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Discussion Starter #1
I hope this stays popular enough for new people into the hobby to see for a bit. This is a short list of some things that I have learned, or wish I had done when I started, after 6mos of being a RR hobbiest.

Lesson #1. Start out slow and small. - As with any good hobby, you have the rest of your life so take your time. We all want to make that huge dream layout, but the ones we drool over were usually made by people who have been doing this for a while. Plan a small layout first so you can find out what you really like. What you wanted to do last month might change over time or you might realize you really enjoy frieght when you thought you wanted passenger only.

Lesson #2. Avoid expensive commitments - You'll be suprised at how fast your wants and desires change as you learn more about the hobby. That initial interest in one type of railroad, OR EVEN TYPE OF GAUGE:mad:, may change as you realize you actually enjoy another type you just learned about. Be frugal, look for deals. You'll be amazed at what can show up on eBay. I spent a lot of money on N Scale only to learn that it can be too finicky for my tastes. I could have spent that money on the gauge I prefered.

Lesson #3. Spend the money and Time building a table - Dont cheat on your base. Once you start putting stuff on it, you can't go back. So, use quality materials.

Lesson #4. Dont glue/nail anything down initially - I'm just now tearing up my Polar Express layout to re-do the layout of the track. Why???? Over the past 6mos I've learned things that I didn't take the time initially to learn.

Lesson #5. Avoid Inclines or at least minimize them - Trust me. When they say don't gover over a certain % of grade over a certain distance... they mean it. Those numbers were not made up. If you have to go up and you are new, just don't do it. BUT if you have to then use the minimum grade. You'll thank me.

Thanks for reading... I'll update as I remeber and learn things.
 

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Paper Shuffler Extraordinaire
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Nicely put, I've made those mistakes in the past with HO, part of why I lost interest. I NEVER use nails anymore, always screws much easier if you need to back up a step or two.

I'd add start with a rough sketch with space dimensions as a basic start point, even before Anyrail or similar program. Give yourself a basic idea of what you have to work around. That way when you use the program you aren't guessing.

Make scenery loose first if possible in case it needs removed, can always attach it later.

Carl
 

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good job!!
 

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#6 Never tell your wife the true cost.

That it T-man?

I said before that should I take the great dirt nap and my wife sold my woodworking tools for what I said I paid someone was going to get a hellofva deal. I take it this model rr'ing is the same?
 

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Very well written.........I would like to add one to the list........it takes a long time to complete what you are striving for.

In my learning process, many modelers....include a few that have achieved the master modeler rating from the NMRA.............have drilled into me that "it is my layout and I will do what I want". Interesting statement.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My "happily married" motto is: Happy wife, Happy life!
 

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I can honestly say I've violated about all of the percepts laid down by the OP.....with knowledge & forethought.

I normally embark on my hobbies with an intensity that worries even me sometimes......but within my financial restraints. This is how I challenge myself......which is fun around my house.

The only thing that really bothers me is my health.....am gonna live long enough to bring this sucker off?. My Crohns disease is acting up again and it looks as if I'll have to get cut on again......for the 3rd time. I survived the other 2...but I was still young & tough.(& too dumb to worry about it.) The last one was 17 years ago & it looks like the zipper I had em' put in is gonna finally pay off.:rolleyes:
 

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Lesson learned- makes sure im not inhaling the testors model master glue fumes when putting togethers structures....

Recently i got so involved with my paper mill structure i wasnt using any common sense and i basically had my nose right over where i was glueing/working and finally boom it hit me.
I was coughing and weezing. I had a very tough time just breathing. Scary stuff when you cany breath like your suppose too....
The old lady wanted to take me to the er room but i toughed it out for a few hours and luckily it went away for me to breath again.

Lesson learned- dont be huffing toxic fumes, make sure you have proper ventilation and keep your nose away from where you are glueing.... otherwise you wont be having much fun at all..!
 

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You left out my personal favorite: 7. Do not set fire to fingers with acetelyne torch while soldering wire leads to track!
 

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One of those miniature torches Reck? My BIL set fire to his kids car soldering wires under the dash. :rolleyes: That was after he burned off half his moustache lighting a cigarette. He may be a dope but he's our dope...:laugh:
 

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One of those miniature torches Reck? My BIL set fire to his kids car soldering wires under the dash. :rolleyes: That was after he burned off half his moustache lighting a cigarette. He may be a dope but he's our dope...:laugh:
This was a jeweler's torch: oxygen bottle, acectylene bottle, hoses and handset. It's substantial enough to use for plumbing, as well, but the primary use is silver-soldering or melting metals for casting jewelry. I can vouch for the fact that it does get hot!
 

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I am going to say "not enough pictures".

They provide a visual reference.
historical reference, because I can't remember last week
something to show the insurance company when it goes up in smoke ( supplied by sawgunner)

A good idea, easy to do.
 

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I am going to say "not enough pictures".

They provide a visual reference.
historical reference, because I can't remember last week
something to show the insurance company when it goes up in smoke ( supplied by sawgunner)

A good idea, easy to do.

I can neither confirm nor deny the validity of this statement:D
 
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