Rebuilding the wall

It is interesting to work on a problem that one created themselves. To go back and review work done over a decade ago now. Amazing when you sit down and ask why did I do it this way? Thankfully the exterior wall studs damaged by termites have to be removed to make a new door rough out. I want to make a change to an internal electric outlet so as to provide an outside outlet as well.

Progress to date:

  1. Removed most of sheet rock and insulation to see what was the problem. The problem, water lead to termite invasion around my exterior door.
  2. Determined that I need to build a concrete wall to butt against the concrete slab that sits against the wall.
  3. Removed part of the original sill plate and termite shield. I also determined which studs need to be totally replaced due to termite damage. I also decided to replace the studs with treated wood
  4. I poured a five foot section of the new concrete wall where the most damage had occurred.
  5. Removed raised wooden platform by the exterior that protected conduits and gave a manageable step for staircase to second floor storage loft.

The garage corner

 

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Hereford Storm Runners-Congratulations

This past week, my daughter played in her first travel league soccer tournament in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She had a lot of fun, including not even touch the ball the last two games except during war ups. her teams defense was that good as was their offensive as the won both games 3-0. Even better, they won their age/ skill bracket by going 3-0-1. Maggie did not give up a goal the entire tournament and the team scored 7 goals in all. Not bad for a team that has only been practicing about a month!

They received a Cup, individual medals, and perhaps the largest Hershey chocolate bar I’ve ever seen.

 

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Please excuse the abscence

A perfect example of why smaller achievable and sustainable model railroads should be the norm. recently I discovered some serious water damage in one of my garage walls. I will be spending my time making repairs before returning to Beckleysville. I’ll be posting some pictures of my new “project”.

 

 

 

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Scrap wood is useful!

I liked the wooden center pier, so I decided to make an abutment.

Tools and materials list

Scrap 2×4

X-acto handle with a new blade

Ruler

Tools and Materials for a wood abutment. H. Mathews 2016

Tools and Materials for a wood abutment.
H. Mathews 2016

I cut my abutment on the bandsaw because I wanted it to have a slightly curved front, something unique to Northern Maryland Ry abutments.

The arced front prior to cutting. H. Mathews 2016

The arced front prior to cutting.
H. Mathews 2016

I used my bridge story stick to measure the height of the abutment taking into account the bridge tie 8x8s and the steel beams. I cut the piece off a scrap of 2×4, then cut the front on my bandsaw following the slight curve I drew.

The abutment H. Mathews 2016

The abutment
H. Mathews 2016

The next thing to do is to lay out the courses of the cut rock onto the block.

The north abutment with course lines penciled in for cutting. H. Mathew 2016

The north abutment with course lines penciled in for cutting.
H. Mathew 2016

remember to mark which way is up and where they belong!

Remember to mark your locations! H. Mathews 2016

Remember to mark your locations!
H. Mathews 2016

You are now ready to use your imagination and a sharp blade to create cut rocks on the wood.

Ready, set, and cut! H. Mathews 2016

Ready, set, and cut!
H. Mathews 2016

Scrap wood is useful!©

H. Mathews, July 2016

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Monday update

I have not had much time to work on the South Wye switch module for Beckleysville recently. I have however cut a bridge abutment and am working on the steel section of the bridge on the South Wye module. The piece of wood directly below the boxcar will represent the remains of the stone pier that supported the original timber trestle.

Northern Maryland boxcar on the bridge

Northern Maryland boxcar on the bridge

A view from the stream H.Mathews 2016

A view from the stream
H.Mathews 2016

Upstream side of bridge H. Mathew 2016

Upstream side of bridge
H. Mathew 2016

Monday Update©

H.Mathews June 2016

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Field Notes: The Bridges of Bentley Springs-Part 1

The original NCR/PRR/PC line from Baltimore to York passed through the village of Bentley Springs, Maryland, which is right down the road from our house. Bentley Springs at one time had a freight station, good-sized station for the size of the village, a water bottling plant, and a 40 room hotel. The rails also bridged Beetree Run three times in the distance of perhaps two football fields. If you go about another half a football field south of Bentley road, then you have the fourth bridge in the area. South of this fourth bridge , the right of way bridges the Little a Falls of the Gunpowder twice within a hall mile. While walking or riding a bike on the NCR hike and bike trail, you can see all these bridges. If you prefer a stream side view, it is possible, just be sure to bring a good pair of water shoes. If you would like to see some vintage photographs of Bentley Springs, Maryland, visit Bruce Cubbin’s website. He has some great photographs of the original station.

