Topics

Sway backed cars


 

I know that John scratch built most of his swaybacked cars but does anyone know how to convert a plastic car into such a masterpiece ?
Russell Desmond


Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...>
 

I hope someone finds out because I have thought the same thing many times since I was a kid.  I do know at least some of the delrin plastics melt at about 350 degrees F...   I figured if you had a good toaster oven (like many of us do for painting) that has good temperature control, it might worth an experiment or two.....   Seems you'd have to make something that slides down over the car to distribute the force out along the center of the roof but has something to keep the sides from buckling outward...  I think ya might scrifce a car or two before you get it right but please let us know if ya make it work.... 

Randy

On Tue, Jun 4, 2019 at 8:46 AM Russ Desmond via Groups.Io <capdes101=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I know that John scratch built most of his swaybacked cars but does anyone know how to convert a plastic car into such a masterpiece ?
Russell Desmond


Russell Courtenay
 

I remember an article years ago in MR about doing it to plastic cars, it wasn’t easy but it could be done. 

I used to convert old time HO cars to HOn3 using the ‘slice & section’ method and thought if I wanted to sway back one, I’d cut the roof and floor off, bend those with some heat, then section and reassemble the walls and ends. By that time it may be easier to scratchbuild....

On Jun 4, 2019, at 8:52 AM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

I hope someone finds out because I have thought the same thing many times since I was a kid.  I do know at least some of the delrin plastics melt at about 350 degrees F...   I figured if you had a good toaster oven (like many of us do for painting) that has good temperature control, it might worth an experiment or two.....   Seems you'd have to make something that slides down over the car to distribute the force out along the center of the roof but has something to keep the sides from buckling outward...  I think ya might scrifce a car or two before you get it right but please let us know if ya make it work.... 

Randy

On Tue, Jun 4, 2019 at 8:46 AM Russ Desmond via Groups.Io <capdes101=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I know that John scratch built most of his swaybacked cars but does anyone know how to convert a plastic car into such a masterpiece ?
Russell Desmond


Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...>
 

Well cut the floor anyway, but I'd leave the roof that should bend just fine.    I bet with some practice you could get a stock car to do just about what you want it to do if ya find the magic temperature....  Ya just gotta work fast.   It seems to me, If you're going to do a lot of work on a car to create this effect from plastic then (like you said) it might be better to just bend the wood and build a crooked car the old fashioned way.  

 I think the oven and a well made tool to hold in the sides and put pressure on the top center would do the trick.    Just for laughs it would be fun to build a sway back, steel box car.   

Randy    

On Tue, Jun 4, 2019 at 11:32 AM Russell Courtenay via Groups.Io <walruswebtech=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I remember an article years ago in MR about doing it to plastic cars, it wasn’t easy but it could be done. 

I used to convert old time HO cars to HOn3 using the ‘slice & section’ method and thought if I wanted to sway back one, I’d cut the roof and floor off, bend those with some heat, then section and reassemble the walls and ends. By that time it may be easier to scratchbuild....


On Jun 4, 2019, at 8:52 AM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

I hope someone finds out because I have thought the same thing many times since I was a kid.  I do know at least some of the delrin plastics melt at about 350 degrees F...   I figured if you had a good toaster oven (like many of us do for painting) that has good temperature control, it might worth an experiment or two.....   Seems you'd have to make something that slides down over the car to distribute the force out along the center of the roof but has something to keep the sides from buckling outward...  I think ya might scrifce a car or two before you get it right but please let us know if ya make it work.... 

Randy

On Tue, Jun 4, 2019 at 8:46 AM Russ Desmond via Groups.Io <capdes101=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I know that John scratch built most of his swaybacked cars but does anyone know how to convert a plastic car into such a masterpiece ?
Russell Desmond


Mark Cartwright
 

Some modern plastics do not succumb so eailty to Heat and Reshaping....
For example I needed a curved slightly green window for a large Toy/Train Store I was constructing using two Kato Strutures...
I was struggling with all sorts of Light Green Plastics..
then ?

