Progress on the Triple O

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, October 8, 2015 2:13 AM

Tom,

 

Thanks for the rudder correction!  I did, indeed, intend to place a brick lengthwise.  Looks like a question in advance saved me a headache later.  I will reorient them and place them vertically as you suggest.

The trestle is about 16", so your recommended wall backing should hold.  After much consideration, I think I will use the broken concrete and save the lava rock for something where I can take the time and stack it to avoid large gaps.  I will experiment first to see if it will break into slabs, though, before I go either direction.

Looks like digging down is turning out to be a much harder project than building up!

 

Aloha,

Eric

 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 3:09 PM

Rain...digging rescheduled for Wednesday!

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, October 17, 2015 12:55 AM
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, October 19, 2015 1:33 AM

Well, we cleared down to 4" today.  I relelveled and concreted in the future abutments.  I will see if they hold.  I am having a real trouble keeping back the to layer of fill, as it is all gravel and inherently unstable. 

 

Based on today's efforts, my plans going forward will be to break things into even smaller chunks to ensure I have at least 4" cleared down to the dirt fill.  I also plan to abandon any effort to texture the concrete walls beyond some coloring and, possibly, some pebble-sized concrete rubble in the concrete mix.

My biggest fear is accidentally underming upper levels as I excavate deeper into the bed.  I am guessing it is easier to use some concrete patches and paint to fix a bad look than it is to rebuild the entire canyon wall!

Have a good week!

 

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, October 26, 2015 11:27 PM

Aloha!

We made progress, excavating down to the first four inches of our canyon.  Based on the advice of a friend and licensed civil engineer, I cut the concrete mix 50/50 with some rubble (Coincidentally eliminating the rubble-bucket / mosquito-rookery along the way!) and some concrete dye, pouring in layers to about four inches back.  The colors are a bit light, but the effect is actually pretty good.  The results are below:

 

We can fix the colors with washes later.

We did optest the bridges, temporary and permanent, and they carry the weight of the trains just fine.  In the next picture, I left the trestle to show how much deeper I've yet to dig!  Uncharacteristically, the Triple O is actually running things that might have actually been seen together in real life:

 

 

Later runs proved that the temporary bridge can carry a train to the hibachi station loaded with a bottle of adult beverage, so construction passes the basic operation test and its economic value test!  Thanks again to Tom for detailing a basic method for maintaining operations while excavations commenced.

Progress will be slow over the Hallowe'en week.  This is giving me time to reflect the next steps:

  1. Building up.  I want to tie the gorge into the rest of the layout, so I plan to use my remaining lava rocks to give the impression everything is part of an ancient range.  I will concrete and rock up to the top of my gravel fill to serve as a cofferdam, too.
  2. Digging down.  I then need to finish excavating the gorge.  I may ladder it like a series of dry waterfalls.  Aesthetically, it will offer me more planting areas and I thinks some visual interest. Practically, I can guarantee I won't undermine my bridge abutments! I plan to use mortar mix and a 1"x1" block to etch in some "bricks" on the abutments, finish coloring the "rocks," and start planting.  My oldest daughter determined this would be an excellent site for a depot so people could visit the gorge, giving the Triple O future economic potential.
  3. Breaking out.  We will break the retainig wall where the canyon "terminates." This will help CINCHOUSE determine if I want to finish the retaining wall such that it implies an extension of the the landscape or such that it implies "real world ends here, garde RR begins now."

We have lots of other stuff to do in the interim:  replace 12" sections of track with longer sections; rail clamp trouble spots; green up the newly landscaped section; raise that sprinkler head; add some sidings; think about structures; etc.  While we obviously have a ways to go, I am pretty proud of what we have accomplished! 

 

Thanks for the continued support and guidance.  I will continue to pust updates and hang-ups as they emerge!

Aloha,
Eric

 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, November 6, 2015 8:34 PM

Nothing picture worthy this week, but my daughters did start to arrange remaining boulders around our gorge to form a second mountain.  While not the shape I would choose, I am letting them take the artistic lead on a not-to-interfere-with-operations basis.  We will not make much permanent progress next week, however, as I have family in town, who will see our efforts to date for the first time.

