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'Henderson Bay Branch'
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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 04:26 am
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Reg H
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More thoughts as the layout takes shape in my mind.

As stated earlier, the "Thomasville" trackplan from the book "Your Next Model Railroad" will be the basis for both ends of the point-to-point layout. 

The basic plan in the book calls for the use of #8 turnouts on the mainline.  As my benchwork was originally built to accommodate a 1/4" scale railroad, there is plenty of wide open space in HO.  So the use of #8's on mainline turnouts was attractive.

So I ordered a couple of Atlas #8's to see what they look like.  And I don't really like them very much.  The frog is way too long and ugly.  I think the #6's look much better.

I considered using Fast Tracks jigs to build up some #8's.  I can justify the cost financially.  The cost of the jigs and associated aids and materials would be a wash in comparison to purchasing commercial turnouts, given the number of #8 turnouts envisioned.  But this approach is contrary to one of the objectives of this layout, which is to blaze in track and basic scenery in as short a time as possible.   I have NEVER done that.  But I am involving young children and they are not long on patience.  The idea of spending a year building trackwork is not attractive to them.

I haven't ruled out Fast Tracks for the #8's (all sidings and spurs will be #6) but my current thinking is to use #6 turnouts throughout.  The #6's look pretty good, but there is something majestic about a well-built #8. I have a few more days to fuss about it.

All construction will be as simple as possible.  All track will be Atlas flex-track, code 83.  I haven't used flex-track in decades.  Most of my track in the past has been handlaid.  

I have adopted an over-center spring type of "switch machine".  The over-center springs will eliminate the problems I had with PCB ties, should I break down and opt for the Fast Tracks #8's. But the main objective of that type of turnout control is to make operation as "hands on" as possible and to eliminate under the layout construction.  I have "built" one over-center spring and installed it on a turnout.  It works great.  It took me about 10 minutes to "build" the first one. "Building" an over-center spring involves putting three bends in a piece of piano wire and clipping the ends to length.  

Locomotive control will be DCC.  The DCC bus is already in place from the On30 layout. 

Reg



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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 09:15 pm
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Reg H
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Si:

Thanks for the alternative method for posting photos from the Gallery.  That will save me some hassle. 

I presume that when you are referring to "second rate" you are thinking of Windows 10.

I use Chrome because of the cross-platform nature of both the browser and the calendar. 

Reg




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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 09:28 pm
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Reg H
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I wanted to try out Si's photo posting method, so I went in search of this one:





This is not HO.  It is 1/4" scale. Tracks in the foreground are On30.  This is the kind of structure I have built in the past.  Except for the shingles, which are a commercial cedar product, the depot is scratchbuilt entirely from sheet and strip styrene.  Even the windows and doors are built up.  

It is not quite complete, needing glazing and a platform, and is now stored away in a box while I immerse myself in HO for awhile. 

This kind of construction, while rewarding and relaxing, is not suited to my efforts to include my grandkids in the process.  The first Cornerstone kit went together in about the same time as it took to build one of the double-hung windows in this depot.  

Reg




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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 10:13 pm
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Si.
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" Si:

Thanks for the alternative method for posting photos from the Gallery. That will save me some hassle. 

I presume that when you are referring to "second rate" you are thinking of Windows 10.

I use Chrome because of the cross-platform nature of both the browser and the calendar."



Hi Reg :wave:



Pleased to be able to help Reg ! :)

It's obviously working on your LINUX as well !! :bg:



It's nice to see that when advice is read carefully & followed, IT WORKS ! ;)



:cool:



Si.



Nice looking Depot ! :mex:




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 Posted: Fri Dec 15th, 2017 12:36 am
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Reg H
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Progress (other than what is going on inside my head) has been slowed by holiday activities. 

But things have been going on inside my head.  

One thing I would like to include is some provision for continuous running.  Previous thoughts only concluded that the only way to include something was to tear out the existing benchwork and design a layout that would include either a lift out or a duck under.  Neither of which I am willing to consider. 

But then I started thinking of adding a "tourist" HOn30 loop.  With 18", or even sharper curves, I might be able to squeeze something in.  

Further cogitating brought to mind that I have two HOn3 industrial diesel kits lurking somewhere in my stash of stuff.  I have had them so long I can't remember where, when,  or why they were acquired.  But I am sure they are still in the stash.

Those little bitty engines would look just fine on 15" radius curves.  I could model a modern make-believe narrow gauge logging show with these little diesels as power.

Yeah, I know, nothing like that has ever existed.  So what?

That aspect of the layout could be made to appear point-to-point (mill to re-load, perhaps) but include a sneak around to complete an oval.  

There would be an added benefit.  This part of the layout might go some ways towards slaking my thirst for narrow gauge.

But I am way ahead of myself.  I don't even have the track mapped out for the west end yet.  

I still have three structures to complete before I can begin that process.

Reg



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 Posted: Fri Dec 15th, 2017 03:52 am
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W C Greene
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Howdy Reg, holidays are an intense time for most anyway. As for the HOn3 "critters", would they be the Grandt Line kits from years ago? If so, why not "mu" them together to be a logging "locomotive". The little dudes would be able to pull a sizeable cut of log cars.
Just thinking...