I spied a 7-Up one liter bottle...
Eureaka !
======
In my days since around the age of 10....I have been a near weird kid with his own 3500 degree kiln.
Meaning?
Create a stand of hardened ceramic or a sway back shape to your particular scale of ?
Perhaps metal
Then begin again with various plastics including a few Tyco/Bachmann Box Cars you are already too embarrassed to own.
Don't let the female species catch you but I would start at a temperature of 250...Slowly gradually and then again all at once to a pre-heated oven. 
Watch for the fumes...as this the sign you are making some progress.
You many need however a temperature of 500 and more to begin to succeed.
===
Also be aware that is you are in the State of California, you may need to Post a Sign about Toxic Fumes perhaps having an effect on the logevity of your life and those around you.
(I began playing with Sulphuric Acid and other dangerous chemicals at the age of 10;  I am now 65.)
===
When all that fails...You can't get there from here.
Plastic may not work.
Remember ...John Allen was in a time of Varney Kits.
Who says you can't whittle your own...out of a hunk of wood?
:)) Mark


Darryl Huffman
 

I would cheat.

Remove the roof, sand down the top of the sides for a curve, leave the bottom alone, bend the roof or make a new roof.

Just having a sunken roof may work fine.Inline image


Darryl Huffman
darrylhuffman@...

Hobby DVDs now shipping:


_._,_._,_


Curt
 

Russ,
I cut down an HO model to HOn3 (see pics). I kept the floor plane, adding rectangular brass tubes to bridge 2 halves of the under frame, allowing a good base for the trucks. I mounted the side panels at angles to give the illusion of a sagging car. The doors will cover the fact that the floor is actually plane. The roof has an inner ceiling of wood in two pieces, following the tops of the sloping side panels. I bent the exterior roof panels a with heat (hair dryer).


On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:46:56 AM MDT, Russ Desmond via Groups.Io <capdes101@...> wrote:


I know that John scratch built most of his swaybacked cars but does anyone know how to convert a plastic car into such a masterpiece ?
Russell Desmond


Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...>
 

Well there ya go...  thats looks fantastic..    

Randy


William Uffelman
 

I am not an expert on sway backed cars but I believe that except in the case of a totally derelict car the sag should be between the truck bolsters with the outer end of the frame relatively level. The truss rods went over the bolsters so the bending of the frame would take place in the middle of the car between the needle beams and the bolsters.

Of course photos could prove me wrong.

Bill Uffelman

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 9:24:24 AM PDT, Curt via Groups.Io <hamtrains1@...> wrote:


Russ,
I cut down an HO model to HOn3 (see pics). I kept the floor plane, adding rectangular brass tubes to bridge 2 halves of the under frame, allowing a good base for the trucks. I mounted the side panels at angles to give the illusion of a sagging car. The doors will cover the fact that the floor is actually plane. The roof has an inner ceiling of wood in two pieces, following the tops of the sloping side panels. I bent the exterior roof panels a with heat (hair dryer).


On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:46:56 AM MDT, Russ Desmond via Groups.Io <capdes101@...> wrote:


I know that John scratch built most of his swaybacked cars but does anyone know how to convert a plastic car into such a masterpiece ?
Russell Desmond


 

I have tried boiling water but it isn't hot enough. Then I tried the oven at around 360 degrees but the whole thing melted into a plastic blob. A soldering gun and / or an iron is to localized in its heat to do it realistically I like the idea of the wife's hair dryer or maybe her curling iron. I have to try next time she goes shopping! I imagine I should start with flat car  ... that should be easy to sway back. Thanks for your ideas


Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...>
 

Russ... to do a serious HOn3 conversion car you'd have to do some operations on the car and cutting to size and perhaps some heating would do the trick for some of it.   Curt has a clever conversion and you can keep the decals and paint intact this way...    I was sort of throwing out a fun little experiment to see if someone could easily and quickly make some standard gauge sway backs from the readily avalable fairly detailed delrin plastic cars that would not cost enough to care what the outcome was.     I will assume the paint on most cars would desintegrate before the plastic...?  a guess?   but the Delrin has a specific temperature and 360 is simply way to much...   Here's a quick data sheet..  https://www.protolabs.com/media/1014732/delrin150.pdf

