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Building the Rock Ridge Railroad Part 2

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 5:05 PM

Chip:

Great to hear from you again, and welcome back.

The buildings look great.

When I build Campbell kits with shingle roofs, I use plastic shingle roof material to replace the cardboard and paper.

-Kevin

Happily modeling in HO scale. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 5:52 PM

SeeYou190
When I build Campbell kits with shingle roofs, I use plastic shingle roof material to replace the cardboard and paper. -Kevin

I'm learning. Besides I thought it might be fun to build it as it was intended. 

 

Chip

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

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 5:58 PM

SpaceMouse for President!

We need him now more than ever...

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 6:18 PM

Hey, Stranger! Smile

I figgered you went on another walkabout and we just had to wait until you popped up.  It only seemed like forever.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 6:23 PM

Overmod
SpaceMouse for President! We need him now more than ever...

LOL! I'm still trying to figure out what happened to the hand-basket after our trip.

Chip

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 6:30 PM

selector
I figgered you went on another walkabout and we just had to wait until you popped up.  It only seemed like forever.

With me things just go in cycles. Like I've been writing novels. This spring I took the rot out of the front and rear decks, rebuilt the stairs and added lattice below them.  When I do these things, I don't do anything else. Same with other things. Now I'm cycled back around. I'm waiting for the heat to recede so I can get back into the garage. I'm at the point where I need to lay the track and cut out the grade. And I only have half my turnouts built. But once the track is down, the structures and scenery will go quickly. I've got more than half done, but I figure I'll rebuild some of my earlier stuff. 

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 6:35 PM

 Hey, he's back! The more things change, the more they stay the same - after 7 years in this house I FINALLY got my basement done and started on a layout.

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 7:53 PM

rrinker
after 7 years in this house I FINALLY got my basement done and started on a layout.

Cool Beans! You have a link to your layout post?

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 10:57 PM

 Since links to threads don;t usually work, I just made an update so it should be near the top now. In this section of the forums. 

                        --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, August 6, 2020 7:53 AM

I read through it. Took an hour and a half, but I did it. Do I get a cookie?

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, August 6, 2020 3:29 PM

 Only if you also read all of Dave's Rotisserie thread. I only have 5 pages so far, he has 17. There's also my one of just the finishing of the basement, which has tons of pictures on demolition and the new walls.

                            --Randy

 


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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 6:26 PM

Well, the engine house is finished...

So my next project is going to be a a Muir combo kit: a jail and an 1890's house. Here's a photo from the box cover.

There's good news here. I opened the box and all the parts were sealed in plastic. I've gotten a lot of craftsman's kits on eBay, and none have had their parts still sealed. 

I read a little about the project. It seems that the buildings are from the mining town of Randsburg, CA--which is about one day by sidewinder from Death Valley. Look at that picture above. See the forest of pines. Nope, nothing but tumbleweeds if they care to stick around. Both buildings supposedly still exsist. So I looked them up. I had no problem finding the jail, but the house was elusive.

So I have two problems. The first is with the jail. I just can't imagine people going to all the trouble to build an adobe building in the middle of a town centered around Rock Ridge Lumber Mill. 

My plan is to pretty much junk everything and build the jail out of styrene. 

The second problem is with the house. Too much fru-fru. I mean what were they thinking.

Also, the house is built on a hillside, and that is why it is half-a-story off the ground. I'll have to re-orient it to match all the other houses on my layout. So believe it or not, I'm going to attempt to stick as close as I can to the plan. 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, August 24, 2020 5:29 PM

It's been 4 days since I started my jail and I thought it was going to be a quick project. 

I decided I didn't want adobe and for some strange reason, I thought it should be made of wood. I got this far.

I thought it looked like a storage shed that might be found on a modern house with a horse property.

I didn't realize it at the time, but what was bothering me is that no one in their right mind would build a jail out of wood. A crow bar and a sledge could get a guy out of there in about 2 minutes flat.

So I started over.

This is what I ended up with.

I'm going to have to start using a different camera. My phone washes everything out. I painted every stone and you can't tell from the photo. 

Anyway, going to start the house. I already cut out the walls and sprayed them with Dullcote.  

I already hate the kit. Sheeze.

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 24, 2020 10:09 PM

Hi Chip,

The second attempt at the jail looks much more authentic! Nicely done!

Dave

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 12:13 AM

hon30critter

Hi Chip,

The second attempt at the jail looks much more authentic! Nicely done!

Dave

 

Thanks Dave.

Chip

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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 9:57 AM

SpaceMouse

 

 

I didn't realize it at the time, but what was bothering me is that no one in their right mind would build a jail out of wood. A crow bar and a sledge could get a guy out of there in about 2 minutes flat.

 

 

Actually there are prototypes for wooden jails

Log jail

Bodie California

Another wooden jail

And another

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 6:10 PM

DSchmitt
Actually there are prototypes for wooden jails

DS, 

Great pics, but with the exception of the log jail, they seemed pretty flimsy. All relied on a hasp and lock on the door--which may be effective at keeping people in, but not so much for keeping cohorts out. I guess if they suspected cohorts, they'd post a guard or a Sharps in the trees. 

Still, the stone jail fits my town better than my wooden jail.

 

Chip

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

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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 10:30 PM

SpaceMouse

 Still, the stone jail fits my town better than my wooden jail.

 

 

I agree.  Nicely done model. Much better than your wood jail.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 1:49 AM

Chip,

I have to comment on the roof of your stone jail. It looks great! The two layers of roofing and the uneven edge are really effective! They look very realistic.

Dave

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 2:40 PM

DSchmitt
Nicely done model. Much better than your wood jail.

Hon30critter
I have to comment on the roof of your stone jail. It looks great! The two layers of roofing and the uneven edge are really effective! They look very realistic.

Thanks guys. 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, August 28, 2020 12:09 PM

Well, the Muir Models kit is done with the finishing of the house. Let me start by reminding you what the house was supposed to look like. The house is the one on the right.

I changed it a little.

I made the deck bigger, lowered it closer to the ground, deleted all that awful trim, and added the flower boxes.

Now I know why no one in their right mind makes HO scale wood flower boxes. 

The reason for the flower boxes is because I didn't use all that awful trim. The cutouts for the windows were over-sized, out of square, and depended on you using the trim to make things right. I had to put pieces of wood back into the walls to make the openings so you couldn't see through them. The flower box covered a big gaping hole below the window on the right. 

But I digress. Here's another shot.

Next I'm going to scratch-build a livery stable. It will be near the front of the layout, so I will add more details--and I'll make this one run-down.

 

 

Chip

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, August 28, 2020 2:58 PM

Nice looking little cottage!

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, August 28, 2020 6:44 PM

Cottage? So far it's the biggest house in town.

Thanks. 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, August 28, 2020 7:23 PM

I've got to read you one of the instructions for the 1890's house:

Muir Models Instructions
Frame all three walls using #3. Keep the top plates down far enough so that the roof rafters will rest on them and come to the top of the wall. There should be a stud at each corner and one in the middle of each wall. Paint the walls Depot Olive.

That's it. No diagram. 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, August 29, 2020 7:09 PM

Built another house today. 

Tomorrow I start framing my livery stable. I think I'm going to start a seperate thread. Anyway, here's the framing plan.

Materials are once again popsicle sticks and coffee stirrers.

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, August 30, 2020 12:34 PM

 Homeowner has some money, both by having a dog house in the first place and then by matching it to the real house.

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, August 30, 2020 12:39 PM

Great job on the buildings ChipYes

 

 

TF

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, August 30, 2020 7:09 PM

rrinker

 Homeowner has some money, both by having a dog house in the first place and then by matching it to the real house.

                                  --Randy

 

 

Very astute. It belongs to Douglas "Duke" Ridge who owns the Ridge SIver Mine. He'd been living in one of the buildings at the refinery, when he decided he'd let go of some of his profits and move into a nice place. It's got a nice sized bedroom and he has an office in the loft. You won't see it until the light is on, but he has velvet drapes and a stained glass window. His girlfriend Sally McPhearsen added a lot of suggestions to the design. Duke doesn't know a dresser from an armoire, but he new he wanted something nice. More will come out when it is landscaped in. 

(And it is part of another backstory.)

TF--Thanks 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 5, 2020 3:19 PM

Well, the livery stable is done. You can see how it was made on this thread:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284028.aspx

You're going to have to cut and paste it.

Next up will be a retail lumber outlet--kinda like an 1890's version of Home Depot without the toilets and microwaves. This will be the last structure I build for a while, although I'm planning to add the Bear Wiz Bear Brewery if I can make it fit. I will have to compact Home on the Range Depot a little to make it happen.

Anyway, after the lumber outlet I'm going to switch over to making turnouts. I've let it be known I'm just doing structures until it's cool enough to work in the garage. I really, really want to start laying track so I can run some trains. 

 

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, September 5, 2020 8:08 PM

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284028.aspx

Hi Chip,

Made your link clicable.

Dave

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 5, 2020 10:51 PM

hon30critter

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284028.aspx

Hi Chip,

Made your link clicable.

Dave

 

Thanks.

Let me guess. You opened "Source Code" under tools and inserted html code?

 

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, September 5, 2020 11:26 PM

SpaceMouse
Let me guess. You opened "Source Code" under tools and inserted html code?

Nope! I don't even know what the phrase "Source Code" means!

I simply copied your post and removed the "quote user="SpaceMouse"" from between the square brackets and replaced it with "url". Then I went to the end of the link and replaced the word "quote" with "url" between the square brackets, leaving the "/" in place in front of the 'url'. Bingo!

If you want a more detailed explanation, please ask. However, I have never been known as a person who could provide simple explanations! I guarantee that the long version will boggle your mind!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughClown

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, September 6, 2020 1:37 AM

 It seems to only work on a repost of the original. You can put it in EXACTLY that way on a new post, it comes up as a link, LOOKS like a link when reading the post, but it does nothing. Then someone will come along, repost the SAME link - and now it works! It's just a bug in this forum software.

                                    --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 6, 2020 3:06 AM

hon30critter
I simply copied your post and removed the "quote user="SpaceMouse"" from between the square brackets and replaced it with "url". Then I went to the end of the link and replaced the word "quote" with "url" between the square brackets, leaving the "/" in place in front of the 'url'. Bingo!

Hmmm. That works but typing [url} {/url] doesn't work--but fix the []. 

Randy--I think you're right. Sounds like a bug. They probably want to discourage people trying to siphon of users. And someone on here found a back door.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 6, 2020 9:35 PM

Today, I started my lumber yard structure--if starting means milling the pieces I need. You can follow the day-by-day progress on topic:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284131.aspx

Either Cut and paste this or some Samaritian might quote it and make it active.

Here's the photo from the box.

Oh, and for those of you on pins and needles, it turns out I can fit Bear Whiz Beer Brewery in. It will be the most ambitious scratch build for me yet, though no comparison to some of the steel mills and ship yards I've seen people build. Some of those were years in the making.

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 6, 2020 9:49 PM

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 7, 2020 1:28 AM

Thanks Dave.

Acording to plan, this is the way the structures are supposed to go on my layout.

The problem is you can't see the good side of all my custom structures.

I'm going to have to solve this problem before I build more things you can't see. 

