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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Another freebie.

Thursday night on my way home from work I was able to pick up another free find on craigslist. It also came with 3 more flex track and 5 cork roadbeds. The flex track is copper and the sectional track is nickle/silver. The platform is very well built. It measures 6'X4'. My wife took one look at it and said we could use it as a practice layout. Good idea, baby! It will also be nice to have a little one to mess with and run trains when we can't have the big one set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Practice Layout

I got to do a little train time lately. Two weeks ago I worked on cleaning up the track. It had a lot of corrosion. Last weekend I put the cork roadbed down. Then today I put the track back down. Yeah, the cork is off a bit. I've always done flex track before. When I was in the theater we had the saying a mistake well covered is art in it's highest form. I guess this will me a chance to see how good of an artist I can be. I took the hooks off afraid our On30 Christmas train might hit them. The total cost so far? Zero. This is gong to be our Christmas layout this year then it will be our test layout for landscaping and whatever before we do it on the main layout. No theme. Hmm, that's got me curious for the final results. Whatever it turns out to be it should be interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Today I have met with success. I have an old steam engine I've been working on trying to get to run. I also have an Athern GP9 that only tried to move. Today I hit both their commutator with some CRC electrical cleaner I found in my garage, turned the motors to wipe the brushes, then wiped them with Q-tips to get the dirt off. Now they both run great.
 
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
It's been a while since I really had anything worth mentioning. With still trying to get things in order to move no real work has been done. I have been diligently watching craigslist, fb market, and Ebay for those great deals I could actually afford. In the past month after years of searching I've reached 3 major milestones in gathering supplies.

First, I got a 'I just want to get rid of it' deal and now have more than enough track, including switches, for all three planned sections of the layout. Second someone was giving away 2 folding tables so now I have all the tables needed for all three planned sections. And third with these three coaches for $62 including shipping that I got today I now have all the coaches and steamer needed for my long black train. Yes, they're OO gauge but will run on our HO layout. You know the devil, he can't quite get it right.

545293
 
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Wow, it's been a long time, but I finally get to revive this thread. I now have that ear worm I'm so Excited.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I bought this last September on the cheap off of ebay. It did the herky jerky when I tested it. I cleaned it but it still did it. I said later days and packed and stored it for moving. A couple of days ago I unpacked it to find it's working flawlessly now. It's going to be a great test engine for testing track. I did add a 3rd 85' box car and it pulled all 3 just fine.

My Little 0-4-0 - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Today I took advantage of the good weather, now that we got some, and put the folding table legs on our 4'X6' test layout. I then goofed around with some of the track to see how the straight would work on it. I want to take all the track up, solder them together, then try gluing it down with Elmer's wood glue. I want to solder the joints to hopefully eliminate all the issues I had with it when we used it for a Christmas layout. I never had anywhere near as many issues with my N scale layout that I'm having with HO, and N scale was my first layout.

Door Wood Rectangle Fixture Handle

Table Furniture Wood Building Chair
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Progress, yeaaaa! After getting what was left of the track off the table, I tried soldering them together. It wasn't working very well. While trying to figure out why I finally heard the telltale sound of an electrical short, my 50+ year old soldering gun was giving up the ghost. I had my wife order me an $8 soldering iron off of Amazon. While waiting I cleaned some track joints. The soldering iron came in, I tried both outsides of a track joint, ahh, much better. While waiting for a clear day I finished cleaning and soldering what I could. Today we finally had a day without rain and/or snow so I took the opportunity to lay the track. I set up the table in my north yard with Henry VIII the wonder dog pulling guard duty.
Plant Asphalt Road surface Grass Wood


I had been able to get all the solid sections for each end soldered so it made for easy gluing.
Blue Grass Wood Outdoor recreation Road surface



Once the glue was set, I was able to mount the rest of the track. I did make one adjustment by straightening out one side. As you can see the fit was no longer exact.
Urban design Grass Leisure Recreation Wood



I filled under the floating track with foam roadbed, and voila, it's run time. The end sections are steel and the two flex-track are brass.
Plant Road surface Asphalt Land lot Urban design


Here's the maiden run. I'm running my 0-4-0 test engine. Obviously the track needs some cleaning and tweaking, I didn't take the time since I was racing against the rain clouds moving in.
Maiden run on our newly rebuilt practice track. - YouTube

For fun I added a few freight cars to the same engine.
Maiden run on our rebuilt HO test track with freight cars. - YouTube

I'm looking forward to getting it running smoothly then seeing how artistic I can be by hiding all the mistakes, and I got a bunch of them to practice on. When I was in theater in college one of the directors always said when someone corrected a mistake, "A mistake well covered is art in its highest form."
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Finally had a nice day that I could pull out our practice layout and work on it. I went around with my soldering iron tweaking joints and did some cleaning, then ran a couple of trains. The track needs some cleaning with more than just alcohol and cotton tips, but I couldn't find my track cleaning block.

Here is our 0-4-0 with a few freight cars:

And here is our long passenger train on the layout for the first time:
 

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Finally had a nice day that I could pull out our practice layout and work on it. I went around with my soldering iron tweaking joints and did some cleaning, then ran a couple of trains. The track needs some cleaning with more than just alcohol and cotton tips, but I couldn't find my track cleaning block.
This post makes me feel better about what seems like a constant battle of tweaking joints on my layout!!! Glad I'm not the only one! o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
With having a long streak of dry days, I set our practice layout up out back of the house. It gets afternoon shade, so we won't be roasted alive to mess with it. It's doing pretty good considering I've taken it down and moved it around a few times.
Wood Shade Felidae Grass Automotive exterior


 
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