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  • Topic: Mik 2020 -- Mama's No Ka Oi Bakery

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    • January 12, 2020 7:54 PM EST

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      Dave Taylor said:

      So as I see this evolving.... two years from now.... Oldest Daughter does her own Mik Challenge, and sticks dad with the three little ones to sheppard........

      She has "her own" custom shorty coach to work on as wished for. Perhaps not in the challenge but awaiting her work.  Would be neat to see as it's got pieces from a few builds and the original coach cut off came from our own BD.

    • January 12, 2020 10:31 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Gents,

       

           Thanks for your kind words.  For those new to LSC, CINCHOUSE (Commander in Chief House) gave me permission to being a garden railroad with the caveat "It cannot be just your hobby."  I operationalized her directive as "All may participate, none must participate."  As the kids have gotten older and developed their own friends and interest, getting them all involved at once is becoming a rarer phenomenon, and, in the case of Oldest Son, he wishes he could make the whole thing invisible when his friends come over as something that is old hat for him is new and unique to them.  Oldest Daughter, who really does have the eye, did ponder her own effort this year, and, had it been a rolling stock theme, her shorty would have been the subject, and the rest of us would've been trying to fashion cane cars. Space limitations preclude multiple projects at once, however, and in the meantime she is brainstorming!  In closing, though, it has been satisfying to watch them take the joy of creating and world making from the garden to their own endeavors and then returning that joy to the garden and its railroad as the project and their fancy strikes them.

           Back to the project at hand, we took a crack at the chimney, and found that E6000 remains the almost right glue for everything.  It'll need some pre-paint work, but we wanted it together to size the back of the oven which, of course, drives the front of the oven if, in fact, we do the interior.   We glued a couple sheets of foam together to provide the proper thickness and let that part of the project set.  I also used some silicon to seal the surprisingly small gaps in our walls and to add a degree of water tight integrity.

           Kid-zilla joined Oldest Daughter and I for the cutting of the roof.  The hard part here was figuring out how to brace the wire cutter at a good angle, which we solved with some clamps:

       

      We considered using a block of foam as a brace, but there was too much friction to easily slide the soon-to-be roof along for a smooth cut.  I substituted the foam with a metal ruler, and that seemed more promising of success.

          I taped two bits of foam together that Oldest Daughter had cut to her vision of the finished project (to the present goes the spoils of design).  We lined everything up, and she did the cutting while I held the ruler and operated the on/off switch.  Kid-zilla supervised (the photo was from a test-run):

           The results, frankly, surprised us both:

       

      I think the roof is deliberately off center to allowed for a covered walkway along the display window.  I'm cool with that.  There is also and employee's door hidden behind the foam that will become the back of the oven.

          We will work the windows, door, and chimney / oven in parallel.   There is some debate as to whether or not we will do the interior.  The plan is to get this structurally done before I go "off line," so that the desire to detail (or not) will not preclude finishing the project.  Oh, and we need craft sticks...

       

      Happy Building!

      Eric

      (Edited to add picture of how we cut the foam at the right angle.)

       

       

       

       

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at February 2, 2020 3:48 PM EST
    • January 13, 2020 12:41 AM EST
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Great pictures Eric!!! I’m rooting for y’all to wow them all!!!

      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • January 13, 2020 3:22 AM EST
      • Ohio
         
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      Great work!!!.. I wish I could get my 13 yr old daughter back into train stuff. She used to run them all the time when younger. Maybe I should ask her to help with a build challenge sometime......

    • January 13, 2020 3:39 AM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         I hear ya Travis. My daughter decorated one of the Stainz locomotive in princess characters, and at her request we had a separate track in the basement of the old house which went directly to her dollhouse to pick up Barbie passengers and take them out onto the mainline. Not exactly 1:24! She also painted the ballast pink. Okay then. But dang that was a lot of fun.

       

         The build's coming along nicely Eric.

       

       

      ____________________________________

    • January 14, 2020 3:16 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Again, thank you for your kind comments.  

