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Building the Rock Ridge Railroad

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 08, 2018 9:07 PM

All right, cool.  So, the last picture, where the tool boxes are, on the right, is that lay out space?

I'm watching this, I think an old west theme is great.  I have a hidden desire to build an old logging layout the way they actually did it.  Rails leased, ties from the woods, no ballast, only basic road bed grading, ditches and gullies bridged with stacked up logs, and all taken down when the woods was depleted.  But, I digress.

Looking forward to your build.

Mike.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, February 08, 2018 11:39 PM

mbinsewi
So, the last picture, where the tool boxes are, on the right, is that lay out space?

Partly. It goes to where the toolbox is now, I'm building a shelf for it on another wall. There's a cabinet beyond the toolbox. 

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, February 09, 2018 7:53 PM

 

Today I started sorting my train stuff.

I found Mongo.

Train Stuff is what was written on the side of the seven boxes when the movers packed them. I unpacked them and this is what I had to go through. I decided I needed to do this right away because I bought rail joiners when it turns out I already had 4 packs HO scale and 1 N scale. 

Anyway, this is what I had to go through.

Everything on the shelf, except the red tool box had to be gone through. On the next shelf down, the four gray bins are also model railroad supplies. On the floor, the two gray bins to the left and the closed bins on the far right are wiring supplies.

This is what I had when I unpacked just the small shelf unit and the plastic container you see on the bench below.

What was I thinking? I have massive amounts of all kinds of stuff. I have probably 200 figures, 20 wagon, and 10 decoders. I don't have 10 engines and of the one's I have, only 2 need decoders. I have maybe 30 gas guzzing vehicles. I have 6 oil columns. I must have been some crazed model railroad buying fanatic.

I have Kaydee couplers that I don't even know what they are for. I also had an envelope of 12 coupler springs. The envelope was empty by the way. Those things can run and hide even in storage.

I found 10 caboose manual turnout switches. With the 10 Humpard switches I already have and a single Tortoise I'm pretty close to haveing all the turnout switches I need. 

Anyway, I didn't finsh going through all the stuff. I'll hit it again tomorrow.

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 09, 2018 8:10 PM

 Coincidently, I had beans with dinner and all I can thing is "care for some more beans, Mr. Taggart?"

                        --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 SpaceMouse on Friday, February 09, 2018 8:30 PM

rrinker
 Coincidently, I had beans with dinner and all I can thing is "care for some more beans, Mr. Taggart?"

LOL

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:29 PM

Got more sorting done today. Then I took a break and started cleaning up the Fastracks turnouts from my previous layout. Actually it was not a Rock Ridge layout they came from. I set up a Pennsy switching layout that was located in Indiana, PA in 1950. I had a map of the town from that period and I tried to be true to the streets and buildings--right down to Jimmy Stewart's fathers hardware store.  I tore it up because what I really wanted to be modeling was Rock Ridge--Big Trees, Small Trains. So it came between Rock Ridge I and Rock Ridge II. And you know the story from there.

Anyway, I felt like I was actually modeling as opposed to cleaning. 

It made me feel good and humbled me as well. As I was cleaning, I saw every mistake and sloppy solder joint I made. I still have to bring out the soldering iron and remove the old feeders and repair any broken solder joints. But like I said, it felt like I was actually in the hobby again. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, February 11, 2018 11:56 PM

I didn't get much done today because I had a family thing. My wife decided we needed more together time and so she created one day a week where we do family things. Each week we get together on Sunday, and one of us both cooks and creates the agenda, It was my wife's week and she moved the festivities to the afternoon.

It worked out because although I didn't get much done, I did discover two bagged models, both by Railway Design Associates. One was Durham's Tool and Die, which they described as a converted mill. IT just so happens I need a mill, so I am going to convert it back.

The second one is a Delahey Iron Works, and I need a silver refinery. 

So, to make them work I had to do a bit of redesign. It seems to work. I also changed the street layout. I changed the location of the Frieght Receiving Docks and nudged the roundtable down a bit to allow for an RIP track. Unfortunately, this means I have to change the framing because it lands in a major support member. 

