Date   

A Helix tale, Part 1 The Construction

Don Bergman
 


All those nice helix photos made me a little jealous, works of art. 

A helix was not in my original drawings. (1999)  I did not like helixes and used grades between layers.  I was not able to work in 2 modules on Ridgway in the original design. (1st the yard  (1975 and 2nd the Engine facility 1985).   I wanted a long run and Ridgway modules were such a size that they would take 1/2 of one of my 2 layers. 

I had hoped to extend them into the family room, but with my marriage being more important, it did not happen. So....they languished under the layout for a decade.  Working on Bruce Chubb's layout I noticed he had staging 18" off the floor!.   After a few years of visualizing and a need for better staging after starting some operations, I realized that if I built a helix around the furnace, I could add the "basement" staging layer to my layout, 18" off the floor. 

The challenge.  One layer already goes around the furnace at 36" off the floor and I need to build the helix top down.    Clearance issues:  a stud wall 33" to the right of the furnace, a concrete wall 16" away from the back of the furnace and a water heater 20" away from the furnace on the left next to the concrete wall.   Some areas behind the furnace will be out of reach. This helix will not be circular, every curve will be a different degree.  I will need 2-1/2 turns to get to 18."    I was shooting for 3% grade put a portion turned out to be 3.5.  Not really a problem as once off the helix the train will encounter a short 4% grade between Pleasant Valley and Peake.   The only problem is that if it cannot make the grade the operator might not notice for a while! 

I started by laying 3 Layers of cardboard pieces on the floor all taped together plotting the area.   Took the cardboard into the family room and drew the ROW to miss the obstacles.  Legs holding up the 36" layer would have to be moved or replaced with dowel--future trees, several joists had to be notched and a stud in the nonbearing wall was notched to gain 3". 

Cut out the cardboard ROW and took them to the garage and drew them out on 1/2" 5 ply plywood.  The sections behind the furnace had to be one piece and the track already laid out to make the joints accessible.  It was not fun. Some of the work had to be done lying on my side or back for the lower levels.   But it works.  Never had a derailment behind the furnace except when a wire found its way to the track that was not secure because I could not reach it.   

This 3rd lower layer is operational but essentially staging. A person would have blocked the aisle to throw a turnout. But it is a lot of scenery and the Ridgway Depot built about 1975 and most of the Engine Terminal structures built in the1970s and 1980s finally came out of their boxes.

Very pleased with the results and gained an appreciation for helixes.

But, the furnace service guy, even of slim build who must crawl inside the helix to do his work, might have another opinion. 🙂 Working by the hour he's never complained.

Don Bergman
Holland, MI.

Photo1: In the first photo notice the Ridgway yard on paint cans, held to an approximate height to see if it would fit.  Exact height to be determined once helix is built.  Also notice the original staging tracks . The train in the foreground would circle around the furnace into staging.   And the track, hidden by the tree & fallen tree also looped back to the main for constant running.  As I began to build the "removable" Vanadium mine complex above that staging I realized that any derailment in that hidden staging could stop an operating session.  (The rock wall in front was removable. Part of the reason to design the helix.

Photo 2:  The view between the Water Heater on the left and furnace on the right

Photo 3:  View from the aisle. The room light switches were moved during the process.

Photo 4:  A wider view than photo 2.  Not pretty but it works

Photo 5: Once the yard was working, I began the process of carrying it around the room to include the depot section and the engine terminal.  That included moving the main control panel, which was where the depot will be.

Don Bergman


Re: What got you in to HOn3?

