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Back in March while confined I decided to go down to the shop and do something different. It has always been on my bucket list to seek out the American Flyer 300 Atlantic set I was given in the mid-50s. To my surprise, I did locate a 300 Atlantic engine and tender and the same cars I had as well. After reading the fascinating history of American Flyer I decided to acquire the companion steam engines built during the post-war period until 1966 when Mr. Gilbert decided to pull the plug. It was interesting also to find the single chrome AF 660 passenger car my parents gave me the following Christmas. That was the extent of my AF collection and as I grew away from model railroading and entered the control line model airplane world of stunt I'm still actively involved the railroad set was long lost. I found it interesting how the early model trains initially were so detailed and later were cheapened down because Gilbert felt kids were not collectors and the detail was too costly. This comparison can be seen when viewing the 1947 332 4-8-4 steam engine on the bottom right to the later 21165 4-4 set along the top shelf.
I enjoyed getting back to doing some woodworking again and accomplishing something of value during the pandemic.

Old Smokey 47
 

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WOW !!! You sure made good use of your time. That is a beautiful cabinet. Lighted and with glass front.
That is a very nice collection of trains also. Congrats. Thanks for showing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi folks,

I appreciate your compliments on the display case and trains.

Several of my friends have wondered why I have not built a train layout which would be the natural progression at this point. I must admit, however, even though I have some desire to build a railroad layout I must hold off primarily because of the commitment. If I decided to get into it, it would require considerable planning to have everything I wanted to be incorporated from the onset. I think what would interest me most would be to create the buildings, bridge elevations, concrete works, topography, and landscaping and bringing my shop into play to build the structures and finding unique materials using detailed airbrushing to simulate aging for the exterior facades. After seeing what others have created I think this aspect of model railroading would be very enjoyable but a significant undertaking.

Old Smokey 47
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Gunrunnerjohn,

It might be a little tight for another engine or two, but more importantly, the windfall funds from the Stimulus Check have all been depleted so I better settle with what I have for now.
 

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Fantastic work on the display cabinet! Even to the extent of routing grooves in the shelves for the wheel flanges. The best part though is it displays Gilbert trains, but that is just my opinion!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It was a fun project and my first time using LED lighting. The recessed LED light tracks with the white lens give a soft touch to the lighting and helps to reflect light off the painted blue plywood background. Positioning the trains on the 5" deep shelf (front to rear) relative to the position of the LED light above was a concern, I wanted the exposed surface of the train to be well lit and no shadows.
 

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That's a good start, but I think you can do better. I'll take that one off your hands so it doesn't go to waste when version 2.0 is finished.... 😁

Seriously though, that's a beautiful cabinet. I'm going to have to manufacture something similar someday when I have the space. I too don't currently have a permanent layout and my floor layout only has minimal room for running things on the track at once. It'd be nice to have a display cabinet so I can store things out of the way but be able to view them also instead of the current situation where most of my collection is boxed up.
 

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A very nice display shelf. (y)
Have you calculated how much you spent on the materials?
It is a labor of love so you can't add that in.:)(y)
 

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Out standing cabinet and very good collection of AF trains! I have 2 display cabinets with sliding glass doors with a dark furniture finish that forget the name of. However, mine are not lighted as yours is and not nearly as big nor did I put in wheel slots. Nice touch.

Kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Big Ed,
The cabinet ended up costing $863.69 for all materials. It was a little more than I planned but adding the lighting and door tracks jumped it up. The wood and finishing from Lowes was $322.00 with my military discount, 1/4" plate glass $58.00. EPCO aluminum door rolling tracks and extrusions $174.79 and the LEDWholesale lighting strips, dimmer, transformer and recessed LED extrusions $308.08. The cabinet is 71" wide by 35.5" high and 7.5" deep.

I have added a few more shots of the construction. I saved a bit by making the supports.

I probably have 40 hours total time invested not including chasing around for the materials and on line time.

Old Smokey 47
 

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I knew it was not cheap, I got some cedar wood from Oklahoma last week to build a cedar bench. 2 weeks before I bought a solid 6' x 4"x4" cedar mailbox post from the same seller to mount my new cedar mailbox that the Amish made. It is nothing like the cheap cedar posts that stick in the ground with the metal stakes you find at HD or Lowes.
I am glad I spent the bucks, everyone in the neighborhood is asking where I got it. :)
Is that Oak? Nothing is cheap now a days.
But it sure looks nice, and well built. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You are right Ed, lumber materials are not cheap. Last year I bought some grey elm that has a beautiful grain appearance for a hutch cabinet. I had to have it sent from Ohio because the elm tree was killed off in the northeast years ago by a disease. I decided on the elmwood because we had bought a table made by the Amish in Ohio and liked its appearance. When my boys were in the scouts a hundred years ago I held some sessions at our house in the shop and discussed various samples of exotic woods from around the world. The prices of some of these woods are way beyond anything I could afford.
Old Smokey 47
 

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I know of a lumber yard in Union City, Ind. that specializes in exotic wood. When I am there visiting relatives, I always drive by because there are 2 open air drying/curing buildings and you can stop and walk through them. Most of the wood varieties I never knew existed. Many from South American countries. There is one in particular that is really exotic. It has a Mahogany like color to it with blends of a light to med dark purple running through it. That may sound strange but there is a cabinet in the owners office you have to see to believe. The wood is a very smooth, tight grained, hard wood. If you want a good amount, better bring your banker with you. That's why I built mine cases out of oak. Old Smoky 47, mine are not on par with yours, even though they have a furniture finish, but I used what I already had on hand.

Kenny
 
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