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Building a new club layout (and other club related activities)

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  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 1:17 PM

 I applied ballast to adjacent sections on my old layout (built on cork roadbed on pink foam board), one side using white glue, the other using matte medium. I diluted the white glue with 70% alcohol, because I've NEVER had the drop of soap in water thing work, we have very hard water around here.

 Once it all dried, there was no difference in appearance and no difference in sound as locos and cars moved from one part ot the other. The only difference is that the matte medium cost a lot more. PVA white glue (Elmer's) seems to dry somewhat rubbery when mixed with alcohol instead of just diluted with water.

                                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 1:31 PM

railandsail

So you are saying to use matt medium to attach ballast,...in all cases?

 

I do, but others like other things, however if something is going to be moved, then the others for the most part are unacceptable like PVA as they get brittle with age, ask any woodworker.

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 1:37 AM

Hi guys,

Thanks for all the input. Lots to think about.

I think that we have discovered why the foamcore was warping. When we lifted a couple of sections up we realized that there had been very little glue used to hold the pieces down. Whoever installed it only put a couple of lines of glue down the middle of the foamcore pieces with nothing applied to the outer edges. Then they painted the foamcore on the top only. We believe that the combination of lack of adhesion and the shrinkage of the paint caused the foamcore to warp. In any case, regardless of the cause of the warpage, we are going to replace the foamcore with 1/4" baltic birch plywood, and we are going to glue every square inch of it down so that hopefully it won't warp.

We actually made a lot of progress on the portable layout on Tuesday night. We ripped out several areas where things were coming loose, and we removed almost all of the dust that had accumulated over the years. I personally took great pleasure in removing some sphagnum moss from the tunnel mountain that looked deader than you could imagine. Fortunately it wasn't glued down. It still had the original dirt attached to the roots.

We also decided to do away with a live waterfall that used real water. When it worked it looked sort of okay, but if you didn't keep a constant eye on it the water would leak or evaporate, and if the pump went dry there was a risk of the pump going up in smoke. It also made putting that part of the layout together a real PITA. We can do a much more convincing waterfall with silicone and modge podge.

Sorry, I forgot to take my camera so we won't have a record of the 'before' layout.

Dave

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 7:15 AM

 Live water almost never works on a model anyway. Physics doesn;t scale, so the ripples and motion of the water just look 'wrong' in relation to the size of the trains and other identifiable items on the layout. And having something wet just encourages mold and mildew formation.

                            --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 8:57 AM

Remember only one layout where real water worked, they accually had a boat running on rails beneath the water to a dock. Even the owner said it was a pain to maintain as I recall, but it did work.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 9:01 AM

 There's a more recent one where the boats are actualy radio controlled so you can have crew positions that drive boats instead of trains, but I know of the one that you are referring to. That had to be a HUGE pain to maintain, not only because of the water, but to incorporate the mechanism that moved the boats which had to either work submerged or work through the base while being leak proof. Today I could see a mechanism that used magnets to couple a moving arm located below the layout to the boat int he water on top, but I think this one was fully mechanical.

                                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 24, 2019 11:33 PM

Sorry but there isn't much progress to report on the new layout. We have been preoccupied with getting the portable layout ready for the club's big show in February, and preparing for the show itself. (See the Events calendar). About the only thing that we have done regarding the new layout is to come up with a list of scenery landscaping supplies. Our hobby shop, Cedar Creek Hobbies in Kingsville (formerly Action Hobbies) will be very happy with the order.

The portable layout was in need of a lot of work, some of it to make the track more reliable, and some of it to just clean and repair the scenery. Any self respecting home maker who viewed the layout in the past would have recognized immediately that there were no female members in the club. There was dust on everything. Some areas like the roads are being repainted because the dust is so stuck down.

As anyone who has done it before will know, getting ready for a show takes a lot of work. We have 42 vendors and a dozen layouts attending. It takes up 18,000 sq. ft. That's not huge when compared to the big shows in the US, but it is the biggest show in central Ontario. This will be our 49th year! I am glad to say that everything is in place so all we have left to do is the grunt work.

One of our concerns about the show is always the weather. Lots of people are reluctant (read 'flatly refuse') to travel to Barrie, Ontario in the middle of the winter. I will admit that Barrie weather can be rather nasty, but in fact we have only had one bad day in the past 10 years, and even that didn't hurt us much because everybody showed up the next day anyhow. Our fingers are crossed!Smile, Wink & Grin

Cheers everybody!

