Thursday, December 13, 2012

Passenger Cars for my Steam Engine

     I've posted a few pictures of the Steam Engine, Coal Car and bridge in one of my earlier blogs, but I'll start this entry off with a picture I took after I started on the passenger cars.  The first picture shows the beginning of the frame work for the passenger cars.  When I started I thought it would be just as easy to build two passenger cars as one, but boy was that a joke!   When 26 seats turned into 52 seats, I soon realized this was going to be very time consuming. 

     I'd like to take a couple minutes to explain a little of what went into making each seat.  Each seat consisted of a double bottom cushion, double top cushion, a pedestal and then an 1/8" dowel to mount the entire seat assembly to the floor of the car body.  I decided to make the cushions from maple so I would have some color contrast.  Once I cut the basic size to each top and bottom cushion, I then had to do the final shaping by hand by carving, filing and sanding each one to the final shape.  I had to cut each back cushion at a 5 degree angle so when the cushions where glued together the backs would lean back like a regular seat. 

     I built each base from walnut and glued each seat to a separate base.  I then drilled and glued a short 1/8" dowel in each base.  After all 52 seats were built, I layed out the location on the floor of each car for the proper location of the seats and drilled a mounting hole for each seat and glued in place.   I sprayed a couple coats of finish on all the interior parts while I had easy access.

     From there I was ready to build the sides and the tops for the two cars.  Once the sides where built and the windows cut out ( 9 windows on each side) I did the window trim. 
     It's hard to realize that it took 10 pieces of wood to trim out each little window.  You do the math; 9 widows per side, four sides, 9 window per side and 10 pieces for each window.  360 Pieces!
     Each window was first framed out with a casing, then the casing was trimmed with the exterior molding (each corner mitered).   Each window shade was made with a thin piece of balsa wood and the bottom rim was made with 1/8" dowel, filed flat on one side and glued along the bottom edge of each shade.  I made the shades random lengths and mounted to the inside of each window.
     When that was done I took a small staining pencil and stained the trim a little darker then the rest of the car.  No finish has be applied yet to the exterior.
 I did make one small design change on one of the cars though.  I realized that once the sides and tops where permanently mounted you would not be able to really see very much of the interior, especially all the work on the seats, so I made one of the tops so it could be removed.  No big deal, but sure makes me feel better!
     I have 8 doors and 8 sets of steps to make next with a few other small details for the body of each car and then I will start on making the trucks.  I remember how complex the trucks are from making them for the engine and coal car, but that will be later. 

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