This weekend, the Triple O will also play host to a guest train.  My wife's friend's husband picked up a used Bachmann circus trainset, and we offered to let him give it a run.  Per a post elsewhere, we found that vinegar proved a useful solution for touchy track joints, so we hope to give him and his family a good show.  Who knows, maybe this will lead to a local co-hobbyist, too?

Enjoy your weekends!

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, November 28, 2015 1:42 AM

Aloha & Happy Thanksgiving!

Progress has been slow, but steady.  Weather, family visits, and Thanksgiving delayed progress.  Photos will follow, but we are suffering serious internet issues. No pictures, sorry!  Here is what has transpired:

  1. Digging down.  The gorge is dug to about 4" deep per earlier suggestions, with a mix of concrete and rubble bringing its edge even to the edge of the top of the garden.  My father-in-law made some semi-scale timbers for cribbing for the bridge approaches when the digging is done and the finishing begins.
  2. Buidling up.  I am playing with my lava rock.  To make a really nice mountain, I am going to have to secure more.  Otherwise, I can make a low rise.  Fiddling has given me the chance to evaluate what I want to do, and I may shrink its base, make another "cut" in one face, run a siding, and, someday, maybe have a little industry with a crane or trestle lower to-be-determined raw materials to the siding below.  Lots of time to think as I look for free rock!
  3. Breaking out. CINCHOUSE has yet to deliver an opinion as to how the retaining wall post gorge "break out."

We have also made some minor progress in other fronts.

  1. Reliability.  Using a tip from this forum, we used vinegar and WD-40 on some rail joints.  This REALLY upped the speed from cold iron to operating!  My Christmas gift will come early in the form of 6 x 4' sections of track to reduce joints, provide short tracks for stub sidings, and hopefully further improve operations.  I will evaluate the impact, and then proceed with another bulk purchase or targeted rail clamps if required and when funds permit.
  2. Fun Factor.  Our guest train, the Bachmann Circus set, ran beautifully, and our friends enjoyed seeing it go.  Unfortunately, the afternoon concluded with, "Well, now it's going back in the box!"  No new hobbyist...My folks, meanwhile, got our kids the little LGB battery powered starter set, bringing it with them to deliver their early Christmas gift,  so the kids can run the railroad whenever they want with THEIR train.  For now, it is running in the office!  Oh, and my Dad really enjoyed "playing with trains," most of which went into deep storage for about 20 years in the '90s only to reemerge permanently this year.
  3. Emerging Purpose.  The kids and I are starting to discuss "what does the railroad do?"  While I doubt that the Triple O will ever shine in term of prototypical operations, these discussions are helping to shape how we landscape and where we will put future sidings.  Ever industrious, my father-in-law built a dock and semi-scale bait shop.  We now have an industry!

With luck, all hardscaping will be done by year's end.  If not, we are having fun!  Thanks as always for helping to keep me honest as we take a whim to a hobby!

 

Aloha,

Eric

 

P.S. I got a recent admission from CINCHOUSE.  "The only reason I let you start this project is that I thought you would never carry through! I am glad, however, that you did!"  Lucky me!

 

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Posted by BluPete on Friday, December 4, 2015 11:03 PM

regarding your PS, nice backhanded compliment from the CINCHOUSE. Now that upper management is on board with the project, pretty soon they will be either offering "suggestions" or just showing up with I thought this would be nice for the railroad, unexpected work orders. Keep up the updates, it gives me inspiration that these things can be started with a little CINCHOUSE approval and can grow to reality.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, December 7, 2015 1:50 AM

Aloha,

Internet issues continue to bedevil us, but I wanted to make a quick update.

