Casting Bronze Plaques

If you look at our handcar closely you may notice a number of details.  One such detail are the four bronze plaques that adorn each touring car.  We make these bronze plaques ourselves.   The process involves creating a pattern that will be used to leave a sand impression that molten…

Continue reading

Making Axles

One of the more interesting tasks is fabricating our handcar axles.  On a conventional car the axle is a solid round rod.  This is not an efficient design as it makes the car quite heavy.  For the touring handcar we use a hollow axle that is made by using a…

Continue reading

Building Wheels

Building handcar wheel centers is not a simple exercise.  Each wheels is made up of 18 pieces of precision cut top grade hard maple and white ash lumbers.  The diameter is carefully cut with a table saw, then finished using a modified sander. https://vimeo.com/374499657https://vimeo.com/374499874

Continue reading

Boring Holes

Drilling holes may seem trivial, but it is quite a complicated task when each of the dozens of holes found on the handcar need to be perfectly lined up.  To accomplish this process we utilized a very large 40 ton aerospace mill with a 12 foot long table.   This was…

Continue reading

Making Gears

We manufacture the 90 spur gears that will make up our first run of touring handcars. Our gears arrive from the foundry as cast iron blanks. Before teeth can be cut into them, the blank needs to be accurately machined on three sides. Machining is performed on our refurbished 1963…

Continue reading

Handcar Manufacturing

Mason is currently working over 100 hours a week on the handcar manufacturing project.  Seven days a week he begins at 9am, and works in the shop until 6pm.  Then he returns home and works another seven hours on the plans and sending out bid requests to various shops to…

Continue reading

Handcar Lumber Arrives

We took delivery of 1500 board feet of white ash and hard maple lumber to build our handcars.  This lumber order is particularly sad as it will be our last opportunity to obtain ash lumber.  Ash trees are an endangered species as the imported Emerald Ash Borer insect from Asia…

Continue reading

Touring Handcar Testing

We finished a shake down run for our new touring handcar in Ely, Nevada. We put over 100 miles on the handcar testing it over the grueling railroad grades of the Nevada Northern Railway. As part of our test we propelled the car up the steep eight mile Keystone Line….

Continue reading