Sunday, February 28, 2010

#005 02 Four Way Cotton Gin - Photos of Homer Cotton Gin

My wife has a cold and is still very pregnant.  About six weeks left to go.  So, she through my daughter an me out of the house.  Oh goody!  Time for a spontaneous trip to Homer, Georgia!  Its only about 30 minutes north of me.  More on Homer, GA in my Model Railroader's Notebook as I hit a gold mine when I went there.  I promised Popsicle Rick that I'd take him, but we left before Church was over.  We'll go back, for sure!

Click on Photos to Enlarge

The cotton gin sits on the side of the road just like the old timer at the gas station told me, between spits of tobacco and lookin' at me funny.  Naturally there is a !@$#^% telephone pole in front.

The cars on the front loading dock are quite amusing.  Since this is a used car lot and that I'm known to be shot at, I kept my distance and shot with a telephoto lens from the Post Office across the street.

The large vent pipe is still in place and most of the building is in great shape.  While I didn't get to go in, it is obvious that some of the machinery is still inside.  It is quite large compared to other gins I've seen.

Continental Ginning Systems were quite common at one time in the south.

This is a rough looking shot, but you can see the unloading machinery still in place.

Amidst the junk you can make out the really worn looking cotton storage building, still connected by a seed pipe.

There is a road behind the building but I still couldn't get a clear shot of the gin.  Here is the back of the cotton storage building which is outside braced and very interesting.

Here is the back side of the gin and the seed pipe going to the storage building.

This building is also on the property but I'm not sure if it is part of the gin or not.  It has a very long overhang on the roof which leads me to believe that it is.

Yes, this is the one that I'll build and I'll get started on the drawings right away.  It is much easier to build a prototype that you can go see again if you need to.

I shot over 150 photos of the building, many of them detail shots.  Let me know if you want to build your own and I'll send you the photos.  They will come in handy when I begin drawing.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Idiots that Rate Hobby Shops

PLEASE NOTE: The article in question was pulled from the internet at 9:31 pm est. and is no longer an issue.   Mr. Truett's reply is in the comments section.  We appreciate his quick response on this matter.

I love the fact that anyone can prove they are stupid just by logging on to the web.  Take this latest Rocket Scientist...

The Top 10 Model Train Shops in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia by Larry Truett

It's obvious that he's not a model railroader because he missed the one of the largest model train stores in the Southeast!  How does Mr. Truett do-it?  Well, he says he bases his rankings on on-line chatter.  So he ranks Kennesaw Trains & Hobbies as number one!

Larry, did it ever occur to you that chatter is just what it means?  Chatter!  Worthless talk about nothing.  The reason that Kennesaw Trains is getting chatted about is because we are all watching (sadly) for when they might have to close their doors and we'll lose another hobby store.  Not because it is great, bigger or sells a lot of stuff.  Trainmaster Models, one of the finest hobby shops in the Southeast didn't even make the list!  Absurd!

Let's compare...
Click on Table to Expand

How can a small store with no traffic and nothing much on the shelves beat out the largest model train shop in Georgia?  How can a hobby shop with one employee beat out a hobby shop that has seven folks and gives free clinics in a huge clinic room built just for that purpose?  Why is a cat lover that lives in San Diego, California rating hobby shops that he's never been to?  Simple!  He's hoping you'll hit one of the advertisers on his website.  Yup, posting bad info to drive you to his website so he can favor his advertisers.

So please...take a minute to leave a comment on his site telling him that we aren't fools and that he's way off base by providing this garbage on the internet.  Our goals (no, not just me) is to get Larry to pull his bogus Ezine article off the web. 


Please note that I'm not disparaging Kennesaw Trains.  I think the owner is a great guy and I shop there when I'm nearby.  Its just that this information on Ezine is far from accurate and I think Model Railroaders should hold their feet to the fire.  Meanwhile, visit every hobby shop you can including:

Trainmaster Models

Kennesaw Trains & Hobbies

Support your local hobby shops!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shop Clean Up Night

The shop is getting messy now that I have so many projects going on at once.  They guys are coming over from the NCI group next week so I thought I'd straighten up a bit.  Found the coffee pot!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quick Trip to the Hobby Shop

My wife was running late tonight so I got to swing by the hobby shop.  We got caught up on the latest gossip and I bought two 1940's stake trucks for hauling cotton, some HO scale structure doors and some 3" nbw castings.

I may go down and start rusting the trucks.  Or at least make them muddy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vacation Contruction

I took today off so that Marie and I could do new baby stuff and so my testicles could heal some more.  So I've been taking it easy today.  Should have been healed up by now.  Let's go to the basement!

Where did I leave off?  I've been working on a top secret project for Dr. Ben's so I haven't worked on construction lately.  Oh yes!  I need to put the top layer on Section 1.  Ok, let's get to work.

We've cut the outside supports and now we need to cut the three inside supports.  These will be a little more tricky.

First we'll lay out the radials with a Sharpee marker and a yard stick.  This is where the supports will go, but they won't go the full length of the section since the front is sloped and may have rock formations.

This is how the supports will look, although they will vary a bit.  After I started cutting I did ad a back support to the pieces and may cut them out later if they are in the way.

Using scrap luan plywood I draw out each piece and cut it with a jig saw.

Here are the three new pieces.  The square cut out is where the train goes and the large area is where the DCC systems will go.

The will have to rest flat on the top board, so we'll need to cut some gaps in the foam.

Using the hot wire cutter we'll cut out the gaps.

The holes are cut wide enough so that the support and a piece of quarter round can fit.  The quarter round piece will help hold the support upright and reinforce it.

Next I draw the outline of the foam with a marker so that I don't put glue where we don't need it.

Then we lather on the wood glue.

