Saturday, January 30, 2010

Long Legged Module and Rolling Stock Assembly

Today has been an on and off day.  Work a little,  play trains a little.   Rainy, cold, nasty day.

The leg has to go.  It's just not stable enough.  Bob suggested I go with a double leg, and we'll do that today.  But last night I had a dream...

Every railroad needs a foreman.  Safety glasses, check.  Warm coat for the cold basement, check.  Lollipop rink, big check.  We're ready to go!

My dream was that the temporary set up leg would also be the carrier of the plastic section legs.  Brilliant!  I have the best nightmares.

First we'll take some plywood strips and make an L-girder.

Taylor wanted to know why the clock doesn't work.  Now that she and the other 14 emails I've gotten about the clock have pissed me off, I sent her upstairs for a AA battery.  Meanwhile I'll knock the dust off.

There!  It's ticking.  Now are you happy?

I marked each of the leg board at 44".  This may be a bit long, but I'll adjust it later.

I'm out of 1 1/4" screws again.  You have to remember to get some, Scott.  Ask the guys if they want to all go in on a pail.

Using glue and 1 1/4" drywall screws I've made to 44" long l-girders for legs.

I'll make two 12" long 2x2's and use them for the spacers.

Then I cut some 3" long 2x2 pieces for the adjustable feet.

Using scrap plywood I built a small tray to hold the bottom part of the plastic pipe leg extensions.

I finished the bottom tray and built a top tray, leaving one side off.  I'll get some bungy cord and use it to hold the legs tightly in place.  After digging through the hardware box I was unable to find a cheap handle, so I'll pick up one and add it later.

There!  Now I have a more sturdy leg set with a built in leg extenison carrier!  This kind of thinking is important in portable layout design.

The leg is just a bit longer than I'd like, so I'll cut another inch off the bottom and remount the adjustable feet.

Now that the first section is so much more stable than it was, I mounted the second section to the first and will get it ready to add foam and risers. Keep in mind that we still need to put in the scenic dividers, but I want the risers in first.

I kept wondering why my clamps were always fastened so tightly to the bench.  Normally I leave them loose so that I can grab them quickly.  Then I caught this photo of Cinderella tightening them up.  Oh well.  Having a four year old running around is tough work.

The web on the sections doesn't allow for easy clamping, so I'll cut some 2" x 2" plywood clamping blocks and glue them in place.

Taylor (4 years old) is a great painter so I put some acrylic orange paint in an old ashtray (glass) and got her to paint the tops of the clamping pads orange.  She does amazingly well.  The Cinderalla dress is a bit over the top, though.

Painting with the grain helps the paint flow.  Keep your brush full but not overloaded is the key to smooth strokes.  These unimportant pieces are very good learning tools.  There are 14 of them and the repetive nature of the task teaches patience and allows for the skill to develop.  I'm talking to GROWN UPS here!

14 clamp pads.  The bright orange is a tip I picked up from Bob Wheeler who sprays his joints and clamping points bright orange so that you can see them easily under the layout.

Now that I have the wheelsets its time to start working on the rolling stock.  We'll start with the locomotive and electronics work station, a foam cradle and the Monon gondola.

When you open up a kit the first thing you do is check the parts to make sure that everything is there and in good shape.  Unfold the instructions and READ THEM.  Hey you....(smack).  READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.  You'll be suprised how much you learn about model building.  This kit is complete and it has a very nasty frame casting that is full of flash (extra metal from the casting process) that must be filed away.

After a great deal of filing I got the casting to fit in the well of the car casting.  Still, there is a lot flash left.  I spent an extra amount of time making sure the coupler pockets were clean and free of metal, and that the bolsters (where the trucks go) were smooth and polished.  I'm too worried about the rest as you won't see it on the layout.  We'll put it aside for painting.

I swapped out the plastic tired wheelsets for Kadee metal 33" wheels.  They will need a coat of paint as will some of the detail parts in the kit.  I'll take them upstairs tonight and wash them in Greenworks Dish Detergent.  I use this product because it is all natural, easy on the plastic and dries clean.  Dawn dishwashing detergent pulls vital oils out of the plastic.  Besides it is always better to use all natural products when you can.

The truck sideframes had some flash so I removed it with a hobby knife.  There was a sprue gate on the gondoal that I removed with a hobby knife and a sanding block.  There!  All ready to paint.  I'll dig through the models and get two more that require black paint and do them all at once.

That's all for today!

1 comment:

  1. Scott,

    Great progress! A couple of things:
    1.) Glad to see you got a battery for the clock, but the time is off by 1-1/2 minutes! (Grin)
    2.) Nice hint about the dishwashing liquid.
    3.) Most important - you are truely blessed to have such a beautiful little helper who ADORES her Daddy!