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  • Topic: Miks 2018 -- Pu'uomao Yard Office and (Maybe) Observation Tower

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    • January 11, 2018 2:01 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Miks 2018 -- Pu'uomao Yard Office and (Maybe) Observation Tower

      OK,

      Having been shamed into giving this a shot by you people and my primary partner, Oldest Daughter, I will take a crack at this challenge.  First, I had to find a location.  Pu'u'oma'o is ostensibly where the plantation railways meet the Triple O to deliver sugar and other agricultural products for onward travel to the piers at Haluku'ilio and export abroad.  At least it is in my imagination...Here is the site for this future repurposed 2x4:

      The Triple O is only in its third year of existence, so this will be a simple build to mount and partially disguise a pair of light switches that will allow me to turn power on and off to the mainline and passing sidings / engine service track.  The crew has been grousing we cannot run enough trains at once.  CINCHOUSE mandated this not be one of "Dad's hobbies," so the crew has a lot of input on projects...

      Having found place and purpose, thus satisfying a "need" for this contest, I had to evaluate..

      1. Time.  I will miss two weeks of the challenge period for professional reasons.
      2. Tools.  I have dremel, a HotWire kit, basic home repair stuff and gardening tools..
      3. Talent.  More limited than my tools.  I have experimented with "Craft sticks on core" in a couple cases, and the results resemble "buildings."

      Finally. I had to consider the design casualty, in this case an encounter with...

      ...Kid-zilla! Triple O company policy prohibits the parking of cars on sidings if Kid-zilla is active in the area.  An interesting operating challenge, but I digress.

      At any rate, Oldest Daughter and I settled on using the 2x4 as a frame / core, then planking it over, possible using foam along the bottom to represent a stone foundation.  If time allows, we will use our supply of strip "lumber" from the craft shop and Grandpa's scrap heap to craft a tower for the yardmaster to observe operations.  Though not a napkin, the sketch on the scratch paper here pretty well sums it up.

      Simple, but hopefully in the spirit of the challenge!  Even if I don't get it done in the timeframe, the challenge has forced me to take the plunge on a long delayed project.

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at January 21, 2018 12:29 PM EST
    • January 11, 2018 7:55 AM EST
      • Chaco, Paraguay
         
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      don't be afraid about not finishing on time.

      (i still work on my 2011 project...)

      ____________________________________

       

      My Chaosplace ->  

    • January 11, 2018 9:50 AM EST
      • Pinon Hills, California
         
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      I'm with Korm. The last Challenge deadline I missed was only by about two months! Welcome aboard!

       

    • January 11, 2018 10:29 AM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Yeah, I concur with Korm and Doug. Don't worry about deadlines. This is about fun and getting involved in the doldrums of winter.

      This post was edited by Devon Sinsley at January 11, 2018 10:29 AM EST
      ____________________________________
    • January 11, 2018 10:47 AM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         Aloha!

       

        Yippeeee!

       

       

      ____________________________________

    • January 11, 2018 2:19 PM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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       HA !   Kidzilla !  It looks like the little one is shaking that cattle car in the hopes a hamburger will fall out!  LOl.

       

       I also use light switches built into buildings and placed along the track to power sidings.   Foam is a great product to keep the wood of the building off the damp ground but you can also use a dremel to carve mortar lines into your base be it wood, plastic or foam.    Using the 2x4 as part of the base will give your tower some weight if the wind blows or Kidzilla stumbles by. 

       

       We are looking forward to your build.

    • January 11, 2018 8:38 PM EST
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Remember Rule #1, Eric: Have fun.  Finishing is not required and like Korm, I still work on my challenge project from 2016.  Glad to see you take the plunge.  keep us up to to date on any Kid-Zilla sightings.

      ____________________________________

       

    • January 11, 2018 8:45 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Psssssst don't tell anybody, but I've only completed 50%. They still let me play!

       

      Show us all of your layout please.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • January 12, 2018 9:15 AM EST
    • (Moderator)
      • Farmington, New Mexico
         
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      Eric.   If you read the history of the Challenges, one of the early ones was a  "Finnish something you had already started"    

       

      Nobody knows yet what next year will bring.  Well I do, but I'm pulling a Sgt. Schultz !