Don Bergman
 

What got me into Narrow Gauge,   It's just cute!   There's more, see below.
1- Playing with Roy Rogers  Miniatures and Marx trains as a kid. 
2- Deciding to change to an "Adult" Hobby in 11th grade in 1961, purchased an HO set and started on a 4x8.  
3. Graduated from College in 1967 and my present to myself was a trip west (Never been west of Chicago) to the National Parks in Colorado , Utah, and Wyoming.  Traveled through Alamosa and Durango, (Did not know Chama existed!!  🙁 )   Thats really CUTE.  and the Mountain background was inspiring.
4. Took another look in 1970. Rode the Silverton.
5. Got home and borrowed a copy of Beebe and Cleggs "Narrow Gauge in the Rockies.  Gravitated to the RGS.  Loved the Bridges.
6. Switched to HOn3 in 1972 when we purchased our first house and started over.
7. First trip to Ridgway-Durango 1976.  Rode the C&TSRR

Don Bergman

Here's a handout from a presentation in 2017.
I might add to the list, an advantage of modeling:  NEVER bored when cocooned at home during a pandemic.



Modeling the Prototype 

 

By Don Bergman  2017 Grand Rapids NMRA Grand Rapids Division  Convention 

 

A prototype model layout is one that incorporates not only the rolling stock, but the track plan, topography including elevation, rock strata and color, structures, vegetation, operating practices and anything else that contributes to the “look and feel” of the target subject. It rejects the term “loosely based.” It’s modeling the subject as more it was, not as you might have wished.” 

There are always some “freelancing” compromises to accommodate the necessary restraints of compression, time, space and resources.       Learning from the prototype by Anthony Thompson, pg 5 

 

Both the prototype modeler and the freelancer’s goals are the same, creating a believable model.  The prototype modeler has the challenge of reducing the prototype down to the space available through selective compression, while the freelancer has the challenge of filling up the space available combining ideas from multiple sources or imagination, both require about the same amount of planning time.  The Prototype modeler has the advantage in creating a believable model since his is based on a real railroad. 

 

Getting started….   Decisions… Things to consider… 

  1. Funds & Space & Time available 
  2. Scale: 71/2” F, G, O, HO, N, TT, other 
  3. Standard vs Narrow Gauge  
  4. Prototype vs free lance 
  5. Pick a prototype   100’s of choices  

    Consider resources available, both research and modeling 

    RTR rolling stock with structure kits available or is scratch building necessary 
  6. Pick an era 
  7. Minimalist or rivet counter 
  8. A set piece or built for operation 
  9. Whatever moves you.  But most important… 
  10. HAVE FUN    

     

    Aspects of Prototypical Modeling 
  1. Track Plans:  No need to “invent” a un-prototypical plan for yards, towns, curves, spurs, sidings. 
  2. Structures: need to pick and choose and compress as needed. 
  3. Scenery:  includes, topography, vegetation and rock strata and color. 
  4. Operation:  Prototypical operations possible with a prototypical track plan.  
  5. Engineering easier:  Copy the Prototype, not another model and you have no worries. 
  6. Era and Include the small details that relate to the era, colors, clothing styles, signs, etc. 
  7. Extras:  Use prototypical forms, paper work, freight cars carry specific loads. 
  8. Research:  Prototypical modelers are detectives, historians. Digging into the past. 
  9. Group Support:  Seek support from others modeling your prototype  
  10. Friendships that can and do last a lifetime

Some Planning Objectives 

  1. Space Money and Time 
  2. •Prototypical grades between towns. 
  3. •Prototypical distances between towns. 
  4. •Favorite scenes take priority. 
  5. •One track per scene. 
  6. •Tunnels 
  7. •No separation between train and operator. 
  8. •Staging 
  9. Long Mainline run 

10. All track with in reach of aisles.  

11. No duck-under  (NEVER!). 

12. Minimum Aisle width 36”+-. 

13. Room for ? operators 

14. One or multiple levels  A helix? 

15. Operations?   sidings/spurs 

16. DC  or DCC 

      17. Mainline minimum radius, turnouts #. 

                 













 

Why model narrow Gauge?  The advantages of narrow gauge modeling 

 

 

 1) Our Limited Modeling SpaceIf the modeling goal is to create a believable scene, NG is easier to do in our limited space.  Many aspects of the NG make the track seem longer: smaller equipment, shorter trains, shorter passing sidings, single track, steep grades and sharp radius curves, ran at slower speeds, did not use a lot of track, structures smaller, engine terminals were smaller. Short trains do not dominate the scenery.  Lower clearance needed and tracks can be closer.  Turnouts of the same number take less space. It is easier to make a believable model in limited space.  There are many scales and gauges to choose from.  On2 can be modeled in the space needed for HO.  No need to see the two ends of a train in different towns, or in different scenery areas. 

