Saturday, October 13, 2018

Papermill Conveyors

The long conveyor needs to be shortened by about an inch. A cut-off disk in the Dremel made this easy enough. While cutting, the roof popped off with a bang. ... Oh, right, I glued it on in only a couple spots to make it easier to remove. That approach clearly worked well, but not as I had intended...

Mission accomplished. I cut the conveyor end so that the support structure connects to the digester side and the belt meets the digester slightly above the top.

For the lower end of the conveyor, I built a mockup from paper with some styrene reinforcement. Time for the next test fitting at the club.

With that out of the way, I turned my attention back to the smaller conveyor units. The plan is to use them around the rotary dumper to transport wood chips to piles that will be represented only on the background. Typically these conveyors would have a covered top. I decided to assume some bracing structure that would carry a corrugated metal roof, and low profile metal sheeting for the sides.

The sides are Evergreen 0.020 x 0.250" strip styrene. The top is Evergreen's 4526 0.040" metal siding. I bent the siding lengthwise over a wooden curtain rod, and heated it with a hair dryer. I contemplated bending it harder to get a tighter arc, but this worked out sufficiently well. The thickness of the styrene sheet is visible to the side. I might grind this down a bit if I can't hide it with color.

Here are the three pieces with their covers. I cut the roofs a little bit too short and will add an external cross brace to hide that. Next stop: Paint booth.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Needs more work

The conveyor is a little bit too long and maybe slightly too steep. Nevertheless, this is getting closer to what I had in mind here.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Module No. 1: Mistakes are for fixing

Before we went on our weekend trip, I noticed that one end plate of Module 1 was not 100% vertical. That's obviously bad, and I chalked it up to inexperience. ... However, mistakes exist to either not do them again, or at least try to fix them. A few hits to a chisel loosened the side boards and I was able to align the face plate. I'll let the glue dry for a while before removing the clamps ...

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Sunset near Gaviota Beach

Santa Barbara station

Santa Barbara still has a train depot with some character.

The ticket counter is not exactly busy.

The waiting room with quite a few people. The Surfliner from San Luis Obispo is delayed. On the way north some time later we saw the southbound Coast Starlight at a red signal. Pretty much on time, but once again local traffic messing up their schedule.

Surfliner in Santa Barbara

Friday, October 05, 2018


After all these years, this is still a good show.



The Mummy


In the green houses of Hogwarts Castle.


Thursday, October 04, 2018

I-5, in the Middle of Nowhere

About 45 minutes north of Grapevine, CA, we're passing trucks while the sun is about to set.
 I can't decide which picture I like more, so you get to ... enjoy ... both.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Module No. 1: Covered

Tonight I continued with the module frame I started yesterday. I cut the intermediate crossbars to length and glued them into place. In a modular arrangement the legs would be mounted to the crossbars, so they'd support the whole module. I should add some corner pieces for additional support.
Next, I glued a 5mm thin piece of wood to the roadbed. This is where the track gets mounted on and will disappear under ballast later. I cut the pink foam to the proper width and trimmed the piece to fit.

With the second piece of pink foam installed, here's the module underside.

And the top.  While the module sits flat on the floor, one of the end plates is not 100% vertical, so it's unlikely that I will use this module in a modular arrangement. Nevertheless, I'll continue this build learn as much as I can from it.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Module No. 1: Parts

I started yet another project: A practice Fremo-Puko module. The idea is to build an easy module before I build more complicated ones. Rectangular box. Straight track. How hard could that possibly be?
Right angles are important here and my jigsaw has a slightly crooked foot, thanks to a fall several years ago. I managed reasonably well with the portable circular saw, but this would have been a lot easier had I pulled out the table saw. The module end pieces are laser cut, ordered from Harald Brosch.

Update 10:19pm:
I had planned to leave the parts alone until tomorrow. Let's just say that plans are made to be changed...

My first Fremo module frame. I have no way to test how accurate the angles are, but looks pretty close to what it should be. It sits flat on the floor, so at the very least I didn't build it crooked.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Rave reviews

This one turned out much better than the last one, even though I totally messed up the sequencing, putting the lemon skin scrapes into the apples instead of the dough, and pouring the pudding / milk / egg mix over the apples after laying the dough grid.
Nevertheless, it tasted great and the kids loved it. Can't ask for more.

Morning Coffee

A nice morning to sit outside and enjoy a fine cup of coffee.

Friday, September 28, 2018

September Ops at Silicon Valley Lines

NKP "Berkshire" #772 is leading train 99b, the "FastMail", through Mt. Marvell on the way from Bakersfield to Nowheres.

The Berkshire class locomotive took over the train in Dayton after the originally assigned SP #4349 had trouble with negotiating the grade from Bakersfield staging to the main level of the layout and was set out in Dayton.
Train 99b dropped passenger cars and mail cars in Nowheres and continued with a much smaller consist to Tracy where it terminated.

I had to leave early, so this was my only assignment tonight. A guest engineer was on the throttle and I was conductor. Due to the initial engine problems the train ran well behind schedule and had to deal with a lot more opposing traffic than in its normal slot. When clocking out we had spent over 70 minutes on this run. This was a busy session with lots of activity on the railroad and kept Dispatch on their toes.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Caltrain at Bailey

A lucky break in traffic allowed me to catch backlit Caltrain #156 along Monterey Rd just south of Bailey.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Los Paseos Park

Interesting skies and nice light today at sunset

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Gone quickly

It's fall. Time for apple cake. It was good. Sorry, you don't get to see it. ...

Huh? What? You do want to see it? Alright, fine, here it is. This one got a little bit too crispy. Still good, though.

Morning Walk

This Blue Heron hung out a Los Paseos Park while we walked the dog this morning. Seemed like he was very interested in something in the gras, but we couldn't figure out what exactly he was after.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Welztalbahn Ops Session 13

When I want to show off the layout, I turn off the lights...

I approached today's thirteenth ops session on the Welztalbahn as another shake down session. Balazs came by and helped finding bugs and little gremlins.

Afterwards, pink notes were dotting the landscape. I have some work to do.

The train booklets are now stored conveniently out of the way, but easily accessible.