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General Category => Modellers At Work => Topic started by: Bill Gill on July 21, 2016, 04:16:32 AM



Title: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Bill Gill on July 21, 2016, 04:16:32 AM
I'm working on a pair of these freelanced pulpwood cars using Tichy end platforms on Athearn flatcars. These are operational cars rather than fine scale models so the details are "rugged" (OK, coarse), but the experiment was to give the cars a rusty undercoat like found in some prototype photos. Pulpwood seems to have been a less than desirable commodity to haul in the 1950s because it didn't earn the hauler much profit and it was dangerous work, so some cars looked homemade and fairly beat up.


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: finescalerr on July 21, 2016, 11:59:19 AM
I like the overall impression the scene creates and that includes the flatcar. -- Russ


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: 1-32 on July 21, 2016, 09:52:16 PM
hi alan i really like your car.this particular version is great loaded with assortments  of plywood or timber products.the tie downs are also interesting.maybe a bit of variation of the base colour especially about the edges ie exposed metal
cheers kim


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Ray Dunakin on July 22, 2016, 12:56:11 AM
I don't know much (well, anything) about pulpwood cars, but this looks good to me.


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Bill Gill on July 22, 2016, 04:54:31 AM
Hi Kim, Thanks. I hadn't thought about plywood loads. I have seen photos of similar cars loaded with lumber, long logs loaded longitudinally and even telephone poles. The 'tie downs' you noticed are the stake pockets on the original flat car this car was made from. If this were strictly a pulpwood car there wouldn't be any stake pockets, but my railroad is small. The story is they built the two cars in their own shop from surplus flat cars and were either so cheap not to do the extra work of removing the pockets or so wise to realize the pockets could be used for tie downs and the cars could carry more than one commodity.

I saw a few prototype photos of empty cars that had a lot of scraps of bark, sawdust and evergreen needles along the center line of the deck. My plan is to try to duplicate that look, but then to also make removable loads of pulpwood logs, and now after your comment I think I'll make some other kinds of removable loads as well, like...plywood for example. Thanks!


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Bill Gill on July 22, 2016, 05:42:46 AM
Ray, I don't know lots about pulpwood cars either. I had more flat cars for my railroad than needed and wanted to adapt a couple of them to some other purpose. Pulpwood came to mind because my layout is in Vermont and paper mills were common industries served by railroads in New England in the 1950s (the layout's time period).

The trees cut for pulpwood were those not good enough for lumber, either too small, crooked or dead. Clearing some of those out of a logging area could be dangerous work. Down South I think they mostly cut pines. In New England they cut mostly evergreens too, but also some deciduous trees.  

The logs were typically cut into short lengths between 4-6 ft and then stacked crosswise on the decks of the cars. Each longitudinal half of the deck of a pulpwood car slants inward from the side of the car to the center line and a row of logs is stacked along each side of that shallow "V" deck. The bulkheads on the ends keep the logs from rolling off the ends and the pitch of the deck combined with the weight of the load keeps the logs from tumbling over the sides. There aren't any other restraints to secure the load, that's why the stake pockets that Kim commented on are a bit unusual.

Before there were special built pulpwood cars, other kinds of cars were pressed into service. I saw photos of ~1930s homebuilt cars from someplace in the deep south that were old truss rod flat cars that looked like someone stood an old wooden gate up on each end, tacked a couple diagonal planks to hold them up and piled on the logs. I'd love to make one of those. Gondolas got loaded several different ways. I've seen photos of gons with the logs standing vertically, laying down crosswise and even just dumped in randomly. Some old boxcars were loaded with pulpwood by hand (I think that could be dangerous at times too if the stack shifted while someone was piling it up). Some boxcars even had their roofs removed and were loaded from the top.

Here's two photos of a gon with pulpwood load that I did for the RR club at RPI. It's another "operational" car used for club operating sessions, so again the detail is coarse. The load is twigs from the backyard, some painted a bit to vary the type of tree. The vertical "logs" at the ends are short pieces of bamboo skewers painted to match the twigs.


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Ray Dunakin on July 22, 2016, 09:15:33 PM
That load of logs looks great!


