I am designing a new project. I want to kitbash some old trains together. I have done this before. This time, I want to improve my techniques and be more precise with my work. I need to create new slots for tabs to fit into. What is the best method to cut or punch those small slots? Are there any recommended tools to acquire or use?

George

Original Post

George I look forward to your project progress. These kind of threads are great for  inspiring others to try new techniques and projects. 

I am very interested in this as well.  I would like to try some scratch built tinplate cars later this year.  

As a follow up question, does anyone have a good method for a modern lithograph equivalent without the lithograph investment?  Ie digital printing directly onto the sheet metal as opposed to decals or transfers.  Google hasn't yielded much info.  

Making some kind of hardened punch and die combination might work - something you could fit to a small hydraulic press maybe. Some searching will find oil-hardening steel - this lets you work the metal to the desired shape and then temper it.

On Walt Hiteshew's Marxtin site, he has a custom-work page showing great tin-bashing work by Fred Pauling. http://www.toyandtrainguides.com/marxtin.htm Click 'Customs' on the menu at right - some inspiring stuff for sure.

This kind of project is in the back of my head too. I suppose hand-painting, block-printing and decals are the obvious choices, but DIY silk-screening tinplate is a possibility.

Last edited by Firewood

I'll let the cat out of the bag and post my projects here. There are two hard to find cars that I want in my collection. While I am waiting to find them at a less than stratospheric price, I will make close replicas (tagging them appropriately per TCA). First is an Ives 122 tank car. This car is built on an Ives 9" frame with snake couplers. Ives used a Lionel 800 series tank on the car. I found some reasonable donor cars online. I got the Lionel tank car for $16 in pretty good shape and a couple of Ives cars for $12.50 each. I'll also restore one of the Ives cars. It needs a wheel set and some cleanup. I also would like an American Flyer 3210 dark blue tank car. I found a not so rare AF car to paint and some decals. The last one doesn't take any modding, just repainting.

George

George S posted:

I'll let the cat out of the bag and post my projects here. There are two hard to find cars that I want in my collection. While I am waiting to find them at a less than stratospheric price, I will make close replicas (tagging them appropriately per TCA). First is an Ives 122 tank car. This car is built on an Ives 9" frame with snake couplers. Ives used a Lionel 800 series tank on the car. I found some reasonable donor cars online. I got the Lionel tank car for $16 in pretty good shape and a couple of Ives cars for $12.50 each. I'll also restore one of the Ives cars. It needs a wheel set and some cleanup. I also would like an American Flyer 3210 dark blue tank car. I found a not so rare AF car to paint and some decals. The last one doesn't take any modding, just repainting.

George

George,

Here is one for you to model.  

A hint on the color, it is the dark blue of the Flying Colonel, which is a flat, non-gloss paint finish. 

I can understand your thoughts on painting your own, as these are tough to find, especially in the condition of mine.  I have had this one for 10+ years and it is still the finest one I have ever come across.  A friend / dealer simply walked up to me at a show and said "I have something you might be interested in"  I bought it and resold the one I had in my collection at that time.    

NWL

Nation Wide Lines posted:
George S posted:

I'll let the cat out of the bag and post my projects here. There are two hard to find cars that I want in my collection. While I am waiting to find them at a less than stratospheric price, I will make close replicas (tagging them appropriately per TCA). First is an Ives 122 tank car. This car is built on an Ives 9" frame with snake couplers. Ives used a Lionel 800 series tank on the car. I found some reasonable donor cars online. I got the Lionel tank car for $16 in pretty good shape and a couple of Ives cars for $12.50 each. I'll also restore one of the Ives cars. It needs a wheel set and some cleanup. I also would like an American Flyer 3210 dark blue tank car. I found a not so rare AF car to paint and some decals. The last one doesn't take any modding, just repainting.

George

George,

Here is one for you to model.  

A hint on the color, it is the dark blue of the Flying Colonel, which is a flat, non-gloss paint finish. 

I can understand your thoughts on painting your own, as these are tough to find, especially in the condition of mine.  I have had this one for 10+ years and it is still the finest one I have ever come across.  A friend / dealer simply walked up to me at a show and said "I have something you might be interested in"  I bought it and resold the one I had in my collection at that time. 

NWL

That's awesome NWL. That's a great picture too, which will help me match the color. I think Rustoleum Navy will work. I was thinking of using satin finish, now I need to look for flat. I'm looking at the tank mounts on yours. They are flat black. The car I bought had copper mounts. Hopefully the car won't be too difficult to disassemble. I took an AF box car apart once and found that the tabs were spot welded to the frame!