 

2)  Grand Scenery: NG ran through all sorts of terrain: mountains, deserts, plains, forests, sea ports, cities and  dirt street 2 building towns.  Easier and more logical to build up taking advantage of the vertical space on the room.  NG often went places where SG would not or could not go.  If you love mountains, tunnels, waterfalls, tall timber bridges, funky little rural towns think NG.  The immutable laws of physics favor narrow gauges for those locations. 

 

3) Wild Track Arrangements - the Georgetown Loop, Chattanooga Loop, Ophir Loop, Anderson loop, Gallagher loop, Red Mountain Town, Corckscrew Gulch, the Blackhills where four levels of track cross over each other, Trout Creek pass where the standard gauge crossed over the narrow gauge. We often place 2 - 3 tracks in a scene to gain length, on the narrow gauge 2 tracks in one scene is often prototypical.  The Uintah RR had 7% grades on 18” radius for HO. 

 

4) Casual Timetable Operations.  Fall stock rush clogged the main. Double and triple heading were common on narrow gauge even on short heavily loaded trains.  No need for complicated signaling. In operation, handling an engine should require skill by the engineer.  A small layout, or at least steep grades and sharp curves offer the chance to load the engine to the point where coupler slack must be used to get it started and runs need to be taken at hills. 

 

5) It’s Cute: Narrow gauge has an attractive combination of features: colorful and unusual equipment Great deal of character, personality and individuality in narrow gauge equipment.  Many kits and scratch building make it unique.  Narrow gauge, with its built-in character, personality and individuality avoids the sameness of a diesel hauled modern train.  NG roads possessed Pullmans, diners, sleepers, diesels, electrics, mallets, rotary snow plows, unique M of W equipment, etc. 

  

6) NG Cost is Dropping. Now there is much r-t-r equipment available in most of the scales that runs as well as SG.  While narrow gauge modeling is more expensive in some respects, it is now cheaper than it was a few years ago when all you could get were brass engines.  Don’t need 10 engines and 200 cars to create a prototypical scene.  The r-t-r locos in On3, On30, HOn3 with sound are all cheaper than most of the unpainted brass in those scales. 


7)  Research: Doing narrow gauge you will gain renewed enthusiasm for seeking out info. The history of most narrow gauge lines have been extensively documented unlike many SG short lines. Every line has its colorful unique stories.  Though just about every state had a narrow gauge line, if you happen to pick a line to model out of state, it provides an excuse to escape the mountains or ocean. 

 

But remember, SG or NG, basement sized layout or a bedroom switching layout, minimalist or rivet counter, prototype or freelanced, or whatever you enjoy doing, the goal is to simply enjoy the ride and have fun. 




_._,_._,_


Re: What got you in to HOn3?

jczul36
 

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
Craig, What got me into HOn3 was Lonnie Shay, Paul Scholes, and Jim Vail.  Their craftsmanship and scenery appealed to me because it was so realistic. 





2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
My main interest in Hon3 is the ratio of scenery to railroad.  HO Standard gauge requires larger mountains to dwarf the loco’s.  Larger buildings also eat up realestate quickly, making it more difficult to obtain a good realistic scenery to railroad ratio.  Narrow gauge buildings and small towns are easier to condense, making them look realistic even though small.  


3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?
Turn of the Century layouts with Diamond and congdon stack….My Favorite!

jc 





Re: What got you in to HOn3?