       

          Keeping the kids involved has been a combination of luck and deliberate planning.  Gone are the days when Barbie and Ken sat lodged in a hopper with a formally dressed table between them! To keep everyone at interested, I try to have a variety of projects in mind so I can take advantage of whatever material I stumble upon and match it to a project that fits the current interest of some individual or faction within the clan.  If a friend is over and I am / we are working on something, I invite them to participate.   I also try to raise the complexity of the project to match and challenge not only where I think I am and where I want to go skillwise, but to do the same for them.  Even if I had the tools and talent to make a scale replica of one of the OR&L stations, for instance, I doubt that, for now, anyone save maybe Oldest Daughter would join me.  The same goes for material and tools.  People like the foam cutter and the Dremel.  They don't like the saber saw (I didn't even know it was a saber saw until our Fiberon bridge experiment!).  Go where the fish are biting, as they say.  Finally, I do think this contest helps.  They do take pride in it, they have bragged about it, and they enjoy seeing where they can go with the skills, however they choose to employ them, by seeing what you folks have done with the same starting point.   

         Long way of saying, yeah, do get your kids / grandkids / neighbor kids to join you next year.  If nothing else, it has justified my continued spending on the hobby, "But dear, the kids and I...."

       

          Back on topic.  Oldest Son and Kid-zilla joined me today to craft the oven.  Not knowing how big it should be, I again brought down PLAYMOBIL of Antiquity and sized it to the Blacksmith's forge:

      We put offset the final piece a bit to let the "smoke" angle up to the chimney.  Oh, I had to pull that apart to paint the interior, as most smoke, even 1:24-ish PLAYMOBIL scale smoke is not gloss white!  Live and learn.  For reasons lost to me, I did not take a picture of the final part, which is now glued in place.  

       

           Oldest Son, meanwhile, who had just pronounced he  "didn't want people to think he liked the trains" had taken it upon himself to cut a sales counter for the interior, which I guess we are now (edited from "not") detailing.  Behind him you can make out the new chimney base:

         We secured at that point to prep for the evening routine.  I did take a piece of scrap foam and compare the effect of trying to carve in a stone surface with cutting "stones" from foam and gluing them to a surface.  The clan agrees.  We are using the cut and glue method.

       

           We are on track to get this think built, planked, and sealed prior to my work obligation.  The goal is to have a completed building, in case the loss of adult participation leads to a drain in enthusiasm.   Also, the painting, decorating, and detailing can be done without things that can cut off fingers.

       

           Updates (without philosophy) as warranted.

       

      Happy Building!

       

      Eric

       

       

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at January 18, 2020 7:02 PM EST
    • January 16, 2020 2:14 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Five foam meat trays converted into "rocks" and glued to the base and the oven.  Youngest Daughter polished it off after dark, so photos will have to  wait. That was a tedious process, and we didn't crack the code on getting the stones to go around the corners like we did when we carved them into the scrap.  We'll have to position the final bakery such that this flaw is not obvious.  Lesson learned on the limitation of this technique!

       

      I am wondering how we are going to paint all this without making the stones look too uniform and yet meeting the time requirements.  The plan is to seal the base in a dark grey latex, then dry brush the paving stones to show the relief.  I am hoping by varying the pressure and amount of the dry brushing we can create the illusion of multiple hues of grey.  

       

      We still need to get to the craft store for the craft sticks, get into the closet to find the crimper, and search the shed for the paints.  We're tracking, but it'll be close!

       

      Happy Building!

       

      Eric

    • January 18, 2020 4:19 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update (pictures to follow later this weekend):

       

           We sealed the bakery inside and out with outdoor latex paint.  The "stone" portions got a cover of a medium grey.  On the way to the hardware store for black paint ($5), I figured it would be better to make the "stones" a medium shade of grey, then do the wash in black, then dry brush and / or hand paint stones to make some contrast.  The whole lot is drying right now.  We should be able to "plank" it all over starting tomorrow.  Then we'll fuss with windows and doors.

       

           The chimney needed some filler where I botched the glue job, but it is moving in parallel, as is the roof.  If I cannot find the crimper to turn beverage cans into corrugated metal for the roof, we will make simulated tar paper with cheap sandpaper.

       

      Eric

       

       

       

    • January 19, 2020 2:53 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      OK, as promised, this week's progress in pictures...

       

      Most of the week was spent trying to make the parts that will represent stone look like stone.  Youngest Daughter, Oldest Son, and Kid-zilla all took turns at various intervals cutting "paving stones" out of foam meat trays.  We had begun with little cobblestone sized things, then quickly realized that that would take forever!  You can often see where cut-and-glue session began and ended by the size of the stones...As the work period dragged on, the stones tend to get bigger.  

