Discussion:
I need an answer a hobby question I was asked
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Anthony
2008-07-18 10:41:40 UTC
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HELP!!

I have a Bachmann set and have some freight cars that wheels and bogies
missing.

How can I tell the difference between 33" and 36". Is there a way of
measuring them.

Should I get go with Kadee for my wheels, bogies and couplers or stay with
Bachmann.

I would like to have them all the same so I would change the Bachmann if I
needed to

Regards

Anthony

Any help or web links or articles in model railroader woold be appreciated

Thanks in advances I saw some where articles but cant seam to track them
down

email me theantman1@(nospamplease)aapt.net.au

remove the brackets to get the correct address
w***@mtholyoke.edu
2008-07-18 13:28:25 UTC
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Post by Anthony
HELP!!
I have a Bachmann set and have some freight cars that wheels and bogies
missing.
How can I tell the difference between 33" and 36". Is there a way of
measuring them.
Yes, you can measure them. Go to your tool catalog and look for calipers
and/or micrometers.

Digital calipers are pretty versatile and not all that expensive.
Probably all measure in either inches or mm. You will have to convert the
measurement to scale terms.


--
Bill Kaiser
***@mtholyoke.edu

There are three ways to do a job: good, cheap, and quick.
You can have any two.
A good, cheap job won't be quick.
A good, quick job won't be cheap.
A cheap, quick job won't be good.
Twibil
2008-07-24 07:28:12 UTC
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Digital calipers are pretty versatile and not all that expensive.  
Probably all measure in either inches or mm.  You will have to convert the
measurement to scale terms.
Micro-Mark once sold (and mayhap still do) an inexpensive plastic dial
-that's NON-digital- caliper that reads out directly in HO gauge feet
and inches. (Three HO gauge feet per one revolution around the dial.)

Pretty accurate, very handy for scratch-building, and I use mine quite
frequently.

-Pete
Val
2008-07-24 20:09:58 UTC
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I don't see the HO caliper on MicroMark today, but have seen it in the past.
There's at least one offered on eBay right now.

What I'd like to know is why there aren't digital calipers out in
HO/N/O/G/whatever scales. It's just a matter of modifying a bit of code for
the display. They make digital calipers now that will read out in fractions
of an inch ( 1/2, 1/3, 7/32....), so why not it model scale dimensions?

Val
Post by w***@mtholyoke.edu
Digital calipers are pretty versatile and not all that expensive.
Probably all measure in either inches or mm. You will have to convert the
measurement to scale terms.
Micro-Mark once sold (and mayhap still do) an inexpensive plastic dial
-that's NON-digital- caliper that reads out directly in HO gauge feet
and inches. (Three HO gauge feet per one revolution around the dial.)

Pretty accurate, very handy for scratch-building, and I use mine quite
frequently.

-Pete
Greg Procter
2008-07-24 21:00:54 UTC
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Hi Val,

the problem, probably, would be in marketing.
Someone would have to order the minimum number that a manufacturer would
produce (thousands) and then sell them quickly enough to make the
transaction worthwhile.
It would be much easier if the US gave up on those archaic measurements
you use, and if you gave up having non-standard modelling scales. Given
that, a single order could be sold world-wide.

Regards,
Greg.P.
Post by Val
I don't see the HO caliper on MicroMark today, but have seen it in the past.
There's at least one offered on eBay right now.
What I'd like to know is why there aren't digital calipers out in
HO/N/O/G/whatever scales. It's just a matter of modifying a bit of code for
the display. They make digital calipers now that will read out in fractions
of an inch ( 1/2, 1/3, 7/32....), so why not it model scale dimensions?
Val
Post by w***@mtholyoke.edu
Digital calipers are pretty versatile and not all that expensive.
Probably all measure in either inches or mm. You will have to convert the
measurement to scale terms.
Micro-Mark once sold (and mayhap still do) an inexpensive plastic dial
-that's NON-digital- caliper that reads out directly in HO gauge feet
and inches. (Three HO gauge feet per one revolution around the dial.)
Pretty accurate, very handy for scratch-building, and I use mine quite
frequently.
-Pete
Val
2008-07-25 01:06:15 UTC
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The problem's not with our "archaic measurements" - my digital caliper works
in both inches and metric, just press a button.

