Assembly Instructions and Parts List
1-1/2" Scale Flatcar Kit
Catalog Numbers 15C3A or 15C3B
This kit is an easy to build version of a standard wood deck flatcar. The stake pockets are riveted on to add detail without requiring all of the work of a fully riveted car.
Before You Begin
Please read all these instructions, study the drawings and look at the actual parts before starting construction. The kit requires riveting, drilling, and minor wood work to complete. It does not require skill beyond that of the average modeler. If you have questions, please ask a more experienced modeler, or contact us before proceeding.
For assembly you will require a power drill and #40 drill bits, center punch, riveting equipment (or the rivet set included along with a small hammer and punches), various C-clamps, deburring and/or filing equipment, a wood cutting saw, sandpaper, adhesive for the deck, painting equipment, and paint.
Enclosed are two drawings. One shows views of the completed car from the side (both 40 and 60 scale foot versions) and the end. Use it as your general reference for all work. An additional drawing shows the dimensions for spacing of the stake pockets and rivets to be added to the floor frame.
If you know how to do riveting (solid rivets, not “pop” rivets), have access to rivet equipment, or have someone to help you that knows how to rivet, please use the methods and equipment that are most comfortable for you to use. There are more rivets than are really needed for strength, many are for appearance only. This means that you should try to make your work look as good as possible. This is more important than some of the technical requirements where strength is required.
If you do not know how to rivet, do not worry. It is actually simple and does not require any complex equipment. Included with the kit is a “rivet set”. It is basically a round rod with a depression in one end that matches the shape of the head of the rivet. To do basic riveting:
- a. Hold the rivet set in a vise, in a hole drilled in a bench, or in a hole drilled into a heavy block of metal
- b. Place the rivet through the various layers of metal to be riveted
- c. With the rivet in the work, place the head of the rivet into the recess at the end of the rivet set
- d. Use a small hammer to “mushroom out” (flatten) the back end (the end that is inside or shows less) of the rivet until it is tight
You will quickly get a feel for how much you need to hammer on the rivet in order to get it properly set. Too little and it will feel loose. Too much and the rivet will be pounded into the hole and nothing will remain on the surface to act as a head on the inside. You will find that a number of small, light blows works better than harder ones.
On large parts, inserting the rivet set into a hole in a heavy block of metal (5 pounds or 2kg.) allows holding in one hand while pounding on the other end of the rivet. In tight corners you may need a punch to transfer the blows from the hammer to the rivet (a helper is also advisable). Parts can be temporarily held together with small screws and nuts through some of the holes while installing rivets in others.
We recommend that at least a primer be applied to any overlapping steel areas before parts are installed. No matter how tightly a joint is made or how completely the edges are painted, water can get between overlapping layers and cause rust that cannot be prevented later.
|Caution - The initial floor frame, and the finished car, are quite heavy and it is strongly recommended that at least two persons be used whenever it is being moved.
- The stake pockets are provided as investment castings. These require minor clean up to prepare them for use. You may use a file, sander, or grinder to remove any excess material from the edge or back of the casting. Your goal here should be to make them all the same and to provide a flat rear surface for mounting to the car.
- The stake pockets must be drilled for mounting. The suggested hole locations are shown in the drawing. Lay out, center punch and drill these holes using a #40 drill.
- Note: Because you have a number of stake pockets to do, you may want to make a “jig” for drilling these holes. A piece of scrap steel having holes to guide the drill and edges, stops, or pins to locate the edges of the stake pocket is all that is required.
- The floor frame is provided fully welded together with coupler mounting and truck mounting holes drilled. As you can see from the overall drawing, there are side and end flanges on the floor. These are where you will install the stake pockets.
- You must lay out and drill the holes for the rivets in the floor frame. A drawing is included that shows a suggested spacing for the stake pockets in the horizontal direction. Vertical positioning should be in the center of the end or narrow portions of the side flanges. Where the side flange becomes wider the stake pockets should remain the same distance down from the top of the floor. You may modify this design if you wish. Additional stake pockets are available from us.
- Verify that all stake pockets are properly spaced and in a straight row. Uneven spacing is difficult to notice but crooked or uneven alignment will detract from the appearance of the car.
- Drill all these holes in the floor frame using a #40 drill. It is easiest to clamp the stake pocket in place and drill through it into the floor frame. If using this method use care to make sure that the drill does not drift sideways and make an oversize hole. The steel of the floor frame is harder than the stake pocket and can cause this problem. You may also lay out and drill the holes individually, or use a jig. Be sure that the holes go straight through and that they are not uneven or oversize. Deburr both sides of the holes as required being careful not to enlarge or countersink the holes.
- Using the rivets provided, install the stake pockets on to the floor frame..
- We recommend painting before installation of the wood to make sure that the steel will not rust beneath the deck. There are many painting systems available and they are constantly changing. You should check with a supplier that furnishes paint for automotive or heavy equipment use to locate a system that will provide the long life in the outdoors application typical of these cars.
