Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I've been pretty lame in posting anything this past month.  Sort of a blah month with lots going on, but not fun stuff.  Lately I've been feeling that I have reached a crossroads professionally.  It's been almost five years as a "manager" and my craftsman roots seem more distant than ever.   I miss standing in a pile of wood chips all day, with only my own precision to worry about.    All this has led to a lack of motivation in regards to building anything on the model railroad.   I did try to attack the final few items on the Benzol Coolers.  I added the last few sheaves to the gate valves and then focused on the tops of the towers.  The prototype has extremely complicated manifolds that I couldn't possibly hope to replicate.  I did my best at a representative assembly but I'm not thrilled with the results.  I also added small cranes on top of two of the towers.  I will add ropes after painting.   Basically the only thing that remains before painting is to add light posts throughout the structure.  I had planned on making these functional, however, after thinking about the cost and complexity of working with very very tiny LEDs and magnet wire I am just going to add static versions.

Benzol Coolers Top
Crane Detail
We did make our annual father and son trip to the Battle of the Bulge at Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA this past weekend.  It was, as usual, an enjoyable trip, although the public battle wasn't as elaborate as in the past and the barrack tours weren't happening either.    On the way back we stopped at the Cabellas Super Store in Hamburg, PA.  If the economy is slow you wouldn't know it there.  Besides twenty high capacity tactical  magazines for my AR-15 that are illegal in New Jersey,  I picked up a 25 lb bag of bird shot.  (That first part was obviously a joke) I've been looking around South Jersey for this for the past year and no one sells it anymore.  These little lead balls make cheap weights for rolling stock and are easy to conceal.  We also needed them to start manufacturing version two of our resin slag car loads.  After testing the originals on Rick Bickmore's Harrisburg Terminal Railroad the reviews were positive as to the appearance and ease of removal during operations, however, once removed, the cars were too light and became more prone to derailments.  Version two will be a two part casting - the first will be cast in dark grey with lead shot infused in the resin and will reside in the bottom of the slag pot. The second casting, in the orange color will sit on top and contain a steel insert for removal with a magnet.

Enough Weight for 150-200 cars
Perfect Road Rage Vehicle

No comments: