Sunday, August 30, 2015

Layout Update - 30 August 2015

Been couple week since last post. My dad went into the hospital around my last post and I was busy with him, he is home and fine now. Around mid point of his stay, I pick some bug and got sick. Today I feel better and when out to the train room did a little clean and fix one electrical problem. Now I am tried and worn out so that it for today.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Layout Progress - 14 August 2015

Not a lot of progress this week, installed 4 track bumpers, leaves about eleven more to go...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Layout Progress - 10 August 2015

Update for the last few days.

Saturday, I finish installing the track feeders for Honey Grove and got power to the (6) industries tracks. Then I move on to the last track that need installing. That would be the service track for coal, oil, ash and sand at  the yard. did some temp layout planning to see how everything would fit.

Today, I install the service track and added feeders

Then move on to making more track bumpers (need sixteen) per my friend Rich instructions. I would provide a link to his original instructions but the forum does not exist anymore.

First cut up some code 55 rail into 1.125" long pieces

Then file a v-groove at mid point, note: v-groove shown below does not have enough slope. also try not to file into rail head or web as this weaken the bending point.

Then cut up some brass wire (whatever you like to use), I had .02" diameter on hand to 9/16" long.

Then bend them as shown, what you looking for is just a little wider than track gauge so you have a tight fit between rail.

Solder to your track and cut the bumper in the middle to add styrene for insulation between rail to prevent shorts

Not my best work today, I broke a few getting code 55 rail between the track rails.

Below are some previously one's done.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sand Ground Cover or Ballast

Yesterday after getting home from a ops session, I found a amazon package at the door with the coffee grinder I had order. Why a coffee grinder you ask.

I have been looking for a way to duplicate sand in N scale that I was happy with.

I am try to recreate this 1957 T&P Texarkana yard scene for my Bonham yard

I ran across this tip while internet searching (I found others too) and want to give this a try.

Late yesterday and today I have been experimenting.

First a word of caution this technique creates a "fine powder" and play havoc with your sinus, so use a good filtered mask. I am finally getting better today after not using a mask yesterday.

Materials :

  • Coffee grinder (Black & Decker CBG100S Smartgrind Coffee Grinder, Stainless Steel)
  • Tree leaves for your choice (cotton wood and catalpa what I had on hand)
  • Kitchen wire strainers
  • Reusable coffee strainer basket
  • various size food / laundry container  
Blenders were also used instead of a coffee grinder in other articles I found,

I start with collecting leave from the yard (about 2/3 of a tall kitchen trashcan liner) and hand crushing them into a small laundry container. Yesterday a did a small batch of about 1/3 of the laundry container and today about 3/4 full.

Next was to place small batches (1/3 cup) of crush leaves into the coffee grinder, followed mfg instruction here as this was best result for me also.

I pulse the grinder 10 times and then a 10 second continuous grind. Mfg recommend usage was a max 30 second continuous grind.

I strained this thru 1st of 2 kitchen strainers 3-4" diameter strainer.

Initial results after complete today batch of leaves, many batches thru grinder and first strainer

I reprocess the course material on the right above, back thru the grinder and strainer

Next step, I strained the material thru a small 1.5-2" kitchen strainer into the reusable coffee filter/strainer.

 After processing thru the reusable coffee filter/strainer. I was left with three grades of material results

Course grade (about 1 or 1-1/2 Tablespoon)

Medium grade (about 3-4 oz)

Fine grade (about 20 oz)


First pass thru grinder and strainer I believe would be good for HO Scale, but the additional filtering thru smaller strainers yielded a better product for N scale in my opinion.

I like to find a strainer between the small kitchen (about .030" openings) and the reusable coffee filter, this I believe would create a better distinction between the course and medium grades.

Time wise, I spend about just under 2 hrs today and 1 hour yesterday. Quantities above are all  estimates, forgot to weight empty containers before processing.

Color is not where I would like it, but I think that will take some leaves of yellow and/or red.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Layout Progress - 05 August 2015

Today, I got back to working on the layout and finish laying one industry track, one team track and one for local switcher loco maintenance area at Honey Grove.

First up industry track for Cook Textiles, I am using the Walthers Geo Roberts Printing building for this industry. 

Next Team/Piggyback trailer loading track

Finally Loco Service area

I need to add power feeder then these tracks are ready for use.

Hobby Bench - DCC Programming Station

Completed my DCC programming station for my hobby bench back in mid July, for got to post photos so here they are...

Sorry but I did not get any photos showing the wiring and electronic stuff inside.

The removable area in front was for different scale tracks but it did not work out, but I did provide an jack to use my existing portable program track.