What Household Items Have You Swiped For Your Layout?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Lighthorseman, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    In Anachron's great scratchbuilding thread ( http://www.the-gauge.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8179 ) , he mentions having "appropriated" part of the vacuum :D for his ongoing scratchbuilding project.

    This leads me to wonder...what have you "borrowed" for your layout? Sadly, I cannot even start off with something, as I seem to have no imagination, and cannot visualize potential uses for things like, well, vacuum parts.
  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Not used on the layout directly, but I bought my wife an electric "choper", one of those like a mini blender/food processor for veggies. It was on the counter for about a month until I took it out and chopped some cork roadbed in an attenpt to make some ground foam. Well it's pretty high speed, so it melted some of the cork and it embedded in the plastic and it smells funny. So it's no longer a food processor, it's a foam processor :D :D :D Next time, I think I'll buy her a bandsaw :D :D :D
  3. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Just the other day my wife gave me that look and asked me where all her Pine-sol went. :rolleyes:
  4. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    well i don't know where to start i took knifes, pots, spoons, sifters i even took the mixxer to mixx up plaster i took the coffie pot her blender and the hood from above the stove for my paint both as for other rooms in the house lets see took my sons mach box car holders to store my trains in took his old light bright for a fider optic back ground old toys that had motors and other stuff in them took old tooth brushes ,flause, spray bottles, q tips and anything eles i think might work for trains nothing is safe around my house
  5. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    You mean besides spoons, bowls, jars, and common stuff like that? I am currently building an oil field and the pumps are powered by the motor from a fiberoptic Xmas tree and pulleys and gears from old CDROM readers. Most of my building lights are Xmas tree lights powered by old wall transformers. I use an old blender to make ground foam and my own sculpta mold (paper mache). I use toothpicks and matchsticks to make buildings. Tin foil for roofs. Old Coffee makes a stain for plaster that makes it look like old concrete. Plastic pipe for grain silos. Quick plaster molds from the kids legos. Bits of broken toys for junk piles. A slippery plastic cutting board for a paint/glue area(paint and glue peel right off). Computer ribbon cables for tin. Old car wheel weights for rolling stock weights. Dirt and sticks from the yard. Here's a trumpet vine that I see lots of weed and brush in its future. DASH

    Attached Files:

  6. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    She has taken to hiding the paper towels,what kinda woman would hide the paper towels??
    Why I Oughta :D
  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Turkey baster for squirting diluted glue on scenic materials and ballast. It controls better than you'd think! The turkey was dry this Thanksgiving though. :D
  8. Racharg

    Racharg Member

    This is a fantastic idea for a thread! In addition to quite a few items mentioned in the previous posts, a hair dryer for drying paint and lego gears and motor to power my turn table
  9. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    Wooden clothes pins (the kind with steel springs) are great clamps. Paper "bathroom" cups are fine for mixing casting resin. Vinegar puts a nice tooth on metal before painting. Fingernail files and sanding boards come in handy. The fillers out of old ball point pens are a source of tubing. Thumbwheels from throw-away cigarette lighters and parts from old watches and clocks make great winches, gears, and junk. Plastic peanut butter jars (particularly the smaller size Skippy) and little glass jelly jars --- from those "gift" sets you get at the holidays from your friends devoid of imagination ---- are great for storing parts.

    The list is just about endless

  10. billk

    billk Active Member

    Very little escapes her eagle eye, but I consider anything in the recycling or trash fair game!
  11. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    Lots of times my wife has handed me something and asked me to throw it away, and I look at it with that far-away look in my eyes and she just KNOWS I'm trying to decide if I can use it. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't but keep it anyway. I also take an asthma medicine called Advair, and as the disc-things get empty I break them open and pull out all the little gears, cogs, pulleys, etc.

    I don't take anything that's not trash without permission though, that's the secret to domestic bliss.
  12. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Caught In The Blender

    My friend Mike had found several lumps of coal. One Saturday afternoon he and I were working on his layout and we began to ponder as to how this coal could be ground up to HO size.

