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    • February 23, 2010 5:19 AM EST

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      Plastic sprue has been mentioned . Try heat stretching it to produce thinner longer bits .After stretching wind it round a drill shank or similar while hot to produce coil springs-this is very useful . I can enlarge on this if requested .
      Use brass hex tubing , KS metals (I think) , for an everlasting supply of very fine spanners (or wrenches to you in the colonies) Particularly useful if some nut has made some nut nearly inaccessible . Cut to length a/r .
      VHS /Beta tape machines already mentioned have a whole host of motors , gearboxes , belt drives , LED's
      of varying colour , and also teach a lot about engineering solutions . If you know of any domestic wooden chopping boards being chucked out----catch them , they are usually made of exotic wood Or is that erotic ?
      Damn , that's why I get my face slapped .

      Mike the miser
    • February 23, 2010 6:26 AM EST
      • Chaco, Paraguay
         
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      if you want to carve some scenic bits, like suitcases, boxes, bed-rolls you might try to use eraser-gummies.
      easy to carve and easy to paint.
      ____________________________________

       

      My Chaosplace ->  

    • February 23, 2010 9:16 AM EST
      • Who Ya Gonna Call?, Ft Gay, WV
         
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      Les see.....what haven't ya coverd...... Bob got my HArdware store styrene trick and my dress snap ideer is all over these days.
      (1) Big ol honkin pens make nice smokestacks,
      (2) Plumbing caps are great for steam domes,
      (3) Poster frames are also good for window glazing, a bit thicker than report covers and one will last forever.
      (4)If ya know someone who is on O2 therapy at home oxygen cannulas are a great for tubing, (one guy used a used catheter for steam pipes on a mallet once, I found that to be just a bit icky)
      (5) Walmart toy aisle, source for all sorts of bits
      (6) Christmas decorations can be a good source for bells

      Prolly the BEST scrounge/recycle resource......BACHMAN BIG HAULERS/ANNIES mwuhahahahah!!!!

      And I'm sure I'll think up more stuff as I look around THE BUNKER today!
    • February 24, 2010 8:33 AM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      I no longer replace the blades for my Xacto knives. I have an old whetstone and sharpen them as needed. I find they cut just as good as a brand new blade. I haven't put in a new blade in years.

      Jean saves me the lids from all the containers we use, and I use them to mix paint or glue, then throw away when they get too messy.

      I'm amazed at the stuff you can find on the internet. I was making some fruit crates for another ventilated boxcar. I wasn't happy with the free ones from Ozark, so I Googled fruit crate labels and found about a zillion of them. I scaled them to the size of the crates I'm making and printed them out. Ozark was set up 4 to a sheet of paper, I was able to get 8.
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • February 24, 2010 8:36 AM EST
      • Coweta, Oklahoma USA
         
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      When I was a model airplane builder, I had a piece of electronics grade "ceramic" next to my stone. Whenever the knife didn't cut like I wanted, I'd hit it with the ceramic a couple times. I found myself sharpening brand new xacto blades. I have no idea where to find one of those now. That was a broken piece swiped from a wastebasket at the electronics company where I worked.
      ____________________________________

      In that awkward stage between preschool and death. 

    • February 24, 2010 12:50 PM EST

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      I have a ceramic sharpening stick. Works great.
      Ralph
    • February 24, 2010 3:19 PM EST

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      Here is a great sharpener, ceramic and carbide: http://www.duluthtrading.com/search/searchresults/69099.aspx?feature=product_1&kw=sharpener:&processor=content

      Also a great little wire bender: http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/departments/tools-shop/hand-tools/28011.aspx?feature=P8034-C68161-L2&processor=content

      FWIW
    • February 25, 2010 8:33 AM EST
      • Coweta, Oklahoma USA
         
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      I like that extra crotch gusset in their pants. Hmm, not sure I should spend $60 on a pair of bibs right now.
      ____________________________________

      In that awkward stage between preschool and death. 

