Installing hand rails

Joecaboose

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I am kit bashing a Roundhouse Fowler kit into an American style 2-6-2.
How can I install the hand rails without drilling into the boiler?
CA glue?
JB Weld paste?
fowler.jpg Any recommendation?
Thanks, Joe
 

-bbbb

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21 Dec 2017
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I wouldn't know. would magnets work?
 

Joecaboose

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The boiler is cover by a thin brass 1 mm "wrapper". The boiler itself is brass.
A very experience G scale live steam engine builder told me that that an old trick he uses is to drill a hole into the boiler, tap the hole, cover the threads of the handrail holder with high temp Permatex 82180, very carefully screw in the handrail holder and let it set for a day or 2.
I am just very reluctant to drill a hole into the boiler and would love to find an alternative....
 

Greg Elmassian

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Yeah, I would hesitate to drill the boiler, just as a possible point of failure, even though the Permatex will never leak most likely.

too bad you could not put a thin headed screw in the wrapper from behind, and then you would have a stud to affix the handrail to.

Greg
 

dunnyrail

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What about marking the removable bands, silver soldering the flattened base of the pins to them?
 

-bbbb

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Add removable bands to which the hand rails are mounted? The removable bands could rest on top of the real bands with gravity, and/or could be mounted to the walking plates on the sides.
 

dunnyrail

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Add removable bands to which the hand rails are mounted? The removable bands could rest on top of the real bands with gravity, and/or could be mounted to the walking plates on the sides.
I was assuming that the bands were removable like Roundhouse ones that have nut and bolt joiners under the boiler.
 
Nice loco, but I recommend NOT drilling holes in the boiler!

Is there any insulation between the boiler jacket and the boiler itself? If there is, you can drill a 2.4mm holes in the jacket and use standard handrail knobs (available from Roundhouse) with the 8BA nut laying in the same thickness as the insulation. Roundhouse use this method on their Darjeeling Garratt.

If not, drill and tap the existing boiler bands for 8BA, screw in handrail knobs and then silver (hard) solder them to the band. The 8BA stud is only used to hold them in place during the soldering operation and can be ground smooth on the bands inner face prior to fitting.
 

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
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Sounds to me like a perfect use for resistance soldering if the boiler is indeed wrapped by thin sheet brass. I've never done any resistance soldering myself not having the equipment but maybe someone with experience will opine. Nice loco by the way!
 

trammayo

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If you had some hi-tensile steel for the hand rail, couldn't you locate one end in the smokebox and the other in the cab?
The nature of the steel means it shouldn't sag along its length and the non-load bearing intermediate brackets could be attached to the bands by glue or whatever. Just a thought. And yes, the loco looks brilliant!
 

KeithT

Hillwalking, chickens and - err - garden railways.
24 Oct 2009
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A little of an aside but it is handrail related.
How do you judge exactly where and by how much to bend the rail?
The smokebox curve and especially the returns along the sides of the boiler are the areas which have put me off attempting it on several occasions.
 

dunnyrail

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A little of an aside but it is handrail related.
How do you judge exactly where and by how much to bend the rail?
The smokebox curve and especially the returns along the sides of the boiler are the areas which have put me off attempting it on several occasions.
If you can it is best to go with the Boiler curve, bending over it if you can. Then put the bends it towards the cab after you have got the curve to your satisfaction. Needles to say leave sufficient either side i]of the bend to get to the cab then cut those both off. But that is all best done with softer material. You can harden it after bending.
 

3 minutes of fame

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A couple of tips from me:

Make a dummy handrail from some soft material and use it as a guide to make the end product out of high tensile steel wire once you are happy with the shape. A bending block with different sized cutouts can be very useful for this.

Don't use any type of cyno glue on any surface that is likely to get much above 100C, as the fumes it gives off are horrible and the joint will fail.

I think I would solder hand rail knobs in place - either directly to the boiler skin or to removable bands. a bit of flux and a little time spent getting both surfaces will prepared and I think you would get a strong enough joint. I would think it should be possible just to sweat them on.
 

Fred2179G

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If you had some hi-tensile steel for the hand rail, couldn't you locate one end in the smokebox and the other in the cab?
The nature of the steel means it shouldn't sag along its length and the non-load bearing intermediate brackets could be attached to the bands by glue or whatever. Just a thought. And yes, the loco looks brilliant!
I used "hypodermic tubing" from Amazon (snagged some 36" lengths for $3. Must have been a fire sale. However, it is only $10 per 60", and I'm sure you can find a source locally.) The hypodermic is steel and will not snag. An added advantage is that you can run wire in it for the headlight!

On the same locomotive (that I used the hypo on,) I removed the boiler to alter the steam domes. If you really want to bolt hem, that would be the way to go.

As I'm sure you have a thin wrapper over insulation on the boiler, it should not be difficult to solder the handrail knobs directly to the wrapper. [I suspect that resistance soldering would work well, but I'd have no qualms attacking it with a regular iron.]
 

Fred2179G

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How do you judge exactly where and by how much to bend the rail?
Why do you need to bend it? It usually runs straight from the cab to the front of the smokebox. I've only ever had one loco with a curve.

Ah - you're thinking of UK practice. A USA loco would not have the curve along the front over the smokebox door.
 

dunnyrail

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A USA loco would not have the curve along the front over the smokebox door.
Hm I think with respect that you may need to look at some more pictures. Yes few with curves running from front to round the Smokebox, but many curved down at the front to the footplate and some with a circle round the Smokebox so certainly options requiring curved metal handrails.
 

Joecaboose

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Thanks for all the replies! I am gonna try using "Krazy Glue Maximum Bond Super Glue" to mount my hand rail posts to the boiler. I bought a tube and and as a test I used it to mount a post to a sheet of brass. It took some REAL effort to break it off! Plus, it's good up to 350 degrees F. Regular CA is only good up to 250.
 

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
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Good luck! - There are some pretty amazing adhesives being developed these days. Please let us know how it works out.