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    • July 23, 2017 9:03 PM EDT
    • So you was rapping? Gee, I didn't think us older white guys could really do that.....

    • July 23, 2017 6:55 PM EDT
    • Cliff Jennings said:

      Oh no...  

       I hit the wrong Delete icon, and blew away the entire image folder. Wow, bummed.



    • July 23, 2017 5:06 PM EDT
    • Back to what I was doing today, here's the result of 6+ hours of masking effort. 



      Next weekend will be the my next opportunity to paint all this. Between outdoor spraying / drying sessions, my plan is to laser the sheathing. 


      Thanks for viewing,


    • July 23, 2017 4:35 PM EDT
    • Oh no...  


      I was trying to replace a photo, but needed to delete the prior one to upload its replacement. And I hit the wrong Delete icon, and blew away the entire image folder. Wow, bummed. But I'll start trying to rebuild it.




      I'm about half way there to rebuilding the photo folder, but need to handle the remainder at a later time. This is the second time I've made this mistake... Anyway, my lesson learned is (in addition to being even more careful with that Delete button) that I need to break major build-folders up into smaller chunks. At least that will limit the damage I can do to myself.




    • July 23, 2017 4:32 PM EDT
    • Trying.. not.. to.. give way to... the Big H...... OK, I'll do it! 


      I separated the gate from its rails, and the gears should / maybe / sorta work. If the parts were hi-res from Shapeways, there would be no question; but I'm going to attempt to print all this on my el cheapo 3D printer.  Here's the parts for the gates/chutes:



      Those flat panels near the top, I'll probably 2D cut. But all else needs to be 3DP.


      Here's how the assemblies would fit into things.



      Lots of parts to print! And lots of little 1/16" brass rod bits to cut for these assemblies.


      But Mr. H, for you, I'll be sure to at least try to make those gates work. 


      Next up in the build is painting the core modules where needed. Mainly it's for light blocking, but also it's for exposed base perimeter and under-eave areas. And misc exposed edges on the roof and base parts, where not covered by overlay of some sort. The masking took me all day, and it was very pleasant time spent. Listening to jazz, taping, wrapping, cutting, taping more, etc. Loved it. 






    • July 23, 2017 12:38 PM EDT
    • Cliff Jennings said:

      Hey Mr. Hollywood, always a pleasure to hear from ya!!


      They won't be motorized, but the tiny robots that some out and crank them are, haha! But since you asked, the gates themselves are just cosmetic, non-functioning. But I'll try to make the chutes manually positionable.  



      Sure let all that fancy gear work go to waste, and then when you start really getting into this build you'll have to do the tear out and redo  them routine. I tried to warn you but that's Ok. 


      It is looking dang good by the way in case you thought I was just passing through

    • July 23, 2017 9:30 AM EDT
    • Hey Mr. Hollywood, always a pleasure to hear from ya!!


      They won't be motorized, but the tiny robots that some out and crank them are, haha! But since you asked, the gates themselves are just cosmetic, non-functioning. But I'll try to make the chutes manually positionable.  



    • July 22, 2017 6:58 PM EDT
    • Hot dang Cliff! working chutes and all. Motorized or self cranked ? 

    • July 22, 2017 4:42 PM EDT
    • Hey y'all. Today I've been doing final cementing of the main pieces. 



      Part of this involved cementing in the clear window glazing panels. Using painter's tape on the exterior to position the pieces, I applied the cement from the interior side. I'm leaving the paper on both sides of the "glazing" until it has to be removed. And, it serves as the masking for the interior black spray job I need to do, for light blocking.



      The other work involved running over each joint again with high-viscosity cement, and slathering thicker cement on the base joints and roof valleys & peaks.


      Design of the ore bin details is almost done, which mainly involves the gate / chute assemblies.  



      More on these later.










    • July 19, 2017 5:26 PM EDT
    • I did an inventory of the 3D printed elements to make, and am pleased that it's not a huge amount. Mainly vents and stack bases, a couple windows and the flagpole parts.


      Some of the parts I'd 3D printed on the "test" building will be lasered here, to save time. This includes all the roof and corner trim and the main sign. Almost all the windows and doors were done a few years ago, cast from resin. 



      The ore bin chutes aren't designed, but will be mainly 3DP also. 



    • July 19, 2017 6:57 AM EDT
    • That's a VERY interesting idea Mick... thanks!!

    • July 18, 2017 11:30 PM EDT
    • Cliff can you use double sided tape to stick the thin sheets to a thicker sheet of something to try and stop them lifting while you cut/etch them?


    • July 18, 2017 9:32 PM EDT
    • Hey Rooster, thanks! I have no idea what the mouse is about, and I finally quite smoking in 2010, but I'll receive all that as a compliment brutha!!


      And you remind me, I haven't gotten to the weather vane yet...


