What was a wheel stick used for?


Don Strack
 

Mel Johnson's blog about scanned Union Pacific drawings poses this
question. What was a wheel stick used for?

http://theoldmachinist.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/what-was-a-wheel-stick-used-for/

The drawing in question (from 1924) shows a stand used to hold a wheel
stick, and shows a wheel stick sitting in the stand.

I have seen a jacking bar used to spot rail cars, that is placed at
the jucture between the car wheel and the rail head, and the car was
moved with a downward prying action. But I don't think that this was
what a wheel stick was used for.

I looked in several Car Builder dictionaries and cyclopedias, but
nothing is listed. I have several railroad-related books from Google
Books (downloaded before they changed their policy), and they don't
show such a device.

Anyone?

Don Strack


Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

GUYZ,
 
Is this not the stick that was used by the brakeman to tighten down the brake wheel ?
 
Fred Freitas


________________________________
From: Don Strack <donstrack@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 7:30 AM
Subject: [STMFC] What was a wheel stick used for?


 
Mel Johnson's blog about scanned Union Pacific drawings poses this
question. What was a wheel stick used for?

http://theoldmachinist.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/what-was-a-wheel-stick-used-for/

The drawing in question (from 1924) shows a stand used to hold a wheel
stick, and shows a wheel stick sitting in the stand.

I have seen a jacking bar used to spot rail cars, that is placed at
the jucture between the car wheel and the rail head, and the car was
moved with a downward prying action. But I don't think that this was
what a wheel stick was used for.

I looked in several Car Builder dictionaries and cyclopedias, but
nothing is listed. I have several railroad-related books from Google
Books (downloaded before they changed their policy), and they don't
show such a device.

Anyone?

Don Strack


Bruce Smith
 

Fred, folks,

No, as Don posted to the web site he cited, there is a patent. The patent makes it clear that this is a device used to lift one end of an axle with attached wheels. Its basically a big lever with a notch for the axle.

Regards
Bruce Smith

On Dec 14, 2011, at 8:40 AM, Frederick Freitas wrote:

GUYZ,

Is this not the stick that was used by the brakeman to tighten down the brake wheel ?

Fred Freitas


________________________________
From: Don Strack <donstrack@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 7:30 AM
Subject: [STMFC] What was a wheel stick used for?



Mel Johnson's blog about scanned Union Pacific drawings poses this
question. What was a wheel stick used for?

http://theoldmachinist.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/what-was-a-wheel-stick-used-for/

The drawing in question (from 1924) shows a stand used to hold a wheel
stick, and shows a wheel stick sitting in the stand.

I have seen a jacking bar used to spot rail cars, that is placed at
the jucture between the car wheel and the rail head, and the car was
moved with a downward prying action. But I don't think that this was
what a wheel stick was used for.

I looked in several Car Builder dictionaries and cyclopedias, but
nothing is listed. I have several railroad-related books from Google
Books (downloaded before they changed their policy), and they don't
show such a device.

Anyone?

Don Strack







------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



John H <sprinthag@...>
 

No. It scales out to a bit over 66 1/2" long.

John Hagen

--- In STMFC@..., Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...> wrote:

GUYZ,
 
Is this not the stick that was used by the brakeman to tighten down the brake wheel ?
 
Fred Freitas


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@..., Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

Fred, folks,

No, as Don posted to the web site he cited, there is a patent. The patent makes it clear that this is a device used to lift one end of an axle with attached wheels. Its basically a big lever with a notch for the axle.

Regards
Bruce Smith
Most likely used in the shop or on the RIP track to turn a wheel set 90* to move it from the repair track to the storage track or back. With the two wheels on the common axle, it's easy enough to roll on a flat surface, but too heavy to make one side slip to go around a corner. The wheel stick allowed one wheel to be raised and levered around independent of the other.

I looked at some of the other "oddities" on the web site... all I can say is whoever put them up has led a sheltered life.

Dennis


Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

Bruce,
 
Thanks for clearing that up. It is a new one on me;
and I don't think I ever want to try it.
 
Fred Freitas


________________________________
From: Bruce Smith <smithbf@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 9:49 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] What was a wheel stick used for?


