Dooh !!

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 with 8 Comments

Hello my friends,

on the agenda for this week was the final report about the hand brakes on my disconnects. But unfortunately, something came in between… Or more in detail, my thumb came in between the workpiece and mill…

But don’t worry, the wound is clean and cures well so far. But it would be good for me to keep slow for some while.

Best regards, stay at home, stay healthy, enjoy your model trains, and watch your fingers ;-)

Your Waldbahner.

[MLC] Brakes for the disconnects

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 17 March 2020 with 1 Comment

Hello folks,

after a short break, I’m back to work on the brakes of my old 5″-gauge logging disconnects, which are in use as trucks under my new 42mm-scale logging cars.

Since I couldn’t find matching brake shoes in my scale, I decided to create my own. I had some brake shoes from my 1:20.3 railroad which I recreated in 1:7,2 scale for 3D-printing. As I was going to order 60 brake shoes, I was looking for a reliable price and finally decided to use PA-12 plastic which might be a no-go, but is a good compromise for me. All other parts are made from wood and steel as usual.

After painting the brake shoes black, made the wooden brake beams from beech. I used the milling machine to achieve the same shape to all 26 beams. Once stained to match the color of the old cars, I started to add the hardware.

One challenge was to find the matching hardware to attach the brake gear to the car frames. Finally I found metal pipe clamps and square-rings for carrying straps. As is needed several dozen pieces of each, I was happy to use ready-made parts.

The last photo above shows the direct comparison with and without brakes attached. It’s awesome how much such a detail can add to the overall look of a model, especially in such a large scale. Step-by-step my 12 years old toy-like disconnect design starts to turn into some realistic model train car.

In the next blog, I’ll continue with the brake rigging and gear.

[LVLC] First MoW train on the garden railroad

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 10 March 2020 with 3 Comments

Hello garden railroaders,

last weekend, Shay #6 headed out into the woods with a short MoW train. After the winter break, the MoW crew was looking for bad spots on the main line which will need repairs before the new season will start. Fortunately, there are only small issues along the tracks. Additional, the track gang made surveys for new track extensions which might be build this year as well to reach new stands of fresh timber. So stay tuned for later updates during the year.

When the train returned in the late afternoon, the Shay was turned on the wye before heading down to Ronja Springs.

Regards, Gerd

[MLC] How I make multiple identical parts

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 25 February 2020 with 1 Comment


this week, I like to share some techniques I use to make multiple identical parts for projects on my model trains. Instead of using modern laser cutting, I try the good old way when possible, as long as the number of parts needed is not to high.

Let’s start with a couple of sheet metal parts with special shapes and holes. I used 2mm thick flat bar and cut all parts to length on the metal bandsaw. Next I use double-sided sticker pads for photos and stick the parts together. When clamping them to the mill/drill-press, I use a piece of plywood to even out differences in the width of the parts. It’s important to clamp the parts very well, if possible also downwards, especially when mill cutting. It’s also best to use small and slow feed.

During the milling process, I used some round bars through the holes to keep all parts aligned properly. Once finished, the parts got parted with a knife and cleaned up. Some parts got also bend for the later assembly.

For some other parts, I make profile bars which got parted into the final pieces. Here I make ratches and pawls for disconnect car brake gear. By using the parting-tool/round-table I milled the shape step-by-step in multiple passes. Many years ago, I ordered such parts laser-cut and I used them as template to make additional parts to get the needed total.

Once the profiled bars are finished, I use a thin saw blade in the mill to cut them down into 4mm thick pieces.

You already see what I’m working on here and I’ll show you more about this project in the next post.

Bye, Gerd

[MLC] First operation of Forney #2 after overhaul

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 with 4 Comments

Hello folks,

after finishing the overhaul maintenance on the Forney, the next goal was a test run with some heavy train loads to check if the new-made smoke box door as well as the new seals are improving the performance of the loco.

The best opportunity was given by the nearby “Dampflokfreunde Karlsruhe”. The track gang has rebuild the road bed on a 400′ long section and now it was time to bring in ballast and new track panels.

The little Forney hauled round about 3.5tons of ballast as well as several 8′ long track panels to the working side. Over all, the loco performed great with a good and strong pull. Looks that the loco is back in full working condition.

