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Author Topic: Weights for Flat Cars  (Read 4952 times)
BradKT

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« on: March 05, 2008, 03:58:56 AM »

What kind of weights are there or HO scale flat cars (Athearn, Bachmann)?  Who makes them and where can I find them?

If somebody doesn't make weights specially designed for flat cars, does anyone have any idea what to use instead?  Will metal trucks and wheels help?  Flat cars seem to be the one category of freight car that derails the most.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 04:18:37 AM »

Brad

A car should weigh 1/2 ounce plus an additional 1/2 ounce for every inch of length, so a 6 inch car should weigh 3-1/2 ounces minimum.

Flat cars and gondolas are difficult to add weight, no where to hide it.  I only run these cars with a cargo of some kind, so I can hide weight in the load.

A 50 ton car would have a scale weight of only about 2-1/2 ounces, which is too light.

You can buy "Tap-a-wate" stick on weights at an auto parts store and stick on the bottom as a last resort.  They are scored at 1/4 ounce increments.

Bob
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 04:20:32 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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BradKT

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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2008, 04:23:19 AM »

Good idea.  Thank you.
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r.cprmier

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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2008, 05:27:11 AM »

You can also find lead foil, and lead "wool".  I try to get the lead foil, s I can use it between the cast top and the underframe on some models.  I have used both and was not particularly overjoyed with the results.  I think the best idea is Bob's; which is use a weighted load in the cars.

Happy motoring

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
SteamGene

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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2008, 10:00:07 AM »

I use small lead birdshot and white glue it to the bottom of the car.  It makes for a messy bottom, but then the idea is to keep the "shiny side up!"  I bought a bag of small lead bird shot years ago and still have most of it. 
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2008, 12:24:41 PM »

I was going to suggest bird shot with epoxy. You could also use silicone caulk to secure the bird shot. Metal trucks will definitely help as will the old trick of having one truck snug and the other a little looser. This works but sometimes it takes some trial and error to get the trucks just right.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2008, 01:14:28 PM »

Some cars have hollow center beams, which can be filled with lead shot.   Some loads can make the car too top heavy so be careful.  metal trucks are a big help
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
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r.cprmier

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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2008, 03:07:46 PM »

using uncontained bird shot is OK; but sometimes you might find a dislodged piece in the most inconvenient of locations-such as in a turnout...
My time honoured method is to use a condom filled with the appropriate/desired amount of bird-shot (it is so tempting to mis-spell that word...relative to some of the stuff we had in SAC) and insert it nto the hollows of the cars, but a flat or gon won't hack it.

A seemingly nice idea would be to pulverize lead and mix it with a binder/adhesive, then install it.  It would go much smoother I think.

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2008, 04:31:22 PM »

A friend recently gave me a coal hopper he found at a yard sale.  It weighed 10 ounces.  Someone filled the car with ballast embedded in epoxy resin.

A box car weighed in at 8 ounces and rattled.  I cut the top off and found it was full of 16D nails.  I have found bolts, nuts, washers, one car even had locomotive castings.

I bought some K & S brass strips, 1/16" X 1" wide, 12" lengths. Kinda expensive but it can replace the light metal weights.  If the doors open on a box car, I paint the brass brown.  Drill a couple holes and screw it down to the plastic floor.  A 6" length weighs  2 ounces. 

With some flats the floor and chassis girders are separate pieces,  I paint the brass black and sandwich it between the pieces. 

My Bachmann 7" flats weighed 3 ounces stock. The low side plates hide the four  1/4 ounce  stick on weights  on the bottom, painted black.   My other flats had no place to hide them.  For gondolas I put the brass inside and cover it with a load.

Speaking of flats, when I was thinking about what to use for stakes, my wife handed me a box of flat wood toothpicks.  They are perfect, equivalent to about a scale 2 X 6.  She reminded me that sometimes we need to "think outside the box".

Bob



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I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
ebtnut

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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2008, 04:35:04 PM »

Somebody used to, or still does, make a weight material (the name Shape-a-Wate comes to mind) that was essentially powdered lead in some kind of clay that you knead and mold to fit most any crevice.  The other thing some folks have done is take regular nails and cut them to length to fit between the crossbeams and glue to the bottom of the floor.  Another option, based on the construction of the model, is to get some thin sheet lead (like roof flashing) and insert it between the car floor and the underframe.  
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2008, 07:15:32 PM »

I remember a guy who would take plain old solder off a roll, straighten it and lay it in the center sill of a car- there is usually room. The solder is just unwound off the roll and secured with some kind of adhesive. In the "old" days that would have been Walther's Goo. Metal couplers can add a tad of weight (free plug for Kadee)

I knew a guy who had a Bowser NYC K-11 and the trailing truck derailed all the time until he wound solder around the axle. I think that Bowser now includes a brass weight that goes around the axle. So I guess the problem is still there.
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Redtail67

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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2008, 11:23:33 PM »

Yampa Bob and All:

Bob that was going to be one of the next questions I had :

1. How too weigh down the  cars?

This board is very helpfull to newcomers like me. Thanks to all for the wealth of information.


Redtail67
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Guilford Guy


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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2008, 11:38:01 PM »

While Birdshot is preferable, I've had good luck by gluing pennies in IHC cars...
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Alex

grumpy

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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2008, 12:25:57 AM »

You can buy a two part epoxy that comes in a roll somewhat like a tootsie roll.The outer part has steel grindings imbedded in it . The idea is to cut off a length and rollit in your hand to blend the innner and outer parts .Then mold it into place and let it harden.
Don Cool
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RAM

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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2008, 01:13:44 AM »

try pennies
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