Things I've learned

kevsmith Aug 21, 2017

  1. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

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    I use a silver sharpie on the tops of my n scale Kato and Atlas loco fans, then go back lightly over the edges with a black one so it brings out the detail inside.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
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  2. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I BELIEVE!! Oh sorry that's Jeff Foxworthy's line.

    I've learned...to believe or not.

    Very little of what I hear from the news media, very little of what I see on the internet and I don't trust half of what I read or See on TV. Trusting some of my experiences in life but not all of them. Why? I've been lied to before and have learned that some things I BELIEVE, were indeed lies. Never mind what's happening in the world of politics, today. Oop's my bad. I shouldn't have said that.

    Anything can and will end up lost. Now where did I go and put that small screw driver? You know my favorite one. Under the hutch? Oh you darn cat's. Stay off my work bench. Haw! No, not my Dremel tool, my razor saw and soldering irons? What? You've got be kidding how did you get my sander under here? So that's where my Santa Fe ConCor Coach, I bought two weeks ago has been hiding. NMRA gauge? I had that locked up. Aiiyiiyii !!! (n)

    Then there's that thing about prototypes. There is a prototype for just about anything you want to do on your layout. Really? Really! You'll hear me say, "If you look long enough you will find a prototype for anything you want to do on your layout." Makes it sound longer and more impressive. You know, if said that way. LOL :cool::p

    I BELIEVE! There is an equal or worse reaction, to any response from me. Regarding something that went wrong on the layout. Usually at the delight of the four pawed critters that roam their vast world in miniature. Hey, dad! Want to see your back-up mallet, fall off the layout? Swipe! How about this box car? Head butt! No, why are you yelling at me? Okay, I'll teach you to yell at me. There goes your prized SP Daylight F7. Tail slap! Now get off my back. Don't throw me, don't throw me. I'm getting my claws out, had them sharpened last night. Yeeooowwww! Leave me alone. The carrier? Not the carrier! I don't want a time out!

    Did you see that? What's up with the claw finger? :censored:

    Your getting all of this, right!

    I Believe! There really are Gremlins and a Mr. Murphy. Perhaps in a different dimension where we can't see them but ever present at any model railroad function. Hey, they like trains. Especially, the ones that crash into each other or fall off onto the floor. Ever been bumped by one of them just as you are getting that articulated stove back on the tracks and no one else is around? You know there has to be something to it and I'm guessing they are in collusion with the cats. :unsure:

    Men in Black. I'll leave that one open to interpretation but I did wear a black suit for years. :):sick::ROFLMAO::eek:o_O
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
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  3. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    When working on something with lots of teeny parts, like most steam locomotives in N or even HO, work inside a plastic or cardboard tray, and sit on the floor or at a low table, like a coffee table, if you can. You'll keep the parts contained, and if something escapes, it won't bounce so far!
     
  4. Akirasho

    Akirasho TrainBoard Member

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    Inevitably, I end up bumping the tray with a knee or elbow with predictable results!
     
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  5. flexeril

    flexeril TrainBoard Member

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    for me would be to buy a resistance soldering unit. never going back
     
  6. WaltP

    WaltP TrainBoard Member

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    Grab a neck to knee 'chef' apron. Attach the knee end under your workspace, spread out wide. When you sit down put the neck end over your head. Now when that small part or tool heads for the floor, you don't have so far to go to pick it up. It's also easier to find. You still may loose a spring or too, but you have a better shot of it not finding the multicolored carpet.
     
  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I place a suitably small microfibre cloth on my work table, push it well forward so as to not catch it on a sleeve and place my parts on it. The parts can be organized, they won't roll away, and can be easily located and picked up.
     
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  8. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    When installing ballast I use six medicine dispensers filled with my favorite ballast. It will do about four feet of N scale track. You can get them from Walgreens or possibly another pharmacy, go to the pharmacy counter and they will give you some for free. Can't beat that price. Ballast was one of the things I disliked with a passion but not now, it's a lot easier for me and only takes about 15 minutes to install four feet including applying glue. Just talking about it makes me want to do some ballast, off to work on the layout now.

    Joe

    IMG_20190727_171538.jpg

    IMG_20190617_235743.jpg
     
  9. Lawrence

    Lawrence TrainBoard Member

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    Plan, plan, plan, and when you are finished planning, leave it for a few days then go back to it and see if it is still going to work.

    Measure twice - cut once
     
  10. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Lawrence, I completely agree. Too many times I've only seen my errors afterwards. o_O
     
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  11. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Exactly what I use, too. When I need just a very fine amount, for touch up, I use a small “ice cream cup” spoon
     
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  12. Kitbash

    Kitbash TrainBoard Supporter

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    Buy a label maker. In building my current (3rd edition) Albemarle Division, I made the decision early to label all wires below the table. Now that the layout is pretty advanced (trackwise, still needs tons of scenery), the labeling has eliminated the tracing time below the layout. I use green and red for all rail power and have each set labeled every 3 or 4 feet for the power district it serves. I have also completely separated the different blocks with space so the current detection system won't pick up amperage from block-to-block.

