris said ""Looks great""....    

    • May 5, 2020 9:59 AM EDT
    • This is really looking great.

    • May 5, 2020 8:54 AM EDT
    • I think the proper term is Hopper.  In between spring outdoor chores I made a couple of shirt cardboard mock ups. This is Version 2 and with some tweaks to get the size closer, will be the final design...

       

      The dotted bend line in the foreground is approximately where the side of a car falls. The flat portion will be covered with the walkway boards after installation. While this track is a bit short to unload a 3-bay here without fouling the main, I had one handy to test the spot...

       

      My original thought was to cut this from .040 aluminum scraps and make the bends on the brake at work. To get started sooner, I'm considering heat bends in polystyrene so I can keep moving forward. I've done a few experiments that came out OK. The bends were not as sharp as I would like, but I have some more ideas to help with that.

       

      The weather forecast looks promising for hiding in the train room with the fireplace going full blast, so there may be some progress to report soon.

    • May 6, 2020 6:38 PM EDT
    • Pete, I still have the rail truck that I pulled the PCB boards out of. However, I have replacement boards if you'd like to keep it track powered.

    • May 6, 2020 6:16 PM EDT
    •  

       

       

      This photo popped up on the EBT email group which I'd never seen before. (We were discussing how/where the Gas-Electric M-1 was fueled.) It's a fascinating project - clearly a literal Rail-Bus.

       

      Apparently it was built by the ET&WNC:

      "The railroad took an old Johnson City streetcar body and mated it to a White truck running gear to make a jitney to run back and forth to Elizabethton and the new rayon plants. Well, it refused to stay on the track. Somebody sold it to the East Broad Top Railroad up in Pennsylvania (which still exists) and they had the same results. "

      Here's how it looked in its Tweetsie days:

       

       

      The East Broad Top (I presume) still had the need to haul US Mail and REA parcels even though passenger traffic was declining. They extended the body to the front, with (I presume) a baggage compartment where the driver used to sit, and the driver's seat got moved to the front fender area.

       

      So, my first thought was a Bachmann Railtruck and a Bachmann combine. But they are 2 different scales. I think the Railtruck is definitely needed - I can move the back axle further back and drive it with a chain.  Anyone have a Railtruck in any condition they would like to sell?

      The body could be taken from a Bachmann trolley but that doesn't have the right windows and is too small. Any thoughts? 

       

    • May 6, 2020 12:29 AM EDT
    • Thanks, everyone.  Retail stores start to open Thursday state-wide.  Hopefully, this will mean the craft store, too.

       

      We are inching towards the finish line!

       

      Eric

    • May 5, 2020 3:33 PM EDT
    • Also, a fun place to hunt for that kind of thing (whenever they open again) are thrift store costume jewelry bins.

      That's where I get my chains for my link-and-pins. We have a local store called "The Best of Everything" and it does seem to have it all.

       

    • May 5, 2020 3:10 PM EDT
    • John Caughey said:

      Mall kiosks have costume jewelry, ask for anchor chains, color with sharpies....

       

      Also Michaels & Joanne's Fabrics online stores. Also, a fun place to hunt for that kind of thing (whenever they open again) are thrift store costume jewelry bins.

    • May 4, 2020 8:24 PM EDT
    • Mall kiosks have costume jewelry, ask for anchor chains, color with sharpies....

    • May 4, 2020 7:40 PM EDT
    • Eric Mueller said:

      Rooster,

       

      Hardware store was a dry hole for chains.  I did get the little cotter pins I need, though.  Oldest Son helped me drive "nails" into the deck, using a "Sharpie" to drop little dots on the deck to represent nail heads. He learned the value of using a ruler, as his line of nails snaked across the deck.  He then learned the corrective power of sandpaper...   

       

      Things are  starting to open up.  By mid-May, I imagine I'll be able to source those chains.  I know I could order them, but I try to divorce myself as much as possible from mail order when I can.

       

      Eric

       

       

      Eric,

         Have you dug into all the home jewelry boxes yet ?  I found old worthless chains quite recently that I had forgotten about which were worthless and wondered why it was saved.

    • May 4, 2020 8:16 AM EDT
    • Eric Mueller said:
        By mid-May, I imagine I'll be able to source those chains.  I know I could order them, but ...

      Usable chain might be found in the craft department even at places like Walmart, look where beads and jewelry supplies are.

      And the chain sometimes is offered in both silver and black.

      For instance, but you'd better hurry to Missouri, only 1 in the store!

      https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cousin-90-Small-Black-Chain-1-Each/19232002

      Cousin 90" Small Black Chain, 1 Each

      Average rating:5out of5stars, based on1reviews1 reviews
      Walmart # 565349007
      $3.27$3.27
      $3.27 / each
      Only 1 left!

    • May 4, 2020 1:22 AM EDT
    • Rooster,

       

      Hardware store was a dry hole for chains.  I did get the little cotter pins I need, though.  Oldest Son helped me drive "nails" into the deck, using a "Sharpie" to drop little dots on the deck to represent nail heads. He learned the value of using a ruler, as his line of nails snaked across the deck.  He then learned the corrective power of sandpaper...   

       

      Things are  starting to open up.  By mid-May, I imagine I'll be able to source those chains.  I know I could order them, but I try to divorce myself as much as possible from mail order when I can.

       

      Eric

    • May 3, 2020 8:24 PM EDT
    • Tim said:

      Did you locate suitable chains for the cars?

       

       

        

    • May 3, 2020 2:14 AM EDT
    • All of these good ideas, of course, are causing me to kick myself for passing at a chance to dicker on damaged and / or incomplete freight cars I saw at a second hand shop last year... Live and learn!