Ore Cars Step 16 – Wire grabs

The last step in the assembly of these ore cars takes place on the ends, and is another very finicky part of the project.  Both ends of the car have an angled grab iron in the bottom right corner, and at the same corner there are two grabs that wrap around from the end to the side of the car.  Because the floor on these cars is rather high, and because workers had to walk to the end of the car to manually open the doors in the floor, a pair of U-shaped safety bars extend down from the last cross rib.  There is also a handrail from the sides into the centre of the car.  And, of course, there is a coupler lift bar at each end.  Some of that detail is visible in this shot by Jurgen Kleylein.

Here ares some shots of the first model I finished.

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I put this first car together late one evening, and then took a closer look at a number of photos of these cars on the Canadian Freight Car Gallery site, only to discover that the configuration of end grabs on these cars varies a bit.  The photos show the cars after they’ve been reconfigured to work with a rotary dumper, and by that time some of them might have had repairs and modifications to the grabs as well.  The kit has dimples for the grab iron locations as you see in my photos, which are probably accurate for the car or cars that the kit was modelled after, but does not represent the car in its as-built condition.

All of the corner grabs have to bent by hand, so I built a jig and used .012″ brass wire for these. I found it too difficult to work with steel wire, but your mileage may vary. This step in the process involved many evenings of patient bending and fitting using my home-made jig, a variety of small metal brakes and pliers, and the help of a magnifying visor.

The car in the photos above is going to stay in the configuration its in.   It will have to represent a car that had some damage and was quickly repaired at the Sudbury car shops.  I’ll get a detailed shot of one of cars with the as-built grab irons and post it later.

The next step is pretty simple: paint.

I had promised to post a photo of the “as-built” end grab irons.  Here it is…

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