Heck, the problem doesn't even have to be tooling for one scale or another -
the display could scroll through any/all of the scales with one button. It's
all just software (well, firmware.)

Val

"Greg Procter" <***@ihug.co.nz> wrote in message news:***@ihug.co.nz...
Hi Val,

the problem, probably, would be in marketing.
Someone would have to order the minimum number that a manufacturer would
produce (thousands) and then sell them quickly enough to make the
transaction worthwhile.
It would be much easier if the US gave up on those archaic measurements
you use, and if you gave up having non-standard modelling scales. Given
that, a single order could be sold world-wide.

Regards,
Greg.P.
Post by Val
I don't see the HO caliper on MicroMark today, but have seen it in the past.
There's at least one offered on eBay right now.
What I'd like to know is why there aren't digital calipers out in
HO/N/O/G/whatever scales. It's just a matter of modifying a bit of code for
the display. They make digital calipers now that will read out in fractions
of an inch ( 1/2, 1/3, 7/32....), so why not it model scale dimensions?
Val
Post by w***@mtholyoke.edu
Digital calipers are pretty versatile and not all that expensive.
Probably all measure in either inches or mm. You will have to convert the
measurement to scale terms.
Micro-Mark once sold (and mayhap still do) an inexpensive plastic dial
-that's NON-digital- caliper that reads out directly in HO gauge feet
and inches. (Three HO gauge feet per one revolution around the dial.)
Pretty accurate, very handy for scratch-building, and I use mine quite
frequently.
-Pete
Greg Procter
2008-07-25 02:11:25 UTC
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Hi Val,

the only "scale" caliper I'm aware of and the only one mentioned here as
having been produced was the mechanical dial (HO) one. In that case the
potential market was only the USa modelling US prototypes in HO and
modellers outside the US modelling US prototypes in HO. I considered
buying one, but I model in metric measurements to a scale of 1:87.
I'll certainly agree that a digital caliper that could be scaled in
metric, imperial and other measurements would be marketable world-wide
and would probably be saleable for other uses besides model railways!
I'd probably buy one myself!

Regards,
Greg.P.
Post by Val
The problem's not with our "archaic measurements" - my digital caliper works
in both inches and metric, just press a button.
Heck, the problem doesn't even have to be tooling for one scale or another -
the display could scroll through any/all of the scales with one button. It's
all just software (well, firmware.)
Val
Hi Val,
the problem, probably, would be in marketing.
Someone would have to order the minimum number that a manufacturer would
produce (thousands) and then sell them quickly enough to make the
transaction worthwhile.
It would be much easier if the US gave up on those archaic measurements
you use, and if you gave up having non-standard modelling scales. Given
that, a single order could be sold world-wide.
Regards,
Greg.P.
Post by Val
I don't see the HO caliper on MicroMark today, but have seen it in the past.
There's at least one offered on eBay right now.
What I'd like to know is why there aren't digital calipers out in
HO/N/O/G/whatever scales. It's just a matter of modifying a bit of code for
the display. They make digital calipers now that will read out in fractions
of an inch ( 1/2, 1/3, 7/32....), so why not it model scale dimensions?
Val
Post by w***@mtholyoke.edu
Digital calipers are pretty versatile and not all that expensive.
Probably all measure in either inches or mm. You will have to convert the
measurement to scale terms.
Micro-Mark once sold (and mayhap still do) an inexpensive plastic dial
-that's NON-digital- caliper that reads out directly in HO gauge feet
and inches. (Three HO gauge feet per one revolution around the dial.)
Pretty accurate, very handy for scratch-building, and I use mine quite
frequently.
-Pete
Wolf Kirchmeir
2008-07-18 14:23:33 UTC
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Post by Anthony
HELP!!
I have a Bachmann set and have some freight cars that wheels and bogies
missing.
How can I tell the difference between 33" and 36". Is there a way of
measuring them.
Yes, as Bill K. advises.