Cheers, Gerd

[MLC] More overhaul work on Forney #2

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 with 1 Comment

Hello folks,

today I’ve some updates from my large-scale Moody Lumber. I spend some work on my Forney #2, since I had a list of overhaul-tasks for three winters now. Since I build and installed the new axle water pump, the loco is back in service, but I had issues with steam and fire during the last op-sessions.

So I started to investigate the issues and soon found out, that the smoke box door, a simple steel sheet construction, was heavy rosted and didn’t seal the smoke box well. I found a piece of steel in my scrap bin and made a new solid door on the lathe. I later added the hinges from the old door as well as paint.

Another well-known issue were the O-rings in the steam regulator valve. I ordered new rings from red silicon and look forward for the next 20 years of service.

And finally, I was able to rebuild another nightmare I produced back in time, when I rebuild the former Koppel loco into the Forney style engine. The brake rigging. The combination of levers I used was terrible and didn’t work/brake well. After I spend some thoughts, I added a new shaft at the bottom bend of the frame and made new connecting rods and levers. Now the brake is working very strong and I also have better access to the ash-pan.

Well and since I rebuild all my other 5″-gauge trains to 1:7.2-scale, I also did this to the Forney. First in Photoshop, than in real. And what shall I say – I love it. The loco looks more powerful by now and matches so nicely with the Shay. Funny side note, the cab NOW is in correct height for both, 1:7.2-scale as well as 1:6-scale as the original cab was just to high.

Finally, the loco is now back in service and will hopefully perform well during the upcoming steam season, as she’ll take over the main traction on the Moody Lumber this year. While operating the Shay last fall, I spotted some worn parts and other issues on the steam engine so the Shay is temporary out of service and will come to the shop soon of repairs.

Shortly after taking theses photos, I replaced the head light by a smaller version better fitting to 42mm-scale and I painted the white trim black, since I found the trim too toy like.

Next week I’ll share some video footage of the first operation session after the overhaul and how the changes may have improved the power/performance.

Cheers, Gerd

[CFF] Krauss loco part 3

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 4 February 2020 with 4 Comments

Welcome back to the last chapter of the Krauss loco for now.

First, I uploaded 3 more photos showing the loco under construction in total.

Before I glued the plastic sheets together, I sanded each of them on both sides, to get a good surface for the paint. I used spray cans on this project for most parts. Once the new build cab and water tanks were permanently attached to the boiler, I could start with all the small details along the boiler top. There I added the water feed valves and piping as well other steam lines and details.

The inside of the cab also got some details. I installed a wooden floor and added firewood and loco crew. The windows got glazing as well.

All loco plates are etched brass and I ordered them custom-made. The builders plate is from a set for an Austrian ‘U’-loco. The white trim on the body is simply made with a white pencil by using a ruler. This worked out well on my Resita.

Another typical detail on such locos is the hose & pump to take water from creeks or ponds to fill up the water tanks. On this loco, it’s possible to connect the hose to the pipe and lay it out to the water source. This may create some nice photo scenes in future.

Last big part was the roof, which is glued on top of the cab to add more stability to the super structure. Final detail parts were the injector under the cab. I ordered brass parts for live steam model detailing, as I couldn’t find any other good-looking parts. And I’m very happy with the result.

The last photo for today shows the loco opened up. The battery is hold in a small box inside the boiler. The body shell is hold down by three 10x10mm Rare-Earth-magnets, which held both sections well together. It’s even possible to carry the whole loco (approx 6lbs) on the cab, but since the crash of my Resita, I don’t experiment too much. Right below the smoke box are three spring-loaded contacts (LGB wheel pickups) which are used to transfer power to the head lights. They will connect to the PC-board inside the smoke box and there are no wires between the chassis and the body shell.

Until today, I didn’t find the right mood to airbrush-weather this loco, so she’s still “fresh paint”. But I look forward to make her “realistic looking” within the next month and to finally add all the small bits and details, which are adding so much to the Romanian logging steam locos.

See you soon.

[CFF] Krauss part 2

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 28 January 2020 (Comments Closed)

Let’s continue with the second part. As already written in the last week, I had some trouble regarding the battery pack. Finally, two separate ideas solved this issue. The whole body shell, including boiler, water tanks and cab, will be one unit, which can be lifted from the chassis. This will give access to the inside of the boiler area where I can place the battery. Also, this is the first loco in which the LIPO-safety-module is installed permanently. It’s switched off by the main power switch. Therefore I don’t need to open up the loco to plug/unplug the safety module. All the electronic stuff was placed underneath the cab floor. It’s just a small space, but everything fit in well.