George

George, the only Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Evening Navy paint I spotted is their Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover type.

I have found this 2X paint gets applied thicker than their standard spray and is extremely slow drying. Even after 30 minutes baking time at about 200 degrees F, the surface remains soft for about a week or so. I use this type paint but never plan to assemble sprayed components for a couple weeks, at least.

What has your experience been?

Thanks, swede

 

 

rrswede posted:

George, the only Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Evening Navy paint I spotted is their Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover type.

I have found this 2X paint gets applied thicker than their standard spray and is extremely slow drying. Even after 30 minutes baking time at about 200 degrees F, the surface remains soft for about a week or so. I use this type paint but never plan to assemble sprayed components for a couple weeks, at least.

What has your experience been?

Thanks, swede

 

 

Swede,

Yes, Rustoleum paint takes forever to dry. I bake in a light bulb oven, so nowhere near 200 degrees. I bake for an hour and try to let it dry for 2 days. That should allow me to assemble if I am careful. If I am painting two colors, I wait a week or two before masking the part for the second color. It's a slow process, but is worth the wait. 

I haven't found another option for this color. The best rattle can paint I have used was the ACE hardware brand. It was hard as a rock within 2 hours. It was a gloss John Deere green.

I have had similar results to Rustoleum with my airbrush. My airbrush is difficult to use and to get the paint thinned correctly. Sometimes, it's my only option, though.

George

Greg J. Turinetti posted:

George,

I was checking through my photos to see how my photo compared to NWL's examle.  The only thing that I can add is that the end of the blue 3210 is brass.

 

 

Northwoods Flyer

Greg

Thanks Greg. The one I bought is green with a painted end. I'll have to see if it is brass or tin once I strip it. It's probably tin. So, I'll need to decide if I paint it or leave it as tin with a clear coat. There's a lot of rust on this car too that needs to be removed.

Are the steps on the frame part of the frame and unfinished?

George

George S posted:
 

Are the steps on the frame part of the frame and unfinished?

George

From what I can see in the photos and from my memory the steps are brass and they are either spot welded or riveted to the frame.

Northwoods Flyer

Greg

 

George,

There are several variations of the cars over the years.  The changes over the years are as follows:

Steps - riveted to frame (typically brass), spot welded to frame (painted the same color as frame), new frame with steps as part of frame

Labeling - 3210 & American Flyer plates, all American Flyer plates, all decals

tank support finish - it varies

tank ends - they vary

domes - brass or nickel

I posted all of the 1928 through 1937 tank car variations in last weekend's tinplate photos, so review that for the various configurations.  

NWL

Last edited by Nation Wide Lines
Nation Wide Lines posted:

George,

There are several variations of the cars over the years.  The changes over the years are as follows:

Steps - riveted to frame (typically brass), spot welded to frame (painted the same color as frame), new frame with steps as part of frame

Labeling - 3210 & American Flyer plates, all American Flyer plates, all decals

tank support finish - it varies

tank ends - they vary

domes - brass or nickel

I posted all of the 1928 through 1937 tank car variations in last weekend's tinplate photos, so review that for the various configurations.  

NWL

It looks like I bought a newer one. So, it won't be a real replica. It will just have that gorgeous paint color. My dome is nickel. The steps are part of the frame. It doesn't have plates, just decals. I'll have to make some choices on how to address the steps and the ends. First job will be to get the rust off, disassemble it, strip the paint and get the parts clean.

George

Jim Waterman posted:

Now the fun begins.

Jim

Yep, it's sitting in the EvapoRust right now. There is some pretty good damage to some of the parts. I'm considering scrapping the railing and replacing it with new brass stock. 

George

This is just to test the paint color. It’s midnight blue satin. It still came out glossy, but a Scotch Bright pad takes the shine off. Now I need to strip it and do it right. 
E0BB522A-761A-47D8-A3D8-43A141B1A878

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Here are the two cars I built / restored. In researching the Ives 122 tank car on the Ives Society website, I learned an early version of the 122 had blank plates. So mine is modeled after that. I have the decals for the AF tank car but haven’t got them on yet. I had to use some artistic license on the 3210. Making it look exactly like the original would have cost me ten times what this did.

CF202B84-39A0-415D-897C-F1B7751BE83258955660-D412-4106-A6ED-0CE51211DCA3

I also ended up with this bonus car. I had to put a Marx wheel-set on it.

image
I
 have these parts leftover.

image

I removed a lot of rust from these trains. The donor Lionel 815 was in OK condition, but it only cost me $16.