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 7, 2020 1:50 AM

SpaceMouse
The problem is you can't see the good side of all my custom structures.

Hi Chip,

I get the impression that you have already decided where your roads in the town will be located. I'm going to suggest a different approach. Position the buildings with their good sides visible. Then see where the roads might go.

For example, if you were to face the livery stable and the adjacent buildings towards the aisle, then your main road might end up right on the edge of the fascia. The second row of buildings could also face the aisle with a road between them and the first row of buildings. There is no rule that says you have to have buildings back to back. However, if you have the space, you could create a row of shallow 'dummy' buildings showing only the backs. That would give a better impression of having two separate streets.

One thing I would suggest is that you 'cove' the inside corner of the benchwork. In other words, put a small triangle of plywood into the corner to create a curved fascia. That will allow you to model the road on the edge of the fascia curve more naturally.

This just me thinking out loud. I may be totally out to lunch.

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 7, 2020 2:49 AM

hon30critter
Position the buildings with their good sides visible. Then see where the roads might go.

I spent the evening doing just that. 

hon30critter
One thing I would suggest is that you 'cove' the inside corner of the benchwork.

I like this idea. 

I'm planning to spend tomorrow working on this. I did have the streets planned based on the track. Tonight I placed the structures on the layout and saw reality. The track served industries were right on. It's the town that needs work. The structures I used in the planning software were smaller than the ones I built. 

I really want to get in the garage and lay my track. But even tonight at 9, it was very hot out there.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 7, 2020 7:46 PM

Well, I didn't put the corners in--yet.

I spent the day making mock-ups of the kits I intend to use and the scratch-built buildings I have to have. 

I was able to come up with a plan that showcases my efforts instead of show us their backsides. 

Anyway, I think I succeeded. 

I didn't make a mock-up of the lumber yard because the real thing should be here in a week or so.

There are 4 models I'm not going to use here. The two L-shaped ones are cheap snap together kits from the paleolithic age, labeled US Marshal and Western Union. I could paint them up, change their signs and make them good in the back somewhere, but the L-shape is not easy to work with. And I've never really liked them--except as space holders.

The second row contains the first model I ever built, a small house, and I got to see today, what my weathering looked like then. The other building in that row is a run-down small store. Both of them are going across the tracks to Shanty Town.

Along the track, to the right starting at the top are Anderson Freight, Meyers Lumber (coming in a week or so), a mock-up of Bear Whiz Brewery, and the cattle pens that I'll build sometime when I'm bored.

The row after my first model contains two of my favorite structures from my first layout. The one on the left is Lucky Larry's: Saloon, Games of Chance, and debacary with Mary Six-toes. "Larry, Laurence Ridge, is the shady brother of Rock and Duke Ridge. The second building is a boarding house, with "Rooms" painted freehand above the window in white paint.

Behind those structuresare two space holders.

After that, in my opinion, things get interesting. Starting from the right we have the undertaker and doctor's office. Which is pretty convenient if you think about it. The next building is a mock-up of the California Hotel. It is three stories high and has a balcony on each floor that surrounds the building. How would you like to stay in a luxury hotel that offers views of two yards and a turntable. 

Continuing along the front are the General Mercantile, Rose's Cafe (a mock-up), the Sherriff's Office. the jail, and the livery stable.

Along the back row, right to left, is the Flattened Penny Saloon, the Merchantmen's Association (mock-up), Les Fleurs, the Rock Ridge Bank, the Rock Ridge Register (mock-up), and a combination Assay Office and Clothing Store (mock-up.) 

Now that's more than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure.

Now I just have to draw everything in XtrackCAD.   

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 26, 2020 8:37 PM

While I was getting my layout plan ready for 1:1 printing, I realized that if you didn't read part 1 of this post, you wouldn't know what the heck I was talking about when I talk about my layout. 

So I thought I might run through it. It is set in the town of Rock Ridge which is on the Southern Pacific mainline between San Francisco and Eureka in 1895. The SP runs the passenger station and icing platform. The RRRR (Rock Ridge Railroad) runs the yard and service facilities. 

The layout is the better part of half a two car garage. If you notice when I take pictures, there is a lot of stuff stored underneath. This is part of the deal I made with my wife. The stuff is shipping materials for shipping paintings, and some of the artwork that may get shipped.

That's not how it looks now. The wiring is done and it's ready for track. It looks like this: 

All that is to say it is sort of an 8 x13 U-shape.

I digress. The thing you should get from the Plan above is that you are looking at the lower level only. The dotted lines represent track in tunnels. Most of that is reachable because it is visible from the side. It will be finished as if the train is running in a tunnel (go figure, huh.) It will be lit by a string of LEDs and probably be the best lit part of the layout.

The lower underground yard is staging, again visable and easily reachable if I have to fiddle.

Note the lone turnout to the left of staging. That is the start to a 3% climb to the upper level. 

Most of the action (work) occurs in Rock Ridge. 

Let's get something striaght from the get-go. Rock Ridge is not based on the Movie Blazzing Saddles even if the town has a Black sherriff named Bart. In fact, Rock Ridge, named after leading citizen Randall "Rock" Ridge, was founded in 1890, that's 80+ years before the movie. The town may have been the basis for the movie--I mean, there is a guy named Mongo and the councilmen put a toll booth on the road to town. I should probably sue MGM and Mel Brooks.  

Back to the layout. Starting from the bottom, you have an icing track. SP tops off its refers before continuing north taking food to Eureka.  The next track is the SP main. 

The next track is a multi-functional AD track, runaround with the main, and entrance to the town of Rock Ridge's industrial district, and passenger station. Oh, and caboose storage at the far right. 

Next we have a 3-track classification yard--local, north-bound and south-bound. 

Moving clockwise around the U, we have a passenger station on the left with a small-freight service, platform, and Western Union/post office. The engine service area to the right has fuel service, (wood and oil), water tower, and sandhouse. The turntable turns locomotives for return trips and feeds the engine house and RIP track.

Continuing clockwise, Rock Ridge has 6 industries serviced by rail: Andersen Freight, Meyers Lumber, Bear Whiz Beer Brewery, and cattle pens--mostly from Rock Ridge's Lazy R and the G&D Ranch, owned by Al Gorre and Ben Daphetid. 

The two major insdustries are the Rock Ridge Lumber Mill and the Ridge Refinery. The mill has 5 tracks: the log dump at top, three splitting six rows of different sizes of Redwood and Douglas Fir lumber. The last track is for boxcars filled with completed orders. A switcher is required full time to move the boxcars from place to place to fill these orders. It gets its timber from Rock Ridge Lumber camp.

The refinery gets its silver from the Ridge Mine. Both the mine and refinery are owned by Douglas "Duke" Ridge, Rock's younger brother. The three tracks are for full ore cars, empty ore cars, and outgoing shipments of refined silver.

Going to the upper level.

Starting from the turnout I mentioned to the right of staging, you climb a 3% grade around the larger pennisula and above the Rock Ridge Yard to the upper levels. First you come to A, Ridge Mine then around to B, Rock Ridge's lumber camp. 

This is the railfan part of the layout because I plan to have scale Redwood Trees--2 1/2- 3 feet tall. 

My Motto: Small Steam, Big Trees. 

    

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 28, 2020 10:41 PM

All signs of structure building are gone from the dining room table. Meyer's Lumber is finished and awating trackwork on a shelf. I spent some time and sorted through everything that I have that could be useful to scratching or bashing. Took 5-6 hours, but it was time well spent.

Part of what I did was rummage through my "to sell" pile and I found a M.T. Arms Hotel kit. Now I recently added a hotel to my scratch-build wish list. I imagined something about 3 x 4 inches, three stories high. The kit is 8" wide x 6 inches and four stories high, and 2 3/4 deep, with half of that two story maintainance. So I have some major bashing to do.

The table now is ready for making Fast Tracks turnouts. 

Those of you following the "Can You Date this Loco" thread in General, might have noticed the Prairie, the transformer, and the piece of track. When I get bored I thought I might solder that broken wire and see how she runs. I also included my son's Hogwarts engine that took a 3.5 foot header into the sea of concrete and lost some linkage--if I'm still bored.  

Actually, I should also show you pictures of Meyer's Lumber. You might not be following the Building a Lumber Yard thread. 

Buiding a Lumber Yard

I put that in in html code, but if it doesn't link, the address is: http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284131.aspx

 

After I took my son to work at 3, I opened XtrackCAD to put together a 1:1 printout of my layout. At my wife's insistance, I took out all the structures, benchwork, and anything else that might use up the toner in my wife's printer. It will only be 150 pages or so.

But I got side tracked. As I was looking at the yard, a couple of things bothered me. I didn't really have enough room to landscape the layout the way I wanted with the ice platform where it was. And the passenger train had to use the A/D track to reach the station. 

THe solution was simple. I deleted the icing platform and its siding, making the main, seem much smoother. And I put in a crossover so the passenger train can bypass the A/D track and go directly to the station. Let's face it, the only reason I had the icing station siding in the first place is that the model looked really cool. 

I could use a double crossoverThumbs Up.

I guess you guys should see what I'm talking about. 

It's actually better without the double crossover. And I'm following my own resolution to avoid unnecessary agrivation.

I did finish the pdf file with nothing but track and table borders. Depending upon when my wife gets around to printing the file, I can start cutting out the turntable and the grade to the upper level in a day or two. In the meantime, I need to build about 30 turnouts. 

The plan is to work on the track until I need to come in, then make a turnout or two. 

Finally, getting the track installed is in motion.   

 

 

Chip

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:25 AM

SpaceMouse
I need to build about 30 turnouts.  The plan is to work on the track until I need to come in, then make a turnout or two. 

This all sounds good and exciting. I am looking foward to more updates.

-Kevin

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:45 AM

I like the adjustment to the track plan.  Smoother and less complex is better.  More compact with more room for scenery.

You could change the extreme lower left turnout from a LH to a RH and it would both eliminate the S curve and start the lower curve sooner, providing a more graceful flow and more space for scenery.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 12:30 PM

Kevin
This all sounds good and exciting. I am looking foward to more updates.

My sentiments exactly.

Douglas
You could change the extreme lower left turnout from a LH to a RH and it would both eliminate the S curve and start the lower curve sooner, providing a more graceful flow and more space for scenery.

I got all excited and changed my plan. Unfortunately, the new geometry interfered with the upper level and the transition between them. Sigh

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 1, 2020 8:03 PM

It feels like I'm finally back working on the layout. Last night my wife printed out the XtrackCAD 1:1 scale layout plan and I taped them to the benchwork.

It didn't come out as expacted. Here were little variances between the plan and the benchwork. I have 4 extra inches in the Mill peninsula, which translates into making my town a lot easier to workout. But the outer loop of the big pennisula brings the tract to within a half inch of the edge. Luckily, my staging yard can easily donate an inch to get it back on the layout. 

At least, I can do the next step, which is to cookie-cut the 3% grade to the mine and logging camp (inside loop on the near-side) and cut out a space for the turntable. 

That 'll be tomorrow's project. 

I'm managing to get out a Fast Tracks turnout a day. They are taking about 2 1/2 a piece right now, but I'm getting better and faster.

