I wish I was as good at Christmas gifts as my dad was. Invariably on Christmas Eve he would disappear and return triumphantly hours later with an armload of gifts for my sister to wrap. Were they panicked pluckings like the ones I make when the clock is running down? Or were they planned purchases, over which he had agonized and researched? We may never … Continue reading Grinder finds a home
The Vancouver Train Expo seems a long time ago now. The bolster pattern that I worked on there? Yeah, it didn’t work out. I had forgotten to leave room for the straps and bolts on the tops of the trucks. Well, one nice thing about modelling in styrene is that mistakes are quick and cheap to correct. With a car propped on the new bolster, … Continue reading Not that much room under flat cars
I️ didn’t plan very well for this weekend’s Vancouver Train Expo, and consequently, I️ didn’t have a formal scheduled slot in the Craftsman’s Corner. There were, however, two chairs and usually only one occupant. Doug Hicks had brought plenty of light, and I’d thrown the flat cars, a few tools and bits of styrene in my pack, and so, I️ spent several hours over the … Continue reading Demonstration modelling
There’s a super TED talk where Josh Kaufman insists that you can learn anything in 20 hours. Sure, it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery, but 20 hours gets you over the hump. I’m hoping this talk will be as life-changing as that other TED talk about tying your shoelaces. Kaufman’s program plays out like this: Deconstruct the skill Learn enough to self-correct Remove practice … Continue reading Learning to lathe
Ever since I moved in to this pristine new work area, the natural state of soldering iron chords has bothered me. I know they’re just being their natural selves, and you can hardly blame them, but the tangled mess was unsightly! As I was battening down the hatches (they’re still battened until the Girl has her sleepover the weekend after next), I generated some likely … Continue reading Soldering iron chord cubby
Please excuse the dreadful iPhone photo. It’s been one of those nights. One of those nights when I should have just stayed upstairs. As expected, I wound up shaving off the outer-most nut bolt washer (NBW) castings so I could centre them relative to the side sills. This also made it easier to add the ends of the end sills, which are actually lengths of … Continue reading Flat car ends finished
We’re back in birthday party season chez Gourley. Both kids are having sleepovers in the train room. I’d wager that Nerf war and pillow fights are something that most finescale layouts don’t have to contend with. With the roundhouse in the line of fire, I thought it best to get a little protection up. Fortunately most of the models on the layout are still robust … Continue reading Batten the hatches!