<![CDATA[                CWRailman <br />Adventures in Model Railroading - Blog]]>Thu, 29 Mar 2018 17:03:00 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Please Be Seated]]>Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:37:14 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/please-be-seated-a-quickie-modeling-idea
Here is a quickie modeling idea that is a great way to repurpose those unused milk cans and scrap wood.  Make sure the wood shows signs of being used for another purpose such as the board in this image has a cutout and some nail holes.  That adds character.  The milk cans have to be turned in the proper directing in relation to the board so the wires can be fastened to hold the board in place. And yes, I did sit on it to try it out.

Now back to the shops.

CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Who Says Change is Good?]]>Sat, 10 Feb 2018 00:37:46 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/who-says-change-is-good
Whether it’s socks, hair products, clothes washing detergent, garments, coffee creamer, cereal, pastries, bread, glue, paint, paint brushes, motors used for remotoring locomotives or whatever, if I like it and use it, I know I will wake up one day to find they no longer make that product and or the company has gone completely out of business.  Even one of my favorite recent digital cameras was discontinued.  Not merely replaced by a newer/upgraded version, as happens so often in the camera business, but completely removed from the manufactures catalog shortly after I purchased mine.  As a result the prices for the remaining inventory being sold by distributors rapidly increased and the prices of previously owned models went up a cool 25% over what they had been selling for just a few months earlier.  There are products I abhor that continue to be made while my favs disappear on a regular basis. And I don’t even want to talk about all the local night clubs, saloons, dance halls or historic tourist traps I have enjoyed and frequented in the past that are now out of business and replaced by overpriced, pathetically designed, ticky tacky condo developments in what the developers call “Progress”. 
 
Years ago when I verified the rumors that suggested Ambroid was going out of business I went about purchasing and stocking up on as much Ambroid Cement as I could find.  Over a short period of time I acquired all we might ever need which is now stored in airtight bags in our shops. Yes, there are other products that might be better and I know that some builders have not had good results with Ambroid.  However, it is our glue of choice and we have had good results with it so I see no reason to change.
 
A more recent concern was Floquil paints. Specifically the Depot Buff that is the base color of our railroad structures.  Well, due to our stalking like persistence, (mainly monitoring Ebay sales) in addition to large quantities of the trim color which we previously acquired, we now have what I believe is an adequate supply to carry us through any current and all future projects requiring that color.  Yes, I know that many modelers have moved on to using other types of paints such as acrylics and we do make use of those for certain purposes however we prefer consistency in application and techniques as much as possible hence our preference for the petroleum, based line of Floquil paints which we have used for nearly 40 years. As with all our paints and adhesives, these will be stored in air tight bags. 
 
Obviously I do not agree that “Change is Good”.  Some have said our propensity for using old products is kin to living in the past, and that may be so.  However, from my point of view, working with products that you are familiar with and have provided you with good results in the past, reduces the learning curve and eliminates many of the variables and unknowns that could hamper the successful completion of any project..  Now watch, Testors will revive the Floquil line of petroleum based paints and somebody will bring back the original Ambroid Cement.  I’ll ponder that possibility while I grab my coat and head off to the store in my 1955 Chevy.  Who says we’re living in the past?
 
CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Our New Gear Puller]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:19:23 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/our-new-gear-puller
 In our previous blog I mentioned that we had broken one of the push pins on our NWSL gear puller while attempting to pull a brass gear off a motor shaft.  The NWSL gear puller was NOT to blame.  That gear was a bugger and we still have not gotten it off.  While we will be ordering a replacement push pin for our NWSL puller, I thought we would try one of these inexpensive gear pullers “currently” (that is the functional word here as some such sales disappear rapidly) sold by several Ebay sellers.  Depending on the listing they sell for $7.90 to $11.97 and expect delivery times of three weeks. (01/21/2018 Update.  Folks reading this post must be buying these because the sellers I have indicated prior to today have  sold out so here is another seller.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/RC-Car-Tools-Repair-Parts-Gear-Puller-Removal-for-1-10-HPI-Truck-Accessories/152815950952?