        

      I was really worried the "stone" part of the chimney would look too clunky, and I considered stucco-ing it over.  Then I remembered I don't have stucco, so I thought I'd wait to see what paint did to it and left it as is:

           We proceeded to painting, and I learned over the successive couple days that "seal this with a thick coat of paint" meant different things to different folks!  I had to intervene to make sure that the paint's thickness was in the couple of millimeter and not eights of an inch range! Neighbor Girl Who Thinks She Lives Here joined us at some point during the painting, but I am not sure when (she has joined us for multiple family parties, a couple Thanksgivings, and maybe a few Christmases, too, and I didn't notice until nearly after the fact):

       

      Some paint actually made it onto the model despite all this help.

       

           We let all this dry, got he secret ingredient (Craft sticks; $12 gone, for a total of $17 spent thus far, I think), and, after a jaunt to China Town to welcome in the Year of the Rat (Xin nian kuai le!), Oldest Son and I got busy with TiteBond III and craft sticks:

      The paint may indeed have saved the bottom of our chimney.  We'll see what some dark washes can do to it and the stone-paved streets.

       

           As of now, the bakery looks like this:

      The clamps are  holding a few warped craft sticks in place.  By shear dumb luck, the craft sticks are as long as the building is high, and we can hide the rounded end with trim (a.k.a. craft sticks).  We'll make and frame the windows and door this weekend....hopefully.

       

           I did find the crimper, and, luckily, we have not made  a recycling run in a while.  Okinawa's finest, "Orion," provided the test material, and, lo, it works on beverage can aluminum!  I made a template in 1:24-ish scale, and I will make the roofing tomorrow after a social engagement.  That'll give me time to see if the test piece bonded with the foam with the TiteBond III.

       

           All heavy construction must be done by Tuesday evening, leaving the crew to detail  the bakery.   I plan to use some spare dowel lengths to let them lift the roof on and off to do what they will, with the emphasis being on the exterior for the purposes of the contest.  It'll be close to get the project to that point, but we are tracking!

       

      Happy Building!

      Eric

       

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at January 20, 2020 9:48 AM EST
    • January 19, 2020 6:12 AM EST
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      I must say Eric and clan, The choice on materials you decide to re-purpose for your builds speaks well for the familys artistic talents. Great build so far. 

    • January 19, 2020 10:20 AM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      This is another awesome project. Now i need to start saving meat trays.

      ____________________________________
    • January 19, 2020 1:15 PM EST
      • Pleasanton, CA
         
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      Sweet! I like how you are making your stones. Both easy for the age of your collaborators and looking good. Can teach us old farts something there. The kid friendly version of Ray Dunakin's PVC sculpting...

       

      And how come you get to have all these helpers when the rest of us go solo? At this rate, the entire island is going to be working on your Mik project.  If I recall, there was an old saying in computer stuff that an IBM man-year was 730 people working until lunch. [link]

       

      So, is it done yet?

       

    • January 19, 2020 1:25 PM EST
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Turning foam meat trays into stones ...... who'd a thunk it   The clan is making a grand bakery and even grander memories.  I'm enjoying the front row seat.

      ____________________________________

       

    • January 20, 2020 1:28 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Gents,

       

      Thanks. The meat tray idea came from Jack Verducci's book.  We had collected a dozen or so, then let them lie for a couple years awaiting a project.  My desire to make buildings was overcome in terms of need and budget by a desire to ensure the Triple O ran reliably in a good looking world, so I focused on landscaping, track placement, powers supplies, etc...and the stray opportunity buy on the used market!  The Mik has provided us an opportunity to flex our project to include "wants" with the aforementioned "needs"  along the way.  

       

      As for employing as many hands as possible, I have to leverage every advantage I have!

       

      Eric

    • January 20, 2020 1:57 AM EST
      • Ohio
         
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      Very Nice Eric. The kids looks like they are having fun!. Maybe next year I will try to get my daughter involved......

       

    • January 31, 2020 8:33 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Professional obligation behind me, a week left ahead of me, and nearly two weeks of lost time behind me...Looks like we are going to have to push hard this  weekend!  I am sensing a case of "iron horse flu" may be ahead of me...

       

      Pictures of where we stand to follow...

       

      Oh, and Travis, definitely get your daughter involved if you can.  

