This blog presents my thoughts, information and activities in my model railroading world.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Barrel company start

I have decided my next structure will be a wood barrel company.  Actually as I was mulling over several possible industries, the barrel factory was suggested by my wife.  The location on my layout where it will go will dictate the size.  The site is an odd shape on the inside corner near my grist mill and lumber company.  I had several temporary buildings sitting there.  The space is somewhat less than I had for my tannery.  It is at the end of the lumber company siding.

Wooden barrels were still in frequent use in 1939 (my era) and barrel making is interesting.  There are two general categories of barrels referred to as "slack" or "tight".  Slack style barrels are used for dry materials whereas tight barrels are used primarily for liquid.  The names are descriptive of how loosely of tight the barrel staves fit together.  The other parts of the barrel are the headings and the hoops (either wood or metal).

Above is a photo of wood barrels and barrel parts.  Slack cooperage also includes other containers such stubs, buckets, pails, kegs, churns and firkins.  There are two general grades of slack cooperage barrels; one grade used for such items as flour, sugar, chemicals, etc., and the other grade used for such items as   packing house products, fruits, vegetables, lime, cement, rosin, hardware etc.  

Tight cooperage barrels are usually made from white oak or a similarly hard wood due to it's hardness, workability, and excellent seasoning qualities, is less likely to discolor or lend a disagreeable odor to the  contents.

The staves are made from short logs about 3 feet long called bolts.  The bolts are usually obtained green to avoid checking and splitting of bolts left out in the weather too long.

I am working on the floor and room design of the factory using rough sketches and room templates to ensure that it all fits and contains the necessary functions for making barrels.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hunt Electric Locomotive

Below is an illustration/photo of a C W Hunt company electric locomotive circa 1911.  I thought I would post this while I am deciding what to model next.  These locos operated from either storage batteries, overhead trolleys, or a combination.  Their approximate weight was 5 tons.  Dimensions were length 12 ft, width 5 - 6 ft, height 70 inches, gauge 21 1/2 inches.  Speed was from 1 to 4 mph and could haul 50 tons.  The average use time in general switching was about 10 hours so good for a days work.  The motors and gear boxes were on top.  The platform area on each end permitted the driver to position himself properly for either direction.  Each truck was driven by it's own motor.

Hunt supplied a variety of dump and flat cars, as well as some specialized cars,  for use with the loco.

Modeling this locomotive would not be hard since it looks like a box on a flat car with the motors on top.  These locos were used in industrial areas, mining facilities and much more.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My modeling workbench

Below is a photo of my modeling workbench in post project clean condition.  As I was cleaning after completing the welding shop posted yesterday I thought this might be of some interest or at least give a perspective on where I create these projects.  The desk is a very old wood desk with a few drawers and several cutting mats on top along with a ceramic heat proof kitchen pot protector on the right side.  The reason for the ceramic top section is for soldering or anything that might damage or warp the mats (done that before).  As you can see I have most of the ceramic top covered with stuff much of which is there most of the time.  The paint bottles are a selection of my acrylic craft paint bottles of which I have many more elsewhere.  There are several types of white glue and my India-ink/alcohol mix. The metal blocks are mostly used for glueing weights as are the many lead type printer slugs I acquired.  The white sheet of paper taped to the rightmost mat is for drawing cutting guides, making notes about what I am modeling, wiping paint brushes, or whatever I need it for - I just removed the one used for the welding shop and it was covered with pencil and paint marks.  I find that a cheap, easy and handy part of my work surface.  The left mat has just been installed replacing a grey mat by X-acto which I did not like since the blue lines on it were only surface paint or ink and wiped off when I spilled brush cleaner or any such liquid - much prefer the green mats with the lines embedded in the mat as I use the lines to square up my work.  On the workbench I have a bottle of water for cleaning water based paint from brushes, a bottle of lacquer thinner for cleaning solvent based paint from brushes and a mess of other things I find useful.

You may be able to see the small 1 1/4 inch by 2 inch glass plates I use for painting figures or small parts which I tack glue to the glass.  I have lots of paint brushes of many sizes and shapes.  There is lots more stuff there but you get the idea.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Welding and machinery shop mostly done

It has been a while since I posted.  I was away at the Narrow Gauge Convention in Seattle/Bellvue.  Nice time but their traffic is the worst I have ever seen.  Upon my return home I developed a bad cold - my first in years, so those are my excuses for not posting for a while.  I have though completed and installed the Welding and Used Machinery Company.  I am still working on the details and scenery around the structure but that could continue for a long time as I think of something else to add.

