Sunday, April 28, 2013

Steel Deck

I just love to work, to build and create, just seems to be my calling.

This project in town is a replacement deck, preaty much fabricted out of welded steel.

The owner, Dan, came up from Las Cruces for the weekend to help raise the steel posts and beams. I did the measuring, cutting and welding then Dan helped hoist the beams into place.

Basically 4 steel posts and two exsisiting wooden 4 x 8 posts with brackets and 4 beams.

Next will be thirteen Cee Profile rafters and then topped off with an extruded aluminum decking.

When I'm feeling healthy and feeling stong there is no stopping me. Work, work, work, go, go, go. Then when the day is done and the tools are put away it's time to drink a cold beer or two.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I sort of derailed on blogging once we lost our unlimited Internet threshold usage but for the past week or so our satellite service provider's system has been down so we are back with unlimited usage and I can upload.

We have been nice and not abusing the system, mostly watching lots of You Tube. My interest has been HO Model Trains ever since I was bit by the hobby. So this post is a picture gallery from this evening showing the progress over the past 48 days since returning from Bellevue, Washington visiting my parents for 6 weeks.

A derailment after forgetting to secure the turnout for the "through route" and it went off the "diverting route" and off the track.

Three brand new, unweathered  rolling stock, two NP box cars and a CB&Q caboose. Gifts from my train buddies up in Seattle.
A small tunnel with wooden portals I made on Saturday. The plan is for this to be an overview where people can view up and down the canyon and wave at the passing trains. 
Here we have the beginning's of a small tunnel mountain scene.
Basically three mains and two industry loops. Starting on the far right we have the Outer Loop, moving left the middle or  Freight loop, going through the upper tunnel is the Outer industry loop, through the lower tunnel is the Inner loop or what I am now calling the Canyon loop and finally the entrance to the future inner industry.   
Here is my vintage DC Power Pack.
Lower left corner of the layout with 2% grades. Only the Freight loop and outer industry loop track is working.
Back side of foam mountain. 
Looking at Canyon Land and the back side of the layout.
Beginning's of Trellis Corner.
Little chunks of blue foam mixed with drywall compound.
Start of a curved bridge with abutments.
View of the upper Plateau were there will be a light industry area.
This lower level will be a small train yard and on the left the train station.
I saw culverts like these on You Tube the other night so I made a couple. Not sure yet where they will go.
Fun with a few bridges, better known as a Through Truss and a Pony Plate Girder. In the back ground is another bridge heading off to the industry area from  Outer industry loop.
Vintage Athearn brand Blue Box Great Northern EMD GP-9 passing over the bridges hauling some light freight. 

An EMD GP9 is a four-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division in the United States, and General Motors Diesel in Canada between January, 1954, and August, 1963. US production ended in December, 1959, while an additional thirteen units were built in Canada, including the last two in August, 1963. Power was provided by an EMD 567C sixteen-cylinder engine which generated 1,750 horsepower (1.30 MW).[1] This locomotive type was offered both with and without control cabs; locomotives built without control cabs were called GP9B locomotives. All GP9B locomotives were built in the United States between February, 1954, and December, 1959.

The Great Northern Railway purchased 95 units.
So how about a bit of twentieth century history

After the turn of the century the Northern Pacific had a record of steady improvement. Together with the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific also gained control of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, gaining important access to Chicago, the central Middle West and Texas, as well as the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway, an important route through eastern and southern Washington. Its physical plant was upgraded continuously, with double tracking in key areas, and automatic block signaling along its entire main line. This in turn gave way to centralized traffic control, microwave and radio communications as time progressed.
The Northern Pacific maintained and continuously upgraded its equipment and service. The road helped pioneer the 4-8-4 Northern type steam engine, the 2-8-8-4Yellowstone, and was among the first railroads in the country to adopt diesel power beginning with General Motors’ FTs in 1944.
The Northern Pacific's premier passenger train, the North Coast Limited was among the safest and finest in the nation, suffering only one passenger fatality in nearly 70 years of operation.

In later years, consolidation in American railroading brought the Northern Pacific together with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, the Great Northern Railway and the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway on March 2, 1970, to form the Burlington Northern Railroad. Ironically, the merger was allowed despite a challenge in the Supreme Court, essentially reversing the outcome of the 1904 Northern Securities ruling.

So there you go......


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bellevue in the Rain word game

Today, in

________ ________,

we road the ___,

in the ____.

