MODELING: Wilson Construction Project



As luck will have it, Jerry Stewart gave the project a big boost by providing the image shown above.  It solves one of the big unknowns in the build.  The roof hatch is a slightly different design than I was expecting.  The hinge support timbers are rather conventional but the hasp on the hatch is different than most reefers.

wil hinge  block

The hinge support timbers were made from HO 6″ x 8″ styrene stock.  I added a 6″ long strip and a 10″ long strip to either end to create an 8″ x 8″ timber with a notch.  There is a square bolt at the far end that is countersunk so that it is nearly flush.   I made a little fixture to mount the timber to the roof.

wilson hatch rest

The hinge assembly is made up of .010″ by .060″ strips with a .050″ styrene rod for the rotating part of the hinge.  I added MacLeod Western 1″ nuts to the hinge plates.

b end details

The grab irons and corner grab were made from .0125″ phos bronze. I added MacLeod Western grab iron ends.   You can get the MacLeod parts from Coronado Scale Models in Phoenix or Foothill Model Works.

The following words are from Jerry Stewart and are very helpful providng some operational and technical data on the Wilson wood sheathed reefers.

Let me see if I can help you with some information and call-outs. See the little chain and hook meant to

keep the hatch closed through the sealing ring, you could use a metal car seal to seal the car completely up
against theft, hatches and all. Wilson had their own way of doing this, and it differed from other fleet owners.
Also note the “quick-fix” to the double board roofs……just add another layer of boards to the top of the existing
roof over the load space of the car! Wilson was great for salvaging old hardware from retired/scrapped cars,
this is why you see old door hinges/latches, hand brakes, and trucks on newer wood “bodied” cars. Wilson
only purchased newer trucks and power geared hand brakes when they did not have salvaged parts to reuse.
           Wilson had four different paint schemes from the mid-1930s into the late 1950s.
        –  Mid-1930s lasting into the late 50s, no monogram, just the word “Refrigerator” on the right side.
        –  Starting sometime in 1947 or 48 and lasting into the late 50s, small “W” monogram. Followed by
            a mid-sized “W” monogram that came into play very short afterward.
        –  Around 1950, and lasting to the end of the wood bodied cars, the large “W” monogram.
           Some correct reweigh/shop symbols, C is Chicago, O is Omaha, and CR is Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And
I think most of the heavy shop work was done at Cedar Rapids, but don’t hold me to it?

I would to thank Jerry Stewart for providing the Library of Congress photo and the narrative.

Happy Fourth of July and happy Canada Day to our friends to the north.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s