Running Boards & Conversions (September 2018)

Last month I mentioned our new 40 foot Morton and Gypsum roof walks these have now been released and are currently available. They are the same price as our Apex roof walks at $5.40 for a package of one pair (2 each). They come in the four basic roof colors box car red, oxide red, black, and galvanized (silver).

I'd like to remind our readers about our new packages of screws #1716 and #1717. The #1716 is an assortment of different lengths of 0-48 and 0-80 screws and the #1717 is an assortment of 1-72 and 2-56 screws.

Many of you are taking advantage of our "pre-order" program and we hope this is working out well for you. Keep watching our web site future listings. We instituted this for a number of reasons first to insure that the customer is able to acquire a particular car before it is sold out, second is to help us with inventory control, and to know better of how many to schedule for production. This helps us as we are actually taxed for products on hand, unpackaged products, unassembled parts, and raw material. So you see why we are trying to have better inventory control at the end of the physical year (tax time).

To go along with this you may notice many shops are carrying smaller inventories and there's a number of reasons. Investment in the initial inventory might be higher than the budget, taxes as mentioned, Internet (competition and sales), fear of the economy since the downfall of 2008, meaning if a shop closes the owner (or family) isn't stuck with a huge inventory to be liquidated, the constant rising costs of everything will get to them too like taxes, labor, products (cost and availability), shipping, rent, and I'm sure there are many other reasons I've not mentioned. The cost of staying in business isn't like it used to be and it's really getting out of hand.

I recently helped a local large scale modeler with a coupler conversion on an AMS (Accucraft) 1:32 scale box car he brought in. The car happen to have a coupler mounted in a body mounted draft gear box that matched our #1 scale #820 coupler box. So these cars are an easy conversion to our #820 or newer #1906 couplers. The mounting platform for the box has screw holes that match the holes in our #820 box. However, since I did not have to remove the original coupler I do not know what type of screws AMS used but more than likely are metric threaded screws so I'd recommend using the original screws because the screw that comes with our couplers are common #4 self tapping screws. We commend AMS for making a coupler platform matching our couplers, thank you.

Another reminder is that most HO scale models that come with a factory non Kadee knuckle coupler, like a McHenry, EZ-Mate, Proto Max, or such, normally are an easy drop in conversion with our #148 (or #158 scale head) coupler. However, always check the coupler height with an HO coupler height gauge because even tough the model comes with knuckle couplers the coupler height might not be correct or the coupler might droop too much. I've seen many factory new models with couplers mounted too low with their trip pins bent upward to compensate for a poorly mounted coupler. This is a reflection of the lack of quality control or caring about the customer's needs.

The Californians are at it again thinking that the world revolves around them, to see what I mean check out their Proposition 65 at then ask yourself who's paying for all their requirements, it's not the Californians.

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