Sunday, February 14, 2010

Work Session 10-6-2009

I invited my friends and fellow members in the South Coast Society of Model Engineers over to help me with a few jobs on the layout. We meet most Tuesdays at members homes and once a month for a business meeting where we also share new acquisitions, stories of railfanning adventures, and other railroad related events. The meetings at members homes can be running on a members layouts, work sessions on members layouts, or just watching videos with friends.

I had finished the walls but wanted to put some additional stiffeners which would also later serve as supports for the second level. The stiffeners or external ribs were described briefly in the Thin Walls post of June 23, 2009. Most of the stiffeners were cut previously when we were putting up the new thin walls (see the July 3, 2009 post). Because the walls have some curvature to them the stiffeners are cut to match the curvature. Because the curvature should be the same at the top as the bottom, when the walls were erected three or four identical stiffeners were cut. It was quite easy then to attach the stiffeners to the new walls. Since the walls are only 1/8" thick the stiffeners are secured using 1 1/4" dry wall screws from the opposite side of the wall.

John Ryan and Michael Lopez holding a stiffener over Summerland

John Ryan and Bob Lyon holding a stiffener over Carpinteria

John Ryan securing a stiffener over La Patera from the Carpinteria side

Joe Heumphreus securing the stiffener over Summerland from the back side.

The problem came when stiffeners had to be cut for the old thin walls that were errected initially. Each individual stiffener had to be measured and cut.

Walter Naumann measuring a stiffener for the old thin wall

In addition to the stiffeners, I had a bookcase that I wanted to put some doors on so that I could hand a blackboard for crew announcements and a crew call board. Two of the club members tackled that task. By the end of the evening we had accomplished much and another step was accomplished.

Art Sylvester and Jim Felland work on the bookcase doors

The blackboard and crew call board on the finished doors

Friday, February 12, 2010

Where Has All the Time Gone?

It has been over seven months since I posted anything on my blog. Where has the time gone? I guess I need to get going again on the Santa Barbara Subdivision. I did not realize that people actually read and followed the exploits in the garage until Bill Decker approached me in October at the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society Convention in San Luis Obispo asking why I had not posted since July 3, 2009. I told him I would be posting soon. When Bill saw me at the end of January this year, he asked again. So, Bill, this post is for you!

The day after the last post I flew to Hartford, Connecticut to participate in the 2009 NMRA convention. The week was wonderful and sometime in the near future I will tell you all a little about the week. The following three weeks, my wife and I traveled north to Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine and returned south to Massachusetts (Martha's Vineyard) and Connecticut before returning home.

In October my wife traveled with me to Colorado to attend Rocky Ops North where we joined with other model railroad operators from around the country, operating on some great layouts.

I had a work day on the railroad October 6, 2009 with help from my local model railroad club. I will report on that in a separate post. We put in some supports for a second level. Yes, I am going up to level two.

At the Hartford convention I attended a clinic by Bob Hamm about building a helix. Even though I had a helix in already it was temporary and I am now in the process of putting in another larger more complex helix. More on another post.

Right now I am trying to get over a psychological "hump". Many of the areas of the layout have accumulated material on the horizontal surfaces. A problem that I am constantly battling.

The second level will include Surf and the branch to Lompoc and the White Hills diatomaceous mine complex. The main line will continue north past Vandenberg Air Force Base and approach the Santa Maria Valley. I will try to be better at making progress and reporting to all of you on that progress.

Tie strips and hoppers on the shelf where the diatomaceous mine is planned.