Friday, June 29, 2012

5000 Thank yous!

The blog has hit a milestone today.  It just recorded the 5000th page view!  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to look at and read this blog.  And a big thank you to those of you who have commented on it (on and off the blog) and gave me advice, complements, and some ribbing on my posts. :)  

Do jeh saai! (Thank you!)


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Back in the Spotlight..

I was interviewed by my friends Craig Bisgeier and Ryan Anderson from the Model Railcast Show this past week, and the new show, show #166, will come out sometime this week.  Having been formerly in radio a while back (I was the general manager and also a radio personality on a small local radio station in the Northern NJ area) always brings back fun memories from that particular time in my life.

I hadn't been on for awhile (well over a year) and I had great time talking with the guys again.  They specifically were interested in talking about helix design, and in particular, my backbone style helix.  It was a good discussion and I was able to share with them what I learned while building my helix.

If your not to sick of my coverage of the trials and tribulations of building my helix (seems like that's all I posted about for a long time) then download the podcast and take a listen.   I'd like to hear what you thought of the show. :)

Moving forward again..

I had a couple of personal setbacks this past week and it was rough going.  I think I've worked past the problems and today finally felt comfortable enough to do a little work on the layout.  

I got another curved turnout built in place using Fast Tracks built components and the Central Valley turnout strips.

All I need to do now is connect some flex on both ends and fine tune it.  Each one of these I build gets easier to do, and I'm even thinking about using the Central Valley strips from now on instead of the Fast Tracks Twist Ties.  Even on the straight sections.  It's working out to be an easier way of putting ties under my turnouts and the cost is roughly the same.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This is only a test..

Gravity.. High rates of speed.. no derailments.. I guess I done good. ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Now back to our regularly scheduled program..

Well, hockey is officially over.  Congratulations to the LA Kings for winning the Stanley Cup.  They showed great teamwork and though my Devils lost, I’m happy that the Kings were able to win a Stanley Cup for the first time in their 40+ years as a franchise. 

Despite the distraction of the NHL Playoffs, I’ve been working steadily on the layout.  Here are some progress shots of what I’ve done in the past few weeks:

The beginnings of the curved turnout.

I built one of the curved turnouts I needed utilizing the Central Valley Turnout kits that I had picked up cheap awhile back.  I had been hesitant to try and tackle this project, but I dived in the other day and got one built.  

I didn’t follow the directions in the kit, I instead built a hybrid of the kit, and Fast Tracks built components.  I used the Fast Tracks jig to make the points, frog, and running rails, but did not solder them onto PC ties.  Instead, once everything was made, I glued all the components onto the CV Turnout Tie Strip in place on the layout. This worked out great because I was able to curve the tie strip first, glue it down, then install the Fast Tracks built components.   Last thing I needed to do was solder a throw rod onto the point rails and the turnout was built.  Now that I built one, I feel confident about building more of these anyplace I need a curved turnout.

Here is the finished curved turnout on the top level.  I think it came out great!

I continued to install track and switches, mostly on the lower level, and have all but two sidings installed on the half of the lower level that is closest to the helix. 

Here we are looking away from the helix and we see the completed runaround track.

Here is what the runaround looks like from the other end.

I have 4 more days of work left where I teach, and I’m hoping to get a lot more done once I’m off for the summer (in between checking things off my Honey-Do list that is..)

Monday, June 11, 2012

This delay in construction is brought to you by...

The New Jersey Devils!!!!


Keep the comeback alive!!

(Don't worry, there is still progress on the layout.  A report to follow shortly. )