Woodie



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 Posted: Fri Dec 15th, 2017 09:06 pm
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Reg H
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Woodie:
I am going to have to check the manufacturer.  One of them may be Grandt Line.  I don't even remember what types they are, though I am pretty sure one of them is GE.  They are both brass and produced many decades ago.  I can't remember why I even bought them.  I have never modeled HO narrow gauge, nor intended to.   "Back in the day" if I was going to buy an industrial diesel it would have been HO or O standard gauge.  Anyway, I am glad I have them, now. 

I will dig them out and take some photographs.


I am a ways from thinking about how I am going to operate them.  It has been awhile since I dug into my "stash" and looked at them.  I am curious as to what other HO items I might have lurking in that cabinet.  If memory serves, I have a set of three GN box cars in the green and orange, and an undecorated Athearn caboose with some GN decals stowed in the box. 

I did some rough measurements last evening and squeezing in a bit of narrow gauge is quite feasible.  

I have five structure kits, all Walthers Cornerstone,  I want to complete before I start actually laying out track center lines at the west end of the layout.  Two of those are now complete.  I set up a card table in the family room and worked on one while we all watched a Christmas movie (The Santa Clause) last evening.   That may turn into a pattern.   The nice thing about the plastic kits is that I don't need a complete shop to put them together.  Though to really do them up right they need some additional paint.  I will probably do some touch up on them at a later date.  Right now, the objective is to get something up and running as soon as possible.  

I also have a bit of a bridge project.  You will recall the wood Howe truss bridge I built for the On30.   I left the water feature in place.  I was kind of hoping just to use that bridge, but when I posed some HO equipment on it, it really looked silly.  Also, my current concept calls for double track across there. 

So I ordered a couple of the Atlas through plate girder bridges, double track.   I ordered two because the span is a bit more than the as-built span of the Atlas bridge.  I plan to do a bit of cutting and pasting in order to come up with a bridge that spans the space.  It may end up being a bit long for a single span plate girder bridge, but I'm not going to tell anybody.  The span is 15-1/4" (110 scale feet), which doesn't quite match up with anything available right out of the box. 

I am hoping the kitbash will take less time than scratch building a bridge.  But we will see.  Sometimes the cutting, fitting, and finagling takes up as much time as just building the thing from raw materials.    

I think if I were to scratch build I would do a through truss bridge in styrene.  That is a lot of work.  What I may do is do the kitbash for the time being and build a truss bridge at my leisure.  

Anyway, a lot more going on in my head than on the layout at the moment.  

Complicating matters is the horizontal mill engine model (steam) under construction in the shop.  I have the 1" X 3" cylinder bored out, but that is the extent of progress on the project.  It has been slowed down by the same situations slowing the layout, and some modifications I am making to the plans.  Whoever drew the plans obviously has access to a Bridgeport mill.  I just have my little bench top Seig.  So I need to modify the plans to some extent in order to be able to fit the pieces into the capabilities of my equipment. 

The plans call for milling the cylinder and the crosshead guide from a single piece of 7" long stock.  The rear cylinder head not being a separate piece, just boring the cylinder as a blind hole.  My equipment is not big enough to do that.  So the cylinder is bored through and the rear cylinder head and crosshead guide will be milled from a single piece of stock, but separate from the cylinder. 

Also, the plans do not include a packing gland where the piston rod goes through the rear cylinder head.  That won't work, and the photos of the author's model shows what looks like an arrangement to include a packing gland.  In order to make room for a packing gland I have to make some modifications not only to the rear cylinder head, but also the crosshead guide. 

Now, if I could just figure out a way to retire and still have the money to do all this stuff...

Reg



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 Posted: Sat Dec 16th, 2017 03:50 am
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Lee B
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Reg,
GREAT work on that depot, I love it!
Of course I caught on right away what scale it was. Us On30 types immediately can pick up on something like that.
I can't wait to see more progress!



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 Posted: Sat Dec 16th, 2017 11:54 pm
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Reg H
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Woodie:

Here is the set up for starting the cylinder bore.   Progressively larger bits until the hole is big enough for the boring bar.
This set is when I still thought I could machine the cylinder assembly from one piece of stock.
Therefore, the steady rest. 

Reg







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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 02:25 am
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Reg H
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Woodie:

As promised, I dug into my deep, dark, storage closet to find out what HO goodies I had lurking there.

First, let's talk about the boxcars I thought were in green and orange.  Not exactly:



In boxcar red:  two versions of the 50' double door boxcar and one 40' single door. But nice kits none the less.

Now to talk about the narrow gauge diesel.  Note the singular.    



This is a model of the SP #1 used briefly by the SP on one of their acquired narrow gauge branches to replace a steam locomotive.  It was only in service a few years, but it is a quite little number.



And I mean "little".

What is interesting is that there is another set of wheels and truck side frames in the box.  Narrow gauge as well.  I thought they might be HOn30 at first.  Nope.  HOn3.  Strange.



Second "narrow gauge" diesel is not narrow gauge at all, but is a standard gauge GE 44 tonner by Keystone.



It is very thoroughly a kit:



Which assembles into a very standard, and standard gauge, GE 44 ton switcher.



I already have a GE 44 ton locomotive by Bachmann in green and orange.   Photo to come shortly.

I also have another Accurail GN boxcar, this one definitely in green and orange, in a box on top of a bookcase in my den.  It will be unboxed and added to the rolling stock.

Reg




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