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Author Topic: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build  (Read 70904 times)

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2014, 10:44:47 AM »
Like any good friend, I have to help Greg out with all the sawdust
he's creating in the house!

The verbage reads "The pink oyster mushroom kit from Fungi Perfecti arrived today. It is a tropical variety we can grow in the house innoculated in some sawdust.
 
Next, we put it in the humidity tent aka plastic bag, spray it with water, and wait ten days for bright pink mushrooms to appear."

Every wife should love Pink Mushrooms!

Morning David.

The mushrooms sound great, but how would pink mushrooms look in a sauce for a nice filet?  ;D
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

gnatshop

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2014, 10:14:07 PM »
Morning David.
The mushrooms sound great, but how would pink mushrooms look in a sauce for a nice filet?  ;D 
Oooops!  Bad choice on my part!
Pink mushrooms in a sauce would look like dog barf!  :( :(
Actually, nice filets need no sauce - just their own
juices!

I should have suggested the pink mushrooms for Candy - wish she stopped
in here to read about the luscious, juicy, tender filets!  ;D ;D ;D

BandOGuy

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #47 on: February 09, 2014, 07:20:21 AM »
Does this mean I won't have to log in every visit to check on the progress?!?!?
Working on my second million. I gave up on the first.

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2014, 09:36:57 AM »
Morning David.
The mushrooms sound great, but how would pink mushrooms look in a sauce for a nice filet?  ;D 
Oooops!  Bad choice on my part!
Pink mushrooms in a sauce would look like dog barf!  :( :(
Actually, nice filets need no sauce - just their own
juices!

I should have suggested the pink mushrooms for Candy - wish she stopped
in here to read about the luscious, juicy, tender filets!  ;D ;D ;D

Since you are in Arkansas, you might get better beef than we do, and Pegi and I had no problem getting great Iowa corn fed beef when we were in Missouri, but try to find any really great steak that has flavor and doesn't need a sauce here in FL. A great mushroom sauce really helps down here!

I do miss Candy over here too, here interiors were amazing, maybe you can work on her a bit more and get her away from the dark side.

Don't let her know about the filet issue, if she finds out we chat about beef over her, we'll never see her!  ;D
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2014, 09:40:31 AM »
Does this mean I won't have to log in every visit to check on the progress?!?!?

Hi BandOGuy. I am moving this thread over from the other forum and I have tried to get at least a couple of chapters done each week, but I haven't been real consistant.

Stay tuned, I'll try to do better.
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2014, 10:25:46 AM »
The benchwork and grading are complete for Phase 1 and 2 and it is time to begin the trackwork. But, before I begin, I have to make a few decisions on what methods and materials I will be using.

First big decision - I have decided that I really want to build a large layout and to do that I will have to add onto our home. Since that will take some time (money, plans, permits, construction, money), I will work on the trackwork and structures for Phase 1 and 2 for the next few months and then build Phase 3 benchwork and add it onto the existing layout later this summer. This will give plenty to do for the next couple of years as I add structures and scenery into the mix.

In the meantime, I will have plenty of planning to do which will make me as happy as a clam. Look on page 10 of this thread (under the black & white photo of the painters working) for a screen shot of the AutoCAD drawing of one of the versions I'm working on for the expansion - it includes the 1903 version of Union Station in St. Louis - the 1943 version is too darn large to model.

This will also give me a chance to revise Phase 4 of this first part of the layout and enlarge the timber and mining areas of Moosebutt that I crammed into the existing space available in the our sunroom (Rebel will be happy because it will eliminate the 18" walkthru and he won't have to worry about anyone having to "squeeze" thru).

Now it is decision time. I had all these thoughts in the back of my mind (yes Tom, I'm well aware that they are lonesome in there all by themselves) as I designed the layout, but now is the time to finalize all the specifications and purchase what materials will be needed.

Item No. 1 - Track:

What do I want to use for the track - flextrack (Dr. Evil's personal favorite) or handlay?

