O Scale Trains Magazine Discussion Forums

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Loco Workshop Caboose
BruceB

Posts: 61
Post Loco Workshop Caboose
on: June 24, 2018,
Quote

Does anyone have a suggestion as to where I could see an example of a LWS wood C&O caboose built from their brass kit?
Thanks in advance.
Bruce

Ed Bommer

Posts: 398
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: June 26, 2018,
Quote

That would be a tough one to find. LWS made short run kits, maybe only 25 or 30 or so, some based on orders received after seeing them offered in the LWS newsletter. It did usually show a completed (but not necessarily painted and lettered) model.

How many of the car and loco kits sold that were ever built was always a mystery, since very few photos of completed LWS models got published. LWS dates from the period before the internet became widely used.

LWS kits can seem difficult to build, but with those I've worked on, everything was there. When LWS was still in business, missing parts or any that got damaged while working on the model were easily replaced by asking.

However. LWS instruction sheets were not all that easy to follow or detailed. To build an LWS kit, one had to be fairly proficient in how a brass model is put together.

Prototype photos for the model are a huge help, as is carefully going though all the parts, laying them out in some semblance of an ''exploded" model to see where they all go together. Tagging or marking parts will also help.

When building the LWS caboose, you will need to plan ahead to determine how the car will be detailed. It could be done with either the roof or the floor made to be removeable. However for a brass car I'd opt for a removeable floor and underframe. That way the roof soldered top the sides and ends will keep the body stable.

Here are three LWS locos I worked on, built from kits. I've not built any of the LWS brass car kits, LWS also for a while produced the former Athearn line of O scale 40' and 50' boxcar kits. LWS production ended when the owner, Jan Lorenzen, passed way several years ago.

Image
This kit was produced with a minimal under frame. One had to be built according to how the loco would be powered. I built this one for a friend. It as two 9000 series Pittman motors with Central Locomotive Works transmissions for each truck. Both ends have an articulated draft gear which enabled it to handle cars on a 72" radius.
Done in 1985, it has constant/directional head and class lights as well as a working strobe light on the cab roof. It rolled a 60 car O scale freight at a scale 65 MPH. when tested on a large layout.

Image
Unlike the UP loco, this ALCo DL-109 was a cast resin body kit with trucks. no floor or underframe. I outfitted this model in 1987 (also built for my friend), with an All Nation drive and a Pittman 9000 series motor. It has a .030" thick sheet brass floor, built up underframe using Special Shapes channel and I beams. It also has extra weights installed. On a test, it hauled an 8 car passenger train at about a scale 65 MPH.

Image
This 0-6-0 camelback is mine, built from the LWS "economy 0-6-0" kit of 1989. It was extensively modified, altering the frame to change the driver spacing. A new boiler was made from a brass kitchen sink tailpiece. The tender is scratch built in brass. It's powered with the "Holland" can motor LWS provided along with LWS gearing of a fiber main axle gear and steel worm. It is outfitted with an on board 9V battery powered sound unit synchronized with the drivers, as well as constant directional headlights. It can haul a 15 car freight at about a scale 35 MPH, about as fast as its prototype ever ran.

Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 398
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: June 29, 2018,
Quote

I should add that a big help would be to make some jigs to aid in assembly of the caboose body (or any other car body requiring square, 90 degree angles.

One of them shows in the Brass Mongering thread I wrote for this forum. There are other hints in it as well, to help with brass model construction. Back in the 1970's, I built an Arvid Anderson brass hopper car kit. In his instruction sheet, Arvid directed the builder to make a simple jig to assure the body joints would be square and straight. It was also used in re-configuring parts of the Gem brass Forney in that thread.

It's simply a plywood sheet, mine is about 18" x 12" which has a 1/2" x 1" strip of wood along one side (the left, as I'm right-handed) and the top. The angle where the strips meet must be exactly 90 degrees. I used a machinist's square to set it. To help hold pieces in place on the jig, wood strips temporarily tacked down as guides and clamps works well. Or even something like a piece of steel bar wedged against the work with some thin nails would help.

OK, so wood can burn if using a torch to solder heavy brass or castings (such as an Adams &Sons casting set for an EMD FT diesel I built in the 1980's). Or get scorched from repeated use with a soldering iron.

The trick here is to lay down a heat shield in that area. Roofers' aluminum flashing works fine. (It can also make very nice scratch made freight and passenger car car sides with embossed rivet or weld line details). Even the alignment strips on each side could be temporarily covered if necessary.

Ed Bommer

BruceB

Posts: 61
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: June 29, 2018,
Quote

Thank you Ed. As I am a brute for punishment I will most likely purchase the kit. Whats the worst that can happen?

Ed Bommer

Posts: 398
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: June 30, 2018,
Quote

Well, the worst might be the work needed to trim, clean and file the side and end etchings to make certain they are neat and absolutely squared with the same exact height and length for sides and ends.

I would also double check them for the correct location of holes to attach grab irons, etc. before soldering the body panels together. Drilling them in advance will lessen possible damage if trying to punch mark and drill into an assembled body which might not be stiff.

Then there is the roof, which might need to be curved to suit the end radius, as well as trimmed and squared to fit properly. The floor sheet with its frame must also fit exactly.

One thing with a caboose, there is a small step up into it from the end platform, at the doorway. That's because the floor inside has stringers and joists as part of the body frame, which is fastened to the top of the under frame with long bolts on the prototype.

