Work Begins on the HO Railroad That Grows

NorthernJerseyRR Mar 27, 2021

  1. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    I posted the second installment of my build on the railroad, showing the bed laying, track weathering, laying track, and also the actual train running. lol

    Cheers,
    Rich

     
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  2. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    Got all my track ballasted and weathered, but we have a problem. I ran my loco around to ensure I had cleaned the rails sufficiently and noticed it was running funny again. As suspected, one of the little metal bars that slides in and out of the "barrels" located on either side of the engine as the wheels spin had popped out. As this was not the first time it happened, I set about to repair it, but also to discover why it was happening.

    After removing the little guide wheels under the front of the loco, I discovered a small crack in what I'm pretty sure is called the valve gear assembly, right where the screw that holds it in place is. That allowed the part to curve ever so slightly, which in turn allowed the piston rod to pop out of the barrel. I superglued it together and then noticed when reassembling it that a fiddly little plastic bar the holds the metal wheel parts to the side of the loco had popped out of its hole, both from the loco itself and the metal bar.

    camphoto_1804928587.JPG

    Now I had bought a set of precision tools to work on just this sort of thing, but that little plastic piece kept wanting to jump out of the tweezers I was using. In fact, it jumped from the tweezers or otherwise hit the eject button itself from those little metal prongs 5 different times. I found it again 4 times. The last time I have no idea where it went. I searched on my hands and knees for a good hour, poring over every square inch of the floor but to no avail. It got sucked into a black hole somewhere along its trajectory.

    Needless to say, the locomotive is inoperable now. I looked online for a replacement part, even if I had to buy the whole assembly, but not even the manufacturer Bachmann has the exact same part on its site (and I'm not even sure if that valve gear assembly is the right thing). It only has one that's all black, not with these brass (?) fittings.

    Ultimately, I decided to just buy a new locomotive, but I'm abandoning the steam version. I did, however, want something that would look more appropriate for pulling the Broadway Limited passenger cars. I saw a Wikipedia entry on the Broadway Limited showing an image of the cars being pulled in later years by a Warbonnet Santa Fe diesel, but that looked too current for what I imagine my layout is going after. Instead, I bought a Burlington Silver Pilot, which to me has a more Art Deco look, which to my mind seemed to better match the Pullman cars of the set.

    [​IMG]

    Afterwards, though, I'm not so certain about that copper splash of paint on the nose, and think I should have opted instead for the Silver Speed, which matches what's in my mind's eye better.

    [​IMG]

    Ah, well, live and learn. I'm just hoping there are fewer fiddly parts that my ape hands have difficulty handling. Also, I hope the couplers match on the cars and loco (probably not since the loco is a Kato) so I'm guessing I'll have some work to do on replacing them. Sigh.
     
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  3. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    Gotta love Harbor Freight. Just don't buy any power equipment there you expect to keep long term!
     
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  4. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    Ha! Very hit or miss. I have a 10" compound miter saw for about 10 years that's worked flawlessly that entire time, as has a MIG welder that's done the job I've asked, though often not very prettily (certainly not because of me!). But I've gone through 3 or 4 multi-tools, an airbrush or two, and a palm sander that wasn't worth what I paid. I think the store is so popular because of the treasure hunt atmosphere: what will I buy that will be gold versus what will turn out to be junk?

    Cheers,
    Rich
     
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  5. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    The specific parts of the valve gear assembly you were dealing with in your post above are the steam chest with the crosshead guides attached. The crosshead guides do as implied and guide the crossheads which are the parts that slide back and forth with the piston and are connected to the main rods. I don't remember the specific name for the part you lost but it is a brace for the guides and keep the two guides parallel.

    I have a theory I still think is true., Tiny parts that squirt out of a tweezers and disappear into another dimension, can never be found by purposely looking for them. However, after a period of time, they reenter our dimension and will be laying somewhere you previously had looked. This will happen when you are looking for a different part that disappeared. And, the cycle continues.

    Doug
     
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  6. Penner

    Penner TrainBoard Member

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    LOL ... I guess you bought the same palm sander there that I did. It lasted one job. :eek:
     
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  7. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    Try using a small piece of wire instead ....Mike
     
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  8. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    Lol! Oh, don't you know it! And usually by then I've usually forgotten what I needed the part for, or in this case, how it all goes back together.
     
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  9. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    Oooh! I like that idea. The piece did go in 3 directions, but maybe I could get it to work. It's certainly worth a shot. Thanks!
     
  10. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't had a chance to check out those corner clamps yet, but they look lots better than the ones I have. I also bought an angle grinder there when I was in a bind almost 20 years ago. It sounded like crap when it ran and I expected it to quit at any time. Surprisingly, I've still got it and the gears may have even worn in a bit as I think it even sounds a little better than it used to. Just goes to show you never know. It sure would be nice to have A little more confidence, though.
     
  11. NorthernJerseyRR

    NorthernJerseyRR TrainBoard Member

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    I ran into a problem with my locomotive while testing my track after I got it all ballasted and weathered. Let's just say parts went flying and have likely been lost for all eternity. I've since ordered a new loco that should be here in a day or two, but in the meantime I figured I'd try my hand at building a Scale Scenes card building.

    The first thing I was surprised about was the incredibly small size of an N scale building and just how fiddly they can be to construct (much more so, I imagine, than an HO or larger version of the same model). However, as mind numbingly focused as you need to be to build one of these, it's a process that also weirdly therapeutic too. You can just get lost in all the exact cutting that's needed, and it took me about 4-5 hours to complete.

    I did finally get it done after a few hiccups (once a not-so-clear instruction - like why do you make 2 windows when there's only one opening?; once me being a bonehead - gluing a wall upside down) and though I need to practice my technique more, it was an enjoyable build. This is the free Coal Office download from Scale Scenes. I'm planning to redo it now that I know what's expected, but it was an enjoyable experience nonetheless and occupied an entire afternoon for me.

    IMG_1972.JPG
     
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  12. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    Ah yes. "Part launching", the bane of model railroaders... :eek:
     
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  13. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

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    "Part launching".

    The likelihood of a part being lost is directly proportional to its importance and inversely proportional to its ability to be replaced.

    This can be shown mathematically as: (Pl x Pr)/(Pr x Pl)^2/Pi = Oh! (Expletive Deleted).
     

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