Eric Schrowang
 

Hi Craig,
So I got into narrow gauge because I grew up around On3. My grandfather and father were  On3 modelers and as a young boy I had the privilege of getting to know folks like Don Brown of San Juan Engineering , Lee Snover, Charlie Brommer of CHB. Men like this influenced my love of narrow gauge but I have always had a soft place in my heart for HO scale, also my wallet. 
The availability of HO Scale and HOn3 gauge equipment I feel is what has kept me coming back to HOn3, O scale is great, but the cost of equipment is so much higher. 
 If I had one thing to watch for in HOn3 it is converting older locos to DCC. Sometimes it is difficult to find a place to hide decoders even though electronics have gotten so much smaller than they were even 25 years ago.

Thank You
Eric Schrowang

On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 11:21 AM Craig Linn <drgw346@...> wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn 


Re: What got you in to HOn3?

Climax@...
 

Craig:
What got me in the NG.  Well several things.  First of all it is still HO so all the HO scenery, structuers, people, vehicles and  stuff were still useable, in fact I could do both HO and HOn3 on the same railroad, kind of like switch hitter.  On my last RR I did both and actually had an interchange of dual gauge for interest.  On my current RR I run my HO on a completely level layout with a double main line and switches off to several interest points.  The HOn3 on the other had goes loop to loop and varies in height by about a foot.  I can use tighter turns, which allows me a loop to climb through going from the lower FSM ore tipple, past the mining districts, past Electro, behind a huge mine and stamp mill, and on to Mule Pass where a town exists, engine facilities, another mine, cattle yards, and the entrance to the stamp mill tipple is for the HOn3 to deliver ore from the mining district.  The loops can provide me continuous operation, or I can mix in with the several (5) NCE plug in stations to follow trains around the layout.  I agree with you that Blackstone really bought HOn3 into the world of reliability.  It is not for the budget minded person but the detail and operation is exceptional.  I would rather have only one or two running locomotives than a feet of engine house queens just sitting there.  Up until Blackstone came out with reliable DCC motive power I was strictly a DC person and had accumulated 40 brass Narrow gauge models, of which everyone is a display case queen now.  they range from Shays, Climax, Heisler, Dunkirk, to the C series, K series, and PFM articulated's.  The Blackstone rolling stock works great, looks great, is equipped with the proper couplers but still costs a mint per car.  Not everyone can afford a fleet of cars, so either kit or scratch building is an option.  My recommendation is to a newbee is to buy a reliable Blackstone either C or K series locomotive and start building cars, then when able maybe add a Blackstone car.  
I personally like doing scenery, building buildings with the micro light LEDs adn sound.  When I look at what people model I see some layouts with track that covers everything and no scenery.  To me that just isn't right.  I like to make since, take a car from point A to point B is good too, and its operations, a lot of people like that.  Nothing wrong with any aspect of that either.  Some folks like the electrical.  The nice part of Model Railroading is that it is so vast.  Some people can do benchwork, some can do track, some like constructing structures, some are into backdrop painting, some electrical, some into building cars, engines, or scenes.  No matter what a person should enjoy what they do and not consider it a job or push too hard as mistakes will happen and need to be corrected. It is a hobby which can be worked on continuously, part time, seasonal, even put away for periods time and when the mood strikes you take it back out again.  One thing I have done over the years on the bottom of my structures is I write the date I built it.  I have some building that go back into the mid 1960's and you can see the progress in quality.  I sometimes rework some structures and as an example I have a BIS Wirey & Sons set of structures I had on an NMRA Contest module with a FSM copy with full interior of Jacob's Fuel bunker I built back in 1989.  Recently I removed the structures and am updating them with the Micro LED's, about 4 to 6 per structure and mounting them on the new layout.  I am a packrat and never throw out old structures as they can be reworked or combined with something else, like in real life.  
The hobby evolves, can be enjoyed alone or with friends but the most important thing is to remember to stop and smell the roses, in other words don't make it a job, make it enjoyable.
Dave

  -----Original Message----- 
From: Craig Linn
Sent: Jan 16, 2021 11:21 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: [HOn3] What got you in to HOn3?

Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn 


White Pass & Yukon decals

Robert Veefkind
 


Are they available for hon3 ? Microscale and Thinfilm do not list them.   Bob veefkind


What got you in to HOn3?