      [edit] Just got it, you've seen a mouse twice in your house. I thought you were laying some new PA metaphors on me... 


      [nuther edit, just to be safe:]  

    • July 18, 2017 8:57 PM EDT
    • Rooster wants some of what Cliff is smoking and has a mouse in his house ( I saw it twice tonight) ....TRUTH

    • July 18, 2017 7:35 PM EDT
    • Patterns.


      The final materials are coming tomorrow and Thursday, and between work hours and the all-important family time, I'm trying to gradually position myself to use them over the next indefinite number of weekends. 


      So I think I'm finished with this pattern making, and wanted to elaborate in case someone is wanting to go down this path, or is curios. I don't want to scare anyone off from buying a laser or learning the software tools; but I think it's only fair to show more on what has been involved here. Having said that, this is a big building, and I don't expect many people will want to attempt this right out of the gate with their laser (like I sort of did -- it's funny reading the humorous wisdom in some of those first posts!).


      The following is a series of snapshots of the patterns involved, with brief comments. If you'd like further info, please ask. 


      Completed, #1: .17 acrylic, 29x19,  ~25 sheets (23 needed, but two were total screwups), mainly transparent blue. Core wall, base and roof components. Cupola / window glazing sheet being clear, and all else the bargain transparent blue that I'm kicking myself for buying (should have been opaque black).


      Completed, #2: .25 acrylic, 29x19, 3 sheets, opaque black. "Timbers" for ore bin, water tank, decks. The parts shown in blue were half the needed size, which I belatedly saw, and had to repeat properly on sheet 3. I acquired this material for free, via Freecycle, about 5 years ago. So I'm glad to use it.


      So, now for what remains. The big item is the sheathing, but here's the blow by blow.


      Pending #1: .03 modified acrylic, 24x16, 9 sheets, burgundy. All sheathing, including main building, ore bin, tank, cupolas. I just realized I ordered and paid for 3 panels too many (long story, don't ask), but only need 9. 


      But let's say you asked. Let this be a lesson: the pattern-making is directly involved with what you can acquire. In this case, I thought I was buying a 4x8 sheet cut into 12 pieces, but during the ordering cycle found that I could only buy 4'x2' sheets as a max size, and didn't reduce my expected mandatory quantity (I thought I had to get a full 4x8 stock sheet) to what I really needed (9 panels). I'm preaching to myself here to drill it into my head that, just as in my workplace situations, the patterning stage must be given proper time to iterate with product availability. On the bright side: I now have 3 spare panels to practice my grain-engraving on. 



      Pending #2: .03 modified acrylic, 24x12, 12 sheets, forest green. All shingles. As with the sheathing image above, I've turned off the engraving-graining lines, because it would just be black. The challenge with these and the sheathing panels will be warping while lasering: all the engraving lines make the sheet rise up, and that means the laser gets out of focus and won't cut right, or -- really bad -- the moving head catches on the material.


      Pending #3: .12 acrylic, 24x12, 2 sheets, opaque brown. The large rectangular pieces will be "grained," but otherwise this is straightforward -- no warping challenges, due to the thickness. Just lots of pieces to keep track of, and which particular catwalk each piece goes with. I have a CAD layer that helps with that organization, but it's turned off here.


      Pending #4: .03 modified acrylic, 24x12, 1 sheet, antique white. These are all the trim bits for wall corners, roof eaves and cupola windows. Some of the lines are run out to the left, to make the laser cut scrap strips to have on hand.


      Well, that's about it. Except for the 3d printed parts.


      Thanks for viewing, and experiencing all this with me,












    • July 17, 2017 5:04 PM EDT
    • That was four years ago John, glad you remembered. And yes, we did talk about that product when I was making those concrete mountains. You recommended it for my outcropping experiments; I bought a bag and used some. Seemed to flow nicely, is hard as nails when set. I was trying to remember the name yesterday, so thanks for the confirmation buddy.   

    • July 17, 2017 2:56 PM EDT
    • A belated congrats on the 'good' fit to the bases. How many years ago did you pour them? I know from experience that so much can shift from plan to finishing.

      For the final fitting; I'd suggest an hydraulic cement, I like CementAll, y'know. Todd B favors another brand, but the reason is they are low shrinkage and can give the best  fit.


      Carry on.


    • July 17, 2017 1:48 PM EDT
    • Hey Chris, thanks. Yeah, it was pretty neat seeing how the size and shape fit in with the surroundings. 

    • July 19, 2017 12:04 PM EDT
    • My knuckles aren't entirely prototypical on the inside.  I could sell them as a separate part, if you could live with the look.

    • July 19, 2017 3:07 AM EDT
    • Those look great Burl. I have some old steel rotary gons on my to do list that these would be perfect on. Maybe it will be my 2018 project.


      Have you ever thought about selling just knuckles as a locomotive detail part?