Lube markings practices?
Are there any documents available online that discuss/provide
the manner in which lube updates were marked ... over time?
For example - I just looked at a car on eBay that has a lube
date added to it that was done by the use of "a patch of black
paint that is then stenciled (decaled) with the date". This was
a car that was built to AAR 1937 standards ... but had been
lubed in Yermo in the middle 60's.
So I'm wondering if I can "just change the year of the lube
date and it is good to go for a steam era car" ??? Or is the
way this particular model is done applicable only to cars
that were lubed off line in the era it is done as?
Or do I also have to change the 'method' that the lube
date was done in order to be prototypically correct for the
era this group is focused on (and myself also!).
And I'm guessing that there might also have been some
changes in terms of the location of the lube data over the
decades. I'm hoping that it is not - but don't want to bid
on it without knowing how much work I need to do ...
Yes, I know that there is a large component of "it depends
upon which RR you are talking about" ... I'm looking more for
some "general practices" (if there were any) and also with
respect to the "believability" of the data and the way it is
applied to the car - because it's a lot easier to just change
the year that to redo the entire lube data.
- Jim B.
P.S. An alternative set of answers would be to learn what
methods the UP did - over the years/decades. I am
definitely not "a UP guy".
Jim are you asking about the COTS stencil? COTS stands for Clean, Oil, Test, and Stencil.
According to http://www.hosam.com/mod/rsdet.html the COTS stencil did not come in to being until 1966, well beyond the time interests of this group.
Prior to that the car would be stenciled just above the truck with information about repacking the bearings, ie the RPKD stencil with date and location and/or railroad. Some shops painted a black patch over the old information before stenciling the new information, but a study of boxcars photos does not show a consistency in the lettering location or terminology used. Some used “Journal Pac” in their stencil.
The "Journal Pac", or references to "lubricators" also came very late in the history of solid bearings, post 1960 IIRC. Both are references to proprietary journal pads rather than loose waste.
Pre 1960 was just RPKD, date, and station symbol stenciled in contrasting color in the vicinity of the right hand bolster. Roads could paint out the old data however they wanted; some roads tried to match the car color (red or black), some roads just used their standard FC color on everything, some roads used black on everything.
So it would appear that my best approach to this question
is to find pictures that show the lube/repack data markings.
Is there a web site (s?) that focuses on that aspect?
It would help me if that site was organized by era and by
location and/or that it had pictures that are easily
identified in terms of the date and location that the
lube/repack info was done. And, as long as I'm stating
my preferences ... it should include examples of West
Jim as far as I know there were no specifications before 1966, beyond what Dennis posted yesterday. I know of no website that focuses on the subject. But if you look at freight car photos, esp boxcars, you will see the stencil somewhere above or near the right truck, just as Dennis said. It will be two or three lines, small letters, usually white in color with abbreviations for the shop that did the work.
You are asking about detail lettering that was of little or no concern for many years to modelers and manufacturers. And most decal printers probably copied the same info in each new decal set as well. To my knowledge such detail has only become available since folks like Richard Hendrickson and Ted Culotta began pointing it out in their freight car articles. And the manufactures like Lifelike PK2000 began including such lettering on their models. And the decal producers realized there was a market for such detail.
As far as era goes, photos will be your guide. As for locations, any location where railroads had a RIP track might qualify. You will have to hunt down the proper lettering for you specific railroad or location.
I should have used "Lube/Repack Data" for the subject ... thankfully
you guys knew what I was talking about ... *G* (To answer one
question - no I am not talking about the COTS labels. Too late.)
I just spent almost 2 hours looking at as many photos as I could
find for the era this list is dedicated to - and solidified my thinking
about "the general look and placement of the lube/repack data".
As more than one of you pointed out there are variations but, in
1) The prior data was painted over ... often in a color
that makes them even hard to find - but just as
often in a non-similar color with either black or
tuscan being the most common choice for the
2) Then the new data was stenciled into that patch.
3) The patch is usually - but not always - above the right
truck. If the car has one of those "tabs" sticking down
from the general line of the sill it is often placed in
that tab. I found several cars where it was placed
to the left of the door about half way between the
left edge of the door and the end of the car (mostly
when done by/for UP - what's that about?).
4) As you go backward in time it gets harder and harder to
find this detail. Perhaps they were placed somewhere
else before about 1940? If the photo is dated earlier
than about 1935 or so there does not seem to be any
such detail on the side of the car any where. Did I
Tom Birkett sent me a copy of a document detailing what
was included in this info.
If you are doing this detail - whose decals are you using and
what are you doing about the -need- for a variety of 'shops' to
use? And do you have some feeling for how many different
'shops' would be needed in order to have an acceptable feel
for "these cars have been serviced away from their home
roads fairly frequently"?
Jim Betz wrote:
The many Sunshine decal sets for reweigh symbols also included repack data, as do most Speedwitch sets and newer Microscale sets. Richard Hendrickson was of the opinion, after studying a heck of a lot of prototype photos, that at least of 80 percent of the repacks were from the owning road. But of course the characters are so tiny as to be awfully difficult to read, so I have chosen not to worry about exactly what they say or what date they bear, for most models. And BTW, Richard also believed that repack frequency was approximately annually with solid-bearing trucks.
Then there are the brake service rules, and the lettering to go with it. That, and repack data, were the subjects of two posts on my blog. If you're interested, here are the links:
The second link shows the recommended lettering content and arrangement, though many photos contradict it.
"The "Journal Pac", or references to "lubricators" also came very late in the history of solid bearings, post 1960 IIRC. Both are references to proprietary journal pads rather than loose waste."
AAR approved lubricating devices for plain bearings were required on all new and rebuilt cars as of January 1, 1957. Cars which received heavy repairs (over 100 hours of labor) were subject to the same rule.
Cars so equipped were required to receive a 1-1/2" stenciled block of contrasting color near the original packing or repack stencil. If the trade name of the device was applied to the car it was a requirement to maintain it as well.
Are some or all of these devices recognizable, when freshly installed, by four small tabs that stick out from the sides of the journal box lid?