As shown the puller comes with three push pins 2.0mm, 3.0mm and 4.0mm.  While one is in the drive the other two screw neatly into the corners of the frame.
While I was putting this together I received several emails asking for sources of this tool and if it could work with 1.5mm shafts.  As noted above the smallest push pin included with the puller is 2.0mm however note the rod at the bottom of this photo.  It is something that has been here in the shops for years and no I do not know where or how it was acquired. A similar sized long steel screw or possibly a nail could also be used.
With the included push pin unscrewed, our push rod fits nicely into the deep recess of the screw drive and can be used to remove gears from smaller sized shafts.  In fact, after using the included 2.0mm push pin to initiate removal of the long brass gear from the new motors, we completed the removal by using this push rod.
This image demonstrates how the puller can be used to remove a driver.  If necessary, when removing larger diameter drivers that might interfere with the inside corners, a slotted spacer can be made by cutting a slot into a ¾” fender washer.
This image demonstrates how the puller can be used to push the axle into a wheel.  Of course the wheel being mounted would be positioned against the frame.  Again with larger diameter drivers I would suggest using a spacer to keep the wheel flanger from coming in contact with the inside curves of the puller frame.
 
Now back to the shops!
 
CWRailman
 
P.S. If you have any questions please send me an email as I have no way of responding to you individually if you post your questions in the comment areas.

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<![CDATA[Minebea Can Motors]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:04:45 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/minebea-can-motors
Shown here, with our newly acquired gear puller and our “mule” test chassis, are a few of the  Minebea 15 x 15 x 30mm, 12v, 7300rpm can motors that arrived last week.  Based on a heads-up we received from Michael Z. about the Ebay sale we ordered 4 of these little beauties from the seller for $2.96 each before Christmas.  However, before they arrived in our shops the seller had sold out.  If that had not been the case, now that we have tested them in our “mule” test chassis,  I would strongly suggest that you purchase some.  I suspect they will fit in many of the smaller locomotives such as the NWSL or PFM logging series or the Ma & Pa consolidation or where the 15x20mm wide can motor might be too large or where a non idler gear box is being used and a close to the frame low output shaft configuration is preferable.  I post this not as a tease but to demonstrate that when you come across such surplus merchandise (as many of these items are) you have to react quickly.
Two of these Minebea motors are shown above with two of my all time favorite can motors.  The top motor is a dual shaft Sagami 16x30mm round can motor with a top operating RPM at 12v (per NWSL sheet included with motor) of 12,000.  Second from the top is the round can motor that was once included in some Roundhouse (MDC) kits.  These had a top rpm of about 10,000 and are sweet operating motors but alas they are no longer available.  The third and last motor are the recently acquired Minebea motors which have a lower start speed than either of the round can motors and a lower top speed.  They also feature a 2.0mm dia. x 16mm long output shaft. 
 
The motors arrived with the brass gear shown installed on the shafts.  One gave us a lot of grief and in an attempt to remove it we broke a NWSL gear puller press pin.  I believe these will be a good replacement for the 16x30 round can motors which are no longer available.  If you ever see these for sale grab a few as you will not be disappointed. 
 
While the 30mm long motors shown in our photos don’t seem to be available at this time, and may never be available again, several Ebay sellers are offering a Minebea 15x15x18mm can motor with an advertised 6500RPM at 12v and these motors also have a 2.0mm dia. output shaft.  We have ordered four of those for testing purposes as well as a specific application I have in mind but I suspect they will take another three to four weeks before they arrive in our shops. 
 
Stay tuned!

CWRailman

P.S. If you have any questions please send me an email as I have no way of responding to you individually if you post your questions in the comment areas.

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<![CDATA[Happy Holidays to All]]>Sat, 23 Dec 2017 19:25:59 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/happy-holidays-to-all
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our guests.  We appreciate you visiting the CWRailman site and thank you for your support, comments and for passing information about our site on to others.  We hope you all have a safe holiday season and a prosperous and healthy New Year. Happy Model Railroading.

CWRailman
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<![CDATA[Dremel Mini-Mite 750 Update]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:01:30 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/dremel-mini-mite-750-update
Due to the number of comments and requests for information we get on a monthly basis concerning our January 2013 blogs on the Dremel Model 750 Mini Mite battery we have gone back to Dremel to verify availability of one option.  Replacement batteries for the Dremel Model 750 have gotten quite costly.  While not all the batteries had the indication, some were stamped indicating they were 4.8 volts. When disassembled I noted that these batteries had four AA size batteries. In our January 25 blog I noted that we disassembled one of the 755 battery packs and replaced the batteries that were in that pack with a set of rechargeable batteries.  One person commenting on our blog indicated that they did a similar replacement and when they used the tool it started to smoke.  I suspect this might have been caused by crossing polarities or possibly oil on the motor from sitting too long however I thought I would pass this information along.  Here’s another option for powering your Dremel 750.
 