 
Fred, folks,

No, as Don posted to the web site he cited, there is a patent. The patent makes it clear that this is a device used to lift one end of an axle with attached wheels. Its basically a big lever with a notch for the axle.

Regards
Bruce Smith
On Dec 14, 2011, at 8:40 AM, Frederick Freitas wrote:

GUYZ,

Is this not the stick that was used by the brakeman to tighten down the brake wheel ?

Fred Freitas


________________________________
From: Don Strack <donstrack@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 7:30 AM
Subject: [STMFC] What was a wheel stick used for?



Mel Johnson's blog about scanned Union Pacific drawings poses this
question. What was a wheel stick used for?

http://theoldmachinist.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/what-was-a-wheel-stick-used-for/

The drawing in question (from 1924) shows a stand used to hold a wheel
stick, and shows a wheel stick sitting in the stand.

I have seen a jacking bar used to spot rail cars, that is placed at
the jucture between the car wheel and the rail head, and the car was
moved with a downward prying action. But I don't think that this was
what a wheel stick was used for.

I looked in several Car Builder dictionaries and cyclopedias, but
nothing is listed. I have several railroad-related books from Google
Books (downloaded before they changed their policy), and they don't
show such a device.

Anyone?

Don Strack



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Bruce Smith
 

On Dec 14, 2011, at 11:28 AM, Frederick Freitas wrote:


Bruce,

Thanks for clearing that up. It is a new one on me;
and I don't think I ever want to try it.

Fred Freitas
Fred,

Indeed! OTOH, you might want to model one at the RIP track. That would seem to be the obvious place for one. Now that I know what it is, I plan to scan a few RIP track photos to see if I can pick it out. Not only that, but since the original diagram is from the UP, I might have to ask Mike to install one in Laramie for Schneider to use on all the bad order cars coming from Buford.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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tmolsen@...
 

Fred,

The stick you mentioned used by brakemen to tighten brake wheels were known as "brake clubs". Brakemen used them for leverage to turn the brake wheels when manually applying the brakes to control the speed of a car when cars were being flat switched or coming off the hump. These clubs were made of oak, approximately 24 inches in length and 4-5 inches in diameter.

Tom Olsen
Newark, Delaware


Douglas Harding
 

Here is a photo of a "wheel stick" in use.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Railroad-Shop-Practice-Book-/360417593088?pt=LH_Defa
ultDomain_0
<http://www.ebay.com/itm/Railroad-Shop-Practice-Book-/360417593088?pt=LH_Def
aultDomain_0&hash=item53ea900700> &hash=item53ea900700



Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


Tom Birkett <tnbirke@...>
 

A picture is worth a thousand words. Apparently this was the method used to
move wheels around before the advent of the forklift. There must have been a
steam powered crane to move them from the wheel car that brought them from
the wheel shop, to the ground.



Tom Birkett



From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Douglas Harding
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 7:49 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: What was a wheel stick used for?





Here is a photo of a "wheel stick" in use.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Railroad-Shop-Practice-Book-/360417593088?pt=LH_Defa
ultDomain_0
<http://www.ebay.com/itm/Railroad-Shop-Practice-Book-/360417593088?pt=LH_Def
aultDomain_0&hash=item53ea900700> &hash=item53ea900700

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


jerryglow2
 

So it's a pretty sophisticated piece of equipment? <g>

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@..., "Douglas Harding" <doug.harding@...> wrote:

Here is a photo of a "wheel stick" in use.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Railroad-Shop-Practice-Book-/360417593088?pt=LH_Defa
ultDomain_0
<http://www.ebay.com/itm/Railroad-Shop-Practice-Book-/360417593088?pt=LH_Def
aultDomain_0&hash=item53ea900700> &hash=item53ea900700



Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Don Strack
 

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 6:48 AM, Douglas Harding <
doug.harding@...> wrote:

**

Here is a photo of a "wheel stick" in use.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Railroad-Shop-Practice-Book-/360417593088?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0

Doug Harding


Thanks for the info Doug. I did a screen capture of the photo (I love
SnagIt!) and will send it on to Mel Johnson.

