wood sheathed cars-"graining on models"


woodyp48 <woodyp48@...>
 

newly built vs old decrepit. you can't see the grain on newly built
cars,period. that's because the grain hasn't opened up. that's why
they painted cars, to prevent the wood from deteriorating. on a real
car, 12"=1'-0", you would heve to get real up close to see the grain.
so, unless the car has been sitting out in the weather, unpainted,
for a long period of time, you are not going to see the graining at
all. variations in the boards, warping, the un-uniformanty of
attaching the boards,etc., will give the look desired.
also suggest that you look at flat car decks. unpainted, they tend to
show a lot of graining. the pith deteriorates much faster than the
surrounding wood which is tighter and harder in grain.
there is a string of ex wabash 40' auto cars sitting in the
nobelsville, indiana, museum, that haven't been re-painted in
probably 50 years, and here is one place you can see the grain on the
sheathing, no paint, lots of deterioration.


Greg Martin
 

woodyp48@... writes:

newly built vs old decrypt.<
I didn't think we were talking bout decrypt cars just cars in normal service...?

you can't see the grain on newly built cars,period. that's because the grain hasn't opened up. that's why they painted cars, to prevent the wood from deteriorating. on a real car, 12"=1'-0", you would have to get real up close to see the grain.<
Partly true... A freshly painted car would show grain even painted, just because paint is absorbed into the wood differently just because some wood depending on how it was sawn allows for open grain and closed grain. But you might have to get close to notice it. But many shops put the lumber to the weather prior to using it for construction or repair. This can be seen in Tony T.'s reefer book. Both my brother and I commented on that. So weathering occurs regardless. Slash grain occur right off the end of the "matcher."

so, unless the car has been sitting out in the weather, unpainted, for a long period of time, you are not going to see the graining at all. variations in the boards, warping, the un-uniformanty of attaching the boards,etc., will give the look desired.<
Well it could be the wood sat to the weather for a short period of time prior to use.

also suggest that you look at flat car decks. unpainted, they tend to show a lot of graining. the pith deteriorates much faster than the surrounding wood which is tighter and harder in grain.<
Not! Pith is the very center of the Heartwood. The sap grain (the layer of annual rings closest to the cambium) deteriorates much faster than the Heartwood. That is why folks have paid a premium for "Clear Heart Redwood or Cedar" for interior paneling, exterior paneling and decking. It draws a 3x premium to the alternative. The top great is Clear All Heart vertical grain.... OUCH!

there is a string of ex Wabash 40' auto cars sitting in the nobelsville, Indiana, museum, that haven't been re-painted in probably 50 years, and here is one place you can see the grain on the sheathing, no paint, lots of deterioration.<
Most flat car decking was pressure treated with generally creosote (until the EPA)and creosote although a great preservative, is very hard on the cells of the wood. It makes wood brittle. The chemical itself is a carcenigine(sp?)...YIKES! and can burn the skin with prolonged exposure like a friends father told me with his summer time job on the Wabash painting a trestle as a young man going to college in the Midwest. He had a tough time sitting for months and it cause serious boils in his groin and arm pits. It does absorb better into the sap grain than the Heartwood. The problem still exist today as the industry searches for a new wood preservative.

Wood is a funny thing...it is organic but it will not deteriorate if kept constantly wet or dry. It is the process of getting wet and drying out that causes it to deteriorate. A good example is the Viking ship in the Smithsonian that was found in near pristine condition [other than it sunk...3^)] found in Chesapeake Bay. Then the there is the case of petrified wood... 3^) Jeeze if the cars at the museum in Noblesville, IN waits long enough perhaps the car siding will petrify...3^)

Greg Martin


benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

Greg Martin wrote:
A good example is the Viking ship in the Smithsonian that was found
in near pristine condition [other than it sunk...3^)] found in
Chesapeake Bay.

NOT a Viking ship! She's the gunboat "Philadelphia," part of the
Lake Champlain flotilla built under the orders of Benedict Arnold and
sunk in October 1776 at the Battle of Valcour Island:

http://americanhistory.si.edu/youmus/ex05gunb.htm

Back in the Steam Era, you could have taken a boat to the north and
west of Valcour Island and followed Rutland freight trains as they
crossed causeways from island to island (mandatory freight car
content).


Ben Hom


pieter_roos <pieter.roos@...>
 

Hmm;

As Greg points out, most cars we would want to model would not
be "decrypt", or even decrepit. You kind of loose me in the last
paragraph. A Viking ship found in pristine condition in Chesapeake
Bay? To think all those silly historians arguing over when and even
IF the Norse discovered America before Columbus when they could go
look at one of their boats in the Smithsonian!