  1. Digging down. We finished excavating our gorge today, test fitting the trestle as we went.  We will have to trim its legs a bit.  I know that this should be removable, but do I dig a well to sink the legs in?  This would seem like a water trap.  Or should I just build up a rubble pile around the legs so they can drain?
  2. Breaking out.  I have to figure out the best way to cut out the portion of the retaining wall.  We are then leaning towards a "natural look" for the retainin wall.
  3. Building up.  I am at a hard stop, looking for rocks.  I have sufficient concrete waste on hand, and I may go that route.  My oldest daughter wants a pine forest, and, since part of this project's point is to make it "all hands," I am probalby going to use the concerte and rubble option as well as my remaining lava rock.  As I hope to make the garden a canvas for the whole family, whether the trains, the plants, or the pond is the main focus of any given individual, I think continued progress trumps looks, at least until that interest is self-sustaining and relatively independently driven.''

On more mundane fronts, the 4' sections of track arrived, so we put them in placem yielding a bonanza of one foot straight tracks that quickly went to some new sidings, to include one near the future lumber operation.  The reliability jumped once we got everythign situated and hit the rest of the line with scotch brite.  I will still need some clamps, but this was a very worthwhile purpose!  Speaking of purpose, the kids asked, "Shouldn't we run a siding to the bait shop?" Success!!!

I'll post some photos when the internet supports it.

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by ttrigg on Monday, December 7, 2015 7:08 AM

Drainage and solid support are very important for the bridge legs. You will want something that is non-pourous to act as footing. Regular bricks and cinder block caps will hold moisture, especially when buried. Recommed you stop by you local kitchen & bath counter supply store. Pick up a few ceramic tiles of a dark color. Place these tiles at ever so slightly off level so they will drain. After trimmin the bridge support posts seal the exposed edges, I used automotive rupper paint, normally used in car battery boxes. For my bridge I got some very dark brown 6 inch squares at 5 cents each. End of production run clearance sale. I paid them 10 cent each to cut them in half, so I was working with 3x6 tiles. A light covering of quarter inch minus crushed rock served well to cover the tiles. Do not use the crushed rock dust as it will hold water. I used 1/4 inch wire mesh to screen out the larger pieces, the sifted through regular window screen to remove the rock dust. A small spirit level can be used to keep the tiles slightly off level buy placing the tile so that the bubble in the level just touches one of the center lines.

Tom Trigg

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, December 12, 2015 5:59 PM
Tom, Thanks again. My father in law has tool to make short work of the retaining wall. We will mount the bridge after it is gone. Should have a real bridge in place by Christmas!
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, December 12, 2015 6:01 PM
Glad to help, BluPete!
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, December 21, 2015 1:09 AM

Aloha All!

I wanted to get "proof" of progress up on this post.  Many thanks to Tom and others for their guidance via this and other posts!

 

As mentioned, the circus came to town, and we had a guest train on the Triple O's rails...

...It was great fun to see her run and the kids follow the circus, but, alas, this set is bound back for the box.  Although the big locomotice handled the curves, it did affirm my decision to guide the Triple O to small locomotives and small cars, again rougly guiding on the sugar cane trains of old.

 

The arrival of "Oma" and "Opa" borught an early Christmas present...

...and she actually does OK on the line! 

 

 

I am glad, however, we have effectively no grades.  She is a little light in the traction department.  It also took some finagling to get her to start reliably.  I think something jammed the button in shipping.

 "Opa," meanwhile, got to put together a train for the fist time in many years!

The O-6-2T we call "Gustav" is about as big as we can go and have it look right.  If anyone wants to give me a nice Forney, she'd be right at home! Big Smile  Or at least no less at home than an Austrian locomotive pulling D&RGW rollingstock in Hawai'i.

On the technical side of the house, we'd been struggling with electrical connectivity.  I converted some overtime into 4' rail sections, and turned my team loose wherever we found 1' sections of track. 

This, along with some tips gleaned from a different post - vinegar, WD-40, and lithium grease - has helped tremendously.  Oh, and the process freed up lots of tracks for stub sidings, as aptly demonstrated by yours truly below...

 

 

The siding in my front serves adult beverages to the grill master.  Very useful.  The rest will have uses in time.

 

On the geography front, my father-n-law brought over his chipper and saw, and we made progress today, busting out the retaining wall and fitting the trestle. The crew clears rubble below...