I checked the title on Google Books, and here it is:

http://books.google.com/books/about/Railroad_shop_practice.html?id=cywwAAAAYAAJ

Don Strack


water.kresse@...
 

Hope fully the stick's surface was soft enough to not scratch bearing interface.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----


From: "Don Strack" <donstrack@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 10:44:30 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: What was a wheel stick used for?

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 6:48 AM, Douglas Harding <
doug.harding@...> wrote:

**

Here is a photo of a "wheel stick" in use.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Railroad-Shop-Practice-Book-/360417593088?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0

Doug Harding


Thanks for the info Doug. I did a screen capture of the photo (I love
SnagIt!) and will send it on to Mel Johnson.

I checked the title on Google Books, and here it is:

http://books.google.com/books/about/Railroad_shop_practice.html?id=cywwAAAAYAAJ

Don Strack


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@..., <tmolsen@...> wrote:

Fred,

The stick you mentioned used by brakemen to tighten brake wheels were known as "brake clubs". Brakemen used them for leverage to turn the brake wheels when manually applying the brakes to control the speed of a car when cars were being flat switched or coming off the hump. These clubs were made of oak, approximately 24 inches in length and 4-5 inches in diameter.

Tom Olsen
Newark, Delaware
"4-5 inches in diameter"? That's kinda big to get one's hands around. I always figured that brake clubs looked like cut off sledge handles... in fact broken spike maul handles likely were a prime source of material.

Dennis


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@..., water.kresse@... wrote:



Hope fully the stick's surface was soft enough to not scratch bearing interface.



Al Kresse

That's why it was end grain wood.


water.kresse@...
 

I missed that . . . stick . . . sorry.

----- Original Message -----
From: "soolinehistory" <destorzek@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 11:17:17 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: What was a wheel stick used for?



--- In STMFC@..., water.kresse@... wrote:



Hope fully the stick's surface was soft enough to not scratch bearing interface.



Al Kresse

That's why it was end grain wood.


MDelvec952
 

I've collected a couple of steam-era brake clubs. Yes, brakemen could have used the busted handles from spike mauls and sledge hammers, but with a broken end I doubt a trainman would trust it. Broken handles were most often used as chocks to hold bled-off cars in yards or on sidings until a handbrake could be applied.

These brake clubs are made of hickory, and they look and feel very much like a baseball bat. They are about that size (36 inches or so) with one flatted edge on the portion away from the handle to keep it from sliding off of the brake stem. I've tried one of them on a stem winder brake, and they are quite effective and the right tool for the job.

Related story: In the 1980s I interviewed a 90-something who hired out as a trainman with the Lackawanna in 1908. Upon asking if he ever got hurt in train service, he recalled only once, riding the roof of a reefer having been kicked into a siding in Hoboken that was slightly downgrade. As he was pulling on his brake club to spot the car the chain broke and he fell off. Luckily, the brake wheel was on the trailing end.

....Mike Del Vecchio

-----Original Message-----
From: soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Thu, Dec 15, 2011 11:15 am
Subject: [STMFC] Re: What was a wheel stick used for?






--- In STMFC@..., <tmolsen@...> wrote:

Fred,

The stick you mentioned used by brakemen to tighten brake wheels were known as "brake clubs". Brakemen used them for leverage to turn the brake wheels when manually applying the brakes to control the speed of a car when cars were being flat switched or coming off the hump. These clubs were made of oak, approximately 24 inches in length and 4-5 inches in diameter.

Tom Olsen
Newark, Delaware
"4-5 inches in diameter"? That's kinda big to get one's hands around. I always figured that brake clubs looked like cut off sledge handles... in fact broken spike maul handles likely were a prime source of material.

Dennis







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Douglas Harding
 

Jerry, yes a very sophisticated toolJ



Don, thanks for the link to the google book. Unfortunately it appears the
library rebound the book and the front cover photo is not included with the
google scan. And the photo of the wheel stick in use is not found in the
book, apparently only on the cover. The ebay sale has ended, but still
possible to save an image of the book cover.



Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


Douglas Harding
 

The book with the cover photo is apparently still available in print
http://www.lindsaybks.com/bks11/rrshop/index.html



Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org