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Stained/Fusing Glass Display Cases For Model Trains

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Stained/Fusing Glass Display Cases For Model Trains
Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Thursday, October 26, 2017 2:14 AM

Finished my course on stained glass and am starting to make lots of nice pieces of art in my GypsumWorks Studio. I am getting ready to make my first stained-glass/wood/stone display case for one of my favourite HO DCC locomotives that will not be used on my model railroad. I'll post pics of my progress in this thread.

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, October 26, 2017 2:31 AM

Sounds like a very creative plan.

I have done a little bit of stained glass work and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The only trouble I had was when I tried to cut the glass in a cold garage in the middle of the winter. Glass does not like to be cut when it is cold!

The only suggestion that I would make is that you don't make the stained glass/wood display case so fancy that it detracts from the main object which is the locomotive. Less might be more.

Have fun! Watch out for sharp edges!

Dave

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Thursday, October 26, 2017 2:49 AM

All good advice, thank you. I have a great spot for working with glass at home. Also, the store has class night where we can use all of the equipment (grinders, foilers, soldering irons, etc), an expert is available to help out and we can use the kiln for firing fusing glass. I plan to use fusing glass at the back of the display case with a railroad scene that fits the locomotive or freight car. The rest of the glass will be chosen to match company colours and/or for lighting effects. Starting my first case at the store on Saturday.

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, October 26, 2017 7:25 AM

I really enjoy stained glass but...seems like an odd medium for displaying - especially if it's a favorite locomotive.  Unless done very subtley, the former would overpower the latter - at least to me.

Tom

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:29 AM

The sky and colourful trees from my backyard are the inspiration for my display case backdrop.

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:37 AM

Bought my fusing glass background for the sky, stringers for tree branches, and frit for colourful autumn leaves. Today I will cut the glass to size keeping the section I like for the sky. Will lay out the background (trees etc) in the glass store's workshop on Saturday. Then the piece will be fired in the kiln and I will pick it up Monday.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Thursday, October 26, 2017 3:08 PM

The longest locomotive that I would put in this particular display case is this one, so I'll use it to measure the backdrop's vertical dimension. In order to place a contrail in the sky, a 6" x 12" piece will do nicely. Oh yeah, I'll make it look like a plane instead of a rocket :).

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, October 26, 2017 4:04 PM

Personally I think plain is better.  Anything funky and attention getting distracts the eye from the star of the show in the display - the engine!

I feel the same way about fascia's - it is a frame that should compliment and not distract the eye.

I don't care for it.  Save the artwork for the wall.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, October 26, 2017 4:21 PM

tstage

I really enjoy stained glass but...seems like an odd medium for displaying - especially if it's a favorite locomotive.  Unless done very subtley, the former would overpower the latter - at least to me.

Tom

 

Good point, Tom. Clear glass and a wood base would really showcase a locomotive.

Rich

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Posted by mobilman44 on Thursday, October 26, 2017 4:43 PM

Glad I'm not the only one thinking stained glass belongs elsewhere.........

The locomotive (or whatever piece of MR equipment) is the star, and the stage should be the backdrop, with attention focused on the item displayed.

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Thursday, October 26, 2017 5:05 PM

Have to take into account glass flattening in the kiln but the trail separation near the aircraft should be evident. The trail is high enough in the sky not to interfere with the railside power poles, which will actually exit the glass at a shallow angle onto a real HO-scale pole running along the roadbed with catenary cables carrying a DCC signal down the pole and onto the track so the train's lights and sounds will function. A hole on the case side will run the connectors to the DCC drivers.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Thursday, October 26, 2017 8:37 PM

Using Douglas fir for the base and will run the track 5-degrees from the plane of the vertical backdrop glass. Hence, the HO-scale diorama objects will have to emerge from the glass at the same angle. This includes trees, power poles, power lines, signage etc.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Friday, October 27, 2017 5:58 PM

The right side of the display case will be extended (wood base only) so the locomotive can be driven out of the case through an arched tunnel facade made on the right stained glass side. There will be a wooden compartment behind the fusing glass sky (this is not the sky piece I am using - the other half will be carefully transported to the glass shop tomorrow) for electrical components (custom circuit boards, LED lighting, connectors, etc). The track will pass by a real (miniature) Cheverie, Nova Scotia gypsum exposure and reindeer lichen collected in Walton, Nova Scotia at an abandoned gypsum quarry this past spring. The lichen was boiled in water, isopropyl and green dye many months ago and still looks great!

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Friday, October 27, 2017 6:03 PM

Attaching objects to the glass will not be a problem using E6000 adhesive. I have tested it with sandstone, gypsum, wood, glass and metal and the bond strengths are excellent.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, October 28, 2017 4:30 AM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder

The right side of the display case will be extended (wood base only) so the locomotive can be driven out of the case through an arched tunnel facade made on the right stained glass side. 

OK, I am trying to understand this. In your first post, you said that you were going to make a display case for one of your favorite locomotives that will not be used on your model railroad. So, when you drive the locomotive out of the display case, where will it go?