 

The next shot gives an idea of what this will look like.  Removing the retaining wall really added a sense of drama, if a I may say so.

 

I'tll need some touch up concrete in the interior, of course, and some clever "boulder" placement to hide where the legs will be.  We slightly modified Tom's suggestions, gluing the tile to the base of the legs after we cut them, rather than trying to fit the tiles into the canyon. As I landscape the canyon, I'll build up to those feet.  In the meantime, he is going to cut some planking for the deck and approaches.

 

Finally, my father- and mother-in-law designed, built, and painted this little station...

It looks even better with our railbus making a quick stop!

The structure is designed to survive the kids, so the scale is "good enough."  With the addition of a door and some detail parts...later...this is pretty good for a free lance "scrap box" structure!  I am pretty envious of their skills!

In summary, the digging down and breaking out are done with the exception of fitting the trestle and touching up the hardscape.  I also no have plenty of scrap concrete to proceed to the building up!  Much of this will probably have to wait until after Christmas, however (I asked Santa for the LGB "Olomana" loco and string of short stake-side flat cars!).

 

Again, mahalo (thanks) to all for your encouragement and suggestions!  May we extend to you and yours "Mele Kalikimak a Hauo'uli Makahiki hou!"

- Eric

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, December 28, 2015 1:27 AM

Really quick update.  I was able to make some headway this weekend.  I fixed a few issues with how we were running track power (soldered some terminals for easier connection to the power sources and used longer wires to pull the power sources out the yard and into the lanai to allow for all-weather operations).  More importantly, the concrete work on the canyon is now done! 

"Gustav" is pulling the afternoon express (sorry to the purist out there for the consist) over the firmly set trestle (below):

I have to do some detail work to make the abutments look like, well, abutments, but that should be a matter of mortar and then scribing in some brick lines.  The same goes for the truss in the rear.  Both may also require some cribbing in the approach. 

On to the last major landscape feature, a mountain at the canyon's head, after the New Year!

Hauoli makahiki hou (Happy New Year)!

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, January 11, 2016 1:15 AM

Aloha!

Funds and time redirected towards a new blue ray thing-a-ma-jig (Sigh...).  Still, we inventoried the remaining concrete, hollow-tile, rubble, and lava rocks this weekend.  Some of the hollow-tile got countersunk into the garden to form the foundation of our last (until we expand the empire! Big Smile) mountain.  Nothing picture worthy, but it is progress.

In the meantime, last weekend while visiting relatives on a neighbor island, CINCHOUSE initiatied the following conversation:

  • Her:  If we had the yard, we'd have the trains cross that drainage ditch and then switchback through the lava rocks to the top of the yard before coming back down and crossing the ditch elsehwhere.
  • Me:  Did you ever think you would ever evaluate a backyard in terms of how you would plan a garden railroad?
  • Her: Shut up.

Actually, the kids and I had made much the same comment already!  We also took some time to visit the Laupehoehoe Train Museum  for some 1:1 inspiration.  Though closed, some of the outdoor exhibits really excited the kids.  It is also the only surviving dual gage track in the Islands.  Worth the stop if you happend to be on the Hilo side.

I have that old Stainz to fix in between cracks at the mountain.  Always something to do as we approach the Oberammergau, Ogden & Olomana's first "birthday" next week.

Have a great week!

Eric

 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, January 16, 2016 10:33 PM

Mixed progress today...

On the upshot, my in-laws added a nice strawberry farm for our strawberry patch.  Looks nice!

On the TBD side, I started building the mountain. I had thought I had learned something building my tunnel; alas, the lesson learned was apparently not learned well enough. I am using the hollow-tile and scrap concrete approach I used before, but I am not sure my mortar is holding.  I never seem to get this right (I am using Quickcrete brand).  The vertical hollow tile aren't "sticking" to their countersunck foundations, and the horizontally stacked concrete fragments (palm- to hand-sized)are sticking about half the time.  I am letting all things sit overnight, and I will reevaluate my way forward tomorrow.  I may sacrifice hieght, remove the hollowtile, and finish the permimeter with my remaining lava rocks. I also have construction adhesive for the concrete bits. I found out the hard way it works only when in compression, so maybe it'll work for this.  We will see. 