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, October 1, 2020 10:50 PM

Hi Chip,

"It didn't come out as expected".

Did you check that the printouts are actually the true size? Some printers don't print at exactly 100 %. The printouts may be slightly off. Check the printouts with an actual turnout, and maybe check a piece of straight track with a known length.

Dave

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, October 1, 2020 11:09 PM

Good progress, Chip!

Tim Warris of Fast Tracks says you can make a turnout in about an hour, and I watched him do it once in a clinic at an NMRA national convention (he even gave me the turnout after the clinic!). But he's made probably thousands of them now, and could do it with his eyes closed. It still takes me between an hour and a half and two hours, and I've probably made forty or more by now.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 2, 2020 6:43 AM

Dave

Hi Chip,

"It didn't come out as expected".

Did you check that the printouts are actually the true size? Some printers don't print at exactly 100 %. The printouts may be slightly off. Check the printouts with an actual turnout, and maybe check a piece of straight track with a known length.

Dave

I've decided that it doesn't matter where the errors came from. The only critical turnout is the one on the lower right. It determines the entrance into the town and the angle of the yard.

  

If I can get that one, everything else should fall into place.

Mark

Good progress, Chip!

Tim Warris of Fast Tracks says you can make a turnout in about an hour, and I watched him do it once in a clinic at an NMRA national convention (he even gave me the turnout after the clinic!). But he's made probably thousands of them now, and could do it with his eyes closed. It still takes me between an hour and a half and two hours, and I've probably made forty or more by now.

I watched him do one in an hour on video. 

My biggest time suck now is getting the track to bend right for the curved outside rail and the curved point. Not getting it perfect creates a bunch of fine tuning challenges. 

I had previously made 14 turnouts 12 years ago. I had them on a layout I had to take out, but I feel like I'm starting over. 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 4, 2020 8:58 PM

I'm under 2 hours for a Fast Tracks turnout build. I'm going to run out of rail in 5 days at one-per-day. Yesterday I built 2. I'm going to be 10 short. 

It's taken two days, but tomorrow I'm finally ready to cookie-cut the grade. The problem was that the lower loop came too close to the edge of the layout. When I moved back onto the layout, the grade is too close to the lower track. It is 3.7 inched difference in height, but I wanted to scenic the tunnel to look like a tunnel, and that proximity didn't leave me a lot of options.

So today I joined 4 pieces of flex track and let Grampa Atlas take over.

Who would have thunk it would take 4 hours to do?

Temperature is still hitting 100 as a high, but it gets down to low sixties at night. Still, by noon, it is oppressive. This is October. It's supposed to be low 80's for a high. This heat wave is getting old--5 months of 100+ temperatures. Normal is a month and a half. I digress. 

But the upshot is that I got it done with all the perameters in place. I endied up sacrificing some turning radius. I went from 18 to 16.5. But the only locos using this spur will be geared steam and rolling stock will be short dogs--log cars and ore cars.

If you are wondering why there is 1 1/2 inches on the outside of the loop and 2 1/2 inches on the inside, that extra inch will give me a lot of scenic options.

Tomorrow, I cut out the cookie and the turntable. Then I can start working on the first level. I might just have a mainline loop soon. 

P.S. As a side note, there's not a lot of places you can put a 12 foot piece of flex track that's not on the layout. 

   

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 5, 2020 8:33 PM

Today, I cut my cookies--sounds dirty when you say it that way--and put in my 3% grade. 

  

Then reality set in. 

Look back in the corner of the U near the highest point of the grade. The elevation difference between the grade and the track below is 8+ inches. The tracks are horizontally 1 1/2 inches apart tie to tie. 

So I think I am going to try a 2.25% grade. That will leave me with a 6" differntial between tracks, and I think I can work with that.  

But that also changes the elevation diffence between the upper level and staging. It drops from 10 inches to 7 1/4 in terms of sticking-your-hand-in-there-and-rerailing-a-tank-car kind of clearance.

I'll make a mock-up and see if 7.25 inches clearance is doable on the 4th staging track back (about a foot deep into the tunnel.) If push comes to shove, I can always clear the trains in front of the car.

I better make my staging track bulletproof.

On the other hand, all my geared steam will like the 2.25%  grade better than the 3% grade. 

 

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, October 5, 2020 9:14 PM

 Well, you CAN just put a sheer rock cliff in there - just don;t overdue it so it becomes cliche - I HATE that cliche! Or you could use them everywhere as sort of an insider joke about a specific cliche. Especially if there are no handy mountain passes - you'll need a different cliche anyway.

                                              --Randy

 


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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 5, 2020 9:39 PM

rrinker
Well, you CAN just put a sheer rock cliff in there - just don;t overdue it so it becomes cliche - I HATE that cliche!

I was thinking a tressel and maybe a shale slide.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 7:41 PM

I changed the grade to 2.25% and I feel a lot better about it. I've been playing around in my head with different terrains, and a 6 inch separation between two tracks is a lot easier to deal with than 8 inches. 

And, as Randy implied, nothing says "I really screwed up big time" like an 8 inch rock cliff between two tracks.

I also got most of the foam glued down in the tunnel. Staging and the first part of the grade happen underground and you can see everything that happens in the tunnel from the side. It will be fully lit and sceniced.

I would have taken a picture, but I felt more like popping a beer than showing you the contents of my wife's pantry spread all over my layout holding the foam down.

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 8:25 AM

 Well, not exactly - nothing says you screwed up like an 8" rock cliff between the trqacks around half the layout. A short section of 8" rock cliff says the railroad had to loop back on itself to gain altitude to cross the mountains. Once is a neat scenic feature - over and over is a scenic cliche. One spot with the railroad passing above itself on a cliff (so long as there is a mountain in the area) is completely reasonable and gives you a good place to try rock carving.

                                  --Randy


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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 8, 2020 6:47 PM

Today, I felt like I finally made progress. I laid the roadbed for the main.  Twenty-nine feet of SP Main--all but 8 feet of which are in a tunnel. Here is the part you get to view. 

 

Just to the right of the main is the 4-track, Rock Ridge Classification Yard.

Here's the part the part of the main that's in the tunnel.

To the right of the main is a 4-track staging yard. To the right of that is the beginning of a 2.25% climb up the mountain to the Ridge Mine and Rock Ridge Lumber's Logging Camp #1. Most of which is visable. Who doesn't love watching geared-steam climbing up a craggy wall.

Randall "Rock" Ridge heard that logging camps were numbered, so his Rock Ridge Lumber Camp is #1 even though it's the only one he has. The Ridge Mine (silver) is owned by Douglas "Duke" Ridge. Lawrence Ridge owns "Lucky Larry's" a dive saloon/ gambling house/ house of ill repute. He isn't nearly as rich as the other two. 

Maybe with any luck, I'll have a roundy-rounder by the end of the weekend--ending a 15-year drought. 

 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 8, 2020 10:00 PM

I forgot to ask. Do you sand the top of your roadbed?

Chip

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Posted by selector on Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:52 PM

I don't, Chip, but I do take care to ensure it doesn't have any dips or rough patches that might cause it to be 'lumpy'.  As you must know, lumpy is not good on curves, particularly with long-bodied diesels and three-axle trucks.  At least, in my limited diesel experience, with a couple of Genesis SD-75M's, they don't do well on curves unless the rails are dead-even transversely, or if the curves are supered, the outer rails must be at an even elevation within any inch...no dips that will allow the lead flange to slide over the rail top and cause a derailment.

However, it's a good idea to place a straightedge over all your joints if you're doing splines and cookiecutter roadbed.  Where you see the straightedge do a teeter-totter motion over the joint, you'll need to sand that flat.

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 9, 2020 2:10 AM

If I can offer my My 2 Cents worth about long straight rock faces, there is a way to add some variation to them. To do that, add some moderate hills and valleys that run perpendicular to the tracks, and then make cuts through the high spots and add bridges over the low spots so the track is not running through unrealistically even terrain.

Dave

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 9, 2020 12:45 PM

Dave

If I can offer my My 2 Cents worth about long straight rock faces, there is a way to add some variation to them. To do that, add some moderate hills and valleys that run perpendicular to the tracks, and then make cuts through the high spots and add bridges over the low spots so the track is not running through unrealistically even terrain.

Dave

Exactly what I had in mind.

Chip

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Posted by York1 on Friday, October 9, 2020 1:37 PM

hon30critter
To do that, add some moderate hills and valleys that run perpendicular to the tracks, and then make cuts through the high spots and add bridges over the low spots so the track is not running through unrealistically even terrain.

 

That's a good idea -- I hadn't thought of doing that.

Even though this is about Chip's layout, I'm fairly new to all this, and I'm taking notes for my own layout.

York1 John       

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, October 10, 2020 8:58 PM

John
Even though this is about Chip's layout, I'm fairly new to all this, and I'm taking notes for my own layout.

I'm always taking notes.

GeekedGeekedGeeked

Truth be told, electrical work and trackwork are a lot like work for my liking. Now I do take satisfaction in doing it well, and I'm slowly getting better at soldering, but both electric and trackwork and benchwork for that matter, are about getting it done so I can get on to the processes that I enjoy doing, and of course, running trains.

I like decorating and creating scenes--especially when it adds to train operations, and other fun.

Today was an electric day.  Actually it was supposed to be a couple days ago, but I got stalled for reasons I'll go into in a bit. 

The turntable was looming. I had to set it into place and wire it so that I could put the plywood back on and run track into the town of Rock Ridge. It may be months before I build the final pit turntable, but the time to install the Atlas turntable that will power it is now.

While I was procrastinating, I noticed that my power supplies/ control drawer was stuck. I figured I better lift the plywood and fix it now, because I'm just going to add layer after layer on top of it from here on out. 

Here's what it looks like. 

And here's what it's supposed to do. 

It rolls on drawer hardware. A couple of the wires were catching and blocking the movement.

What you see is a Bachmann EZ Track transformer, a Zephyr, and a program track. Transformer is supplying about 5-6v to the turntable and the 12vac to the LEDs.

What? 

I guess two years ago I must have been young and stupid, because you'd think I'd know that I should be running 12v dc. LEDs (light emmiting diodes) are diodes and you can't run alternating current both ways through a diode.You only get light half the time.

So I spent the day refining and redefining how I wanted my accessories set up. Basically, I want to seal it and be done with it. I have it set up so that any additional wiring can be done from the edge of the layout. The reason it was delayed is I had to order a 12v dc power supply and pick-up a couple switches while I'm at it.

The first thing was wiring the turntable.   

Of course, before I did that, I had to get it at the right height, get the center in the right spot and at the same time make sure its level every which way 'til Tuesday.

Then I wired it to a mom--that's a momentary switch and not someone's mother. I also wired the first piece of track to the bus--the turntable "bridge."

I made a mini-control panel.

This is temporary until I get facia. The switch on the left turns on structure lights, the center turns the turntable, and the one on the right turns on the street lights and a couple buildings that use grain of something lights. See, I found a use for the AC power.

This thing.

This is a board I mounted on the frame.  You'll notice two busses (12vdc) with resistors mounted between them. Now when I install a structure, I can run two wires through one of the holes and solder them to the busses. Everything is right in front of you. It's currently prewired for 30 LEDs but I can expand to 30 more. 

