[LVLC] Sawmill kit by Garden Textures

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 with 2 Comments


some while ago, I found this sawmill kit on eBay. It’s in new and unbuilt condition and after a check, all parts are there. It’s a basic mill with a simple interior, but such kits allow a lot of customizing and bashing.

After a first view to the plans, I’ll stretch the whole mill to take the 16′ logs, which are hauled by the log trains. The original kit is designed to work with 10′ logs only.

During my research on the kit as well as on typical model train sawmills and prototypes, I found that many are “out-of-proportion” in general, or “un-logic” in construction. Some small mills were missing the board outlet or don’t have any space for them. Others are feet with huge logs, way to big to be handled inside the mill. Here are two examples, found on the internet.

So I’ll spend some thoughts on how I’ll build my sawmill. I’m very sure to build a realistic sized sawmill with plausible interior.


Demolition Man !!!

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 12 September 2017 with No Comments

Hello followers,

today, I don’t have a logging railroad related post, since I didn’t find the time last week for my model trains…

On our L-shaped property, we had a aux. building standing in the corner, blocking up the sight access to the upper garden area as well as cages up the small garden piece behind the house. Since our first look at the situation, we decided to torn down the old building, since it wasn’t in good condition anymore. Last week, day X was reached…

But first, I spend some preparing work, while removing the remains inside as well as material which have to be disposed otherwise than the rubble. This means the windows and door for example as well as isolation material. Beside the building to the right was also the old outhouse with cesspit, which was actually out of use for a long time now. Originally, the house had a peaked roof, which got removed during the summer. Now it’s time to torn down the rest of the structure.

I borrowed some heavy equipment to get the ceiling down, which was very well made out of concrete, stable enough to carry tanks I guess. Some friends from the neighborhood and family helped me out on this job. As tricky as the ceiling was, the walls were easy to fold in once the ceiling was down, so we managed to get the whole structure down within one day.

The next day, we cleaned up the mess and removed the remaining of the walls and foundations. Since the rubble container was already filled, we piled up the other stuff inside the carport. We’ll get the next container tomorrow.

Even out daughter was involved in the hard work, collecting pieces from the lawn and carrying rubble with her small wheel barrow. Maybe she knew, that on top of the old floor, a small playground will be erected next. And by the way, we were well catered by my wife.

Well, what a difference between Thursday and Sunday. Now we have much more light in our house and garden and we found a good flat ground for the playground coming soon. And at least, there was some Shay-action on the late Sunday just for fun…

Cheers, Gerd

[MLC] Forney steam up with issues

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 with No Comments

Good morning,

end of august, I visited our live steam club layout. Since I had a few operation sessions with the Shay this year, I decided to run the Forney this time. At least, I struggled with some injector issues and after four laps, I had to pull the fire, since I was not able to top-up the boiler water.

Since I had some duty on our public ride trains, I got the chance to operate the K1 Garrat instead, which was built by a club member. This loco weights 380kg and is a real compound engine, build in 1:4.5 scale. The engine has a lot of power and is a real pleasure to run her with some heavy load. That’s close to real steam loco operation 😉

While driving home, I got an idea about the injector issues I had on the Forney. At home, I checked the injector steam valve and found some sealing material, which ran across the bore. This has limited the steam flow so the injector was not able to feed into the boiler. I had a quick steam-up the next day to check the injector again and it worked better now, but still not 100%.

After some days of thinking, I decided install new axle-driven water pumps (the old ones got removed some while ago due to issues). The injector only is finally a solution for short-distance runs as I had on my annual “big logging Show” on the live steam convention. But for long-distance runs, the axle-driven pumps will be the better choise, especially on the small boiler, which has not enough reserves to operate an injector while running under load.

I’ll post some updates once I get started with the new pumps.

Cheers Gerd

[LVLC] We’re knitting some water piping – Dolbeer part 3

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 29 August 2017 with 1 Comment

Hi folks,

before I proceed with the next set of details part, I decided to give all components a basic coat of paint, since its hart to paint them, once the details are in place. Later, I’ll spend a weathering to the whole Steam Donkey.

The last bag of parts holds the water piping between the water tank and the boiler, including two injectors. This means a lot of pewter fittings and some length of brass rod. Oh yeah – and the knitting guide…

All fittings have to be drilled to take the brass rods, some of them only 1/8 of an inch long. Piece by piece, the whole pipework takes shape until the main sections were ready to be installed on the donkey boiler. It took more 3 hours to get all the piping together.

But at least, the patience will lead to a very well-looking result. Now the donkey is ready for the weathering. I don’t know yet when I’ll finish the last step.

Actually, I’ve another big project in mind…

Bye, Gerd

[LVLC] Dolbeer Donkey – part 2

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 22 August 2017 with No Comments

Welcome to part two of the Dolbeer build-log.

