Bill and Tom's EXCELLENT ADVENTURE in Logging and Mining

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Doctor G, May 28, 2009.

  1. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    At the train club the last couple of weeks I have been working on scenery shapes with what I call glue shell.

    years ago Tom and I were able to get a product called fab-u-drape at a local craft store. it was cloth that had a water soluble glue on it. you could get it wet and drape it over your cardboard land shapes, and it would dry hard, making a good base for plaster, or other scenic materials, but it was a lot neater than traditional hard shell.

    when it was no longer available, I tried other methods to try to get the same results and neatness. now I make the shapes with cardboard, paint the cardboard with undiluted elmers white glue, add paper shop towels (tougher than most paper towels); and then paint the shop towels with undiluted Elmers.

    this gets me a hard surface, that I cad add plaster too where I want rock, or paint it and add ground cover where I do not. with this method I can work up close to my track and not make a big plaster mess.

    I'll try to get my camera there to document it before it all gets covered up

    Bill Nelson
  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Glue shell in Patterson, and ground cover in Possum Hollow

    Bob has been doing good scenery work in possum Hollow, and I have been doing some basic Glue shell scenery in Patterson.

    Year ago Dr Tom and I used to get a material called Fab u drape at a local craft store. it was cloth that had been soaked in a water based glue. when yous soaked it in water the glue softened, and you could lay it over your land forms, and when it dried it was hard, and then could support plaster, or be painted and get ground cover on it.

    Tom and I liked it a lot because it was a lot neater than traditional plaster hard shell. Years later when it was no longer available, I experimented with making cardboard lattice for a scenery form, painting it with full strength white glue, placing thick paper shop towels (like you can get at auto zone), which is thicker and stronger than other paper towels; and then painting the shop towels with undiluted white glue.

    When they dry, I'll add plaster if I want to carve rocks, other wise I will paint it brown, and then add dirt and ground cover on top of it.

    I have been working on the log pond area, and remembered to bring my camera

    Photo #1 Bob working on the newly named Possum Hollow branch.

    photo #2 Cardboard scenery support strip before adding shop towels

    Photo #3 paper shop towels glued to cardboard formers and painted with white glue

    Photo #4 paper shop towels have been painted with acrylic paint; the shine will dull out when it dries. this will all be covered up with carved plaster or ground cover, the purpose of the paint is to insure that if a spot is missed it is brown, and not blue.

    the paint on the log pond is just to seal the wood. after the holes get filled, I will add some dams at wither end and will pour a smooth plaster surface for the log pond, to cover up some of the irregularities

    Attached Files:

  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    a 2-6-2 for logging service

    In the junk pile at the club, we had this Mantua 2-6-2 that Dave had picked up at a yard sale for $5.00. I got his permission to take it on as a project It's body shell is somewhat primitive, but it has a good mechanism, with valve gear. It's 1960's style Mantua open frame motor made it unsuitable for DCC, so I have been hunting for a motor / worm set up that would work. most of the GM surplus motors in my scrap heap had too short a shaft to work. Using a nylon worm as a sleeve to extend the shaft, I was able to cheat on an extension shaft, and it looks like this will work.

    These motors, from electric power remote rear view mirrors are strong, and have slow speeds, and have been excellent where I have been able to fit them in. it will take some surgery to get it to fit. the motor installation will require silicone caulk, so I need to paint the frame before I install it.

    Besides the motor, this locomotive will require new tender trucks, an work to provide electrical pick up from all drivers and all tender wheels.

    when we get it running it will become time for decoder choices.

    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    More glue shell work

    I have continued with the glue shell work in Patterson

    Rhe dirst photo shows the cardboard support strips that have beem painted with full strength Elmer's glue.

    The second photo shows them covered up with paper shop towels and then painted with Elmer's that has been diluted 50 50 with water.

    the third photo shows all of Patterson, which is mostly filled in now.

    the last two photo's show the Gravestone mine, on the first peninsula.

