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Large Scale Model Trains #1: An Introduction To Building Large Scale Model Trains

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Blog entry by MrRon posted 10-23-2014 09:26 PM 2842 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Large Scale Model Trains series Part 2: Getting Started »

This is a forum devoted to those who work with wood. Woodworking usually means building or restoring furniture, wood crafts, even house construction. I have asked this question in the past; do I qualify as a woodworker? As I build large scale train models. The reply was; “if it’s made of wood, then yes; it’s woodworking”. I would like to elaborate more on what I do. I know most are not interested in trains or train models. My projects are quite different from the traditional woodworker, but the skills and woodworking methods are pretty much identical. I have all the machines and tools used for woodworking and additionally some metal working tools. By “large scale”, I mean models that are 1/8 the real size. That makes some of my models 6 feet long x 16 inches wide and 15 inches high. They are operable by electric motors and storage batteries. My models are about 80% wood and the remainder, metals and plastics. Because my method of constructing train models is quite different from those of traditional railroad modelers, I really don’t fit into their small scale world. My models would be much more out of place there than they would be here at Lumberjocks. The only way I differ is I use a lot of wood that would be considered scrap to traditional woodworkers. I work with wood that can be as large as a 2×6 or as small as 1/16”. Working with small pieces of wood requires a lot of care and the use of custom jigs. Making a locomotive driver that measures 8” in diameter x ¾” thick; containing 12 spokes and a 3/16” flange is no easy job, especially when you need 8 of them, all identical. One of my projects is a CNC router. It is about 75% complete. I am making it to solve the problem of making many small parts that are identical. I don’t post my projects online because there is not enough interest for them. Regardless, I welcome any comments from readers. I follow Lumberjocks and post where I think I can help. Being a retired engineer, I love to design projects. Making models requires me to use “reverse” engineering. All my designing is done using Autocad. I hope this may spark a little interest in what I do; it’s kinda lonely out here



6 comments so far

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

966 posts in 2530 days


#1 posted 10-23-2014 09:35 PM

Ron, I found this on Facebook a couple of days ago and am totally in awe of the work. I would not even have an idea of where to start and being as anal as I am, be happy with anything but perfect pieces to put into a build like this. The special techniques to make such small pieces must be a closely kept secret as I searched a while back on making “toys” and could find very little in the way of how tos. I for one would love to learn from you.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View jacquesr's profile

jacquesr

339 posts in 888 days


#2 posted 10-23-2014 10:45 PM

Ron,
1) I have always loved train – and still do!
2) You work is stunning – PLEASE post them. Showing your work is the best way to generate interest
3) Look at the work of this member:
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/106892

Please keep posting – I’m watching you!

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


#3 posted 10-24-2014 07:03 AM

Hi Ron. I think folks here are interested in anything made out of wood whatever it is, so please do post your train projects and even better, for me at least, would be some blogs so we can enjoy seeing the process and not just the results.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Julian's profile

Julian

1037 posts in 2155 days


#4 posted 10-24-2014 02:38 PM

I definitely would be interested in seeing how you go about making your trains. I would guess there would be a large group of woodworkers on this site that would enjoy seeing your train projects. Thanks for sharing.

-- Julian

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2708 days


#5 posted 10-24-2014 05:04 PM



Ron, I found this on Facebook a couple of days ago and am totally in awe of the work. I would not even have an idea of where to start and being as anal as I am, be happy with anything but perfect pieces to put into a build like this. The special techniques to make such small pieces must be a closely kept secret as I searched a while back on making “toys” and could find very little in the way of how tos. I for one would love to learn from you.

That is a beautiful model. His style of building is a bit different from mine. I use different materials in my construction, including metals, plastics, even cardboard. I try to duplicate the prototype in scale and detail. Here is one of my models for comparison. It is a model of the first diesel electric locomotive used on any railroad in America. It was introduced in 1924; built by American Locomotive Co. (Alco). Power was provided by an Ingersoll-Rand diesel engine of 300 hp driving 4 traction motors. Twenty six of these locomotives were built and some were still in service 35 years later. Only 2 exist today in railroad museums. I cheated when I built this model by providing only 2 electric motors and using batteries instead of a diesel engine. The model measures 42” long, 20” tall and 15” wide.

- Belg1960


View wiswood2's profile

wiswood2

1138 posts in 3161 days


#6 posted 10-24-2014 06:58 PM

I am very much interested in your train work .please post more of your work. I also build some. they can be seen in my store on ESTY. keep up the good work.
Chuck

-- Chuck, wiswood2 www.wisconsinwoodchuck.com

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