LOCOMOTIVE MAINTENANCE CRADLE
July 24, 2006
  When it comes time to work on a locomotive in the workshop, I needed something to
hold it steady, both upside down and on its side, and keep its finish protected from
scratching.  I also wanted something convenient to use, small enough to fit on the
workbench, but able to handle longer equipment like an SD-45 or RDC.
    I designed an open cradle with two padded panels, angled so the workpiece can't fall
off, and with open ends so it can fit something extending past the ends.
   Here's the completed cradle with an Aristo boxcar, positioned to work from the bottom:
  The cradle is 25 inches long, 8 inches high, and 9 inches deep.  Each of the flat panels
is made of 3/4 inch pine, 24 inches long, one 4 1/2 inches wide and the other 6 1/2
inches wide.  The end pieces are 3/4 inch plywood.  It is assembled with 1 5/8 inch
drywall screws.
  I happened to have scraps of 11/2 inch foam handy.  I cut them into strips 3 3/4 inch and 6
1/2 inches wide.  I glued them on with silicone caulk:
SUGGESTIONS - since I made this out of materials I had handy, it's not the perfect size.  
I would recommend slightly wider sides, either with thinner foam or wider pieces of pine.

Overall, this is a nice, simple, handy cradle that works great!
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