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Wheel chocks

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by namron, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. namron

    namron New Member

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    Hi folks.
    Just wondering if anyone can point me to a good source of hardwood and correctly profiled wheel chocks. Thanks
     
  2. toplight

    toplight Member

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    I would have though your best bet would be to buy/obtain some hardwood and just make some then you can make them to suit the wheel diameters you have. Ideally you need access to a bandsaw to cut them but you could do it with a normal handsaw plus coping saw if you only have hand tools. Then an old tin of paint to give them a quick coat.
     
  3. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget a bit of broom handle at the side to keep your fingers out of the way!
    Ray.
     
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  4. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    The handle is actually not a handle but a counterweight.
    Its purpose is to make sure that the chock falls off the rail when the wheel is moved away.

    This from at least 3 separate Railway training instructors on various courses on Network infrastructure.
     
  5. namron

    namron New Member

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    Hi. Yes obviously thought of that but there are plenty of cases of vehicles overrunning and splitting chocks. I thought that someone might have ideas about the best type of wood, grain orientation etc and maybe some dimensions. I suppose I am looking for a bit of science rather than just cutting some wood on a band saw. Maybe it doesn't exist.
    Cheers.
     
  6. Ken_R

    Ken_R Member

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    I think we generally use softwood, which probably accounts for why we get through so many.;) I don't what pattern our Wood Butchers use but they tend to turn them out on a Band saw about a dozen at a time. Grain orientation is invariably parallel to the rail.

    Additionally, we do not fit any 'counterweight' handles as they tend to constitute a 'trip hazard' [in the 'workshop' environment] and make storage more difficult. We prefer to 'string' them so that they can be hung up when not in use.

    As for sources [of material], try Timber Merchants that are advertising 'Sleepers' for Garden usage [which tend to be rather low grade and under size], or even your own old sleepers.

    We are lucky in that our work/storage facility is all mainly 'on the level'.

    Hardwood is great for longevity but, is heavy and, when 'micro' positioning Bogies for a Carriage coming 'down off the jacks', Softwood is preferable for ease of effort. And for me, 'ease of effort' = good!:)
     
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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    At the risk of being a pedant, in railway usage shouldn't it be a scotch - a chock being the aeroplane equivalent?

    (Not that pedantry helps with carpentry, but we should preserve historic usage!)

    Tom
     
  8. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    I agree.

    Interestingly, during my railway service, plus volunteering for 20+ years at QRS, I always knew and referred to them as scotches, chocks were what we used to stop cars moving on car flats.

    But ... When I started volunteering at KESR I noticed most people talked about chocks. So I looked up relevant entries in the rule book and that publication definitely says scotches.

    Confusingly the pieces of wood provided for plugging the open side of a set of points are also referred to as scotches.
     
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  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Try working in the brewing industry... Everything has at least 2 names, Maybe apart from 'pint' and 'half'
     
  10. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    We talk of rumours being scotched...?
     
  11. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    Can you be Scotched if you imbibe to much Malt?:)
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    A scotch is a tapered piece of timber. Chocks in mining were supports for the roof; initially timber but steel supports were also referred to as chocks.

    Another term in frequent use is point clamp. However, the rule books (old and new) are singularly silent on the word clamp. Points have to be clipped (with a point clip) and scotched (with a tapered piece of timber.)
     
  13. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    Is the radius critical? I was wondering if it is important to have the radius on the scotch larger than that of the wheel otherwise the wheel might knock it away rather than it wedging between the wheel and rail
     
  14. NeilL

    NeilL Well-Known Member

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    When I was working in distilleries in Scotland casks were held in place by scotches - but pronounced to rhyme with 'itches'
     
  15. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    Not on this forum....
     
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  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    My understanding of the etymology is that as a verb, "scotch" means stop (hence to scotch a rumour) whereas chock can mean "support" or "fill". In that sense, you can scotch a wheel, i.e. stop it rotating; what you use to do so is irrelevant (you could, for example, scotch a wheel by placing a stone under it - maybe not recommended, but grammatically correct. In nautical use, a chock is a wedge-shaped support used to hold something like a barrel or small launch in position. There's a subtle distinction in that a scotch prevents a movement, whereas a chock supports a stationary object (and keeps it so...)

    I don't think the shape comes into it - for example, I have seen in pre-grouping photos "scotch blocks" (used to prevent a vehicle running out from a siding onto a mainline, typically where space was too constricted to use a full length switch as a trap) which consist of a simple baulk of wood, arranged to pivot either over or clear of a rail and be locked in either position.

    Tom
     
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  17. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    That all sounds reasonable.

    Just thinking...... if you used a scotch block to stop a wagon moving and it was rough shunted so that the wheel ran onto the scotch block and stayed on top, would it then become a chock? :)
     
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  18. Graham Phillips

    Graham Phillips New Member

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  19. Dan Bennett

    Dan Bennett Member

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    Why not just buy them off the shelf from Unipart Rail? Not that expensive, and available without handle, or left and right handed with handle. You also know they’re made from the correct material then
     
  20. namron

    namron New Member

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    Well that prompted a good academic discussion. I used the term chocks because the raib used it in the report on the Avon Valley Railway coaches incident . We always talk about scotches on our railway. Thanks for all the comments
     
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