Grab iron size?


New Member
I am fixin' to put some grab irons on my stewart C630s, (Alco) and I am wondering what sized brass wire I should use. Should they be the same thickness as the hand rails?
Hi crook ( awfull thing to say to a guy yuh don't even know :D )
Well unless someone comes up with something better I suggest the following
My 630's are bashed from Tyco body shells, but a friend of mine has switched to Stewart Loco's to build his MLW 630's. MLW built the 630's under license from Alco so other than the modifications done to them by CN, they are similar as the Stewart shell. What we use for grabs is Detail Associates, HO scale # 2201 Grab Irons 17" drop with nut bolt washer castings 18 to a pkg. Center to center spacing is .197 inch and the hole required for mounting is .0135 inch #80 drill.
The photo is not the best neither is the grab work on the loco but it's the first one I built and the only one I took a photo of the ends, anyway it should give you an idea of the size.
Hope it helps; Willis
While we are on the subject of grab irons, does anyone know the spacing between the iron and the side of a box car?? :cool:
Hi ak-milw, if I might suggest Detail Associates recommend a clearance of 2.5 inches. A piece of .030 Styrene as a spacer would work. Myself I used a drill bit of the same size, easier to handle. Don't know for sure if all rolling stock has the same clearance without going over to the yard and measuring a few of the prototype. Hope this helps.
Thanks for getting back to me!! I always just eyeballed them , but I would rather have a set size, .030 looks pretty good. I can never get a train to stop long enough for me to measure one! :cool:
Only 2.5 inches? I seem to recall more room than that when I used to climb on cars, but that was a long time ago. Maybe bounce over to the other forum and ask there. There are enough rails there that should be able to tell you.
I seem to recall more room than that when I used to climb on cars,
Yep! measured some this morning, youre hands were smaller then. Now I didn't use calipers, just an old steel tape, it's about 3 inches from the base ( car side ) to the center of the grab and less than 2 3/4 inch clearance between. It was the same for drop type grabs and the straight ones welded onto angle irons to form a ladder so a clearance of 0.030" would be right on for models. I measured a few on flat cars and a few on Box's they were all the same.
Cheers from NS
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Don't know why, but that seems tight to me. I'm not questioning you, it just sounds tight. Glad I have skinny fingers. :D
Yeah it did sound kinda tight to me too, that's why I stopped at the yard on my way to do a bit of shopping, just to check, the box's were CN and the flats were BN
Cheers Willis