Anyway here is the new plan. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, February 12, 2018 12:55 PM

For those of you who think of me as a whimsy-type modeler--okay, I admit it. I like whimsy. But I have also done some serious prototype modeling. Before I moved to Arizona, I lived in the town of Indiana, PA, which used to be a coal town. It was also a train town, so I did a little research and came up with what I thought was a pretty close representation of the town in 1950. The layout was built between The Rock Ridge and Train City I and II. 

I think it was pretty acurate considering that it had to be compressed a bit to fit on a 30" x 15 ft layout. Okay I guessing at that. I don't remember exactly. Here's the Sanborn map of the area. The map was, I believe, from the thirties.

As you can see the compression is pretty evident. I also used aerial photos from 1938.  

But of course this would only get me accuracy if I was modeling the late thirties, so I started combing the net and pictures to fill time gap.

This one shows the train station from the yard side. Quite modelable, don't you think. 

This one shows Jimmy Stewart's dad's hardware store from the side and an old train. Obviously, I can't show you all the photos I collected but it was enough to fill in the time gap and the above plan.

I can't remember why that layout came down. I was doing a lot of operating on layouts within an hour radius.

I probably wanted to get back to whimsy.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 10:01 AM

I put a lot more research into looking for a logging railroad to model than I did into my Indiana 1950 layout. I looked at Santa Cruz from Gilmore to Los Gatos and it's shipping posibilities from the pier.

I looked at the Eureka area, especially along the Mad River. 

I even looked at a narrow guage on the western side of the Sierra Nevada, but all three had problems. 

The one railroad that came close was the California Western, but the Western Pacific didn't buy out the SP until 1907, and the California Western didn't connect with the Western Pacific main until 1911. But I could live with that. There was the Union Lumber Yard in Fort Bragg that was huge. The California Western was pretty much the railroad of Union Lumber. The rail went through the redwoods to Willits on what is now the Skunk line.  

And they had wierd motive power. They had very little geared steam and what they had was in service for only a short time. Their main fleet was comprised of 2-6-2 side tank engines. I would have found a way to make something reasonably close. it would be a royal pain-in-the-butt but I'd figure it out. 

I think the thing that turned it sour for me was the fact that I wanted a yard and the Western Pacific yard was in Ukiah. Plus the main railroad feature that Willitis is known for is a wye for turning trains. That wye would have taken 3/4 of my layout space. 

So Rock Ridge is really a model of Ft. Bragg/Willits/Ukiah. 

In the movies this is called "Based on a True Story."

So now I just have to model this:

in 6 square feet. Piece of cake.

(Be sure to click the photo to get the full effect.)  

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, February 15, 2018 5:51 PM

My screw/impact driver died right before I finished my day's work. That seems to be a pattern. I'm choosing to look at it this way. Hemmingway made a habit of finishing this work for the day right in the middle of a sentence. That way when he started writing the next day, he jumped in and finished the sentence, and he was off writing again. So now, I just have to finish the project, and I'll be off and working again. 

Unfortunatly my battery died about the same time as the screw driver. I haven't been able to stay awake for more than two hours for the last two days. I out-slept my cat. I'm not particularly uncomfortable. Low grade headache, some neck pain, and a slight cough/ I just have to sleep all the time. Yesterday, I slept 23 hours out of 30. 

The plus side is I have been binging YouTube when I could keep my eyes open. I've learned:

  • How to make rivers and waterfalls.
  • How to model rocks three different ways.
  • How to paint rocks 3 different ways (I don't like any of them.)
  • How to make pine trees 5 different ways.
  • How to make a Noch electrostatic grass applicator for $4. 
  • How to apply electrostatic grass in layers for that natural look.
  • How to make custom decals. 
  • How to make custom decals using plain white paper. 
  • How to transfer track plans to the benchwork.
  • How to lay track.
  • How to create easements.
  • How to create superelevateion. (You know they had the Acela in 1890 right?)

I watched two films about steam locomotives.  

Now I know I'll forget everything I learned when I start driving the first spikes. Not to mention the biggest hammer I have is only twelve pounds. 

 

Thing is I know I have only a day or so of framing the benchwork left. And that is just short pieces tofor the risers to attach to. Then, I decided, I'm going to paint the benchwork. I don't trust the plywood to stay straight as much as I'd like. 