    That's the big lesson I've learned from my previous 2 layouts. When wiring, pick a color convention, stick to it; INVEST IN A LABEL MAKER. Label all of the wires, and keep it "reasonably" neat.
     
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  13. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    I use red and black for the mainline wires, yellow and black for the passing tracks and green and black for the yard and spurs.

    Joe
     
  14. Tom Crofton

    Tom Crofton TrainBoard Member

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    just guessing what happened
     
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  15. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I have learned that a part is never truly lost...I found the windshield for my Kato/Atlas GP35 3 years after I lost it
     
  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I have learned what each and every tool I own can do.

    Laser:
    When I bought my first Laser engraver, I went to the dealers home, where he was aligning laser mirrors and checking laser power in his garage on a refurb laser. He handed me safety goggles, then put the "Lollypop" laser power meter in front of the mirror, turned on the laser and measured power, then pulled the lollypop out of the beam path. His dog let out a bloodcurdling yelp! THEN he turned off the laser...oops! Turn off laser first, then move the lollypop out of the way. The beam bounced off the edge of the lollypop, and shot across the garage, burned a line of hair on his dog, and started to bore a hole in him.

    Dremel:
    I was using a small burr bit to remove metal on a Marklin loco shell. At 25,000 rpm's, the bit slipped, and bounced off the shell, then bounced off my knuckle bone. There was a clean deep hole through my flesh, where I coud see exactly what chipped bone looks like from my optivisor, before the hole filled with lots of dripping blood. Ow!

    Soldering Iron:
    Some genius, in his infinite wisdom, decided that we need solder that has no lead, so we can raise the temperature required to melt solder. Where I used to need a setting of 3, I now need 5 to melt new solder, almost twice as hot. While trying to remove a capacitor from a PCB recently, I was pulling on the cap, while heating the joint on the other side of the board, and the iron slipped. I discovered that the skin in between my thumb and finger actually "Foams Up" as the soldering iron tip punched through the meat, leaving a white mound with a deep crater when you remove the tip. I did not know that SO MUCH PAIN could be concentrated into such a small wound, did you?

    Exacto Knife:
    Not a lot of pain, just a lot of blood. Nuff said!

    Needle point glue applicator:
    Did you know that white glue does not sting inside a wound? It don't, but the needle does going in the palm of your hand. Never reach across the workbench to pick something up, if you leave the needle point glue bottle in the way. More scared than hurt, a little further and it would have been the underside of my wrist, instead of the meat of my palm.

    Homade static grass applicator:
    Made from an electronic fly swatter. Not super painful, but really wakes you up! Never use you fingers to rub clumped glue and fibers off the screen because you got too close to the scenery.

    TV Tuner cleaner as spider spray:
    While sitting at my workbewnch, I reached to open a box on the bottom shelf one day, and out popped a big juicy black widow, who started running towards me. I had some TV Tuner cleaner spray right there, so I gave her a blast, which blew her back towards the box, and wet the floor. She picked up speed, and ran for my feet, running right through the Tuner Cleaner like it didn't bother her, but it was evaporating dry pretty fast. So I took the propane lighter I use for shrink tube, and decided that should stop her. Poof! My whole garage floor was instantly on fire, with piles of cat hair burning at all my train layout's wood legs, and trying to stomp out the fires only spread them. I ran out to the backyard and came running in with the garden hose on, and got clotheslined when the hose hung on something on the patio. I'm pretty sure it was Jeff who put the fires out while I was trying to fill my lungs with air, as iI got the wind knocked out of me pretty good. Jeff thought it was just another good show day at Robert's garage.
     
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  17. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    All I can say is OUCH Robert!!!!

    For me, I have learned to sift the contents of my shop vac before sending it to the trash. Have found a few items I didn't even know were missing.
     
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  18. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    rray, I am trying to tell myself that this is not funny. I will resume talking to myself after I stop rolling on the floor. Stay safe! :eek::Do_O
     
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  19. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Or, when removing dust from the railroad, stretch sheer cloth or nylon hosiery across the mouth of the vacuum wand. Hold it over a piece of paper when you turn the vacuum off, and inspect the dust for vital bits before throwing it away.
     
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  20. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    When you pour resin, make sure that EVERYTHING is sealed in the area.
    I had resin finding the most weird ways to drop on my mother tablecloth (including flowing between two layers of foam glued together). More than half a bottle found its way down.....i guess the module was sealed off (did not pour a second layer) but the module still stands as it was the following day.

    Inviato dal mio BLN-L21 utilizzando Tapatalk
     
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