Dave

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 12:38 AM

We had a couple of curve balls thrown at us regarding the show. The building manager wants us to get a permit for the cafeteria. Okay, that's reasonable, but she has waited until the last minute to tell us so we were scrambling to apply for the permit and figure out what we need to do to satisfy the regulations. Turns out the application is easy and we need to do very little different from what we have done in the past. All we are serving in the way of perishable food is hot dogs.

The other curve ball came from the Fire Marshal. We don't have any problems meeting the aisle width requirements etc., but he wants us to station a person at each of the emergency exits for the entire duration of the show just because they are sliding doors and no longer meet the code. If the doors are not covered he has stated quite plainly that he will shut down the show. The problem is that we don't have enough bodies to cover the doors and do all of the other things that need to be looked after. I'm trying to recruit volunteers. Anybody want to come to Barrie in the middle of February? Kevin??Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Fun, fun, fun!

Dave

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 3:48 AM

hon30critter

We had a couple of curve balls thrown at us regarding the show. The building manager wants us to get a permit for the cafeteria. Okay, that's reasonable, but she has waited until the last minute to tell us so we were scrambling to apply for the permit and figure out what we need to do to satisfy the regulations. Turns out the application is easy and we need to do very little different from what we have done in the past. All we are serving in the way of perishable food is hot dogs.

The other curve ball came from the Fire Marshal. We don't have any problems meeting the aisle width requirements etc., but he wants us to station a person at each of the emergency exits for the entire duration of the show just because they are sliding doors and no longer meet the code. If the doors are not covered he has stated quite plainly that he will shut down the show. The problem is that we don't have enough bodies to cover the doors and do all of the other things that need to be looked after. I'm trying to recruit volunteers. Anybody want to come to Barrie in the middle of February? Kevin??Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Fun, fun, fun!

Dave 

Dave, I am pretty sure that I have the solution to your problem.

As I understand it, you will be serving hot dogs to your guests and, at the same time, you need enough bodies to cover the doors. You can find everything you need in the Diner. Get Flo, Chloe, Bruhilda, and all the other waitresses, to set up workstations at each door where the hot dogs can be served. ChefChefChefChefChef

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:32 AM

You are a pure genius, Rich Bow.

Dave might have better luck with volunteers if they also set up a Beer stand

Oh wait, another permit.  Surprise

Mike

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, February 02, 2019 12:42 AM

This thread has exceeded 45000 views! I am amazed, and flattered.

We got some really good news (hopefully) for our February 2020 show. Our hosts, Bradford Green Houses Garden Gallery in Barrie, are going to change the area in their greenhouses where they host shows. The new area will be bigger than what has been available to us for the past few years. The old space wasn't quite big enough to accommodate all of the vendors who wanted to attend the show, but that problem would seem to have been solved. As a bonus, it will meet all of the current fire safety and electrical requirements, both of which have been a challenge in the past. What we don't know is whether or not the rental cost will go up. Please cross your collective fingers in the hopes that the price won't be prohibitive. No show, no club. It's as simple as that, and there aren't a whole lot of other spaces big enough to accommodate us in the vicinity.

Dave

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 17, 2019 10:37 PM

Hi Folks!

The club just wrapped up our annual Train Show and Sale and I can tell you that it was a huge success! We had almost 900 more people through the door than last year's show!

There are several factors that contributed to that, although it is hard to say how much each one affected the turnout.

We went from 24 radio ads on two stations in 2018 to 72 ads on four stations this year. We managed to do that without spending any more money on radio advertizing. I won't go into the details of how we did that here, but if anyone is interested just ask and I will post an explanation.

We also got both advance coverage and live coverage of the show on CTV Barrie (CTV is a major Canadian broadcaster), and in the local newspaper and on line news services. All we did was notify them of the event in advance and invite them to attend. CTV Barrie put us on the 6:00 pm news on Saturday night! 

We also had some major support through Facebook thanks to several modelers who told a few people, who told a few people..... with the result that we had 12,000 hits as of Saturday morning! Incredible!

It didn't hurt that the weather was beautiful. The weather in Barrie, Ontario in Feburary can be pretty nasty. Indeed, earlier in the week the weather was horrible. However, Mother Nature must like model trains because she has cooperated with us for four years in a row.