Craig Linn
 

Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to do a presentation for my railroad club on "The case for HOn3".  I was going to give my view points, but I thought that it might be cool to get a broader viewpoint from a larger group on what got them into HOn3, and then weave that into my presentation.

So my question for you all:

1). What got you into HOn3?  What appealed to you or what was the driving factor that moved you to HOn3
2). What is the one thing you really love about HOn3?
3). What is the one thing you watch out for in HOn3?

For me I've had a love of narrow gauge since a child, coming on family trips to Colorado and South Dakota's Black Hills as long as I can remember.  The small engines and big mountains really got me hooked.  When Blackstone showed up on scene that pretty much helped push me over the edge for HOn3.

What I really love about HOn3 is the tight nit communities.  I think you might say that about many of the scales, but I do feel like I get a wealth of information from many members of this community.  From Jim Vail to Craig Symington to Mike Conder to.....the list goes on and on....all help with any questions we might have and had been/have been always willing to help each other out.

The one thing to watch out for...be aware of your tolerances.  Whether it be for the tolerances on tunnels or for track work or distances between tracks...make sure you be aware and keep an eye on those tolerances.

Hoping this will generate some discussions and will help out with my presentation.  If you have anything you want to contribute, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,
Craig Linn 


Re: Sold : Woodland scenics details and Wheel Works trucks

lloyd lehrer
 

again all sold to a single buyer pending payment
lloyd lehrer, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (310)951-9097


On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 1:52 PM lloyd lehrer via groups.io <lloydlehrer=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
 --scenic details bare metal kits, $20 plus shipping.
--three wheelworks '34 ford bare metal kits $40 Plus shipping
No piecemeal shopping; all of the details and /or all of the fords. 
See images attached.
Paypal friends or venmo
lloyd lehrer, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (310)951-9097

--
lloyd lehrer


--
lloyd lehrer


FS: Woodland scenics details and Wheel Works trucks

lloyd lehrer
 

 --scenic details bare metal kits, $20 plus shipping.
--three wheelworks '34 ford bare metal kits $40 Plus shipping
No piecemeal shopping; all of the details and /or all of the fords. 
See images attached.
Paypal friends or venmo
lloyd lehrer, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (310)951-9097

--
lloyd lehrer


Re: Test my track

Jim Marlett
 

Yes, I backed a train up my stuff too, but it sure made me nervous. If something had gone wrong, the floor is concrete and way to easily reached - no scenery. And it’s all that high priced HOn3.

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/


On Jan 11, 2021, at 1:45 PM, Steve Hatch <hatch@...> wrote:

Here's how I test my track work to make sure there are no flaws.

https://youtu.be/IFe0V4rj9gw

So far so good.


Re: Difficult Spikes

Jim Marlett
 

I’m 75 years old and my wife thinks I’m crazy for hand laying this layout. She may be right, but I enjoy it, at least when it works. I think Micro Engineering flex track probably looks better and is easier to lay. Maybe I’ll give in before this is all over. I think if I were to start over, I would use code 55 flex with hand laid switches, but I already have too much code 70. I thought about mixing them, but code 55 makes my code 70 look even bigger. I’ll just stick with the big stuff and hope not too many people notice,

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/

On Jan 11, 2021, at 6:18 PM, Climax@mindspring.com <Climax@Mindspring.com> wrote:

When I use to lay my own C70 rail and make my own switches etc I spiked every 7th tie. I first drilled .012 holes on either side of the rail, then pushed in the c70 spikes. I lost a lot that went to never never land and were never found, but for the most part it all worked out just fine. Now days, and at 74, my eye sight is not as good as it once was, probably to many hits the eye with flying spikes, sp I use Shinohara Flex track and switches. I still do make special things like gauge separation and special use switches though. I just figure that today I got better things to do than mumble under my breath after another spike disappears.

Dave


Sad News - Mike Schwab has passed on

drgw169
 

Hello All,

This message is little tardy.