    • February 25, 2010 11:37 AM EST
      • Pinon Hills, California
         
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      There is another use for those soda cans that many of us use. We slice the top and bottom off and run them through one of those paper u that I got at Michaels. Makes great corrugated roofing.
      Another great use for coffee stir sticks. If I recollect correctly, we have a list member who built a livestock train car with them.
    • February 25, 2010 12:54 PM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      To extend the time you have to use a two part epoxy, take one of those beverage cans out of the refrigerator, turn it upside down, and mix the epoxy in the depression you find in the can bottom. The cold of the the can dramatically slows the reaction of the epoxy, giving you much more time to fiddle with the parts you are trying to stick together.
      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • February 25, 2010 1:52 PM EST

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      After reading all of these ideas I'll be saving even more "stuff" than I already was. Now I'm really in trouble; my wife already complains I'm a hoarder
    • February 25, 2010 5:15 PM EST
      • Pinon Hills, California
         
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      We live on 2 1/2 acres. We're both hoarders and that way we have plenty of space!
    • February 25, 2010 6:17 PM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Doug Arnold said:
      We live on 2 1/2 acres. We're both hoarders and that way we have plenty of space!
      I've tried to think about this with an open mind. But what are you going to do when you fill the 2 1/2 acres up? Does the "moderation in all things" apply with the fact that you don't have 10 acres? Please be careful. Let us know when you are down to only a square foot to stand in.
    • February 26, 2010 8:30 AM EST
      • Pinon Hills, California
         
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      You're right. We can't fill it all up because we wouldn't have room for the house, train layout and the solar panels!
    • February 27, 2010 10:33 AM EST

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      The center out of cash registar rolls make good chimney's. I think it was Bruce that made a post on this.
    • February 27, 2010 11:08 AM EST
      • South Devon, England
         
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      Most of the materials used for the construction of my railroad were 'recycled'. The Scottish pine timber baulks (3ft. long mostly, 6" width and 3" deep) were off cuts given to me for burning on my fires, the concrete blocks used on curves were from a demolished wall, one bridge was a metal culvert (used for car driveways as drainage) - this resonates wonderfully when trains pass over it. My two tunnels were made from scrap lumber and are waterproof: the portals made from lightweight insulation blocks. Track and ballast were purchased new.

      This has given a solid, well engineered ROW and apart from a small amount of ballast has needed little maintenance in over three years.

      The few Buildings are made from waste foam insulation or unwanted plastic toys - such as a barn and a couple of small structures. Newer buildings are being supplied from unused Bachmann 1:22.5 stock (boxcars and a stock car). The second hand value of these cars is small and quite honestly the wheels which become usable from these cars make good replacements from plastic wheels which is a good bonus indeed.

      The savings made naturally gave me more money to spend on rolling stock. lol
      ____________________________________

      regards, Alan

       Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength.  Saint Francis de Sales  French saint & bishop of Geneva (1567 - 1622) 

      https://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk

      https://www.buckfast.org.uk/

       

    • March 3, 2010 5:56 AM EST
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      Another trick to add to the list is smoke fluid. I use the lamp oil you can buy at walmart. It will last you a very long time and cost less then buying a small bottle of smoke fluid. I just take the lamp oil a use a small bottle with a dropper. (I find the gas drop bottles for infants work great)
    • March 14, 2010 6:55 AM EDT

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      Did someone mention the wooden coffee stirrers????? They are well for every sort of wood planking and boiler cladding on upright boilers. I got a whole refill package of them for free at the MD fastfood restaurant in the next bigger city! That will last for ages !

      cheers Joe
    • March 29, 2010 4:26 AM EDT

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      I have made a habit of rumaging thru thrifts stores looking for any odd and end things that can be used especailly for a cheap price, Like I picked up some strange looking metal hanging things for flowers or something that work great for church steeples and I paid $2 for 3 of them, small plastic storage trays to make the small mining ore cars (hand carts). And I think what will be the best of all for me is some steel wine racks that will become a steel bridge. I think I paid $5 for 2 of them and all I have to do is butt weld them together and whala a 36" bridge.
      I even look for things I can use when I am at the auto junk yard, nothing like using some real transportation stuff to build for the trains.
    • March 29, 2010 11:16 PM EDT
      • Chaco, Paraguay
         
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      talking about auto junk yards:
      modern mirrors each have two slow running 12 V motors inside.
      and the central locking system of cars provides watertight switchmotors.
      ____________________________________

       

      My Chaosplace ->  

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