How to Build Lumber Loads and Cargo Containers

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I have bought (so far) seven of the new Wheels of Time HO lumber load 2-pack kits:

I'm moving so with everything getting packed up it may be a few months before I can set up a work bench and get them painted and assembled.

In addition, I've built up here some RS lumber load kits built up into stacks or bunks - three lengths, 8, 12 and 16 feet long:

The ends are pretty uneven so you can't get as closely spaced bunks as Blaine's or WOT lumber stacks, at least not without sanding the ends move even. But from photo's I've seen of lumber loads, it's not unusual for them to shift.

Stacked onto a 60' Intermountain flat car (two kits required to get to this many stacks:


new guy

Active Member
Scale tie-downs and straps for securing loads? If yer gonna "model"...What is the preferred method for HO and N scale?

Great work and thanks for any info.


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I bought some lumberloads on ebay (I'll have to find the sellers name), Starting bid is usually $8 and they mostly seem to go for that or not much more). They are made from solid white pine, built up in strips and covered in glued on paper print offs, Nothing fancy. I modified (hopefully enhanced) them by sealing the paper, then cutting along the horizontal joint lines with a wide blade wood chisel and the verticals with a narrow blade. Finished them off with Rustoleum clear gloss (satin may suit your taste) to produce a plastic effect.

DSC05089.JPG DSC05090.JPG DSC05091.JPG DSC05096.JPG

The tiedowns used on these cars are usually wire cables with small right angle pads on the top row to protect the lumber from the wire. Wind up tensioners are fitted along the sills. Yet to be done.


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I knew I had seen an example of a strap tiedown somewhere, this is not that one, but being empty, gives a good view of the method. The winders appear to be attached to the edge of the walkway, would be hard on the back and knees of the person tightening them up, but at least they could do all without having to change to the other side of the car.

Ron, Toot, Riogrande, Lloyd, and Bruce (and anyone I may have missed) - great stuff. Since one of the main industries in my layout will be a "forest-to-lumberyard" process, having finished lumber stacks will be necessary. I'll have to experiment with some of these techniques as I get further along.
Thanks for the ideas, everyone.
Johnny, One thing I have seen in larger scales is making blocks the size of individual lumber stacks and wrapping them in much the same way I did in my lumber load video. See Lloyd's picture above, and those are N scale. A little hard to control in N scale in my opinion, but Lloyd did a nice job.
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Staff member
toot, those look really good. Thanks for sharing them. I haven't attempted tie downs yet mostly because I'm not sure how I want to attach them and make them look right in N scale.
Thanks Ron, I have seen HO pages that you can print off and I believe it's possible to scale them to suit. I think I have the link somewhere buried in my Bookmarks, if I can find it, I'll post it. The HO loads I got had one disadvantage to the chisel cut method in that some were built up in strips lengthwise with the joins at the same spot as the joints in the prints, and they weren't all that well glued, so a tendency to seperate. Wasn't too much problem to glue back together. The other thing with a couple was that when I sealed the paper covering with slightly diluted white glue, some yellowing occured from the wood, once again nothing severe, but did detract from the whiteness somewhat compared to the others. The wood was sealed and painted with white latex paint, but some of it may have had a pigment that leached through. If you can cut your own wood, something to check for.

I plan on using black cotton for the ties (when I get to it), the little corner packers are going to be difficult. If you do use ties and make them permanent, then that will hold them on to the car. I did see an idea of drilling shallow holes into the backs of the loads and glueing in those small round magnets. The trick with them is to place them opposite the spaces in the center beam and slightly proud so they actually pull close together. The other thing is to make sure to put them north against south poles, so they attract each other, for obvious reasons. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to