Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday 3-25-11 work session at John's

[Text & Pictures by Rick Wade]

It was fun at John's home Friday 3/25. In attendance were: Rick (with Midge upstairs with Shirley), Mark, Collin, Paul, Bob & Ken. John had lined up a few tasks including painting the wall and putting up shelves that he bought from Steve B. Yummy snacks were provided including home made chocolote chip cookies, double stuff Oreos, candied pecans, and drinks. The pictures are in no particular order....enjoy!

Somebody has to supervise these guys and John had his hands full while Ken & Paul work out the details.

Paul, Mark & Rick worked on the wall and were having some difficulties with blending the lighter blue with the darker blue.....then Bob showed up to give his advice and things went better.
Collin is taking a phone break. He cut the 2' x 2' x 48" legs and then Rick helped him install the adjustable feet.

Bob in deep thought.

Bob, Mark & Paul installing the shelves after the lengthy process of locating the studs.

Mark was looking a little sad, so I gave him one of my Oreos (he started looking much better!)

After the wall was painted it took awhile to get those shelved mounted. Ken puts in his two cents worth.

Many thanks to everyone who helped and to John and Shirley for opening there home, and to Shirley for entertaining Midge.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday night March 11th at Paul's home

{Story by Paul - Pictures by Rick W.}

So here's my report for Friday night, at last! It started a little early, when Mark arrived and Donna sent him downstairs...

I was showing Mark my progress on the narrow gauge on the upper level, including my Blackstone K-27 Mikado with 15 cars behind it. I showed where there is one point where the pilot wheels tend to leave the track around a curve, and left him with the train as the others started arriving. John, Rick, and Midge came, and Cliff Smith, a potential new guy got introduced around. Cliff lives about a mile from me, and is interested in re-joining the NMRA and building a layout. Then Ken arrived, and I showed Midge what progress I've made since she last saw the layout in 2009, and I gave Cliff the rundown at the same time. Then Bob came, with Colin in tow, and I had to show it all all over again....It's really tough for me to show off my trains! Then we trooped upstairs for cookies and soft drinks, and to talk with the girls. Our neighbor Vivian, whose husband is off to Daytona for Bike Week, came over, too, to watch Calendar Girls with Donna and Midge. We finally got to work, cleaning up the mess I've been making while making progress on the narrow gauge. Bob, Colin, and John organized the lumber I had jumbled along the basement wall, and Cliff got to vacuum up debris from making spline roadbed, and Ken and Mark collected tools and threw away various pieces of stuff I had lying around. Rick removed some cardboard drop cloths covering the lower level, and cleaned track in preparation for running. Not the most interesting night for the others, but I got stuff done in preparation for my open house today that I couldn't do alone. Most of the guys left a little after 10, but Colin wanted to run his GE Demo loco, so he, Bob, and I fired up the Zephyr. Which of course, started acting weird - when we put the Challenger on the tracks, it instantly started off at full speed in reverse, and nothing we could do to it on the programming track seemed to have any effect. So I got out a brand new Atlas diesel from its box, and set it on the track. It instantly started running in reverse at full speed....
We fooled with this for nearly an hour, and finally left off around 11:15, when Bob and Colin had to leave. We figured it would behave the next day, because it's electronic after all! When I went downstairs to shut down the system, I couldn't resist trying one more time. I reprogrammed the new diesel to its cab number, and it worked perfectly. Then I got out another diesel which had never been on the track, programmed it to its cab number, and IT worked perfectly. So I played with trains a bit, to set up 3 trains ready to run.

Donna and I spent most of yesterday downstairs moving some more lumber, and straightening the pile of boxes in front of the curtains the block the view of the mess behind the cinder block wall, and she cleaned up my workbench. And today I'll vacuum up and hide the last bits of mess in Donna's side of the basement...

Ken's coming today to operate trains, and if anyone else can help out, it would be nice for him to have some relief. I figure I'll just let the visitors run trains, too! Anyway, thanks everyone for your help, and today will be wonderfully successful!