Thursday, December 20, 2012

Great progress on the Passenger Cars!

      I'm usually going crazy about this time of the year trying to finish a dozen or so woodworking projects for Christmas presents, but this year I decided to pass on trying to make something for everyone.  I'm using the excuse that we moved from SC to Delaware this year and I just haven't had the time to get the shop set up and build anything.
     I sure hope the family hasn't been following my blog, cause I've been putting some pretty serious hours in on making my passenger cars for the steam locomotive..........and enjoying every minute of it!
     A couple things I forgot to mention earlier;  As I said before, I built the steam engine for my Dad ten years ago and after he died in 2003, my Mom wanted me to have the steam engine back. Later I found a set of blue prints to make the passenger car, a coal hopper and the caboose, but didn't start anything for a long time.   Then a few years ago I decided to build not one, but two passenger cars and get back to working on the complete set.  After getting the floor plates and all the seats made for the two cars, they got tucked away in a cabinet and pretty much forgotten about for a couple years. 
     Every now and then I would find them and think; "I really need to get back working on these and finish what I started", but instead I would put them back in the cabinet and like the old saying goes; Out of site - Out of mind, which brings me to tell you a little about my new set up for a shop, because while setting up everything I found the cars again, only this time I kept them out and got inspired to get working again.
     Here on the property I have a detached two story, two car garage. ( about 25' x25').   In the garage I have 9 ft. ceilings and up stairs is a hip roof with windows on each end.  I have plenty of power to the garage and it was already wired with some receptacles and a couple 220v plugs.  I've installed a few 8ft. fluorescent light fixtures both down stairs and up.    I love having the complete upstairs to use for some of my smaller projects.  I have a couple working desk/benches along the front wall with the window so I can sit up there and work and watch the world go by at the same time. (this is where I work on the train).    I even hooked up the TV antenna and have a small TV and radio to keep me entertained.  I have a few of my cabinets mounted on the walls upstairs to keep all the extra hardware stored so it doesn't have to be downstairs with all the saw dust, etc.
     I used to love to do stained glass and still have all the supplies, so hope to get back into that also, but that's another story for later.
     The upstairs makes a perfect little workshop for working on my train.  I have everything set up and when I get done working (no matter for how long) I can just leave it there and not have to worry about picking everything up and putting it away.  I think that was one of the reasons I quit working on it the last time.  Trying to run a full time business and then switching over to work on something like the train for a half hour or so and then having to pick everything up so I would be ready for the next day for the business became too big of a hassle and took all the fun out of working on it.
     Anyway, back to the passenger cars. Here's a few pictures to show the progress.

  The past few days I've been working on making the diaphragms for each end of the cars, the ladders for each door ( 8 total) and making the hand rails for each ladder.

   I did a little final sanding on the cars and sprayed the first coat of sealer to see how things will look.  I'll steel wool everything down with #0000 steel wool before I put the final finish coats on, but I think I'll wait now until I finish building the rest.

     The last picture here shows that I can remove the top to the one car so we can see the interior.
      Now I get to start on making the truck assembly and wheels. There will be over 100 pieces just to make up the truck assemblies for the two cars, so I'm going to leave that for another post.
     What do ya think so far?

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