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Removable Gondola Ore Loads with Gary Myers
(Click on Image for Enlargements* Photos by Gary)
Using some scrap materials, elmers glue, old parts, and a few magnets one can make
nice, affordable, removable ore loads. Materials needed: basswood (or lightweight
equivalent), micro-magnets (rare-earth), spare screwdriver (hand tool equivalent),
elmer's glue, wet glue, Walthers' Goo, Sharpee, discarded wheel axles, wood ties,
and ore material.

1) Cut basswood to easily fit inside gondola frame*.

2) Take some old plastic wheel sets (that have been replaced by your new metal sets),
slide off the wheels (put them in your scrap box)

3) Mark center of "load", drawing a line from corner to corner making an "X".

4) Glue 4 axles at center point using Walthers Goo

5) Glue some ties to make "lumps" on top of load

6) Color the dry load surface & "lumps" with sharpee or paint to match load

7) Glue scrap pieces of basswood or ties underneath load to sit at appropriate height
in car.

Basic ore platforms

Painted "scrap wood" ore

Underside "shims"
8) Cover surface with full strength elmers, pour on desired aggregate (coal, ballast,
etc.) over glue-coated surface. When dry, add layers of 'wet glue' (and more aggregate,
if needed)

9) When dry, sand edges of dried load so that load will still easily fit inside Gondola.

*Swelling occurs with wet gluing, so the basswood needs to be cut a little undersized.

Pouring on aggregate

Adding "wet" glue
A rare earth magnet on the end of a screwdriver makes a nifty load remover, so fat
fingers don't derail your car. Magnets can be obtained in hobby and hardware stores.
The metal axles in the load need to be topside for the magnets to be most effective.
This car had layers of ties glued underneath to determine the right height to sit in
the car.

Removing load
A Blackstone narrow gauge gondola has 'lumpy' sides, so the load had to be very loose
to fit in any car. Although gaps around the load are bigger, they are not noticable.
The screwdriver/magnet helps unloading but loading as well. A screwdriver/magnet is
kept at each unloading/loading station. These screwdrivers were bought at Home Depot
for only 85 cents each. The magnets cost about $5 for 8, so discarded metal axles were
cheaper to place in each load than a magnet, and a magnet or two placed on each screw-
driver, instead.

Narrow Gauge Loads

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Last modified 29 October 2009