Flat Car Decking

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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
I have several flat cars with plastic decking and I would like to install real wood decking on the cars. What size scale lumber should I use for the decking and what manufacture(s) of strip wood do you like the best?

Thanks.

Greg
 

wvg_ca

Well-Known Member
i used scale 2x6 board siding on some, [a little small] others i used popsicle stick cut in half lengthwise, about 4 x12 or so, just a little large ..
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
This is a plastic painted deck MTH flat car, weathered with paints. One of my early attempts, I have varied them with lighter greys, blues etc brushed lightly over in the direction of the grain with light flicking strokes while the base paint is still soft. Enhance the grooves between the boards with the sharp point of the back edge of a modelling knife first.
1607436204711.png
 
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Sirfoldalot

Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Greg -- I did a little research and found that the newer 60 and plus length flats have 2x6 boards running lengthwise whereas the older 40 - 50 foot flats have the 3x8 x-ways on the deck!
Hope this helps.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks guys for your input. I was purchased a NWSL chopper to cut the boards. Sherrel I think I'll go with the 3 X 8 boards and glue in place and then stain.

Greg
If you go that way, you will have to be very careful not to allow any glue to rise up through the gaps or sides of the boards, especially onto the surface as it will prevent the stain penetrating, leaving unstained spots. Best to stain the boards all over first.
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Greg -- I did a little research and found that the newer 60 and plus length flats have 2x6 boards running lengthwise whereas the older 40 - 50 foot flats have the 3x8 x-ways on the deck!
Hope this helps.
Other than vehicle flats with chain tie downs troughs in the deck I've NEVER seen cars with boards running fully lengthwise..

Another thing to be aware of is that a lot of more modern flats actually do not have wood floors at all, but nailable steel floors. This looks likes boards, but is actually steel decking, and blocking can be nailed to it by driving the nails into the seams. https://patents.google.com/patent/US2900055A/en
 
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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Greg -- I did a little research and found that the newer 60 and plus length flats have 2x6 boards running lengthwise whereas the older 40 - 50 foot flats have the 3x8 x-ways on the deck!
Hope this helps.
Sherrel, yes it sure helps. Now I just just need help cutting all those boards.

And, thanks Chris for the info on new flat cars.

I know that Santa is bringing me a NorthWest Chopper and it's under the tree.

1608052535938.png

Greg
 
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Sirfoldalot

Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
I know that Santa is bringing me NorthWest Chopper and its under the tree.
GREG -- Don't make them too perfect ... The 40/50 foot flats I have seen in person have a little unevenness to the edges! AND maybe even have a few broken boards and missing pieces?
There is also an unevenness to the deck as well!
Found this U-tube ...
 
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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Excellent find. I like the color of the decking. I still have a couple of vintage bottles of "Age It" to weathered wood. I'll even use my pouce wheel to add bolt holes.

Thanks.

Greg
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Excellent find. I like the color of the decking. I still have a couple of vintage bottles of "Age It" to weathered wood. I'll even use my pouce wheel to add bolt holes.

Thanks.

Greg
Just think of all the bolts you'll have to install.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
GREG -- Don't make them too perfect ... The 40/50 foot flats I have seen in person have a little unevenness to the edges! AND maybe even have a few broken boards and missing pieces?
There is also an unevenness to the deck as well!
Found this U-tube ...
Really interesting video, especially for me with those views of the 60' wood deck, Heavy duty, which is what the MTH HO ones are. They are (or were when in production and only 2 runs in 10 years of them) made to a high quality. The detailing is/was extreme, even to the chainlock block notches visible in the video in the channels the blocks slide in, Their only problem was the use of all metal sprung truck frames with metal axles and metal wheels and insulation on one wheel only with a metal strip inserted inside the plastic lengthwise down the middle of the deck and the truck pivot screws (also metal) into that. The first run had well defined and easily seen insulators on that 1 only wheel. The 2nd run, they were hard to see and identify. In consequence many had had the trucks assembled with the insulators on opposite sides on the same truck, resulting in direct diagonal short circuits through the bolster which also melted the plastic on the pivot before it tripped the short protection. The first run had mostly "fallen flag" now, roadnames. but TTX and UP as well. The last run were all late class 1's but still TTX and UP as well if you see them for sale. They did them with Norscot Machinery as well. All came with packets of chains and tie downs. Real fiddly, I can tell you.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Toot: I have some square pieces of basswood that I'll cut into sections for the decking and then run my Zona saw over the wood to rough it up.

Interesting video.

Thanks.

Greg
 
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