On the GRRRRRR!!! side, I lost a thrust bearing from my disassembled STAINZ. @$#%!!!! Angry

The weekend marks one year of operations on the Oberammergau, Ogden & Olomana, and I had hoped to have the mountain formed so we could focus the next year on bringing the world in which it runs fully to life.  Oh, well, it is a hobby, and we are still having fun.

As ever, assistance in getting over the latest hump is appreciated!

Aloha,

Eric 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 2:18 AM
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, January 24, 2016 7:31 PM

For what it's worth, we made some progress on our Jubilee Weekend, too.  Gobs of construction adhesive and concrete scrap used as bracing held things in place.  I will use more mortar mix on my next crack at the backside of our mountain in hopes that will hold things together better.  At any rate, here is "Christmas Thomas" making a pass in front of the emerging mountain:

After I get it textured, I'll do what i did on the tunnel and use mortar to fill in the gaps and then color the lot with washes. 

The front is mostly lava rock, which tinted mortar holds together.  I have a few other stones that will go on top to give height once it is filled in.

Aloha!

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, February 4, 2016 1:45 AM

Aloha!

Sorry, no pictures this week, but I did want to make a quick update...

The mountain finished rising from the gravel!  From the previous push, I learned:

Lesson #1:  Construction glue and potting soil lead to a neat second degree burn look on your hands for about 3 days until the glue peels off, I decided to rediscover the magic of latex gloves for last weekend's efforts.

2 of my 3 crewmen joined me.  We finished concreting in the lava rocks on the base that faces the lanai and forms the head of the canyon.  We then took smaller ones to give it height.  Afterwards, using quick-crete and bits of broken concrete, my oldest daughter covered one hollow tile and scored it to look like a cut (she included a giant petroglyph), and we then stacked broken bits of concrete along the rest of the perimeter to make it look like an irregular rock wall. As we were preparing to stop, we learned...

 

Lesson #2:  If you leave a hose near a three year old, he will use it and aim it at something you don't want to get wet.  In this case, he soaked my bag of quick-crete.  It was now use lose!

As we wanted to use a different type of rubble for the upper portions of the hollow-tile, I swapped over to foam based glue.  I also banished my hoseman from the worksite.  We donned our saftey goggles, and tried to open the pressurized can, learning, in the process...

Lesson #3:  Spray foam glue is harder to open than it looks.  I botched something, and now this can was use-lose. 

 

We glued on those slabs, touched up some wobbly lava rocks, and fought to keep foam strings out of view.  In the meantime, of course, we still had that damp concrete, so I finished mixing it and we used it to fill gaps, cover flat areas, reinforce this, that, and the other thing, and hide corners and obviously too-straight areas.   Waste not, want not!

My daughter, heck bent for leather to get "her" pine forest on top of that mountain, gamely dug her (gloved) hands into the mixed and helped see the day's work through.  Huzzah!

We will fill the mountain this week and place my remaining boulders on top to give it more height and some irregularity in shape.  We will also have to get out our latex paint and start washing the concrete areas as well as the canyon (lack of color control on my part led to some rather erratic coloring) to bring it all together.  After the dirt settles, we will plant, doing our washes on the exterior as we go.

This is the last major landscaping project on the Triple O.  My raw materials are all now stowed behind a shed, never to call our garden bed "home again."  It is a visual sign of progress.  This frees us to start greening the back half of the garden and to better set the approaches to the bridges.  All of this is with an eye towards populating our miniature world after I stucco and stain the garden's retaining walls.

I will post photos of where we stand when I our camera issue.  If anyone has pointers on fixing the colors, I'd appreciate them, as I am considering just repainting everything and starting from scratch.

Until the next update!

Eric

 

 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, February 22, 2016 1:55 AM

Aloha,

I wanted to show a bit of our progress since my last update.

