Sunday, June 25, 2017

White Creek and Vacation

 Robb, Jeff and I meet up Saturday at the fun run, arriving Friday night and running Saturday until 1 before packing up and going to the Cabin.
 Loco 2 had the new stronger springs, now instead of full compression it is at full open.  The machine tracked better but I need to open up so I have travel in both directions.
 While at the cabin we.
 Saw the train
 Kissed the moose.
Looked at lighthouses.  And saw a black bear about 3 miles from the cabin.

Note to self, the dune climb trail is over two miles long of hilly terrain.  Don't take kids on it in rainy days, or sunny days without being prepared.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Tonight Adam and I loaded up the truck with the brake car, loco 2, and the SBT because it was on the brake car.  Plus Adam put loco 3 in the truck too.  Then we went over to Adam's where we fixed the loose pedestal on loco 2 and replaced the grease fittings with english ones.  Plus we chased the threads on the plugs for loco 3.  But I forgot all the other fittings for loco 3 so we did not make much more progress.

The plan is to Friday night or Saturday morning go to White Creek for a day of fun running and testing the new springs on loco 2.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


 Yesterday I folded laundry, and made a shelf for my deodorant.  Tonight I installed more track.  About 20 feet total.
Some of it was easy as it was the turnout I purchased from White Creek.  I now have 8 feet of mainline installed.

I ran out of rail joiners, Robb bought me some metal to make more so I will pick that up this weekend.  The turnout is 1 inch rail, I have to go back and make better transition joiners as the railhead is narrower and lower on the 13/16th rail.  That causes a gauge change at the transition.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


 Today I extended the track another 4 feet.  The ties are no longer supported by the wood, they are on the ground.
 Yesterday and some today I cleared the right of way through the woods.  Cut the branches and little bushes that were overhanging, then mowed, then raked.  Then using a tool I got at a garage sale cut out some of the high spots.
 It took a while to mow, I had to work with Nancy and her dad to figure out why the mower would not run.  It had fuel, and it had spark, and we could get it to run rough if I blew air into air intake.  But it would stall without the air.  The air filter was clean ish, what was that little tail doing there?  Why is there a fluff of tissue hanging out of the shroud covering the engine... undo more screws.  scare away a mouse, but it really was not interested in leaving.  Found her nest, found one, two three, four...  five little grey mice with their eyes still shut.
 Little grey was not interested in the little things,,, they did not move enough.  The mom ran up into the truck, so I asked Nancy to take it to the store for milk.  Hopefully she ran away.
 The babies met their demise.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

More Track

Today I worked on more track.  Starting by fixing a few issues we caused by working late and in the dark were fixed, such as the gauge being too wide around the frog, and I routed out under the frog to level the track some.

Then I moved on to laying the single track.  This went much quicker.  I was able to do 12 feet in one day, before I was only doing at most six feet on each track.

Because it will take some time for me to make points I am going to install a temporary plate to guide the wheels and keep them from derailing.

 I now have one 60 foot long railroad instead of two 25 foot rail lines.

If at first you don't succeed track track again

I had a nice bit of track laid, both of the storage tracks coming out of the barn straight for six feet then gently curving out to the switch on the mainline.

Issue was the switch would have been a number 8 or longer curved switch about 30 feet from the carbarn.  This is into the woods by all the trillium.  I would have to have a walking path to the switch.
It was just too far to walk and I did not want to destroy the trillium.

So not having the heart to do the work myself, I asked the kids to unscrew about 10 feet of track total.

Then I turned over the ties and brought the rails in to each other much sooner.  while the frog is a number 5 I think the switch is closer in length to a number 4 or 3.  It is quite tight.

During the day Saturday I put in the track up to the frog.  Most of that time was milling the underside of the frog to accept the rail, The frog is for 1" rail and the rail I am using is 7/8".  Then as bonus work from 8pm to 10pm Adam and I installed the tracks from the frog to the pivot point of the points.
I don't have material for points yet, I may develop a temporary method so Jon can roll the cars back and forth.

Also this week I purchased some 5/16" sheet steel, new, no rust, that I plan to use to make bodies for flat trailers to go with the SBT.

Sunday, June 04, 2017


Saturday we visited the Great Lakes Live Steamers in Royal Oak with the tugger, loco 2, coal car, blue flat, brake car and the SBT.  First we ran them all together to get charge the SBT.  Then we cut out the SBT and Nancy ran the rest of the train around 10 times.  I removed dirt from a switch and ran the SBT around light walking behind it.  Then talked for a while, ran the train a few more times, tried to move a steamer with the SBT... no juice.  Then I rode halfway around with the SBT, and walked it the other half when it ran out of juice.

I left the camera in the truck.

When we got home we unloaded the tugger and cars without batteries to the shed and the locos and brake car to the garage.

Sunday I went down to add some track length... and spent the afternoon adding a window to the shed.  Then in the evening I added 5 feet to each track.  Once I was done I looked down the line and realized that if I redo one track I could be at the frog for the turnout.  I am not quite sure if that will be forcing it.  I will let the thought ruminate for a few days before I continue.

Thursday, June 01, 2017


The trim is now completely installed on the bay.  Plastic is more expensive than rough sawn pine, but cheaper than rough sawn ceder.  But replacing all the rest of the pine trim with plastic would be more expensive than having someone come in and trim it all in metal.

The board between the windows in the back room were replaced with metal when the windows were installed.  The eves are all pine, as well as around the garage.  One piece on the garage is rotten, and woodpeckers have made some pretty good holes in a piece on the second story.  And all of it needs to be painted.

Back to the trains:
Loco two has springs that were too soft, Earlier I calculated a better spring from McMaster and ordered them.
The old springs had too low of a K rate, the new springs in theory will work better, but while the old springs were 7/8" long the new ones are 1".  As can be seen in the pictures, the old springs are fully compressed, the new springs have too much preload and are fully extended.