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    • May 15, 2020 3:08 AM EDT
    • Moving from thinking to doing and moving this to a new thread:  M&K Sugar Mill.   Thanks for kicking me over the edge!

    • May 15, 2020 3:07 AM EDT
    • Aloha,

           OK, we are moving from ideating to doing on this one (see A Question of Basics -- Techniques for Large, Simple Structures). In brief, the idea is to convert my pink foam into a reasonable facsimile of a the sugar mills on O'ahu.   From my photographic research, these were large, had a huge stack for the power plant, a covered areas to unload cane, and tracks to store the empties.  For my purposes, this is to serve as an "anchor project" to set aside that lobe of the layout as the place where the Triple O (our analog to the OR&L) picks up sugar from the M&K Sugar Co. (initials are from my last name and CINCHOUSE's maiden name).  In time, I plan to fill this area out with the outbuildings for the plantation (engine service area, workshops, whatever).   For now, the mill has to say "Hey! That's a sugar mill!" as part of the long range effort to better anchor the Triple O in time and place.


          I have learned at long last to start with a a mock-up.  The material, in this case old boxes, is free.  Yesterday, Youngest Daughter helped me to cut up the boxes, and we got about as far as the unloading shed:


      We ran out of material, I tried to be lazy and tape together a frame, and, well, no...


           Today, while the 1:1 crew was involved in their homeschooling, I scrounged more boxes and proceeded to cut.  I moved it all out on the railroad to get a sense of size, staging the 1:24 crew to help me see this in proportion (and because I enjoy staging these guys!).  The first shot is the primary viewing angle:

      From front to back you see a passing siding on the mainline, the M&K's engine service track, the M&K's empties track, and the can unloading track.  Again, there is simply no room to do much with the track, so the cane trains will have to pull their loads into the mill and out the other side.


          The next shot would be visible from our lanai.  I placed the shipping box there to break out the outline a bit.  I thought it could serve as an entrance or connected outbuilding.

      I might add a ventilation "shed" (not sure of the word here; in the pictures it looks like a little house on top of the structure) on top of that roof, too for similar reasons.


          The next shot is the "back." I  figure this could be where I put the molasses tank (represented by the cookie tine) or fuel dump for the power plant (The Triple O runs on coal).

           The overhead shot really showed me how big this thing will be:

       My first thought was, "That's a lot of surface area to cover with crimped aluminum from salvaged beverage cans!" I am going to have to weigh going commercial on the siding  Financially it'd probably be a wash, though I am sure buying the siding will be better for my health and ultimately less frustrating.  I am thinking that a plastic siding will also facilitate the addition of plastic pipes, vents, rails, etc. as the mill and complex evolve.  My second thought was more aesthetic.  Is this too big?  Does it "over dominate?"  Need to think on that!


      More fitting and fiddling to come before we start cutting the foam.





    • May 14, 2020 9:46 PM EDT
    • Pete Lassen said:

      Dan when searching on the buildathing they do not offer PETg as a choice, either PLA or ABS. Should I look elsewhere to find the PETg or will one of those products give good results, I noticed they offer both in several colors  so getting them already in the color you want seems like a good idea, then just have to spray them with a UV inhibitor 


      ABS is actually a better choice than PETg but its tricky to print.  Most folks like to smooth the layer lines with filler and sanding (ABS can be chemically smoothed with acetone) but you could forgo the smoothing - get the parts printed ion the final color and do a UV clearcoat.  Would still look good from a few feet away.


    • May 14, 2020 9:17 PM EDT
    • Dan when searching on the buildathing they do not offer PETg as a choice, either PLA or ABS. Should I look elsewhere to find the PETg or will one of those products give good results, I noticed they offer both in several colors  so getting them already in the color you want seems like a good idea, then just have to spray them with a UV inhibitor 

    • May 14, 2020 8:03 PM EDT
    • Update:


      I am not sure my modified work schedule will last much longer, so it is time to draw together some loose ends here.  Of my outstanding projects;


      1. Coach Lighting.  Proof of concept done. Thanks to Bill for the "way ahead." I'll crank out a few more as we go.  Flux.  It is a wonderful thing... Thanks to David Maynard and a handful of others for that tip!
      2. Fix Christmas Thomas. Done... Sort of...  The shim I installed to hold the motor in place in this is a battery powered LGB  m2075 has since broken loose.  "He" gets a real power train next year when we commence the Grand Rehabilitation of the Missile Sponges.
      3. Fiddle with the track.  Done, courtesy of OD.  
      4. Fiddle with the landscaping.  Done, courtesy of OD.   
      5. Fix Glitchy Gustav. In progress.  I shipped the chassis to TainLi after a final valiant push.  The fault, at least, is isolated to wear and tear.  Final results to be posted on that thread (LGB 0-6-2T: BadMotor, Bad Gears, Both, or Something Else?).
      6. Help Oldest Son restore Charlie the Railtruck to service.  In progress.  We've got this isolated to a loose wire, we think.   Tinkering to continue!  Thanks again, Pete!  We'll finish out that project here on this thread unless this, too descends into another "Lost Cause" epic.
      7. Make cardboard mock-ups for the M&K Sugar Mill.  Done, with an assist from Younger Daughter.  I am going to open a new to-be-started thread on this project.
      8. Assist, as required, OD on her shorty restoration.  In progress.  She is really creating something special here, I promise.  I am anxious to place this in revenue service (maybe more than she!).  I'll let her show off a bit on her existing thread (Ke Ka'a Piki (the Shortened Coach) -- Passing the Baton)  .  Thanks Rooster for this opportunity!
      9. Finish the cane cars.  A few scale "timbers" and a few cheap chains away from finishing.  I'll close out the project on the original thread (Have Locomotive, Need Cane Cars).