       

       

      ____________________________________

      New Mexico­ Northern ­Railroad
      D&RGW ­315 Crew ­member, Fireman
      RRR #4
      Board Memb­er, Durang­o Railroad­ Historica­l Society

    • January 14, 2018 6:52 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      First challenge...cutting a straight line...FAILED!  Commencing work around...Pictures, to include Kid-zilla sighting, to follow.  Oldest Daughter and I are very busy figuring out how to hide my cutting skills.

    • January 15, 2018 1:21 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Aloha,

      A fuller update follows...

      First, the photo below shows the importance of the this project to yard control operations at Pu'u'oma'o.  When done, it'll allow a train with a full load to await unloading while a train full of empties pulls out, enabling uninterrupted hibachi (grill) operations:

      OK, as alluded to earlier, I botched cutting my 42" of 2x4.  I failed to brace one side, leading to awfully slanted cuts.   I briefly considered covering the lot in chicken wire and concrete and re-designating it the Pu'u'oma'o command bunker until the state's civil defense drill this weekend made that decidedly un-funny. To boot, test fitting of the light switches showed I needed some design changes.  The resulting kapakahi result is below:

      In the meantime, Kid-zilla appeared to do some (inadvertently) non-destructive testing of my materials:

      Auwe!  Anyway, it was time to deploy my secret weapon, Oldest Daughter, for a creative consultation.  The frame at least sat level, and we had some 1/2" by 1/2" precut basswood laying around.  We decided to use this along the bottom, again just below the space for the switches, and along the top.  This would hide my crappy craftsmanship, provide a level base for the roof, and based on the size of the timbers, look logical as supporting elements for the observation tower. Below please find photographic evidence of deployment of my secret weapon (We build to PLAYMOBIL scale.  Our paniolo serves as our scaling guide.):

      We want the lower portion to look like stones.  My original plan was to take think foam scavenged from meat packing, glue it to the frame, then tack our "timbers" over the lot.  May plan, my failure.  The foam came off, we clamped and glued the base timbers, and called it a day.  Well, we called it a day.  Kid-zilla conducted more non-destructive testing:

      The end result today looked like this.  The tower's support timbers are held in place by friction; we placed them simply for spacing:

      I / we will place the other timbers tomorrow.  The planks for the upper portion will be popsicle sticks.  The lower portion, the "stone," is something we are working on.  At this point, we may rip up individual pieces of foam and glue them in.  We may also glue some plastic sheet I have hanging around over the sides for the windows; alternatively, we will cut the windows later and glue the plastic in place.  I have to see how much plastic I have.

      Enjoy your weekends!  I am enjoying - and learning from - the actual craftsmanship displayed by others in this challenge to date!

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

    • January 16, 2018 1:42 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      ALoha all!

       

      OK, yes, I did go to the beach today along with the rest of the gang.  No, they do not sell TiteBond III at the beach.  As a result, the office structure came to a halt with two sides planked off.  I used some scraps to fill gaps where my sawing skills left "vertical" a relative thing:

       

       

      I reason this will give me plenty of surface area for future gluing as well as hide my lack of craftsmanship.  Clearly, I have elected to cut windows later.  

      Looking ahead, I am wondering if spray foam could be shaped to represent a stone foundation.  Worth a try, maybe.  The key is to get this thing built so I can turn it over to Oldest Daughter for painting...and the palm frond thatched roof for the observation tower!  I am hoping to leave that in her hands while I attend to my alluded to professional obligation.

      Oh, Kid-zilla was napping.  He came out later to "hep" when I was trying to get every last piece of rolling stock we own out on the road for the third anniversary overhead photo.  Despite his "hep," we got all but the Christmas stuff, our bust 0-6-2T, and some circus stuff out on the road to celebrate three years of fun with trains under the Polynesian sun!

      More excitement with TiteBond to follow!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

    • January 16, 2018 9:16 AM EST
    • (Moderator)
      • Farmington, New Mexico
         
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      OK  I get it...    There is no such thing as " Winter Doldrums".    We will cross that off your list.

       

      Neat compact pike.   Good job.  

      You need to join the RRR  club.   

      GREAT that you get the Sr. Kidzilla to do part of the job.   Extra points...

       

      I didn't see a snow plow,   or did I just miss that.....

      Dave

       

       

      ____________________________________

      New Mexico­ Northern ­Railroad
      D&RGW ­315 Crew ­member, Fireman
      RRR #4
      Board Memb­er, Durang­o Railroad­ Historica­l Society

    • January 16, 2018 9:32 AM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      I love the little pineapple express layout. What a great litle layout in a great little part of the world. If you don't mind me asking what are the tightest corners on your layout. It looks like a great little compact pike. A lot going on in a small space. Just my sort of thing.

