Topics

Stainless steel tubing


Tom Madden
 

Detail Associates 0.019” brass wire is D.A. #2506. Their stainless equivalent is #3506. They also have SS wire in 0.010”, 0.012” and 0.015” diameters.

 

0.020” I.D. stainless hypodermic tubing is available from Amazon/Small parts:

http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Hypodermic-0-02825-0-01975-0-00425/dp/B000FMYLZS%3Fpsc%3D1%26SubscriptionId%3DAKIAJIU3HZ3RVURIETAQ%26tag%3Dhelloper-20%26linkCode%3Dsp1%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB000FMYLZS

 

If that link gets messy the Google search term for the tubing is HTX-22T.

 

I’ve just put a PDF in the Files area describing how I cut stainless tubing for tank car handrail unions. It’s titled Cutting_Stainless_Tubing.pdf.

 

The acid tank I’m doing now is my first one using stainless wire for the side handrails. Will post photos when the handrails are done. Have done lots of tanks with brass handrails but Bill’s photo should show how that looks.

 

Tom Madden


Tom Madden
 

Here's a link to a photo of a stainless steel tubing union joining a brass end handrail to a stainless side handrail on a Resin car Works acid tank car shell. The union is 0.020" I.D. and the handrails are 0.019" O.D.

http://www.pullmanproject.com/SS%20Union.jpg

 Tom Madden


Bill Welch
 

I really like the stiffness the SS wire would bring to the sides, a vulnerable area. I ordered my .019 ID SS tubing from "Small Parts," now "Amazon something" and it was supposed to come yesterday. It is spec'ed with an OD of .025 so I am afraid it will look clunky. Tom would you please share your tubing source and Part#? Thank you for posting the link.

Bill Welch


riverman_vt@...
 

    Why the use of the two different types of wire, Tom? Is the stainless wire to stiff/difficult to make the
required curvature for the end and bend to meet that on the sides? Are we speaking of stainless piano
wire or something similar?

Cordially, Don Valentine


Tim O'Connor
 


Thanks Tom! That's what I more or less expected I guess once the car is
painted and weathered the union will not stand out as much. A small price
to pay for greater durability!

Tim O'Connor



 Here's a link to a photo of a stainless steel tubing union joining a brass end handrail to a stainless side handrail on a Resin car Works acid tank car shell. The union is 0.020" I.D. and the handrails are 0.019" O.D.
  http://www.pullmanproject.com/SS%20Union.jpg


Tom Madden
 

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

> I really like the stiffness the SS wire would bring to the sides, a vulnerable area.
> I ordered my .019 ID SS tubing from "Small Parts," now "Amazon something"
> and it was supposed to come yesterday. It is spec'ed with an OD of .025 so
> I am afraid it will look clunky. Tom would you please share your tubing source
> and Part#? Thank you for posting the link.

Hmmmm. The 0.020" ID SS tubing has an OD of 0.028". That's the tubing I use to splice 0.019" handrails and is what's shown in the photo linked to my previous post. The next size down in the product line is 0.017" ID and 0.025" OD. If that's the size you ordered it will be fine for use with 0.015" handrails but not 0.019". The wall thickness on both sizes of tubing is 0.004". Seems to me a 0.028" OD splice on a 0.019" handrail (47% oversize) would be less visually distracting than an 0.025" OD splice on a 0.015" handrail (67% oversize).

The Resin Car Works web site has a couple of very useful late 1930's ACF drawings with all the pipe sizes called out. This one, from 1936, shows a tank car AB brake system:
And this 1939 drawing shows a dome platform and ladder:
All the railings and the train air line are 1 1/4" pipe. The supply line (branch pipe?) from the train air line to the brake valve is 1" pipe, and the air lines from the valve to the air reservoir and brake cylinder are 3/4" pipe.

Not sure why there's confusion on what wire size represents each of those pipe sizes in HO. Detail Associates prints that information on the packaging for all of their brass wire sizes: 0.012" wire represents 3/4" iron pipe, 0.015" represents 1" pipe and 0.019" represents 1 1/4" pipe.

Tom Madden 


Tom Madden
 

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

> Why the use of the two different types of wire, Tom? Is the stainless wire
> to stiff/difficult to make the required curvature for the end and bend to meet
> that on the sides? Are we speaking of stainless piano wire or something similar?

It's Detail Associates stainless steel wire, available in four sizes: 0.010", 0.012", 0.015" and 0.019". Straight, 12" lengths packed just like their brass wire, with stock numbers in the 3xxx series matching the 2xxx numbers of their brass wire. I use brass for the tank end handrails because it's much easier to form than the stainless. Even with a forming fixture I still do a lot of fiddling to get the end handrails to fit exactly. It's a leftover habit from my narrow gauge days when I did a lot of brass work - form the wire to fit exactly so that the solder, or in this case the splice, isn't under tension when the joint is completed.