- The decking may be held in place by many methods. On the prototype carriage bolts were used but bolts small enough to be scale size are not available. You may use drive pins or round headed nails driven into the wood to simulate these bolts if desired (not included).
- The wood decking boards mount crosswise to the car with the joint between two boards at the lengthwise center of the car. The wood comes precut to nominal length but you must notch the boards that go above the stake pockets. This notch, for the side stake pockets, will reduce the width of the board by 3/8” (half of the stake width since each pocket is directly below the joint between two boards) and should be deep enough so that the notch is directly above the flange of the floor frame (where the back of a stake would go in inserted into the pocket). The last board at each end must also have notches cut into it directly above the opening in the end stake pockets.. Those boards located where the coupler mounting bolts or truck mounting bolts are must have holes to fit these bolt heads. You should lay out all of the deck and verify its fit before attaching any of it. Do not attempt to fit the wood too tightly, wood will expand and contract with moisture and the movement can damage the car unless space is allowed.
- When the deck is fitted to your satisfaction the boards should be sanded smooth. Use care to not round the edges or corners. We recommend sealing the wood. A polyurethane stain and sealer is available in many color at hardware stores and works well outdoors. A dark brown is closest to what most lumber on real cars looked like after being in service for some time.
- 12. The deck is attached to the floor with an adhesive (not included). You should select a product that is available to you, that is strong enough to hold, and that does not contain solvents that will damage the paint underneath it. Glues used in woodworking will typically not bond to the painted metal. Very hard adhesives can break loose with movement of the wood, thermal expansion of the metal, of flexing in operation. We have found that a marine (boat) sealant and adhesive used to attach teak wood decks to fiberglass boats works the best. If provides a strong hold, is easy to work with, and can be removed if necessary to repair damage.
- A hole is provided at each end of the floor for coupler attachment. Unless ordered otherwise, the position of this hole is for the use of standard loop shank couplers (the kind with springs in the shank) and is 2 1/4” (57mm) in from the end of the tube. Cars ordered for use with our train sets (which have a minimum track radius of 10 feet) will have the hole 1” (25mm) in from the end of the tube. If your car is not correct for your couplers and track layout additional holes should be drilled. The length of your coupler shank must allow the coupler to project far enough to swing freely. Most standard couplers have a shank that is 3/4 inch (19mm) high. If yours is thicker than this it will be necessary to mill, file or grind it to this thickness. If you are unable to do this yourself and cannot find someone in your area please contact us. If your coupler shank is considerably thinner than this dimension you should add washers (not included) above and below the coupler at the coupler pin to place the coupler vertically in the center of the opening. Your coupler shank should have a nominal 3/8” hole for the coupler pin. The hole should allow a slightly loose fit so that the coupler swings freely without allowing excessive play (slightly larger or smaller holes can be produced with letter size drills). If a hole is not provided in your coupler, or if it is too small, it must be drilled. Use care in locating this hole so that it is not so close to the side or end of the coupler shank that it weakens it. If the hole provided is too large it should be reduced in diameter with a bushing (not included). The floor is shipped with two clevis pins and spring clips for coupler mounting. The clevis pin installs from the top of the floor and should be fastened firmly in place with the spring clip on the underside of the car when your couplers are installed.
- The car comes with center pivot bolts and center pivot buttons. The center pivot button is the round part that fits into the matching recess in the top of our trucks. The button is threaded and screws on to the center pivot bolt. The threads are recessed on one side, this side must go upward, towards the car floor or the bolt can not be fully tightened. Do not force or over-tighten this bolt when installing. Also supplied are nylon insert lock nuts and flat washers to be placed below the truck so that the car can be lifted with the trucks attached (optional). Coat all sliding surfaces (center pivot and rocker pads) with a heavy-duty, waterproof grease before installing the trucks. Clean these surfaces and re-coat periodically during maintenance. To install trucks it is recommended that the car be turned over on a padded surface (Caution - heavy, two persons are required). Install the trucks while upside down. If using the nuts and washers, it may be necessary to reach under the car and hold the center pivot bolt to prevent it from turning. Do not allow this bolt to come loose while tightening the nut. For other brands of trucks or other mounting methods you must design the mounting system yourself. The reliability and safety of your car, and your enjoyment of it will depend on how well you design this mounting. These instructions are provided to give the basic details for use. They are not intended in any way to be design guidance. If you do not feel comfortable doing the design yourself we strongly advise you to seek out more experienced modelers for help. If you are unsure of anything, please contact us. Your design should result in the center of the coupler opening being the correct distance above the top of the rail with a normal load on the car (for current IBLS standards this is 4 3/8” (111mm), some clubs may have other standards).
Replacement Parts List (for One Car)
|Rivet, 3/32” by 13/32” Round Head
|Center Pivot Button
|Center Pivot Bolt, 3/8-16 x 3 1/2 Socket Head Cap Screw
|Truck Mounting Nut, 3/8-16 Nylon Insert Lock Nut
|Truck Mounting Washer, 3/8 Grade 8 Flat Washer
|Coupler Mounting Clevis Pin
|Coupler Mounting Pin Spring Clip
|Grease, Waterproof Moly EP