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Building the Rock Ridge Railroad Part 2

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  • Member since
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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

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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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

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

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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!

I don't care what your religion or political beliefs are.  Just use your turn signal.

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

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
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  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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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

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 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

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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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

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
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

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

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    August 2015
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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.

  • Member since
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  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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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

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

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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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

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. 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
  • 11,236 posts
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

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 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

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

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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

  • Member since
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  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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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

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

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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

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

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
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  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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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

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

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,236 posts
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

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

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  • From: California
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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

  • Member since
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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

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

  • Member since
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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
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  • 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.

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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
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  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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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
  • 11,236 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.

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