For those of you that noticed the two PCB strips on the small control panel, those are for connecting the streelights when they are installed.

All-in-all, I'm glad it's done. I can go back to running track tomorrow.

 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:03 PM

"Bok, Bok, Bee-ok."

That's right. I'm a big chicken.

I got 2/3 of my 29 foot main on the roadbed and I was looking at my caulking gun all ready to go. But I couldn't do it. I have to get this part of the layout perfect before I can cover it up with the mountain grade and the upper levels. 

Most of the main will be in a cave, or uh, tunnel--but it's going to be huge like Carlsbad Caverns. I can stick my mitts in there to rerail a car, but I don't want to have to fix trackwork in a hole.

To complicate matters, I am untested with Fast Tracks turnouts. Oh, I got 14 installed on a layout 15 years ago, but had to tear the layout down before I mounted the switch machines. I have those turnouts and 16 more ready for their debut.

So there's that. 

The idea of gluing it down before I get a chance to fiddle with it is asking for trouble. And I want to test all my locos on it--all of which have been sitting for 15 years.

And three of those are on the bench.

I have to install a decoder in a DCC ready 2-6-0 that doesn't have room for a decoder. I'll have to rewire it. And just for laughs and giggles, the assembler's idea of color coding is, "if it's a wire, it's black."

Then I have to get a decoder and LEDs into my Climax A.

And I have to install replacement sideframes on my Shay.

I just couldn't glue the track down.

I thought I could nail it down with 1 1/2"  18 ga brads. That would put 1/4 inch into the plywood. I tried buying some, but all the stores just sell the coalated brads for nail guns. If I want something 1 1/2 long you pound, it's a 6d nail, and that's almost as fat as a tie.

Come to think of it, I have some 18 ga brad strips left over from when I reworked the lattice on my deck. 

Technically, I could shoot the track down...

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:43 PM

SpaceMouse
Technically, I could shoot the track down...

Hi Chip,

I would be concerned about the brad nails bending the ties if they go in too far. If the center of the ties gets bent down, that pulls the rails closer together and throws off the track spacing. Another possibility is that the brads will break the center of the ties and push the rails further apart.

I would do a test with some spare track and roadbed, and with your NMRA Track Gauge handy, to see what happens. You might be fine.

Dave

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 11, 2020 11:27 PM

Dave
I would do a test with some spare track and roadbed, and with your NMRA Track Gauge handy, to see what happens. You might be fine.

As our friends at Oxford would say, "Not bloody likely."

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, October 12, 2020 7:48 AM

 Into foam you can use pushpins and hold the track in place and still be able to run across it, without anything permanently in place. Not those kind witht he big plastic knobs on the end, but t-pins like these:

https://www.staples.com/Staples-10819-CC-Nickel-Plated-T-Pin-100-Pack/product_436448

Put in either outside of the rail or midway between the center and inside of the rail, they are low enough to clear the underside of most locos, and the T head holds down the tie. I have been able to run trains over them with no problem, and then use them to hold the track in place after applying the caulk.

 Don't be chicken. Just do it. It'll be fine. Though I don't think I'd start in the hardest to access place first.

                               --Randy

 


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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 12, 2020 9:01 AM

rrinker
Into foam you can use pushpins and hold the track in place and still be able to run across it, without anything permanently in place. Not those kind witht he big plastic knobs on the end, but t-pins like these:

I have some T-pins, but they are too long and won't penetrate the plywood. (I'm using 1" foam.) I have some 7/8" brads with heads I'm going to try. 

The reason I'm doing the underground stuff first, is that a lot is affected in terms of landscape which affects where bridges are located, etc. Nothing is hard to reach now. But it will be when I put the second layer on. 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 7:08 PM

Music She caught The Katy, 

left me a mule to ride. Music

I'm singing and doing a happy dance because for the first time in 15 years, I have a roundy rounder. The trains make it all the way around the main and are still on the track when they get back.

I came close once before. I started a layout based on my then home town of Indiana, PA. The trains had a branch line operating the the middle of downtown. I got the track laid, but not good enough to run trains.

Now I just hijacked someone's post and told this story, so if you heard it already scroll down the pictures till you see something new. 

I built a layout that fairly accurately represented the local area in 1950. The PRR had a branchline that serviced our area. My layout looked like this:

 You'll notice, I loosely modeled it after Sanborn Maps...

and aerial photos.

Notice a pattern?

I went to the library and online and I looked for photos and artcles from the time period. 

This is the train station which is along the bottom of the little mini-yard.

And this is Jimmy Stewart's dad's Hardware Store which is right at the yard's mouth.

Of course, Jimmy Stewart was gone long before I got there. 

But he's still a big deal in Indiana, PA. There's a statue and a Jimmy Stewart Museum and everything. In fact, Indiana bases their entire tourest trade on Jimmy Stewart. 

Now I'm not crass enough to say that anyone who even knows who Jimmy Stewart is, is either dead or has one foot in the grave. All I know is that I don't know of a single person who has " 42. Visiting the Jimmy Stewart Museum" on thier bucket list. 

Off Topic

Anyway, you want to hear why I didn't get my trains running, right?  

My wife and I had a disagreement. 

I wanted to spend my sort of forced retirement after 2008, spending our money and building a layout. She wanted to be able to get paintings in and out of her storage racks, so she could make money in her on-going art business.

I even explained that if she tipped her paintings up and a little to the side she could get them out without scraping them if she was careful.

The upshot is I'm still married.

And the reason I'm building my layout today is that she felt bad about making take the layout apart all this time , and she sacrificed her "pouring table" which was about 6 x 6 foot where she layed her canvasses out and created her base layer, to make space so I could build another layout. 

(Did I just hear some of you ladies say "Ahhhhh"?)

Off Topic

Okay, okay, you came here to hear about my progress on my layout.

The star of the show was this guy.

You may remember a while back when I was testing whether or not my geared steam could handle a 3% grade for layout planning, I ran my other locos as well, just to see how they would do. I'd never run this little 0-6-0 before and I wondered how it would do. 

It as the worst puller of the bunch. He huffed and puffed and did manage to get a car up the grade. 

In short, I had low expectations of Lil Huffy, as I began to think of him. I got him to switch the yard, but to do so, he'd have to be able to pull at least 10 cars. At least, that is what I was thinking in my head.

If you count around the curve, you can just make out the cuppola of the Gorre and Daphitid cabbose, coming in at number 10.

Now I should point out two things here.

1) It's not the Gorre and Daphitid you're mistakenly thinking of. It's owned by the very real G&D Ranch which in turn is owned by Al Gorre and Ben Daphitid. 

2) I couldn't test Lil Huffy with more than 10 cars, because that's all I have built.

Tomorrow will be the big test. That's right the devil's own railroad car is coming out. Because if God wanted a passenger car longer than 54 feet, he would have built it in someplace sensible like Johnstown.

I'm somewhat trepidatious. For laughs and giggles I tried rolling it on the 2.25 grade turn you see above Lil Huffy. It didn't like the 16.5 inch radius turn and kept popping of the rails.

Granted, there's no reason why a luxury passenger car would want to go up to logging camp, so the test was moot.

But tomorrow, we're going t see how he likes a level 19-inch radius turn. 

DevilDevilDevil

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 8:58 PM

Great progress Chip!

Dave

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 12:20 AM

Thanks Dave. 

Dots - Sign

 

I got a chance to put the 55 foot coaches behind a 2-6-0 and drag them around the track. They seemed to do okay but there was a hick-up in that the couplers on the passenger units were of varying heights and they had problems coupling, and they decoupled every time the engine hesitated for any reason. 

Then it occured to me that I got those passenger cars since my last layout and I've never run them. More importantly, I've never installed Kaydees.

As luck would have it, once I was at show where someone was dumping their Kaydee inventory and selling them for rediculously cheap--Needless to say I have a bunch of different kinds of couplers, and mounting systems. As well as a bunch of magnets I'm not going to use.

If you happen to know which Kaydee goes on these MDC old-time 55' passenger cars, it would probably save me a bunch of time trying to find out. I have to fix them before I can continue testing the track for flaws. 

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 9:15 AM

https://www.kadee.com/hocc.htm

Every brand of locomotive and rolling stock they ever provided a suggested coupler for. One level up, you can pick the scale, if looking for something other than HO.

                                   --Randy

 


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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 9:37 AM

rrinker
Every brand of locomotive and rolling stock they ever provided a suggested coupler for.

Perfect. Turns out it's just #5.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 1:22 PM

Turns out I just needed to replace 3 knuckle springs.

Talk about instant karma...

...just this morning I kidded Sheldon that I had the attention span of a knuckle spring.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 7:30 PM

Good Enough!

Every model railroader has a point where the work they're doing is good enough to move on. And it varies greatly. Some modelers may be content to staple some track to the floor, crack a Bud, and watch Jupiter chase his tail. For others, good enough might be taking a photo of their layout and taking a photo of the corresponding prototype, showing it to the Yard Master and the yard master guessing wrong 90% of the time. 

I'm somewhere inbetween.  

And I'm ready to be at the good enough point, so i can move on to something other than track work.

Today is the second day of trouble-shooting the recently installed main. I hooked up a 2-6-0 to three 50" passenger cars and started looking for problems to solve. Careful what you look for, is all I gotta say.

There have been two perplexing problems. 

The first is that one of my 2-6-0s is picking an open-side point. At least I think that's what's happening. None of the other locomotives make so much as peep rolling through the turnout. The 2-6-0 makes a click like it ran into a rail wall.

Every piece of rolling stock goes through just fine. 

I took out my HO gauge and measured the pilot. Perfect. I measured the rails. Perfect. The loco shouldn't be able to touch the point let alone jump over it and take the scenic route.

So when I got done trying to figure that one out, I switched to another 2-6-0 and dragged the 3 passenger cars on my journey.

All three cars jumped the rail in the middle of a turn, nowhere near a solder joint or rail joiner.  I've been pulling those cars all morning with the other 2-6-0 working on the picking problem and they never came off once--going in either direction. 

I watched the passenger cars and as they got near the jump point. They'd raise up the right front wheels and drop them outside the track. I looked for something that they ran over, but found nothing.  

What I figured was happening is the truck, or rather the extension the coupler was mounted on, was hitting the chassis in the turn and that was pulling the far side up. What was wierd is this is the largest radius turn on the layout and the passenger cars were doing fine on the others.

So I figured there were two approaches I could take. I could change the track, or I could change the car. The coupler was designed to be constrained, but I easily could have taken out an eighth of an inch off the chassis and increased the coupler's range of motion greatly. Of course that increased the likelihood that the car bodies would bump corners.

Or I could change the track. ME flex track bends, but only a little at a time and once you get it where you want it, that's where it stays. 

Atlas flex track bends but then bends back when you release it. This can be good when laying track because it seeks the easiest path to get where you want to go, and that easiest path includes the best natural easements.

So what I did was pull up all the track nails and let Atlas pick a better trail. The pliers show where they derailed.

And it worked. The passenger trains stopped hopping rails. I tested 5 times.

And they started derailing at the next turnout, something that they hadn't done before.

Anyway, I now have to move the roadbed under the track. I'm hoping the caulk will be forgiving.