Using the body configuration identical to the Model 750, Dremel produced a model 760 which is the green tool shown in the photo.  It had a battery box that accepted four AA size batteries producing a total of  6 volts.  This was sold as a golf shoe cleaning tool and in an orange color as a pumpkin carving tool. These can occasionally be found on Ebay.  The battery compartment from that tool fits into and will power the Dremel 750.  One individual commenting on our blog indicated that they had ordered one of these battery boxes from Dremel and provided us with information about ordering.  We ordered and received two of those battery boxes and put them in a safe place.  Now however they seem to have gone for a walk as they are no longer in our shops.
 
Due to some contacts indicating they could not find these replacement battery boxes, I recently contacted Dremel in Racine Wisconsin and found that they still sell them.  As of this date they sell for $6.75 each with a shipping cost of around $5.00.  I ordered several and they arrived within a very short period of time and I verified that they were the correct item.  In ordering make sure you specify the part number shown on the box in this image.  Otherwise you might get the battery box for the newer model which probably will not fit.  
 
We do appreciate comments on our blogs however, if you have questions and would like a response please email us at CWRailman@cox.net as we have no way to respond directly to you based on the comments you post.
 
Now back to the shops.
 CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Testing 24 Volt Nichibo 15 x 20 x 28mm Long Shaft Motor from Jameco]]>Fri, 10 Mar 2017 01:52:38 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/testing-24-volt-nichibo-15-x-20-x-28mm-long-shaft-motor-from-jameco
Today we took delivery of four 24volt Nichibo 15x20x28mm motors from Jameco Electronics.  Our motors were procured through a Jameco Ebay sale which listed a set of 4 motors for $5.96 plus $4.00 shipping.  However I checked and they had the same motors item #2188836 listed for sale on their WEB site.  The long 2.0mm x 25mm long shaft on this motor is what intrigued us as we have had numerous locomotives that require a long shaft such as the PFM Benson Shay which we showed some time ago on our Projects page remotored with a NWSL 1620 motor.  We used that motor because the shaft was long enough to allow the motor to fit into the cab.  Now however, we suspect that this flat can motor might be better suited for that installation.   
 
Our shipment of four motors arrived quickly and was well packed.  We strapped one of the motors into our PFM/United UP 2-8-0 chassis and gave it a spin.  The gearbox is an old United 40:1 that has not seen lube in way to many years and is bone dry.  The suspension springs are also not yet installed so the gearbox can float up and down.  We did not spare any expense in our mounting technique and used one of the few rubber bands we could find that was still pliable enough to hold together without breaking.
 
Using an old MRC power pack, the motor started the drivers at 3.5 volts but we then backed the voltage down to 2.5 volts and it kept the drivers spinning smoothly.  About 7 volts established a rotation that would be about as high as anyone would want.  Check out THIS VIDEO to see a brief demonstration of this motor in action.
 
It’s time we get back to the shops and dust off some of our projects!
 
CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Ol’ Harold Builds a Two Axle Gondola &  A Video Tour of the Atlantic Central]]>Sun, 05 Mar 2017 17:52:22 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/ol-harold-builds-a-two-axle-gondola-a-video-tour-of-the-atlantic-central
While we continue to dust off the cobwebs in our shops let us direct you to two excellent modelers who have been more productive
 
In this build Ol’ Harold demonstrates how he used some vintage side frames to build this Two Axle Four Wheel Gondola.  This build is based on a car that appeared in the background in a photo of an Illinois Central roundhouse. Harold also introduces an adhesive that might be new to many modelers.  Note his first experience with this glue.  Leave it to Ol’ Harold. 

Canadian modeler Doug Coffey takes us on a video tour of his Atlantic Central railroad.  Though I had previously seen numerous photo’s of the Atlantic Central I found myself stopping the video many times to focus on the many structures and details on the railroad.  You can also see more of Doug’s work by checking out the Model Railroad Tab on his WEB.  If you are into well built craftsman kits, scratch built structures well detailed brass and kit locomotives that run smoothly and great scenery, Dougs Atlantic Central will be a treat.  Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and spend some time on the Atlantic Central.  
 