The show wasn't without its challenges. The local Fire Marshal made us jump through hoops, which we did. The biggest problem was that we were in a large greenhouse with no sprinkler system and the emergency exits had sliding doors as opposed to hinged doors with crash bars. That meant that we had to place people on each of the doors to open them in the event of an emergency. That used up a lot of manpower but we worked it out. The rules are there for a reason. They save lives.

Here's hoping that next year goes as well. It will be our 50th annual show!

Dave

 

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, February 18, 2019 10:28 AM

hon30critter

This thread has exceeded 45000 views! I am amazed, and flattered.

We got some really good news (hopefully) for our February 2020 show. Our hosts, Bradford Green Houses Garden Gallery in Barrie, are going to change the area in their greenhouses where they host shows. The new area will be bigger than what has been available to us for the past few years. The old space wasn't quite big enough to accommodate all of the vendors who wanted to attend the show, but that problem would seem to have been solved. As a bonus, it will meet all of the current fire safety and electrical requirements, both of which have been a challenge in the past. What we don't know is whether or not the rental cost will go up. Please cross your collective fingers in the hopes that the price won't be prohibitive. No show, no club. It's as simple as that, and there aren't a whole lot of other spaces big enough to accommodate us in the vicinity.

Dave

 

No, it is you. You are willing to hear criticism and when you don't agree, you don't take offence but calmly explain your position, you are a true leader!

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, February 18, 2019 9:23 PM

rrebell
No, it is you. You are willing to hear criticism and when you don't agree, you don't take offence but calmly explain your position, you are a true leader!

Oh jee golly gosh rrebell, I'm truly flattered.Embarrassed I do enjoy my role as President of the club despite the fact that sometimes it is like herding cats. Fortunately, those occasions are relatively rare. I truly want the club to succeed. I look forward to the day when I can run my trains on our new layout.

Thanks!

Dave

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, March 02, 2019 12:00 AM

An annoying little update about the show:

We held a very successful raffle. Various vendors donated six very nice prizes and we added a President's Choice train set. I personally contacted all of the winners and they were very pleased. However, when I went looking for the prizes to deliver them they were nowhere to be found! We know they were still at the back door of the hall waiting to be loaded when the show was over. They never made it to the clubhouse.

We checked with the last few vendors to leave the show in the hopes that the prizes might have been picked up by mistake, but that was not the case. I can't imagine that any of our members would have walked off with them.

That leaves us in the situation where we will either have to buy replacement prizes or give out cash equivalents. That is going to cost us several hundred dollars.Grumpy

Life is never simple!

Dave

  • Member since
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, March 02, 2019 5:25 AM

Dave, that is simply awful. 

Is it possible that one of the visitors stole the prizes?

Who would be "persons of interest"? Club members, vendors, who else?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, March 02, 2019 7:06 AM

hon30critter
We know they were still at the back door of the hall waiting to be loaded when the show was over. They never made it to the clubhouse.

Wow Dave, that is outrageous! Super Angry

Hopefully you can narrow it down to who actually was handling the items at the end of the show, and those involved with getting the stuff to the club house.

That is unbelievable!  I'd be to the point of shaking down everybody involved, but I know you would keep a cooler head than me.

Mike.

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, March 02, 2019 10:36 AM

hon30critter

An annoying little update about the show:

We held a very successful raffle. Various vendors donated six very nice prizes and we added a President's Choice train set. I personally contacted all of the winners and they were very pleased. However, when I went looking for the prizes to deliver them they were nowhere to be found! We know they were still at the back door of the hall waiting to be loaded when the show was over. They never made it to the clubhouse.

We checked with the last few vendors to leave the show in the hopes that the prizes might have been picked up by mistake, but that was not the case. I can't imagine that any of our members would have walked off with them.

That leaves us in the situation where we will either have to buy replacement prizes or give out cash equivalents. That is going to cost us several hundred dollars.Grumpy

Life is never simple!

Dave

 

Your best bet at this time is to buy new ones. If you contact the original donors and explain the theft, you may be able to buy replacements at cost, some vendor might even give you a replacement but go there with the attitude of "I would like to buy at cost if possible". Also you need to contact the winners and tell of the delay if there is to be one but with them you can go with the misplaced excuse. You should be able to limit your losses in this way.

