Monday, December 17, 2018

The Danger of Estate Sales

Pine from Home Depot and drawer pulls from Amazon combined to create a workaday cabinet.
A couple of years ago, my wife and I were at a local estate sale. The owner of the articles in the sale was obviously a woodworker based on the tools available. In a corner, I found a box of partially built small drawers and pre-cut parts for several more. For $10, I took the box home figuring I could do something with it.
     While it was marinating on the shelf, my collection of Precision Scale and Cal Scale parts kept growing until they overflowed the available space. I had finally found a use for the drawers. Assembling the existing drawers was easy as was cutting a few new parts to make a total of 30 of the little things. Last week, I finally bought some more lumber to build a case for them which I finished today. Some label-holding drawer pulls finished things off. The final project is not what I consider a great example of the woodworker's art but it will hold my parts. Mission accomplished but through more work than I expected when I visited that estate sale. Now back to model railroading stuff.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Another Turntable

With the finished turntable mounted in its pit, filler material still needs to be added in the area between the benchwork and the turntable casting. The prototype turntable was built of cast iron with its distinctive lightening holes.
Like most modelers, I have more locomotives than I really need. My choice, then, is to remove some of them from the railroad so I can operate it without stumbling over the extra motive power OR build some place to put them. My choice is to build a roundhouse in which to store all the engines I don't need but want to have anyway.
     At Oakdale, there is a space which is out of the way but is the perfect size for a small engine terminal. This area has been earmarked for such a terminal since I started building the railroad. It will allow me to have my "overflow" area and, also, to build a Model Masterpieces Colorado Midland roundhouse kit I have had for around 20 years. The first step in all of this was to locate the turntable and go from there.
     My Sellers turntable was built from a Freshwater Models kit which was out in limited edition several years ago. I had provided prototype information to the kit company and they did such a nice job on it, I had to have one. Made with a plaster pit and cast metal base, it went together rather quickly. Installing in the hole I had made was a bit more problematic. It required two people, one on top of the railroad and another beneath the benchwork to put nuts on the support bolts. My darling wife agreed to help and, as a true gentleman would, I offered her the choice of positions. Climbing underneath a built railroad and trying to start nuts with my left hand (I'm right-handed) is a bit of a challenge but, eventually, we secured the turntable and leveled it up. 
Lines for tracks in the roundhouse extend from the pit. The turntable is based on a 60-foot prototype which is ample for the locomotives used on the S&C.
The next job will be to assemble the eight-stall roundhouse and try to get it reasonably aligned with where I want the tracks to go. A real engine servicing area requires a coaling station, sand station, water plug and ash track as a minimum so I have to allow room for those and then assemble the appropriate structures. With the company service tracks and a new industry track I discovered, there will be four more car spots in Oakdale which should add more interest.