Here is an excerpt from a note Joe F. sent me:
"Thanks for your kind words on your blog. My love for trains started out by restoring "unloved" Lionel pieces. Then I figured, "Why not try it?". Some of my beginning pieces are crap. The pieces I built are all scratch built from 26 gauge sheet metal. In my garage, I have a sheet metal brake/bender, sheet metal sheer, sheet metal slip roll, some punches and dies, drill presses, and I'm continually adding tools to my collection. I also have a good supply of parts. For the sheet metal pieces I can't cut, I found a guy that cuts panels by a computered laser cutter, like the intricate panels on the standard gauge converse trolley. I just found a great guy that does very good custom dry transfers. Some gold dry transfers I bought in the past never transfered correctly onto the train. Nothing is more frustrating than making a train from scratch and then not have the dry transfer work !!!"