Monday, January 25, 2021

Railroads, Models and the Quilts They Inspire

 As I have mentioned occasionally on this blog, my wife, Becky, is an ardent quilter. She enjoys her hobby as much as I do mine and is very good at what she does. Over the fifteen years we've been married, I have been the recipient of several quilts she has made. Of those, the best were two railroad-related ones. The latest one, pictured above, is almost finished, lacking only the actual quilting. Becky had discovered this panel and, since it fit my era, bought it for this project. The various blocks surrounding the center image were all made using other images of locomotives of my era. Surrounding the entire project is a set of railroad tracks.
     The second quilt was made on the occasion of our first Christmas in 2001. The images were taken from a website I had about my last railroad, the Moraga Springs Northern. As you can see, the quilting follows the subject of the photo, outlining, locomotives, structures, etc. 
     What do these things have to do with the Stockton & Copperopolis or model railroading? Perhaps nothing but it does have a lot to do with keeping my interest in our hobby alive knowing that I am supported in my endeavors.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Two New Additions

The "Gray house" in its temporary location at Farmington. It will eventually be moved to the residental area.

A few weeks ago, a favor was done for my friend, Doug Taylor. In return, he volunteered to build up an old Classic Miniatures kit I had not gotten to. The Gold Hill House, as the kit is named, is now sitting at Farmington awaiting its final location, adjacent scenicking, etc. Doug substituted styrene for the kit's cardboard siding otherwise it is pretty stock. As usual, Doug did a great job and now it's up to me to follow through. 
The disassembled Unimat on the workbench. I am still awaiting a part and drive belts so it can be put back together again.

On the workshop front, I bought a Unimat lathe through ebay with the thought that it might be better for some of the smaller parts that we tend to make in this hobby. The lathe had not been cleaned so it was disassembled, scrubbed and de-rusted. Now it's sitting on my workbench awaiting a part so I can reassemble it and get it working. The Unimat is a versatile machine but only for relatively lightweight projects. I have a 12-inch lather I can use for the bigger stuff. With the small machine, though, I can convert it to a drill press, mill or any number of other things if I find the right conversion kit. It's sort of a miniature Shopsmith. 
     There are slightly larger but more expensive lathes available from Sherline or Micromark but the Unimat has a special appeal for me as I had one in the 1970s. Back then, my interests tended more to the manufacture of antique car fittings so the Unimat was deemed surplus to needs and sold. I wish I hadn't done that but now I can try again.