Thursday, August 9, 2018

Benchwork Getting Closer

The upper level benchwork is now about 95% complete.

The only major components pending at this point are the lift bridges to be placed and that's more a case of assembling and testing versus having to make sawdust fly.

I've got to paint before roadbed and then track goes down, but that's quick work that can be done during an evening window.

Mostly finished product.

This high POV shot is taken from the doorway.
I need to remember to blank the door blinds as all that light makes this angle a challenge.

And we will finish up on the other side of the railroad; this is approaching the Hamilton Control Point.
Note the backdrop curve.

As always, more shots at the website gallery.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Roadbed Progress

As I've mentioned, I am cutting pieces of cork out of a roll of the floor under-layment product.

Once down on the layout, I run the belt sander (with a 120 grit belt) over it to give me a better working surface as well as take care of any imperfections or un-smoothness between pieces.

To show how this goes, a couple of shots as I work towards Doswell.

Higher POV shot
Note the bevels showing so that when ballast gets applied, no hard edges protrude.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Website Updates

Fixed some menus, a couple of typos and reworked a couple of sections.

Take a look at the about page; there is a link to the track plans that are used for the build process.

Quick August Update

In the last few months, the railroad has not been much of a priority, which goes double for updating the blog and website.

I'm going to do some clean up on the site this week.

I'm also going to post a couple of new content blog entries as well.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Brass, Part V

This is a small interim update as I've received a few pieces over the last few months that haven't met the lens yet, as there has been a lack of daylight and daylight hours.

Now that days are getting longer, a couple of quick items in this post and then a snap or three.

Purchased some of the "Brass Buyers Guide" issues from Railpub as I thought taking a trip through that history would be neat. I'm a mix of amused, face palmed and sorry I wasn't an adult in the 80's.

Traded emails with Chuck @ UTI as he's doing a run of 10-6 Pullmans, including some RF&P and N&W models. He's running the smooth side cars. I hope to convince him to run some fluted side cars as the ACL had a bunch as did RF&P. if you are interested. He did mention that more Amtrak units probably won't be forthcoming as the plating process has a high waste rate; something around 50%. Ouch!

I put reservations in via for a two, one painted and one not. UTI also has a DOD caboose project going and is apparently talking about making the NS Heritage locos.

The Heritage stuff is a bit of a big wha?? to me as they've been done in plastic, multiple times. Figure a $1000 price point, per model, and I wonder - why?

Anyway, I'll close with some pictures of steam locos I've scored off of ebay.

I know, I know, Sante Fe??
Coming to an excursion train near you. :)
Box could be better, but it's what is inside that counts.
Note the ATC gear between the air pump shields.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Workbench Addition

Like many model railroaders and other hobbyist, I do a fair amount of work on my workbench and in the course of that, I solder.

Soldering makes fumes of course, and they are not good for you, on top of the fact that it makes it that much harder to know when your better half has baked cookies or similar delights.

Starting track work builds again made me realize just how nasty solder smoke is and I resolved to do something about it.

I've got a nice little iron, a Hakko 888 so when I when looking for something to handle the smoke, Hakko was on my list.

I ended up with a FA-400 which you can setup as in the picture, or rotate it and place face down so you get a higher suction from the vents at the bottom of it

Activated replaceable charcoal filter and less than $100 on Amazon, delivered. I bought some spare filters while I was at it.

With this running, soldering is great - no smell, no fumes to inhale. It's really helped me re-find the pleasure in building track at the bench.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Main Line Crossovers

Many of the cross overs for Version 2 are Number 10. Version 1 was all number 8's and a couple of those are being re-used for certain places, but as we are trying to capture the spirit of big time main line railroading, big # turnovers seem to be called for here.

I pieced together a jig and point tool from Fast Tracks over the years for number 10. At the time, they only sold a standard jig, not a cross over jig like I have for 8s.

Remembering a bit of my process from building the #8s last time, I figured using the printed templates to help me cut rail to length would be a good idea. It would also help me get the spacing from frog to point, as having a problem there can make your component turnouts nonparallel, which is a big downer on a crossover.

Grabbed a piece of homasote off the scrap pile and marked out some centerlines. I put my spacing at 2", 2.5", 3", 3.5" and 4" as I've got places where I have crossovers at those various distances. The main line is either 2" or 2.5", but many of industrial or siding spots have a greater spacing to stress their secondary nature.

 Of course, in the time it's taken me to start of this 2nd version of the railroad, Fast Tracks has made a #10 cross over jig available and made a #12 jig. Oh boy..

You can see some of the other spacings marked from this angle.
At this point, I've built 3 #10 crossovers, sold the plain jig and point tool on ebay, and have just about pulled the trigger on a cross over jig, so once I remember, expect a quick update on the finished trackwork, and the new jig, when I get it.