 

The crew joined in to apply some washes with diluted brown latex paint to exposed and poorly tinctured concrete:

You can contrast the results shown below with my last post.  Various "Barbie-like" items help give a sense of perspective (The Triple O takes passengers regardless of scale! Big Smile):

 

Finally, I wanted to show a birds-eye view of our canyon.  I had totally botched the dyeing of the concrete, but I think it looks OK now:

I am debating planting something in the canyon or leaving "as is."  Likewise, I may restain areas of the canyon and the mountain later, but I want to see what a little wind and weather does to them first.

Beyond, the hardscape work, I also showed my oldest daughter how to hook up the power supplies, helping her draw her more deeply into the project, and I have let all the kids use the little torpedo level to troubleshoot the tracks (Best $5 I could spend...The thing lets me fix derailment prone areas and often fixes bad connections while i am at it!). As an expirement, one night I just put the locomotives out on the main loops and stashed cars all over the road's sidings.  With some guidance as to "how," they kids figured out how to make and break trains, and they have started asking about new / improved sidings.  Back to the box-o-tracks to see what we can do!

The other progress has been more mundane.  I raise a sprinkler head, and I experimented in an out of the way area with different ways to cover the retaining wall.  A major car repair means that planned rail joiner purchases and a few more 4 ft track sections are on the backburner, but I have some inexpenisive projects, such as the approach to our bridges and making their abutments not look like paving bricks to keep us busy.  This will also give us a chance to evaluate some of our new plantings.

 

As ever, thanks for letting me use this space to keep myself honest and to glean suggestions from others!

 

Aloha,

Eric

 

 

 

 

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Posted by ttrigg on Monday, February 22, 2016 3:39 AM

Looking good. I hope I can resume work on my raised bed line this spring/summer. My hip seems to be getting better now that I'm getting some good therapy.

Tom Trigg

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, February 22, 2016 11:11 PM
Thanks for the compliment, Tom! Glad to see you'll be back in action soon! Aloha,Eric
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, February 29, 2016 1:16 AM

...and this weekend we kicked back and had fun with trains!  Geeked

 

Have a great week!

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 12:56 AM

Aloha all!

 

1:1 scale upkeep on the home have taken their toll on my time.  Overall, this is OK as it is time for me to have a "good think" on "what next?"  To enhance my meditative powers, I have undertaken the slow slog of covering about 96 feet of retaining wall with a thin layer of dyed and scored concrete.  This was cost effective, and, aesthetically, it will blend wiht the materials and techniques I used to build the mountains.  I have opted to not texture the top of the retaining wall.  For one, this will provide a foot and hand rest for access.  For another, it won't interfere with future builds (roads, building flats, a new mountain, whatever).  It also will be conducive for sitting and tending the hibachi...and for the placement of rail delivered beverages!

This project will take me some time and allow the wallet to recover for the next big push...whatever it will be.

I have a few other small projects, as, to be frank, this concete work is far from exciting (It is the only project with which my kids want no part!) :

 

  1. Install a new motor in one of my STAINZ.
  2. Finish my abuttments (Waiting for someone to get caught up on her math.)
  3. Place my recently unsealed boxes of Wild West themed PLAYMOBIL on the road for fun and old time's sake! 
  4. Build / Buy shelves for same said PLAYMOBIL

 

Have a great week!
Aloh,

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, April 1, 2016 2:10 AM

Aloha!

 

Just a quick update on the halting progress.  We had a new crew member "join the company," which has taken from railroading time!  Still, one length of the retaining wall is concreted over, the STAINZ has a new motor, the PLAYMOBIL has been liberated, and parts bought for the shelving.  Meanwhile, we have overcome "subtraction in three digits" as an obstacle to finishing our bridge abuttments, leaving only "word problems with money" between us and that project, and math success from another quarter earned someone else some little annuals.

Also, although the Triple O really needs the equivalent in railclamps and / or four foot track sections, neither is likely to excite a four year old on his birthday.  The extended family pulled together and "Charlie," a Bachmann railtruck, joined the Triple O's fleet in late March.  "Charlie" is getting ready for his first run below...

...and has since transported ninjas all over the Triple O on various missions.