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: SandiaPaul on July 23, 2016, 06:08:43 AM
That looks great Bill...does someone make a more delicate looking brakewheel? My eyes keep focusing on that.

Paul


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Bill Gill on July 23, 2016, 07:13:22 AM
Thanks, Ray. Now have to make two more for my own pulpwood cars.

Thanks, Paul. Just recently I discovered that True Lines Trains makes a very fine etched stainless brake wheel. It's a bit pricey for a "working" model and is currently sold out, but I may consider it.http://www.truelinetrains.ca/home/news/klasinghandbrake


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: SandiaPaul on July 24, 2016, 05:59:54 AM
That true line one does look good!


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Barney on July 25, 2016, 01:58:24 PM
looking good - is this all part off an HO empire - love to see more of it
Barney


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Bill Gill on July 25, 2016, 05:56:30 PM
- is this all part off an HO empire - barney

Barney, the answer is mixed. The blackish pulpwood car is one of a pair for my Connecticut & Vermont RR, a tiny HO scale project by almost any standards. The gondola loaded with pulpwood is one of a pair for the New England & Berkshire RR, a model railroad empire by any standards! You can see a bit more of the NEB&W here: https://www.facebook.com/NEBandW. There aren't many good photos of the C&V, but maybe I can dig up a few passable ones and post them. Thanks for asking.



Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Barney on July 28, 2016, 12:16:32 PM
Thanks Bill
some nice stuff there
Barney


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Lawton Maner on July 28, 2016, 04:05:36 PM
Filling these cars with scale pulpwood is a good wintertime project which starts in the summer when you trim azaleas, dogwoods, and others whose bark realistically scales down. Hang the branches in the garage for the first phase of drying, cut them to size while watching something like a football game, and then bake them in a toaster oven which you bought at a yard sale @ 250 degrees for 2 0r 3 hours before you assemble the loads.  Of course you can do s I did at an NMRA contest and make the load loose so that when a judge picks the car up to check the brake rigging, there is pulpwood scattered all over the room.


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Bill Gill on July 28, 2016, 04:34:43 PM
Thanks, Lawton. The loose-oops! version sounds like my style too :) My second plan is to glue the twigs together but make each load removable as a solid block. That way I can change from pulpwood to logs, telephone pole or even plywood according to Kim. And the cars can also run empty, although I really like a couple prototype photos of empties that had lots of sawdust and leaves and needles on their decks. I might permanently add that debris and make different loads that can fit over it.


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Lawton Maner on July 29, 2016, 09:34:44 AM
Based on personal experience, even after careful drying, the loads will shrink once glued together.

In the past, when stick pulpwood was transported by rail the occasional load had to be set out by the crew because some of the wood had shifted.  Railroads hired crews to reset the loads so they could be safely delivered. One crew, hired by one railroad in North Carolina got much of its work because it was the cheapest and fastest at fixing the problems; until the railroad discovered that they were sawing the offending logs off rather then re-stacking the load.


Title: Re: HO scale freelanced pulpwod car
Post by: Bill Gill on July 29, 2016, 12:03:39 PM
Good story! Reminds me of a scene in a movie version of a musical about Ziegfeld. He was doing a dozen things at once, including timing a painter who was very carefully brush painting a single folding chair for the theater's seating. Ziegfeld noted the time to the second and calculated how much he'd pay per chair to get all the rest of them done based on that interval. The painter apparently reluctantly agreed to the low offer but the minute Ziegfeld left the room, the painter called in his assistant and said "SPRAY em!" which had been his intention from the start.

About the shrinking scale size loads I'd heard of that happening to another modeler's pulpwood load. So far (a couple years) the permanent loads in the two PRR gondolas above haven't seemed to shrink measurably, but it is something to consider before building removable loads for my cars, thank you. I did have a problem with a removable coal load I made for a friend's Civil War gondola. I cut and shaped a piece of extruded foam - painted black -  to fit the car, carefully wrapped the bottom and sides of the foam in plastic wrap and press fit it tightly into the gondola. I glued coal to the foam and let it sit a day or two. It looked good, but when I removed the plastic wrap, the load became a loose fit in the car. Not visible from a level trackside view, but noticeable up close looking down on the car.