N scale "What's on your workbench?"

Mark Watson Oct 28, 2009

  1. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    Those of us with less skill and patience would probably use an old, short, 4 axle switcher, rather than two of the customized steeple cabs, especially if we use DCC. But I admire both of those qualities you have demonstrated in spades.
    DeaconKC and BNSF FAN like this.
  2. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Both the 44 tonner and several others have issues with the tight curvature in the port area. Choosing a loco mechanism that will navigate 5 inch radius or less is a reason for this product choice. Folks forget that I have a layout that has 9 inch and under mainline radius and the port are features turnouts that have a 6 inch radius and some curvature that will approach 5 inch and space is at a premium on my layout. I have 14 short spurs just in the port area. An N scale layout with a narrow gauge flavor, The largest power on the layout are the 70 tonners and the Bandai DD-51s.

    The steeple cab conversion to diesel is done and with a few added parts been converted from a Japanese loco to American.

    And here posed with some mainline power.

  3. platypus

    platypus TrainBoard Member

    Finished the decaling on these three. The two tankers need some touch up work still but got the decals sealed in. 20230101_140519.jpg
  4. Moose2013

    Moose2013 TrainBoard Member


    That is pink. That, ummm, Moose mean, yeah, that is definitely pink... Really like how the cars "pop" and the decals look really well done!
    Hardcoaler, DeaconKC and BNSF FAN like this.
  5. John Raid

    John Raid TrainBoard Member

    I almost have BN 2337 (GP38-2) and 3045 (GP40-2) done. I spent way too much time on the fuel tanks and trucks and should have spent more time putting and sanding.

  6. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    Happy 2023! Starting the year off with some much-needed corrective surgery on my benchwork. I have an unsightly "hump" in the middle of my layout caused by foam board that either came unglued or wasn't glued down correctly. It's not just a cosmetic issue, but my mainline runs across this "hump" and locos/cars come uncoupled after traversing it. Yikes. So this is really important. My 16 year-old 4x8' layout was made semi-modular, so that it can be split into two 4x4' halves in case of moving one day, so I need to move some furniture and under-layout items to split the layout benchwork into two and glue/caulk down that part of foam board. None of the rest of my layout progress can go on until I get that done. I already started the work last week by buying a couple 1x3 boards from a local hardware store to reinforce my benchwork. I plan to do The Big Split this coming week!
  7. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    Please take and post pictures. I would love to see how you do it.
    Metro Red Line, DeaconKC and BNSF FAN like this.
  8. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    Decoders, and more decoders. I had 4 Kato P42s to do, one GS-4 From Kato and my Saphir Odoriko which needed 3. Yes folks that’s 8 decoders in one go. Most of them went smooth, except for the Kato FL12s I put into the Odoriko’s end cars. They wouldn’t read or acknowledge the command station. This led me to believe I had an issue. I finally just forced a write for the address and the command station said failed, but the lights on the car blinked just like when they program correctly, so I decided to test to see, and it liked the address. Ok good to go now!
  9. MetraMan01

    MetraMan01 TrainBoard Member

    Most of them went smooth, except for the Kato FL12s I put into the Odoriko’s end cars. They wouldn’t read or acknowledge the command station. This led me to believe I had an issue. I finally just forced a write for the address and the command station said failed, but the lights on the car blinked just like when they program correctly, so I decided to test to see, and it liked the address. Ok good to go now![/QUOTE]

    I’ve programmed about a dozen of those to the particular address of the Metra cab-Coach I installed it in. It’s always a bit touchy-sometimes it doesn’t look like it works but I just try it again and eventually it works.
  10. John Raid

    John Raid TrainBoard Member

    I finally got BN 2337 and 3045 off my work bench. I put about 70 hours into the pair super detailing, painting, decalling and weathering them to match prototype photos I took in 1994 and 1997.