Once I get the derails settled for everything that runs on the track, I'll start checking the hops. You know, when the wheel bounces but stays on the track.

Then hopefully, it will be good enough to lay the staging tracks and start testing them. 

Did I tell you how much I like track WORK?

 

 

 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 15, 2020 7:42 PM

On my third day of track tuning the main--all 29 feet and 5 turnouts of it. 

And...with a little filing and a little grinding, I've tuned the track so that all my engines and all my rolling stock can go backwards and forwards in both directions--except for SP 1600 (undecorated and pre-lettered) who will pick the opposite point about every tenth time. 

The problem is the point is so sharp that it split between the top and bottom rails. If the loco hits it right, it takes the scenic route (into the scenery.) 

I know what I have to do. I have to pull the turnout and build and install a new point. But I spent the afternoon telling myself that only one out of 10 times isn't bad.

But I'll do it first thing in the morning before the coffee kicks in and I can mount a plausible argument against it. 

If it works and tests okay, I'll lay the roadbed for staging and the first third of the grade up the mountain--all of which are in a tunnel. Then I can scenic and cover the tunnel, and only then can I work on the exposed paers of the layout. 

Tunnel stuff affects how the scenery lays out which affects the location of features such as bridges and tressles. 

But I won't leave you high and dry today. 

SP 1600 easily negociates the formerly dastardly Happy Curve, dragging a load of Liliputians from San Francisco to Rock Ridge, Eureka and whistle-stops in between. 

 

Chip

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Posted by NorthBrit on Sunday, October 18, 2020 6:53 AM

Hi Chip.   An interesting piece of modeling.  

Regarding an engine always coming off the rail at a certain section?

I had one locomotive that would alwayderail on arriving at a turnout after a curve. Every other loco, carriage or truck was okay.  I could find no answer.

Try a wider radius on the curve a colleague said.   I doubted it, but made  the curve a bigger radius anyway.   Success.   I do not know why, but who cares. Big Smile

Happy modeling.

David

 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 18, 2020 7:00 AM

SpaceMouse
I know what I have to do. I have to pull the turnout and build and install a new point.

Would soldering a small blob of hard solder to the damaged point and judiciously filing it not fix the issue without more drastic fabricating?

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:57 AM

Overmod
 
SpaceMouse
I know what I have to do. I have to pull the turnout and build and install a new point.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 18, 2020 10:00 AM

NorthBrit
Try a wider radius on the curve a colleague said.   I doubted it, but made  the curve a bigger radius anyway.   Success.   I do not know why, but who cares. 

The turnout (point) has another turnout in front of it off the turn, so it effectively on a straight. 

But thanks for the suggestion. 

Chip

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, October 18, 2020 10:18 AM

SpaceMouse
I know what I have to do. I have to pull the turnout and build and install a new point. But I spent the afternoon telling myself that only one out of 10 times isn't bad.

I have been there. After all that work I try to convince myself it "isn't that bad" and I can leave it.

Pulling it out and fixing it is the right thing to do.

You will never regret fixing it right.

-Kevin

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, October 18, 2020 11:01 AM

Overmod

 

 
SpaceMouse
I know what I have to do. I have to pull the turnout and build and install a new point.

 

Would soldering a small blob of hard solder to the damaged point and judiciously filing it not fix the issue without more drastic fabricating?

 

 

To which side would you apply said blob? On the stock rail side - the point won't close fuilly. To the center - you will end up with a finely filed point of soft solder which will not withstand much use before deforming.

 Replacement is the way to go. It theoretically could be done in place, with the help of some 3 point track gauges. Can't exactly drop it back in the assembly fixture, once the wood ties are in place to fill in between all the PCB ties used to located the rail. If it's the curved side, pre-bend it using the fixture. If it's the straight side, you lucked out.

                                --Randy

 


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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 18, 2020 12:34 PM

Randy
To which side would you apply said blob? On the stock rail side - the point won't close fuilly. To the center - you will end up with a finely filed point of soft solder which will not withstand much use before deforming.

Luckily, the split was low near the bottom rail, so no filing of solder was needed near the top rail point. So far it is working. SP 1600 rolls through without so much as a hop.

BTW: It is the curved point. 

Chip

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Posted by NorthBrit on Sunday, October 18, 2020 12:42 PM

Not saying it is the problem/solution, but here in the UK  we avoid curved points.  They cause modelers no end of challenges and are ditched within weeks of buying.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 18, 2020 12:50 PM

David

Not saying it is the problem/solution, but here in the UK  we avoid curved points.  They cause modelers no end of challenges and are ditched within weeks of buying.

David

We're having an across the pond linguistic anomaly. 

What you call points, we call turnouts. 

In the US, "points" are the two rails of the turnout that move. One is curved, the other is straight. I don't know what you call them. 

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Posted by NorthBrit on Sunday, October 18, 2020 1:27 PM

SpaceMouse
David

 

What you call points, we call turnouts. 

In the US, "points" are the two rails of the turnout that move. One is curved, the other is straight. I don't know what you call them. 

 

Ah! Sorry!   I forgot.   

Our Points = your turnouts

Our Point Blades =  Your points.

 

I'll try not to forget. Smile

David

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 18, 2020 2:07 PM

NorthBrit
Our Point Blades =  Your points.

Blades! That's right. 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 18, 2020 7:53 PM

Of course, it doesn't help that for the last two days I chose life over layout. But sometimes there are things you gotta do because having food depends on it, and other things you gotta do because you couldn't figure a way out of it. 

The thing is, what you expect to get done and what actually gets done are different. In fact, the difference is an order of magnitude.

Today I fixed what our Brit friends would call a curved blade. Then I installed the roadbed and sub-roadbed for the part of grade that will be in a tunnel. 

 That's it. What? You expected something more?

I did. 

I thought I get the above done, and lay the cork sheeting in the staging yard and the classification yard, and get the foam installed in the town part of the layout.

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

It's like LOL out loud. 

Here's a progress shot. 

Coos Bay Lumber #1, and soon to be Rock Ridge Lumber #2, is anxiously waiting for a chance to show everyone what he can do. 

Once the track is in place, old CB#1 is all I have to test the track. My Climax doesn't have a decoder. My Shay has problems with its  sideframe assemblies. I haven't assembled any log cars yet, and the ore cars, I haven't even ordered. So the Heisler is it. 

Turns out I layed 18 feet of sub-roadbed and roadbed. I predict it will clear the tunnel at about 15 feet. But I can't really tell until the top layer is in place. 

Tomorrow, I'll keep on keeping on.

Chip

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 18, 2020 11:04 PM

SpaceMouse
Tomorrow, I'll keep on keeping on.

Absolutely Chip!

So far you have done pretty good! Keep it up, and don't feel guilty if you take a couple of days off!

Dave

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 19, 2020 10:15 AM

Believe it or not, I'm okay with not getting everything done at once. I do want everything done so I can run the layout the way it was meant to be run, but I don't mind too terribly much doing the work.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 19, 2020 6:12 PM

You'll never believe how much difference 3/4 of 1% will make on a grade. You remember Lil Huffy, who got his name huffing and puffing one car up a straight 3% grade? 

Well, this is Lil Huffy on a 16" turn on a 2.25% grade.

If you counted the cars he was pulling and came up with six, it's because you missed the black tank car in front of the orange tank car.

Lil Huffy pulled all 7 cars up to the top, rang the bell, and rolled back down here to pose for this picture. 

My accomplishments pale in comparison. I layed the first 18 feet of track on the grade and fine tuned it a little. That will get me out of the tunnel on the grade. 

All that leaves before I can put on the second level is staging.

Speaking of staging, I got the roadbed installed. Unfortunately, I'll run out of Fast Ties for my Fast Tracks turnouts before I can finish. I'll also run out of ground throws. 

I have an idea for the ties. Ground throws will take money. 

On the flip side, the layout got a thorough sweeping out. That's not all that glamourous, but I feel a lot better. 

Chip

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Posted by NorthBrit on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 1:30 PM

I bet it is like Lil  Huffy saying thanks for making the  grade easier.  Laugh

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 3:57 PM

 This is where I have to call out the various formulas for grade compensation in a curve. According to one more relaxed version, the equivalent grade on that 16" radius curve would be well over 4%. Granted there is more friction for the loco drivers as well, but if that loco can't pull 1 car up a 3% grade, no way is it going to pull 9 up a 2.25% curve on a 16" radius curve if these compensation formulas are actually valid.

 I've always felt the exaggerated the effect of curves, but with no grades on my last two layouts, I had no way to test it. Here is some empirical evidence that curves as sharp as 16" radius do not nearly double the effective grade as the formulas would have you believe - One puts actual grade = grade + (28/radius), which makes the 2.25% actual grade into 4%, and the ogirinal formula is actual grade = grade + (32/radius) which would put the effective grade at 4.25%! Not a chance this loco could pull 9 cars up that if it can't pull 1 on a 3% tangent.

 Does the curve have an effect? It has to, especially below a certain radius when the taper of the wheels can't compensate. But I don't think it's nearly as bad as reported. 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:27 PM

rrinker
Does the curve have an effect? It has to, especially below a certain radius when the taper of the wheels can't compensate. But I don't think it's nearly as bad as reported. 

I think when you talk about friction you have to consider all the factors. I don't think I've seen any calculations where the length of wheel base on the locos or rolling stock is taken into account. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 9:12 PM

rrinker
 This is where I have to call out the various formulas for grade compensation in a curve. According to one more relaxed version, the equivalent grade on that 16" radius curve would be well over 4%. Granted there is more friction for the loco drivers as well, but if that loco can't pull 1 car up a 3% grade, no way is it going to pull 9 up a 2.25% curve on a 16" radius curve if these compensation formulas are actually valid.

 I've always felt the exaggerated the effect of curves, but with no grades on my last two layouts, I had no way to test it. Here is some empirical evidence that curves as sharp as 16" radius do not nearly double the effective grade as the formulas would have you believe - One puts actual grade = grade + (28/radius), which makes the 2.25% actual grade into 4%, and the ogirinal formula is actual grade = grade + (32/radius) which would put the effective grade at 4.25%! Not a chance this loco could pull 9 cars up that if it can't pull 1 on a 3% tangent.

                                   --Randy

The second formula, CG (compensated grade) = G (grade) + 32 / R (curve radius) was generated by John Allen back in the late 1940's / early 1950's (no one is sure of the exact date). That equation was based on empirical data - he did many experiments with grade and various radii to develop it.

Decades later, the LDSIG (Layout Design Special Interest Group) started with John's formula and did additional testing using more modern equipment (and methodologies, from what I understand) and revised the formula to the first one you quoted: CG=G+28/R. 

You're right that one car on a 3% grade doesn't match with seven (not nine) on a 3.95% compensated grade. Something else is different between the two situations (Bullfrog Snot?). Only Chip can tell us what the differences are.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 9:49 AM

Pruitt
Only Chip can tell us what the differences are.

I think I was right before. The reason the coefficient of friction increases with a decrease in turn radius is that binding increases. If you are running engines that don't bind on a 16" radius, like the little 0-6-0, you don't get the increase in friction. 

