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Never throw anything out

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  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,883 posts
Never throw anything out
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 2:02 AM

I have several drawers jammed full of modeling stuff and I have often thought about going through them to clean out items that I would probably never use. Fortunately I have never followed through on that threat, probably because I am too lazy, but tonight my hoarding paid off.

I had an older InterMountain FP9 with a factory installed Loksound DCC system. A couple of years ago I was running this locomotive at a train show and I had cranked the volume up to 192 so it could be heard over the din of the show. After running for a while blasting its lungs out, the speaker decided to quit. The screaming noises that ensued made it pretty clear that the speaker was toast. I packed the locomotive away to be repaired at some time in the future.

Fast forward to today and I was sorting all my locomotives out to see which ones needed decoders and speakers. In the process I came across the wounded FP9 so I decided to repair it. Here's where I get to the point of my thread. The original speaker was 4 ohms. Who uses 4 ohm speakers anymore? However, it just so happens that I have saved every speaker that was supplied with the Loksound decoders that I did not use in the original installations. That left me with a bag full of Loksound speakers ranging from 4 ohms to 32 ohms. Voila! I had a 4 ohm speaker to replace the one that I had blown. The engine sounds great once again.

I would like to hear from others who have made great use of their 'scrap' items.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 5,366 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 5:17 AM

Good morning Dave

 

I can relate to that one more than once and that was an interesting story I might add.

Just recently I made foam piers for a scratch built three-part bridge.  The truss bridge in the center approached by a girder plate bridge on either side. 

I made two mistakes.  One) I made the piers too short which was later corrected.  Two) The saddle the girder bridges would sit on was too low as I was going to use plates for bridge shoes.

I don't throw any of my spare parts away after kitbashing.  I had dissected two girder bridges that were made by Kato to kitbash this curved girder plate bridge.

On the ends of the Kato bridges were bridge shoes molded into the plastic. 

They were a bit tedious to cut out with the razor saw but they were exactly what I needed to correct my mistake.

These bridge shoes saved the day making everything line up perfectly.  Not throwing away scraps saved me from re-doing the piers.

I even have my junk labled in categories in organizer drawers.  It doesn't become good junk until it's used.

 

I don't consider myself a hoarder, just a repurposerLaugh

 

 

 

TF

 

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 20,933 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 6:17 AM

I save everything. Up in my attic are several large cardboard boxes, each holding several Walthers Cornerstone boxes with all of the sprue left over from building structure kits. Often, there are extra parts leftover which I have occasionally salvaged for other projects. 

When I built my vertical lift bridge, I kept all of the unused parts which I have kept.

Most recently, I sold a Proto 2000 Heritage 2-8-2 on eBay. I noticed that a horizontal bar was missing from the front of the locomotive. I saved the day by salvaging that bar from another Proto Heritage 2-8-2 which no longer runs, but I saved it.

Never ever throw anything away!

Rich

Alton Junction

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    November 2013
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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 9:04 AM

Yeah, the nice thing about model railroading is that you can hoard small stuff without taking too much room. 1:1 automobile parts is a whole different story... My main challenge with my train stuff is organizing the materials so I can find stuff easily. Do you classify your junk? Smile

Simon

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 9:40 AM

I use plastic shoe boxes for sorting with general labels like roofing, decals, scenery, details, right of way details etc.

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • 2,550 posts
Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 10:35 AM

snjroy
My main challenge with my train stuff is organizing the materials so I can find stuff easily. Do you classify your junk?

One aid I have is a list in my handy "current trains items" folder that lists various things that are harder to find and where they are.

I have a small bedroom closet that has two plastic freestanding shelves.  I use flat plastic divider trays w/covers to house items such as couplers, wheelsets, paint brushes, etc.  One box has small rolling stock extra parts such as brakewheels.  I have two large shoeboxes that contain electronics goodies, with contents written on the sides. 

In the walk-in attic I have larger boxes that have the empty locos and rolling stock boxes, except the loco boxes with foam, which I keep indoors.  Ditto scenery materials.  The garage has other items more likely to be used there. 

I keep a file for each loco, including any manufacturers paperwork.  I keep structure instructions in a folder, freight car kit instructions in the respective box.  I don't keep structure kit boxes nor vehicle packaging.  I don't keep most receipts, except for locos, electronics or unusual items (so I know the source in the future).

I keep extra parts from the freight car kits and structures I like to build, but throw out horn hook couplers, for instance.  

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
  • 3,500 posts
Posted by gregc on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 11:58 AM

i lost a spring.   kadee coupler size.

carefully looked on the floor and everywhere else i could think of

after eliminating the possible, carefully looked in the trash bin under the bench ... and found it!

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    June 2020
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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 3:58 PM

gregc

i lost a spring.   kadee coupler size.

carefully looked on the floor and everywhere else i could think of

after eliminating the possible, carefully looked in the trash bin under the bench ... and found it!

