Monday, December 31, 2007

Bill Yard

Have started on WSS's Bill Yard. It is located behind what was Schlitz and later Stroh's Brewery. A rather small yard with only 7 tracks, it leads to the north across the South Fork Viaduct and into Corn Products.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas is Over...Now The REAL Work Starts

Have started on some landscaping on the upper WSS level. I realized that the upper level needs to be finished before the lower as stuff would be falling and messing up everything below. I enclosed the helix, but is still accessible from underneath and I can stand up inside to clean track, etc.

I suddenly realized that I wouldn't be able to use the ground throws on the upper level and started searching for manual throw options. Robin said he had seen an article where someone used a click ball point pen. That night, I went to the house, found several pens and started experimenting. Yes, they seemed to work. I mounted a few and worked out an adjustment mechanism.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nov 27 Update

Have been rather busy with various things, none of which involved modeling. Spent a week at Hatteras during Thanksgiving. I do have track on the helix and roadbed down on the whole lower island section. Got brave enough to try and run a train down the spline. There were no problems, but it sure was scary watching that train teeter on a 1 inch wide roadbed with nothing but floor underneath.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Second Level

It's been a couple of weeks since I added the second level to the NS route. Since then, the CCNS club had a show to do in Hickory, I had a Ops session to attend, and in between have been working on the center island which represents the Winston Salem Southbound.

As I laid the splines and started penciling in areas, it became painfully obvious that I did not have the room to do nearly what I wanted on the WSS sub. To fix it, I did two things: (1) added a second level to the center island (2) cut out some of the smaller LDEs I had planned to give proper space to the ones that were left.

Now, how do I get up and down from the second level? A helix. I had never built one, but there was really no other option. I saw on the Internet, a plan for using 1 x 4 lumber cut at angled to form a 16 sided circular object. My ability to work with a jigsaw was poor at best, so this seemed like a good option.

The helix was assembled with threaded rod, fender washers and nuts above and below to hold each level in place. Adding another level also meant I had to add more lights. Since the benchwork was already in place, I had to mount these one at a time. Quite time consuming, but well worth it to light the lower level. For these, I had to be careful to not go above or below the 1 x 4, so I tried handy boxes with a duplex outlet and a CFL in a plug in adapter. This also meant I now have an electrical outlet every 16". That should come in handy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Laying Spline

The last CCSB was plywood plains... nothing but flat landscape for miles. I wanted this one to be different, so I thought I would try splines. Nobody around me had done this that I knew of so there was nobody local to turn to for advice. Guess I have to go this one alone.

I took some of the scrap primed 1/8 masonite that I had and cut it into 1 1/2" strips on the table saw. I set a couple of screws into the risers where I wanted them to go and clamped and glued each strip. The next day, I removed the clamps to find a completely rigid roadbed.

While the splines were drying, I finished the walls in the pit and to the exit side.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Second Level

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been over thousands of trackplans in my mind. It is obvious that what I want to do will require a second level. To do this, I've added benchwork on the right side wall. I need to get down to the first level and have been thinking about a nolix.

A nolix is trackwork that climbs as it goes around the wall. It functions as a helix, but does so over a long distance. I can slope the benchwork of part of the right wall upper section at 2-3% and continue the slope across the pit to arrive at the lower level. Question is, what can I pull at 3%?

My very first version of a layout had an incline. I had tested it with a little 0-6-0 steamer and it would run up and down with a car or two, no problem. One day, I tried 10 cars, and it wouldn't even make it half way. The next day I tore the whole thing apart and said the next layout would have no elevation. It didn't. Now, I'm back with this grade being an important part of this whole building.

Friday, I soldered some track together and hooked up the booster and ran a train up. It would carry around 10 cars up with no problem. Two in a consist could haul 25. Good enough for me.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Haven't stopped much in the last 2 weeks so things look a good bit different. The ceiling is now painted. I want everything to be black except the skyboard and scenery for a shadowbox appearance.

Have the benchwork on the peninsula and most of the walls. The benchwork is around 48" high and 24" wide except where Linwood's Spencer Yard will be. I left it 30" wide to fit in as many class tracks as I can and still have room for the mains behind it and the forwarding yard to the front.

Rear corner, Yadkin River

Winston Salem Southbound's I-85 crossing

Right side benchwork

Right side from the front.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ceiling and Lighting

That's about it for the last few days. Robin helped me put up the sheetrock for the ceiling. That took us 2 nights. Another 2 nights to mud and sand the joints.

