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'Henderson Bay Timber Co.' - 1:87 Diesel Logging
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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2020 11:58 am
171st Post
Alan Sewell

Joined: Sun Nov 19th, 2017
Location: Hertford, United Kingdom
Posts: 178
Hi Reg

And a Happy New Year to you and all on Freerails.

Just catching up with the posts on this.
Have to say you have made much more progress than me over the holiday period.

The ground cover and scenery around the mill looks pretty impressive,
and realistic from what I can remember round the mills in Washington.

The prospect of moving is I imagine daunting,
but exciting especially if it improves life for you and your wife.

Hope you will be able to retain some of the parts of the layout,
in what I expect will be a new and enlarged Henderson Bay Branch

Sorry you had problems with the GE 70-tonners.
They are nice units but I always think a little small for the log haul,
although I know Weyerhaeuser used them on the Mohawk line into Springfield OR.

I have a 70-ton ”motor” I am using as the mill switcher while my Alco S-2 is having some work done.
The GE works very well BUT then I did have a new sound card and a “current keeper” fitted
so maybe that helped to overcome your problems

I think your use of a SW7/1200 will be more prototypical.  There are many examples as you know.
I might not add spark arrestors as they strangely don’t seem to appear on any woods lokeys,
but I would look to change the headlight to a Pyle twin beam as that seems pretty common.
If you have not seen it p before attached is a prototype “motor” I photographed at Longview in 1989

Glad you have found the Kadee log car kits to be good. 
I think they are some of the best on the market.

The only issue I have (and am probably being too pedantic) is they have both arch-bar trucks and high stakes.
I think arch-bar trucks were banned from interchange (i.e. running over the NP/GN branch),
in the early 1940’s and high stakes did not become common until the mid/late-60’s.

However I guess you could imagineer some local agreement with the logging company having prior rights.
I too had problems with the loss of brake wheels but replaced them with a cut down switch stand lever,
to represent the ex-Schafer cars Simpson had

Look forward to seeing more

Best wishes



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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2020 05:10 pm
172nd Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 869

Good to hear from you. 
Happy New Year back at you.

Thanks for the compliments on the ground cover.  Woodland Scenics is my savior. 
Just buy the products and follow instructions. 
All my previous efforts using old school methods and materials looked really awful.

I really like the Kadee cars. 
The castings are pretty incredible.  I would like to see the molds. 
I am not sure about the grimy black color. 
I might try a brown or tuscan red on the next one. 

I am sure by now you have guessed I am not a rivet counter. 
Not even close.  If I like it, I model it and run it. 
So I am not bothered by the arch bar trucks. 
I do prefer the older style brake wheel,
but the modern brake wheel is all I had in my parts bin.  

I might even acquire and run a steam locomotive or two. 
One of the articulated logging locomotives would be very attractive. 
I have come across video of the Rayonier steam operations filmed in the 1960's.  

I started work on the SW7.  
I got the basic DCC conversion done and it works amazing. 
Those old Athearn blue box drives are pretty smooth to begin with. 
Tweak them a bit with DCC and they run very, very well.
I may be looking for another SW7. 

Though I note that somebody is coming out with an SW1200. 
I am now leary of factory DCC, though brands other than Bachmann may be better. 
If I sprung for one of the new SW1200's,
I just might order the DC version and do my own DCC conversion. 
Especially if the DC version features the 8-pin plug in.

Funny you should mention the headlight. 
I had a bit of a disaster. 
My plan is to install headlights at both ends. 
I originally planned to remove the clear plastic inserts and slide in LED's. 
In the process I managed to completely destroy the front headlight. 
So it is getting replaced anyway. 
In hindsight, I should have left the plastic lens in place and installed the LED behind it. 
I will do that at the cab end. 
Meanwhile I am awaiting a return call from Precision Scale Co. to order a new headlight.
I haven't figured out how I will illuminate it, but I am going with the dual headlight,
as that seems to be very typical of logging locomotives.

I am going with the spark arrestors. 
I like the look.  


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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 11:27 pm
173rd Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 869
I can't say as model railroading is fun right now. 
But I am moving forward. 

We got a bit of wintry weather here today. 
The snow is not much, but I wasn't excited about dealing with 40 miles of ice,
in order to get to work to push some not-very-urgent paperwork. 
So played hooky. 

I am working on the DCC conversion for the SW7. 
Mostly it is going well. 
But the parts that are not are quite definitely not.  

One handicap is the size of everything. 
There are times I question my move from 1/4" to HO. 
I find I spend time doing tasks that should only take a minute,
but drag on because everything is so small.  

That aside, I had wired in the decoder,
and test made a test run of just the chassis. 
It worked great. 
So today I was determined to get the lights wired in and the shell on.  

