View single post by hicountryscratcher
 Posted: Mon Aug 27th, 2012 07:17 am
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Joined: Thu Aug 9th, 2012
Posts: 80

   I can attest to what Woodie is saying that the masters we all admire , every one he named in that post and a lot more that were around in the early days of Model Railroading had skills and peserverance that staggers the imagination, considering how little they had to work with compared to now, and IF you can find any thing any of them have written to help one learn, do so.

    I can also say that unless you are an absolute uncooridnated klutz that building in brass is possible with a bit of determination.

     I learned how and IF I CAN most ANYONE can. Prior to building my first Brass Locomotive at the age of almost 50 my entire soldering education had been making a funnel in the 10 th grade , with one of those huge soldering coppers heated by a blow torch like Mel used. I had done a bit with a solder gun on some wires  as well, but that was about it.

  My introduction to the lure of Brass locos came when a Friend of mine bought a United Models Brass Climax, he only wanted it for display , but he wanted it to be hooked up to some log cars he had and there were no couplers on it.  He asked me if I could put some on , and left it with me while he went to California for a couple of weeks.

   I had never seen a brass engine -- mostly Mantuas, I had been building mostly model cars for years, only recently becoming interested in trains. I also had never seen a geared locomotive and was completel transfixed by how neat the little engine was.   I knew he had paid over 300 dollars for it  ( 1980's dollars)  but I wanted one myself and was not flush enough to even think about buying one-- So I shortly had the little loco in pieces on my bench  measuring  and bending and soldering , I got a gas jewelers type torch, ordered wheels from somewhere , can't remember now .

 I Spent a bunch of time on the phone with Cliff Grandt ,  ( another of the Giants of the past)  so he could help me design the transmissions for the 4 ( yes 4) locos I was building . The gearing used by United was not available as they had it special made, so Cliff Grandt helped me to utilize some of his parts to get the job done --all 4 ended up having a slightly different gear train because after one set was figured out , Cliff would say  --"OR we Could"------- so we did!

   This tells a LOT more about Cliff Grandt than it does me, I had never met the man, had not used any of his kits or parts, I just had seen his ads and knew he was providing gears and things to model railroaders. I called his company number and  Cliff himself was there and he very graciously helped me over several weeks! No wonder he is called a giant of the hobby!

Now to explain how it got to four --when my Friend came back and found his very expensive loco in a million pieces he about croaked -- I calmed him down by telling him I would make 2, one for each of us -- My youngest son heard that and wanted one too , thats three  , then I decided on 4 that way I would have one to sell because by now even building them myself was getting costly!   Never sold the extra!

   The point is that with nominal modeling skills which I am sure almost everyone on this forum has ,the things so many marvel at are within reach of all.


Last edited on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 01:30 am by hicountryscratcher

instant glue?--- SOLDER----- NOW THATS INSTANT!
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