Sunday, November 30, 2008
I've Been Working on the (Model) Railroad
When John Henry was a little bitty baby,
No bigger than the palm of your hand,
John Henry's mammy looke dup and she said,
"My Johnny gonna be a steel-driving man,
my Johnny gonna be a steel-driving man."
On the day after Thanksgiving, I started trying to set up an old model train that Rebekah's dad had given me. This train is an American Flyer setup from, I don't know when, maybe the 50's or 60's. Anyway, after picking up a "lockon" clip, I was able to get it running a bit Saturday night. So we began nailing the track to my train board.
The train board is a 4' x 4' sheet of 1/2" plywood, painted green, to look like grass and to look like Christmas.
This picture is from Saturday morning. Each tie on the model railroad is held down with two tiny tacks. I held the tack in my left hand and sat a punch on top of it with my right. Then "Jake Henry" hit the top of the punch to drive down the tack.
It was fun getting to do this with Jacob, and I think Jacob enjoyed it especially because he was able to do something important.
Later, I got Stan into the act - I had Stan pick out the nails and set them into the holes in the ties.
The tasks were a little tedious, but both kids kept at it until we had nailed down all of the track. This took a while!
I fiddled around with the train a bit. I sanded all over the tops of the rails with 100 grit sandpaper. I tweaked the tender and the searchlight car so that they wouldn't short out the track. I took the engine apart and cleaned up the area where the brushes contact the rotor. I tried to clean all the contacts, and sanded down all of the metal wheels. Now it's working pretty well! I'm still getting a little sparking from one of the tender wheels.
Posted by Brian at 9:18 PM