Large Scale Central

Straight and Drop grabirons

Replacing some broken grabirons on equipment and adding some needed detail to others. Curious on ready made grabirons, both straight and drop style or approaches on bending your own.

For steam, If you go thru the Bachmann site, they have lots of pieces that may work. But you need to go thru all of the different engines.

Thanks Mikey. I’m looking mainly for modern era equipment, rolling stock and even locomotives.

I REALLY like brass for the strength. You will need to make a jig, but all styles are VERY possible.

If going down the wire path, for those pieces of equipment without the but/bolt casting what is the method of choice to simulate the nut/bolt casting?

My method was not to bother. :innocent:

I guess if you really want that look, you could go with some NB castings?


i have a casting that simulates that grab
that i use all the time in 1:20.3

Al P.

Kevin used to put a NBW casting just above/touching the grab and you couldn’t tell it wasn’t part of the grab.

I personally want grabirons where they are needed on my engines and rail cars, just like brake wheels roof vents, smoke stacks, etc. I see several rail cars for sale on eBay and they are missing these features, I will not buy equipment that is missing these parts on eBay, etc.

Bruce, First attempt at a drop grab iron. Still a lot to adjust on this one and learning while repeating the process. Thanks for Shane Stewart for the process.

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Looks good!
My first ones were made with a crude jig…

I decided that THIS was a very tedious way to make them, so I built a brass jig [inspired by Bob McCown!] (shown at the bottom, next to the pliers) to help turn these out in massive quantities. In this case I was making grab irons for the EBT boxcars, but discovered later that I could use this jig for the straight across versions as well.

All the shown work is impressive. I’ve got a desire and a need to do some in 2.5 inches to a foot. Looking and paying attention to your fantastic examples.