    Dave reworked the track here fixing the sidings up a whole lot, and I have been working on this kitbashed mine, part of the massive J. E . Patterson Coal and Lumber Co. empire.

    Attached Files:

  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    0-6-0 from the scrap drawer

    I have an old MDC o-6-0 frame I have been fighting for the longest time. it had a bad motor and A bind. after rebuilding the mechanism 3 or 4 times I finally got rid of the bind, and I replaced the motor with a motor salvaged from a GM power rear view mirror.

    I couldn't find the old MDC shell, so I patched this up out of a Bachman 0-6-0 T's tank and a smoke box, cab and fuel bunker from one of DR' Tom's old Riverosi Heilser bodies

    This will go to bob for use on the possum hollow branch, his home project, or both.

    This is an ugly little beast, but it runs well, I still need to paint the frame and the end beam, and find a way to screw the body onto the frame.

    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  6. Big Al

    Big Al Member

    Bill you are a master modeler,,,,,,(Bowing on my knees with my hands extended compltly forward).........That is some awesome are truly a master!
  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Thanks big All.

    My dad was an armchair modeler when I was little, and when he traveled on business, which he did a lot, he picked up model railroad magazines, which he gave to me when he got home, so I was looking at model train magazines before I could read..
    My Mom and my sisters had some artistic interests, and encouraged me to think of modeling as an art form

    By the time I got my first Ho train set when I was 11, I had already obsorbed a lot, and in the 45 years since, I have learned a lot of tricks from a bunch of guys. in my step by step posts here on Zealot, I am trying to share some of them here.

    Bill Nelson
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Eric got some Central Valley track components, switch kits and tie strips

    The tie strips are basically flex track without the rail. Tie plate and spike detail is molded into the ties, which establishes the gauge, so the rail can be glued in place without a lot of work with a track gauge. the ties have better than average grain, tie plate and spike detail, and it is easier to do a good job painting the ties, and probably ballasting them before the rails are in place.

    I got some samples from Eric to play with. I have some code 83 rail to play with. I'm considering using this stuff if I do a major redesign of my RR, as it looks like it will look good, and be a lot faster to lay than traditional handlay. I like the look of wood ties, but with wood ties you don't have the tie plate detail. somebody makes individual HO tie plates, but I have only known one person who was , how should I put this? . . . . .driven enough to use them.

    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    The subroadbed under the big curve near Gravestone creek had bad problems, so Dave rebuilt the whole thing. the end of Gravestone Creek was demolished in that rebuild, and I have slowly been rebuilding it.

    Attached Files:

  10. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    That looks very nice Bill. I like the color of the water.
  11. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    That really is a beautiful set up. I've seen old Railroad Brides like the upper one, scary stuff!! :)
  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    a colaborative scene.

    This scene is a collaboration between Tom and I, with some important track work done by Dave.

    Tom built the trestle, which is on a switchback lead to the Logging area Known as Gravestone Creek. Tom built the creek bed, in which I later added the waterfall, and added some rock carving on the cliff above the track.

    The main line in front of the trestle was some of the earliest track built on the club layout, and had a spline roadbed; that was not level. on one end of the curve it leaned outward, and on the other it leaned inward, and as one might suspect, we had problems with long wheel based locomotives and cars in the middle of the curve.

    We diagnosed the problem a long time ago, but the fix was going to be Ugly, but Dave found the time, and replaced the spline roadbed with plywood, and evened up the radius of the curve to eliminate a couple kinks, so (God willing) the track should be much more civilized now .

    Tom and I both like this color green, which doesn't look tight to some folks, but we swear, some Tennessee mountain streams get this color. Back when our club was strictly modular, Tom and I built two models that were intended to go together. we had a stream that entered into the face of one module went under a bridge, turned and went onto the other module, turned again, went under another bridge, and exited the front of the second module.

