I have, over my life, made many mistakes.
This is a series of mistake I can group as one, `building a train set'.
The first act of this compendium was taking on a job as second driver for the construction dept. of the TV series ARROW.
One of the first things I did wrong at Arrow was to note all the nice, little, pieces, of wood that were going out in the scrap bins.
Some sixty years ago, when I was first into model trains my main enjoyment was constructing, rather than running.
At one time I even built a mini table saw so I could cut my own ties and lumber.
I scratch built an insulated water tower, complete with sliding windows.
Having just moved into a town house, from an apartment, one of the first things I considered was, where could I build a layout?
However there wasn't room to build an HO layout and after checking prices N gauge was out of the question.
That probably would have been the end of it but then I got the job at arrow and I saw all that neat scrap wood........
STAPLERS, SAWS, WOOD, AND SCREWS IN THE WASTE
BRACES HAD TO BE MOUNTED AT DIFFERENT HEIGHTS
BECAUSE THE WOOD WAS OF DIFFERENT THICKNESSES
NOT LEVEL, REPOSITION THE BRACES
AFTERE SEARCHING THE SHOP WE FOUND A SELDOM USED GUIDE
FOR THE TABLE SAW THAT ALLOWED WOOD TO BE CUT
AT AN ANGLE AND I MADE A PIECE TO FILL THIS SPACE
AN EVEN THINNER PIECE WAS USED OVER THE HOT WATER TANK
WHICH ESTABLISHED THE HEIGHT FOR THE REST OF THE LAYOUT
RATHER THAN USING A LAYOUT GUIDE FOR MEASUREMENTS
I SET 0UT PIECES OF TRACK AND DREW AN OUTLINE
WATCHING YOUTUBE VIDEOS I LEARNED OF VARIOUS TYPES
OF GLUE AND HOW TO APPLY THEM
MEASURING AND INSERTING SOME SCRAPS OF STYROFOAM
THE MACHINIST AT WORK MADE THE INITIAL CUTS FOR ME
AFTER GLUING THE TRACKBED, IT WAS TIME TO LAY THE TRACK
MAJOR MISTAKE, I USED THE TURNOUTS AS GUIDES
Now this is where my gullibility came in.
Having searched `Craigslist' I found several, what I thought, were good, deals.
Actually I was rather pleased with a couple of them but the first one was the killer.
I didn't check any of it out before I bought it.
The Fleischmann turnouts didn't work, they were old and obsolete, so they couldn't be replaced.
All newer turnouts are wider spaced which mean they won't fit into the spaces where I need them.
The next problem, from the same package, the power supply.
It works, as a reducing transformer, but not as a variable capacitor.
Though I am an ex tech, I couldn't repair it.
ROUND HOUSE, TURNTABLE, AND SOME SIDINGS
A DROP DOWN CONTROL PANEL AND A POWER SUPPLY
SOME DOUBLE SWITCHES, HOLES FOR LIGHTS WILL COME LATER
TIME TO ADD SOME WIRE AND TEST SOME TRACK AND ENGINES
The canyon had to be set further back from the engine yard as the curve on the main line was too tight and my steamer couldn't traverse it.
The steam engine was purchased new at a train show in Burnaby.
It is a replica of one that was stationed in Kamloops, B. C. during the 1940s.
I bought the roundhouse second hand and parts of it had been assembled wrong and some parts were missing but all in all, for the price, it was a good buy as it was 3 kits in one; turntable, motor for the turntable, and roundhouse.
I bought 3 separate packages of; cars, engines, track, and turnouts, only one power supply was fully functional.
The switches are dual so that I could add an indicator light.
I tried a couple of plastic switches with built in lights but they are so dim you can't tell that they are on.
Of course it would have been cheaper to buy single throw and remember that if the switch is in the up position it is on.
The steam locomotive is a replica of one that was stationed in Kamloops, B. C. during the 1940s.
A piece of plywood for a pallet to protect the top of my desk.
Old newspaper, flour, salt, some wood/paper glue from the dollar store, and water to make a papier-mache wall.
Trimming the tapered edge of some rail bed I made a berm.
From Central Hobbies in Vancouver, virtually the only store in Vancouver that still sells train supplies, I purchased a kit for a tall storage tank and shortened it to fit under my canyon wall.
THE START OF THE ROCK WALL
CORK GLUED TO A PAPER AND PINNED TO DRY IN A CIRCLE
CHECKING THE PLACEMENT
THE TANK WAS TOO TALL, I HAD TO TRIM
A COUPLE OF LAYERS OFF THE BOTTOM
In some ways polyfilla is easy to work with.