Mike Schwab left us on Friday morning from a heart attack.   Though most of his modeling for the past decade or more was in Sn3, he had converted from HOn3 after building several layouts.  Mike also was active in O scale building structures and dioramas.   His conversion from HOn3 to Sn3 darn near broke Jim Vail's heart as that left Jim the only HOn3 guy in the local narrow gauge group.

What follows was also posted to the Sn3 group and the On3 group.   He is already missed in our local group.

Mike was a prolific builder with absolutely no fear of having to tear something out and do it again.   He loved scenery and structures, and anyone who saw any of his various HOn3 layouts or his several different versions of the Sn3 San Lorenzo Southern would certainly attest to his excellence at both.   His rolling stock was darn nice too.   Mike did draw the line at engine work though, leaving those modifications and DCC installations/upgrades to others (unless it was a PBL Foreground model which did not need any work).  

 

Mike did not limit his building to only one scale, and in the structures and diorama area built beautiful models and scenes in O scale along with On3 and On3 dioramas and was collecting items to work on a little HO standard gauge scene.   I also think Mike had collected some N scale as well with some thought of seeing what it was like to build in that scale.

 

As Mike's layout room was about two thirds of a two car garage (the other third being laundry, household storage and similar) he was a master at figuring out new ways to store what he was building if there was no spot on the layout for it.   The valence above the layout held a lot of structures, such as all the O Scale D&RGW and RGS Depots he could not resist.   Dioramas were built on wheeled tables that could be stored under the layout bench work.   Other completed models were stored in tall cabinets on wheels which were built like furniture.   These cabinets were both in the 1/3 space of the garage and in the house. At some point Mike gained the space rights to hang a boxed in double ended staging yard on the partition wall in the family garage space that served as the end points of his railroad. Mike was an unstoppable builder!

 

A little over a year ago Mike decided he needed to tear out and rethink part of his layout to better accommodate some of his physical impairments, provide a little more switching in operation sessions and accommodate some more structures he really wanted to use, and make his modeling work benches and supply storage much more user friendly.  Mike works fast, and in short order had the structural and track changes in place so he could have a few of us over for a "test op session"   This happened just before the COVID 19 stay at home orders were issued in the SF Bay Area Counties. That test session showed this new version of the San Lorenzo Southern would be fun to operate, and get even better as Mike put in his gorgeous scenery and well composed scenes.  In the following months, email exchanges were used to develop the train schedule, employee time table, train line ups and  other paper to support TT&TO operations.   Most recently, Mike took and break from structure building to get the layout tuned up for operating session with plan of getting back into the rotation once the Vaccine has deployed and the medical experts announced it was safe to meet again.   Mike's love of operations I suspect stems from him being one of Jim Vail's early model railroad buddies, even adopting and using Jim's unique car card system for  decades before a more recent conversion to the more common car card and waybill system.

 

I am pretty much a lurker on the narrow gauge ioGroups, but was always struck by the number of times Mike would post just to congratulate or thank  someone on a model they posted a picture of to the group.   That's just who Mike is.   His sense of humor, infectious laugh, willingness to pitch in and help out, his encouragement to keep building, and his always up beat personality will be missed by many of us.   A true Gentleman.   There is so much more to say.

 

Thanks for your kind thoughts of Mike and his family.

 

Dave Adams

 

D&RGW Durlin Branch in On3


Re: Difficult Spikes

Climax@...
 

When I use to lay my own C70 rail and make my own switches etc I spiked every 7th tie. I first drilled .012 holes on either side of the rail, then pushed in the c70 spikes. I lost a lot that went to never never land and were never found, but for the most part it all worked out just fine. Now days, and at 74, my eye sight is not as good as it once was, probably to many hits the eye with flying spikes, sp I use Shinohara Flex track and switches. I still do make special things like gauge separation and special use switches though. I just figure that today I got better things to do than mumble under my breath after another spike disappears.

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Marlett <jmarlett@cox.net>
Sent: Jan 11, 2021 7:06 PM
To: HOn3 Group <HOn3@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Difficult Spikes

They must sell those “small” spikes to O scale folks using code 100 and larger rail. Sure took a lot of effort to make them work for code 70 rail.