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, March 02, 2019 6:25 PM

hon30critter
An annoying little update about the show:

EmbarrassedEmbarrassedEmbarrassed

We found the prizes! We had managed to leave them at the back door of the hall when we were packing up! Duh!! To further add to our stupidity, we all thought that somebody else had contacted the venue to ask if they were there. Duh, duh!!

Why it took two weeks for the venue to contact us is anybody's guess, but it certainly wasn't their fault that we messed up.

I'm sorry to have raised a false alarm.

DaveDunce

 

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, March 03, 2019 8:50 AM

Well that fixes that problem, on with the next.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, March 06, 2019 1:11 AM

We had a running night at the club on Tuesday. We can't operate much yet because there are only a couple of passing sidings that we can use. The industrial sidings have yet to be installed so that's why I call them 'running' nights.

This was only the third time that we have had multiple operators on the layout at the same time, and it proved that we will have to use some form of dispatcher control to coordinate the train movements. (Big surprise eh!?!). We realized that our inexperienced operators are happily staring at their locomotives and trains as they run down the track but they are not looking ahead to see what else is going on.Dunce Predictably, we had several near collisions.DunceEmbarrassed

Another thing that we realized is that we have to enforce some rules around turnout control, mainly that if you position a turnout so that you can get off the main, you have to return the turnout back to the through position after you have cleared it.

We also recognized that tetherless throttles would be a good investment.

I'm sure that those of you who are experienced operators are getting quite a chuckle out of our trials and tribulations. To be honest, we only have a couple of members who understand how to operate a layout. The club has not had access to a layout that allows operations for many years. However, we are learning as we stumble along. Eventually we will get it right.

I am actually quite proud of how far the club has come in the last 2 years. We have gone from being in an almost untenable situation to having a decent clubouse and a layout in progress that impresses everyone who sees it, experienced and otherwise.

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, March 07, 2019 8:19 PM

One of the joys of being involved with the building of the club's layout is that I get to do almost all of the purchasing. Tonight I got to order 23 turnouts from MB Klein - whoopee!!!

We normally order from Cedar Creek Hobbies in Kingsville, Ontario (formerly Action Hobbies) but thanks to Atlas's supply problems we have been waiting for months to get enough turnouts so that we can get on with laying the track in the sidings. Cedar Creek could have purchased the turnouts from Walthers but our net cost would have been about $4.00 higher per turnout when compared to the sale prices at MB Klein.

The bottom line is that we will be able to stop twiddling our thumbs and finally get on with laying some more track. Thumbs UpYeahWow

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 18, 2019 4:31 AM

Some of the  Atlas turnouts have arrived and I am busy adding feeders to the frogs and jumpers between the stock and closure rails, and the closure rails and the point rails. I have decided to install the jumpers between the point rails and the closure rails on the tops of the turnouts instead of adding them underneath the turnouts as I have done in the past. Adding them underneath required that the cork roadbed had to have some pieces removed so that the jumpers didn't get trapped between the ties and the roadbed. That was a PITA. Putting them on top of the turnouts makes them visable but they aren't obvious so who cares?

I'll post some pictures soon.

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:32 PM

hon30critter
I have decided to install the jumpers between the point rails and the closure rails on the tops of the turnouts instead of adding them underneath the turnouts as I have done in the past. Adding them underneath required that the cork roadbed had to have some pieces removed so that the jumpers didn't get trapped between the ties and the roadbed.

Well that didn't go far. After having a close look at what was involved in putting the jumpers on the top of the turnouts I chickened out and did it the old way with the jumpers underneath the turnout. IMHO it was much easier, and one of the club's track layers said that having to cut slots in the roadbed to make space for the jumpers isn't such a big deal as I had thought it was.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 07, 2019 2:07 AM

The club has its portable layout in Lindsay, Ontario this weekend at the Lindsay and District Model Railroaders Show and Sale. I took the trailer there on Saturday morning but by the time the layout was set up I could barely walk. My back has been miserable recently. So, regretably, I decided to come home instead of trying to push things further. I will go back on Sunday around noon and hopefully will be able to get through to the end of the show. I just spent a bunch on Thomas with sound and I did it so we could entertain the kids at the shows.

I had to rent an electric scooter to get around at our show and sale in February. I think i'm going to have to start pricing wheel chairsGrumpyBang HeadSuper Angry.

