Re: Double sheath siding overlap

Richard Townsend

Dennis, thanks so much for your detailed and enlightening response. 

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
To: main <>
Sent: Thu, Jul 26, 2018 8:09 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Double sheath siding overlap

There is no structural reason to do it either way, but my gut feeling is that having the sheathing on the carsides overlapping the sheathing on the end was more common, likely because there was more fiddly cutting on the ends, so they were likely done first. That also happens to be what the Pullman drawing for the 36" NYC car Accurail just did shows.... But it may not look like a separate board. The reason we can see the board edges is because of the bevel that formed a  V grove when the siding was laid up. But there was no reason for the carpenters to work that bevel on the cut edges at the corner so the tightly joined boards may appear as one slightly wider board. There was also a subset of cars built with oversize corner and end posts that came through the sheathing, either flush with the outer surface (common for corner posts) or projecting out a couple inches (common for end posts). This was a strategy to get bigger (and stringer) posts to fin within the constrained thickness of the walls.

I suggest you browse through the images in the Steamtown photo Collection that are occasionally posted here, there are a lot of different wood car images.
Here's an example: Wood Boxcars

On the nearest car, SP 85753, it appears they did bevel the cut edges to form a V grove, while on the next car, Soo 19764 they didn't, and the corner board just appears to be a slightly wider board, except near the bottom, where weather has taken its toll and the joint is opening up. The Soo car also illustrates the end post coming through the sheathing, visible just to the right of the brake staff. The third car in line also appears to have a wider corner board; it can either be a tight joint between two corner boards or a flush post; no way to really tell.

A couple other general statements, dating back to my days as a carpenter: The end board will naturally lose it's edge bevel when the groove is cut off; it is considered very poor practice to just leave an empty groove. So, if they want a V groove, it's extra work to bevel the cut edges. Likewise, a run of siding rarely works out to be an exact multiple of the board width, so the end boards are where the difference is made up. It is considered good practice to split the amount of difference between both end boards. If the two end boards would be smaller than half the standard board width, one less board is used so the end boards are closer to full width. Conversely, if the area to be covered is only slightly wider than a multiple of the board width, which would leave a skinny little strip, one more board is used so each end board is just slightly wider than one half a board. I'm sure these general rules were followed by the car builders. When the cars needed repair, the carmen on the RIP track may not be quite so picky,

Dennis Storzek

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