There have been well preserved wood boats and ships found, such as
Sweden's "Vasa", but they are normally found buried in mud which
protects them from damage and need somewhat heroic preservation
efforts once raised or the wood disintegrates as it drys (indicating
some form of deterioration has taken place). This gets pretty far
away from modeling freight cars; except maybe that CN single
sheathed car Rutland pulled out of Lake Champlain and used - hey, on
topic after all!.

The paint suggestions in this thread have been very good, I'll add
that in addition to shading; having a bit more texture and/or flat
on the wood parts and smoother finish with a touch of gloss on the
steel ought to produce a good effect. That would be delicate in HO.
The seperate frame and sheathing would be a winner for both sides -
the folks who prefer real wood and those prefering styrene could
both do their thing! I don't think most of us would mistake a wood
sheathed car for steel in most circumstances, but the differences
should be subtle.

Pieter

--- In STMFC@..., tgregmrtn@a... wrote:
woodyp48@e... writes:

newly built vs old decrypt.<
I didn't think we were talking bout decrypt cars just cars in
normal service...?
<SNIP>
Wood is a funny thing...it is organic but it will not deteriorate
if kept constantly wet or dry. It is the process of getting wet and
drying out that causes it to deteriorate. A good example is the
Viking ship in the Smithsonian that was found in near pristine
condition [other than it sunk...3^)] found in Chesapeake Bay. Then
the there is the case of petrified wood... 3^) Jeeze if the cars at
the museum in Noblesville, IN waits long enough perhaps the car
siding will petrify...3^)

Greg Martin


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

I benignly presume that those who so unkindly deride others who still prefer to model in wood do so only in ignorance.

As a long time admiring devotee of wood construction in railroad models, I too have become convinced that the best wood models indeed cannot equal the very best plastic or resin models, for all of the reasons stated.

However (however), I will say at the same time that the very finest wood models have probably represented the end product of an exercise of an awful lot of higher modeling skill levels than those of us assembling and finishing plastic or resin kits (no offense to the latter). It simply takes a lot more critical effort and discerning patience to attain the sharp relief, smooth surfaces, accurate dimensions and fine detail with wood and paper that comes so easily in the plastic strips and sheets, and the resin castings that we now so delight in.

I admire my Sunshine and Westerfield creations a great deal, but I love my Ambroid, LaBelle, Northeastern, and Suncoast wood cars- for the simple reason that I loved building them as a sheer challenge to my modeling skills (such as they may be).

This too still falls under the big tent of model railroading at its best.

Denny
--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento, CA


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Denny Anspach says:

"I admire my Sunshine and Westerfield creations a great deal, but I
love my Ambroid, LaBelle, Northeastern, and Suncoast wood cars- for
the simple reason that I loved building them as a sheer challenge to
my modeling skills (such as they may be)."


I have to say that I too enjoy the stuff I've applied my meager skills to compared to stuff I bought that another modeler...or brass assembler...built on an assembly line. I'll add that I don't hesitate to "upgrade" a brass import...in this case a steam engine....and take special satisfaction from adding a valve here and there or correcting a pipe etc. OTOH, while I am currently taking time off from building in plastic the dreaded UP water treatment plant [ looks like a combination building and water tank ] which stood next to the 200,000 gal water tank at Laramie [ don't even breathe on these during Prototype Rails next Jan. ] and I do enjoy the ease of working in plastic, there's a certain UP wood CA-1 caboose that wanders over Sherman Hill every now and then. It's an old Quality Craft kit...made of wood [ although with its 12 ounces of embedded sander sealer it may no longer qualified for such description ]. At one time this kit was the only alternative to brass...and I do have several renditions from Overland to Alco. Walthers, with their beautiful UP CA-1 kit has since freed me from the dependance upon brass, but no caboose gets the attention of the CEO [ me ] than my wood CA-1. I used to warn visiting operators about it, BTW, exclaiming untold horrors if they damaged it. Then the day came when I ran into it with a Big Boy knocking it completely to the floor. Noooo problem. A bit of glue and paint and the little gem is at it again. It does not, however, ride in front of pushers.

Many of us likely also have favorite cars that are likewise no longer on the "leading edge". So be it. It's called progress. One of the rather interesting aspects of this thread is that we may be seeing a similar "advance" as we move to building SS cars without the excessive joint gaps. Even relatively new resin cars may now be not so much on the leading edge. Throw them out? As the 4449 crew said in response to my assertion that the SP dispatcher would tell me when 4449 would leave Railfair '81......"Probably not".

