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Author Topic: Making and adding weights  (Read 1246 times)
Terry Toenges


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« on: January 12, 2018, 06:30:36 PM »

For any of you folks that create your own weights for your train stuff -
I want to add some weight to my 2-6-0 so I can pull three passenger cars up my figure 8. If I crank up the speed a lot, it will pull them without much hassle. When I try to slow it down some, the wheels spin a lot and it eventually makes it inch by inch.
I have a couple of 1/4 ounce weights on the front pilot but that isn't enough. I will try to custom make some weight to fit on the cab floor and/or maybe a thin layer on the frame.
In looking at Micro-Mark, they have three types of casting metal - 160, 180, and CT.
CT is almost pure lead. 160 is tin/lead/cadmium/bismuth alloy. 280 is tin/bismuth alloy; lead and cadmium free.
Would CT be the heaviest? I know tin is lighter than lead but I don't know about cadmium or bismuth.
I don't want to mess with bullfrog snot.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 07:01:56 PM by Terry Toenges » Logged

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WoundedBear
A Derailed Drag Racer


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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 08:55:43 PM »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table

Sid
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 01:21:46 AM »

Thanks Sid. I didn't know if cadmium and bismuth were actually elements or if they, by themselves, were alloys. It's been over 50 years since I had general science in high school.
For anyone looking to buy casting metal for making weights here is a little class (from Wikipedia) on what's what. Smiley
For the sometimes scientifically challenged like me, the "α" is for the Greek letter "a" and the "β" is for the Greek letter "b". I guess to scientists, that's easier than saying gray or white. "g/cm3" is "grams per cubic centimeter".
The higher the density, the heavier it is.
What's interesting is that Bismuth is heavier than Cadmium but has a lower melting point.
Also, Wikipedia shows that gray and white tin have different densities but the same melting point. What I kind of suspected all along is that "lead" is the heaviest but it also has to be heated the hottest to be melted and poured.
Tin: Density - gray, α: 5.769 g/cm3, Melting point - 449.47 F
Tin: Density - white β:7.265 g/cm3, Melting point - 449.47 F
Cadmium: Density - 8.65 g/cm3, Melting point - 609.93 F
Bismuth Density - 9.78 g/cm3, Melting point - 520.7 F
Lead: Density - 11.34 g/cm3, Melting point - 621.43 F
Don't even be thinking about asking me about their electron configuration, molar heat capacity, covalent radius, or any of the moduli of any of these because I don't know what they mean anyway. Grin
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 01:29:28 AM by Terry Toenges » Logged

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dutchbuilder


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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 07:55:25 AM »

Guys try to keep it simple, I use slabs of old roofing lead.
Or don't you use that in the states?

Ton
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jward


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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 09:02:36 AM »

Here is the states lead is considered a health risk. I've heard of copper roofs but never lead ones.

Back to the original post: if there is room I like to use pennies for weights. I don't care what you are buying to use as weight, it can't be cheaper than the good ole penny. I would guess in an HO steamer you ought to be able to put several in the cab. You'd definitely be able to put more in a larger scale like On30.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Len

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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 10:25:08 AM »

The local tire place has a box they toss used balancing weights in. They let the local 'black powder' group have them to melt down for musket balls. I snag a few now an then to hamer into strips for making car and loco weights.

Len
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dutchbuilder


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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 12:03:14 PM »

Here is the states lead is considered a health risk. I've heard of copper roofs but never lead ones.

Back to the original post: if there is room I like to use pennies for weights. I don't care what you are buying to use as weight, it can't be cheaper than the good ole penny. I would guess in an HO steamer you ought to be able to put several in the cab. You'd definitely be able to put more in a larger scale like On30.

When you want to waterproof the transition from brick to roofing tiles builders use lead sheet because you can form it to the shape of the tiles.
That's how we do it in Holland.
And yes it is also considered a health risk here.