I started putting up the light bars around the center peninsula. I wanted to keep the heat and amperage to a minimum. Did some experimenting with a variation of Joe Fugate's single bulb idea, but used compact fluorescents instead of incandescent bulbs. I can use a 13W CFL to get 60W of light. I tried them every 24" end seemed to have a good bit of light.

I came up with a framework that would also work as something to attach the upper fascia to. It just takes a while to mount individual octagon boxes, and wire the lights in series.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

More Inside Work

Temps are at above 100 most days. Still hasn't really rained since May. The outside temp is still 96 at 9 pm, but the 2 AC units are getting the inside temp down to the low 70s.

Still working on the backdrops and lower wall paneling.The Entrance thru the pit is mostly done. Still a little bit of trim work to do.

This is from the right front corner looking towards the back of the room.

From the right rear looking back toward the front.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Working On The Inside

Have added a side exit door, insulated the walls and ceiling and am putting the background boards in place. I am using the pre-primed masonite boards and leaving the white side out. The primed side will not hold brushed or rolled on paint, but spray paint will adhere just fine.

I want to stay away from brush marks plus the spray will allow me to touchup as needed. Am using Rust-o-leum's Traditions Aqua.

I talked to some HVAC folks and they calculated I should be okay with (2) 8000 BTU window AC units.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Raising The Roof

Well, we have an enclosed building. With the help of a couple of friends and relatives, the whole tin roof was put on in 2 days. Never mind that both days were almost to the 100 degree mark. How can I ever repay them?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reconsidering The Plan

I had to do some traveling yesterday (to pick up the metal for the roof. (Roof construction begins Sat). I started running trains in my mind. Start points, terminating points. It just didn't work well for me... the overall from Greensboro to Salisbury seemed short, that would be okay if everything was local I guess. Thought I needed to cover more area, at least in principle. The overall track size doesn't change, just the names of the places.

I never could find the right place for staging. Kept trying to stick it in the lower left corner, but that made it a short trip to Linwood, then long trip all the way back around. Plus this eliminates the walk thru I was going to have to put to cut thru the center peninsula.

There has to be a solution that covers it all!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Latest Trackplan

As I move along on the building, I am trying to finalize the trackplan. I had worked on it some but am not the best at visualizing space. Having the building there has helped to point out things I didn't think of.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

July 29th Update

Have almost finished OSB'ing the outside walls and have stick built the trusses. Just need some help in sheeting the gable end and raising it. I can't do that by myself.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hot Dry Summer

The summer is getting pretty hot and I think the last rain we had was in May. Anyway construction continues. At least I have the 2nd floor down and am finally in the shade.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Finally Got Some Days Off

Not much progress last week. I was out of work from Wed-Fri. Thought it may have been a gallstone or gallbladder problem. Huge back pain with nausea and abdomen pain. Taking Vicodin 2 at a time. Awoke Saturday feeling fine, went outside for a while and worked in the yard. Whatever it was must have uh, er, passed.

Went down to the new train room for a real test. Got 3/4 of the 2nd floor bridges done, and went Sunday to get 24 sheets of subflooring. Sarah and Tammy helped me get 5 sheets up to the 2nd floor and I did one sheet by myself. Don't think I'll do that again. The steps are mostly finished and 1 interior wall will be finished tonight.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4th Update

Haven't stopped long enough to take a picture lately. I told Sarah if she would help me raise the 3 walls, we would take the Sea Doo to the lake this afternoon. Temps have been in the 90s and it's really wearing on me once the sun gets above the trees.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Few More Projects Nearly Done

The Hwy 8 bridge at Abbott's Creek.
This is a throwback to the 70s before this bridge was replaced with a concrete one.

Another Building for the Maybelle Plant

The Yadkin River Bridges

The Building Has Been Started !!

I finally started on the addition to the barn. I thought it would never happen.

I had to start with the digging out for the "pit".

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Flat Swamp LDE Complete

I think it turned out pretty well. The beams are a little thick, but will do. I finally found the right combination of greens and browns and any other color I could find to make just the right shade of "chocolate milk".

Friday, April 13, 2007

Last Of The CCSB 1.0

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I will never start the new building as long as I have the existing room sitting here. So, I have decided to tear out the old room.

Starting tomorrow there will be no more CCSB. I've taken a few pics to remind me of what it last looked like.