Ouch!  Blurry!  Sorry about that.  The pain meds are still working...  Pretend you see small paint cans and wood blocks weighing down the foam so that it sticks to the glue.

I went upstairs and got a drink of water and feel a little better.  We're back in focus.  I put a light coat of white paint on one side of each of the supports and let them dry.  The reason I painted them is that they will be in an area with no light and the white makes a good light reflector.

While the paint is drying I cut out the places where the track alignment blocks will go.  This was done with the hot knife.

I did all three.

Time for a second coat.  The paint job is sloppy, but it really doesn't matter.  Only I will see it.

That's it for now.  I may come back and work on it later, but for now I have to go pick up my daughter.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

#004 02 Four Way Cotton Gin - Changed my Mind

Actually, I'm going back to the wood sided prototype, the Augusta Gin.

Really, I like the look of the wood sided gin.  This one is old so the wood would have been nice and silver-gray by 1945 if it was standing at all.  There is no information that I can find on this mill so I'll build it as a freelanced model and use what I can from this one photograph.

Here is the plan overview with the rough dimensions that I was able to decipher.  Not a hard structure to  build, but will take some time.  Just what I needed for the SER convention, though I probably won't be able to make it with the new baby.  Maybe I'll send it by courier.

One change that I'll make is that the cotton storage shed will have a railside loading dock.  I don't want to put the nice side of the gin toward the back so I'm not sure how it will look yet.

Here is the warehouse, which is slightly enlarged from the above drawing.

It is a simple structure, building on wood blocks to keep it off the ground.  Identical on both sides unless I put in a rail side dock.  I've shrunk it down a bit for the space I have.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

#003 02 Four Way Cotton Gin - Burton's Cotton Gin - Texas

Here is the prototype or at least one of the prototypes that I'll use for the gin.

Gin Picture

The Burton Cotton Gin

This is a historical landmark and there are tons of photos of this magnificent place.  The angles on the roof are VERY interesting and it invites your eye to walk around.

They have a FAQ about cotton processing.

I've got a Powerpoint on the gin and a ton of photos in the file.  I'll print these and start drawing.  It's a very interesting building.

Another Round Layout

Here is another 'Bronx' inspired layout.

LOL...keep in mind, I was round before they were!  My plan is almost 9 years old.  Just never got around to building it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Rolling Stock!

Well, my L&N single sheathed box car didn't make it.  Heck, I didn't even get a chance to finish it.  My buddy Rick just HAD to have it for his smelly old L&N railroad, so I gave it to him.

Of course, he couldn't take it as a he went browsing...

This Seaboard Silver Meteor boxcar is on its way over to my house for the Dixie Central.  I'm glad to have a fine Seaboard car on the line and Rick's being more kind than me and even putting the metal wheels on it.  Now I'm ashamed...

We are done with rolling stock!  Now, to get it built and running!

Monday, February 8, 2010

#002 02 Four Way Cotton Gin - Hell's Bales

Its funny, but the size and shape of a bale of cotton has not changed much since the 20's.  It's still 500 lbs and 33" wide at the "bulge".

Here is a link to the dimension.

I'm going to need a lot of bales of cotton.  I figure somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 or more.  They will be needed for the gin, for the dock, for loads in cars and some for the mill.  Maybe a few others here and there.

For this many we'll need to mass produce them.  Probably resin or hyrdocal castings.

Model Tech Studios has some, but they don't look very real.

Cotton bale dimensions are 500 lbs, 55 inches long, 20 inches wide, 33 inches or less thick.

Bale pictures...


I forgot to check Model Railroader Magazine but E. L. Moore actually did an article on building a ginnery.  I ordered a copy of the plans from the NMRA Kalmbach Library today, so I should have it by Friday.  They are VERY good!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Working on Section #4 - Foam and Elevated Platform

I've had a little time today to play, so I made the best of it.  I want to get the track supporting parts of Section #4 which has the mill and the waterfalls.

First I cut a 3/4" foam slab for the top of the section, then marked and arch where the lower level trackage will go.

The forman was being her usualy self today.

Here you can see the semi circle where the lower level track will be.  Using a #5 right hand turnout I marked where the track will go.  I also marked the tunnel opening.  Everything that is not foam will be a work space and room for the DCC system.

Here you can see the #5 turnout.  This might become a #4 turnout as it is a bit too close to the edge.  Using some flex track I made sure the curve that leaves the table would work well.

There will be a tunnel portal and a small section of track here so that if I add a yard or expand the layout, there will be a place to connect it.

See?  Just a little too close.  Normally I like 4" of tangent track at a connection between sections.

Before I install the upper deck I wanted to see how the mill was going to fit.  Its a bit tight with the lower level trackage below.

The mill is also too low.  We'll have to boost it up.

It will look great on the layout, though it is a bit too close to the aisl.  One of its purposes is to hide the joint between the two sections.

When I put it on a slabl of 2" foam it comes up to the right height.

I hope it is not too wide.  This is not a structure I want to scratchbuild as my June deadline is approaching rapidly and a baby is going to show up in April.

Speaking of too wide.

The next step is to cut a luan upper deck.  Just like other patterns I used the previous section to mark this one.  I went ahead and put in the waffle marks, but I'm not sure that I'll remove them.

Nice fit.  Now we'll cut away everything that doesn't look like a layout.  Mostly about 3-4" on the front.

Next I'll make some side boards to lift the upper deck.  The square is a hole for the lower level train and the circles are just for lightweighting.

Here is the right side board.

Here is the left side board.  I'll need to cut boards for the middle as well.  But we'll do that tomorrow.

I put the upper deck on the work table and will make three more risers tomorrow.  A stop by Home Depot tomorrow will get me a stick of quarter round which I'll need to help fasten the sides to the upper deck. 

Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy the pretty wood!