another caboose construction question


ed_mines
 

Did wood cabooses have tar paper (or maybe car cement?) on their roofs
in the steam era?

It's logical, particularly if the crew slept in them.

Ed


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "ed_mines" <ed_mines@...> wrote:

Did wood cabooses have tar paper (or maybe car cement?) on their roofs
in the steam era?

It's logical, particularly if the crew slept in them.

Ed

Ed,

Railroads typically didn't use tar paper (roofing felt) on equipment,
because it didn't hold up to the rigors of the service. Typical
caboose roofs on wood cars were canvas stretched over a smooth arched
roof, either painted, or coated with tar. This is a technique long
used on ships to make a water tight coating.

Some cars have peaked roofs with the boards exposed; these were
typically two layers of boards with a layer of roofing felt in
between. The outer layer pg boards protected the felt from both wind
and weather.

Dennis


cj riley <cjriley42@...>
 

I have been quietly ignoring references to "tar paper" roofing in the commercial press as well as here and I have to comment. Tar paper, properly called building or roofing felt is NOT a roofing material except for short term or temporary use. What modelers shoulkd be referring to is "rolled roofing". That is the material often used on structure roofs. It is similar to asphalt shingles, with a granular material as a finish and comes in multiple colors.

As we try to match the prototype in our modeling, it is important to know and use correct terminology. Please help to eliminate references to tar paper, except as an underlayment material.

CJ Riley
retired architect

--- On Wed, 5/28/08, ed_mines <ed_mines@...> wrote:

From: ed_mines <ed_mines@...>
Subject: [STMFC] another caboose construction question
To: STMFC@...
Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2008, 7:30 AM
Did wood cabooses have tar paper (or maybe car cement?) on
their roofs
in the steam era?

It's logical, particularly if the crew slept in them.

Ed


proto48er
 

Was this the "mule hide roof" used on passenger equipment in the
steam era? I was eating at the Machine Shop restaurant in Olathe,
Kansas some years ago, right under an old porcelan sign that
advertised "Mule Hide Roofing" for barns, etc. (I was hoping that
there would be a lathe or milling machine or two in there, but it was
a restaurant themed on crop harvesting-type machines instead!)

Inquiring minds want to know! A.T. Kott


--- In STMFC@..., "Dennis Storzek" <destorzek@...> wrote:

--- In STMFC@..., "ed_mines" <ed_mines@> wrote:

Did wood cabooses have tar paper (or maybe car cement?) on their
roofs
in the steam era?

It's logical, particularly if the crew slept in them.

Ed

Ed,

Railroads typically didn't use tar paper (roofing felt) on
equipment,
because it didn't hold up to the rigors of the service. Typical
caboose roofs on wood cars were canvas stretched over a smooth
arched
roof, either painted, or coated with tar. This is a technique long
used on ships to make a water tight coating.

Some cars have peaked roofs with the boards exposed; these were
typically two layers of boards with a layer of roofing felt in
between. The outer layer pg boards protected the felt from both wind
and weather.

Dennis


Dick
 

FROM wisegeek.com
_Cotton_ (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cotton.htm) duck is a type of
textile. It is used in a wide range of industries, and can be found used in the
manufacture of shoes, _slipcovers_
(http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-slipcover.htm) for furniture, work clothes, sails, bags, and a variety of other
things. As a general rule, cotton duck is plain, but very strong. The classic
color is unbleached white, but many manufacturers also dye their cotton duck to
meet consumer demand for other colors. It is available by the yard at many
fabric stores.
For those readers visualizing waterfowl made from textiles, the origins of
the term “cotton duck” are unfortunately more mundane. It comes from a Dutch
word, doek, which means “_linen_ (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-linen.htm)
canvas.” The “cotton” is added to distinguish it from traditional duck.
Cotton duck is, however, involved with the history of duct tape, sometimes called
duck tape. The original duct tape was in fact made from cotton duck, treated
with a special adhesive.
There are 10 grades of cotton duck which distinguish from one, the most
heavy, to ten, the most lightweight. The grades refer to the weight and thickness
of the cotton duck, and are standardized across most of the textile
industry. Grades are assigned on the basis of how much a piece of fabric of a
specific size weighs. Individual traditional names for each grade are still used by
some people, but they do not have specific grades attached.
The durability of cotton duck makes it a great choice for situations in which
a strong, hardy fabric is needed. Many hard laborers, for example, swear by
the quality of garments made with cotton duck, which protect them from the
perils of the workplace. Popular brands of shoes are made with cotton duck,
which also appears on director's chairs, tents, and pillowcases for outdoor
furniture. White cotton duck can be bleached if it is soiled, making it an
excellent choice for hard wearing environments.
Like other textiles made from cotton, duck is relatively easy to care for. In
most cases, it can be washed and dried at any temperature. It will become
more soft and flexible with time, ultimately breaking down at areas of high
stress. Cotton duck also takes dye readily. When used as a garment, cotton duck
can be stiff and unwieldy at first, but it will settle within a few washings
and wearings, and it should start to feel like a second skin.



