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· Senior JOAT
781 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bunch of log skeleton cars that I made from Don Winter kits awhile back. Up until now, the skeletons have either been loaded or empty.

However, when I operate, I want them to either be loaded or empty - and I didn't want to swap out loaded cars for empties; or vice versa.

What I needed was a way to securely hold the logs in place. Of course I already had chains to do this, but I needed a connection that would be not only strong, but also easy to connect and unconnect. And, if the chain falls off the empty, there IS a danger of it catching on a switch or something else that will derail the car. Ask me how I know. ;)

Back when I was working on operating gladhands (http://www.largescalecentral.com/LSCForums/viewtopic.php?id=8589), I ordered lots of different magnet types from http://www.kjmagnetics.com/. One of the types that didn't work for gladhands looked like it could work for connecting the chains.

I had some 1/8" diameter x 1/4" long cylinder magnets. What makes these interesting is that they are diametrically magnetized. They stick to the sides of the cylinders rather than the ends.

Another interesting thing I discovered is that my "brass" chain was magnetic! Perfect.

I first tried some epoxy to hold the magnets to the end of the chain, but this wasn't very secure.

So, I tried some 1/8" ID aluminum tube cut into short sections and glued the magnet inside that.

When I punched the cylinder for drilling, it squished the ends which further helps to hold the magnet in place.

I drilled a small hole and routed some "S" hooks through them.

So, two chains, with a magnet on the end of each. I put the logs in place and pull the chains tight and place the magnet against the chain.

When it's empty, I can just coil up the chain on top and it sticks to the magnets.

It works great. When it's loaded, I can pick up the car by just the logs and there is no slipping at all.

· Premium Member
1,845 Posts
Great idea, thanks for sharing! I have some crates strapped down with chains on a flat car and they keep coming loose, this may fix that. Great looking skeleton cars too. I saw your article featuring those log cars in one of the railroad magazines a while back, I think it was either Narrow Gauge or Logging, Mining & Industrial. Great job on that weathering article.
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