I neglected to include the link Bill asked for in my previous reply. My 22 gauge (0.020" ID, 0.028" OD) stainless tubing came from Small Parts before Amazon took it over, but the Amazon link to the same tubing is:

 

A foot of it ($3.78) will make a LOT of unions. Enough to do lots of tank cars even if, like me, you have half of them go flying off into neverland when you're trying to maneuver them into position!


Tom Madden


Bill Welch
 

Brass is very springy and it is hard to get it to behave, even with a good forming fixture, which Tom and I have.

Tom I misread the specs on the tubing you are using. If mine EVER comes, we should be using the same thing.

I also ordered more tubing to use with .015 wire as I have not made up my mind which wire size to use (yes despite all of the evidence). I am torn because I don't want the pipe unions to be too clunky. I don't remember if I have said it on this list but I have used .015 wire for the handrails on the 7-9 tank cars I have built so far because that was size of the Wire and Tubing Martin Lofton included in his 8K AC&F insulated tank car kit. I assumed it was correct and the rest is history. I even purchased a length of the .015 ID tubing from Martin to use with IM, L-L styrene models and Speedwitch and SC&F kits. I am very torn.

At some point soon, I will post photos of the fitting I use to cut the tubing.

Bill Welch


Tony Thompson
 

       I've used the stainless tubing for a handrail "union" on several tank cars. My cutting technique is to put the handrail wire inside the tubing, then cut off both tubing and wire in one cut with an abrasive disk. That way, there are no burrs inside. Works perfectly, though a certain fraction of the cutoffs are now in new homes somewhere on my floor.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





ed_mines
 

Years ago I used the same technique as Tony when building scientific equipment.


I currently cut the brass Albion tubes with a rat tail file with nothing inside the tubes and the tubes seem to be resistant to deforming.


There are a lot of brass bits in the carpet beneath my desk. Maybe the next person living here will think they are gold.


Ed Mines


Scott H. Haycock
 

 


Bill Welch Wrote:

"Brass is very springy and it is hard to get it to behave, even with a good forming fixture, which Tom and I have."


Bill, or Tom,

Could you tell us about this fixture? Or, maybe post a photo of it?


Scott Haycock 



Tom Madden
 

Scott Haycock asked:

> Could you tell us about this fixture? Or, maybe post a photo of it?

I posted a pdf file showing my method to the Files area last week. It's titled

Cutting_Stainless_Tubing.pdf

If that link doesn't work maybe this one will:

https://xa.yimg.com/df/STMFC/Cutting_Stainless_Tubing.pdf?token=2s_2J0cHdsmz12utbaf54KrpkmN8owY2J0-oKyissU75kb9_OnwcBQeuFkZpLDlfQi7sopncRQOo5sFciPhY7wJLUE-HZvz06fT2DDTlO-yL0n6vs7Vdm1oGzQ&type=download

Tom Madden


Bill Welch
 

Scott, it is pretty much the same one in Sunshine's kits and will be in the Yarmouth kit and I assume RCW is using ti too.

Bill Welch


Tim O'Connor
 

Bill Welch wrote

Brass is very springy and it is hard to get it to behave, even with a
good forming fixture, which Tom and I have.

What do you use for a forming fixture? Can you post a photo? Forming
the curved hand rails for tank cars is definitely a challenge!

Tim O'Connor


Tim O'Connor
 


clamp them with a hemostat or other scissor type clamp first so they
won't fly away



       I've used the stainless tubing for a handrail "union" on several tank cars. My cutting technique is to put the handrail wire inside the tubing, then cut off both tubing and wire in one cut with an abrasive disk. That way, there are no burrs inside. Works perfectly, though a certain fraction of the cutoffs are now in new homes somewhere on my floor.

Tony Thompson 


Tom Madden
 

Tim asked:

> What do you use for a forming fixture? Can you post a photo? Forming
> the curved hand rails for tank cars is definitely a challenge!

Here's a photo of the cast resin forming fixture. They are $64 each from Resin Car Works but Frank will include an acid tank car kit for free. :)
Martin also included this in many of his tank car kits.

Tom Madden



Jon Miller <atsfus@...>
 

    You folks will enjoy this.  I ordered  a 12" length of SS hypodermic tubing from Amazon.  .02825 OD by .01975 ID.  It came in a plastic tube with plastic ends caps.  Nothing new yet.  Now the shipping container; 24" cardboard tube 1/4" thick cardboard with steel end caps.  And of course lots of packing material inside.  The cost to me was $3.67 with free shipping!

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


ed_mines
 

worth every penny!


Ed Mines


Geodyssey
 

Link:


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FMYLZS/ref=biss_dp_t_asn


Robert Simpson




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

    You folks will enjoy this.  I ordered  a 12" length of SS hypodermic tubing from Amazon.  .02825 OD by .01975 ID.  It came in a plastic tube with plastic ends caps.  Nothing new yet.  Now the shipping container; 24" cardboard tube 1/4" thick cardboard with steel end caps.  And of course lots of packing material inside.  The cost to me was $3.67 with free shipping!

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS