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Daylight Tender

#4 Body

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Check out that "hard" body...

I was excited to get started on the body for the tender.  Don't know why.  It was a pain-in-the-ass.  My fingers/hands were sore for days doing all the drilling.  I started by cutting 16 gauge sheet steel to an approximate shape.


The 1/2" radius corners were bent before any drilling started.  A jig was made for the jagged rivet pattern on the sides.  Here it is being held on by clamps and clecos.


Made another jig for the outline of the oil tank.


And here it is.  One side done.  One more to go.


Both side are drilled and the corners bent.  Copper rivets (3/32") are going to be used and are only for looks.  Drive screws (#2) will be used on the bottom to fasten it to the frame.


Marked what needed to be cut out on the end where the curved radius needs to be welded to.


A jig was set up to bend the upper rear radius.  A 4-1/2" diameter PVC pipe was used as it was the only thing in the shop close to what was needed,  A 3" diameter steel pipe (also laying around the shop) was inserted into the PVC to keep it from bowing in the middle when clamping down on the bolts.  As you can see below, a 1/4" angle iron was used to pull in the pipe to make the radius needed.


Almost there.  Took a couple tries at getting the bend where I wanted it but at the end, it turned out nice.


Here's the left side temporarily fitted to the frame.  The triangular cutout is for the radius corner.


Saw this on a web site which said that this is how they used to do it on the real ones.  A 5"diameter metal disc was hollowed out and then a 108 degree "pie" piece was cut out.


It was then fitted in preparation to be welded.


Here's the right side welded up.  A 1" diameter tube was cut and welded in place next to the "pie" piece to continue the radius.


Next step was to grind away until it looked like what I wanted it to look like.  Still needs a bit of sanding.


What a Riveting Experience!

Well, it was time to try some riveting.  Never did that before.  The way the rivets were installed is probably backwards from traditional ways to peen rivets but it worked better for me.  Rivets were installed in a line of holes (long ones on the right) and taped to hold them in place so when it was flipped over they wouldn't fall out.



The rivets were too long so they were snipped (top row)...



A tip from an air hammer was modified with a Dremil tool to match the profile of the rivet head.  A heavy hunk of steel was used as the backer plate.  The body panels were placed on top of the backer plate and peening was done from the outside.  In order not to destroy the copper rivets, the air hammer was set at 25 psi.  A couple seconds on each rivet did the trick.  The tape was peeled off as as the rivets were peened so they wouldn't pop out from the vibration.  This worked great and was fast.  Dozens of rivets could be installed at a time which helped as this 16 gauge sheet was large and heavy to keep flipping over.


Well, here is one side done, one more to go.


Here are both sides done.  Now to figure out the wiring for the battery, air compressor and switches.  Then it will be time to weld the body to the frame. 

After welding things up, plans are to sand blast it clean, give it a coat of primer and then coat the water tank with "bed-liner".  Once that's done, a fresh coat of paint will be put on, then to re-install all the piping, trucks, hoses, Then.....  It's time to test it out.

Well, need I say that this will "still" take a few more months.

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Last modified: 02/09/2020.