Z braces...

Jack Burgess <jack@...>

Steve shared
<I was getting together some parts for building a CN cinder car, and
<wanted an improved way to fabricate the Z's on the sides and ends. Many
<(all?) of these cars were made using frames and components from 36'
<"Fowler"/Dominion steel-frame boxcars. Including the Z's.
<.010" thick stock for the part of the angle that meets the car side just
<looks heavy in HO compared with the real thing. I found myself taking
<the backing off two new razor blades, and inserting a spacer between
<them to cut strip of the appropriate width. Some 2-56 nuts and bolts
<hold the razor blades and spacers together.
<This "tool" should have worked well to cut .005" strip to width, but I
<found that the blades flexed enough to vary the width of the strip as I
<was cutting it along a straightedge.
<So .005" strip would be useful for making Z's, but I don't expect
<Evergreen to make the stuff for just my using a package or two.

The talk about needing scale Z braces made me wonder if they could be
produced with photo etching. Brass strip would provide better strength than
styrene and would be closer to scale thickness. They could be through-etched
to result in the proper width needed to fold the material into a Z shape.
One shallow etch on each side parallel with the long sides would allow the
folds to be done accurately. They could be cut to length prior to bending of

It would be more difficult to attach brass Z braces to a styrene model
although they could be pinned with brass wire on the ends...

Just a thought...

Jack Burgess
Newark, CA

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