The siding that serves this industry, as well as several others, is on the other side of the building.  This is installed right at the edge of the layout and there is a dirt road where the truck is sitting that leads off to the right.

Now I am going to have to come up with something else to  build.  Sometimes that is the hard part.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Welding shop progress

The welding and used machinery company is coming along well.  I have built a "basement" which is the welding shop.  The interior of the welding shop is detailed and I installed an electronic welding effect from TMI Digital.  It provides a white intermittent light which serves to light the interior so that the details can be seen.  There is a rudimentary auto body inside which blocks the welding light.  A kneeling figure is behind the auto doing the welding - you can only see his head and the top of his body.  It seems effective to me.

The TMI Digital board is under the structure and you can see part of the electronic board at the top of the above photo.  Below are the three structures that make up this industry; at left is the office part which sits on top of the "basement" welding shop part.  The shed on the right sits next to the side platform of the office.  There will be machinery in the shed.

One reason I have decided to make one function of this industry used machinery is to give me a reason to use some of my many detail parts and have old machinery both in the shed and around the whole structure.  I have quite a few machinery detail parts and will scratchbuild others.

The location for this industry is a hill slope next to a siding at the front of my layout.  It was just a boring grassy slope but I have cut a preliminary opening to install this industry.

This part of the layout sits on top of a bookcase, and you can see part of the top of that bookcase in the hole.  The structure will sit on the bookcase with the top platform at track level and the welding shop door at ground level in the rear.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vintage Ballast Loader

This is a vintage 1908 ballast loader by Fairbanks Morse.  The machine consisted of two inclined conveyors supported on a framework, with the lower end of the conveyor at the trackside gravel pile and the upper end extending over the ballast car.   Power was supplied by a 6 hp gasoline engine.  The loader structure was mounted on a railcar with a gear so the gasoline engine could move the car.  The overhanging frame supported a revolving shaft with a double crank on each end.  Ropes were connected from each crank to a scoop shovel.

Four shovelers with the assistance of two men could load twelve cars holding 26 yards of gravel each in a 10 hour day.  They claimed it was more cost effective than than using a steam shovel.  This would make an interesting model, most likely as a derelict on a more modern model railroad.

In response to a comment/question (which apparently blogger does not enable me to respond to directly) the photo and information I posted on this unique ballast loader was all the info the catalog had.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lineside industry now with an identity

I have finished the structure I was working on - sort of.  I have decided it will be a welding and used machinery company.  I always liked watching the Bob Ross painting shows and still watch some reruns since I frequently paint my own Xmas cards.  One saying Bob had as he painted was that as the painting progressed he would see things - to be added into his painting.  I kind of do the same as I build my models since I draw no plans and the model just sort of evolves.  In the case of this model I have decided since it is on a grade off the siding I will add a "basement" which will be the welding shop.  That is in progress.  There will be a road behind the structure at the base of the grade.

It is lots of fun building these structures.  More later.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

WW&F Narrow Gauge Railroad visit in August

Following my visit to the North Conway Scenic Railroad, I made another visit to the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington railway just above Portland Maine near the seaside town of Wiscasset.  The WW&F is a
small but neat narrow gauge museum railroad with a dedicated and active group of volunteers including some of my wife's relatives.  On this visit I got to ride the Model T railcar built from Ford model T parts to resemble a railcar once used by the SR&RL RR.  The railcar can hold 5 passengers and the driver.  Trust me it has no springs that amount to anything - I felt every joint in the rail.  When we got to the far end of the railroad I helped the driver crank up the railcar mounted turntable and turn the railcar for the trip back.

That is me doing the cranking.  Not too hard and fun trying.

Following our visit to the WW&F we went down to the town of Wiscasset for lunch then walked down to the seaside where the WW&F folks donated a dairy car for display on the dock area.

On the other side of the car the door is open and there are photos and memorabilia from the WW&F on display.

Off the side of the dock you can still see some of the pilings that used to carry the WW&F tracks over the water alongside the shoreline.