OTOH, you don't need to measure them. With very few exceptions, Bachmann
freight cars use 33" wheels. You buy wheel-sets by wheel size.

If trucks and couplers are missing, you can buy trucks with couplers
attached (but not from Bachmann), or trucks without couplers plus
couplers separately for body-mounting.
Post by Anthony
Should I get go with Kadee for my wheels, bogies and couplers or stay with
Bachmann.
Go with metal wheels (any brand will do). Any brand of knuckle couplers
with metal knuckle springs will do, too, just make sure they fit any
coupler boxes you may have, or buy sets complete with coupler boxes.
Some people swear that it's better to use a single brand of coupler, but
I've not found that to be a problem. You also need a coupler height
gauge (Kadee makes one), to ensure uniform and correct mounting height.
This is essential!
Post by Anthony
I would like to have them all the same so I would change the Bachmann if I
needed to
Well, you should have all care with truck-mounted couplers, or else all
cars with body-mounted couplers. You can mix brands, they will work just
fine with each other, but you may have to devise a method mounting the
trucks - that is the one area where we don't have standardisation yet,
unfortunately. (One of the blessings of having the National Model
Railroad Association is that they have worked to promote and maintain
standards for interchangeability. Thus we in Canada and the US don't
need to limit ourselves to one brand of anything.)

If you body mount couplers on these cars, you will also have to use a
mounting pad so that the coupler is at the correct height. I've found
plastic bag closures to be a good source for this. They come in a range
of thicknesses, one of which will be just right for a given car.

It's also important to add weight so that all the cars weigh close to
the same. Mixing light and heavy cars will cause trouble sooner or
later. The NMRA recommends 1oz plus 1/2oz for every inch of length,
which works out to 4-1/2oz for a 40ft boxcar. You don't have to follow
this exactly, an ounce more or less makes little difference, just be
consistent.

I would however advise you to think seriously about whether it's worth
repairing train-set quality cars. Many Bachmann cars have excellent body
moldings, and are worth upgrading to metal wheels and body mounted
couplers, but others are not. It will cost you $4 or more to fit new
parts, plus your time. OTOH, upgrading cheap cars is a good way to
develop skills. And it feels good to convert junk into usable models. So
do what's most satisfying for you. ;-)

HTH
--
wolf k.
Wolf Kirchmeir
2008-07-18 16:05:17 UTC
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Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:
[...]
Post by Wolf Kirchmeir
It's also important to add weight so that all the cars weigh close to
the same. Mixing light and heavy cars will cause trouble sooner or
later. The NMRA recommends 1oz plus 1/2oz for every inch of length,
which works out to 4-1/2oz for a 40ft boxcar. You don't have to follow
this exactly, an ounce more or less makes little difference, just be
consistent.
[...]

Sorry that should be 3-1/2 oz for a 40ft boxcar.
--
wolf k.
Bill Whale
2008-07-24 02:01:27 UTC
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You can buy cheap "vernier calipers", for a couple of dollars or so, in
"Chinese $2 shops" which are good enough for distinguishing between 9.5 mm
wheels (33") or 10.5 mm wheels (36"). You measure across the tread of the
wheel, not the flange. After a while you can tell by eye-balling them what
size is what.

Most North American rolling stock seems to have 33" wheels as standard,
whereas, I think I am correct in saying that most Australian rolling stock
has 36" wheels, although I know there are examples of smaller wheels in
Australia..

Wolf has given you excellent advice. One thing he didnt mention is axle
lengths. This is quite variable between manufacturers and even 0.5mm makes
a difference. It could mean the difference between the wheels falling out
every time you pick up the wagon, or the wheels being too tight (ever so
slightly) and causing the wagon to not roll freely. This applies if you are,
say, replacing plastic wheels with metal in a particular bogie. If you buy
the bogies and wheels as a complete set, they should be ok. Even then, a
bogie might not roll freely, because there is a little "dag"(a raised burr
as a result of manufacture) right on the end of the pinpoint of the axle. A
number of times I've found this, even with reputable suppliers like Steam
Era, and have corrected it by gently removing the burr with a fine abrasive
stone.

