Saturday, January 18, 2020

Easy pipe load for Tyco flats

You've seen the Tyco 40' flat car with its three giant pipe sections. They are wayyyyy too large to be believed, and they tend to roll off anyway.

photo: eBay seller nikiship

Here is how to make a more believable - and stable - removable pipe load for this car. It will rest just inside the molded tray.

1. Trim off the vertical divider tabs in 4 places. A utility knife will slice them off. Don't worry about neatness, those spots will be covered by the new load.

2. Obtain some 1/4" ID PEX plumbing tubing from your home improvement store. It comes 5 foot lengths, in grey or white. Grey is preferable, but white can be painted. A 5 foot piece is enough to make loads for two cars.

3. Cut the PEX tubing to length: 5 pieces @ 4 1/2". This is a somewhat soft plastic, you can cut it with a utility knife and cutting board. Score the tubing all the way around and gradually work the knife through it. 

4. If there is printed lettering on the tubing, rub it off using 91% isopropyl alcohol. 

5. Set up the bottom layer - three pieces tightly side by side, and run a bead of hot melt glue along the two joints. After it hardens, run two more beads, and stick the remaining two pipes on top.

6. Now the pipe load is stacked. Trim off any hot glue that oozed out. Paint if needed. I used a stick and masking tape for a painting handle to paint my white tubing grey.

7. Apply banding. I used 1/8" automotive pinstripe tape.

Now you have a nice removable load!