George

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@George S posted:

image

George you did a great job on your tankers. I’m sure you will get great pleasure watching them speed around your table. The 259 and its tender in the pic above caught my eye. Could you post a few more pics of those? They are a fun little piece that can be customized in so many different ways. Thanks

@Dan65train posted:

George, How did you end up fastening the tank to the frame?

I punched slots with an extra small screwdriver into a vice opened just a little larger than the tip of the screwdriver. You need to be careful lining it up and measuring. I punched from the bottom of the frame, cut off shards of tin with my Dremel and then ground it smooth with my Dremel before repainting the frame.

George

George you did a great job on your tankers. I’m sure you will get great pleasure watching them speed around your table. The 259 and its tender in the pic above caught my eye. Could you post a few more pics of those? They are a fun little piece that can be customized in so many different ways. Thanks

Thank you. I'll get some pictures this evening.

George

George you did a great job on your tankers. I’m sure you will get great pleasure watching them speed around your table. The 259 and its tender in the pic above caught my eye. Could you post a few more pics of those? They are a fun little piece that can be customized in so many different ways. Thanks

 

Here you go. I did these awhile ago.

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E5C73077-391F-49BE-AA6C-7B95E5B23D78
George

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Thanks George they look great and are certainly a fun engine that allows for a lot of creativity. 

Thank you. I actually made two of the blue one and double head them.

George

@jhz563 posted:

I am very interested in this as well.  I would like to try some scratch built tinplate cars later this year.  

As a follow up question, does anyone have a good method for a modern lithograph equivalent without the lithograph investment?  Ie digital printing directly onto the sheet metal as opposed to decals or transfers.  Google hasn't yielded much info.  

My hazy memory recalls that one of the tinplaters on here made a "lithographed" station about a year ago where they printed the wall, glued it to the sheet metal, and sprayed it with varnish.  (Any part of the preceding sentence could be a false memory.)  As I recall, the end result was pretty good, especially considering the small monetary investment. 

Search hard and you might find it. 

@Mallard4468 posted:

My hazy memory recalls that one of the tinplaters on here made a "lithographed" station about a year ago where they printed the wall, glued it to the sheet metal, and sprayed it with varnish.  (Any part of the preceding sentence could be a false memory.)  As I recall, the end result was pretty good, especially considering the small monetary investment. 

Search hard and you might find it. 

Yep, that was me.

George

@George S posted:

Yep, that was me.

George

George, I just checked out your litho station. Fabulous, and it got me thinking I haven't seen any progress reports on your layout lately. Have you been working on it?

@Will posted:

George, I just checked out your litho station. Fabulous, and it got me thinking I haven't seen any progress reports on your layout lately. Have you been working on it?

Thanks for asking.

My layout is operational. I'm enjoying running trains on it. There are a few things to do, but none are essential. For example, I never glued the felt down. It's all just loose laid. I haven't wired my yard or powered any tracks in the engine facility or turntable area. I'm spending time tuning and fixing trains that aren't running right at this point. Still acquiring more trains...  You'd think I have enough at this point!

I have some light pole accessories I haven't installed. I haven't decided where I want them yet. I did add some additional track lighting to the ceiling to illuminate an area of the layout that was a little dark. There is a little room for an extension to the layout too, but I haven't spent much time planning it.

George

@George S posted:

Here are the two cars I built / restored. In researching the Ives 122 tank car on the Ives Society website, I learned an early version of the 122 had blank plates. So mine is modeled after that. I have the decals for the AF tank car but haven’t got them on yet. I had to use some artistic license on the 3210. Making it look exactly like the original would have cost me ten times what this did.

CF202B84-39A0-415D-897C-F1B7751BE832

 

I removed a lot of rust from these trains. The donor Lionel 815 was in OK condition, but it only cost me $16.

George

There is an Ives 122 tank car in nice condition for sale on eBay. It's already out of my price range. I suspect it will close even higher with 14 bids already. A set with this car in it sold for over $2700 in a Lloyd Ralston auction a few weeks ago. I guess I will need to be content with what I have...

George

@George S posted:

There is an Ives 122 tank car in nice condition for sale on eBay. It's already out of my price range. I suspect it will close even higher with 14 bids already. A set with this car in it sold for over $2700 in a Lloyd Ralston auction a few weeks ago. I guess I will need to be content with what I have...

George

Wow! It’s up to $395 with two hours to go in the auction!

George

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