Would be interested to hear how you go with this project.

......................................Bill
Post by Wolf Kirchmeir
Post by Anthony
HELP!!
I have a Bachmann set and have some freight cars that wheels and bogies
missing.
How can I tell the difference between 33" and 36". Is there a way of
measuring them.
Yes, as Bill K. advises.
OTOH, you don't need to measure them. With very few exceptions, Bachmann
freight cars use 33" wheels. You buy wheel-sets by wheel size.
If trucks and couplers are missing, you can buy trucks with couplers
attached (but not from Bachmann), or trucks without couplers plus couplers
separately for body-mounting.
Post by Anthony
Should I get go with Kadee for my wheels, bogies and couplers or stay
with Bachmann.
Go with metal wheels (any brand will do). Any brand of knuckle couplers
with metal knuckle springs will do, too, just make sure they fit any
coupler boxes you may have, or buy sets complete with coupler boxes. Some
people swear that it's better to use a single brand of coupler, but I've
not found that to be a problem. You also need a coupler height gauge
(Kadee makes one), to ensure uniform and correct mounting height. This is
essential!
Post by Anthony
I would like to have them all the same so I would change the Bachmann if
I needed to
Well, you should have all care with truck-mounted couplers, or else all
cars with body-mounted couplers. You can mix brands, they will work just
fine with each other, but you may have to devise a method mounting the
trucks - that is the one area where we don't have standardisation yet,
unfortunately. (One of the blessings of having the National Model Railroad
Association is that they have worked to promote and maintain standards for
interchangeability. Thus we in Canada and the US don't need to limit
ourselves to one brand of anything.)
If you body mount couplers on these cars, you will also have to use a
mounting pad so that the coupler is at the correct height. I've found
plastic bag closures to be a good source for this. They come in a range of
thicknesses, one of which will be just right for a given car.
It's also important to add weight so that all the cars weigh close to the
same. Mixing light and heavy cars will cause trouble sooner or later. The
NMRA recommends 1oz plus 1/2oz for every inch of length, which works out
to 4-1/2oz for a 40ft boxcar. You don't have to follow this exactly, an
ounce more or less makes little difference, just be consistent.
I would however advise you to think seriously about whether it's worth
repairing train-set quality cars. Many Bachmann cars have excellent body
moldings, and are worth upgrading to metal wheels and body mounted
couplers, but others are not. It will cost you $4 or more to fit new
parts, plus your time. OTOH, upgrading cheap cars is a good way to develop
skills. And it feels good to convert junk into usable models. So do what's
most satisfying for you. ;-)
HTH
--
wolf k.
Twibil
2008-07-24 07:40:43 UTC
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Post by Bill Whale
Most North American rolling stock seems to have 33" wheels as standard,
whereas, I think I am correct in saying that most Australian rolling stock
has 36" wheels, although I know there are examples of smaller wheels in
Australia..
Correction:

Most older American freight rolling stock used 33" wheels, but many
modern freight cars are now using larger diameters as mainline freight
train speeds increase.

Most American passenger equipment used 36" wheels so that the wheels
would revolve less times per mile, thus cutting the total amount of
friction on wheel bearings that were rotating at -relatively- high
speeds as compared to a freight wheel. (This was before the advent of
roller bearings.)

-Pete
Bill Whale
2008-07-27 13:33:27 UTC
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Point well made, Pete. However, most American HO rolling stock seems to come
with 9.5 mm (33")wheels.

I've come across the problem of wanting to change over to 10.5 mm wheels in
certain bogies only to find that even that extra 1mm causes the flanges to
rub on the underside of the wagon. Of course, you then pack up the pivot
point with a washer, but this then makes the wagon sit a little bit high and
it doesnt look quite right........and it wobbles a bit...........then you
upset the couple height.........

Now that you mention it, I think I recall Kadee selling packs of 36"
passenger coach wheel sets.

