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Accurail underframe assembly tips


Eric Hansmann
 

In response to statements and queries about assembling the Accurail 36-foot box car underframe, the DesignBuildOp blog has published a tutorial to assist modeler's efforts. Follow along with the assembly and tips on installing Kadee couplers. Once you build one of these, additional underframes will fall together easily.

http://designbuildop.hansmanns.org/2017/04/07/accurail-36-foot-box-car-underframe-tutorial/


Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX


Dennis Storzek
 




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

In response to statements and queries about assembling the Accurail 36-foot box car underframe...

http://designbuildop.hansmanns.org/2017/04/07/accurail-36-foot-box-car-underframe-tutorial/


Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX

================


Eric,


Thanks for the excellent tutorial on assembling our new kit underframe. May we have permission to place a copy of the PDF file on the Accurail web site?


The design of the brake rod and lever part was kind of a 'leap of faith' on my part. I had already proven to myself that a one-piece brake rigging molding was possible with the part we did for our gondola, which we later adapted to our 40' boxcar floor, but that part relies on the brake cylinder mounting to hold it in place, and that precluded adapting it to our existing fishbelly underframe.


When designing the new kit, however, I had an epiphany; it looked like it would be possible to fish the brake rigging through the slots in the sills, if I could come up with a way to anchor the acetal part in place, which is the reason for the snap catch on the end of the intermediate lever, so it stays attached to the sill. The other end is held in place by the clevis on the brake cylinder push rod.


You mention the lever is too thick to fit in the clevis. Did you notice the small half round depressions in the lever? That portion is reduced in thickness to fit the clevis, and holds it in proper alignment. With the intermediate lever clipped to one sill, when the two sills are assembled, the cylinder lever can't slide through the clevis.


Your tip to use a piece of masking tape to hold the sills in alignment during assembly is inspired. I have been holding the sills by the ends as I add the crossbearers. Because of the odd off center location of the brake cylinder on the New York Central prototype, the brake rigging part had to be made with one rod too long (so it will also work with the straight sills) and clipping this back past the end of the sill makes it  easier to hold the sills with your fingers on the ends. The brake rods really only have to run behind the wheels where the end can't be seen; I designed them to run past the axle so there is no chance the end will drop to the track. This is the location that the prototype would connect to the truck live lever, which is something I don't think we are ready to do in HO scale... yet.


Dennis Storzek




Eric Hansmann
 

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

Thanks for the excellent tutorial on assembling our new kit underframe. May we have permission to place a copy of the PDF file on the Accurail web site?

The design of the brake rod and lever part was kind of a 'leap of faith' on my part. I had already proven to myself that a one-piece brake rigging molding was possible with the part we did for our gondola, which we later adapted to our 40' boxcar floor, but that part relies on the brake cylinder mounting to hold it in place, and that precluded adapting it to our existing fishbelly underframe.

When designing the new kit, however, I had an epiphany; it looked like it would be possible to fish the brake rigging through the slots in the sills, if I could come up with a way to anchor the acetal part in place, which is the reason for the snap catch on the end of the intermediate lever, so it stays attached to the sill. The other end is held in place by the clevis on the brake cylinder push rod.

You mention the lever is too thick to fit in the clevis. Did you notice the small half round depressions in the lever? That portion is reduced in thickness to fit the clevis, and holds it in proper alignment. With the intermediate lever clipped to one sill, when the two sills are assembled, the cylinder lever can't slide through the clevis.

Your tip to use a piece of masking tape to hold the sills in alignment during assembly is inspired. I have been holding the sills by the ends as I add the crossbearers. Because of the odd off center location of the brake cylinder on the New York Central prototype, the brake rigging part had to be made with one rod too long (so it will also work with the straight sills) and clipping this back past the end of the sill makes it  easier to hold the sills with your fingers on the ends. The brake rods really only have to run behind the wheels where the end can't be seen; I designed them to run past the axle so there is no chance the end will drop to the track. This is the location that the prototype would connect to the truck live lever, which is something I don't think we are ready to do in HO scale... yet.

 

 

Dennis,

You have my permission to post the PDF file to the Accurail site. After pulling together the text and photos I realized a PDF file would be an extra bonus for many folks. It was easy to put together. I created the post to share techniques. I hope the tutorial helps modelers with their car build. Once you build one, you realize how the parts fall together.

The tutorial features the third Accurail 36-foot underframe I’ve built and it’s the first time I’ve noticed the small half-round impression. I probably tried to fit the end of that brake lever through the clevis on previous builds, hence the scraping step to thin part of the lever. It’s now a smack my head moment.

I’m looking forward to the straight center sill models!

Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX