The extra stuff

Many freight car kits include a parts fret for brake hardware. Resin kits often include a Tichy Train Group parts fret seen in the above image. After I use the KC brake component and a couple other pieces, the fret becomes extra stuff. Once you have gone through several of these, they start taking up space.

Not only do they take up space, but I forget what parts remain on each fret.

I had an extra plastic multi-compartment storage case and decided to use it for these small parts. I trimmed them off of the frets and sorted them into the various compartments here. It’s much easier to find brake levers, platforms, retainer valves, and other ephemera from those Tichy frets.

Some may say just throw away those parts frets after you use what you need. These words are an affront to many hobbyists! Throwing stuff away is NOT part of our language! I built a resin hopper kit recently and needed to create a longer brake platform. The extra stuff came into play!

The brake platform is longer than the parts on the fret, so I shave off what is needed.

By applying steady pressure with a fresh single-edge razor blade, the gears on the part are ready for a new application. If the slicing effort fails, there’s another brake platform ready in the box of extra stuff. And I must remind you to be careful using sharp blades. Keep a few band aids on the workbench in case you need them.

I’ve glued the gears onto a styrene 2 x 8 and drilled a hole for the 0.020-inch diameter wire I use for the vertical brake staff. The next step is to trim the platform to length and install it on the car end.

Here’s the end result on a Reading HTf class hopper. The three grey parts here also came from the extra stuff. The kit did not have many parts supplied beyond the basic resin castings.

Save and organize those extra parts as many will come in handy on future projects.

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5 thoughts on “The extra stuff”

  1. I have done the same thing. Extra parts box and all. It’s not like they take up lots of space and I always find myself going there to get parts. I think Accurail gives you extra steps in their 36′ boxcar kits. There is a place for them in the parts box too. We kit builders have very similar ideas, don’t we? Ain’t it great?!

  2. I have done a similiar organizational scheme using 24 boxes containing a lot of detail parts. As you say, makes finding parts a whole lot easier!

  3. I’ve been doing this sort of thing for a long time. For years I’ve been able to reach out to various storage solutions in my shop and find bits and parts that I need to push projects to completion. This happens more than I thought it would. IMO, it’s not only a great idea, it’s required to both save money and time. Have fun.

  4. I literally had a stack of Tichy AB brake frets 6 inches tall, go looking for a AB valve, nope, did the same thing but they went into 3×4” jewelry bags from Hobby Lobby (small ziploc bags) each marked with what the part/parts are, then into a drawer marked brake parts.

    I think the AB brake set is the second molded model railroad item, just behind the Athearn 1937 improved boxcar.

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