Somewhere between framing and painting, I am going to build an incline to see if my geared steam can make it up a 4% grade. If one of you math wizzes can figure it out what the effectual grade is, my smallest radius on the climb is 16.9 inches. Without further input I'll test from 4% to 5% on an 8 foot 2x4.

I haven't been able to test until today. My track finally came. 

I may force myself to work tomorrow. Right after I take a nap. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, February 16, 2018 5:46 PM

I started my grade tests. The results were inconclusive. The grade of my ascent is 4%, but I have curves of 16.9" radius so the adjusted grade as per the formula provided by Bryon, is 5.89%. So I ran my test at 6%.

I testested all my locos, but only two had to make the grade (pun intended). 

My old Roundhouse Climax, and my Spectrum Shay. The Shay was always my best puller, the Climax had been sent out for tuning and when it returned it, my layout had been taken down. So it was an unknown. 

The process took a lot longer than it should have as it seems every engine had one quirk or another that I had to resolve before it could be tested.  Without further adeu, here are the results. 

The Climax pulled six full sixed cars. I only needed it to pull 4 small ore cars. 

  

My Heisler was next. It never was a good puller. I expect to use it as a switcher in the Lumber yard. It could get 3 up.

My oldest 2-6-0 got two cars up.

 

My new Bachmann 0-6-0 and my undecorated 2-6-0 got one each.

 

The reason I'm calling the test inconclusive is that the Shay broke a gear at the start of the test. I need it to haul 4-7 empty log cars up the hill. Also, my new 2-6-0 melted and I need to order a new truck for the tender.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:48 AM

I just got an email saying that my USB to serial cable--guaranteed to work on WIN 97, 98, 98SE and XP--that I need to make a connection between my 10-year old Netbook and my LocoNet serial interface  has left China on a refurbished WWII U-boat on it's way to the sandy beaches just north of San Simeon, Ca where it will be fired through a 10mm cannon the to vacinity of a mail box. Depending on when a good Samaritan picks it up and places it in the mailbox, I can expect it anytime between March 9 and April 23.

JMRI here I come. It was $1.60 well spent.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, February 18, 2018 11:52 AM

In general, I was not pleased with the results of my test on a 6% grade--that was to allow for a 4% actual grade and additional friction due to curves.

So I retested at 4.5%--roughly the equivilent  of a 3% grade adjusted for friction.

Every engine at least doubled it's towing capacity. 

The Heisler was the most pleasant surprise, towing six cars up the incline. This signals a go-ahead for the project at 3% grade--even if the Shay doesn't make it out of the shop for the duration.  So now all I have to do is figure out how to lower the grade without losing my ability to tend my staging yard. 

So what I did is move the start of grade from the right end of staging (Point A) to the left end of staging (Point B). The resulting increase in grade length actually increaded the height of the hand space above the staging yard.

It also increased the ability to do operations at both the mine and lumber camp in ways I haven't begun to exxplore. Stay tuned.  

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, February 18, 2018 3:43 PM

I've been 30 minutes from finishing this all week. Then I got sick. Forced myself to getterdone. 

Nothing to see here, move along. 

Ready, set, Abracadabra.

 

 

Instant work bench. Bet you didn't see that one coming. 

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 3:14 PM

I can't believe that it has been 22 days since I last posted here. This flu I've had really kicked my butt. The few days I felt like working, it was unseasonably cold.

The good news is the weather has improved and so has my health. I do bird walks for the National Park Service and Northern Arizona Audubon Society, and I was able to lead trips on Saturday and Sunday baack to back. This is in contrast to leadingone three weeks ago, that caused a massive relapse--hense the no post in three weeks thingy.

Anyway, I've got most of the framing done and should be thinking about painting the benchwork tomorrow. I'll try to get some pictures posted soon. That is if I can stop typing on this computer that slides out from the shelving and is pretty much dedicated to JMRI programing. That and reading the forum instead of cutting wood.  

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 10:20 PM

Well good to see you back Chip.  Wondering where you went!  I went through the flu crap a couple of months ago.  I think the shots helped, as it was over quick.

