Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Turntable - Part one

 Well, nothing is easy. I am starting to lay the track in the steam terminal and I realized I had the get the turntable set up so I could align the tracks coming in. I had purchased a Mill House Studio turntable which is a very nice unit but made for 3-railers. While making it sturdy, he used a way over size garden railway track for the ring rail. So, I had to remove the entire ring rail assembly to put in scale sized rail to support the bridge.
 Here we have the ring rail support out of the table pit. He made them from nice birch plywood. It was a problem getting them out as he had them screwed in from the bottom so I had to remove portions of the drive assembly to get at the screws.
 This is the offending ring rail which I will use as a template for my new one. You can see it looks rather large.
 You can see how much bigger it is than one made from a scale sized rail would be. The foreground track is what I am going to use. It is from Micro Engineering and the ties are so firmly mounted to the rail, I think I can rip the track in half and not have a problem with them shifting. The scale rail is about half the height of the over sized stuff. This brings up the next problem. The bridge of the turntable is supported by the ring rail assembly. Thus, it will be too low to meet the tracks around the turntable unless we raise the base for the ring rail. We have to raise it 0.20 inches. Not an easy number as it is not a standard dimension.
 Well, I found some old cabinet trim that was 0.185 in thickness. Now you know why I never throw anything away! The rail I am using on the bridge is 0.015 higher than the rails around the turntable so we are now close enough. I cut the trim into short pieces to fit around the ring.
 Here you see the supports glued to the bottom of the pit and the ring rail base going back in.
 The base is now in and screwed down from underneath. That wire sticking up is to power the ring rail from below.
 I have sealed the seams with some wood putty and am letting it dry before sanding it.
You can see the gap of additional height that we have created. I am now going to make a plastic template to put in the slope of plaster that will close the gap and simulate a pitched surface that would drain the water to a ring area around the pit, away from the center bearing and the ring rail. More on that later.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Our First Open House

 Well, we had our first open house for the National Model Railroading Association regional chapter in June. Thus my crossbuck sign out at the end of the driveway.
  I built some temporary panels at Milton and Herndon so we could operate the hidden holding tracks on the main. I then staged 6 trains, 3 each westbound and eastbound, including a K5 powered local passenger.
 Here is a leased Reading 4-8-4, a T1, pulling through Northumberland westbound. The PRR leased them in the summer of 1956 to supplement their steam power during the summer.
 An action shot going by the Shamokin drag leaving to go up the branch.
 And now it is going away.
 Here is an upgraded L1, 2-8-2, headed eastbound to Harrisburg with a mixed freight. I made this model by using a Precision K4 boiler, redetailed it, and then mated it with a US Hobbies frame and drivers.
 Our closing shot is the T1 coming into Milton on its journey west.

All this told me that I have to put some cameras in to monitor the hidden area as I had a heck of a time keeping track of the 6 trains. So, I have now purchased 4 closed circuit TV cameras and screens to be able to see what is going on. Now I have to read up on how to hook them up. The screens are actual 7 inch TV's that would be used in automobiles or other small areas. More on this later.