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The ore tipper is a small 2 axle, 2' 6" long car. The
main frame of the car is a 1/8" thick aluminum sheet. To
the bottom is bolted a 1" by 2" tubular steel beam which
runs the length of the car for support. It is also there to absorb
any impact from another train. The deck is made from red oak,
each slat hand cut by myself, as well as the side frames. The
tipper portion is made of 3/4" ply wood. The tipper pivots
on a steel rod, 3/4" in diameter and has a full range of
motion. The car weights (empty of a load) about 80lbs. The entire
ore tipper was constructed using nothing more then simple hand
tools, a Digital Dremel and small hand held jig saw.
Here you can see the entire car from the side. Notice
the wooden deck before painting.
This angled view makes it easy to see the tipper supports.
Here is another good shot of the tipper supports. The
tipper bucket is about 3" from the deck when sitting up straight,
in the above position. When tipper to either side, the downward
facing corner of the bucket comes about 1" from the deck.
It has been tested with or without a load in it, the height doesn't
The trucks of the ore tipper are from Mountain Car Company. They are small, 2 axle
sprung trucks. To prepare them for use, they needed to be assembled.
The axles feature sealed ball bearings. Then, once the axles were
ready to go the side frames of the wheel set had to be sized and
bolted to the car's side frame. Then, it was just a matter of
over turning the car, sliding the wheel assembly in the journal
boxes and up into the wheel set's side frame. The hardest part
was sitting on the axle to compress the spring so the assembly
could be screwed down. One spring did escape though, it shot all
the way across the room. We retrieved it, installed it and finished
Here you can see the trucks. The journal boxes are
fully functional and slide up and down in the guides. The side
frame of the wheel set is that bar going from truck to truck along
the bottom of the journal boxes.
This is the underside of the car. In the blown up picture
(click the small picture above) you can see everything. The center
beam (1" by 2" tubular steel) is running the length
of the car. All those machine screws are either securing deck
members or the actual under frame to the side frame. The 3 large
bolts running down the center of the tubular steel is what holds
the entire wheel structure and under frame to the deck and tipper.
They are 1/2" bolts.
Here you can easily see the wheel and journal box.
The journal box is fully functional, sliding up and down in the
guide, controlled by the spring.
Here is the finished product, all painted and stained.
The journals and supports have been weathered to the best of my
ability. I think it came out quite nicely!
If you remove the tipper and blink your eyes, it actually
blends into the wall in the background, haha.
Here is a shot from above, you can see the two support
blocks that secure the pivot rod on the inside of the bucket.
The Ore Tipper has been labeled Uintah Railroad, as you can see
from the home made URY
decal in the right corner of the side frame.
Here is a final picture of the Ore Tipper in use at
the Long Island Live Steamers behind George Quiles' Dash 8 CW-40