LDSIG, and I'm surmising now, had to have some testing standard to eleminate variables. For instance, they chose 3 representative engines, say a GP38, a 2-8-0, and a 4-8-4. and ran their tests. This would yield a plausable formula. 

On my layout, I have only small steam and half that is geared. You can't expect the same results. 

Edit: I tried to find the design methodology for the calculations on the LDSIG website, but was unable. 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 3:11 PM

Hi everyone, 

I just wanted to let you all know I'm alive if in some what diminished capacity. I have some sort of lung infection, although rest assured it is not the Big C or Little C for that matter. But I cough a lot of mucus and just slept 16 of the last 17 hours. 

Other things are piling up as well, it's already started raining and I have a large portion of the exterior wall I need to stucco. Also, I got my book back from my editor and I have a lot of work to do with her on that. 

Just saying the Rock Ridge Railroad is in suspended animation for the time being. 

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 6:59 PM

 Finally, a chance for me to catch up......

 

...who am I kidding, you even have a train running, I don't even have any subroadbed in place, let alone track.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, November 12, 2020 9:33 AM

rrinker
Finally, a chance for me to catch up.....

Well. quit lollygagging.

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, November 12, 2020 11:00 AM

It can't be more'n hunnert 'n fourteen!

(about all I can post from that scene these days)

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Posted by rrebell on Friday, November 13, 2020 9:08 AM

SpaceMouse

Hi everyone, 

I just wanted to let you all know I'm alive if in some what diminished capacity. I have some sort of lung infection, although rest assured it is not the Big C or Little C for that matter. But I cough a lot of mucus and just slept 16 of the last 17 hours. 

Other things are piling up as well, it's already started raining and I have a large portion of the exterior wall I need to stucco. Also, I got my book back from my editor and I have a lot of work to do with her on that. 

Just saying the Rock Ridge Railroad is in suspended animation for the time being. 

 

Yeah there are a few other bugs going around, sister just had one like yours.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 15, 2020 10:56 AM

rrebell
Yeah there are a few other bugs going around, sister just had one like yours.

Yeah, I got one like this 3 years ago. Hung on for months.

 

Chip

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Posted by selector on Sunday, November 15, 2020 3:55 PM

It's good news to hear, Chip.  I have never had a lingering condition or illness, unless weight gain counts.  Been there.  I also know that COVID-19 can linger horribly for a few sufferers, and I have friends whose cold or flu seemed to have nasty effects for two or three months.  You'll be very pleased to see the hind end of this one, for sure, and be glad to get back to enjoying living. Cool

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, May 24, 2021 11:40 AM

Hi guys,

Turns out I was wrong in my self-diagnosis last you heard. On Dec. 29, I was admitted to the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. The doctor in the ER said it was the worst they had ever seen and so they carted me off to a better faciity in Flagstaff where I spent 2 weeks in and out of the ICU. Turns out, the embolisms were caused by stage 4 colon cancer. I'm now on chemo--in fact, that's what I'm doing now. Fun stuff.

The good news is I haven't felt better in months, despite the chemo. And I seem to be getting better every day. Hopefully I'll be back working on the layout shortly. Sorry it took so long to post this.  

Chip

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, May 24, 2021 11:57 AM

Holy cow, Chip (get it? cowchip? haha)

Seriously, that's a big slap in the face! If it's not too personal, what do the docs say? Will you make a full recovery? Stage 4 cancer of any type is a big scare. My late wife died of stage 4 breast cancer a few years ago, and a friend died of colon cancer about 20 years ago.

Tell us they say you'll fully recover. Please.

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Posted by selector on Monday, May 24, 2021 1:05 PM

Gosh, you come by here for a few years and suddenly you notice people sharing that they've had a scare....or worse.  You probably don't know it, but we lost Randy Rinker to SARS-COVID two months ago.  I'd say we won big if we've been able to reclaim you here, Chip.

So, are you still willing to run for Prez? Cool

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, May 24, 2021 1:16 PM

My Oncologist said I had maybe 2 years, but I don't buy it. I'm not reacting to Chemo like they expect. I feel better with each infusion, not worse. Side effects are lessening, not getting worse. As I said before, I'm feeling better than I have been since I started getting sick. I attribute this to eating a healthy diet--my cholesterol, blood suger, protien levels are all the rediculous levels pharmaceutical companies are calling normal.

That said, I had a CT scan and blood test for cancer markers last week and I will hear my results on Weds.

It seems more like a skirmish than a battle so far. 

 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, May 24, 2021 1:22 PM

selector
You probably don't know it, but we lost Randy Rinker to SARS-COVID two months ago

Aw DAMN!

selector
So, are you still willing to run for Prez? 

That just doesn't seem as fun as it used to. 

 

Chip

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Posted by York1 on Monday, May 24, 2021 1:27 PM

I'll be praying for you.  There have been huge advances in treatments the past years, so there's a good reason for hope.

York1 John       

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Posted by NorthBrit on Monday, May 24, 2021 2:37 PM

Hi Chip.   Glad to hear you are back on board.

As my daughter says  "Only knocked sideways.  Never backwards."

As for anyone giving a timeframe.   "Twaddle."   I was given two weeks --  74 years ago.   

Just live life.  People you haven't met yet  want information  and you are the only one they will listen to. 

 

Looking forward to more instalments of the Rock Ridge Railroad.

 

David

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Posted by HO-Velo on Monday, May 24, 2021 8:05 PM

Chip,  Holy Moley!  Yeah, self diagnosis can be hazardous, I recall taking that route with a heart attack, lucky for me my wife didn't buy it.

Best Wishes and regards, sincerely, Peter

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, June 7, 2021 11:15 AM

Thanks for all the good wishes.

My latest CT scan showed no trace of the colon cancer, although the growth on my liver seems unchanged. The docs seem cautiously optimitistic. They ordered a PET scan later this week--but my oncologist is taking the month of June off, so I won't know the results until he gets back in July.     

Chip

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Posted by saronaterry on Monday, June 7, 2021 4:44 PM

YesYesYes

Terry

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Posted by York1 on Monday, June 7, 2021 5:04 PM

SpaceMouse
They ordered a PET scan later this week--but my oncologist is taking the month of June off, so I won't know the results until he gets back in July. 

That's amazing that the colon showed no cancer.

I know nothing about medical issues, but it sounds like the doctor is not too worried if he is not in any hurry.

Hoping and praying for the best.

York1 John       

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Posted by selector on Monday, June 7, 2021 5:05 PM

We'll grasp at any hope, Chip, as you would.  I think I see enough positive to be hopeful, or enough hope to be positive....weird that it works either way. Big Smile  I wish you several thousands of sunny days ahead. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, June 7, 2021 5:39 PM

Great news for the most part, Chip!

Are they sure the liver spot is/was related to the colon cancer?

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 3:00 PM

Pruitt
Are they sure the liver spot is/was related to the colon cancer?

They assume it. It's common for colon cancer to metastasize to the liver. 

However, the PET scan showed that the spot on my liver has diminished. My CAE test for cancer markers went from 100 in Jan. to 127 when  started chemo in March and now is at 16. 

[Knock on wood.] Things are looking up[/Knock]  

Thanks everyone for your well wishes.

 

Chip

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 3:06 PM

Big SmileWow

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 4:59 PM

SpaceMouse
They ordered a PET scan later this week--but my oncologist is taking the month of June off, so I won't know the results until he gets back in July.

I haven't been following your thread as I don't usually follow layout builds.

Making a patient wait a month for PET scan results is cruel and unusual punishment.  Surely he has someone covering his/her practice or could get off their (the prefered pronoun these days) caboose and check the results and tell theirself.  And I say that having an MD behind my name. 

And I never took more than 2 weeks off.

 

Henry

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, September 30, 2021 6:20 PM

Well, I'm back, I think.

I'm now on maintainance chemo--which looks alkmost exactly like the full blown version. The main differnce is they took me off oxaliplatin after my 8th infusion because I was developing neuropathy. I'm getting pretty much everything else that was on my chemo regiment--just now they are calling it maintainance.

The cancer itself appears to be gone. Latest pet scan shows no colon cancer. The mass on my liver's thickness cant be measured and appears as a thickning of the exterior liver membrane. My CEA (cancer marker) is down to 3.1 from 127 in Feb. 2021--5.0 being "normal." 

The loss of feeling in my hands--neuropathy--is my major concern in terms of model railroading. I have trouble with things like buttons and zippers and I am dropping things. I'm worried about things that require fine motor skills like say fixing the itty bitty bitts on my Shay, installing decoders and lights, and detail work on, well, everything. 

For that reason, I've decided that I might as well just jump back in the deep end, and see if I sink or swim. My first task is installing turnouts on my "hidden" staging.

Tomorrow, I'm scheduled for surgery to fix hemorrhoids and fissures in my anus, so I'll probably start eartly next week. So, my illness cost a year of work on my layout. 

I'll keep you posted.       

Chip

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 30, 2021 6:25 PM

SpaceMouse
Well, I'm back

Welcome back Chip. I am glad you are here.

SpaceMouse
The loss of feeling in my hands--neuropathy--is my major concern in terms of model railroading. I have trouble with things like buttons and zippers and I am dropping things.

I have problems with my right hand/arm that are somewhat similar.

I have come to accept that I will be dropping, throwing, crushing some things from time to time, and just do my best.

-Kevin

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, September 30, 2021 6:30 PM

SeeYou190
I have come to accept that I will be dropping, throwing, crushing some things from time to time, and just do my best

That's what I'm hoping, thanks Kevin.

Chip

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Posted by York1 on Thursday, September 30, 2021 6:31 PM

Welcome back!  I'm glad to hear that your numbers are looking so good!

As you're able, please keep us up-to-date with not only your medical successes, but your layout, too.  I loved seeing the progress on your scratchbuilt buildings using wood.

Thanks for checking in!

York1 John       

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 30, 2021 7:50 PM

SpaceMouse

 

 
SeeYou190
I have come to accept that I will be dropping, throwing, crushing some things from time to time, and just do my best

 

That's what I'm hoping, thanks Kevin.

 

 

It is only a big problem when I visit other people's layouts. I keep my right hand in my pocket, and hold my elbow with my left hand.

I am always concerned I might break something, or throw a drink onto the layout.

I have not attended an operating session in years, afraid of what might happen.

So far at my new job I have just broken one lighting fixture.

-Kevin

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 1, 2021 1:25 PM

Well, I had brain surtgery today and got my hemorrhoids banded. Last hurdle before laying trackwork in staging. 

Chip

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Posted by selector on Friday, October 1, 2021 2:47 PM

Geez, Chip...  It's tough when things pile on.  I expect you won't be having much fun for a few days until you can pass something solid without screaming.  Indifferent

Still, it's good to know you're still struggling and moving forward.  I just went through The Week From Hell with a truly nasty episode of atrial fibrillation.  I had three good years, but now something has set off my heart and it thumps and bumps pretty much constantly.  They've upped my metoproplol to twice the previous dose for 30 days, and it seems to be somewhat better.  Nine hours in the ER last Friday, waiting for the team to deal with a large number of overdoses (it was Friday, remember?) before I got an electrical cardioversion....which didn't work. Tongue Tied

Please do keep on posting, even if it is a drain.  You have interested friends here, and we can visit with you virtually.