The concrete work is tedious, and I have no good estimate on its completion time.  It is, as CINCHOUSE reminded me, a hobby after all. This phase has allowed us to level our tracks and adjust for settling, so I suppose it is a good thing to have this stretch of limited activity.

At any rate, I thought I'd just share that we are moving forward!

Enjoy your weekends!

Eric

 

 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, April 9, 2016 10:00 PM

Aloha!

 

Slow progress due to a cold on my part and recalcitrance on my civil engineer's part (The Battle of Word Problems up to Three Digits).  As a result, only one bag of mortar went to coat the retaining wall, the abuttments remain unfinished, and trains went unrun.  Lots of track polishing to do when we fire them up again...

One thing I noted, however, as I reflected on progress to date is a certain "down side;" namely, is that the nicer we make the railroad look:

a.) The more work I note needs to be done elsewhere in the yard and the house's exterior.

b.) The more skills we've (I've) developed to address those skills.

c.) The more CINCHOUSE expects I will apply "B" to address "A" using the appearance and enjoyment of the Triple O as rationale.  Even if resistance were not futile, how could I argure against this line of reasoning?

In the meantime, my father-in-law is cutting timbers for shelves we can use to stash the liberated PLAYMOBIL, making it easier to populate the Triple O for special occasions with things that are reasonably to scale.

Enjoy your weekends!

 

Eric

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 620 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, April 21, 2016 1:13 AM

 

Aloha,

 

Finally, some progress!  My civil engineer made the requisite progress on her mathematics, and she reminded me this Monday there was no longer any excuse to turn-to on our bridge abutments.  Using tips donated on another post ("About Abutments") we assembled some scrap wood about the width and height of railroad ties to make shims to fit between the abutments and the bridges, filling a gap that resulted from some settling as we made and concreted the canyons. 

 

The abutments themselves got a covering in stucco, which we were going to scribe as rocks.  I had surrendered this part of the process to my daughter as part of her rewards.  I must have mixed the stucco too thinly, as scribed lines simply didn't look right. She was about to simply give it a poured concrete look, when she hit upon the idea of simply pressing rocks into the stucco.  It came out looking pretty good and a whole lot better than bare paving bricks!

 

We did make a bit of a mess.  The trestle was glued / concreted into the canyon bed and could not be removed, so tomorrow we will have to scrape off / paint over some spillage.  Likewise, my trusty can of brown latex paint will do duty (again) to cover spills on the canyon walls under both bridges.  I think we will also need to use a dark grey or black wash on the abutments to both tone down the stucco and, of course, to cover more spillage.

 

I'll post pictures later, but I did want to continue to keep myself honest by posting an update.  Overall, while no thing of beauty or scale elegance, this was fun, and my daughter and I enjoyed working together to apply tips shared with me, gleaned from GR, cherry picked from this forum, and from photos of the real thing to come up with a solution that met our needs and her - and MY - skill level.

Oh, and this is a nice respite from covering the retaining wall with tinted mortar mix!

- Eric

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 620 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, May 12, 2016 2:55 AM

Aloha!

Sorry, no pictures tonight.  My computer arced, sparked, and died, and it is taking me a while to get things squared away.  I did want to mention that the shims we made for our abutments greatly enhanced operation by removing a sag point in both of our loops. Many thanks to Tom Trigg for his guidance on this part of the project.

We had an opportunity to put them to the test when a friend came by to unload a Bachmann "North Star Express" set and a whole lot of track.  I didn't need any of it, but the price was ridiculously good.  Everything ran beautifully, and the Bachmann track replaced LGB track inside the house, freeing the latter for some tinkering in the garden.  As the Bachmann track is stamped to shape an not solid rails, this was the best use for it.  Besides, it keeps the kids engaged when the weather turns south.

Professional obligations and rainy weather have otherwise brought progress to a halt.  We will return to building shelves for the PLAYMOBIL, as the kids - to include this one - really liked seeing the trains go someplace where people lived and worked.  And, of course, the slow process of texturing the retaining wall will continue when weather and time cooperates.

-Eric

 

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