Things I've learned

kevsmith Aug 21, 2017

  1. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Oh yes on the soldering iron stand -- I can vouch too, as I burned my finger last week using the cheesy metal piece that came with my iron. I swapped it out for a (heat-resistant) rock, but I need a good stand.
  2. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

    1) never-Never-NEVER ASSUME anything. Ask 'em or tell' em. Make SURE.
    2) You get what you pay for. Spend a couple extra bucks, get the GOOD stuff! Especially TOOLS There is a certain Seller/Store that has a bunch of tools/equipment for sale. With a 20% off coupon, the price can be LOW. But remember if the tool breaks, it's a THROW-A-WAY. Parts are NOT available.
    minesweeper likes this.
  3. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

    There must be one he** of a story behind this one!!!!!
    HemiAdda2d and Mike VE2TRV like this.
  4. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    Cringe factor of ten.
  5. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    Smells like hot dogs (been there, done that).:confused:
    BoxcabE50 and Hardcoaler like this.
  6. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    Sidings and yard tracks never, ever hold as many cars as you think they will when you're designing the layout. When you're first starting out, your best bet is to design them all to hold at least three cars. Otherwise, they might not even hold one car.

    In many cases you can increase the capacity of your sidings by putting curves in them. You can park cars on curved tracks. But what you can not do is couple and uncouple them on curves. So make sure you design all sidings and yard tracks with at least one section of straight track right out of the switch. You can park cars from the straight section on. But until you reach that straight couple/uncouple zone, it's all a no parking zone.

    Might be a good candidate for sticky status, too. It could be a good way to reassure lurkers that it's safe to ask us dumb questions.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
    HemiAdda2d, Helitac and Hardcoaler like this.
  7. Yannis

    Yannis TrainBoard Member

    Some things i learned,

    1. Read books like Trackplanning for Realistic Operations by John Armstrong (and the ones by Lance Mindheim) as soon as possible when you start planning.
    2. Become a member of the relevant historical society of your favorite railroad.
    3. Do not be afraid to accept that you made mistakes. Usually a fresh start saves a lot of time and money, and gets you to a better result.
    acptulsa likes this.
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    The more I think about this thought, the more I like it. So, for now I have applied "Sticky" status. :)
    HemiAdda2d likes this.
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Have re-read this several times. Cringing with each one! :eek::eek::eek:
    Mike VE2TRV likes this.
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    Agree, especially when fellow TB members point out simple solutions to track and scenery design problems you created by being too involved with your own design. Thanks to all y'all for positive criticism. (y) :cool:
    Yannis and BoxcabE50 like this.
  11. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Our discussion on soldering iron safety, combined with memories of my own skin burns over the years, got me to thinking of building my own stand. Here it is, completed today at a cost of $0 combining scrap plywood and an old garage door spring cut to length. It's very stable and to make it easy to store, the spring is not fixed in place.

    Soldering Iron Stand.jpg
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    NICE!!!! How about a little "How-To" for our forum of that name? Maybe a suggestion within that of a part number/store to buy said spring?
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Thank you. I don't have a manufacturer or P/N for the garage door spring. I found it in a stash of old random junk in my late father's garage, but I'll bet that something similar could be found at a local hardware store or home center. Man, spring steel is TOUGH. I have some very large cutters, but they didn't even knick the metal. Happily, my Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel made easy work of it.

    To make it:
    • Cut two pieces of 3/4" plywood to general size in a table saw, glue, clamp and set aside to dry. This is the base. Don't worry about getting the edges of the two pieces perfectly aligned.
    • When glue dries, run the 1-1/2" thick base piece through a table saw and cut to final size as wanted to resist tipping. Mine is 6-1/2" x 3". If you're not sure what final size might be best, complete the next two steps and return to the table saw for final cuts.
    • Tip drill press table to 45 Deg. Chuck a drill bit that respects the OD of the spring and set the depth of the hole so that the bit doesn't come out the bottom.
    • Loosely clamp the base onto the drill press table and center the bit on the width of the base and eye where to drill along the base's length. My bit was 1" Dia. and I entered the base ~ 1-1/2" from the end. Firmly clamp base and drill hole.
    • Sand, then stain or paint.
    I rounded over the top edge with a router and added feet for a bit of extra detail. It was a fun, practical and cheap project.
  14. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

    Great idea! The only thing I can suggest is, if you have a piece of scrap 2X4, you could substitute that for the two pieces of plywood and save a little work. Yeah, I think I' gonna have to make one of these.
    HemiAdda2d and Hardcoaler like this.
  15. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    I really like your soldering iron stand! Very classy and clean workmanship.(y)

    Oh, nice touch - the Band Aid box on the shelf in the background... :ROFLMAO:
    HemiAdda2d, Hardcoaler and Jovet like this.
  16. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    I would like to get into scratchbuilding, and a while back, I started a caboose. (Thread should be somewhere around here.) I just found it in a box, and let’s just say plastic cement doesn’t glue non-styrene plastic. I made it out of a strawberry container. I thought I was the smartest person when I thought of that, but now I just cringe really hard. My lesson learned is to actually use the right materials. Sometimes I just want to build everything out of scrap bin parts, but it is pretty obvious that it doesn’t always work.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  17. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    Carpet turns into concrete when a loco drops on it.

    Mike VE2TRV and acptulsa like this.
  18. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    But it still swallows detail parts like quicksand. :notworthy:
    HemiAdda2d likes this.
  19. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    I've learned not to make decisions when I'm at my angriest. Better to wait and re-evaluate the situation. If the smoke and steam are still belching from my nose and ears. Still angry! Wait until I'm not.

    I make bad decisions when I'm angry. Not a good thing at all.

    I've learned to take a siding, drop the fire and let the steam pressure in the boiler drop.

    HemiAdda2d and Mike VE2TRV like this.
  20. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

    Two things I have learned and one was by accident. Another person spoke about this one concerning Z scale I believe. But I think it pertains to all scales actually. After nearly 40 years of off again and on again with the hobby, which will always happen. ( Guess that is #3 actually, it happens to all of us ), and living in different homes with different space available for trains. I like everyone else look at plan's and found the biggest most complicated ( for me anyway ) plan and proceeded to built it 30 years ago. Never got past cutting the base and temporarily laying the track before I got burned out.

    Current living conditions only allow a 2' x 4' N Scale layout to be up pretty much all the time, and another 2' x 4' section under a bed for temporary L operation. Best thing that ever happened to me was the small space because it did not over whelm me. It's still a on again, off again, thing as far as working on it, but when I do I usually enjoy it now.

    And the one I did not plan for was being able to slide my favorite desk chair right over to it and being comfortable while working on (most of the time, all model railroads require bending over at some point ), or running trains. I can also use my L as a sort of work bench too, for like cutting out card stock building etc...

    Not many people think about it, and neither did it, accident, be comfortable is #1 for me!

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