Additional to the problem solving above, I started to make some new parts for the boiler. The “crown” on top of the steam dome was made from several brass parts. The new sand dome in typical Krauss design is mae from a solid steel bar. I reused some of the LGB parts where possible. The boiler back head was cut to fit the higher cab floor and also in length. This part is now permanently rigged with the boiler itself.

Another open topic was the material for the superstructure. Finally I decided to use ABS plastic sheets and I didn’t regret this decision on any point. The parts may look cnc-milled, but they are hand crafted by using regular workshop equipment. When possible, I made identical parts in bundles/packages. All rivet detail are actual aluminum rivets inserted into pre-drilled holes. Where I need to bend ABS sheets, I made a pattern from sheet metal and used an hot-air-gun to soften the ABS. Be aware of crosswise shrink at the bend! I didn’t take care to this when bending the front edges on the water tanks, but I was able to fix it.

The next report will bring some paint to the model and I’ll spend a closer look into the details, electronics and how the chassis and body are connected.

[CFF] The beginning of my new Krauss loco

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 21 January 2020 with 4 Comments

In early 2019, I bought a used „Frank S.“ loco from LGB on eBay to model the HF110c loco of the French „Abreschviller logging railroad“. But soon I realized, that I was going to spread myself to far into different railroads topics, so I canceled the project just right in time. But what to do with already acquired loco? For a long time, I was also thinking about a battery powered steam loco to support my CFF Resita on the Romanian railroad. So, I bought spare parts from an LGB Austrian “U” loco (Zillertal) and sold not suitable parts from the HF110c (tender, cab and other parts).

I started with removing the counter weights from the cranks. I found piece of steel rod and made a sanding-jig to turn the counterweight cranks into simple cranks. The frame took some more work as I was going to replace the cylinders by those from the Zillertal-loco, which will add the typical “Krauss”-character to my new steam loco. I used photos of the real CFF 763-247 loco for reference. This loco was used on the Oituz and Commandau lines and features a 4-wheel bogie truck (4-6-0) which will not be covered on my freelanced model loco. Cutting the frame and valve gear support to fit the outside frame of the former HF110c was not easy but worked fine. The buffer beams on both ends are newly made from styrene and metal, equipped with my 3D-designed CFF couplers. I spend some more cutting on the top of the frame and added a new cab floor which is set on top of the original one to get the cab a little bit higher as before so suit the scale of 1:19 (16mm).

The rebuilt went well so far, so I proceed with the original boiler. The sand dome got removed as it will be replaced by a typical Krauss-model later. The new stack and spark arrestor were made on the lathe from steel. When drilling the whole in the smoke box to take the new stack, I had a small mishap when the drill braked out, but I’ll be able to fix that with putty later. I already started to fill attachment holes from former detail parts with putty.

But then, the whole project came to a stop for more than 6 months when I faced a big problem coming up: WHERE to place the batteries and HOW to exchange them? I use 4 LIPO-batteries (S4) with my actual 8 garden railroad locos, as I don’t run all the locos the same time and each battery will be used more frequently. Therefore, it’s necessary to take the batteries out of the locos for loading or to use them in another one. On my other locos, I can remove the tender shell or lift the top cover of those to get access to the battery, but there is no such container on my new Krauss loco.

A solution for this problem was found in late 2019, but this will become a new post somewhat later.

New year, new projects…

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 14 January 2020 with 4 Comments

Hello and welcome back here on my logging railroad blog.

I hope you had a good start into 2020 and I which you all the best and a happy new year.

This year will bring some new projects and ideas, but also some changes. After posting weekly on this blog, I’ll try monthly and/or progress-related posts this year. This might help me to spread my time better to all belongings in live as family, work and hobby, as I spend a lot of hobby-time for postings here on the blog.

End of last year, I started to reduce my collection by selling unfinished projects which were no longer needed, models wich were too much “compromise” and at least those models, which were just too much and not frequently used. These sales created a nice budget for upcoming projects.

Also last year, I scratch-build this Krauss loco for my Romanian logging railroad. I’ll show more of this loco in detail within one of the next posts together with some details how I build this loco, based on LGB parts.

Regards, Gerd