MODELING: Wilson and Cudahy Meat Reefers


My last posting was very well received by viewers. In the two days since posting the Lee Turner article the blog has garnered 1500 views. The new single day record was today (7/28/15) with over 780 views. Needless to say, I am pleased with the results. Lee Turner’s work is incredible and deserves the attention the blog received. Thank you readers and Lee.


I haven’t forgotten my reefer build. There are a few other priorities like finishing patterns for a customer and doing some track work on the layout. The picture below is to remind me and you what the end objective is.

Wilson meat

I decided to build the stirrups for the car. I used .010″ x .040″ strip brass that I purchased from Simpson Model Products. Sadly Russ is gone but the business has been sold and is starting up again. I used a brass bending tool that I purchased from the Small Shop a while back. The Small Shop It is a precision metal tool that is intended to help with photo etched part forming but it can be used for bending strips.

bending jig

I clamped the strip in the tool and used a razor blade to do a 90 degree bend.

bending jig step

The second bend is done the same way. You can easily replicate bends making consistent looking stirrups. The prototype stirrups have a 90 degree bend on the verticals. I built a simple styrene jig to allow me to form the 90 degree twist.

twist jig


I make the twist with flat plier. The brass stirrup is inserted in the jig and the plier nose is butted against the edge of the jig. The process is quite simple and can be done quickly.


CRLX 5802 lr


Robert has been working on the meat reefer. He has been trying to figure out how the ice hatches were on the prototype. Failing any new information, Robert proceeded to “just do it”.


The hatch construction is conventional and much like the hatch design on Swift reefers.


So that is all for now.

Happy Trails,



6 thoughts on “MODELING: Wilson and Cudahy Meat Reefers

  1. Great report Gene! I’m so thrilled about your connection with Lee. I first saw samples of his work on Upon meeting him in Chicago in 2014 I learned to love and respect him not only for workmanship but his high moral principles. I plan to have him do some work for me very soon. I’m also thrilled about your work and sharing your exquisite workmanship. What a precious gift for us to be a part of the finest of the fine in modeling by an expert craftsman! What a lesson in life of the power of focus! Each post is a treasure!
    Ron Portzer

  2. Love your “Sill Steps” Gene, a part too often ignored. They were seldom a standard look and variation was the norm.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s