    We had planned on working together to do the river, but ran out of time. Tom poured his river with tinted envirotex, and I made mine with Durhams water putty, and painted it with acrilic paints , to a similar color green, and varnished it to the needed gloss. To our great surprise, when we hooked up the modules, the height and color of the water matched perfectly. The odds of that happening were not good.

  13. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    More work at the club

    I got in two hours of work at the club. the bridges are back in place over the log pond, and I started vacuuming the track in patterson and using my rubberized track cleaning blocks from micro mark, and then wiping the rails down with CRC-26. I have most of the Sawmill area's track clean, and will work from there toward Possum Hollow on future work sessions.

    Attached Files:

  14. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Great pictures and workmanship Bill.
  15. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    Paper Mill

    Since I feel the need to steal some of the logging competition on the Clarksville MRR club I've started a paper mill loosely based on ones seen in Wisconsin. It's still mostly in pieces but coming together slowly, as I work on it as much as possible when I get to the club. Here's some pics of the recent progress.

    Attached Files:

  16. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Is that Algae in the streams that give it the color, or minerals? I went through Tennessee once and I also did see streams like that. Being a Yankee, I was downright flabbergasted! :)
  17. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member


    That looks really good. Hey us loggers have found another outlet for our cellulose based products.

    Thanks for helping a logger stay in business.

    Doc Tom
  18. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    The cause of the green water is not known to me, but it isn't algae, which has a smell and a feel when it is in the water, and one can play in the deep green water, and it feels looks and smells clean.

    Last week at the club I measured the hole where the far helix was to start a plan for a return loop with some staging/ storage tracks built in .

    To draw the lines on the thick plywood I got an aluminum bar, drilled a hole at one end, so it could pivot on a sheet rock screw, and then drilled holes at the distances I wanted for radius s 30 inches 26 and 24, with holes to either side to aproximate the roadbed edges.

    I have more work to do to get the diverging side drawn right, and to get it cut out. Hopefully I can get a piece from the cut out area that will be big enough to complete the loop. this loop will establish the upper deck int a separate branch, and willo hopefully make operations more interesting.

    Major track rebuild and re routing is planned for this upper branch, which will put an upper deck over the sawmill area, allowing for more switching locations, we desperately need another logging camp, and now we need a pulpwood loading facility (And god knows how many bulkhead flats. I want to get the return loop in and functioning first though, and it would be nice if we had Eric's lower level minorly functional before we did the major work rerouting and improving the upper branch Rebuilding the upper branch will create an interesting scenic opportunity I am calling Straka's Gap (Dave Straka came up with the basic plan for the track re routing.

    Here are some photos of my drafting, and plywood marking efforts so far. You will see that I have made a scale drawing of how I want to cut the sheet of plywood. It is my mantra that good planning is necessary for good track work, and this gives you an idea of the effort I am willing to go to. IN my life I have planned some horrible stuff, built horrible stuff from plans that should have produced better results. I now qualify as an old man, and so I want to do better work from here on out,

    The large blue T square is a very useful tool. they are available at the big box stores in the sheet rock tools sections. This tool is critical when doing sheet rock or paneling in a building that is largely square , plum, and level. My 130 year old farm house is none of those things, but this tool is useful in determining just how far out of whack things are. for model railroading, it is excellent at helping you transfer plans to plywood.

    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  19. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Excellent tutorial Bill. You get some really graceful turns this way.
  20. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    This allows accuracy in transferring plans to plywood, Graceful turns are in the plans, and that results from using a high quality compass to draw curves with more than the needed radius, and having tangent lines, so curve doesn't directly abut curve. I have worked most of my life in logging RR's with built in errors adding to the authenticity of the track, and I am trying to compensate for that. I still need to get a good handle on easements.

    I am planning a massive rebuild of my DG, CC, & W RR, and if I get enough nerve to actually start, I may start a thread on track planning. We must understand mistakes will be made. the point of careful planning, is we can make more of the mistakes on paper, correct them there ; and have fewer of them built into our model railroads, where they will be more difficult to fix.

    Bill Nelson

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