      ____________________________________
    • January 16, 2018 9:37 AM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Dave Taylor said:

      OK  I get it...    There is no such thing as " Winter Doldrums".    We will cross that off your list.

       


       

       

      They have winter doldrums in HI, when they set in they go big wave riding on the pipeline. I was a casual fan of competitive surfing in my youth. I have never tried it but always wanted too. When I finally got to go to Oahu for one day on a layover all I wanted to do was see the famous Pipeline. It was July. I go there and the waves were about 3" tall. That is when I found out you only surf the Pipeline during the winter storm season.

      ____________________________________
    • January 16, 2018 9:45 AM EST
      • Pinon Hills, California
         
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      We saw Pipeline in April but the waves weren't much bigger! I have lived in So Cal for over 60 years but never surfed!

    • January 16, 2018 8:58 PM EST
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Beach, they have beaches in Hawaii ?  Looks like you have a good crew there working on the RR.

      ____________________________________

       

    • January 16, 2018 11:03 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Thanks for the great picture. Nice layout and oh to be a kidzilla again!

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • January 17, 2018 7:45 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      All, I wanted to acknowledge and thank you for encouragement.  Hardware issues make a fuller response more difficult at this time!

    • January 19, 2018 1:56 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Gents,

       

      A bit of background on the layout.  Almost all of it is 1980-s vintage, to include all but a few 4' sections of track and an LGB extension package (CINCHOUSE's way of giving me permission for the project).  The track is from three starter sets, numerous LGB expansion packs, and the odd single purchase item.  As such, most of the curves are LGB's tight 4' radius curves.  The siding going out to the dock and the passing siding just "below" it in the picture are some larger diameter.  As you might imagine, the 0-4-0s and 2 axle cars look right at home.  The bigger stuff manages OK.  Power comes from two MRC throttle packs from about 1988.  They are actually made in the USA!  Every so often, we break out my Wild West PLAYMOBIL and just have a blast out here.

      The long term vision is to "Hawaiian-ize" it in full, taking the guide off the real Oahu Rail & Land Co.  The short term vision is to keep this a family endeavor as I figure out how to use saws and soldering irons and things.  We laid the foundation, built up the brick, and covered it in tinted concrete.  A contractor had to fill it.  Almost all of the buildings are my father-in-laws creations, as are the bridges, and almost all of the plants are survivors of three years of choosing by the "gee-Dad-this-looks-pretty" method, subject, of course to a nominal scale call and survival estimation.  Oh, the tracks just float on the gravel.  As time goes by and plants go in, the gravel is beginning to concentrate under the tracks to accommodate settling and to make way for the planting medium.  So far, so good.

      New purchases since the Triple O came to life were  BACHMANN railtruck, which broke after about a month (We since had someone rig a repair, jumping from the leading truck to the pic-up plate).  BACHMANN replaced it with there 2-4-2, which looks nice but is a point picking derailing champion.  I also picked up a BIG HAULER Christmas set and some circus stuff from a buddy moving off island.  The "Annie" ate her gears, of course, which we replaced.  We also got  a string of HLW "mini" gondolas which look good and are easy for the kids.  I like these enough that a string of their flats is on the agenda as the basis for a sugar cane train!  The last new item was a PIKO caboose.  Nice enough I would consider more PIKO purchases in the future.

      Normally, we run three trains, two on the outer loop, using the passing siding near the pond to park one as the other makes its rounds, and one on the inner loop   Typically, the outer loop is "all in" American or "all in" European.  I do not enforce this; the crew just likes it that way without really knowing why.  The inner loop has two sidings, one serving a far, and one just because I had the track.  In concept, the inner loop serves various plantations and extractive industries, and the outer loop carries stuff coming down from the plantations to Pu'u'oma'o (Green Hills) to the docks at Haluku'ilio (Dog Wallow).  In reality, we just have fun running trains in circles carrying whatever.

      The last 12 months and probably most of the next 12 will be focused on greening the railroad and hopefully getting a few more buildings out there.  Last year, I had to address some dying locomotives and settling, so the buildings got put on the backburner.  

      If interested, I kept a build log at Garden Railways site here:  http://cs.trains.com/grw/f/91/t/230077.aspx?page=5#3027091.

      CINCHOUSE calls and I must obey.

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

       

       

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