What's the best way to temporarily secure a load to a flat car?
At the last show i tried to run some of AZL's 89' flats with military loads and quickly found out that the Woodland Scenics "Sticky Spots" i had used to hold the loads in place didn't work as well as i had hoped. And Now 3 months later Just getting around to putting them away in their original boxes I find that Some loads held ok while others would not sit flat and even more just came loose.
So now i'm looking for a better way to hold the loads in place. I thought about CA or maybe UV type glue but then they would be permanently attached them to the cars. A while back i picked up some 1/16 diameter 1/32 thick disk magnets and had thought about drilling a shallow hole in the underside of the turrets and a matching hole in the tank bodies to hold the turrets in place, but never got around to trying it. Now i'm wondering if i could just use magnets to hold the loads in place on the cars?
It would be easy enough to glue a tiny magnet to the top of the car and another to the underside of the load But what would this do to the value of the cars and their loads? I've also thought about drilling a tiny hole in the underside of the cars center beam and inserting a small magnet. This would leave the top of the car looking neat and clean with no permanent marks or glue spots.
So i guess my question is do you think Magnets will work ? And would there be any negative side to using magnets?
Well Dave, there's always a positive and a negative to using magnets...
I think magnets are a good way to go. I've used them in N with good success, (mostly with metal cars) and there are tons of articles over the years about using magnets for loads. I definitely wouldn't do anything to alter the topside of the car...either use metal plates or matched magnets underneath to hold the loads...drill the holes for the magnets in the loads (if possible)
Aside from magnets, it's all about just experimenting with different tapes, sticky materials, or just very spare amounts of glue. A lot depends on the load.
As far as affecting value, I'm sure it does...I'm not really a collector so I don't factor that in. I buy cars for enjoyment and the second I spend the money I just consider that the cost of enjoying that car. If I want and I am able to resell it for some bit of money later then that is a bonus. If that buyer gets it with a load arc-welded to the deck, so be it.
Warning if You are using Rokuhan turnouts ! I tried to trigger reed switches (for position detection) under the track via cylindric neodyme magnets, replacing the metallic "ballast" bar in my 33' FT hoppers. Everything worked fine ... as long as the cars were far away from the turnouts, because when they are near they interact with the neodyme magnets built into the turnouts, too. Not only the cars were pulled or pushed away when I ran them "single" or pairwise by hand, but when they were in a train running slowly over the turnout I saw that the cars could be lifted about 0.5 mm. So I used graphited axles on the rear truck ... it works "approximately" well !
As I stated over on Trainboard, I strongly recommend 'StickyTack', meant for hanging pictures/posters, I think. I've been using it for years, and find it has a reliable hold, but removes easily when needed.