Sunday, April 27, 2014

Beam Engine Automation

Pascal got a Timberkits Beam Engine Automation kit last weekend.

We had a lot of fun building the kit over the last week.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Scratch building Steinlehofbruecke part 2

After selecting a prototype design, and initial placement test I stained the wood with a mix of alcohol, distilled water, and permanent ink. Next I built the bridge deck.

Support beams stained, cut to length and put in place. I glued a few boards across the beams so that I can take the bridge off it's location ...

... and build the rest of the bridge deck in the freight area of Emsingen, which happens to function nicely as temporary work bench.

Bridge deck built and additional running boards put down the spread the "weight".
It turns out that I stained the bridge boards too lightly. I will attempt to fix this with weathering later. Next up is building the railing.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scratchbuilding a wooden bridge

Steinlehof is surrounded by tracks north of Emsingen, so it obviously needs some way to for access. When I built the area I planned for a one-lane road that comes out of the woods along the back drop, crosses the track and proceeds to Steinlehof. The only catch is the very substantial elevation change between the backdrop forest and the Steinlehof area. I partially addressed this a couple years ago.

Which leaves us with the bridge. There's no way I could find a ready-made model that would fit this location, so the only way out was scratch building. I decided to aim for a somewhat modern wooden bridge on a steel span, since that would be the most likely construction method given location and the very light traffic. It took me a while to find an appropriate prototype construction, and eventually settled on a design I saw near Zurich.

I liked the very basic construction of this bridge.
Last night I set out to replicate the look. Here are 's the result with boards cut and loosely set in place.

Steinlehofbruecke as seen from Talheim operator position

Bird's eye view

View from the track in the cut
As can be seen in the photos instead of steel beams, I used heavy timbers for support. I will add a forth beam in final construction and of course need to stain the wood.
One problem is that the supports on each side are not perfectly level. Nevertheless, I think I'll build the bridge deck at the bench. Since the entire bridge is not level due to the elevenation change, I will need to build the handrails in place to get vertical supports at the right angle.
Additional angled beams supporting the bridge deck from underneath will need to be fitted in, too.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


The Coyote Creek Percolation Lake just north of Metcalf Road is pretty dry these days...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Apple blossom in the front yard.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Out of Hairspray

My tree making efforts came to an abrupt end today when I simultaneously ran out of coarse foam, as well as hairspray. There are only half a dozen prepared Super Tree armatures left.

I really need to build the bridge to Steinlehof, and finish planting weeds along the back wall, so that I can plant the little forest on top of Steinle where most of these trees will go.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Ich habe einfach "small catapult" gegoogled

Pascal was working with tools in the garage for the last couple of days. Here's the result.

Me: Wow, Pascal. How did you come up with this?
Pascal: I just searched for "small catapult" on Google, and built it from photos.

It works very well, too.