On freight cars that we install wire grab irons on may require the fasteners or rivets for the grab irons also be added. Various methods are used to add the fasteners or rivets for wire grab irons or ladders, consisting of grab irons, when added to a freight car model. The two most often used methods are: one, purchased rivets are cut off sprue and installed at each leg of a grab iron in a hole drilled to receive them and second rivets are harvested/cut off another model and installed one at a time at each leg of the grab iron. Both methods produce good looking grab iron fasteners; however, both take time to complete the task.
The Accurail freight car I was working required 38 18” grab irons. I installed 18” wire grab irons I bent in holes I had previously drilled with a #79 drill. I now needed to add the grab iron fasteners. I was not looking forward the task. Then for whatever reason, I had an idea to do it quickly and easily using Tichy Train Group (Tichy) #3062, 18” ladder rungs. The idea provided the following method.
|Grab irons holes drilled with #79 drill before|
wire grab irons installed. Note sill grab iron
holes not yet drilled.
(Click or tap on this or any image to enlarge)
I pulled out a package of Tichy #3062, 18” ladder rungs with fasteners. I used a new single edge razor blade (SERB) to cut the rung from the sprue.
|Tichy Train Group 18" Ladder Rungs|
I installed Tichy ladder rungs by picking a cut off rung up with a tweezer and touching only the fastener on each end into Testors Cement in a tube and placing it on the car above an installed wire grab iron. I used Testors tube cement because this was a plastic car and plastic Tichy part. A CA gel could have been used if preferred and is what I would use on a resin or another material freight car.
On the end sill I installed the Tichy ladder rungs without having installed wire grabs first. The reason is I used the Tichy ladder rung fasteners, after rung cut off, to provide the location for the holes to be drilled for a wire grab iron install.
|Note the ladder rungs installed on end sill|
to provide location to drill holes for
wire grabs to be installed after rung
portion is cut off.
Once all the Tichy ladder rungs were placed above the wire grab irons I used a SERB to cut off the rung portion leaving the grab iron fastener or rivet. I now had a wire grab with a fastener at each leg. If you are not careful when touching the fasteners on the end of the rung to cement and get cement under the rung portion you may end up with rung sticking and not want to come off easily as happened with the second rung removal in the photo below.
|Ladder rungs cut at fasteners with|
SERB and removed. Note the sill grab iron
fasteners provide the location to drill
wire grab iron holes.
With fasteners/rivets installed, the paint was applied next. After painting some fasteners still required clean up and paint touch up.
|Tichy ladder rung remaining fasteners or rivets|
after paint applied.
Of course, this method works on the sides of a freight car as on the the “B” end shown above.
|Some Tichy ladders rung cut off at fasteners|
or rivets and a few left to do.
I have not seen this grab iron fastener/rivet method described in print or have I had anyone describe this method to me before so I thought I would share it here on my blog with you. I hope you will give this fast and easy method of installing wire grab iron fasteners/rivets when needed a try. Just another method to help one in detailing and producing a better freight car.
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