Thursday, July 14, 2022

PFE Class R-30-24 plywood car, Part 3

This project is a collection of parts, most given to me by Frank Hodina, to build a plywood-sheathed reefer of PFE Class R-30-24. In the previous post, I showed my pre-painting of all external car parts except the floor, and also showed use of Coffman corner clamps to assist in making square corners in assembling sides to ends. I was pleased with how neatly the clamps assisted me in making those corner joints. (To read that previous post, got to this link: .)

In the previous post,  I had made up two side-end pieces. I next joined the two remaining joints using the same method with the Coffman clamps and the 1/8-inch styrene strip inside each corner. After the first pair of side-end combinations, I made the final two joint in the same way, using the Coffman clamps. Once all glue was set and everything looked as it should, and the roof fit perfectly, I attached the roof with CA, completing the body box.

Meanwhile, I turned my attention to the floor/underframe part of the car. When working on components like this, I prefer to complete any drilling and tapping before adding any delicate parts. So my first task was to drill and tap 2-56, the truck screw holes in the bolster, and the coupler box attachment screw holes.

Next I narrowed the floor a bit to fit into the box, and then attached the car weights inside (atop the floor). I used my usual car weights, a pair of 5/8-inch steel nuts, held down with canopy glue. I’ve identified one end as the B or “brake” end.

Next, I turned the floor over and added the coupler boxes (so they could get painted with the rest of the underbody). With that done, I could proceed with adding the cross-bearers. For a glimpse of the prototype, here is an interesting Pullman photo (1926; courtesy Donald Duke) of a Class R-30-13 car, with the underframe whitewashed.

 In this photo, you can see the four cross-bearers, and their curved ends. This is the “railroad-design” (as PFE called it) built-up underframe with twin center sills. Note also that the brake cylinder (seen on the other side of the center sill) is not below the sills.

The model parts I was given included white metal castings of these crossbearers. I simply attached them with canopy glue. In the photo below, the floor is resting on the steel nuts. 

The next step was to add brake gear. At the time of the plywood rebuilds, AB brake gear had been standard for many years. I used a spare InterMountain brake set, and cut it into two pieces to fit around the double center sill.

This has gone well so far. Next I need to add the body details, to which I will turn in a future post.

Tony Thompson

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am adding Kadee's Apex Running boards to some carsc and wonder if you have any hints on how to weather them (the cars are already weathered). I am using your acrylic wash method with just neutral gray. I tried doing one before installation and it dulled slightly. I also tried installing one and then weathering. In both cases though it seems that by the time you get all, or most, of the holes cleared you have precious little left o top.
    Thank you'
    Jim Pattison