It’s time we get back to the shops and dust off some of our projects!
 
CWRailman

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<![CDATA[CWRailman Visits the Fall River Line]]>Mon, 19 Dec 2016 20:14:01 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/-cwrailman-visits-the-fall-river-lineIn this first photo we see FRL Gas Mechanical M-3 approaching the Pack Saddle Gap station.  The company photographer obviously does not know how to read a time table because he is pointing his camera in the wrong direction.  Can you identify the item in the middle of the photo?  Send me an email if you can.
(Click on any image for a larger version.)

During a recent trip to frigid Chicagoland I had the opportunity to visit Ol’ Harold, his wife Martha and the Fall River Line railroad.  I first met Ol’ Harold in 1974 and we have been friends since that time.   The Fall River Line was started in 1974 and essentially completed and in operation about two years later.  Running passenger trains against a time table and all freight as extras or by train order and governed by a rule book that has evolved over the years, this point to point late 1920 era railroad has entertained thousands of visitors and been operated by hundreds of experienced and some not so experienced operators.
 
While the Fall River Line shops are more than capable of turning out highly detailed equipment, through experience, Ol’ Harold has developed a balance between essential details that will weather handling by uneducated hands and superfluous detail that might not last the first operation session.  As a result cars and motive equipment that were built and put in operation thirty years ago continue to function efficiently on this road today.
 
Ol’ Harold planned this home based railroad for operation and did not miscalculate his ability to build and maintain so it was completed including hand laid track, electronics, structures and scenery in a timely manner.  He has since devoted his efforts to building freight and passenger equipment some of which you will not see in operation on other railroads. 

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Here is a photo of FRL M-3 coming out of the tunnel and passing a fruit vendor on it's way to the Wycomb station.

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In this last scene we see M-3 exiting another of the FRL tunnels on it's way back to New Hope.

We hope you enjoyed this brief look at the Fall River Line. If you every get a chance to visit the Fall River Line, which is occasionally listed on one of the Chicagoland model railroad tours, don’t pass up the opportunity.  You will not regret it. You may even be invited to participate in one of their operation sessions, have a cup of coffee perked in his vintage coffee pot and have a couple of Martha’s home baked goodies.  If you plan on being in the Chicagoland area and want to contact Ol’ Harold drop me an email at CWRailman@cox.net and I will see if I can hook you up.
 
By the way, you can see several video’s we shot on the Fall River Line about 20 years ago and were converted from tape to digital on our CWRailman Youtube channel.


Till next time,
Happy Model Railroading!
CWRailman

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<![CDATA[Chasing Durango & Silverton #480]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:02:33 GMThttp://cwrailman.com/blog/chasing-durango-silverton-480Here are some images from our latest CWRailman “On the Road Again” adventure to the Durango and Silverton.  All images were shot with a Fujifilm X-T1 and a Fuji 18-55mm lens. 
(Click on any image for a larger version.)

Durango & Silverton #480 & morning consist pulling out of Durango station.
D&S #480 running parallel to Colorado Route 550 on it’s way to Hermosa

D&S #480 passing the Hermosa water tank and yard facility heading to Rockwood.
D&S #480 about to cross under Route 550
D&S #480 about to enter Silverton station.  The train does not stop at the station but continues into town where passengers disembark
D&S #480 rounding curve and heading into town of Silverton Colorado
Durango and Silverton #486 entering Rockwood on it's way from Silverton back to Durango.  The cut the train is passing through was used for filming several western movies including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Click on this image to see a video we shot while chasing the D&S #480 earlier that day.  Make sure you turn on the HD feature when watching this video.
Be sure to check out our latest Durango and Silverton video shot while we chased D&S #480 from Durango to Silverton and was shot by Sharon while I was taking the still images.  (For best results make sure you have the HD setting turned on when watching this video) This video looks great on a “Smart” TV that can access Youtube videos.  For this video Sharon used an Olympus E-M5 with Olympus 12-50mm lens.  This was her first time in using this camera which she had not held till about 15 minutes before she started shooting the video.  I will be discussing the equipment we used on this trip as well as the results of over two years of experimentation with various cameras from Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic and Fujifilm in an upcoming addition to our “Photographing Models” page on this WEB site.

Till next time,
CWRailman

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