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Model Railroading > American Model Builders is Now Closed


Date: 02/22/24 09:21
American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: AMBLaserkit

American Model Builders is now closed and
the LASERkit product line has been discontinued.

The family of the late John Hitzeman, founder and owner, and the extended AMB family, would like to thank the model railroad community and our contract customers for over 40 years of patronage!



Date: 02/22/24 10:11
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: ghemr

I built a few of his structures and they are very nice! On a few occasions when I had questions they were very prompt and thorough in replying. 



Date: 02/22/24 10:20
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: boejoe

The company offered some fine caboose kits as well as flat car loads.
jb



Date: 02/22/24 10:25
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: ts1457

I wonder why someone did not buy the line? Falling demand? Affordable personal use equipment?

I seem to remember that architectural models was the primary business. Are architects making them in-house now?



Date: 02/22/24 10:38
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: original

sorry to hear the estate could not sell the company. AMB is still a viable entity 



Date: 02/22/24 11:15
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: wingomann

Dang!  I have a couple of his products and have been looking at more kits to buy.  Oh well...
I have wondered if they could use the laser cutters to cut the caboose kits out of styrene.  I like working with plastic more than wood.



Date: 02/22/24 13:54
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: map

wingomann Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dang!  I have a couple of his products and have
> been looking at more kits to buy.  Oh well...
> I have wondered if they could use the laser
> cutters to cut the caboose kits out of styrene. 
> I like working with plastic more than wood.

Cutting styrene with a laser is very difficult.  With wood or acrylic, the laser actually vaporizes the material, resulting in a precise clean cut.  Styrene doesn't work that way.  The laser can cut it, but does so by melting it apart. It's very difficult to make intricate cuts or small pieces without distorting the material.

Mike Peters
Brentwood, MO



Date: 02/22/24 14:04
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: map

I live only a few blocks from their shop, and it's the first I've heard of them shutting down.  I do know their location is in an area that is slated for a major redevelopment, and I was wondering what their relocation plans were.  I guess now I know.

It's hard to say the viability of the business in today's market. Desktop laser cutters and 3D printing probably have increased competition and reduced demand.  The company I work for recently purchased a laser cutter.

Mike Peters
Brentwood, MO



Date: 02/22/24 14:50
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: ts1457

map Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cutting styrene with a laser is very difficult.
>  With wood or acrylic, the laser actually
> vaporizes the material, resulting in a precise
> clean cut.  Styrene doesn't work that way.  The
> laser can cut it, but does so by melting it apart.
> It's very difficult to make intricate cuts or
> small pieces without distorting the material.
>
> Mike Peters
> Brentwood, MO

Fumes might be a problem, too.



Date: 02/22/24 22:01
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: needles_sub

> Cutting styrene with a laser is very difficult.
>  With wood or acrylic, the laser actually
> vaporizes the material, resulting in a precise
> clean cut.  Styrene doesn't work that way.  The
> laser can cut it, but does so by melting it apart.
> It's very difficult to make intricate cuts or
> small pieces without distorting the material.
>
> Mike Peters
> Brentwood, MO

Union Station Products does ok with cutting styrene with laser"s and creating fluting for passenger car sides. The cuts are clean with very little clean up. 



Date: 02/22/24 22:41
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: ts1457

needles_sub Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Union Station Products does ok with cutting
> styrene with laser"s and creating fluting for
> passenger car sides. The cuts are clean with very
> little clean up. 

I believe USP does not use a laser cutter. My understanding is that the sides are milled with a CNC router.



Date: 02/23/24 07:54
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: CPR_4000

This seems to have come out of the blue. Always thought about getting one of their NYC barges. I concur with the plastic vs wood opinion stated above for the cabooses. No wood grain to fill!

Hopefully someone will resurrect AMB. Bethlehem Car Works was recently acquired by White Rose Hobbies.



Date: 02/24/24 09:42
Re: American Model Builders is Now Closed
Author: BoilingMan

Yeow! This is rather startling news (and sad). I got in the car, drove straight to my LHS (Roseville), and grabbed the SP Type 22 I’ve been promising myself for about 10 or 20 years. It really has no place on my layout or in any of my plans, but I spent untold hours hanging around the Type 22 station in Goleta CA as a kid. It was active and the agent still lived upstairs (1962-64ish)- and he spent untold hours trying to run me off, to no avail.
SR

BTW: I already had an AMB caboose on my lumber company themed layout.



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