Sunday, July 30, 2017

Truck Maintenance

Yesterday I took the family over to MCRR for some fun run time.  I ran the tugger, loco2, blue flat, and brake car around twice, and Nancy did the same.  We had fun talking with others.  I got to see a Snipe S3 up close, and three of the DLS Box/Riding/Flat cars in the same train.  I lost out on buying a bobber caboose body set up for a propane tank.  
After discussion with Nancy, praying, and thinking about it we decided to take Loco2, the Tugger, the pink and blue flats and the brake car to the Buckeye Ltd.  The coal car and trouble some tanks, SBT, and Steamer will be staying home.  This load will fit in the truck without the deck and will allow us to haul 4 of the 5 family members in the same train.  (We could run over to GR in the next 7 days to get one of robb's flats, or we could make a new car and put the coal car's trucks under it.  

But wait... the coal car's trucks are already under a different car.  Wednesday I stopped by Tom Bee and he helped me install brakes.  I also picked up couplers and brakes for Robb.  I am glad that Tom helped me with the installation, there are a few tricks that make it easier.

Today I worked with an assistant.  He helped me get the tools, remove the old trucks, install the new ones and run and connect the tubing.

  And finally he was instrumental in testing our work.
He of course did get distracted some.  With some effort he was able to raise the car high enough to get it over the tailgate of the truck, and then put it back down again.
After our work on the blue car was complete we started working on the pink car.   First is unloading all the ties, he pulled them off and handed them to me, I stacked them in the back of the shed.
Then Anna helped load the car onto the wagon, which Jon pulled up to the garage.
 We removed the bolts, and springs, and one side.

Then I greased the bearings.  No need for Jon to get grease in unexpected locations.
 Then we assembled the truck again.
 I installed the springs.
 We Installed the bolts.
 And tightened the nuts again.

The pink car was making an aweful sound the last few times it ran.  I learned it was the milk jug plastic rubbing against a wheel, not a bad bearing.

The remaining items to do are:
Fix the end sill of the pink car.
Purchase and install two chain hooks, one bent, another missing.
Make a backrest for lounging on the car.
Replace a missing nut holding the frame to the body on the pink car.
Maybe visit GR or have Robb come here to borrow his 5' car so we can have 5 riding cars.
Maybe make sides or swap bodies of a flat for the gon body that is currently Jon's toybox.
Or make a new 5' long car myself as I have the frame material downstairs and could get it welded quickly.  Plus I think I have enough scrap plywood.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Drawing Lines and Switching

 Friday night was a buy day... all I did was watch Star Wars Episode Seven.  Saturday Lillian and I went over to MCRR and ran with Mike switching, three times out switching five cars each.  She was a good brakeman but was done on the third trip... I was ready for a break, and I think Mike was too.
 Sunday after church we ate at mcdonals in Linden, nicely decorated, but all the beeping in the kitchen area made me think I was in a hospital not a hospitable place.  Very incongruent.  Then as a family we went back to MCRR.
 We met the Robb, Cheryl and the kids at the track.  We rode around twice with... we forgot his name... a total of 6 miles.  The railroad has a lot of hills and his RMI switcher was tripping the thermal breaker on the last 3/4 mile.  Too much for the little engine after a weekend of playing with trains.
 It was nice being at a different railroad, I was able to see different rolling stock not common to white creek.
Sunday as Nancy helped clean up the garage I did the cutting of Jeff's teak to length.  Along with packing stuff for next weeks op session at WC.
 Jeff now has ten wide boards and two narrow boards all 15 inches long for use as the top to his Storage Battery Truck. 9 boards total 34 inches long, he wanted 1/8" gaps between them and a total deck length of 35 inches.  I gave him one extra board so he can cut them all slightly narrower if he wanted to.
I have to remember to suggest he use a furniture scraper to clean the boards up, it will work slightly better than sand paper for the finish.  Then I did not break any of the edges, to do a proper job I think he should make a little scraper that has guide blocks so it is consistent.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Nancy said the box over loco two does not look good.

