Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Consultation with the Good Doctor

The doctor is in! Five cents please...

From my good friend Dr. Revis Butler, DDS...

Dear Scott,
I need some advice. I'm building a scratch-built flat car based
on the LOP&G prototype shown attached. On each end where the coupler arm extends from the end of the car is a rather elaborate attachment which I need to copy. Would I be best to try to take a piece of wood or plastic and carve it out or what. I'd like to try to make the model as much like the prototype as possible. If you have a chance, please share your thoughts about this. I've got an instrument for making the rivet dimples so I'm doing that with sheet styrene then gluing it to the underlying structure. That seems to have worked so far. Tedious.
Hope you and your family have a Blessed Christmas.
Dr. Revis Butler, Jr.

Click On Photo To Enlarge

Just to introduce Revis, I'm rather ashamed that he is asking me for help when he just got through winning a first place ribbon for passenger cars in the SER Region Convention!

http://www.ser-nmra.org/pdf/souv49n2.5.pdf check out page 42

The Live Oak, Perry and Gulf is a favorite railroad of mine. Logging trains in the South are my passion.

Some Live Oak, Perry & Gulf Photos

My suggestion for Revis...

This device is called a coupler pocket. It was cast metal and designed for hard shocks from banging the cars together. The "fins" are all cast into the one piece. This was before welding was common.

I'd approach this piece as a plastic project. Using very thin styrene sheet, probably .005 and .010 sheet styrene from Evergreen Scale Models, I would construct the whole piece. The styrene is available at most hobby shops. I'd make the base square (see diagram) out of .010 and cut a square hole for the coupler shank.

Using strips of .010 I'd make the front box square out of four pieces. I'm not sure of the dimensions here, but you might be able to estimate the dimensions from the coupler itself. Then using .005 styrene, make the "fins" or angled supports. Once it is all glued together and dry, test fit it on one of the cars.

To make a functional model, it may need to be a bit wider than the prototype in order to work well. After the first one is assembled you can make a silicone mold and cast the parts in resin which will make it much stronger.

Grandt Line makes some of these types of coupler pockets which you can use for inspiration!
Cannonball's cast iron pocket
Cast iron pocket drawing

Hope that helps! Can't wait to see the model. I'm still blown away by your turpentine mill!

Scott Perry

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