I started building train cars from scrap material which was lying around at Cameron Station. Sometimes I had time on my hands at work and so I picked up the PVC pipes and tiny bits of wood to make the cars. These were the first ones I made. Tension rods were made for Lnder the flatbed base by stretching wire through six holes and putting little boards under the wire to cause it to tighten and bow the base of the flatbed. I made small boards to go across the base to give it a rustic look. They were sold as rolling stock for model railroaders at the Train Station on Pickett St. in Alexandria, Va. Some other people liked them to place on their mantles in their homes.
The emblems on these tanker cars were letterheads and other transfers from the Defense Logistics agency. The wood scraps were glued over the PVC pipes and made into the ladders that scaled the tanker cars. ‘Half-inch copper caps were used for fill domes and copper punch outs were used as aprons under them. The ladders were made of two boards and brad nails. I purchased the brake wheels, which were reafly used as pewter wheels for baby buggies in dollhouses. The axel hole in the buggy wheel was just right for a number six finishing nail to act as vertical stand for the wheel. The trucks for these cars were removed from new K-line cars purchased at Mi Design. It was cheaper than buying them from Lionel cars. It was many years later that I started building the Coors tanker cars.
I recycled Coors beer bottles to make the tanker cars. I use the same construction method from the flatbeds for my wooden tankers and the Coors tankers. I first cut the top off the bottle and concave the bottom to use as a fill dome with the Coors bottle cap. I than cut the bottom half of two bottles and glue them together to make the tank. I carefully peel off the Coors label and glue it on the tanker across the glue joint to hide the seal. I take two other Coors bottle caps and glue them to each end of the tanker. I then glue the bottle to the flatbed and tie it down with zip ties. Friends in Kentucky save me the beer bottles to use for the tanker cars. Soon I had a whole collection, enough for a train layout.
My wife said that my imagination was running wild because I also starting making bantam tanks and double tanks on a flatbed from the bottles. I also took the long necks to make tube cars with fill domes. I make depressed flatcars by taking a piece of wood and running it through my joiner, stopping to have a curve in the bottom of the car, making a place for the trucks to sit. Then I add a flat board between the two truck assemblies to create the depression. I take carter keys to make posts and run wire through it for a handrail for each end. I purchase two bottles of lack Daniels samplers at the ABC stores. I then glue them onto the depression. Then I gathered up necklaces chains and run it from the post around the bottles to resemble a chain holding the load on the cars.
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