Re: Hacking (not the electronic kind)


I can see the reason behind this.

In HO, these seams are just too small to distinguish the individual ripples of typical arc welding.  I know, somebody (Athearn?) actually tried to simulate the weld bead surface, but on the other hand, so many rivet lines modeled in HO are twice or more the size they should be.  Branchline's are examples of ones that are about the right size to my eye.

Although I recall being up close and personal with a lot of freight cars with welded seams, I can't remember exactly how the surface of the weld bead looked.  But I think most car side fillet welds by the fifties and after would have showed signs of being subarc (SAW) welded, which gives an even smoother weld bead surface than exposed welding like MIG (GMAW).  In either case, you can see the ripples and the curvature of the rippled surface indicates which direction the welding was done, but on an SAW surface they are barely perceptable.  (That direction is the way that the concave side of the ripples all point.)  Of course, I didn't know about such things at the time.  And this is no doubt somewhat subjective.

Not so repair welding on cars, say welding patches onto car sides, which was much rougher and probably oxyacetylene welded most of the time, in small repair shops.

A few photos of production welding on freight car manufacturing, which are readily available, might provide more clarity.  And I've ordered some of the various weld lines from Archer, but for HO car welding on light gage metal I'm at the bottom end of the range of weld sizes they produce.  Bear in mind that the width of the cover pass is generally only 1/4" to 3/8", since on a car side I believe most production welds were two fillet welds back-to-back in a single pass, welding two 0.010" side sheets onto the flat surface of a rolled structural shape.  I'll go look at some published documentation to see if the details can be inferred, but I don't think I've ever seen a welding drawing from car side fabrication.

Ron Merrick

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