Sunday, April 27, 2014


No I am not done.  But the machine is assembled and will run in forward and reverse.  The downside is that the speed limiter is not working correctly.  There is a punchlist of other items also, such as hooking up the second set of batteries. Making the onboard controls work.  Figure out how to get the bow out of the top. Buy and install the large batteries.  And of course limit the top speed.  When the machine is up on blocks the speed is topping out at 11MPH.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Control Board

Today I started to mount the control board.
I added a second board to mount the direction switch and the speed limiter onto.
There were some setbacks.  Such as not putting the direction switch in a good spot.  It was interfering with the circuit breaker and power switch.  I also had trouble crimping the small wires.  That was solved by soldering a larger wire to the lead and crimping to that.  Tomorrow I will install the direction switch.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Attach The Frames

Today at lunch I ran over to Radio Shack and Staples to get electronic parts for the Storage Battery Truck.  When I got home Nancy and I dug a trench across the grass for the new drain.  The plan is for the cement work guys to be here on monday.  Issue is on Monday I am flying to PA for the week.

After dinner I mounted the bodies of the cars to the frames and sanded Jonathan's car a little bit.  Then because a couple boards were long I used the router to shorten them.  Then I used a plane to round the edges.  Followed by some sanding.   Then Nancy took over and sanded and added some wood putty.  She also sanded and wood puttied the gondola.

Tomorrow I hope to make significant progress on the control system.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mount The Controller

Today I broke the controller board.   It is fixable.  I broke the thermal sensor on the aluminum plate.  I just have to dig it out, get a new one and solder it in place.  To run without it I either need to have the two wires tied together or apart.  But my board could overheat until it is replaced.

Spent over an hour on the phone with Robb planning the controls.

I also cut down the board so that it will fit vertical in the machine.

Last I found a switch for my forward reverse use while on machine based control.  Good day overall, with some setbacks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Back to Work

Today I started the assembly of the storage battery truck.   If I ever make another loco I will know lots of things not to do.
First is do not make clearances so tight that paint makes things not fit.   
 The brass slides needed to be filed down inside and out before they went into place.  And again after wards.

 Don't tell Nancy but I scratched the paint in a few places.
 Once on the outside face.
 After getting the wheel assemblies in I realized that I wanted to make the 4 holes that hold the top in place larger.  I tried with a hand drill.  It just torqued out of my hand.  The good news it did not scratch the outside paint.
 I then set up a table at the drill press.
And because the drill press is not bolted to the floor I had to crank the drill press table up snug so that newtons laws would drill a hole instead of lifting the drill press.

After these photos were taken I started adding the electrical switches.  I have the On-Off and the circuit breaker in place.  The cable is run for the direction switch.  But I have to find myself a direction switch.  And mount the direction switch.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Bet you can't guess what I did today?

If you guessed sanding.  You were half right.

I also put wood filler into all the holes and cracks.

Tomorrow I will start to assemble the storage battery truck.   I promise to take more pictures.

Monday, April 21, 2014

More Sanding

It is amazingly easy to loose track of time when sanding a railcar as smooth as a babies bottom for my babies bottom.  I'm tired.  Eventually I will show photos of what I am doing.  Nancy has taken some.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


I couldn't stay away from the workshop on Easter.   The day was spent making a riding car for Jonathan.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Paint and Utility Cars

While I was gone for 5 days Nancy painted, sanded, repainted, touched up, painted, and painted the storage battery truck and parts of the utility cars.

Today after a few coats of gold on the lettering she started to clear coat the truck.  The clear coat helps it look great.

I on the other hand went to scratching up the paint on the utility cars.

First I made a drill press extension so that the  frame would be perpendicular to the drill press spindle.

Next I drilled holes for all the couplers at 1-3/4" from the frame ends.  I checked these for square and they were spot on.

I then set up and drilled all the truck kingpin holes first with a center drill, then at 9/32" diameter and last at 1/2" diameter.  Checking after the first one for squareness showed I was spot on.  Same with the last hole and one of the ones in the middle.

Last I came back and drilled 3 holes in each frame for holding the car to the frame.

Now with all 4 frames done I could turn my attention to the wood parts.

First Clean off a workspace
 Find a top, in this case Lillian's
 Turn it upside down
 Set the frame in place.  15mm hanging over each end
 Mark the coupler holes
 Mark the truck holes
 Mark the mounting holes
 Do it again at the other end
 drill the mounting holes
 remove the frame
 counterbore the truck kingpin holes and drill 1/8" pilot holes at the coupler holes
 start the coupler holes, turn the top over and finish them.
 Line it all up again
 add the  two cross beams
and we are done.

OK it is not done, the hardware needs to be obtained and installed.  The trucks need to be made.

One last thing happened today, but that is a surprise.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

utility gon and paint

I tried to make the most of the day.  I am traveling next week, then I am home for 9 days and then I am traveling for another 5.  That cuts down the time to finish not only the storage battery truck but also the riding cars in time for Hesston and White Creek.

Today I got all the woodwork finished on the utility gon.

 The car is 16 foot long with 4 foot high sides.
 It will get archbar trucks under it.

I also bolted on a few parts to the frame of the storage battery truck.  The end step brackets, and the pedestals.  I wanted the screws for those components painted the same color as the body.

Lastly I cut the top that will be used with the large batteries.  Including countersinking for the hitch pin heads and making straps that will hold it to the body.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Paint and utility gon

Today I helped Nancy turn the storage battery truck end for end in the morning.  And I did it again when I got home from work.

I also picked up 4 welded frames from Samson's as well as the parts for making trucks.

I then sanded the 4 frames and wiped them down with paint thinner to clean them up for paint.  Nancy sprayed them with self etching primer.  She likes Duracoat better than Rustoleum.  The second one sputtered and left droplets.

Then after looking at the garden and pulling down one of the retaining walls that was rotting I went in the basement and started on the utility gon.  Made good progress, I have the bottom and 4 sides glued together.  Tomorrow I can add the detail parts to the outside.

 The parts hanging in the garage.  Each on their own paperclip.

 Because the frames are all the same length I shortened the floor of the car by the thickness of the plywood ends so that the coupler pocket will stick out the same on all cars.
 The sides and ends are 12 inches tall, hanging down 1-3/4" same as the utility flat.  While I used wood glue on the flat cars I used gorrila glue on the gon.
 I have the option of adding the top bracing to the top, covering the grain of the plywood, or to the side and use wood putty etc to hide the plywood edge.
I think i will use wood to cap the top.

Adirondack Car & Foundry 2-8-0

This is an Adirondack Car & Foundry 2-8-0 made by Ed Ruetling a few years ago.
It is cast urethane with a brass frame.   
  I bought it off ebay and have not used it much as my track is too rough for the unsprung driving wheels.  

 Note that this is my short section of proto-48 track.  The locomotive is O-scale 2rail.