Mike.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, March 23, 2018 6:35 PM

mbinsewi
I went through the flu crap a couple of months ago.  I think the shots helped, as it was over quick.

It's still hanging in there. I am only able to work about 3-4 max and sometimes I'm crapping out after a couple hours. 


The good news is the benchwork is finally done. 

  

Notice the little table bungied to the side. This is the only picture that shows it and I cut a big corner by using it. I'm an avid birder--I lead bird walks for both Audubon and the National Parks Service. As such, I feed birds in my yard. One thing the layout did was get rid of the table where I filled my bird feeders. I had planned to build a foldout table on this side of the layout, but his little sewing table became available. 

  

As you know, I had to accomodate my wife's art shipping supplies so going from left to right, the first bay is for her boxes and packing paper. 

The second bay is one of the best things I've ever done. I mounted my 35 year-old 13" Miter saw on a wheeled cart. It fits in the second bay. The sucker weighs upwards of 60 pounds and is a bear to set up on saw horses. This little rolling cart made things really easy to use the thing for the precision cuts. 

The third bay is for my wife's flat files consisting of things like pencil drawings and paintings on paper. On top of the flat file cabinet are my pieces of 1/4 hardwood plywood. They will probably be what I use for facia.

The last bin is for paintings. Right now I have my plywood scraps and track stored in there, as well as the boxes I'll be using to sell my superfluous stuff (like my n-scale track and structures.) 

Another shot of the layout, and the open end where the paintings will slide in. 

This is a shot of the operating area/work area. Notice the bins along the left side of the aisle.

I've shown this slideout workbench before, but I kinda set it up as it will be used. A couple of things to notice: see how the bins fit with the bench; and notice I took everyone's advice and got a variable temperature soldering iron. I haven't used it yet and I think I'll still use my 45W Pencil for building the Fastracks turnouts and soldering the track dropdowns. We'll see. 

I plan dedicate this little 10 year-old Netbook to running JMRI for programming the engines. The downside is that it does Chrome really well and I tend to read the forum when I should be working. 

As you can see, it spins out on a turntable.

 

This is what I'll be using to power the layout. The Bachmann EZ Track power supply I plan to use for accessories. The track power will be used to power the turntable. My turntable motor is 7V so I'll play with the rheostat until I get a speed I like and then use a DPDT switch to turn the turntable. The AC 12V side I'll use for structure lighting. I'll probably not use the wall warts I planned to use unless the Bachmann proves inadequate or unreliable. 

  

In the front of the drawer I'll have the program track. It will slide out to make it easy to place the engines. 

And I saved the best accessory for last. Hint: I don't drink sodas.

I have a birding trip tomorrow, but I hope to unload all the stuff inside and blow the dust out with a compressor in the afternoon.

Sunday, I'll paint. Hopefully, I'll start wiring on Tuesday.

See you then. 

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by Texas Zephyr on Sunday, April 01, 2018 8:27 PM

SpaceMouse
So there is a story here. Not about Rock Ridge--although there is a back-story I'll tell as we go--but one of how I came to build this layout.

I remember all that.   We have missed you.    It is funny though, I just mentioned you on the forum on other side of the tracks about a month ago, in a thread of why the forum participation ebed and flowed.  And here you are over here!    Now if we could just get several of the others who were around at that time back...  I've got a different handle over there now.  I am no longer "Gandy Dancer".   In fact this isn't even really my handle here.  About a year ago they changed the forum software an my "Texas Zepher" mis-spelled went away and I inherited this correctly spelled one. ?!?  Sorry to post in your thread, but I don't remember how to send private messages here.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, April 02, 2018 2:49 PM

Texas Zephyr
Sorry to post in your thread, but I don't remember how to send private messages here.

Click on the avatar, and then on Start a Conversation.

Can't wait to see more Spacemouse!

Mike.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:20 PM

Texas Zephyr
It is funny though, I just mentioned you on the forum on other side of the tracks about a month ago, in a thread of why the forum participation ebed and flowed.  And here you are over here!    Now if we could just get several of the others who were around at that time back..

