Sunday, May 23, 2010

Telegraph Poles

Saturday morning this week I got the gray spray paint can out and hit my 6 coil steel cradles with the paint.  At the same time I also painted three of my scratchbuilt coil steel containers a gray colour as well.

Later in the afternoon I turned my attention to completing some of the 14 other Telegraph Poles started the previous week at Geoff's modelling night.  Progress was very, very slow, as I cut off each insulator and dipped it in white glue and tried to attach it to the crossarm. 

After taking the kids to a disco at school on Saturday night and spending the whole night thinking about what I was doing with the assembly process, I thought that instead of dipping the insulator in white glue and then placing the insulator on the arm, why not put white glue on the arm and then just placing the insulator onto the now tacky arm.  When I tried this on Sunday, the speed improvement was exponential.  It was quite a relatively quick process to fit the rest of the insulators.  Progress again sped up when I used a Dick Smith's helping hands gadget to hold two crossarms (one on each side) while I added the insulators - instead of having the cross arm on my cutting mat and having it move all around the place. 

Back to Saturday night - when I first arrived at school on the Saturday Night, the Principal came up to me and said he saw you on TV a while back.  He said I knew you were into model trains but not that much into model trains.  What he was refering to was the Sunday night of the Brisbane AMRA Exhibition, the ABC News had a story on the Show and I got a small speaking role.  Apparently the clip was repeated on the Monday National ABC News around midday.  One of the guys at work based in Melbourne emailed me about it.  It is indeed a small world.

Back to modelling!  This morning before I got stuck back into my insulator work, I went to SuperCheap Auto to pick up a spray can of light blue paint.  This will be used on my next lot of Coil Steel Containers.  I will put together a few more Coil Steel Containers this week and next week, after I get some more 0.080" x 0.080" styrene of which I have now run out of.  Why do I always check on Sunday instead of Friday?  If I had checked the styrene situation on Friday I could have gone to the local hobby shop on Saturday to pickup a packet - Hey Raymondo do you have one?

I also dropped into the local cheap shop to pick up one of those bulk packets of Super Glue for $2.00 to attach the wire stablisers from the telegraph pole to the cross arms - BUT THEY DID NOT HAVE ANY!  That has to be the first time ever, that one of those cheap shops did not have any super glue.  Anyway while I was perusing the aisles, I came across a three pack of markers labeled "Furniture Touch Up Kit".  It contained three colours of brown permanent markers.  So I grabbed the $2 packet and when home proceeded to test them on the track work around Cougal Spiral.  The two light colours were too light for track painting, but the dark colour produced the same result as using the whiteboard marker that I had been using.  Two coats and very passable.  The light pens I will use on various woodwork around the layout to give it some colour variety.

So this afternoon I completed applying the 6 insulators to each of the 42 post arms.  I then found an old Ian Lindsay kit that contained 30 Telegraph Pole Crossarms and Insulators.  This week I will tidy these up, remove flash, and apply these to some Code 40 or 55 rail I have laying around, as the telegraph post.  Looks like I will have to get another length of rail this weekend as well.

Above is the work station setup on the kitchen table so I could watch TV and work.  Top left is the gray Coil Steel Container I painted yesterday, below that the stained telegraph posts, and below that the remaining crossarms awaiting insulators.  On the right hand side are the various completed crossarms and bottom right is my completed pole from last week.  Also visible top centre is the 3 pack of Markers.


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