Dick Kashdin
Clarence, NY





**************Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch "Cooking with
Tyler Florence" on AOL Food.
(http://food.aol.com/tyler-florence?video=4&?NCID=aolfod00030000000002)


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "proto48er" <atkott@...> wrote:

Was this the "mule hide roof" used on passenger equipment in the
steam era? I was eating at the Machine Shop restaurant in Olathe,
Kansas some years ago, right under an old porcelan sign that
advertised "Mule Hide Roofing" for barns, etc. (I was hoping that
there would be a lathe or milling machine or two in there, but it was
a restaurant themed on crop harvesting-type machines instead!)

Inquiring minds want to know! A.T. Kott

There is a Mule-Hide Roofing Co... "Not a kick in a million feet"...
that makes membrane roofing products for architectural use, but I'm
not aware they had a product specific to the railroad industry. They
may have at one time. Do you have a specific reference in company
documents? The name still won't tell us what it is, as they use their
trade name across a whole variety of products. See:

http://www.mulehide.com/corporate/about_us.html

Dennis


proto48er
 

Dennis -

I have some wood passenger car diagrams that call for a mule hide
roof on the cars. These are MP diagrams for StLB&M and NOT&M baggage
cars with steel underframes. I have also seen the same roof on other
diagrams, but cannot remember which roads - probably M-K-T and/or SP
(SA&AP). I do recall that the MP cars specifically had a mule hide
roof - was astounded to see the advertising sign at the restaurant.

A.T. Kott


--- In STMFC@..., "Dennis Storzek" <destorzek@...> wrote:

--- In STMFC@..., "proto48er" <atkott@> wrote:

Was this the "mule hide roof" used on passenger equipment in the
steam era? I was eating at the Machine Shop restaurant in
Olathe,
Kansas some years ago, right under an old porcelan sign that
advertised "Mule Hide Roofing" for barns, etc. (I was hoping
that
there would be a lathe or milling machine or two in there, but it
was
a restaurant themed on crop harvesting-type machines instead!)

Inquiring minds want to know! A.T. Kott

There is a Mule-Hide Roofing Co... "Not a kick in a million feet"...
that makes membrane roofing products for architectural use, but I'm
not aware they had a product specific to the railroad industry. They
may have at one time. Do you have a specific reference in company
documents? The name still won't tell us what it is, as they use
their
trade name across a whole variety of products. See:

http://www.mulehide.com/corporate/about_us.html

Dennis


George Simmons
 

--- In STMFC@..., "proto48er" <atkott@...> wrote:
I do recall that the MP cars specifically had a mule hide
roof - was astounded to see the advertising sign at the restaurant.

The following link shows an ad from the 1920's with several Mule Hide
products for railroads

http://thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org/lochist/frisco/magazines/fem_
1928_12/fem_1928_12_61.pdf

George W. Simmons
Dry Prong, LA


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "George W Simmons" <GEORGESIMMONS@...>
wrote:


The following link shows an ad from the 1920's with several Mule Hide
products for railroads

http://thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org/lochist/frisco/magazines/fem_
1928_12/fem_1928_12_61.pdf

George W. Simmons
Dry Prong, LA

That's cool.

"Waterproof canvas"... similar to a tarp. "Plastic car roofing" in
1928 I think would be asphalt emulsion, like car cement. The term
persists today as "plastic roof patching compound."

I suppose if a diagram listed "Mule-Hide roof", it means it's a canvas
roof, or a canvas roof coated with asphalt.

Dennis.


train_junkie
 

In the 1909 Haskell & Barker plan I have for WP and D&RG cabooses, the
roofing material is simply listed as 'Cotton Duck 110" Wide'. Is it
possible that canvas, Mule Hide and cotton duck are all the same basic
material?

Mike Mucklin

That's cool.

"Waterproof canvas"... similar to a tarp. "Plastic car roofing" in
1928 I think would be asphalt emulsion, like car cement. The term
persists today as "plastic roof patching compound."

I suppose if a diagram listed "Mule-Hide roof", it means it's a canvas
roof, or a canvas roof coated with asphalt.

Dennis.


train_junkie
 

Ya' gotta' love the 'net. That's fascinating Dick, thanks for digging
that up and posting it. Now that I know what cotton duck is, I can see
how it might be described as "canvas" in reference ot freight car
roofs. Perhaps the "Mule Hide" often referred to in freight car
construction was cotton duck treated or coated with some sort of black
waterproof sealant.

Cheers!