    "I know", Mike said....."Ruth Ann (his wife) bought a blender last week, she's gone shopping and we can use it to grind up the coal lumps and she will never know about it 'cause we can wash it out real good".

    Well, a quick trip to the kitchen produced the blender off the kitchen cabinet and we proceeded to attempt to grind up several lumps. Needless to say the blender "went up in smoke", even breaking its glass container!!!:eek:

    "@#%%*&", my friend exclaimed, "we are in "deep do-do" now! What are we gonna do?"

    "No problem", I said, "Just hide this one and we'll go buy another just like it before she gets back". " In fact", I volunteered, I'll even pay for half of it 'cause I'm a partner to this crime".

    So...off to the K-Mart where we lay out about $50 for what we precieve as an identical blender. Quickly returning to his house we place the new blender on the cabinet and the retire back to the layout room where we are feeling quite "smug" about our deception.

    About 30 minutes later we hear the back door open and a cheerful voice ring out..."Micheal, I'm back from the store and I'll be putting the groceries up". .....We sorta snicker at each other and give a quick "high five".

    Within a minute an angry voice shouts..."MICHEAL!!! WHERE IN THE @#$%& IS MY NEW BLENDER?". Mike replies, "Its on the kitchen cabinet isn't it?" Then we hear, "THERE'S A BLENDER ON THE CABINET ALL RIGHT...BUT MINE IS WHITE AND THIS ONE IS GREEN!!!":D :D :D :D
  13. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Another thing I forgot was old jewelry. Them necklasses make great chains. DASH
  14. fifer

    fifer Active Member


    Let's not forget the occasional pair of panty hose to strain the paint to the airbrush and the colored pencils from her stamping supplies for the highway striping and the use of the oven for baking those wonderful brass 4-8-2 paint job cookies. And then there's the clear nail polish for the wire insulating and building windows.
    Oh well enough for now I need to see whats under this sink.
  15. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I figure she'll write her name on it if she wants me to leave it alone :D :D :D

    Vic - TG that coal dust didn't catch a spark! I used to blow up 55 gal drums with charcoal dust when I was a yungun (we couldn't afford M-80's :D :D :D ) Of course, getting blown up a little may have been better than getting cought, not breaking it, but in a web of deception! Woooooooooooo I bet she remebers the date and time it happened! LOL
  16. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    When I was a young I was into model rockets. Some of us rocketeers got together and and decided to make a real rocket. We nailed some metal fins on a 4X4 we had sharpened with a chainsaw. We then went out in a field and dug a hole about three foot deep and put a stick of dynamite in the hole followed by the rocket. We then backfilled the hole and stomped it down real good. 10-9-...2-1 Blastoff. A deafening roar and a plume of black dirt followed. Then the sticks and dirt rained down on us followed by little rocks which were closely followed by bigger and bigger rocks. Jim's car looked like it had been in a hail storm and even got a cracked windsheild. I had a cut on top of my head which took 5 stiches. Of course we beat it out of there. I told my folks I fell out of a tree. My ears rung for weeks. Guess that disproves Darwin theory, eh? DASH
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    LOL, but was the mission a sucess? :D :D :D
  18. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    The sticks were the rocket. It blew it into toothpicks. So I guess it was as sucessful as some early NASA shots. DASH
  19. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    Don't use vacuum sealed cookie sheets to hold the rocks you have found as you back the rocks in the oven to kill tiny living things. Who knew those cookie sheets had a special layer on them?
  20. Sir_Tainly

    Sir_Tainly Member

    Not so much a household item, but still something not intended for model railroading...

    On Rememberance Day here we wear paper popies, which have a green stem which turns through 90 degrees and fans out into a cone with a centre "bobble". The paper flower slides over the "bobble" and in held in place by a black plastic disc that clips onto the "bobble". Anyway once the day is over, instead of throwing the poppy away, remove the black plastic disc and the paper, heat bend the green stems head through a further 90 degrees and voila a suitable old style street lamp ;)

    Maybe not exactly in scale but it did for me as a child :)

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