Tom has made a valid argument for the use of flextrack...speed, cost, speed, reliability, speed... and I agree that he is right. But, I have been leaning toward hand laying my own track since I did my first grown-up layout in the mid 80's. I had to scrap it after it was in storage till 2 years ago. See "The St.L&D - Part 1 - The Introduction" for that first attempt. {http://kitforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4604} I really enjoyed the process of hand laid track and the look of the finished product.

Decision: I will handlay my track for this project. I will use low profile ties for the branchline, sidings and yard areas and full size ties for the mainline. The tie lenghts will be 8'-0" for sidings, 8'-6" for the branchline and yard and 9'-0" for the mainline. The track will be Micro Engineering code 83 for the mainline and code 70 for the branchline, sidings and yard.

Exhibit #1 - ties (T116)

Item No. 2 - Roadbed:

Where do I want to use roadbed and what type of roadbed do I want to use? My choices for material appear to be foam, cork or homasote. Since I have decided to handlay my track, the foam and cork have been eliminated since they have lousy holding power for the spikes.

I looked at a web page by Craig Bisgeier {http://www.housatonicrr.com/DIY_Roadbed.htm} that has instructions about cutting homasote sheets into roadbed to save money. I compared this at $28 +/- per sheet with the price of the ready to install product from California Roadbed Co. that was recommended by Tom of the Porcupine Valley Builders Association.

Analysis: The precut roadbed from CRC is $1.56 per lf in an 8' package and $1.01 per lf in a 48' package. The price of the material if I cut it is about $0.20 +/- per lf, plus my time, the mess and the cost of saw blade sharpening - which is over $35.00 the last time I had one done and that was over 15 years ago. Since homasote is really tough on the saw blades, I have to factor this in if I ask Tom or Paul for the use of their table saw.

Decision: Go with the precut roadbed from California Roadbed Company delivered right to my front door. It will save the aggravation of schlepping the material all over the place for cutting, the mess to clean up and delivering and picking up the sawblade for sharpening. The track for the branchline, sidings and yard area can be placed directly onto the sheet homasote and the track for the mainline will be laid on a 0.24" thick precut homasote roadbed with a 30 deg. bevel glued onto the sheet homasote.

Exhibit #2 - precut homasote ()

The package of roadbed has not arrived, so check out the website - {http://www.homabed.com/site/890800/page/45029}

Item No. 3 - Switches:

Do I want to buy pre-manufactured switches or make my own? The layout was designed using all #6 switches in order to keep expenses down if I decided to go with a build my own solution.

I can't remember the manufacturer of the switches I bought back in the 80's and couldn't find any on the internet that looked like the ones I have. The switch in the photo below is a weathered switch with bolt head details that I purchased in the mid 80's.

Exhibit #3 - #6 weathered old switch (T113)

I did however find ones manufactured by B.K. Enterprises and Railway Engineering.

Analysis: The #6 code 70 switch from BK I bought was listed for $24.80 for the assembled version and took 2 months to arrive after ordering. It was okay, but as you can see in the picture below, the stock rail, frog and point rails are soldered together with a short piece of rail, but are not gauged and are too close together so it can't just be spiked in place as "assembled".

Exhibit #4 - #6 BK switch (T111)

The #6 code 70 switch from Railroad Engineering was listed for $24.95 and is ready to be spiked in place. The main problem I had with this company was getting in touch with them by phone. It seems that the owner lives outside of town, but has internet access. He has no land line phone in his home and his cell phone won't work except when he is in town. His product is good except he was very enthusiastic with the solder and he had gapped the frog on both sides. By the way, I also purchased some code 70 and code 83 rail gauges from him and they really work well (see them at -  http://www.railwayeng.com/gauges.htm).

Exhibit #5 - #6 Railway Engineering switch (T112)

If I make my own using the Fast Track assembly the costs will be - $114.35 for the #6 fixture, $51.95 for the #6 point form jig and $72.75 for the stock rail former jig, which totals $239.05. These three items will make both right and left hand switches using code 70 or code 83 rail, per the manufacture.