Mike Mucklin


--- In STMFC@..., wb2raj@... wrote:



FROM wisegeek.com
_Cotton_ (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cotton.htm) duck is a
type of
textile. It is used in a wide range of industries, and can be found
used in the
manufacture of shoes, _slipcovers_
(http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-slipcover.htm) for furniture,
work clothes, sails, bags, and a variety of other
things. As a general rule, cotton duck is plain, but very strong.
<SNIP>

Dick Kashdin
Clarence, NY


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Mike M" <train_junkie@...> wrote:

Ya' gotta' love the 'net. That's fascinating Dick, thanks for digging
that up and posting it. Now that I know what cotton duck is, I can see
how it might be described as "canvas" in reference ot freight car
roofs. Perhaps the "Mule Hide" often referred to in freight car
construction was cotton duck treated or coated with some sort of black
waterproof sealant.

Cheers!

Mike Mucklin

If the specification says "cotton duck", I'd say that means raw
natural canvas, painted or otherwise sealed after application. If it
says "Mule-Hide", I suspect they mean whatever treated canvas product
Mule-Hide was selling. Since the ad calls it "waterproof canvas" I'd
suspect it's pretreated with oil or paraffin or something, lake canvas
tarps used to be.

I worked on and with some of these materials back in my railway museum
days in the seventies. I hope Mike can bear with the mention of
streetcars, interurbans, and passenger cars for a moment; we'll get
back to freight cars eventually, cabooses anyway.

The roofs on trolley cars were traditionally wood, since there is a
lot of high voltage equipment up there, and a wood roof is a good
insulator for anyone who has to work close to the live conductors.
Trolley cars were traditionally roofed with natural cotton duck,
because it stretches well; necessary to deal with the compound curves
on the ends. Steam road coaches have less severe curves at the end, so
apparently pre-treated canvas could be used. On some trolley cars the
curvature is severe enough that one needs to wet the canvas to get it
to stretch and let it shrink in place. The roofs are done with the
minimum number of pieces; arch roof cars are typically done with one
piece, if material of sufficient width isn't available, it is seamed
down the middle with a triple stitched seam like a trap. The edges are
turned under and tacked with about a million tacks; tacks on 1"
centers in two staggered rows about ¾" apart was typical. On really
sharp builders photos one can often see the pattern of the tacks, and
sometimes little puckers at the corners.

We used to have quite a bit of debate about whether it was proper to
"tar" new canvas. One school of thought is that canvas should be
finished with oil paint, which was what was typically done on marine
vessels, which is where the membrane system seems to have originated.
Linseed oil is a naturally occurring polymerizing oil that doesn't
harden completely for a long time, the end result of painting with
pigmented oil is a somewhat flexible waterproof membrane reinforced by
the cotton fibers. There is ample evidence that this was done to a
large extent, because there are many examples of Terra Cotta red,
brown, gray, and olive roofs on prototype wood equipment. The argument
against using asphalt emulsions, like car cement, is that the solvents
dry out and the material gets hard and brittle more quickly, then
cracks, which lets water seep into the cracks and rot the cotton
fibers. Nevertheless, I've removed examples of old canvas with asphalt
bleeding through the weave, which seems to prove that this was the
first and only material applied to the new canvas. The purpose of the
treated Mule-Hide product may have been to make the canvas itself less
susceptible to decay. Either way, when roofs got old, the accepted
practice was to mop them with asphalt emulsion to seal the little
leaks and hold them together for a while longer, so older roofs tend
to be black.

One of the things that connects "tar paper" to cabooses in people's
minds is preserved display cabooses. Once `Ol 97's caboose went into
the park, the Parks Dept. treated it like a building, and used
building materials to try to keep it from leaking. I've done a lot of
that myself. When preserved equipment has to sit out in the weather,
the first priority is to keep it from leaking and deteriorating
further, even if the materials aren't 100% correct. We used to use a
product called "pilot roofing" quite a bit; this was 90# smooth felt,
like roll roofing but without the granules. On a flat roof, or one
that curved in only one plane, like an arched roof caboose, this could
work quite well. The biggest problem was the 3' width of the material.
These wood roofs are really quite thin; 13/16" was common, but so was
9/16", and the big roofing nails would split it severely. We would
occasionally run the strips across the car so it was only nailed into
the heavy molding provided for this purpose at the eaves, simply
gluing the seams together with asphalt roofing cement. Coaches were
much more difficult to do with roofing felt, the curved ends had to be
pieced, and the end result looked more like a sheet copper roof as
used on some older passenger equipment, but that's a subject for
another list.

Dennis


golden1014
 

Hi Ed,

Seaboard's common steam era 3cc, 4cc and 5cc-class cabooses were
delivered with tar paper ("rolled roof material") roofs.

John Golden
Bloomington, IN


--- In STMFC@..., "ed_mines" <ed_mines@...> wrote:

Did wood cabooses have tar paper (or maybe car cement?) on their
roofs
in the steam era?

It's logical, particularly if the crew slept in them.

Ed