I was out of town when you wrote this, so forgive my slow response. I did a little searching and was able to find and get back on "over there." I wrote in the newbee dection so look me up and inform me of your new handle. 

Edit: I found you Mr. Horseman.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:34 PM

mbinsewi
Can't wait to see more Spacemouse!

Well, allrightythen.

I finally got the benchwork painted, I and got a huge "I told you so" from my wife. You see, I had three quarts of mixed paint that I got cheap and thought, "I'll go with the darker one so the benchwork would visually disappear. My wife, the artist, told me I should mix the paint so it would be a uniform color, but I figured one can would cover it all. It took all three cans and now my benchwork is three colors. I'll post a picture tomorrow when the light is better, but it's sort of like a sick bumble bee. 

I find solice in the fact that no one will be looking at that part of the layout unless they move my wife's stuff out and crawl underneath. At that point, if they want to work that hard to laugh at me, well have at it. If they just look they'll find easier ways to amuse themselves at my expense. 

Tomorrow, I hope, I get to start the wiring. I've done all kinds of wiring in my day--mostly house construction--electrical, phones, and ethernet--so I don't mind it so much. In fact, it may just be challenging enough to be enjoyable. 

I'm planning on having all the electrical connections be on the sub-facia for ease of installation and repair. 

You'll see how that works out when I do. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, April 06, 2018 9:20 PM

SpaceMouse
I'll post a picture tomorrow when the light is better, but it's sort of like a sick bumble bee. 

And here she is, my Bumble Bee Benchwork

  

A while back, I posted a few pictures and said how I couldn't understand what wiring blocks were for. As it turns out, I found a very good use for one, and it is at the very core of my layout wiring plan. 

The only thing is, I can't find the darned things. I've searched probably for 3 hours total over several days and been over all the same places probably a half a dozen times and theiy're still not there. I'm beginning to think that they are capable of self-initiating a time/space continuum. 

So today, I ran the Loconet instead. I'm hoping I got the wiring right on the plugs. When I think about it though, as long as I stay consistent, it probably doesn't matter which color wires go on the right. I won't be able to test it until I get the program track working.  

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, April 06, 2018 10:52 PM

Well OK !  I don't think I've ever seen painted benchwork, looks good.  Wiring blocks? you mean something like terminal strips?

Wait, I think gmpullman on here painted some of his bench work.

Mike.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, April 07, 2018 1:40 AM

mbinsewi
you mean something like terminal strips?

Sure. Let's go with that. 

mbinsewi
Well OK !  I don't think I've ever seen painted benchwork, looks good.

I wanted to limit warping, shrining, that sort of thing. My last layout benchwork was hardwood plywood. This plywood is not as good. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by Brunton on Saturday, April 07, 2018 7:34 AM

Uhm... bad news, Chip...

If you painted with plain old latex paint, it won't do much to "...limit warping, shrin[k]ing, that sort of thing" because latex paint breathes, allowing humidity to pass right through. There may be a bit of improvement, but it will be minimal. 

If you used some sort of a sealing paint, like Killz or Thompson's Water Sealer, then you're good to go.

Ask me how I know about latex paint.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, April 07, 2018 9:21 AM

Brunton
latex paint breathes, allowing humidity to pass right through.

Oh, great. 

At least the dark gray paint had a stain component.

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, April 07, 2018 9:43 AM

Where is the hand-car and quicksand scene going to be?  I think this is the big unasked question here.   

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, April 07, 2018 5:33 PM

BMMECNYC
Where is the hand-car and quicksand scene going to be?  I think this is the big unasked question here. 

I'm not going to waste a perfectly good hancart.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, April 07, 2018 8:57 PM

 At $400 a piece, they are too expensive to waste.

2 layouts ago, I did paint all the benchwork, didn;t want to spend money on paint so I used the semi-gloss black the previous owners left (no idea what in the house they actually painted with that, maybe they didn;t because it was pretty much a full gallon). It soaked in enough to come out more flat anyway, except on the legs.

(notice I kept paint off the top edge where the foam got glued on)

                              --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 Brunton on Sunday, April 08, 2018 4:59 AM

I did something similar with brown paint, THEN I learend about latex paint letting himidity through.

It did look better than naked wood, though...

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