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Model Railroading - 003

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by , February 21st, 2016 at 11:39 AM (5308 Views)
The first hobby shop I went to (Sattler's Trains in Westmont, NJ; sorry for the Facebook link, they don't have a website) the proprietor was relatively nice. However, his wife treated me like a hooligan and kept hovering around me. I guess they're not used to patrons under 50. I picked up a couple magazines but nothing else.

The second hobby shop (AAA Hobbies, Lawnside) was the one with the motorized display case mentioned from Christmas 2015. I couldn't get any help here, as the 3-4 employees on duty seemed too interested in their conversation about calorie counts in the meal they'd just ordered from the local pizza place. Still, I ended up buying a handful of items - some rail joiners, some insulated rail joiners, a pair of terminal joiners, some rail spikes (bag of 400), and two lengths of N-scale code 80 flex track.

I went back to the flea market warehouse place but was again ignored by the guy who was "blowing out his N-scale train stuff", and even by the second guy who seemed more interested in helping random women of his age group (probably mid-to-late 60s) in the "housewares" section of his stalls.

Last, I went to Yankee Dabbler. The guy behind the counter here was much nicer and actually engaged me a little. I ended up helping a grandmother looking for LEGO train tracks for her grandson, and another guy looking for a rerailer for his HO layout. Picked up 20 pieces of 9 3/4" radius track for 9 bucks (a steal; I should have bought more when I found out how much they were), some gear lube for the engine I repaired, and some more rail joiners (half the price of AAA Hobbies).

When I got home, I decided to have a "Dad Memorial" solo night.
I tossed Close Encounters of the Third Kind into the blu-ray player.
While the movie ran, I used 13 pieces of the curved track to lay out a half-assed circle on my coffee table. After putting a single drop of oil on each axle gear, I ran the little switcher engine around for a while.

I checked the mail while letting the gears lubricate. Discovered a package had come with some loco parts I'd won from eBay. Spent a little time poking around with two of the locos.
One has a wonky front gear assembly. I kind of got it back into place but the motor seems to be worn in a way I've yet to learn how to determine. It moves, but only at high RPM and only at a set speed.
The other seems to hard-lock and gives the "rrrRRRrrrr" sound of a burnt motor.
One is just a dummy shell whose light contacts seem to be broken. I didn't disassemble for examination.
The last is a fully functional 0-8-0 steam engine, with tender (minus coupler) which only needed its wheels cleaned before it would run smoothly.

Since I was having a good time, I expanded the circle out to kind of a weird dogbone shape. Then I remembered the foam board I had, and decided to go a bit bigger.
Measuring 2x4 feet, the R40 foam board was a little thinner than I've read about people using lately, but it would do the job for some engine testing.
I cleaned up about half of the curved track pieces from the Mom's-House-Boxes and placed them and organized them on the board. Then I nailed it down in 8 places. Just enough to keep it steady, especially for when I'd need to move it.
And I let the little switcher run with some of the rolling stock for a while.

I ended up watching Close Encounters, Flight of the Navigator, and most of Real Genius while doing this before my wife got home.



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