Additional costs are $2.10 for the 45" of code 70 rail and $1.58 for the 44 Kappler switch ties which gives a total cost of $3.68 per switch in materials.

I have 39 switches to make for the layout - code 70 and code 83. The cost per switch will be $6.12 for the Fast Track tools and $3.68 for material.......Total cost per switch - $9.80.

Total cost for all switches - $967.20 (and ridiculously slow delivery time) for the BK Enterprises product, $973.05 for the Railway Engineering product or $382.20 for the make your own version. Can you possibly guess which wins?

Decision:  Make my own using Fast Tracks jigs and try to incorporate Proto 87 details (tie plates, joint bars, point details) to the track to get a more prototypical look.

With these matters out of the way, let the building begin!
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

gnatshop

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2014, 07:12:33 PM »
Decision: Go with the precut roadbed from California Roadbed Company delivered right to my front door. It will save the aggravation of schlepping the material all over the place for cutting, the mess to clean up and delivering and picking up the sawblade for sharpening.
But where are you gonna get the sawdust to grow mushrooms for that
dog slobber that Floridy beef requires?
When I was down there - the rule seemed to be "If you can't pull it
out of the water, it ain't important!".

Saw blade sharpenin'?  The Ledbetters just ask whoever they borrow
the saw from "Hey, do you have an extra blade? This one was dull!"
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2014, 09:06:38 AM »
Decision: Go with the precut roadbed from California Roadbed Company delivered right to my front door. It will save the aggravation of schlepping the material all over the place for cutting, the mess to clean up and delivering and picking up the sawblade for sharpening.
But where are you gonna get the sawdust to grow mushrooms for that
dog slobber that Floridy beef requires?
When I was down there - the rule seemed to be "If you can't pull it
out of the water, it ain't important!".

Saw blade sharpenin'?  The Ledbetters just ask whoever they borrow
the saw from "Hey, do you have an extra blade? This one was dull!"
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

We ought to have all the sawdust we need once Tom gets to rebuilding his AS!  ;D
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

gnatshop

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2014, 09:13:28 PM »
We ought to have all the sawdust we need once Tom gets to rebuilding his AS!  ;D 
Tom says "NO, NO, I need all my sawdust to rebuild my AS - it got worn
thin with all the honey-do's I've been doin' lately!".  ;D ;D ;D

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #54 on: February 15, 2014, 09:10:42 AM »
We ought to have all the sawdust we need once Tom gets to rebuilding his AS!  ;D 
Tom says "NO, NO, I need all my sawdust to rebuild my AS - it got worn
thin with all the honey-do's I've been doin' lately!".  ;D ;D ;D

Naw, Tom will have plenty o sawdust, however, I'm beginning to worry about his mental health since he's been at the honey-do stuff so much lately and not the layout .

Why am I worried you ask? At lunch the other day he had a diet coke...........he needs to build some benchwork or a kit, something railroad related before he goes totally bonkers!  ;D ;D ;D
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2014, 04:11:07 PM »
Now that the benchwork and grading phases are complete, its time to begin building a railroad. The trackwork needs to begin with the ties, so let's discuss them for this episode.

I have used Kappler and Campbell products in the past and was happy with the way they stained and held the spikes. So, I decided to stick with a known quantity and ended up purchasing Kappler ties for this part of the project since Campbell was kind of hard to get when I made the decision on the ties.

I could not find any of these cross and switch ties locally, so I purchased  the 8'-0", 8'-6"  cross ties and switch ties from a catalog supplier. Since they didn't carry the 9'-0" cross ties, I called Kappler and spoke to Eric. When I told him I needed the 9'-0" full height ties for the mainline he said he could run off a few for me. The 2 bags (1,000 ea) were here 4 days after he took the order - Thanks Eric! {http://www.kapplerusa.com/y2k/kp-main.htm}. The bags in the picture in the previous post (T116) with the white labels are what's left over from my last purchases in the 80's, the blue labels are the new ties.

