Re: grab iron ladders

O Fenton Wells

Sorry Nelson, Yes I’m outside smoking dinner (chicken) on my new smoker. 
On my phone my fingers give out. I’ll email you after dinner from my keyboard regarding how I handled end grab ladders

On Apr 29, 2019, at 4:10 PM, Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:

Fenton, I think you hit send prematurely. There’s no message from you.


Nelson Moyer


From: [] On Behalf Of O Fenton Wells
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] grab iron ladders



On Apr 29, 2019, at 3:31 PM, Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:

0.005 in. brass would be hard to drill without distortion, it would be hard to mount grab irons without bending the stiles, and the stiles probably wouldn’t probably hold their shape on the car. Any car handling could completely destroy the ladder. Stainless steel would be a better material for stiles that thin.


I had to replace the partial stile castings on several Sunshine SS boxcar kits with HO scale 1 x2 styrene strip material. Stiles for the end ladders had to be drilled for 2, 3, or 4 grab irons depending on car class. Drilling the holes and installing the grab irons was tedious to say the least.


This raises the question, how much can you cheat on material dimensions where scale dimensions are too fragile in modeling  practice? There must be a happy medium between Athearn blue box sill steps and scale fidelity.


Nelson Moyer


From: [] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] grab iron ladders


The outer stile is 2" x 2" angle, which is pretty common for ladder stiles on freight cars. The inner stile is problematic, as it is 1/4" x 2" flat stock, so should really only be .003" thick in HO scale. .005" thick brass shim stock is likely the best bet.

Dennis Storzek


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