Mike Brock


Don Valentine
 

Quoting Mike Brock <brockm@...>:



Many of us likely also have favorite cars that are likewise no longer
on the "leading edge". So be it. It's called progress. One of the rather
interesting aspects of this thread is that we may be seeing a similar
"advance" as we move to building SS cars without the excessive joint
gaps. Even relatively new resin cars may now be not so much on the
leading edge.

Actually, I wonder if resin may be the very best way (at present) to
best replicate wood sheathing for single sheathed cars. This would depend,
however, on how the master was constructed. If the master were constructed
with individual boards represented by individual styrene strips I strongly
suspect we would get some of the boards in different planes that IS
noticeable on such cars where the joints otherwise are NOT. Unless one were
to smooth everything over with a cold flat iron for a press before the cement
had fully set up how could it be otherwise? So what better way could there be
to eliminate both the "sheet steel" look as well as the v-groove appearance?
Sounds to me like simply a question of individual styrene boards for the
masters rather than scribed siding to achieve the desired result with resin
kits.

As for wood, I like it, too. Very much in fact. But for car construction,
at least in HO or smaller scales, I'm afraid it has gone the way of steam
power on the prototype.

Take care, Don Valentine


Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

If the master were constructed with individual boards represented by
individual styrene strips I strongly suspect we would get some of the boards
in different planes that IS noticeable on such cars where the joints
otherwise are NOT<
I did this on the first master for Al's SF BX11+ series. Al didn't like
it and because the styrene (lumber) is not at all close dimensionally it
actually came out looking like an Accurail car<VBG>. So ended up used
regular Evergreen scribed sheeting. My (IMHO) is that the off plane planks
look fine for say one or two cars and no more. I also don't like the wide
scribed lines but am not sure what is a happy medium. Probably very fine
lines that just indicate that there are boards there. Assuming paint is
.001 I would make the lines .002/3 and the width about the same. The P2K
cars are just too wide. Is it difficult to make a mold with these fine
lines?

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax DCC owner, Chief/Zephyr systems
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Don Valentine
 

Don Valentine wrote:
If the master were constructed with individual boards represented by
individual styrene strips I strongly suspect we would get some of the
boards in different planes that IS noticeable on such cars where the
joints otherwise are NOT
And Jon Miller responded:

I did this on the first master for Al's SF BX11+ series. Al didn't
like it and because the styrene (lumber) is not at all close dimensionally
Do you mean all the Evergreen stuff doesn't measure up to what it is
advertised to be???


it actually came out looking like an Accurail car<VBG>. So ended up used
regular Evergreen scribed sheeting. My (IMHO) is that the off plane
planks look fine for say one or two cars and no more. I also don't like the
wide scribed lines but am not sure what is a happy medium. Probably very
fine lines that just indicate that there are boards there. Assuming paint
is .001 I would make the lines .002/3 and the width about the same. The
P2K cars are just too wide. Is it difficult to make a mold with these fine
lines?
We will know soon enough. For the recut Dominion car our toolomaker has
used the smallest size cutter he could purchase to delineate the board
sheathing. If this doesn't satisfy the majority of people we will tool the
next one without marks for individual boards to enable the nitpickers to
scribe their own. Then they can decide which method is best!

Take care, Don Valentine
New England Rail Service


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

There is relatively little science and an awful lot of perception in this thread- which is absolutely to be expected. Again, modeling is the successful exercise of smoke and mirrors.

MY perception of the appearance of the wood sides of SS box cars is filled to the brim with the irregular deteriorating boards and peeling paint so common to the hordes of Milwaukee, Burlington, and Rock Island cars saturating the house tracks and industrial sidings of myriads of small midwest communities in the '50s. In my mind, in this broad perceptive vision, the Accurail car is and has been "dead on", despite more objective analytical comments to the contrary.

Denny
--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento


Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

Do you mean all the Evergreen stuff doesn't measure up to what it is
advertised to be???<
You bet, but then it might have been the back surface but I don't think
so. I think I used a slab of aluminum but it's been awhile!

We will know soon enough. For the recut Dominion car our toolmaker has
used the smallest size cutter he could purchase to delineate the board
sheathing.<
And what size would that be Don? I once heard that Cannon was using
.005 cutters/mills. Homemade???????? Urban ledgion???????

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax DCC owner, Chief/Zephyr systems
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


ljack70117@...
 