The step up into the car is the height of that framing and the flooring inside, about 7" -8" or so. Remember that the planking on the end platforms is on top of the underframe braces. which rest on the center sill and couple draft gear underneath.

Wood body passenger cars were also built that way. This made it possible to remove a body and put it on a new frame. Also, to covert a car with a wooden underframe to one made of re-enforcing steel components.

If you are planning a detailed interior the floor could be a separate part, held in place with some angle stock soldered at an appropriate height inside, on each side. The underframe soldered to brass sheet is then attached with small screws going through the floor and into the angle at each corner.
Like so, with left margin serving as the caboose side:

L angle
=== floor (details close to walls are inset to clear the angle, or mounted to the body)
----- underframe top sheet
[ ! underframe side sill and mounting screw.

Once you get the body squared and even for the underframe, the rest is just detail work. Having the floor and under fame removable from the body will simplify painting and putting in window glazing.

Ed Bommer

Tom-
Dempsey

Posts: 100
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: July 1, 2018,
Quote

Ed, I looked at the Anderson jig, do you think it would make more sense to build it out of aluminum. Or would the retained heat be too much?

Ed Bommer

Posts: 398
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: July 1, 2018,
Quote

Yes, it could become a heatsink with extended or high heat use.

For high heat work, I use a ceramic stone floor tile and wedge the parts with pieces of brick, stone, large steel nuts or slices of rail paper weights. Also, a hunk of B&O 100 lb. rail as a back stop. (It also serves as a portable anvil at times . . . )

The Anderson jig in wood is helpful with lightweight, small or thin parts that one can hold in place and alignment with pins or thin finishing nails pushed or driven into the wood surface. What would help with either an all metal jig or the wood Anderson jig, is to have it set on risers placed underneath so clamps could be used along the top and sides to hold work in place.

One issue with a wood surface is the parts being soldered get scorch marks from the wood that needs to be cleaned off afterward. Using thin sheet aluminum under parts being soldered will keep them cleaner. When using thin sheet aluminum under the parts being joined, nails can still be driven through it to hold parts in place.

When parts are pre-tinned, sometimes there is 'float' from melted solder when sweating them together. In those cases, a heavy nail or length of steel or aluminum rod as a probe can be used to push the parts back into alignment and hold them until the solder sets.

An example was in the Brass Mongering thread when attaching small brass top vents to the heavier cast brass headlamps using a torch. I found resistance soldering that part in place resulted in cold joints that eventually broke.

More heat was needed in the casting. To keep its applied headlamp bezel and side panel sheets from becoming unsoldered while adding the vents, each headlamp casting was placed in a low can with water in it as a heat sink, while set on the ceramic floor tile. The thin brass vents tended to slip out of alignment on the top of the casting from melted solder. So I moved them into place gently with a long nail and held them until the casting cooled and the solder set. (Don't sneeze while doing this). It takes a lot longer to describe this than actually do it!

One great advantage in soldering brass models is that if that step of the job does not turnout exactly right, just undo it clean the parts and try again! Not so easy or neat to do with wood or styrene construction.

Using aluminum or steel items to work with soldering is helpful, since the solder does not bond well with steel (unless using an acid flux, which is not too good for brass) and does not bond with aluminum.

Ed Bommer

Martin
Administrator
Posts: 860
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: July 1, 2018,
Quote

Thank you Ed. As I am a brute for punishment I will most likely purchase the kit. Whats the worst that can happen?

Hmmmm.......... Well, a descent into a state of total raving lunacy might be rapidly achieved as a result of taking on a LWS kit, but the consumption of adult beverages, long walks in the countryside, meditation, and in some cases, pharmaceutical intervention has been known to save the model.......the modeler? Well.......not so much.

Want a balloon?

BruceB

Posts: 61
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: July 2, 2018,
Quote

Already familiar with all that. I have built some of his plastic(?) S scale boxcars. We shall see, still in the consideration stage......

John-
Wubbel

Posts: 99
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: July 10, 2018,
Quote

Many years ago now I built the LWS Bay Window Caboose Kit and as I recall it was a challenge to build out. Now that could have been because of my lack of experience going from trying to learn to scratch build things using tin soup cans to practice soldering techniques or it really was a bugger. In any case it was a lot of work. However, I was extremely pleased with the result and it is still part of the CGW fleet on the layout. I think Jan Lorenzen deliberately designed a kit that would give the modeler the basics but it was up to you to give it the finishing professional touch.

I have the C&O kit but it is not built because I wanted to see if I could develop it into another one of the CGW wood cabooses. The North Western Lines Spring Issue 1998 has a really good write up on CGW Cabooses with nice photos. I particularly like the one on the inside cover #210 as it sits on the transfer table at the Oelwein shops in May of 1943.

bob turner

Posts: 114
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: July 25, 2018,
Quote

I bought a tank car kit. Domes were usable. Tank wrapper became boiler bands. Rest of it was scrap brass.

BruceB

Posts: 61
Post Re: Loco Workshop Caboose
on: July 25, 2018,
Quote

Mr. Wubbel does that caboose side(sides) have 2 windows at one end and 1 window at the other? I don't model C&O, but they got them from Hocking Valley. Just trying to determine if it is the correct caboose.

Pages: [1]