Back in the mid 80's, in a time before high speed internet, when not much information was easily available about painting, staining and weathering ties, I ran across some creosote in a local hardware store. In an effort to achieve total realism I thought why try to simulate a real creosoted railroad tie, why not make a miniature one with the real thing. I bought a quart and a gallon and used some of the quart, but the gallon was never opened.

When I went back to that same store last year and told the clerk I couldn't find the creosote, he looked at me like I had just landed. We don't carry and have never carried creosote, it is against the law says he. Well says I, in a friendly manner of course: "I bought some here in this very store in the early 80's, so you did carry it at one time".

Apparently that was before his time and before some silly AS_ Imperial Federal EPA regulation that has come to pass. Isn't it that great that we have such a wonderful and caring bunch of bureaucrats looking after us. I guess we are to inept to take care of ourselves and the government thinks nobody but the pros should be able to purchase the stuff. I for one can sleep well at night knowing the boys in Washington have our welfare as their #1 goal in life. End of unsolicited political commentary!

As luck would have it, I still had the gallon and a little of the quart left, it seems like a little of this stuff goes a long way. Since the tin can was getting on in years, I transferred it to a couple of half gallon glass containers and went to work.

Exhibit #1 - creosote jars (T143)

It still like the result and I have found that I can control the look of the ties by the time it soaks in the creosote - a couple of hours for a bleached out, aged tie to a couple of days for a new dark tie. The only drawback is the drying time. I use masking tape to pull it from the jig and put it in the glue on the layout. If it has not dried long enough, at least a couple of weeks, it will pull off the tie and stick to the tape. Not to mention the fact that it takes time for the "odor" to dissipate so it doesn't "stink" up the house and upset certain members of the family.

Exhibit #2 - ties just pulled from creosote (T028)

I still haven't figured out why Pegi (and Tom's "babe") frown upon the newly creosoted ties drying in the house. Tom and I think that it is a great smell - along with coal smoke and hot grease smells. However, in an effort to maintain harmony in the home, I designed and built an intricately engineered drying rack for outside on the screen porch. Plans and specifications for this engineering marvel are available upon request - for a modest fee, of course.

Exhibit #3 - drying rack (T060a)

Exhibit #4 - drying ties (T103)


Continued..........
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

ak-milw

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2014, 06:05:27 PM »
Does the creosote stay sticky or does it harden up?



 8)
Andy Kramer - modeling the Milwaukee Road in Wisconsin
The Milwaukee Road is alive and well and running in my basement

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2014, 11:18:57 AM »
Does the creosote stay sticky or does it harden up?



 8)
Andy:

The creosote takes a couple of weeks to get rid of the "sticky", assuming a low humidity outside as it dries.

Before that the masking tape pulls some it off and it looks kind of funny with a light stripe down the middle of the ties. But given enough time to dry, the creosote stays on and looks great.
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

ReadingBob

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2014, 11:23:35 AM »
I could not find any of these cross and switch ties locally, so I purchased  the 8'-0", 8'-6"  cross ties and switch ties from a catalog supplier.

That's because someone else got to Colonial Photo & Hobby and bought the last few packs they had on the shelf before you got there.  I'm not sayin' who it was though.   8) 
Bob Butts
robertbutts1@att.net

There's a fine line between Hobby and Mental Illness.

GPdemayo

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Re: The St. Louis & Denver Railroad - The Build
« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2014, 11:26:02 AM »
I could not find any of these cross and switch ties locally, so I purchased  the 8'-0", 8'-6"  cross ties and switch ties from a catalog supplier.

That's because someone else got to Colonial Photo & Hobby and bought the last few packs they had on the shelf before you got there.  I'm not sayin' who it was though.   8)

Ah Ha...................... ;)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

 

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