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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I am piecing together a classic train, purchasing pieces here and there. This is from 1934 both O-gauge and O-Scale.I have the engine and observation car, both in poor shape, hence my piecing together a soon to be nice train. I plan on disassembling the cars (easy enough to do), except that the window frames and cellophane window shades are riveted to the body side with two small steel rivets for each window set. Does anyone know where to get replacement rivets for these? Also I need an XX motor I believe an am looking for a baggage car and a passenger coach if anyone knows of any.
Thanks,
RichK in Orlando
 

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I rebuild these all the time. Usually grind off the internal rivet and rtv the windows and rivets back. Parts are scarce for these and the motors/wheels are junk. I have put lionel motors in a few. I have rivets and harry hennings sells a few. I also am making green diamonds from 9900's, casting the noses.
 

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Thanks for the information. The green diamond is awesome Are you casting the nose piece yourself? Of course I have a couple of kilns, one of which I was thinking of smelting aluminum in and trying my hand at doing some casting myself. Do you sell any of the nose cones or only use them for your own upgrades? I also have a 3-D printer that I was going to try as a rough up. I am just looking at producing trains for myself not for reselling...
 

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I did cast some noses and stacks along with other parts but received zero interest so I sold the molds to a guy in Finland. He was appreciative unlike all of the Green Diamond owners on Facebook. Messaged 13 of them to get dimensions and/or photos prior to casting, no replies, but thats ok, I have their names and locations and they will not be getting parts from me or my friend in Finland. You have the right idea for producing for your own collection.
 

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Wow what an awesome set of trains! I love prewar streamline passenger trains!!! can't get enough. The problem is dealers love then too and love to make money on them. The poor collector that is looking to build a nice set of trains for themselves really does not stand a chance with dealers in the picture (at least not without paying full retail exorbitant price), so I am stuck with buying a piece at a time (that dealers don't want). This is not that bad because I love "saving" trains that in all likelihood would have been thrown away because of condition, and is the reason I don't feel bad about modifying them to suite my needs, as in building me a Green Diamond set. BTW do you have the gentleman in Finland that I could reach out to. Just thought I would see how he is getting along. Also I would like to talk to you about your casting when you were doing them. Any tips etc. My smaller kiln will do 2300 deg F, but I have never smelted aluminum before, so would like to talk to you about which crucible you used, etc if you would be willing. Thanks again for sharing

RichK in Orlando
 

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Rich, welcome to the real world of vintage trains. I have found over the last 20+ years the "venders" as you call them hoard the good stuff and sell off the junk. This is especially true for shows over recent years. They can get higher prices for junk on ebay and then the real junk they cant sell winds up at shows. So beware, especially with vintage flyer stuff. Also have a realization that the old stuff is just that. An 80 year old train needs 80 year old accessories like switches to operate correctly. Dont have a vision that these vintage trains will run like new models. If you want smooth running reliable smooth running trains with the vintage look, buy MTH trains (I have a few). I have been into model trains for over 45 years so when it comes time for "train play time", I break out the new bluetooth stuff, kickback and operate it from my phone.
p.s. If you are going to start making parts, focus on chicago zephyr wheels. No one makes them and I doubt it can be done in your backyard. There is an integral gear cast on the back of the wheel.
 

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... Don't have a vision that these vintage trains will run like new models.
It is possible. The loco and cars in this video, circa 1929, were restored from the ground up. The larger radius O-27 curves and switches are restored early Marx. Not only is the train a "runner", it runs extremely smooth and consistent on the pre/postwar track. I paid extra attention to the track pins, wire brushing each one before assembly. Only one power connection for the entire loop (helped by the crossing.and a power tie between curves at the far end) with no "brown outs along 45' of track.

And as RichK said: "I don't feel bad about modifying them to meet suit my needs." While some older stuff is in great shape, I purposely acquired the worst pieces as to not adulterate an original, collectible item. So I call it renovation instead of restoration.

 

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Nice running train... As a tinker and electrical engineer by trade I cant resist making anything do exactly what I want it to do. Between my 3-d printer, smelting, and machining I'm sure I can get my trains to behave exactly how I want (with some slight modification, possibly ;).

RichK in Orlando
 

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Nice running train... As a tinker and electrical engineer by trade I cant resist making anything do exactly what I want it to do. Between my 3-d printer, smelting, and machining I'm sure I can get my trains to behave exactly how I want (with some slight modification, possibly ;).

RichK in Orlando
Started my professional career as an EE (microprocessors) though moved on from that. But I'm resisting getting into higher tech hobbies (like 3-D printing - CAD design, etc) as it's seems too much like work. And the only "machining" I do is with an electric drill :) My other forum is speaker building and amplifiers were I'm one of the resident experts on class D amplifiers. I needed to relearn the math I forgot, to relearn the math I forgot, for op-amp filter design on the PCB based amps.

But I was pleasantly surprised with these results. After final assembly of the train (still need roof screws) and track, the only tweak was flexing a Marx switch that didn't lay flat. Then the video. JLC must have touched it from heaven :giggle:
 

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Funny how life takes us in different directions. I remember op-amp design classes well and building filters, etc. In the last few years I have gotten into tube amplifiers (before my time). I love the simplicity and the sound is awesome...Sometime old school is just as good (if not better) that modern. I do love my MTH trains but they do not have the ....something I just cant put my finger on... that my prewar streamline trains have.

RichK in Orlando
 
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