After finishing the wood sled last week, I continued with the boiler. Looked like a simple straight-forward “drill & glue”-job…

Well, a test-fit of the smoke stack showed, that the hole in the boiler top is to wide. To make it fit nice and keep the stack removable, I made a brass ring on the lathe, which got glued into the boiler, which I drilled with a 16mm end-mill. The rest was really easy assembling.

So I went ahead to the next bag of parts – the steam engine

This chapter needs some more filing and fitting, until all the parts came together. There are some burrs to remove and some holes needed. At least, the instructions are well written and the drawings/photos were helpful to get all the parts together.

Since the next parts bag only includes the winch assembly, I glued the few parts together as well. Now it looks close to the final model, but there’s still a bag of small bits and parts left as well as the water tank..

More next week, Gerd

[LVLC] A Dolbeer Donkey from Ozark

Posted by Gerd on Monday, 14 August 2017 with No Comments


since I’m fully in Fn3-scale-mode, I decided to start the next project for my LVLC. Some month ago, I ordered a Donkey kit from Ozark-Miniatures , which recently arrived. Such early steam Donkey were used to haul wood from the cutting area to the log-landing. I ordered the simple version without haul back, since this will fit perfectly on my flatcar for moving.

The pics above shows what’s inside this “craftsman kit” with skill level “9”. Craftsmans kits like this requires timber-cutting, a lot of drilling and sometimes some special crochet work. Some years ago, I already assembled a similar kit, so I was aware of it.

First step if the wooden sled. I cut the timbers to size and drilled the holes as defined by the template.

Before I glued the timbers together, I gave them a ride on a wood rasp to engrave some grain and gave they got stained. The sled got glued together with wood glue.

The next evening, I inserted the truss rods from brass wire. I use browning fluids on most metal parts, especially on pewter and brass, to get them pre-colored. Once the truss rods are in place and centered, the NBW’s got glued into the holes to complete the truss rod imitation.

The first bag of parts also includes the main shaft with bearings and the flywheel/brake assembly. Together with the resin castings, the donkey begins to take shape.


My roots in model logging railroad

Posted by Gerd on Monday, 7 August 2017 with No Comments

For the summer break, I don’t find the time for model railroading in the moment, I have some rare photos from my first log train.

This log train was built in … to the great Romanian logging railroads for G-scale. The steam loco “Berta” was kit-bashed from a Playmobil loco. The three original cars, two logging flats and the tool&crew-car are still in my collection. Unfortunately, I sold the steam loco some while ago. This train was one of my earliest scratch-built trains and one of the best at that time.

For a public garden railroad show, I even made a “simple” display layout. To bad, I can’t remember which year this was. I guess somewhat around 2000.

This was also the time, where my nickname “Waldbahner” (German for “logging railroader”) was born.

[LVLC] – Livesteam-Tuning of an Accucraft Shay

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 1 August 2017 with No Comments


today, I have a tuning report of my Accucraft Shay. No, I didn’t spend a low-rider chassis neither a V8 motor… But I could improve the running of the loco very well.

Large scale railroader Bill Allen wrote an article regarding the Porter-style “Ruby” made by Accucraft. After measuring and calculating, he determined, that the steam port holes in the valve chest are to small comparing the piston valves. He figured out, that a wider steam port will negotiate and improve the running characteristic of the Ruby in both directions. You’ll find all the details in the following PDF.

Since the Shay uses the nearly the same parts for the steam engine, Bill Allen’s method might work here as well. I dismantled nearly the whole loco to get the steam engine apart and drilled the steam ports to 1.9mm. Unfortunately, I’ve no photos of this step.

Once the loco was re-assembled, I made a first test-run and as expected, the stalling in reverse was mostly gone. The remaining stalling comes from worn out eccentrics. To solve this issue as well, I added ball bearings 10*15*4mm with flange. I used the original eccentric and valve rods, which I machined to snug fit on the lathe. The last step was some fine-tuning on air, to adjust the valve-timing.

Here’s a short video, showing the loco during several test-runs.

Bye, Gerd

[LVLC] Climax #4 – restoration started

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 with No Comments

Over a year ago, I bought-back the original LVLC Climax #4 and now I started the restoration project on this loco. Since the old batteries were already dead and the RC-control out-of-date, I decided to do a full rebuild. I started with dismantling and removing the old electronic stuff.

Next I repaired the pilots. Since the original foot boars got damaged during shipping, I designed 3D-printed replacements. I also installed Kadees.

Now I’ll wait for the new RC components, which my dad is making for me. Once I’ve all electronic components here, I look forward to get the loco back into service soon. Can’t wait to see her run after all the years.


[WBE] Extension for my home layout

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 with 4 Comments

Today, I’ve news from my Hon30 logging layout in out living room. Some while ago, we rearranged out office-corner, so I was able to add the remaining 60cm module with the small bridge and meadow. Now the home layout is in full length and ready to run some trains when ever I like.

To get access to the window, the extension can be removed very quick and easy.

Here’s a small video of the layout, featuering my Maine style Minitrains stuff.

Cheers, Gerd