Ton


« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:50:51 PM by dutchbuilder » Logged
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 12:25:15 PM »

JWard - I don't know where I'd put pennies in it. It's an On30 2-6-0. The boiler extends almost to the back of the cab. They might fit on either side in the cab but then I couldn't have an engineer. They would be too wide to lay on the frame. Copper is 8.96 g/cm3 which puts it about 1/3 gram heavier than cadmium but about 3/4 of a gram lighter than bismuth in weight and 2 1/3 grams lighter than lead.
All along, I had thought about using lead but then Micromark got me wondering with their different types of metals. I wasn't expecting all the different types. I was actually just looking to see if they had smaller sizes in the lead weights than the 1/4 ounce ones. I wasn't even thinking about pouring weights until I saw that.
Now that I know what I know, I'll just go buy some fishing weights and pound them into the shape I need.
I don't want to mess with pouring them because I would have to go through the hassle of making molds out of something that wouldn't melt. That would an ordeal in itself to make the sizes that I needed.
It's a health risk but they use it on wheels. I've never seen a person at a tire shop use gloves when installing weights. I'm surprised OSHA doesn't get upset with that.
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jward


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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 03:37:25 PM »

The density of pennies is incorrect. Remember that they are copper plated zinc.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 05:53:21 PM »

Zinc falls just under white tin in weight but it's melting point is much higher. It's even lighter than copper.
Weight - 7.14 g/cm3
Melting point - ​787.15 F
I just got back from Walmart where I bought some split shot.  Smiley
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James in FL

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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 11:14:38 PM »

Terry,

The first thing I do is balance the loco (w/lead).
I then add weight (more lead) where possible and still keep the lokie balanced.
More often than not, I also add lead to the tender.

Not sure what the gain from the weight over the pilot other than maybe to keep it down on the track?
If balanced, is that weight necessary?

Good luck
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 11:17:49 PM by James in FL » Logged
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 11:40:01 PM »

The weight on the pilot has helped. I've had that on there for a while. Pulling a string of cars tends to pull the front end up some when the rear drivers are "digging in" like it wants to "pop a wheelie". The weight on the front end helps to keep the front drivers down. I experimented with it some years ago when I did it and it definitely made a difference.
Now, I'm trying to pull more up a 4% grade. I used a 3% incline starter piece at the beginning.
I tried the split shot. I bought a box of assorted sizes at Walmart. I pulled my engineer out and put three of the largest ones in the cab on each side of the boiler. I'll have to amputate my engineers torso so he will fit back in there. I'll have to figure out how to secure the shot. They aren't rolling so maybe I don't have to glue them. If I glue them, I would have to glue them to the boiler so I could still pull the cab off if needed.
It made a world of difference. I'm almost there. There is just a real small patch where it spins just before the crest of the grade. Before this, it was spinning half way up and just inching along.
I just ordered a diamond stack from Shapeways. I figure I can put a couple of the smaller shot in the stack and that should take care of it.
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dutchbuilder


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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 05:18:49 AM »

Don't make it to heavy.
There is a fine line between traction and ruining the bearings.

Ton
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 12:57:30 PM »

That gets me to wondering about Bachmann's loco production. Locos are naturally going to be heavy. Since a  DD40AX is so much heavier than an F7 do they use different bearing material for those? There's a lot of weight difference between a 4-8-8-4 compared to a 2-6-0.  How much experimentation do they do?
Does Bachmann make their own bearings or use a separate bearing manufacturer that uses different material for different locos or do they just use different sizes instead of different materials.?
I realize that the more wheels there are, the more the weight is spread out. In building locos, how much weight is allowed before another set of wheels has to added or is the amount of traction the main consideration as to how many wheels?
Then there is the cost element. Harder bearing material probably costs more.
With every comment comes new questions about which I wonder. Smiley
I'm not going to do a lot of research on it. By the time my bearings wear out, it will be an excuse to buy a new loco.
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jward


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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 01:33:41 PM »

remember the larger locomotives also have more wheels. The weight is spread out over more bearings, so they shouldn't need to be heavier. I'm sure Bachmann uses standard parts where possible, to keep costs down.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
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