A slight bit of moisture on the trowel leaves a nice smooth surface.
However it is brittle and cracks easily when you try to cut it.
COFFEE STIR STICKS WERE THE RIGHT SIZE TO MAKE A MOLD
I LINED THE MOLDS WITH CRYOWRAP TO KEEP THE PLAST FROM STICKING TO THE WOOD HOWEVER I COULDN'T GET IT TO STAY TIGHT TO THE MOLDS
INSTEAD I BUILT A LARGE WALL AND LAID A STRAIGHT EDGE TO DRAW LINES
I USED A DREMEL TOOL TO CARVE GROOVES ALONG THE LINES
THE PLASTIC THAT YOUR PARTS COME IN MAKES GOOD FORMS
THE CORNERS ARE IDEAL FOR MAKING CORNERS
IT DOESN'T STICK, MUCH, AND PEELS OFF EASILY
JUST NEEDS WEATHERING
There are many articles on YouTube on how to make ballast.
I found a pile of crush that was the right colour near an old construction site.
One gallon of crush will yield 2 cups of HO ballast and 1/2 cup of N gauge ballast.
One cup of ballast will cover a lot of track.
DON'T LET ANY WASTE GO DOWN THE DRAIN
SPREAD IT THIN AND THE NEWSPAPER SOAKS UP THE MOISTURE
THE RAIL STOPS WERE FILLED WITH BALLAST
I MADE MY OWN BALLAST
There are many types of adhesive to use on styrofoam but some of them will eat the material and ruin your finish.
Cutting is also a problem as it will leave small and large (sawdust) that becomes static and clings to everything.
I found a zip knife with a; long, thin, narrow, blade gives the cleanest cuts.
Once I had the general shape I covered it with papier-mache.
To drill a long hole for wires just use a coat hanger wire with a rough end.
Then fasten the wire to the end of the hanger wire and pull it back through.
A piece of plastic bag that the Mod Podge won't stick to.
Short strokes with a brush to the length and width of the waterfall.
Mix some Mod Podge with white paint and alternate between white and clear until you have a thin layer.
Then glue the ends in place with some more Mod Podge and the waterfall hangs in the air, clear of the rocks.
I MOUNTED THE ENDS OF THE STRYOFOAM TO A BOARD
IT HAS TO SLIDE IN BENEATH THE TRACKS
THE PICTURE WAS TAKEN NEAR SPENCES BRIDGE, B. C.
NEWSPAPER DIPPED IN A MIXTURE OF FLOUR AND WATER
CREATING THE WATERFALL
FLESH COLOURED PAINT COVERS THE SWIMMING SUITS
THE CANYON RESTS ON ITS OWN BRACE
WIRING IS HIDDEN IN THE CANYON FLOOR
SMALL PLASTIC BOXES MAKE PUMP HOUSINGS
THIN COAT HANGER WIRE, PAINTED GLOSSY BLACK FOR INLET LINE
EXTENDING THE CANYON WALL
When the tip of the soldering iron turns black, it is insulating the heat.
Sand the tip until it is shiny.
Pre tin the ends of your wires. (Heat the ends of the wires and add a touch of solder.)
Cut the plastic out beneath the rails, between two ties.
Pre bend the last 1/8 of an inch of your tinned wire.
Carefully lay the tip of the soldering iron between the ties and pre tin the underside of the track.
The track must be hot, but not hot enough to melt the ties.
Then quickly add the bent wire, touch it with the soldering iron until the two solders join.
Now measure and drill holes in your track bed.
After you ballast you will never see where the wires are joining the rails.
THE INDICATOR LIGHTS ARE INSTALLED ON THE MAIN CONTROL PANEL
START OF THE CONTROL PANEL FOR THE WORK YARD
I ORDERED THESE ONLINE
THEN I NEEDED A 3 VOLT 500 mA POWER SUPPLY
THE WIRES ARE VERY THIN
THE INSULATION MUST BE PEELED VERY CAREFULLY
THICKER WIRES ARE THEN SOLDERED ON
FOR BEST HEAT, KEEP YOU TIP CLEAN
FOR EASIER CONNECTIONS PRE TIN THE WIRES
TRIM THE PLASTIC OUT WHERE YOU WANT THE WIRES
WIRES WON'T BE SEEN ONCE COVERED BY BALLAST
THE PLACEMENT OF STREET LIGHTS IN THE YARD
THOUGH SMALL THE LIGHTS ARE QUITE BRIGHT
Water, fuel, and sand towers are separate but come in one kit and have to be assembled.