  The magic number is 347 degrees F... so if you have a toaster oven with a good accurate gauge built in or you put one inside the oven to do this right.....  I would guess you could get some great results with a jig made to do the slight bend @ around 340 Degrees.   ???   I'd just like to know if it works. My suggestion was one of those..... "I gotta try that" sort of thing I never get around to trying.  Might want to do it outside in case the paint does burn and smokes ya out a bit.    Ya have to build a solid support for each end of the car that does not rely on the bottom alone for support our you'll push the truck mount up into the body when pushing down o the top......  And the top piece you'd push down on the center with would have to have some clever way to push evenly across the middle area with the bend you want built in...and it has to have something solid hold the sides in so they don't just buckle outward.   

Please let us know if it actually works.    Have some water ready in case you get a sizzling burning pile of napalm 

Randy


Jeffrey L Witt
 

William, I agree. See the master's take, particularly his bending jig:

http://gdlines.info/MR-19560100-037-300_70.jpg 

and

http://gdlines.info/MR-19560100-038-300_70.jpg 

Only for wood cars, though. The other issues is that the individual boards on the sides stay more or less vertical, because the roof and floor remain more or less parallel.


 

Randy: I am sticking with HO gauge cars so the width is not a factor. I do not have a toaster oven so I could try the oven instead, the question then would be regular or convection heat? I use oven thermometers in my baking so the temp can be closely monitored. The magic number of 347 F has been unknown by me so thank you for sharing that piece of information. As for paint I usually buy un decorated cars cause my railroad is a concept railroad and it has it's own custom paint job and decals.  The more I rethink on this subject I believe the best way is to separate the cars into their 4 main components. The reason for that is a box shape is a structurally interconnected and intrinsically a strong shape as opposed to flat sheets of plastic which would be much more malleable when properly softened . I can understand the reasoning behind keeping the floor as straight as possible for the trucks to track properly and not become a rolling derailing nightmare. I'm surprised no one has mentioned car weights as they obviously will have to be replaced with two separate and equal weights and concentrated in the ends of the cars. Again I thank all who responded to this thread as it gives me many different points of view to ponder and experiment with.


Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...>
 

Well the odds are it's not going to work as well as we may hope  but it will fun to try...  You will need a good digital thermostat or an oven thermometer and have a vent fan handy.   I might mess around with one for fun someday but for now my swayback cars will be made from bent wood.   You can make a clamping jig or in the case of small strip wood it's easy enough to just wet and pin to a board.   

Have fun.. that is the goal...  Ya might get lucky and something turns out great...!    Send along photo or two... 

Randy 


Russell Courtenay
 

Great job Curt! I think between your idea and Darryl’s method, a reasonably good facsimile can be made from plastic!

I still have a bunch of old time HO cars that were left when I moved back to O scale. Most will work for On18 flatcars but the boxes of the boxcars are more work to ‘scale jump’....

On Jun 4, 2019, at 10:24 AM, Curt via Groups.Io <hamtrains1@...> wrote:

Russ,
I cut down an HO model to HOn3 (see pics). I kept the floor plane, adding rectangular brass tubes to bridge 2 halves of the under frame, allowing a good base for the trucks. I mounted the side panels at angles to give the illusion of a sagging car. The doors will cover the fact that the floor is actually plane. The roof has an inner ceiling of wood in two pieces, following the tops of the sloping side panels. I bent the exterior roof panels a with heat (hair dryer).


On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:46:56 AM MDT, Russ Desmond via Groups.Io <capdes101@...> wrote:


I know that John scratch built most of his swaybacked cars but does anyone know how to convert a plastic car into such a masterpiece ?
Russell Desmond
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Russell Courtenay
 

That is a gorgeous piece of weathering there Darryl, I can almost smell the moss! Needs to be photographed in a foggy, wet, ocean smelling setting, like where I grew up!