I got everything wired up,
and spent quite awhile fighting trying to get all the wires into the shell. 
Gave up, shortened some of the wires,
and taped the others on to the top of the decoder,
which, in keeping with a very informative YouTube video,
I had taped to the top of the motor.
Only to find that the shell will not go. 

It turns out that what works well in the Athearn GP-35 (or whatever it was),w
ould not work in the SW7. 
There is not enough vertical clearance to mount the decoder on top of the motor.  
So I taped the decoder into the shell towards the front.  

The shell went on just fine.

Put the loco on the tracks
(the decoder had been previously programmed)
and selected the loco. 
Punched up Func. 0, and the headlight came on. 
Hit the reversing rear headlight. 

Applied some go. 

Took the shell off. 
The plug was not completely inserted in the connector. 
Fixed that.  Back to the layout. 
Neither headlight came on, but the loco runs great.

I spent a goodly amount of time trying to test LEDs with the multi-tester.  
I couldn't get them to test.   I couldn't get one I knew was good to test.  

Put the multi-tester away and swiped a button battery out of my calipers. 
The LED I knew was good lit up.  The LEDs in the loco did not. 
Definitely burned out.

My suspicions are with the resistors. 
I ordered some additional LEDs (like the 500 previously ordered weren't enough)
because they were shipped with appropriate resistors.
Perhaps not. 

So I ordered up some resistors that meet the spec in the Digitrax Decoder Handbook.
Of course, they ship in quantities of 50.  For $5.65. 
We shall see how that works out. 

I also took a stab at getting the lettering off in prep for a repaint. 
I found quite a few chemicals that will remove the paint,
but they all leave the lettering intact. 
Years ago I used to use brake fluid to strip Athearn shells. 
I don't have any at the moment, and I am not going to brave the ice to get some.
Maybe I will pick some up tomorrow.

Any suggestions would be welcome. 


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 Posted: Fri Jan 17th, 2020 06:43 pm
174th Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 869
I tried the brake fluid on the damaged shell.  

It worked pretty well:

I say "pretty well" because the lettering is still faintly visible.  
I will give this shell a coat of paint to see how it turns out. 
I really hope the lettering does not ghost through.

I had originally planned to use this shell with a new headlight. 
But then I ran across a cow and calf (powered cow, dummy calf),
on eBay for a very reasonable price. 
I will be using those shells. 

The cow had a bit of a hitch in it's git-along going through turnouts. 
A quick check confirmed that one wheel set was out of gauge. 
I will fix that when I tackle converting this loco to DCC,
and getting it painted in Henderson Bay Timber Co. livery.   

Also, "pretty well" because I managed to spill brake fluid all over the model shop.
What a mess.   It is mostly cleaned up now, thanks to kitty litter.
From now on, paint stripping will take place in the garage/machine shop,
not in the model shop.  

In other news, the new resistors arrived. 
I now have 50 to play with, along with my 500 LED's. 
I will be tackling that project soon. 

Not this weekend, though. 
My wife and I are headed for the Oregon coast.  We love the area in the winter.  
The only problem being the weather.  Right now it is 30F and snowing.

After a lengthy discussion with our financial adviser,
we will not be making a decision on staying or leaving our home for at least a year. 
And we are leaning towards staying here.  
Model railroad construction will proceed on that basis.  

Though I have re-thought the location for the woods end reload. 
I was going to run it over top of some of the branch line's trackage,
and put that branch line trackage in a tunnel. 
I have decided against that. 
It will shorten the run for the log trains by a small amount,
and will keep the branch line trackage in the open,
where it can be seen and enjoyed once some scenery gets done in that area. 

I have sufficient Code 83 track left over from the branch line to build the reload. 
I had originally planned to do that in Code 70,
but the visual contrast between Code 83 and 70 is not as dramatic as I thought it would be. 
I have the Code 83, I can't seem to buy just a few sticks of Code 70, so Code 83 it will be. 
The one required turnout will be Code 70 because I have it.  

The reload will be at a slightly (something around an inch or inch-and-half),
higher elevation than the branch line trackage for visual separation.  

The rest of my day is a study in contrasts.  
Part of my day relates to my small airplane. 
I got a call from my mechanic yesterday,
who is in the process of doing the annual air-worthiness inspection, 
telling me the compression in two cylinders is low. 
I have not been able to fly the airplane very much this past year,
and a quick run up may fix the problem.  Or I may have to replace two cylinders.
Which will put a serious cramp in my model railroading activities.  
But the hangar doors are frozen shut this morning, so the run up will have to wait.
The flip side, never take the complaints of an airplane owner too seriously. 
He, after all, does own an airplane.

The other contrast of the day is my wife's birthday. 
I am married to the most incredible woman in the whole world,
and celebrating her birthday is a big treat.


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