      Eric

    • February 1, 2020 2:26 AM EST
      • Ohio
         
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      Yes Eric, I am gonna see if she wants to build something with me. She turns 14 this Sunday. I finally get a day off on a weekend. Looking forward to more of your pictures of progress....

    • February 2, 2020 3:19 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      OK, as mentioned, I had to take a break from the action, but, we had progress in fits and starts...

       

            Oldest Son and I continued converting beverage cans into corrugated roofing.  He  discovered the best way to get rid of the curl was to  take the "4x8" sheets into the yard and batter it with a mallet.  Of course, running it through the crimper (seen below on top of the structure) put a curve into it, anyway:

       

       

      I glued it to the roof with TiteBond III and weighted all the sheets in place.  I was surprised how easy it was to make corrugated metal in general.  You can even run the sheets through the crimper multiple times. I will have to find better glues or better ways to straighten it.

       

           The project sort of went fallow after that.  My hours, school projects, and the unexpected loss of our beloved cattle dog "Mr. Otto" took the wind out of our collective sails.  Still, Oldest Son completed boarding up the wall by interpreting "take some scraps and glue them above and below the window" as "take whole craft sticks, board up the windows, and wait for Dad  so we can Dremel it all out."  Youngest Daughter, meanwhile, used Sculptamold to make some pastries:

      They look good enough to make any PLAYMOBIL dude happy!  Oldest Daughter had a school project, but she painted the chimney.  Interestingly, she started by dry brushing, then experimented with a Q-tip, before migrating on to her index finger:

       

      If the technique isn't dangerous, let 'em try it!

       

           Today was supposed to be the big catch-up day.  Naturally, the weather was gorgeous, so I lost the use of Oldest Daughter when she and her friends headed off to the beach.  Oldest Son, however, decided to lend-to, and lend-to he did as we sawed, Dremel-ed, glued, and clamped away the day.  First, of course we prepared the work area, which, naturally, required bringing the Triple O to life:

      Next, we had to figure out how to cut out those windows.  To be fair, we had use the plan-over-and-cut-out-later technique before, and it works fine.  The difficulty here was that the foam walls are much thicker, so it was tricky to get in there and cut it all out:

       

      I had to finish this portion of the job, as the vibration proved uncomfortable for him.  From then on, it was a really neat dance as we passed saw, mitre box, glue, and clamps back and forth to finish both the exterior and his service counter (below):

      Kid-zilla joined us, too.  I am pretty sure his efforts are on the final product somewhere!

            We did the window frames and some trim pieces, and both exercises showed the limit of craftsticks, at least a limit in my hands.  As another person mentioned, they are not really uniform, making long pieces of trim difficult.  Had I taken this into consideration at the start, I would have adjusted the structure's size as well as the windows' dimensions.  Hopefully, paint, possibly a bit of sanding filler, help smooth things out a bit.  Also, my miscommunication about how I wanted to do the windows meant I had to use oversized window trim.  Things worked out better for the doors, which are painted hotel room keys. The structure as it stood at dinner time looks like this:

       

      Tomorrow, we will try to add some trim to the roof, too, and I plan to cut up some shattered epee blades to cover up that seam where the roof takes its downward turn.  Clearly, we have to do some fitting and fiddling to get the chimney to fit a bit better.  The plan is to be done with the glue by tomorrow evening.  We shall see...

       

           While I like to keep these posts on topic, I wanted to close tonight with a little tribute to my "fur buddy" Mr. Otto.  He was never far as the Triple O took shape, and his pawprint is in the retaining wall to commemorate his canine involvement, so I figured he has a place on this thread.  The photo was taken late December on a family hike up Mokapu'u:  

      The Triple O is a bit quieter now...

       

    • February 2, 2020 9:16 AM EST
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Eric, That looks great.I went to the loacal office supply store and got an inexpensive (I think $10) paper cutter, the gillotine sp? type and it cuts the can aluminum with ease and with some tape in the proper spots you can make very repeatable sizes. And the safety guards on them there is not much chance of finger nail shortening.

      On a more personal note, i feel for you in the loss of Mr Otto, its been a few years since our beloved Babs left us and the railroad is named after her, The Babs River Railway. There is a card our vet sent us with a poem "The Rainbow Bridge".Our condolences, Pete and the crew at Babs River Railway

      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

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