  11. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member


    Love them Cascade Green Machines, great job in those!
    DeaconKC, MetraMan01 and John Raid like this.
  12. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    So tonight I finished a building I started almost 2 years ago, it’s the last one I needed for my Tram Layout. I will get some pics in the morning, there isn’t enough good lighting for a good pic. I also started painting another building I honestly have no place for. I’m just painting it and will assemble it here soon. And my last project was working on the code for my automation board. It should work with the code used in my tram layout but I’m going for a programmable or selectable mode functionality so it’s taking a bit more work than the last device. The board turned out pretty good, but this is a prototype, the production board will be a bit better. I do have a pic of the board I can share.

    SP-Wolf, Hardcoaler, Sumner and 5 others like this.
  13. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    So this winter I've been working on some electronic projects while running trains. On the work bench over the past couple days is this point to point control box for modular layouts using the Azatrax point to point circuit board.


    This box will hang from the lower cross brace of legs for one of my Ntrak modules with cables attached to the module, a remote sensor up to 25 feet away, and to power. This particular module is used both in Ntrak layouts and in another layout caledl AsiaNrail. The Ntrak club I belong to has several Mountain Division modules but not enough to actually run the line so this will allow us to run something back and forth along the Mountain Division on whatever modules are there. The sensors for one end will be permanently installed on my module and I have a small stand with portable sensors that can be at the other end of the 25 foot cable.

  14. jwaldo

    jwaldo TrainBoard Member

    My decoders arrived, so I started with the one that seemed easiest, the LL GP20.



    The one thing not mentioned in the guide was that even after making clearance modifications to the PCBs, I still had to trim the light guide inside the cab to get the shell back on. The effort was worth it though. No more 00 whine, no more candle-looking yellow lights. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy running this one while I work up the courage to do another...
  15. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    Tonight I started building the T-Trak modules I’m going to try and sell at the upcoming show. I’m building 2 singles and 2 doubles. I hope they won’t come home with me! Here are a couple of pics from my progress.

    Pieces all cut out waiting to be glued. These are for one of the doubles.

    I glue them and clamp them in 2 halves. Then they get a finish nail to help secure them. Both halves are the same, they just need to be glued, clamped and nailed (in that order) to each other.

    Here is both halves joined, next is the top. B76F236B-7BA7-4B7D-B2DD-0A51B76E9DB5.jpeg

    And last for tonight the top is glued on, and I use other pieces of wood to weigh it down evenly. Tomorrow sometime I will sink the nails with a nail set, then route the excess wood off the top. And the last step is to sand smooth.

    I need to build a jig so I can put the Power Pole hole in the rear, I will work on that here soon, but for now I don’t offer it.
    BigJake, BoxcabE50, SP-Wolf and 8 others like this.
  16. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

    Best of luck to you!
    in2tech and Massey like this.
  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    They're looking really nice.(y) I like how you've routed dadoes into the frames to hold the triangular pieces square and true, leaving a very strong assembly.
    MetraMan01, Massey and DeaconKC like this.
  18. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Fantastic! I'm green with envy... :p :D
    John Raid, MetraMan01 and Massey like this.
  19. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    I finally remember I needed to post the building I finished the other day. I painted it quite a while ago, and it has just been sitting on my desk ever since. It’s an Outland Models apartment kit, and of course no instructions, but they are easy enough to figure out. I still have to put on the foyer floor, I just found it while painting another model.

    Last building for my tram layout. It’s the beige and blue building on the right.
  20. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Well the 2nd set of Kato pocket line steeple cab and cars arrived, First up was to take the two brake vans and make a single transfer caboose out of them Then take the sides cut out in making the transfer caboose and use them to fill in the gap in the sides of the donor van, making another gondola.

    The gray gon is the one which had the sides filled in.

    Still work to be done on the new transfer caboose and some parts for it just got shipped.

    Meanwhile I have started disassembling the new steeple cab to start the conversion to a diesel. Removing the pantograph, installing MTs. and more weight, creating a exhaust stack between the window which involves removing the headlights. Lengthening the frame at both ends to allow the MT installation. Installing EMD non turbo exhaust on the roof and air tanks and finally airhorns. Last will be reinstalling the headlights, paint where needed and decals on both locos and caboose.
    SP-Wolf, BoxcabE50, Mike C and 3 others like this.

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