Would not have to be home made. There are several companies that make them down to .001" dia. I have used .007" myself.
Thank you
Larry Jackman

On Thursday, July 31, 2003, at 01:02 PM, Jon Miller wrote:

And what size would that be Don? I once heard that Cannon was using
.005 cutters/mills. Homemade???????? Urban ledgion???????

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax DCC owner, Chief/Zephyr systems
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS




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Larry Lee <jlawrencelee@...>
 

Many of us likely also have favorite cars that are likewise no longer on
the "leading edge". So be it. It's called progress.

Mike, et al.,

Absolutely! I've been a model railroader of varying skills for about forty
years now, and a LOT has changed in the hobby during that time. Folks may
scoff at John Allen's whimsical and unprototypical bits, but some of us
remember when his work was something out of this world. Were it still
around, it would still be considered top-notch modeling by most folks,
including more than a few splinter counters.

Sitting on my workbench right now is a pre-WWII Mantua CofG gondola. It is
primarily metal, but has printed sides in the old CofG scheme, for which I'm
not sure decals were ever made. It was reasonably well built, but I will
completely disassemble and rebuild it, upgrading trucks, couplers, and some
details in the process, and do some weathering as well. I am under no
illusions that this particular model exactly replicates any car the CofG
ever owned, nor that it is as accurate as any given resin car would be. I
might very well spend as much time and effort on it as I would on a modern
kit, but having an enjoyable and productive time is why I model in the first
place, and it gives me great satisfaction to have a good-looking,
smooth-running car that is older than I am, not to mention one that now is
unusual. I have quite a few old cars and a couple of old locomotives as
well made by outfits like International, Varney, and even a couple by Marx.
I recently rehabilitated another old Mantua car, a WFEX reefer that came to
me from the estate of an old friend. You can't buy that at any price, and
it is a tribute to him that the car remains in service looking better than
ever.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a merely a collector of antiques. I do
appreciate the current offerings--stuff we all used to dream about. The
tail ends of my freights will be Southern wood cabooses by F&C once I get
them built. Nothing else outside of brass comes close to these SOU cabs.
These will be fully detailed and as accurate as I can make them. The same
is true for some Westerfield SOU boxcars, and it will no doubt be for a
number of future additions. This, too, is fun and rewarding to me.

Every car in my freights may not be exact down to rivet size, but there is a
great deal of satisfaction in watching a consist of widely varying cars roll
by. Some of that realistic variance comes from these old cars. Maybe every
grab iron will not stand up to the scrutiny of the prototype police, but the
appearance of the train is great. There is a place for all of this in our
hobby, and, depending on what you are after, it can all work together very
effectively.

I believe it was Isaac Newton who once said, "If I see further than others,
it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants." Give your heritage
pieces some modern attention and care, then enjoy them, too. Your great new
stuff won't suffer a bit. As Mike said, "It's progress."

Larry Lee
Auburn, AL


Ron Hildebrand <SteamFreight@...>
 

At 12:16 PM 7/31/2003 -0400, newrail@... wrote:

We will know soon enough. For the recut Dominion car our toolomaker has
used the smallest size cutter he could purchase to delineate the board
sheathing. If this doesn't satisfy the majority of people we will tool the
next one without marks for individual boards to enable the nitpickers to
scribe their own. Then they can decide which method is best!
Don,

I certainly appreciate you efforts to improve on this area of freight car modeling. I know I'll be buying a couple. (And more if you do that Erie car...)

Ron Hildebrand


Greg Martin
 

Mike Brock writes...


Many of us likely also have favorite cars that are likewise no longer on the "leading edge". So be it. It's called progress.<
Mike does this mean I should get rid of my "special cars" like the Tichy GSC flat with the brake wheel on the wrong side, the Bowser gondola with the brake wheel on the wrong side, or my Branchline 40(+)foot box car? Ain't gonna happen these are some of my favorites. Hey, what about my sort of, kind of finished C&BT shops and Front Range Boxcars? No Way Dude! What about that Athearn reefer with all the detail parts I bought and stuffed in the box based on Tony T.'s article a few years back? Jeepers Creepers I can give them up! Progress I call that suicide... 3^) What would feed my challenge?

One of the rather interesting aspects of this thread is that we may be seeing a similar "advance" as we move to building SS cars without the excessive joint gaps.<
I still think that Tichy was on the right track when they tooled their USRA single sheathed car with the way they varied the boards. I am not sure if it was tooling cost or criticism from modelers that caused them to abandon the approach on the gondola car. Alas they left us with a mainstream mediocre approach to the issue. Perhaps in the future someone will pick up the ball and see this type of tooling a better way.