Rich

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Saturday, October 28, 2017 5:38 AM

This is a dynamic display case. The locomotive will not go anywhere.

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by mobilman44 on Saturday, October 28, 2017 6:01 AM

That's too bad. 

I thought you would at least run the loco to the geothermal building.   By the way, is that finished yet?

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, October 28, 2017 7:49 AM

If I am undertstanding this... the stained/fused glass section will be behind the locomotive, the fir will be the base, and there will be some scenery on the inside. I assume that means the top and front will be clear. So basically the stained/fused glass will be the backdrop.

.

If I understand this correctly, it sound like a very promising project. I can see where it could be a beautiful display. Do youi have a concept sketch you can post?

.

Keep the updates coming.

.

-Kevin

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Saturday, October 28, 2017 2:00 PM

SeeYou190

If I am undertstanding this... the stained/fused glass section will be behind the locomotive, the fir will be the base, and there will be some scenery on the inside. I assume that means the top and front will be clear. So basically the stained/fused glass will be the backdrop.

If I understand this correctly, it sound like a very promising project. I can see where it could be a beautiful display. Do youi have a concept sketch you can post?

 

-Kevin

You are correct. The left stained glass panel will be a mirror on the inside to add depth to the sky and fall trees. The right glass panel will look like a mountainside train tunnel with an arched stone facade on both sides. The locomotive in the display can be changed by driving it through the tunnel onto the open Douglas fir base. The top and front of the case will be clear glass for viewing. I managed to get half of the tree line done at the shop today but will finish up and have it fired in the kiln by next weekend - hopefully. Here is my back plate so far.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, October 28, 2017 2:52 PM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder

The locomotive in the display can be changed by driving it through the tunnel onto the open Douglas fir base.

Scratch, you should build a "lazy susan" with radial tracks on it to hold all of your locomotives. It would be hidden just beyond the tunnel so that the locomotive pulled out of the display case will disappear onto the lazy susan. Then the lazy susan would rotate to allow another locomotive to drive onto the display case track. With your engineering skills, that would be a snap and would really make that display case dynamic.  Yes

Rich

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, October 29, 2017 7:53 PM

Took a few hours and some broken glass but I finally developed a technique to cut HO-scale glass ties. With a small jig that I will make, I can produce ties in large numbers in a very short timeframe. May do this instead of wood for the display case.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, October 29, 2017 8:01 PM

Even easier to make glass ballast, which I did at the glass shop.

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, October 29, 2017 8:07 PM

While the stain-glass ties are slightly larger (i.e. as compared to the flex-track ties) - nicely done, OS.  I know cutting glass that small is not an easy feat.

Tom

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, October 29, 2017 8:16 PM

tstage

While the stain-glass ties are slightly larger (i.e. as compared to the flex-track ties) - nicely done, OS.  I know cutting glass that small is not an easy feat.

Tom

That's why I need the jig. I can straighten the edges so grinding won't be needed and also reduce the width. 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Monday, October 30, 2017 7:51 PM

Stained glass ties can be made. This is a 9" straight track with 33 ties. Had fun with this challenge.

Rails have just been laid on top for now. I will use much finer stained glass ballast.

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 3:44 AM

Going to try my hand at building a stained glass trestle as I wait for the next shop class opportunity. Sixty three glass panels fit into the gondola shown in the picture. Starting to think I can build a small portable stained/fused glass novelty layout to bring to shows. The shop is assembling a full set of stained glass working equipment for me to purchase on Monday. That way I can do more of the work at home. The only piece of gear I won't have is my own kiln.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 3:48 AM

I now have a glass crusher and sifter set to make scenery items like ballast and frit for backdrops.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 7:08 AM

Some of the autumn trees on the 2D back plate will have lost leaves that spill over into the 3D section of the display case. Just crushed red glass and sifted into three grades for leaf ground cover.

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 12:02 PM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder

Going to try my hand at building a stained glass trestle as I wait for the next shop class opportunity. Sixty three glass panels fit into the gondola shown in the picture. Starting to think I can build a small portable stained/fused glass novelty layout to bring to shows.  

You could even fabricate glass rail, no wiring required. According to some, dead rail is the future of model railroading. It's all about battery power!

https://www.deadrailsociety.com/

Rich

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 2:52 PM

Yeah!  Several hours of bench time at the glass shop this afternoon. Finished the fusing phase of the back plate and it is now in the kiln. Should be ready by tomorrow! Since this piece will shrink a little, I couldn't start the other sides of the case because of the new fired planar dimensions. Added a sandstone/gypsum exposure on the left which will reflect in the mirrored left side of the case. Also added a v-formation of Canada Geese, now flying over Nova Scotia.

 

 

Designed naval sonars for Canada, the United States, Australia, and other allies as a career in physics. Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2000. Several of my sonar inventions are in the Canada Science and Technology Museum's collection in Ottawa.

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