Sunday, November 18, 2018

Not Railway Related, but Relevant

My weekly coffee with an old friend of mine got me going.  Grant was talking about making up some nice proper note books  - the sort with leather binding and such.  As soon as he said the word "clamp" a light came on and something in the back of my mind came together.

Every time I get a new magazine out of the mailbox or open up a new parcel from a shop I end up with more - more scrap paper.  They all come with a packing list or a postal address printed out on paper - about an A4 sized piece of paper.  So I've been "waste not want not" and folding them in quarters and cutting them up with a large carving knife.

The back of the bits of paper are clean - no printing.

So they make for great note paper and I sit them on the kitchen bench top and grab them for writing shopping lists, notes and all sort of things.  I also have a bunch on my modelling bench for notes and figuring and such.  Basically - they have cost me nothing.

What the light going on at coffee about the word "clamp" is that this is needed when making notepads - my style of notepads.  So with the above bunch of bits of paper which was all higgledy piggledy I went to the workshop area, sat down and then tapped the bunch of papers down on the bench so as to line them all up on the top edge.  This of course make one edge all over the place, but who cares.

But one edge gets to be all lined up and tidy.

So a couple of bits of wood, in this case my paint stirrers and a pair of clamps were gotten out.

I carefully placed the wood either side of the bunch of paper, leave about 1-2 mm of paper sticking out.  I then tightly clamped it all together.

Once clamped, I got out my bottle of white glue, Selleys Aquadhere, and a small paint brush and thickly painted this all lined up edge of paper.  I slopped it on well and proper.

I then sat the whole ting upright so the glue wouldn't drip and left it overnight for it to dry properly.

So I went down this morning and took the clamps off and I now have a nice notepad that wont blow around in the breeze.  

Just like a bought one it is and it only cost be a few cents worth of glue!

So now when I make my scribbled notes about trains and groceries, the paper will not be found on the floor or all over the place - it will come from my nice sort of neat notepad blocks.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Hot Under the Collar

As Saturday was the monthly club meeting, I wasn't going to bother with too much dirty work on the layout.  So I just brought down some of my HO scale Logging Locomotives and Wagons for a checkout.

So I stripped down my Bachmann 3 Truck Climax, as Peter A was about to order some spares for his two truck version and we may as well share freight for a small order of parts, if I needed any.  

I could have sworn my loco already had metal gears, but it turned out it still has plastic bevel gears in all three trucks. So I politely said to myself, "Dang".  AND, one had already split.  These are really tiny bevel gears that press fit onto a small spline shaft.

Here is the rear truck, or bogie, being stripped down to get at the above gears.  I am dreading having to push new metal gears back on when they arrive, as the plastic ones are easier, but still a real bugger to get on.  I'll probably learn some new swear words I reckon.

Well I thought - I'm a smart fellow, I'll just disconnect the rear truck and use the good gears in it to fix the broken truck in the middle.  After doing this, and putting the loco all back together again and feeling pretty smug about it, I put the loco on the test track... Nothing.  Zip, nada, no go.

It turns out the decoder for controlling the loco is in the last truck - so another little naughty word or three was uttered "dag nab it".

So I went and advised Peter of my requirements and then put all the "bits" into a little plastic baggie and put it away.

Luckily I had also brought down my Rivarossi 3 Truck Heisler loco.  So onto the layout it went with 4 logging wagons and a couple of laps of the club layouts' top deck was made - took absolutely ages!  Even at half throttle, it was crawling... beautifully slow she was.  And down at about 15 percent throttle she barely moves - wonderful - love it - fantastic  :-)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hot, Slow Wednesday

It was Wednesday.  It was HOT.  It was a slow day.  No one had much get up and go as the heat had made it get up and leave.

So while John and Bob One kept doing their thing on the new deck on the N scale layout at the club, I potted around doing more on the addition to the clubs' N scale Exhibition layout.  What Peter A and I worked out was that we would convert the static dead end line to the cattle yard into an operating small point to point tourist train.  The cattle yard would go and the track all be made operational.

Where the cattle cars are, we will have a small platform installed and maybe a small ticket office for the tourists to collect tickets.  The cattle yard will become a gravel based car park for the tourists.

What was to be just a small amount of track work has gotten a little bigger as I found some of the old track was steel and rusty and crappy.  So a bit more got ripped up than originally intended.  But it is progressing nicely and should be easily ready for its first showing at the Bundaberg Model Train Show in March.  Below is a pic of the middle module of the three I am working on.  This oe has the two points required.  The left hand ones will remain locked so that you cannot come or go form the mainline as we do not want interaction between the two.  In fact, they are not even electrically connected.

The main work to date has been the track and in particular adding in working points and the adjustable joiners that span the modules of the layout.  These joiners are the Kato 20-050 ones and are a boon to module based layouts.  We make them so we leave them in one module and then slide them across to the next modules once that module is connected.  So I had to cut back the trackwork and cork base to allow the static Kato piece of track (Kato 20-030 that has been cut in half and had the metal track removed) to be glued down with some Gorilla Glue - the slightly expanding type that grips like s to a blanket to all things including plastic.

The reason we remove the rail from the Kato 20-030 track is so that the normal Peco code 80 track can slide into the rail chairs and not require a joiner.

While we are talking Kato, I was after some buffers for the tracks and Peter A mentioned we had some Kato ones.  So it was worth a look.  So we eventually found them and they are perfect.  They are a set track part, but the the buffer clips apart from the track and actually fits between the Peco sleepers nicely.  We had three in our spare parts box and I need three - perfect.


When the old steel track at the cattle yard was removed, it ripped the skin off the foam and took some chunks of foam out of the module - not a problem.  I repaired it nice and solidly with my patented PK's Goop. That's Vermiculite, Water, Poster Paint, Parfix Gap Filler. You squish it down with your spatula and then smooth it over and it makes a great base to work on.  The cork and track was then glued in and I continued to add some Goop to where the platform will go.

So, back to yesterday.  So I mucked about and cleaned the old scenery material off the left hand module where the new track is to go.  I also carved out where the Kato components would go and glue the static part into place.  Cork was glued down and then sealed with some grey paint.  A section of track was carefully filed to take the rough edges off it and then slid into the Kato part.  The track was then pinned down and some 50/50 white glue and water squirted over the track to glue it down.

So that brings us up to date.  Peter A and I will need to decide on Saturday whether we want the track to stay at the same height from here on to the end of the tourist trackage on the far left, or perhaps let it raise up a centimetre or two - we'll see.