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    • March 22, 2019 6:31 PM EDT
    • Here is a short video of the operating steam donkey loading logs at the landing on the mini layout.

      Hope you like it. Doc Tom

    • February 3, 2019 10:07 PM EST
    • Sorry to disappoint you, Doc, but I don’t like it .............. I love it 

    • February 3, 2019 6:04 PM EST
    • Great work Doc!!

    • January 27, 2019 8:24 PM EST
    • Well, it was sunny and mild this January day in 1910 Kentucky. Since it was a day of rest, Sunday, the boys thought they should play and enjoy some “Tom foolery” and some backwoods “Hi- Jinx.” So they fired up the log loader, carefully balanced a log and went for rides up and down. Better than any amusement park ride. A visiting photographer captured the quintessential logging picture for posterity.

      As always, thanks for looking.

      Doc Tom

    • January 26, 2019 9:51 PM EST
    • This has been a most productive weekend where everything seems to be coming together.

      I finished weathering the chains and lift mechanism at the log dump.

      So it was time to go to the other side of the mini layout and get the log loader working at the log landing.

      To lift logs I had to make this device.

      I'm not sure what is called...."hooks" or "tongs" or something else. Some of you guys with more knowledge may have the correct logging term.

      I made it from a "circlip" from Lowes (pictured at the right), short lengths of chain and jewelry rings from Hobby Lobby.

      I attached it to the steam donkey's cable and it could now pull up a log from the landing......

      .....and put it on a log car.

      The trick to making the cable to move was to thread it in heat shrink tubing and lead it out the back of the loader where it could be pulled or slacked to allow the log to lift or fall under control.

      So, in a little bit when I can master some eye hand coordination I will make some vids of loading and unloading logs with the ITT sound modules putting out the sounds of a genuine steam donkey.

      Thanks for looking. Doc Tom

    • January 26, 2019 9:50 PM EST
    • Thank you Dan, David and Korm. Appreciate the support. More to come in just a moment. Doc Tom

    • January 26, 2019 7:31 PM EST
    • Love the detail you are putting into this scene, Doc.  Log dump appears to work as designed.

    • January 26, 2019 6:46 PM EST
    • ingenuity works. Thank you Doc

    • January 26, 2019 5:44 PM EST
    • now it makes sense!


    • January 26, 2019 4:22 PM EST
    • I have completed a little more of the mechanism at the log dump on the mini layout. Using tiny products: "O scale blackened chain" from eBay,3d printed hooks from shapeways,and miniature jewelry rings from Hobby Lobby, the lifting chains are attached to the lifting bar.

      The Little People workmen attach the hooks to the rings at the brow of the log dump.

      As the chains and lifting bar are hoisted skyward by the steam donkey they push the logs off the log car and on to the log dump.

      After dumping the logs the bar and chains are lowered. The LPW can now unhook the chains.

      The car is moved and the next loaded one moved in to place and the process repeated.

      The logs slide down the dump and splash in to the Red River to continue their journey to the sawmill down stream.

      Thanks for looking. Doc Tom

    • January 26, 2019 3:48 PM EST
    • Sean McGillicuddy said:

      Your a crafty devil there Tom.. Great work ..

      Thanks Sean. I will try and post a few more pics soon.

      Doc Tom

    • January 21, 2019 6:19 AM EST
    • Your a crafty devil there Tom.. Great work ..

    • January 19, 2019 7:25 PM EST
    • Thanks Ken and Dan........appreciate the feedback.

      Doc Tom

    • March 18, 2019 9:53 PM EDT
    • Nice!

      Do you have this?


      It‘s a great source of interesting information.

    • March 18, 2019 9:28 PM EDT
    • Doc Tom,

      Another great example of your work!  The "Tweetsie" is another one of those railroads we share interest in.  I've done a lot of exploration on the old road bed and truly fell in love with the area.  Be sure and get yourself into the Christian Youth Camp.  Its the door to a whole lot of the photography of the area.  It was one of those things on my "bucket list" and I can say, we scratched that one off.

    • March 17, 2019 8:27 AM EDT
    • Ken Brunt said:

      There's a fellow on here that modeled that in 1:20. 

      Parlor Car

      That is a very nice car Ken. It matches the prototype very nicely. Thanks for sharing. Doc Tom

    • March 17, 2019 4:43 AM EDT
    • There's a fellow on here that modeled that in 1:20. 

      Parlor Car

    • March 16, 2019 11:45 PM EDT
    • I have wanted to build this layout for a very long time. I have enjoyed On30 for about 10 years now. I have built two mini layouts that have graced the electronic pages of this fine site for quite some time. A sugar cane hauler set in 1920 Haiti and a primitive backwoods logging operation set in 1910 Kentucky and Tennessee.

      But the ET &WNC RR ,”Tweetsie” has always held a special place in my model railroading heart. When Bachmann came out with their magnificent Baldwin 10 wheelers I was ready to do a medium sized layout in On30!!

      So I moved a storage building in to the backyard and made my move to turn dreams in to reality. I have been reading everything I can on the prototype and joined the ET&WNC RR historical society. I live in Tennessee and Johnson City and the Doe River Gorge is not that far away. So field exploration is in the near future.

      I got two of the beautiful locomotives and started to take the plunge in building up rolling stock. Here is my first go at equipment…… the parlor car #10 “Azalea”.

      A Bachmann On30 coach provided the donor mechanism and hardware and roof. The very nice laser wooden kit from Deerfield Laser was chosen to build up the coach

      I scoured the internet trying to find the colors used on Tweetsie Varnish and used some gloss rattle can paints to do up my rendition.

      Well it at least an approximation of the colors I think they used.

      I really enjoyed this shot from the prototype photos..... I found some O scale chairs and had a go at recreating the little scene.

      Here is a "topside" view of the fabric roof.

      The actual layout is still in the planning stages and while rolling stock is accumulated a Porter on the mini logging layout will shuffle cars around for pictures.

      So here is what is coming in hopefully the near future:

      Iain Rice's nifty book "Shelf Layouts for Model Rail Roads" has this plan for the ET&WNC in On30 that should fit nicely in the storage building out back.

      So thanks for looking and hopefully you all can follow along as this adventure begins.

      Doc Tom