I mounted each tower on its own plaster base so they would all be the same height.
I didn't get the spread right on the two water hoses and the engines barely fit between them.
The street light was placed too far from the towers and rubs against the engine when it tries to leave and is also hit by any cars coming around the curve.
I didn't use all of the ladder when I assembled the storage tank so I used part of it to make the style over the berm.
It is hard to see in the photo, I added a dangling level indicator along the outside of the tank.
Another little pad is placed beside the tank car siding for a hose connection for unloading.
A bit of cardboard covered by papier-mache makes a road way up to the tracks.
The crossing was made from scraps of balsa wood and the papier-mache was covered with red sawdust.
My friend in the construction shop gave me the red sawdust, I never learned what type of wood he was cutting.
The pond, like the waterfall and river in the canyon, was made with Mod Podge Puzzle Saver from Michaels.
You have to use very thin layers after each previous one has thoroughly dried or it will turn milky.
ADDING A PLASTER BASE
THE BASES ARE ALL CEMENTED TOGETHER
A PAPEIR MACHIE RAMP
A DIRT ROAD TO A DIRT BEACH
The yellow engine in the above pictures is not a live loco.
Though the body is the right size and looks like it could be a regular HO gauge train the undercarriage is fake.
The wheels are a slightly different gauge and don't fit on the track.
It was originally a child's push toy and I took the centrifugal motor out so it would sit lower.
THE JOINT BETWEEN THE SECTIONS CRIED OUT FOR A CULVERT CREW
SCRAP TRACK AND TIES BECOME A WORK SITE
FROM THE TRAIN SHOW I BOUGHT AN EXCAVATOR AND A GANTRY
A BIT OF ADAPTATION FROM ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE
PAINTED ROCK CANYON
BEARS, CANOEISTS, HANG GLIDER, SUNBATHERS
I BOUGHT ONE OF THE BRIDGES FROM `HOBBYLINC'
THE WORK SHED MAKES A PERFECT COVER FOR THE
ELECTRIC MOTOR FOR THE TURNTABLE
2 SPEEDER KITS I BOUGHT FROM `CENTRAL HOBBIES'
SOME FIGURINES I BOUGHT FROM `C & R's HOBBIES COLLECTIBLES
SOME CARS I BOUGHT FROM `CAMEO STAMP COIN & HOBBY'
IT IS VERY DANGEROUS AND HIGHLY ILLEGAL TO
TRESPASS ON RAILWAY PROPERTY
THIS GUY TREID TO RUN AWAY BUT TRIPPED AND FELL
C & R
MOD PODGE ROCKS
REMOVE WRING AND DISCONNECT SHELVES FROM BRACES
CANYON AND CONROL PANEL SET ASIDE
YARD SECTION SET ASIDE
EXENTION SECTION SET ASIDE
A HAMMER AND A WIDE BLADE CHISEL
REMOVE THE OLD MAINLINE AND POND
SOAKING WITH WATER OVER NIGHT WILL LOOSEN THE GLUE
SO THAT TRACK AND BALLAST CAN BE SAVED
In the fall of `17 I started wrk on the series `Riverdale'.
The boys in the construction shop were kind enough to cut me a piece of plywood that I dug out of the trash.
I rearranged the mounting braces and then padded their tops so that I wouldn't have to use roadbed while I laid everything out.
By swapping the main line and the first siding the curve up to the turntable is now much gentler and the big steamer can make it home.
I put the canyon at the end of the layout.
The same bears are still searching the wreckage of the hang glider.
The hang glider pilot is still hiding in the waterfall.
DRYING BALLAST AND SOME SALVAGED PARTS
I REBUILT THE PAD FOR THE FUEL TOWERS
THE FUEL UNLOADING STATION REPLACES THE MAIN LINE
THE OLD FUEL SIDING IS NOW PART OF THE MAINLINE
THE CANYON IS NOW AT THE END OF THE WORK YARD
THE WATERFALL PICTURE IS NOW COLOURED
I mounted the turtle turnout switch beneath the track and temporarily mounted the mainline and temporarily wired it so that it all works.
However a bit of ballast has gotten under the turntable and it won't turn.
So far I haven't found the inclination to work on it.
I bought another turnout but I still need two more, I think.
I advertised everything on Craigslist but I never received any queries.
Will I ever do any more work on it?
Will I ever add to this webpage???????????
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