...................................................Bill
Post by Bill Whale
Most North American rolling stock seems to have 33" wheels as standard,
whereas, I think I am correct in saying that most Australian rolling stock
has 36" wheels, although I know there are examples of smaller wheels in
Australia..
Correction:

Most older American freight rolling stock used 33" wheels, but many
modern freight cars are now using larger diameters as mainline freight
train speeds increase.

Most American passenger equipment used 36" wheels so that the wheels
would revolve less times per mile, thus cutting the total amount of
friction on wheel bearings that were rotating at -relatively- high
speeds as compared to a freight wheel. (This was before the advent of
roller bearings.)

-Pete
Wolf Kirchmeir
2008-07-27 15:24:13 UTC
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Post by Bill Whale
I've come across the problem of wanting to change over to 10.5 mm wheels in
certain bogies only to find that even that extra 1mm causes the flanges to
rub on the underside of the wagon.
a) Several of the articulated intermodal cars have 28" wheels on the
articulation trucks, and 33" or 36" wheels on the end trucks. There are
now some unit-train cars that ride on 38" wheels.... The more finicky
your are about prototypical accuracy, the more research you'll have to
do, which may develop into a hobby all its own, and take away from model
railroading. ;-)

b) If you use RP 25 wheels, you shouldn't have a problem. Since you
refer to 10.5mm rather than 36" wheels, my guess is that you used some
UK or European products with deep flanges. Anyhow, I've not had a
problem installing 36" wheels on freight cars that should have them.
OTOH, I have had problems installing 36" wheels on Rivarossi etc
passenger cars, as their trucks are made for smaller wheels, and the
cast-on brake shoes interfere with the larger, correctly sized wheels.
Post by Bill Whale
Of course, you then pack up the pivot
point with a washer, but this then makes the wagon sit a little bit high and
it doesnt look quite right........and it wobbles a bit...........then you
upset the couple height.........
Now that you mention it, I think I recall Kadee selling packs of 36"
passenger coach wheel sets.
So do Atlas, Branchline, Jaybee, Proto 2000, North west Short Line, and
Walthers. Several of these also offer 28" and other odd sizes.

HTH
--
wolf k.
Paul Newhouse
2008-07-27 19:47:48 UTC
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Post by Wolf Kirchmeir
Post by Bill Whale
I've come across the problem of wanting to change over to 10.5 mm wheels in
certain bogies only to find that even that extra 1mm causes the flanges to
rub on the underside of the wagon.
a) Several of the articulated intermodal cars have 28" wheels on the
articulation trucks, and 33" or 36" wheels on the end trucks.
Some of the articulated well cars have 33" on the end (non-shared rucks) and 38" shared trucks.
The standard tri-level autoracks have 28" wheels. I believe the AutoMax's are all 33" wheels.

What cars have shared 28" wheels?

Paul
--
Excuse me, I'll be right back. I have to log onto a server in Romania
and verify all of my EBay, PayPal, bank and Social Security information
before they suspend my accounts.

Working the rockie road of the G&PX
Wolf Kirchmeir
2008-07-28 01:20:49 UTC
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Post by Paul Newhouse
Post by Wolf Kirchmeir
Post by Bill Whale
I've come across the problem of wanting to change over to 10.5 mm wheels in
certain bogies only to find that even that extra 1mm causes the flanges to
rub on the underside of the wagon.
a) Several of the articulated intermodal cars have 28" wheels on the
articulation trucks, and 33" or 36" wheels on the end trucks.
Some of the articulated well cars have 33" on the end (non-shared rucks) and 38" shared trucks.
The standard tri-level autoracks have 28" wheels. I believe the AutoMax's are all 33" wheels.
What cars have shared 28" wheels?
Sorry, I misremembered. My bad.
Post by Paul Newhouse
Paul
--
Excuse me, I'll be right back. I have to log onto a server in Romania
and verify all of my EBay, PayPal, bank and Social Security information
before they suspend my accounts.
Working the rockie road of the G&PX
--
wolf k.
Twibil
2008-07-27 19:06:35 UTC
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Now that you mention it, I think I recall Kadee selling  packs of  36"
passenger coach wheel sets.
Quite a few companies sell replacement HO wheelsets in both 33" and
36" diameters.

-Pete
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