Even relatively new resin cars may now be not so much on the leading edge. Throw them out? As the 4449 crew said in response to my assertion that the SP dispatcher would tell me when 4449 would
leave Railfair '81......"Probably not".

Mike Brock
I have to agree we old habits die hard... Is this hobby a habit?

Greg Martin


Steven Delibert <STEVDEL@...>
 

Heck, I'm NEVER getting rid of my very first 1 of 5,000 Ambroid SP 1-1/2
door SS boxcar (sorry, not up on the class), with the carefully assembled
underfloor detail all mirror-image because at 15 or 16 I didn't know (and
Ambroid didn't think they had to tell anybody about such a "well-known
standard practice") that plans were from the top down.
Steve Delibert

----- Original Message -----
From: <tgregmrtn@...>
Mike does this mean I should get rid of my "special cars" like the Tichy
GSC flat with the brake wheel on the wrong side, the Bowser gondola with the
brake wheel on the wrong side,


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Greg Martin asks:

"Mike does this mean I should get rid of my "special cars" like the Tichy GSC flat with the brake wheel on the wrong side, the Bowser gondola with the brake wheel on the wrong side, or my Branchline 40(+)foot box car?"

I can only speak for myself but I'll say that I don't plan to throw out stuff because a new model is better...or there are errors in one. For example, I spent about 4 months carefully cutting 10 windows and 4 doors from Walthers plain passenger car material to make a UP 2040 Harriman postal storage car...of which UP had about 40 and SP had many duplicates. The underbody matches the plan in Metcalfe's UP Modeler [ the true Harriman cars had rather complex underbodies ] and I used a modified MDC Harriman roof. The rivet pattern isn't correct, of course, but it does have rivets. The belt at the middle is rivetless...Harrimans had 3 rows of rivets here where the top and bottom side sheets joined. The windows and doors are correct in size and position, however. For some time now, I've had the only known model of one of these rather important cars [ from a UP/SP standpoint ] as they existed in 1953/4. Brock's tenth Rule of Modeling will be satisfied soon [ build something that's never been done before and THEY will come ( a very accurate, manufacturerd version )] as probably the most accurate model of 4 different Harriman head end cars...including 2040...will shortly be produced in resin by SC&F [ at my suggestion and help]. Am I going to retire my Walthers 2040? I doubt it. One tends to hang on to their work...regardless. Other examples are the PFE 50 ft wood express reefers that I built from the Athearn car using Tony Thompson's ideas. The resulting car is about a ft too high. Too bad. Will this stop me from buying a more accurate one if sometime available? Nope.

Mike Brock....still running Westside UP 4-8-4s....well, modified...


Earl Tuson
 

If the master were constructed with individual boards represented
by individual styrene strips I strongly suspect we would get some
of the boards in different planes that IS noticeable on such cars
where the joints otherwise are NOT
I did this on the first master for Al's SF BX11+ series. Al
didn't like it and because the styrene (lumber) is not at all close
dimensionally it actually came out looking like an Accurail
car<VBG>.
Jon, several years ago, I began building patterns for an S scale B&M
Pratt truss ARA boxcar using the same method with, as it appears,
similar results. One difference may be that I very lightly sanded
(600 grit wet/dry) the surfaces prior to edge glueing the strips to
get subtle variations in light reflection. I ended up making three
different sheathed sides (none ever received complete steel framing,)
with each one being compared in turn to prototype photos. Despite
trying to tone down the effect by decreasing the boards' offsets on
each successive version, they all seemed to be too rough and beat
looking. The project was temporarily, but indefinetly, postponed for
this and other reasons.

am not sure what is a happy medium. Probably very fine lines that
just indicate that there are boards there.
I believe this is the method that Byron Rose espouses.

Is it difficult to make a mold with these fine lines?
Not in urethane.

Earl Tuson


thompson@...
 

Heck, I'm NEVER getting rid of my very first 1 of 5,000 Ambroid SP 1-1/2
door SS boxcar (sorry, not up on the class), with the carefully assembled
underfloor detail all mirror-image because at 15 or 16 I didn't know (and
Ambroid didn't think they had to tell anybody about such a "well-known
standard practice") that plans were from the top down.
If I remember the model, it's an A-50-6 (the otherwise identical A-50-5
class had end doors). There was also an A-50-7 class, quite similar but
with a few significant differences (e.g. most A-50-7 cars had radial
roofs). This and a fair amount more is in my forthcoming book on SP
automobile cars...

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history