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Showcase cover image for Redux - Great-Grandpa's 10-Ton, 7 Plank Coal Wagon

Project Information

When I first posted this project in May, it didn't have the artwork completed and I had a couple requests to re-post once done; so here is the finished product… alongside a 1:76 "OO" gauge Dapol UK railway model of the original coal car as well…

In the late 1800's through early years of the 20th century my great grandfather owned a mattress factory in Nailsworth, England called the Purified Flock & Bedding Company. While searching for family history info I came across a UK model railway group that had a 1912 photo of the actual coal wagon his factory used. I was also able to find some blueprints online for similar vintage coal wagons, along with some of the 1887 specifications to which the car was originally made. I was intrigued with the thought of making a model of the coal wagon, after all, it's just a box, right? But I was not prepared for the effort required to convert 100+ year old English blueprints for building oak and steel rail cars to a scale model all out of wood, nor the effort required just to get a working brake system, but I think it turned out ok. The original car was known as a 10-ton, 7 plank coal wagon, with a side door, and used a single-side lever brake system.

I rough cut all the oak "planks" on the bandsaw and left them that way to provide the more rugged appearance that I wanted once finished. The "steel" components are mostly maple, with a wee bit of poplar. The "chains" are made of maple. The 200+ "rivets" were drilled and inserted individually. The ebonizing was done using a homemade concoction of steel wool & vinegar, with the wood first being treated to a well-brewed cup of afternoon tea to raise the tannin levels in the wood and help darken the stain. I included a pre-stain photo to better show the rough cut oak, and other details.

Gallery

Comments

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Wow- incredible details and craftsmanship. Awesome work.

Thanks for posting.

Bill in MI
 

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What an excellent honouring of your great grandfather to acknowledge him and the business with such a beautifully detailed old railway carriage. Very well done sir.
 

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WOW!!!
Nicely done!!!
 

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What an excellent honouring of your great grandfather to acknowledge him and the business with such a beautifully detailed old railway carriage. Very well done sir.

- crowie
Thanks Crowie!
 

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Wow- incredible details and craftsmanship. Awesome work.

Thanks for posting.

Bill in MI

- rtbrmb
Thanks Bill!
 

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WOW…that is a great reproduction in detail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim
 

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Very well done!
 

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Great model KWB, great detail and love ebonizing… But its like Sonny without Cher without tracks!

What are the dimensions… Is it similar to "T & J" scale?
 

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wow the painting job is just fantastic GREAT JOB :<))) GRATZ TOP 3

What are the dimensions… Is it similar to "T & J" scale?

- LittleBlackDuck
FOR ALEX : Thanks for the comments. I tried to make it as close to 1/16th scale as I could while allowing for the realities of working in wood. The 1887 specifications for the 10-ton coal car were 14'11" in length by 7'4" in width. The length of the model is slightly longer than 1/16th, at approx. 13" (not including the bumpers) and the width is pretty much right on at 5 1/2". Each of the 7 planks on the sides are almost exactly 1/16th original english oak dimensions. The wheels are T&J 2 1/4" train wheels that I scroll-sawed into spokes and I think they are just very slightly smaller than 1/16th actual UK wheel size.
...Bob
 

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Thanks for your comments Tony; and for passing along the explanation to Alex from the original post.

FOR LBD-I'm not sure Cher would consider herself to be Sonny's "tracks" :) but I get the meaning!! The tracks are on the todo list and I'll just use the T&J approach to build them, but change the scale to fit this car. I found references online stating that the T&J models were 1/16 scale but I've not been able to confirm that. And as you can see from these pics, the coal car is significantly bigger than the T&J caboose & passenger car. Since I wanted to build the coal car based on the original 19th century blueprints I also knew it wouldn't ever be connected with the T&J set as they have very different couplings, so I just stuck with the 1/16th.



 

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this :

Q: What is the size of a model?

A: The models will vary in size between approximately 10" - 30" depending on the model. We typically use the 1/16 scale.

is found on toys and joys website under FAQ's tag :<)))))))
 

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this :

Q: What is the size of a model?

A: The models will vary in size between approximately 10" - 30" depending on the model. We typically use the 1/16 scale.

is found on toys and joys website under FAQ s tag :<)))))))

- GR8HUNTER
Thanks Tony… I had seen that but I wasn't convinced of the accuracy of that statement after making the coal car at 1/16 of the original 19th century plans and physically seeing the difference in size. For example, if the T&J passenger car plans are 1/16 scale then the size of the "real" passenger car would be just 24', yet actual passenger cars in early 20th century were 60-70' in length. All moot really, as the T&J plans are meant to be made as its own set so the scale they use only matters if you need or want to add your own cars I suppose.
 
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