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, October 1, 2021 2:52 PM

Oooo! Seems like everyone is having fun with health these days!

In August I went through a parathyroidectomy that turned into a partial thyroidectomy. A couple weeks later I was told the removed part of the thyroid had a spot of pappilary cancer. Still trying to figure out what to do next.

Fortunately my atrial fibrillation has been quiet for some time now.

Sucks getting old, doesn't it?

Chip, since sitting down may not be real comfortable for awhile, we'll be looking for LOTS of layout progress in the coming days! Big Smile

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Saturday, October 2, 2021 10:50 AM

Chip,

Very sorry to hear about all of the health problems. Nice to see that you are back to doing some model railroading. At least for awhile when you say something is a PITA you will mean it...LOL.SmileSmileSurprise.

For those of you who are more recent members to this forum. Chip was a very active poster in the early 2000's. My favorite Spacemouse post was the "all Hail John Allen" thread that Chip started. Like many of his threads, it took on a life of its own...

Hope you recover from the latest soon (that goes for all of us with health issues)

Guy

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 4:41 PM

Pruitt
Chip, since sitting down may not be real comfortable for awhile, we'll be looking for LOTS of layout progress in the coming days!

Unfortunately, I have very low energy due to the chemo, so walking around isn't in the cards quite yet.

Guy
 My favorite Spacemouse post was the "all Hail John Allen" thread that Chip started. Like many of his threads, it took on a life of its own...

One of my faves as well. It's been a long time since I've posted a "Model Railroading as an Art Form" topic. With new technologies such as 3d printing, I think we will be seeing a whole new level of the art form.


After 11 days of thinking about it, I finally made some progress on the layout--sort of. My current project is the staging yard, which by popular demand--from my wife--will be a fully sceniced and lighted tunnel.

The current step is to cut ties for the Fast Tracks turnouts--because I'm way too frugal to buy the laser cut tie thingies for $4 a piece. I didn't get that far because my Micro Lux saw started vibrating like it lost all its bearings at once. Luckily I got enough ties cut to do the staging yard. 

I made a jig to expedite things and I hope to get some pics and expanation how the jig was built shortly.     

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 14, 2021 7:32 PM

Did a little work in the staging area. This is what it looks like now.

I originally set it up as 4 staging tracks 2" on center, but scenery concerns made me reduce the spacing to 1 7/8". 

 I then layed out the turnouts and track for a looksee.

I figure to have about a month on the staging yard, seeing how I have to fully landscape it and run cables under the roadbed so I can use my lever-type turnout switches. I have to run the LED lighting as well.


 

On another note, a good outcome of my bout with my Cancer is my wife asked me what was on my Bucket List. She figured if I had something to live for, I might survive. Well, I did survive so next month I'll be heading to Willits/Fort Bragg, CA to ride the Skunk Train. Coincidently, Rock Ridge is the freelance name of the combined towns of Willits and Fort Bragg including the surrounding Redwoods. 

So I'm off on a photo/research expedition into the area. Hopefully, I'll get some good panorama shots to either create a backdrop, or paint one using reference photos. 

I plan on taking lots of refernce photos, as well as consuming the local Red Tail Ale.

Tommorow, I need to add ties to 5 turnouts using my jig that you guys haven't seen yet.

Chip

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Posted by Sparky Rail on Thursday, October 14, 2021 7:58 PM

SpaceMouse
Well, I did survive so next month I'll be heading to Willits/Fort Bragg, CA to ride the Skunk Train.

That's a great ride. I rode it a few years ago, just as a side trip while on a vacation. From what little information I could find that day, I wasn't expecting too much. But after the first few minutes of riding out of town, there we were in the open car, deep inside the giant redwood forest, with a pina colada in hand from the bar at the end of the car. It's a ride I will always remember. And, congratulations on the surviving thing!

-Tom

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Posted by Texas Zephyr on Friday, October 15, 2021 9:34 PM
SpaceMouse
Did a little work in the staging area. This is what it looks like now.
All I can think is how far you've come since the Hogwarts for your son.

On another note, a good outcome of my bout with my Cancer...

I would say a good outcome from a bout with cancer is being alive.  My wife did not make it.

Tomorrow, I need to add ties to 5 turnouts using my jig that you guys haven't seen yet.

I'm still having a hard time believing  I'm seeing the Spacemouse, let alone something I haven't seen yet. Smile    They screwed up my login at the last forum software upgrade so it looks like I am still a newbe!  Ha!  I was a bit angry so abandon it for a while (about three years Whistling) and mainly visit the other side of the tracks now.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 15, 2021 10:10 PM

Tom
 It's a ride I will always remember.

I've heard that from eveyone--including non-foamers.

TZ
All I can think is how far you've come since the Hogwarts for your son.

The engine from that train broke right away, but I didnj't keep all the parts. I think today, it would have been fixable. The train itself was a delight to kids during our club open houses.

TZ
 My wife did not make it.

I'm sorry to hear that.

 

 

Chip

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, October 16, 2021 12:39 AM

SpaceMouse
Well, I did survive so next month I'll be heading to Willits/Fort Bragg, CA to ride the Skunk Train.

I just looked up the Skunk Train. If I ever get back to California I am definitely going to ride it. The pictures I saw were beautiful.

-Kevin

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, October 16, 2021 2:18 AM

SeeYou190
If I ever get back to California I am definitely going to ride it.

Don't tell anyone, but I was born in Fort Bragg--lived in Medicino until I was 4. I grew up on stories of the Skunk Train. But I neither saw it or rode.

 

Chip

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Posted by selector on Saturday, October 16, 2021 11:00 AM

It's personally very encouraging that you have the energy and motivation to come here and to share your slog through this, Chip.  I hope you get your yard up and functional with increasing ease and comfort as the days pass.

I had honestly forgotten about you and Fast Tracks.  It will be good to learn of your experience as you get the yard working.

-Crandell

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 17, 2021 8:02 PM

I've been promising to show you my Fast Tracks tie jig for a while so let's get at it. The reason for the jig is that the Fast Tracks Laser-cut tie jig costs (at the time I started the project) is $4 per turnout. Since I have about 30 turnouts that need ties, I can spend that $120 to buy my next box of track.

The idea is rather simple. I simply placed a turnout with the Fast Tracks ties on a sheet of .040 styrene and rasttle canned the tar out of it.

That left me with this:

I then used an Xacto knife to cut out the white where the ties go. That took about 2-3 hours. You can then put the ties into the slots. 

To do right-hand turnouts, you flip it over.

Then glue it and wait.

But, I'm sorry to say, it didn't work out so well. The Gorilla glue seeped out under the weight and attached the turnout to the jig.

 

You can see the ties that fell out during the extraction that took over an hour. I also broke the jig in a couple places. In addition, I had to break free and remove the glue from the points. (And I thought I was careful.) I then had to resolder the two short rails beyound the frog.

I figured my attempt had failed and decided just to buy thje darned Fast Tracks Laser ties. Unfortunaqtely, the price has doubled to $8, and they are out of stock with no date for availibility. Tomorrow, I try another adhesive.

Any suggestions?  

Chip

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 17, 2021 10:44 PM

3M makes a zillion kinds of tape.  Perhaps one of them would work?

One thing for sure:  the stickiness won't creep!

 

Ed

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 18, 2021 1:00 AM

7j43k

3M makes a zillion kinds of tape.  Perhaps one of them would work?

One thing for sure:  the stickiness won't creep!

 Ed 

All hail Duct Tape.

Most people don't know this, but WD40 and Duct Tape were both invented in 1953, same year I was born. So you might as well believe me when I say when comes to repairing stuff. if it don't move spray it with WD40. If it does move, Duct it. 

Chip

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Posted by NorthBrit on Monday, October 18, 2021 4:37 AM

Welcome back, Chip.    Remain positive no matter what life throws at you.

 

Great looking staging.   The turnouts look excellent.   

 

David

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 18, 2021 10:40 AM

7j43k

3M makes a zillion kinds of tape.  Perhaps one of them would work?

One thing for sure:  the stickiness won't creep!

Ed

I'm thinking a double-stick tape might work if I can place it where I need it. I've been recking my brain trying figure out how to make it happen.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 6:46 PM

Take 2 -- Doubler-sided #M tape

First I layed out the ties and fit the turnout inbto the jig.

Then I cut the tape into 3/32" strips. This was hard because one side was sticky. I had to put the sticky side down to cut the strips.

I then stuck the tape onto the rails.

The problem with this method is I could not get the non-sticky plastic to peel off the tape. It came off the rail instead--probably because I had to cut with the sticky side against my cutting board.

Take 3 -- Contact cement.

I appied the adheasive to the ties. It was a slow and messy process. 

As you can see, it didn't work out so well. But I feel it is promising. I'll try again appying the contact cement to the rails. Should go smoother and faster.

Bang HeadBang HeadBang Head

You know what they say. You gotta spin your wheels if you want to make donuts.

 

Chip

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Posted by HO-Velo on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 9:00 PM

SpaceMouse
I'll be heading to Willits/Fort Bragg, CA to ride the Skunk Train. Coincidently, Rock Ridge is the freelance name of the combined towns of Willits and Fort Bragg including the surrounding Redwoods. 

Hey Chip,  Great to see ya' back at it.

Ft. Bragg area and the CWR is an excellent choice upon which to model a logging railroad, with opportunity for a mill, lovely harbor, fishing boats and lumber schooners.

Participated in a couple memorable Tour de Skunk combination train and mountain bike rides in the early 2000s.  A GP9 hauled a couple hundred or so of us masochistic cyclists out to the Boy Scout camp, from where we rode back to Ft. Bragg thru picturesque forests via logging roads and trails.

Enjoy the beauty of the redwood coast and good luck with your turnouts.  Best wishes and regards, Peter

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 21, 2021 6:53 PM

HO-Velo
A GP9 hauled a couple hundred or so of us masochistic cyclists out to the Boy Scout camp, from where we rode back to Ft. Bragg thru picturesque forests via logging roads and trails.

I hope your group rode the periodically correct big front wheel bikes.


First off, I took my Micro saw apart to figure out why it was vibrating. But first, I had to take out a little sawdust.

As a frame of reference, that is a large soup container from a Chinese resturaunt.

Next, I manually glued the missing ties on my previously failed attemps at using my jig.

Finally --(Take 4)-- I tried the jig again, this time applying contact cement to the rails. I expect a few problems as the turnout was riding high in the jig and not contacting all the ties. We'll see tomorrow. 

 

Chip

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, October 21, 2021 10:14 PM

SpaceMouse
Finally --(Take 4)-- I tried the jig again, this time applying contact cement to the rails.

Chip, with contact cement, shouldn't you be putting the cement on both parts, letting it dry to the touch, and then putting them together? That's what I do with my Fast Tracks turnouts, using Pliobond as the contact cement.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, October 23, 2021 10:16 PM

Pruitt
Chip, with contact cement, shouldn't you be putting the cement on both parts, letting it dry to the touch, and then putting them together?

Thanks Mark.

Take 5 -- I tried again this time putting the glue on both rail and ties allowing it to set up. Notice that now I'm using the white side of the jig. The whole process is down to 20 minutes.

