Re: Westside Lumber flatcar building

John Stutz


In addition to Wiseman, and possibly Western Rail, PSC lists two former Kemtron Westside logging trucks in brass.  But any arch bar truck that has the arch bar extensions to support the outside brake beams will do.

Regarding nylon truss rods:  I like using nylon monofilament for truss rods, for their freedom from getting bent, but with styrene frames there is a real danger of bending the frame over time.  And if you back off on the tension enough to assuredly prevent this, they don't bend sharply enough over the queen posts. With the Grandt flats I have added scrap rail between the bolsters, with good results.  An alternative is to use woven nylon fishing line, which will bend over the posts with very little tension, then fill the weave with paint. 

Regarding the log bunks:  These are a Grandt part, and may now be again available from San Juan.  I believe that the prototype is a Seattle/Pacific Car & Foundry design that was widely used by West Coast loggers.  I have no data on when Westside adopted it.  My guess is around 1910-15, but check your sources for photographs.

The heavy I-beam goes flat on the flange edges to carry the weight.  The light slotted I-beam goes on this, to shield the chock chains, allowing them to move under loads. The chocks go on the larger I-beam, outboard of the smaller one, each with a heavy chain running back through the near slot and under the small I-beam to the far side.  Thus the outer logs' weight bears on the chains, adjacent to the chocks, tightening the chains.  The chains are held by chain hooks (omitted), flame cut from ~6mm plate with a slot to go over the chain, and hung from the bunk ends by light chains.  A large loop in each chain's free end prevents it being pulled into or through the small I-beam. 

When loading, the chocks are released and pulled out to the bunk ends. Then with the two outside logs in place, the chocks are pulled in tight and hooked against the bunk end.

There are two different chocks, one cast and the other bent from ~13mm plate. When dumping, the cast chock is on the high side and the plate version on the low side.  The chain holding the bent chock is unlatched, and between the dump track's super-elevation and a little jerking from the locomotive, the bent chock walks out to the bunk's end and falls flat, releasing the logs. 

John Stutz

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