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/


On Jan 11, 2021, at 12:57 PM, jczul36 via groups.io <zul36=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

I use to use micro engineering, but stopped using their spikes when I laid code 55. I began using proto 87 long spikes and loved them. They are sharp and the heads are really small. I even used them the on Code 40 spur. The spike heads are small enough that my flanges do not touch the spike heads. Couldn’t achieve this with Micro engineering spikes.
jc
<ea1.png>





Re: Difficult Spikes

Jim Marlett
 

They must sell those “small” spikes to O scale folks using code 100 and larger rail. Sure took a lot of effort to make them work for code 70 rail.

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/

On Jan 11, 2021, at 12:57 PM, jczul36 via groups.io <zul36=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

I use to use micro engineering, but stopped using their spikes when I laid code 55. I began using proto 87 long spikes and loved them. They are sharp and the heads are really small. I even used them the on Code 40 spur. The spike heads are small enough that my flanges do not touch the spike heads. Couldn’t achieve this with Micro engineering spikes.
jc
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Re: Test my track

RG Teeter
 

I hope the guy on the front end has a radio !!!

Florida Bob, was Texas Bob

On 11 Jan 2021, at 14:45, Steve Hatch <hatch@...> wrote:

Here's how I test my track work to make sure there are no flaws.

https://youtu.be/IFe0V4rj9gw

So far so good.


Re: Difficult Spikes _ Thank You, Steve Hatch

Steve Hatch
 

   Your sure welcome Jim.
It's great that it works for you.
-Steve


Test my track

Steve Hatch
 

Here's how I test my track work to make sure there are no flaws.

https://youtu.be/IFe0V4rj9gw

So far so good.


Re: Difficult Spikes

jczul36
 

I use to use micro engineering, but stopped using their spikes when I laid code 55.  I began using proto 87 long spikes and loved them.  They are sharp and the heads are really small.  I even used them the on Code 40 spur.  The spike heads are small enough that my flanges do not touch the spike heads.  Couldn’t achieve this with Micro engineering spikes.
jc  

On Jan 11, 2021, at 10:10 AM, Jim Spencer <trainmanjs@...> wrote:

It sound to me like Micro Engineering could solve this by cutting the staples apart on an angle instead of 90 degrees.

Having said that, I’ve learned how to drive them using needle nose pliers with serrated points while gripping the spike and head about 2/3rds from the tip. They are far less likely to bend.


Re: Difficult Spikes

Jim Spencer
 

It sound to me like Micro Engineering could solve this by cutting the staples apart on an angle instead of 90 degrees.

Having said that, I’ve learned how to drive them using needle nose pliers with serrated points while gripping the spike and head about 2/3rds from the tip. They are far less likely to bend.


Re: Difficult Spikes _ Thank You, Steve Hatch

Jim Marlett
 

I tried it and it worked! I’m a micros spike guy now.

I still bend more than with small spikes, but the success rate is way up. I’d suggest that anyone with a bunch of micro spikes sitting around give it a try. I weighted my Dremel tool down with a section of light rail from a full sized railroad and instead of a cut off wheel used a thicker wheel, but it all worked.

Thanks, Steve!

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/


On Jan 11, 2021, at 12:13 AM, Steve Hatch <hatch@...> wrote:

  The micro spikes will shove in really nice if you sharpen them.
I have a small dremel with a cut off disc sitting right beside me as I spike.
I touch the very end of the spike against the wheel for just a second
on an angle to put a chisel shape to the end.
  I do this with each and every one as I pick up the spike in the plier and touch
it diagonally to the disc to form the chisel and then insert it in the roadbed as normal.
Some reason the micro spikes are blunt on the end and do not insert well without
that slight taper at the end.  It's a minor move after you get used to it.
  They spike really well then and I can get the rail and spike nice and tight.
Try it and let me know if it works for you.
My railroad here is 20 by 46 feet and it's all laid in 55 and spiked that way.
 It didn't take all that long once I got used to the extra move.  (grind wheel)
Sure hope that helps
-Steve Hatch

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