I have always liked how Beetree Run and the Little Falls meander back and forth under the  right of way. In designing Beckleysville, I want to incorporate a meandering stream causing multiple small bridges. A completely plausible possibility for “Beckleysville” with the many small meandering streams that would be common in the northern area of Baltimore county.

Northern most bridge in Bentley Springs

Northern most bridge in Bentley Springs

The bar underneath

The bar underneath

Wider view of north bridge

Wider view of north bridge

Station bridge, north abutment and lower retaining wall

Station bridge, north abutment and lower retaining wall

Stream side shot of the bridge at the station

Stream side shot of the bridge at the station

Closeup of the north abutment of the Station Bridge

Closeup of the north abutment of the Station Bridge

Field Notes: The Bridges of Bentley Springs-Part 1©

By H.Mathews June 2016

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Is it concrete or wood?

I painted the center pier with an acrylic paint, Parchment. I think it needs a coat of light gray after some more sanding. Compare the wooden version to a real abutment in the photos below.

After one coat of Parchment

After one coat of Parchment

The north abutment of the bridge next to the station area in Bentley Springs

The north abutment of the bridge next to the station area in Bentley Springs

Is it concrete or wood?©

By H Mathews, June 2016

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Bridge Piers and Abutments from 2×4’s

I have always used a cast hydrocal abutment or bridge piers in past layouts. I was planning on doing it again, but in one of those forward thinking moments the idea of what to do when the cast broke during moving the module came to mind. So what to do for something more substantial? Good question, what to use? While tossing some scrap wood into our outdoor fire pit/ grill, it came to me that scrap wood could be used as the core of the abutments and piers.

So I decided to test the idea.

Laying out the center pier on the 2x4

Laying out the center pier on the 2×4

 

Laying out the ends of the center piers. Visually, a 30 degree angle looked correct.

Laying out the ends of the center piers. Visually, a 30 degree angle looked correct.

Final layout prior to cutting

Final layout prior to cutting

The north side of the pier

The north side of the pier

The south side of the center pier.

The south side of the center pier.

The center pier that supports the steel beams will be concrete. Next step is to make it resemble concrete!

Bridge Piers and Abutments from 2×4’s©

By H. Mathews, June 2016

 

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Update on South Wye switch module

Thought I would take a few photos of the South Wye Switch module. The center pier is a piece of two by four cut down to be a pier. The “south abutment”  is temporary which is why the beams are not level.

An aerial view of the steel beams section of the bridge over Gunpowder Run

An aerial view of the steel beams section of the bridge over Gunpowder Run

First look of the steel section of the bridge over Gunpowder Run

First look of the steel section of the bridge over Gunpowder Run

Update on South Wye switch module©

By H. Mathews June 2016

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Layout Design: Beckleysville

In a previous post, I discussed some of my ideas about layout design that need to be discussed before you jump to pencil and paper.

In this post, I’m going to use my latest project, Beckleysville as an example.

(1) How much time and money do you have to pursue the project?

Time is always at a premium with a family and a fulltime plus job. That said how much time could I reasonably devote to the project? Originally, I thought at least two to three hours a week. No way, some months I have spent that time. recently though I decided that 1-2 hours a week would be good starting point and to stick to this approach. If anything as a pastime break from everything else in life. Money for a project as small as Beckleysville shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The decision to eventually use battery power will be perhaps the most costly.

