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    • August 4, 2020 10:31 AM EDT
    • If Bachmann advertised this for "Garden Railroads"......Shame on them.

    • August 4, 2020 8:04 AM EDT
    • The ties have no UV protection and may disolve just as fast as rust eats the steel.

    • August 4, 2020 1:06 AM EDT
    • Wes,


      Anecdotally, a late friend in San Diego said his B'mann tracks collapsed after a few months.  Granted, he lived close to the ocean, so that might have been a factor.  I leave it to other desert denizens to advise you!


      Here, indoor tracks used to store trains work just fine.  After several years, all the trains are happily sitting on top the rails. Outside, the tracks continue to disintegrated.  At a 11 months in the ground, I had to look to find them.  Below is an attempt to recreate the shot:


      There isn't even enough left for Kid-zilla to play with / destroy, though he would agree with you that it looks pretty cool!  I don't think this will make it 5-10 years based upon the current rate of decay over the last 11 months.  



    • August 3, 2020 7:17 PM EDT
    • Hmmm? So what if you were all battery operated? Not withstanding kid-zilla attacks, does the steel stay true and gauged?

      Not a lot of rust here in NW AZ, but that rusty track looks cool. If it lasted 5-10 years, that would be great.



    • August 3, 2020 7:17 PM EDT
    • Hmmm? So what if you were all battery operated? Not withstanding kid-zilla attacks, does the steel stay true and gauged?

      Not a lot of rust here in NW AZ, but that rusty track looks cool. If it lasted 5-10 years, that would be great.



    • August 4, 2020 9:27 AM EDT
    • If you are going to use concrete blocks and want to attach the ladders with construction adhesive I would pre-bend my ladders off the layout when I build them, this way the PVC will have already been stressed from the bending. I do like my ladders and post to have some adjustment for expansion and contraction, but then you live in AZ where there is probably little of that. I was going to put all my post in the ground and then use the PVC lumber run with the post and mounting brackets, sort of free flow as I go, this way I don't have to build all my ladders in the shop and deal with fitting, etc. I probably wouldn't use construction adhesive here in Texas as I will need some adjustment through time, everything move here. 


    • August 3, 2020 11:03 PM EDT
    • I am interested in trying the PVC method, too. Conceptually, I will have cinder blocks half-buried that form the base of the roadbed. Once the curves are set, perhaps I can use some construction adhesive to stick the spline to the blocks. I'm in NW AZ so no frost issues. I'm intend to use stacked blocks sort of Minecraft style to rough out the topography, then back-fill with interesting rocks, stone, and gravel mortared into place.

      So how is the track attached to the ladder /spline, again?



    • August 3, 2020 11:12 PM EDT
    • There is no way to wipe it on  with a sponge on the sides and between the rails. I cannot believe it could soak into the rails and reappear, maybe the flanges pull it off inner sides and that causes  the reappearance.

    • August 3, 2020 11:09 PM EDT
    • Simple Green50% in water should take it right off,something a little stronger like Purple Power would do the trick.  

    • August 3, 2020 7:48 PM EDT
    • Applied Amor All to all my tracks over a week ago, and proceeded to follow the same cleaning procedure.  I was able to run trains fine a week ago, but then an impromptu run today had them slipping like crazy.   The only thing I can think of that is different from the last time I did this is that it hasn't rained. 

      Today I


      1. Lighter fluid on swifter scrub
      2. Tar and Wax Removal on swifter scrub
      3. Garden hose washing
      4. Drying with swifter.


      There were few differences from the last time I did this.

      1. It has not rained at all.
      2. I cleaned the tracks immediately after spraying on the armor all vs waiting for it to dry.
      3. The wet swifter pads had dried out. I wet them with water but perhaps fresh ones would have been better.


      I really wish I could find a process for applying the Amor All that wouldn't mess with the rails.


      Next up I am going to try drywall screen and another scrubbing.  Washing with just the hose didn't resolve the issue. Trains still slip.

    • August 1, 2020 9:25 AM EDT
    • I have seen people using a 4" plastic pipe as the steaming vessel for wood. most home centers carry the black drainage pipe in 3 or 4" by 10' lengths. 

    • August 1, 2020 8:34 AM EDT
    • The plastic wrap really did not work well.  High failure rate.  What DID work was an aluminum dryer vent line. 4"diameter and expandable.  I should write this up so others are not misled

    • July 31, 2020 10:54 PM EDT
    • Years ago, so long that I can't remember for what need, I wanted to try steam bending. What I was able to read at the time talked about the need for large, solid steam boxes.  Your plastic wrap solution would have worked for me. Great idea. Oh, I like your home-brew boiler too

    • July 31, 2020 10:42 AM EDT
    • For the western loop, I decided to try steam-bending.  After a fair degree of trial and error, I think I have it.  1/4" redwood lath, ripped to 1" wide, steamed for two hours, can bend into a 6'radius circle.  Glue-up is setting in the garage with two strips laminated for each rail (pic to follow)

    • July 31, 2020 10:30 AM EDT
    • I have used the pvc strips that Split Jaw sold for a long time for projects like this.  It came in different sizes.  Just glued together with plumbing pvc glue.   Never have had a failure.  That acrylic should last a long time.    Too bad split jaw is gone.

    • July 31, 2020 9:23 AM EDT
    • Those also look like Mimi Storage Warehouse fronts, you now have a new use for them, are the roll-up doors next.


    • July 30, 2020 7:04 PM EDT
    • Hahaha!! Great title Todd, best one I've seen in a long time! 


      You'll have fun peeling the paper!    And have lots of little smoked rectangles, which might come in handy sometime, you never know. 


      Excellent use of the lasered acrylic, all those repeated cuts and layers. And nice structure design, I like your tubing / bolting through the holes. Though the cement will probably hold, belt & suspenders ain't a bad idea, and it will look cool. 


      Great work!


    • July 30, 2020 6:48 PM EDT
    • I have a redwood retaining wall along Feather Mountain that is in need of repair/replacement.  I decided to change it out to cribbing using..., you guessed it, smoked acrylic.

      This shows the new cribbing to be installed.  (Shown with the paper still on the acrylic.)  When in place, this is what shows with ballast/rock/dirt in between slats.



      The cribbing is ~50 feet (1:24 scale) long and made of stacked pieces of smoked acrylic “planks” each ~8-1/2 inches square (1:24 scale).


      This shows a top view of the construction.  There is no need to reproduce that portion within the hill and the “windows” provide space for the fill to accumulate and stabilize the structure.  The rear cross bar centers under the track and weight of the track will provide further support.  The three pieces of tube will be replaced by five threaded/nutted rods to keep everything together without the use of any adhesives.


      This shows the three pieces used in the construction.  The structure is ~12-1/2 feet tall (1:24 scale).

    • July 28, 2020 9:05 PM EDT
    • Vic Smith said:

      Running trains this weekend, added a sunshade as it gets really hot during the day, and started planting succulents. Thats 4 Macks running on a single LGB 1 amp pack, works well.



    • July 28, 2020 8:23 PM EDT
    • double headed Macs...