Waited at the high end bus ____ for  the bus to Bartel's. Dad did his shopping,

then we returned to their _________,

and finished off the last bowl of my sister, Nancy's home made ____ _______.
Today, in Downtown Bellevue, we road the bus in the rain. Waited at the high end bus stop for the bus to Bartel's. Dad did his shopping, then we returned to their apartment and finished off the last bowl of my sister, Nancy's home made clam chowder.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Starting Over

The long and expensive process of building my HO model train layout has begun. First I had to remove the old track and strip the base. Spent some time reworking the wench cable system to beef it up a bit. Today I ordered a swaging crimp tool and some more cable ferrules. I just am not happy with two of the smashed with a hammer connections. A failed joint would be a disaster.

So the process began with gluing down 1" rigid foam. This makes a nice sub straight. Reduces track noise and easy to add and remove for landscaping.

Todays project was this routered out pocket to mound my plywood helix structure. Boy what a mess that was. Still picking out little pieces of blue foam from my clothing, my shop and our cat.

A nice and tight flush fit.

Side view of the 405 degree helix up to the second level

The layout will have three main line exterior loops and who knows what on the interior.

Paper template of a Number 8 turnout.  Turnouts like this with remote swtiching can run close to $40 each. I need a dozen just to get started.

2 inch track spacing.

Had to adjust the track centers, somehow my original lines were only spaced 1 3/4'
So for now this is about as far as I can proceed without parts. Good progress though.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bob's Disc Golf

One can tell, and I now I remember by this One Free Round Coupon that the year was 1979.

Disc Golf in the Northwest had a colorful history full of pioneers and legions in the sport of "Frisbee" and "Disc Golf. One of those players was Doug Newland. Being the current Regional Director of our sport, Doug had the opportunity to connect with a man I only remember as Bob, a business man, who had heard of this new found fun.

So lets just say that all the players in the region were excited and many helped to install the course with the Northwest's first concrete tee pads and baskets for that matter. Besides the baskets and signage Bob purchased a new trailer to act as the office and clubhouse, even had a candy bar vending machine inside.

Percentage wise at the time most of the "Golfers" lived up in the Seattle area. Traveling 50 minutes on the Freeway to Bob's was infrequent so there wasn't a lot of play on the course. Tournaments were the only way to attract distant players from Portland Oregon and Vancouver BC.

1979 was the year of the $50,000 Invitational Frisbee Disc Golf tournament in Huntington Beach. To receive an invite you had to place first, second or third in a regional qualifying tournament. Our's was here at Bob's Disc Golf. I think I placed Fourth. Doug qualifyed and I had to stay home.

Home then became the trailer at Bob's Disc Golf and I was the new acting Course Pro. A lonely time with no players and my friends in the California sun. It wasn't until they all returned that I learned the tournament organizers relaxed their stance and let non qualifiers compete.

Oh well, if I had gone I would not have been able to empty that vending machine.

Bob's course eventually was removed, sold to the Parks Department where the baskets sat in storage until installed at Fort Steilacoom. Now that's another story.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mini Man


The forgotten and mis-understood Mini Man. I hope there are few of these classic awards out there still standing on trophy shelves in Seattle or Portland.

I was down cleaning my shop the other day and ran across this special memory.

During my years of being Regional Director and Tournament director for the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) up in the Northwest, I did a number of projects that I felt was for the players that went beyond helping with the politics and installation of the two main courses at the time, North Park in Seattle and Fort Steilacoom in Tacoma. I always felt that if I liked something so would others.

During my tenure, I created and financed quite a few custom hot stamped golf discs, minis, towels, tee shirts, score cards, newsletters and the like including the Mini Man Trophy.

I loved spending my time and money to help support the growth of the sport back then. So did most of us. For me the most satisfying “art” piece was the Mini Man Trophy.  This trophy took months for me to complete. In the early 80‘s, trophy shops didn’t offer figures for our sport.

These Mini Man trophy’s were not finished in time for the awards ceremony but eventually were awarded to the recipients.

I started by going to a toy store in search of a toy figure with adjustable joints. After some modifying I made a silicone rubber casting mold and went to work casting during the evenings after work.

I used scrap pieces of clear acrylic, plexiglass, glued together and then machined to create a base. On a lathe I turned scaled discs. After assembly there was painting and lettering.

Boy I wanted to win one of these so badly but all I have to show is four left-over rejects and, luckily, some pictures. I can only hope that the memory of the Mini Man lives on.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More More Otis

Finished my Otis Golf Cart tail gate today. Well almost. Just need some better "S" hooks and chain stays for the latches. As usual I was scavenging for parts and found this cool woven wire mesh.

I think the cargo box turned out pretty good, in fact, better than I expected.

Aluminum capture plates so the screen's are removable.

Yes it actually opens.
Next will be the front cargo boxes and drink holders. Some mud flaps would be nice and maybe a bumper. How about a trailer?