My plan is to  hand lay my track and I have a good supply of ties, but will eventually need more. There is enough rail to finish the project. Same goes for cork sub-roadbed. I will need more plywood for modules and finger jointed stock for legs.

As far a motive power, I have two engines that will be used on Beckleysville. A Bachmann 2-6-0 that I want to resemble Colorado and Southern’s 3 foot gauge No. 22. Why, because it is a plausible locomotive in the motive power purchasing progression of the Northern Maryland. The Mogul will require some work to get to a daily player. It’s tender has hit the concrete floor and is in need of a new truck and various stirrups . My second engine is another Bachmann locomotive, a 4-6-0. The newest of the Northern Maryland’s motive power. I have always liked the ET&WNC’s ten-wheelers and I’m glad Bachmann made one in O scale. I will start with DCC since the ten-wheeler has DCC. However, my goal is to go to battery power down the road.

Rolling stock is an issue. In looking at Beckleysville’s operations, I will need about 10 freight cars. I have two, an AMS DRGW 3000 series boxcar and  a Foothill Model Works 20 ft high side gone kit. I want to scratch build 3 flats based on the Elk Creek lumber company’s flatcars and three ET&WNC hoppers. Two more 3000 series boxcars will be more than enough. I do want to  switch to San Juan Car Company’s couplers. Which one is still to be determined.

Since the Beckleysville train is a mixed, I will need a milk car, a passenger car, and a unique to Northern Maryland Ry baggage, express, and caboose combination car. I have a Bachmann baggage car that will become a milk car. I have two San Juan Car Company DRGW passenger car kits to build. The combination car is going to be a scratch-building effort.

As you can see, the project is going to have a significant amount of time devoted to building rolling stock. For me, this is not a problem since I want to learn more about how wooden freight and passenger cars were built and there is no commercially available cars.

(2) How big is your CURRENT SPACE and more importantly will you ever move?

Yes, a move is in my future. Beckleysville is going to be modular and will be portable. I designed the modules to be used inside or outside and they will fit in a 12×19 room.

(3) What qualities or memories are drawing you to the prototype? For the freelancer, why am I freelancing?

Modeling a small rural narrow gauge railway serving an agricultural community pre- WWI has always been of interest to me. The operations are a little slower, certainly not tied to a strict timetable. Ironically, they are a little more focused to just a few items. Coal, lumber, livestock, grain, corn, and of course milk. Less than a carload ( and narrow gauge at that!) freight and express. The ability of even this short narrow gauge railroad being able to bring mail, express, and other LCL items to a small rural village sounds like the nice slow switching operations I like.

The “what if” factor is what if narrow gauge had not only survived but somewhat flourished until the automobile and truck became more popular in the United States. Even the choice of gauge, 30 inches, speaks to the fact that narrow gauge somewhat flourished, even in the eastern US. Thirty inch gauge, more popular outside the United States as a common carrier, was used in western mining operations. It was used in Mexico, Brazil (EFOM), and in Argentina. Baldwin did advertise and build 30 inch gauge motive power. Some still runs in Brazil and Argentina in 2016.

(4) What do you want to get out of the layout?

I want to build my first multi modular fine scale layout. Along the way I would lie to improve many of my skills from design and telling a story, track laying, scenery, scratch building O scale structures and rolling stock.

(5) What scale/ gauge do you want to use for your layout?

This question came down to one thing, the availability of an ET&WNC ten-wheeler in On30. If an ET&WNC ten-wheeler had been available in On3, Beckleysville would have been O scale, three foot gauge. Same holds true for S scale. Actually I think I would have preferred S scale three foot gauge. I like S scale a lot, especially for modular layouts. However, it would have required modification of a Railmaster Export Sn3 kit, and time to do this is too prohibitive right now.

(6)Do you know how to make the scenery?

Yes, but the plan is to try some interesting new methods that I have been reading about. New materials and some old materials.

(7) Making a track plan

Next time: Paper, Pencil, and some frustrations

Layout Design: Beckleysville©

By H. Mathews June 2016

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