 She spray painted the top black, and the sides wine.
 I drybrushed a layer of thomson's waterseal over the sides to soften the red.
And I have started adding lines for car siding with a sharpie.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Welded and Dust

 The new coupler pocket
 Had had electric glue applied.
 I spent the rest of the evening getting the boards for Jeff's Storage Battery Truck to thickness.
 The new dust collection box is working... need to seal the door better.
 The sabertooth side of Loco 2.
The RX side looks good too.

Nancy was not fond of the molding of the temporary cover so she is painting it red with a black roof.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Grease and Teardown

Maybe that should read tear down as I am a little sad.  I took apart the SBT the rest of the way, axles, wood, and all electronics have been removed.  Then I removed the coupler pocket that was damaged at Carl's.  Used a Dremel and three cutoff wheels as they worked better at getting in there than the teardrop grinding bits.

I got the new coupler pocket ready to install.  I think I will make a jig to hold it in place to make welding it correctly a trivial matter.

So I need to decide how long I want to take to put it back together.  Besides the coupler pocket I need to make the lost control lever again, then work with Robb to get radio control back in the machine.  And of course touchup the paint when it is reassembled.

Some other things I am thinking of:
Replace the batteries.
Mount the speedo / Odo onboard not in external box.
Make additional trucks for the SBT to pull.  
More permanently affix the driver so I can drive around with him in place.
Add a data logger for amp and volt, throttle setting etc...
Replace damaged footboard.
Make a tender with larger batteries.
Make some prototypical loads, such as nail kegs.
Make a toolcar with all needed supplies for the SBT.
Make a riding car that goes with the SBT in design.

I have a 3D printer on order, due in January 2018.  I was thinking I could use it to make the lever, hiding the radio antenna inside.  I could also hide the antenna and a display screen inside the driver if 3D printed.  

I can't wait for this thing to be back on the track... Jon can't be the one having all the fun.
The greasing part is I used my newly purchased grease gun to lube the jack shaft on loco 2.

Transfer the radio

Friday and Saturday I spent some time transferring the radio system from the SBT to Loco 2.

First I drew the wiring diagram for both locos as is.

Then I drew up the new plan and started wiring it up.

 There was also a visit to the 70th aniversary of the Tipsico railroad.  I helped fix the slide valve on one of the steamers.
 Adam helped run one of the steamers for the Booths.
 I sat and talked with Tom Bee for a while.
The booths talk with Adam about how the steamer is running.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Fenton Festivities

This morning we tried out the new dust collection box.  It works OK, there is a lot of swirl and I need to seal some leaks.  I took care of some of them today but we moved on to seeing the Fenton forth of july parade and other downtown festivities.

During the hot of the day I went to the basement and drilled the holes in the railjoiners.  I now have 70 joiners, for 45 joints.

Afterwards Nancy, the kids and I moved some of the rocks from near the driveway to make a "stream" through the front bed.  Nancy also bought a few more creaping pines on clearance at Walmart to use.

Also some point in the last few days I added brackets to my little shelf and applied linseed oil.  One more coat of oil and it will be ready to hang.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Weekend Fun

 We started the weekend by walking Linden, looking at the river, playing at the park, and finding black berries to snack upon.
 Saturday we visited the Gains library, in the old station, to learn about circuits.
 Also I cut the joint bars.  This time I made a jig so I would have a consistent length.  A scrap of plywood and some screws and I am able to cut four bars at a time.
 Then I took some cars over to Adams, but his track is in such rough shape that nothing, his or mine, would stay on.
 Sadly, while Nancy and I were loading loco 2 into the truck the ramp kicked out from under and loco two fell off the tailgate onto the ground prettymuch upside then on its side.  The battery charger which was held in place with only one bolt broke free, the batteries held in place with velcro also broke free.  We got it uprighted, and with some help lifted it into the truck, I ran it back and forth and it seams to run OK.

Lets get the sadness out of mind and end with a happy thought.  Conductive playdough is fun.