Some months ago I made these short sections as the foundation for the end cages of the Pullman Standard covered hopper. As shown in the second image, I made a jig to hold the pieces in place for soldering. My plan was to attach these to the car and fill in with a length of custom angle for the side sill, hiding the joints under a flange of the exterior posts.

This would have worked just fine, although now that I have the ability to fabricate longer material, it felt lazy not to explore that option, in the hope I could eliminate unnecessary joints and mismatched dimensions. As seen in the image below, it was worth the extra effort to remake the assembly.

The original plan was to use these short sections and connect them with a length of custom angle for the side sill. However, plans change with time.
Above, this one-piece assembly makes for a simpler and better build.
I modified the original jig to accommodate the longer side sill angles. It was a simple matter to remove the short pieces and resolder everything in the jig. The new part fits nicely. Adding details like the stirrup steps now simplifies the construction.
All I had to do was cut notches in the jig to fit the longer angles of the side sill. I made a pair of longer angles that run the length of the car, then unsoldered the original short pieces and resoldered everything together using the jig.

Since I’m using the same jig, the fit is the same as before and I was pleased with how everything aligned at the critical areas on each end of the car.

Before I secure the assembly to the car body, I’m adding the many smaller details like the stirrup steps, grab irons, roping staples and so on. It is much simpler to add these now while I can still fit everything in a jig for soldering and aligning the smaller parts.

Things may look rough at this stage but I’m hoping the primer coat will even things out.

I’m glad I made this effort. The build will be neater and much improved.



  1. Chris Roy

    It won’t be long before you’re scratchbuilding complete rolling stock and locomotives….

  2. mike

    That’s the plan Chris. -Mike