The On-Line Magazine of Rideable Model Railroading
  NUMBER 123


© January 05, 2009   

©Discover Live Steam. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission.

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Wheel Chocks

Written by Laurence Johnson

For those of us that do not have brakes

on each of our cars, this handy little metal flagged wheel chock is really good. This idea is not mine and for the life of me I cannot remember who to give credit to for such a good idea. I’m an older fella with trifocal glasses and when walking around my car on a not so sunny day as shown here on the left I end up kick or tripping over my wheel chock. It is real easy to stumble over one when walking into the train shed from the bright outside and the “photo gray” function of my glasses haven’t made full adjustment.

(click images to enlarge)

I had just made a set of these yellow wheel chocks for my railroad club and one of the club member’s asked if I would make a set for him to use. This got me to thinking about who’s flag is whose, and me being stumble footed I am suggesting an alternate design idea. Make the flag from round stock! So I band sawed out a set of 2” long pipe sections splitting them along one side plus some scrap straight rods and 2 1/2” sections of angle iron.

After opening up the side cut in the pipe section I hammered the rod flush and made a couple of passes with the wire welder (stick welder works fine also). Why round Stock? Because it is the same size no matter the viewing angle!

And, if you are real hand at welding, you can weld in a set of initials!

Now this is getting into it. Round flags with initials, why not different colors? Why am I not making my wheel chocks to fit onto my groovy track as well as the Club’s profile track? I’ve read that the railroads use the color of blue to make area for maintenance and by the train rules, only the person who place the blue flag can remove it!

So here’s the collection so far! The left one is mine and I have discovered that I can’t weld initials very well so I just mark in the letters using a permanent ink felt pen. Yea it looks a bit odd but it’ll fit any track out there!

See the difference in flag shapes, the left yellow is about not there and the other two are very visible! So next time you are out in the shop and a puttering and needing a short time project, make a few wheel chocks and give them to your railroading buddies as a surprise.


Author's Note  Since this was written,  I've discovered that angle iron is not the best shape -- the angle is too large.  

After you have welded the rod into the inside radius of the angle iron turn it around and squeeze the sides in about half way. This'll grab the rail and make things stick straight out from the rail head.



Written by Laurence Johnson

©Discover Live Steam. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission.


HEY, Check out Laurence
Johnson's CDs filled
with cool blueprints:

CAD Drawings for the
Live Steam Hobby vol. 1

CAD Drawings for the
Live Steam Hobby vol. 2



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