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, April 07, 2019 10:35 AM

Sorry you are doing poorly. Did you injure yourself, if not you may be sleeping on too soft a surface. When I was young I hurt myself and thought I would never get better after years. Went to finish up my schooling away from home and had no money so sleep on a hardwood floor, fixed my back.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 08, 2019 3:23 AM

rrebell
Sorry you are doing poorly. Did you injure yourself, if not you may be sleeping on too soft a surface. When I was young I hurt myself and thought I would never get better after years. Went to finish up my schooling away from home and had no money so sleep on a hardwood floor, fixed my back.

I have had back problems for many years. I got an undiagnosed infection in my spine sometime in the early 2000s. It caused back pain but nothing serious. The pain was blamed on arthritis. One morning in 2008 I went to get out of bed and started screaming in pain. The infection had partially destroyed two lower vertebrae and done a lot of nerve damage and things finally let loose.

My spine was fused to repair the damage and they told me at the time that it would probably last about 10 years before I started to have problems. Guess what, its been 10 years.

I have attempted physio a couple of times but it just makes the situation much worse. Lying on a hard surface is very painful, but thanks for the suggestion. I have avoided using strong pain killers but that may not be an option any more. I'm going to start pricing wheelchairs.

Sorry for whining!

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, April 08, 2019 8:33 AM

hon30critter

 

 
rrebell
Sorry you are doing poorly. Did you injure yourself, if not you may be sleeping on too soft a surface. When I was young I hurt myself and thought I would never get better after years. Went to finish up my schooling away from home and had no money so sleep on a hardwood floor, fixed my back.

 

I have had back problems for many years. I got an undiagnosed infection in my spine sometime in the early 2000s. It caused back pain but nothing serious. The pain was blamed on arthritis. One morning in 2008 I went to get out of bed and started screaming in pain. The infection had partially destroyed two lower vertebrae and done a lot of nerve damage and things finally let loose.

My spine was fused to repair the damage and they told me at the time that it would probably last about 10 years before I started to have problems. Guess what, its been 10 years.

I have attempted physio a couple of times but it just makes the situation much worse. Lying on a hard surface is very painful, but thanks for the suggestion. I have avoided using strong pain killers but that may not be an option any more. I'm going to start pricing wheelchairs.

Sorry for whining!

Dave

 

No problem. Got a freind that could fix himself but won't, yours is a real issue though. I have had the arthritis thing off and on, but it never seems to stay. Once got an attack and couldn't lift my arms more than midway without extream pain, just as I started my last railroad, lasted 6 months or more but then just disapeared. Good luck with the search, they have come a long way over the years.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 14, 2019 11:44 PM

Progress continues on the layout. Three of the industrial areas are now in full construction mode thanks to finally getting our hands on some turnouts. The ideas for two other areas are being fleshed out although nothing is set in stone just yet. We are making use of the suggestions that various forum members made several months ago about what industries work together to create operating opportunities.

We revised our estimates for the basic scenery form costs for the center of the peninsula. Fortunately the estimates have been cut by between 1/3 and 1/2. The difference is primarily a result of deciding to not build the central hills/mountains nearly as tall as we had originally thought we would. We are modelling Ontario, Canada, not the Rocky Mountains in BC. Our original concepts resulted in slopes that are just too steep for our area.

We have still not decided whether to use 'solid' foam for the base structure or foam ribs with Shaper Sheet. The solid foam costs are about half what they were originally estimated to be. The Shaper Sheet costs came down by a little more than 1/3rd because while the amount of foam required was reduced significantly, the number of Shaper Sheets didn't change that much. I still favour the Shaper Sheets. Less mess and much faster. The cost difference is still about $100.00 more for the Shaper Sheet method.

We are having a little discussion amongst the members about which of the model railroading shows in central Ontario is bigger! The Toronto Train Show (actually now held in Brampton) has always boasted that it is the biggest train show in central Ontario. Well, that might be true in terms of square footage, but our show in Barrie now draws way more people! Don't worry, there won't be any fisticuffs. We support each other's operations. We are not about to get into a 'signing your name in yellow in the snow' contest!Smile, Wink & Grin Besides, I could barely manage my initials!!LaughLaugh

Cheers everybody!

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, April 15, 2019 8:45 AM

Shaper sheets are expencive, $11.99 vs plaster cloth at $1.47 for same area covered. Foam should be free, just go to most any buisness. It is not that messy for foam or plaster cloth if handled right. Your money, just thought I would help. I did a 30'x15' giant dogbone and covered most of it for around $60 including hills (some big).

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