 

Model railroading trash bins are parts magnetic. But only for useful parts...

Alyth Yard

Canada

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 4:24 PM

Lastspikemike

Model railroading trash bins are parts magnetic. But only for useful parts... 

Say what?

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 558 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 4:48 PM

I have to admit I'm something of a packrat myself. I know that I could have an item sitting in a drawer or a box for ten years but if I ever throw it out, within a week something will come up that the item would be perfect for. I know I have a lot more junk than I'll ever find a use for but I know there's one or two hidden gems in all that junk but I just don't know what they are so I hang on to all of it. Mostly the things I have repurposed are structures or parts of a structure that I was able to kitbash into something useful to fill a hole in the layout. One in particular that stands out is on a previous layout out I had a Ma's Place structure which if I remember right was a Tyco kit. It's probably about 40 years old. I was looking for a kit for a trackside diner near the front edge of the layout when I came across that old structure. It needed some dressing up with some details to make it worthy of a place at the front of the layout, but it has now found a new home.

  • Member since
    June 2020
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Posted by Lastspikemike on Thursday, April 8, 2021 9:05 AM

richhotrain

 

 
Lastspikemike

Model railroading trash bins are parts magnetic. But only for useful parts... 

 

 

Say what?

 

 

It seems more probable than it oughta be that a potentially useful part escapes your grip only to fall into the trash bin near your feet. It seems to happen more often than when you intentionally aim a rejected whatever straight into the bin.

Alyth Yard

Canada

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 6,142 posts
Posted by rrebell on Thursday, April 8, 2021 9:46 AM

Me right now am decluttering. Since I have less storage now I am trying to get rid of things I will never use. So far so good and I am accually building any detail kits that I need for loads which go on Ertl flat cars that have been upgraded (these don't need much upgrading, just wheels couplers and new break wheel as these were made buy Gould, now Tichy).

  • Member since
    November 2013
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Posted by snjroy on Thursday, April 8, 2021 12:45 PM

Using flat cars to carry RR junk, brilliant!  And if you need that part again, you can just unload it. I can see an entire fleet of gondolas carrying stuff from my parts box.

And for those who missed it, look at Darth SantaFe's thread about how he fixed his Turbotrain with stuff from his parts stash... Amazing!

Simon

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,883 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, April 8, 2021 11:13 PM

I have six plastic drawer units that range from about 2 1/2' to 3' tall. The drawers are all 12" x 14". Some are about 7" deep and the remainder are about 3" deep. The little stuff goes into small compartmentalized storage boxes with individual lids for each compartment, and two of the shallower drawers are dedicated to that. Stuff that I have in larger quantities like couplers are in pill bottles in Athearn BB boxes, and things like trucks are loose in the Athearn boxes. One of the shallower drawers is all paint. Another is all tools that don't get used frequently. One is for couplers and related tools. Two are for styrene and metal supplies. Two are all electronics.

Two of the larger drawers are dedicated to turnouts. Two are used for packaged items like sets of figures and accessory kits. One larger drawer is full of wire. Another has decals and decoder boxes, (and other stuff like Walthers traffic signals, street lights and goose neck lamps that I will never use).

In addition to that I have numerous rolling stock boxes stacked at the back of the workbench that contain various projects like street lights and signals, and detail parts sorted for various structures.

I have recently purchased 50 small boxes the size of the BB longer boxes and I am in the process of getting various projects into them. The BB boxes that I am currently using only have half of the box so I'm trying to get all that stuff into covered boxes.

Finally, for those of you who are still reading this windy disertation, I just bought a Dymo label printer. It has already proved its worth.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 20,933 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, April 9, 2021 5:41 AM

hon30critter

I just bought a Dymo label printer. It has already proved its worth.

That little tool is invaluable for labeling small plastic storage boxes. Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,782 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, April 9, 2021 2:24 PM

I packed up my teenage layout when I went to college.  40 years later, I slowly unpacked everything.  I had an old wood cigar box full of scraps and junk, including hook-and-loop couplers, old airplane decals and the like.  I found a piece of square metal rod, about an inch long an 3/16 on a side.  Feeling ruthless, I threw it out.

Fast forward a couple of years.  I was restoring a working coal flood loader that had chutes which operated by solenoids.  I realized that metal thing I had carelessly discarded was the solenoid core for one chute.

I had an old-time LHS, my Local Hardware Store.  I took in the other solenoid core and asked.  The hardware guy took me to the aisle with lock parts.  Believe it or not, they had that same piece.  I put it together and it worked.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 573 posts
Posted by PC101 on Friday, April 9, 2021 4:22 PM

I have the old Dymo M-10 lable printer that embossed the colored tapes.

I also have a Brothers lable printer model PT-2030.

Both are very useful. 

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