      Along the way we did some minor repairs to existing buildings, leveled the roadbed here and there, trimmed the plants, planted some things, etc.  CINCHOUSE and I also worked this "Beating the COVID  Boredom Plan"  into ad hoc "STEM" homeschooling, which was welcomed.  Nothing epic on this list, but, for my own sake, I wanted to tie a few loose ends together here, take stock, and prepare for a return to relative normal!



    • May 13, 2020 4:06 AM EDT
    • Tim said:


      'the girls donated a chain to the cane car project, so that is still stalled'

      something is missing from that sentence...


      That should've read "...of all the cheap jewerlry they unearthed, they donated a single chain....'  And, yes, with regards to their room, I should know better....

    • May 12, 2020 8:46 PM EDT
    • uh...what?


      'the girls donated a chain to the cane car project, so that is still stalled'


      something is missing from that sentence...


      and by the way, kids rooms are supposed to resemble archaeological sites.  You really should know this by now. :)


    • May 12, 2020 11:09 AM EDT
    • Looks good

    • May 12, 2020 4:13 AM EDT
    • So far, so good!


      After Pete Thornton's assistance with the motor, the boys and I wired up an old power pack, rebuilt Charlie, and fired him up over the weekend:


      The initial check began with great excitement as Charlie's drive wheels spun for the first time in at least 18 months:


      We found by pushing down on the cap that holds one of the brushes in place, Charlie worked just fine.  We experimented by placing a shim under motor cover (the white block to the left in the picture below):

      This proved unreliable.  We then rummaged about for zip ties:

      This almost snugged it down enough.  Then, as I fiddled with it, Oldest Son noticed I cut the wire to the motor.  Good thing soldering is on my "skills to improve during lockdown list!"  We seem to be on the right track, and I suspect a smaller zip tie might be able to better snug down over the cap.  I can get those at the auto parts store, which is open.  In the meantime, Oldest Son was thrilled to see his train running, albeit poorly for the moment, so I'll count that as a victory.  Thanks, Pete!


          Since we were on a roll, we soldered together some LEDs, scrap wire, and a battery-switch box in a poor imitation of Bill Barnwell's DIY interior light strips.  Oldest Son event tried his hand at soldering.  He has my natural "talent."  Light, however, came to the night time riders of the Triple O!


      It's a lot, lot cooler in person.


          The girls donated a chain to the cane car project, so that is still stalled, but in the archaeological dig they call their room they unearthed sufficient carboard to begin worrying over the sugar mill.


      Lots of little projects, none very epic, but all are fun.






    • May 14, 2020 7:23 PM EDT
    • Don't forget the window heater ,ditch lites and (HEP cabling as you never know)?

    • May 14, 2020 7:21 PM EDT
    • Rick Marty said:
      Rooster ' said:

      You can get out all your building blocks and make a plow but Ken and the rest of us would like to see it in use while Ken sits by the wood stove!




      You are missing the whole point of this build.  By investing a lot of time and effort to produce a snow plow it pretty much guarntees that it won't snow, and that is my main objective



      I'm only a Rooster and not a paid meteorologist but I would like to go out on a limb (or crow on a fence) and predict a heavy snow in Oregon this year!

      Ken will love the videos while sitting by his wood stove in PA!



      Excellent work as always Rick !




         Thank you

    • May 14, 2020 6:38 PM EDT
    • Excellent as always Rick.

    • May 14, 2020 6:29 PM EDT
    • Wow.  Let me echo all the compliments listed above!

    • May 14, 2020 12:02 PM EDT
    • Beautiful model very realistic looking, love the wood blade  

    • May 14, 2020 11:11 AM EDT
    • Turned out fantastic Rick.

    • May 14, 2020 8:52 AM EDT
    • Beautiful!  Now you can head down to Dunsmuir to fix that one!

    • May 14, 2020 12:24 AM EDT
    • Thanks for your enthusiasm Jim.

      It was a really fun project with a lot of complications that all worked out well in the end.  The only thing left to do is come up with some lettering that is somewhat reasonably correct for the car and the era. As this car is a model of one built and ran by the McCloud River Rail Road, standard gauge by the way, and has been bought by the Shasta Pacific at a surplus sale and mounted on narrow gauge trucks the lettering is in question. 

      I think I have decided on using a very common approach for the era.  We will blank out the original lettering (non existant) and paint on the Shasta pacific's name and numbers in a freshly painted box on each side of the car.

      More fun stuff.

    • May 13, 2020 8:17 PM EDT
    • that is stupendous! fantastic! supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! colors are great. love the grey on the blade. really shows off the wood textures...

    • May 13, 2020 8:04 PM EDT
    • Well it's taken 15 months but this beast is finally done, and I mean beast it weighs in at 6 1/2 pounds.  Probably take 2 three truck Shays to push it through the snow


      These first picts are of the plow with the ice blade down and the wings extended.












      Here the ice blade is in the raised position for dry travel.


      The spreader wings in the closed position.


      Oh yea, I finally gave up and installed an LED for the headlight using a 9 volt battery.


      It's a good feeling to finally have this project off the bench but now I have to wait till next winter to try it out Oh well, on to something else