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 Post subject: Handcar Wanted for Static Display
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:47 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:42 pm
Posts: 2
Good Day,

My first post and I am begging. This is normal for me though.

Our city parks department is looking for a used handcar for a static display. The unit does not have to "run". Just wondering if anyone could help me in finding such a unit. I know you can purchase new kits but as mentioned the desire is for an aged unit to sit in place and look good!

Thanks for your time,

Jim K


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 Post subject: Re: Handcar Wanted for Static Display
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 259
Handcars are not exactly easy to come by, and most people who do come by them want them to be operational (they are a lot of fun, for one thing).

Is this for an outdoor static display? If so, forget about it. Handcars are made mostly of wood, and will decay quickly of left out in the elements. They were kept in enclosed sheds for a reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Handcar Wanted for Static Display
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:42 pm
Posts: 2
weekendrailroader wrote:
Handcars are not exactly easy to come by, and most people who do come by them want them to be operational (they are a lot of fun, for one thing).

Is this for an outdoor static display? If so, forget about it. Handcars are made mostly of wood, and will decay quickly of left out in the elements. They were kept in enclosed sheds for a reason.


Understood on all fronts. The park could put some sort of structure above such a display to limit rain, snow etc. but it will be a game of diminishing returns. Thank you.

Jim K


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 Post subject: Re: Handcar Wanted for Static Display
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 202
Location: Orrville, OH
Reproduction handcars, kit or built are available from Kalamazoo Manufacturing: http://www.kalamazoomfg.com/. I know nothing about about them so can't vouch for them. Ran across them in a web search one day.

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 Post subject: Re: Handcar Wanted for Static Display
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:13 pm
Posts: 403
Location: Baltimore. MD
jayrod wrote:
Reproduction handcars, kit or built are available from Kalamazoo Manufacturing: http://www.kalamazoomfg.com/. I know nothing about about them so can't vouch for them. Ran across them in a web search one day.



I believe this is the son of the owner of Trainorders.com.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Handcar Wanted for Static Display
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:34 am
Posts: 3
My son builds handcars under the Kalamazoo Manufacturing Company that built handcars into the 1950s. The company got out of the railroad business back in the late 1950s and went out of business completely in the 1990s.

A month does not go by that my son doesn't receive an inquiry from someone looking to buy a handcar for outdoor display. As someone already mentioned a standard handcar left outside will fall apart quickly. However, last year my son built an architectural static display handcar that was designed to last 30+ years in the elements. Most don't follow through as they get sticker shock with the price beginning at $20,000, twice the price of a standard car. More if all the components need to be zinc plated for protection.

It was the most interesting car he has built. The customer was unconcerned with the cost as art displays was required for all new developments in Vancouver, BC where it was installed. I attached a photo of it under attachments. The car was built from exotic Ipe lumber from South America. The fasteners and tension rods are stainless steel, and the iron parts, including the wheels were all zinc plated and painted with polyurethane.

For longevity Ipe is great, but it is an awful wood to work with. It is expensive, I think the lumber for the handcar was around $3000. My son tried to cut it with a standard bandsaw blade and it dulled a brand new blade in the first inch of cut. He went through a pair of table saw blades on the Sawstop. Forget sanding this stuff, as it laughs at sandpaper. Countless drill bits went into the trash and it took a while to get the floor fastened down as he had to be careful not to break bits or screws.

While the lever arm is an iron casting made using a pattern that he fabricated from an original Kalamazoo handcar, the wheels are authentic Kalamazoo handcar wheels, circa 1900. We had bought these sight unseen about 6 years ago and when they arrived we learned they had been in a accident on the railroad and were bent up. We almost threw them away at one point, but when this project came in we straightened them. They still had a little wobbled in them, but good enough for a static display. After sandblasting, plating, and painting they came out beautiful. The car actually was usable, but the client welded it to some rails for display so it will never run. Only a trained eye would know it was built for display purposes.


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File comment: Ipe handcar
ipe-car.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Handcar Wanted for Static Display
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5351
Location: southeastern USA
Looks like a piece of fine furniture. I'd be afraid to get it dirty.

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 Post subject: Re: Handcar Wanted for Static Display
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:41 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2462
What is the purpose of the display? Is this a historic exhibit or an art piece?

If it's purely a static display art piece, consider making something out of metal, maybe an old speeder flat or just speeder wheels and fab the deck from plate. Put some metal angle and pipe on it for the pump, weld it all together and paint it with rust resistant paint. No worries about rotting wood etc. It won't be authentic, but if your intent is to say "this is a railroad town" it would possibly work.


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