On Jun 4, 2019, at 10:19 AM, Darryl Huffman via Groups.Io <darrylhuffman@...> wrote:

I would cheat.

Remove the roof, sand down the top of the sides for a curve, leave the bottom alone, bend the roof or make a new roof.

Just having a sunken roof may work fine.<FC0F9312-A9D6-4667-9B39-E27D32124316.JPG>


Darryl Huffman

Hobby DVDs now shipping:


<FC0F9312-A9D6-4667-9B39-E27D32124316.JPG>


Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...>
 

Darryl's one of those O scale narrow gaugers..... us HO modelers know they are odd.       The modeling work is often incredible but the elk antlers are no lie.!    

Randy  


Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...>
 

Got to admit how much fun it is to look at the work on your sea shack Darryl..... I will never have the time or space to go with O scale but it is incredible the detail and realism you can achieve at 1:48.   

Randy   


Darryl Huffman
 

Thanks Randy,

 I model in both H O and On30.

I think HO looks "right" in my mind but 
I enjoy all the freedom of detailing in O scale.

Here is one of my scratchbuilt HO buildings built in 1975.


Inline image

Inline image



On Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 6:10 AM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

Darryl's one of those O scale narrow gaugers..... us HO modelers know they are odd.     _._,_._,_


Bob Friddle
 

I haven’t tried this, but a plastic car side is going to be highly resistive to oven sagging. Think of it as a beam, either steel or 2 x1 2 wood; the deeper it is the more stiff and resistant it is to bending (steel beams have webs on the top and bottom to resist lateral forces and warping from side to side, but their spanning ability and bearing strength comes from the depth). Within the beam, or car side, a downward force at the center of the span causes tension (stretching molecules out) at the bottom and compression (pushing molecules together) at the top. Steel and wood handle both of these forces well, especially when they are uniformly distributed along their lengths, as opposed to single point loading in the center. Plastic handles compression well, but thin plastic sheet will warp to the side without the reinforcement of a car top and bottom. Plastic does not handle tension and bending well, it will de-laminate and/or snap after bending just a little. If you think of it as a beam, it is the equivalent of a ten foot high beam that is only a few inches thick. Softening it in an oven does not easily override these characteristics. Even a wetted thin wood side will warp from compression or split from tension. Cattle cars should work best for this, they are much more flexible. For box cars it would be a lot easier to cut the curve into the side at the top and bottom and then apply decals on a slight curve to match. For passenger cars you could try cutting from the top of each window to the roof and press together to close the knife-width cuts. Remember it doesn’t take much sag to notice.

Bob Friddle

Gabrielle Lines

Minneapolis

 

From: GandD@groups.io [mailto:GandD@groups.io] On Behalf Of Russ Desmond via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2019 8:17 PM
To: GandD@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GandD] Sway backed cars

 

Randy: I am sticking with HO gauge cars so the width is not a factor. I do not have a toaster oven so I could try the oven instead, the question then would be regular or convection heat? I use oven thermometers in my baking so the temp can be closely monitored. The magic number of 347 F has been unknown by me so thank you for sharing that piece of information. As for paint I usually buy un decorated cars cause my railroad is a concept railroad and it has it's own custom paint job and decals.  The more I rethink on this subject I believe the best way is to separate the cars into their 4 main components. The reason for that is a box shape is a structurally interconnected and intrinsically a strong shape as opposed to flat sheets of plastic which would be much more malleable when properly softened . I can understand the reasoning behind keeping the floor as straight as possible for the trucks to track properly and not become a rolling derailing nightmare. I'm surprised no one has mentioned car weights as they obviously will have to be replaced with two separate and equal weights and concentrated in the ends of the cars. Again I thank all who responded to this thread as it gives me many different points of view to ponder and experiment with.