Re: Using "The Tool" (truck ream)?

Schuyler Larrabee

The original version of “The Tool” was developed by REBOXX. I know two of the former employees of REBOXX who were involved in its development. I can’t comment on other purveyor’s versions, but the original Tool was not a “reamer.” It was not designed to remove material from the cone to make it deeper, resulting in a longer axle length being required. It was developed because they found that many plastic trucks had (words fail me) “stuff” in the journals, little balls of plastic, flash, essentially manufacturing issues, and The Tool was designed to remove those things so as to have a clean conical journal for the tip of the axle to ride in.

Incidentally, wanting to use one standard axle length is really understandable, but REBOXX also found that even among the same truck from the same manufacturer, the best axle length (based on free rolling characteristics) would vary, sometimes even to the extent that the two axles in a single truck would benefit from different, albeit probably closely related, axle lengths. That is why they offered a large range of axle lengths.

Axles should not fit the truck without any lateral slop. There should be a small amount of wiggle laterally, but minimal. The reason is that the best relationship between the conical end of the axle and the cone in the journal is such that the very tip of the axle is riding well into but not all the way into the cone, so that the very tip of the axle is what’s riding on the cone. The angle of the axle end cone is tighter (smaller cone) than that of the journal.

Some have wondered what the benefit of replacing wheelsets for a better fit and rolling characteristics. The real benefit is that the pulling power of your locomotives will appear to be very much enhanced, because you can pull a longer train of cars with properly adjusted trucks.


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 2:20 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Using "The Tool" (truck ream)?

Hi all,

This group seems to be the best that I'm a member of that can answer

this question - although it isn't directly related to steam era freight cars

it is related to using models of same. Moderator/owner please indulge.

===> Does any one have an axle length that they like to use for

trucks you have used "The Tool" on (the truck ream that

is used to improve the rolling characteristics of plastic

freight car trucks).

For instance - have you found that a .998 axle works best

after you've reamed your trucks? Some other size? Does

it still depend upon the specific truck?

I have been using truck reams for a long time. I'm going to

be replacing some (a lot?) of my wheelsets with Code 88

and would like to be able to purchase "mostly just one size".

- Jim B.

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