How to Build Lumber Loads and Cargo Containers

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


riogrande

Active Member
I ordered 1/64 and 1/32 inch flat black chart tape off of Amazon to use for my lumber loads. I'm in the process of moving so no work bench for a while.
 

riogrande

Active Member
Walthers sells plastic two piece wrapped type lumber loads just like in Serial Kidders photo's. You just plop them on the car and run! In fact one of mine looks just like the northwood type in his photo.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ron, somewhere I've got it in my head that you're modelling in N scale, couldn't find any in Walthers online, but that's not surprising as their website has to be the hardest to find something if you don't know their stock number. I did on doing an ebay.com search, after doing my local ebay.com.au one, these listings. Some very interesting and quite cheap ones. Might come up with Aussie prices and shipping though, cause the local listing has both on it.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr....TRS0&_nkw=Flat+car+lumber+loads&_sacat=19119
 

2869ral

Member
For banding, i have used pinstriping tape. It comes in a lot of colors and sizes, and its also very durable.

Ron, those loads look good, thanks for sharing!
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Some of the home-made lumber loads I've made (in HO).

Graphics are prepared by myself on the computer, printed out on white paper and glued and wrapped around individual wood blocks, assembled into a full load with stripwood spacers and glued together as a solid unit. (Loads are not glued to the car itself and are removable). Banding is 1/64" chart tape.

IMG_4748-500x333.jpg


IMG_5229-500x333.jpg


IMG_5361-500x333.jpg


IMG_5362-500x333.jpg


IMG_4123-500x333.jpg
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Note when building a load for a regular flatcar, since there's no structure to stabilize the load as on a center-beam flatcar, the bundles must be staggered and banded together to tie the entire load into a solid unit. On a center-beam car, the bundles can simply be stacked, as the bundles are strapped directly to the central truss structure of the car with the winch & cable tie downs.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Fantastic work Chris, many hours gone into those. Do you seal them with a gloss or semi gloss to give the appearance of plastic? Can't tell from the pics.
 

Raincoat2

Well-Known Member
Chris, those lumber loads do look very realistic. Nice work. It inspires me since logging and lumber will be a big part of our layout. Thanks for the photos and the ideas.
 

Raincoat2

Well-Known Member
Toot - didn't mean to leave you out of my last post - your ideas along the way in this discussion have been useful, too. I've been lurking on this forum, just getting ideas from all of you. great stuff.
 

Raincoat2

Well-Known Member
Chris, could you give me an idea of how you prepare the graphics on the computer for your lumber loads?
Ron, Toot, and others - do you have any suggestions on this same issue - coming up with the graphics on the computer?
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Chris, could you give me an idea of how you prepare the graphics on the computer for your lumber loads?
Ron, Toot, and others - do you have any suggestions on this same issue - coming up with the graphics on the computer?


In a couple of cases, I drew part or all of the logo myself, for a particular name I really needed myself. In others, I was able to download the company logo from the internet, and do some minor editing to turn it into an accurate wrap (e.g. adding stripes, appropriate amount of white space, additional text labels, etc.) all following photos.

Once the graphic is prepared, I used an Excel spreadsheet to tile the graphics into a sheet of printable wraps that can be cut out and glued to the wood blocks. (Hint, you can set the height of a row cell to the actual physical printed dimension in inches or millimeters. Then paste in the image and make it fit the height.)

I started doing this project because I'm modeling a section of a real railroad, and representing a real lumber mill, which was an independent operation. It just wouldn't do to use something like a Jaeger kit for some western US company as loads from my own little sawmill, so I made my own wraps to produce the same basic concept at home. (I also found the artwork in some of the Jaeger kits is a little less than accurate - their Weyerhaeuser "red-orange" load isn't actually a very good match to the photos. I re-drew my version of the orange bark rings over a side-on prototype photo.)

Once I got into it, I kinda started having fun making wraps for different companies, whether they were in my area/era or not. All my wrap graphics are available here: http://vanderheide.ca/blog/lumber-loads/#graphics
 
Last edited by a moderator:

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Excellent Chris. Bookmark and desktop shortcut added. There's a couple of Montana ones I'd like to get done.
 

Raincoat2

Well-Known Member
Chris and others - Those are nice graphics and show you've done your homework. I need graphics for any lumber company that was in business in the late 1950's - early 1960's, particularly if they would be found in the northeastern US - I'm modeling the New York Central system (which merged with Penn Central in '68). The NYC did have some trackage in Quebec, so some of those companies you list, such as Clermond Hamel (125 years) or Matériaux Blanchet (founded in 1958) would be possible. But, how do I find out what their load wrappers looked like in the 50's and 60's? Any ideas?
 

cv_acr

Active Member
You would have to somehow come up with period photos to work off of - but 95% chance that during that time frame those loads were just un-wrapped.

I've seen some 1990s photos of unwrapped lumber loads that have the Materiaux Blanchet "B" logo stamped directly on the side of the boards.
 
Two responses: 1) I prepare my logos for shrouds much like Chris described above, only I use MS Publisher. I make a "grid" using the line draw tool that has loads the right height and length, but some are offset slightly as wold be a real load. I download and crop logos off the internet. The best results I have gotten are from photos of actual lumber loads. In larger scales you can even get the wrinkle effect printed right onto the logo. I crop and size the logos, then I place them on the load grid, making sure they don't all line up across different stacks and some are partial as they would wrap around the ends of stacks. I have not modeled the stacks separately thus far thinking it was unnecessary in N scale, but seeing Chris' photos here I may try doing so and see how they turn out.

2) Railcoat2, Christ is right, for the time period you are modeling I think the loads would be unwrapped and lumber would be hauled on regular flatcars, maybe bulkheads, and better lumber in boxcars. I don't believe center beam flatcars had come into use yet in the time period you are thinking.

Ron
 

Hawkesburytrain

Well-Known Member
I'm like Chris, I used excel spreadsheet and did separate stacks of lumber
Here's what my excel spreadsheet looked like

View attachment 63472

The middle dark line was my cutting guide
Also, not the entire piece was wrapped, only what could be seen
 

Raincoat2

Well-Known Member
Chris, Ron, Lloyd - Thanks for the information. I knew that much of the lumber was transported in boxcars in those days, but did not know about it being non-wrapped. Any idea when wrappings came into widespread use?
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top