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.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Roadbed Progress Update

Roadbed has made it to the 2nd turn back curve that caps the end of the peninsula closest to the stairs.

O. Winston Chase was on hand to capture a couple of photos.

Not sure what the photographer was attempting to capture here
Hmm. Apparently, you have to be a bit taller than me to make a good over the shoulder shot. Who knew?
Well, trust me, cork is down so we will be prepared for track.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Content Coming

Been busing with railroad stuff during the weekends and family stuff all other times. Have some travel coming up so expect some content getting queued up