Running board material

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hoppercar
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Running board material

Post by hoppercar » Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:45 am

Looking around, to see what other guys, are using for running board material, around and old 8000 ,gallon , single dome tank car?....right now I have wood, boards.....but somehow, it just doesn't look right?.....was thinking about some kind of grating material ?....any ideas out there?

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NP317
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Re: Running board material

Post by NP317 » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:20 am

The old full-sized 8K oil tank car I used for refueling steam locomotives had wooden running boards.
Always did and still does.
RussN

rkcarguy
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Re: Running board material

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:26 pm

Grating is a tough thing to model, as it's just too fragile at 1/8th scale. I have access to a laser cutter at work, but beyond etching a grating like pattern in flat stock there isn't much I can do. I'm not going to hold my breath for someone to make 3/16" thick bar grating with 1/16th dowels passing through it lol, especially if we want it to be remotely affordable.

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ccvstmr
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Re: Running board material

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:00 pm

Hoppercar...

What kind of wood were you using?

Here's an idea...sand blast the wood. Careful with softer woods like pine...the blast will eat out the non-grain areas pretty fast. Harder woods like white oak...takes longer to blast out the softer part of the wood.

Here's some pine box car running boards I blasted a number of years ago...

189-8998_IMG.JPG

And here's a white oak end beam for a caboose project currently under construction...(was not as aggressive with the oak blasting).

IMG_4514.JPG

So, think you can get a better look for platforms and/or running boards other than a cut and sanded wood plank.

Carl B.
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Glenn Brooks
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Re: Running board material

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:48 pm

hoppercar wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:45 am
Looking around, to see what other guys, are using for running board material, around and old 8000 ,gallon , single dome tank car?....right now I have wood, boards.....but somehow, it just doesn't look right?.....was thinking about some kind of grating material ?....any ideas out there?
As an idea, you might look around your area for some old, clear grain tongue and groove wood flooring that has been removed from a remolded turn of the century house, (1900’s era, not 2000 era). This era flooring was usually very high quality, tight grain, old growth hardwood - unobtainium now due to scarity. If you find some, you can run it through a planner to take it down to proper scale thickness, and do the sand blasting thing to raise the grain for appearances.

You get two advantages with old growth recycled material: strength with thin sections planned to scale, and nice appearance due to the tightness of the wood grain, again, because of the growth patterns of old growth forests.

Glenn
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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Running board material

Post by Greg_Lewis » Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:01 am

If you want a safety tread look, pull the engine air filter out of your car (it needed a new one anyway :wink: ) and it will probably have a relatively fine diamond-looking mesh over the paper element. Pull that off and glue it to your choice of substrate. A little paint and it will resemble safety tread.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
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Our motto: "That looks about right."
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Pontiacguy1
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Re: Running board material

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:31 am

If you want a safety tread look, pull the engine air filter out of your car (it needed a new one anyway :wink: ) and it will probably have a relatively fine diamond-looking mesh over the paper element. Pull that off and glue it to your choice of substrate. A little paint and it will resemble safety tread.
Dang! I like that idea! I might use that myself pretty soon! It does look like expanded metal floor grating somewhat.

EOsteam
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Re: Running board material

Post by EOsteam » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:58 am

I seem to remember that Mike Venezia the previous owner of Little Engines had a couple versions of scale diamond plate that he used to sell.

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Rich_Carlstedt
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Re: Running board material

Post by Rich_Carlstedt » Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:29 pm

I wrote an article in Modeltec - February of 1998 and was titled "Authentic Looking Steel Safety Walks"
I used Street Sweeper brushes ( ask your local town maintenance for discarded brushes) To achieve scale walks
Photos of the silver soldered walk are below The walks are so strong, its incredible, you cannot damage them !
P8170058.JPG
I created 3 different types of safety walks , two in steel , and one as a diamond plate
The second steel type is straight section with round bars cross wise to achieve what you see here are the steps of a caboose
I will describe this method in another post to follow this one !
P7060003.JPG
I don't have pictures of my straight sections , but you see my former to make them in the above picture
I am guilty of making several different steel types and not taking photos

Now if you want a decent crosshatch pattern and don't mind plastic and wood, there is a third style
I used the plastic grid that come under a Pizza, to keep it from messing with the cardboard box.
Lay it on plywood or steel and spray several heavy coats of primer, then a top black paint coating for realistic appearance.
these are the Pizza 'Heat insulators " you get when you buy a hot pizza
P7060004.JPG
Finding the right Pizza Vendor is a tasty experience. Not all use this pattern
The bottom version is my favorite

If you can't find one , PM me and I'll send a piece
If you don't have access to the Modeltec article, PM me here
Rich

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Rich_Carlstedt
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Re: Running board material

Post by Rich_Carlstedt » Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:52 pm

P7060003.JPG
Referencing the previous picture above
Street Sweeper brushes are high carbon steel and are .025 x .125 in cross-section which makes a perfect "scale safety walk (3/16 x 1")
These brushes come in 24-28 inch lengths and are straight , so the street sweeper guys bend them in half when they reload their brushes.
I had a guy give me a handful when i asked about them . Before that I found them in the street when a brush broke and I straightened up the pieces by heating and hammering them ...

For a K-28 Loco Walk Tread project for a friend . I wanted straight slats with a round cross brace so I made the fixture by slotting a piece of 1/4" x 2 x 6 flat Brass with a slitting saw every .12" apart and about .080deep to fit the brush strips which stick above the surface about .040". Then I take a Dremel tool with a cutoff blade and grind a slot ( .030 x .030" ) at right angles across all strips.
If you look at the picture you will see some marks on the top of the fixture where I went a bit deep . After slotting , I lay in pieces of 1/32" music wires and silver solder like i do with the safety walk, then move on. With this fixture , the width of a finished tread is variable to what you want. Also, you get two variations to use on a Loco . The cross wires can be up and seen , or on the bottom leaving only parallel strips --- and if you grind the top on a belt sander you get a version of what you see in the photo of the caboose**. In the photo I have the fixture, but also a 4x6 picture of the caboose prototype that I followed with my model. ( ** the cross rod is flush with the top treads ) . now with that fixture, you can make walks any width you want . They can be an 1" wide or 1-1/2 " or what ever. Just use the slots you want --I made various widths

I changed the method for straight treads mentioned above with much better results speed wise ( very fast)
Place the strips in the slots, then flip the fixture over (!) - now use the edge of the fixture to guide the Dremel cutoff blade, drop in a wire, and slide the fixture a 1/2" (ie) and slot again and then after 3 or 4 grooves, flux and SS them..
So there you go ,I hope this helps you in a fun project that draws lots of attention
What is surprising is how strong the safety walk is...it's incredible ! You cannot bend it or damage it's frail look.. the high carbon steel works well !

Hint, Do NOT use a focused propane flame ! You want a broad bushy flame and use .032 SS in a brass tube (guide)

Rich

hoppercar
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Re: Running board material

Post by hoppercar » Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:03 pm

I'm trying to remember where I saw a photo, ...a guy took standard 10 inch hack saw blades, punched holes in them...used dowel pins, and about 1/8 inch spacers between the blades, ...with the saw teeth facing up, it made very nice, metal grating..!!

jcbrock
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Re: Running board material

Post by jcbrock » Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:57 am

Rich_Carlstedt wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:52 pm
and use .032 SS in a brass tube (guide)
This is a pro tip I have to try. I've never been very successful holding the end of small diameter ss to the joint.
John Brock

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