This time I only had 3 ties come off and all only came loose on 1 side.

I finished the last turnout needed for the staging yard today-at least the glue is in the process of drying. I can start laying track as soon as the insulated track joiners arrive.

The good news is you guys don't have to look at any more pictures of turnouts.

Today I also started plaster casting. I need rocks and stone walls to finish the interior cave where staging resides. 

Of course, I can't actually start scenicing the cave until the rolls of gauze cloth arrive. (They say Tuesday.)

We'll see what I can do to progress the layout tomorrow.

Toodles yawl. 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
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Posted by selector on Sunday, October 24, 2021 2:21 PM

Chip, if it would be worth considering, I recommend pliobond or even Parr bond.  They are clear/translucent fluids that dry somewhat opaque, but they are still pliable to an extent, and both do a good job of adhesion to mixed surfaces.  I use Parr on all my down-spout drains, and around the gromets on plastic garden sheds.  No leaks, and I think it's because it retains some flexibility when it is cured.  It can be painted later, and that's likely to be necessary for you.

  • Member since
    November 2007
  • From: California
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Posted by HO-Velo on Sunday, October 24, 2021 3:25 PM

SpaceMouse
big front wheel bikes

Hi Chip,  A bit too much bike for me, but such a bicycle would have been a good fit during a past Ft. Bragg visit when a vintage car club was in town and dressed to match their early 1900s automobiles.

Btw, your pile of sawdust looks like it would make for some nice wood chip loads.

Regards, Peter

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 25, 2021 9:25 PM

 

I was digging through my reference materials when I found an iteration of the Rock Ridge and Train City I started in PA.

I got the benchwork done, sans risers, when my wife decided she needed a piece of equipment that would not fit in her art studio in PA. 

Turns out she stopped using the pouring table and I got an 8x13 section of the garage for a new layout here in AZ.

Notice that I was planning a large vertical dimension with a large waterfall in front.


Today I felt I was finally making progress on my layout.

First of all I got two packages of supplies that were holding me up--one 3 days late, another 1 day early. Unfortunately they arrived too late to be of any help today.

I've been doing what I can to get things moving in the meantime. I've been pouring plaster rocks for the cave wall as fast as they can dry.

I also installed all the turnouts in the staging yard.

  

Tomorrow, I'll run the ladder and figure out how to switch the power on and off so DCC trains aren't making noise and sucking amps. Then I'll pour plaster rocks and run trains until I figure the yard is bullet proof. 

 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 7:17 PM

SpaceMouse
Tomorrow, I'll run the ladder and figure out how to switch the power on and off so DCC trains aren't making noise and sucking amps. Then I'll pour plaster rocks and run trains until I figure the yard is bullet proof. 

I have a bit of a dilema. Putting rail joiners, both NS and insulated is much more difficult than I remember. The thing is I don't know if this is because of neuropathy or if my memory is jaded. I had trouble holding them with needle nose and when I dropped them picking them up was difficult.

Anyway, the upshot is it took two of my short days of work to finish the trackwork on the staging yard. I still need to solder the joints and run feeders. Funny how the time you estimate has little to do with how long it actually takes.

The small tracks just fits my three passenger cars without the locomotive which I think will be a 4-4-0.

   

Because of the reach, I plan to use lever switch machines.

FYI, the trowbar that this switch controls is the second to top tie on the right.

Now I have a progress stopping problem. The reasons are many.

1) I'll need to run facia--which I don't have--to mount the switches. 

2) The way the switch is mounted, the cable would have to have to be run under the plywood layer. That would put the end of the cable 2" below the turnout. However, the cable has only 1/2 inch to work with.

3) Now that the turnouts and track are placed, I may have to run trenches below or through the roadbed. This probably means taking out all the turnouts and track. In turn, this means I can't solder anything until the switches are run.  

4) I remember reading that I could use the switch to turn on power to the tracks or light an LED. I need to do both. Looking at the switch, I can't see how it can act as a SPST. 

Oh well. It is what it is.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 29, 2021 6:24 PM

As you know, I'm on a very tight budget, and right now I'm way over budget. The next step is the facia (so I can mount my switch levers, and I have to wait probably until the New Year to get it. So, in the meantime, I will work on landscaping the tunnel where I can.

Here are the rocks I'll need. I've also got a dozen or so stone retaining walls.

I also masked off the track where I will be plastering and painting.

Tomorrow, with any luck I will rock and paste the first section of cave wall.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, October 30, 2021 8:04 PM

I feel pretty good about the progress I made today.

First, I cut the gauze strips into 1 foot strips at the right height. Sissors would not cut the gauze so I used a hobby klnife.

Then I mixed plaster of Paris going heavy on the water. 

Then it was just a matter of soaking the gauze and putting it place. It was messy and I used latex gloves.

When dry, I applied a layer of dustless drywall mud.

I had planned to use the cave--since an observer will be hard-pressed to notice--to practice different techniques of making/painting rocks. There was a two-foot area where the cave wall was too close to the tracks to add rocks, so I spent some time carving rocks out of the drywall mud with a hobby knife, dental pick and paint brush.

I'll show you that area after it sets up and I can touch it up.

Tomorrow I'll set the rocks, and if it dries in a timely manner, I'll start painting.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:27 PM

It's been a few days since my last post since I've only been able to get a few hours here and there to work on it. 

The rock cavern wall is of two different construction techniques. There are the plaster cast rocks using Woodland Scenics molds. And there is drywall mud spread across the gause backing and carved. 

First the plaster section.

Then the transition between the cast rocks and the carved rocks. 

As a reminder, the reason I am carving the rocks here is ther isn't enough room between the gause and the track to place cast rocks. Here is a section of cast rocks.

 There are two techniques used in carving the rocks. The first technique involves just carving willy-nilly trying to create a constant grain. The problem I ran into was cutting deep enough to fray the gause making it so strings stuckout from the recesses. 

I solved this by putting on more drywall mud and recarving. As I looked at the new, now-dry plaster, I remember a quote from a sculptor that carving is simply removing the parts that don't belong. I then began to see "rocks" in the plaster so I cut out the edges and provided texture. In the picture above on the right you can see the carved rocks. On the right you can see the willy-nilly approach.

Below is the end of the tunnel complete with a retaining wall and tunnel arch. 

So here's my take-away. The cast rocks are very dimentional, but combined with the limited number of pieces and the inconsitancies of sizes, well, it's not the look I want for my rocky areas. I'm thinking with photos of the prototype, I can get the look I'm after by carving plaster, as opposed to patching together cast rocks.

Tomorrow, I will paint the rocks. Not only have I not used this technique that very effectively simulates granite, I haven't used an airbrush in 15 years, and both the airbrush and compressor are new to me. The cave walls are a good place to practice.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,671 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:37 PM

Chip,

The pictures below show the rock cliffs I made for a portable N scale layout back in 1992 for Scale Rails Of Southwest Florida.

Like in your situation, the rocks had to be as thin as possible. The main control panel and mainline staging are hidden behind the rocks. Also, we wanted to layout to be as lightweight as possible.

I made the basic cliff profile from "hardware cloth" which is a steel mesh wire sheet. Then I made the rocks by crumpling up heavy duty alluminum foil and semi-flattening it back out. I filled the alluminum foil mold with about 3/8" of plaster. When the plaster was about 50% set up, I smushed it into the hardware cloth.

The results were pretty good. Plus, they were thin and lightweight. Sorry I don't have any in-process pictures, but this was back in the film-and-developing days.

The rocks still look a bit like crumpled alluminum foil, but painting sure helped it all look better.

If these two pictures were side-by-side it would make a panarama scene of the two bridges the way they actually were on the layout.

-Kevin

Happily modeling in HO scale. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:43 PM

SeeYou190
I made the rocks by crumpling up heavy duty alluminum foil and semi-flattening it back out. I filled the alluminum foil mold with about 3/8" of plaster. When the plaster was about 50% set up, I smushed it into the hardware cloth.

Kevin,

I'm thinking I'll use the aluminum foil technique to produce a rough contour, then use my hobby knife and dental picks to carve into the look I want. Thanks. 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 7, 2021 5:45 PM

I'm still waiting for the coupling needed to connect my airbrush to my compressor hose. Rather than wait patiently, I decided to start the process of laying track on the other side of the layout. Unfortunately that part of the benchwork was being used as a workbench. (I got to use benchwork and workbench in the same sentence. Cool)

Anyway, after two days of sorting and finding places for new stuff I've aquired along the way, I got the benchwork ready for foam.

I have 3 days until I leave to ride the Skunk Train and photograph the prototype landscape and anything else relevant. One of those days will be used to celebrate my birthday (tomorrow), and one of those days will undoubtibly used to pack. We will be gone 11 days. 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 3,781 posts
Posted by York1 on Sunday, November 7, 2021 6:00 PM

Happy birthday, and have fun on your trip.  Show us lots of pictures when you get back!

York1 John       

My wife said I never listen to her.  Or something like that.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 7, 2021 6:04 PM

York1
Show us lots of pictures when you get back!

Will do. And thanks for the birthday wishes.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 5:28 PM

Score!!!

 

My kids got me these for my birthday.

Now I have a project for my vacation. Learn Blender and make some nick-knacks for my layout. Posting will be spotty for the next 11 days.

 

 

 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 1,238 posts
Posted by wickman on Friday, November 12, 2021 9:44 AM

Chip I never really gave any thoughts to using real ties for these jigs, I ended up going with 20 year old Peco switches. I have used pliobond for my long curve trestles and you can buy it in larger containers rather than the small tubes from hobby shops. 

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Posted by NorthBrit on Friday, November 12, 2021 11:22 AM

Chip.   The blue track looks cool.   LaughLaughLaugh

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 21, 2021 5:49 PM

I'm back.Zzz

Been recovering for last two days. Lots of driving.

Today I made a little progress on the layout. I installed the foam on the rest of the lower level. Mostly I've been studying backdrop painting on YouTube University.

I did find several things about the area I'm modeling I wasn't expecting.

First the landscape was not the grassland with scrub oak I was expecting. Every square inch of undeveloped land had a dense conglomeration of deciduous and conifer trees. 

The Willits Station had ornate wood trim that according to an old-timer who worked for Northwestern Pacific was painted yellow, green and red. I have not been able to find any reference for the color pattern as it is currently painted reddish brown.

I do have contact information for the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical Society and was told if anyone knows the color scheme, they would.

Next, Redwood trees reproduce 90% of the time from shoots up from the roots whenever damage is done to the trunk. The other 10% of the time they reproduce from pin-head-sized seeds stored in acorn-sized cones. 

The last thing is that in old-growth redwoods stands, the ground is covered in ferns. Printing ferns was originally why I wanted a 3d printer. 

Chip

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,241 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, November 21, 2021 6:10 PM

Some of you asked for pictures of the Skunk Train highlights. I'll add comments as you request them.

The tallest tree on the area at 305 feet.

 

I have no idea what this rig is.

Chip

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,505 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, November 22, 2021 3:33 AM

SpaceMouse
I have no idea what this rig is.

It is obviously a relaxation platform with an elevated view! How do I know? There is a beer cooler on it!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Nice pictures Chip!

Thanks,

Dave

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

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