Power continuity test

Today started the morning by putting the final coat of polyurethane on the remaining sections that I coated when I got home from DC last night.  I turned the pieces upside down in their final locations and then started tearing down my work area.  Now that I have completed all of the physical construction, I have no risk that I will need the router or any of my power tools.  So, I dismounted my router from the routing table, took all of the screws out of my workbench and broke the steadying board from the back of the workbench.  All of the tools went into one of the rooms in the basement and the board for the workbench was slid behind the dumbell rack in the server/weight room.  The board will be beneficial if we foster a dog that needs to be caged during the day because the previous dogs have torn up the insulation on the wall.  In the event that I decide to build another track in the middle area of the basement, I will have my jig for the curves ready.  And, should they ever lift the burn ban, this board will be very interesting to burn. After cleaning up the work area, I vacuumed and put the original furniture back in place.  It looks as if nothing ever happened there.

The next thing I did was to try to find some alligator clips to connect the power supply to the track so that I could test whether I had any issues with continuity.  I couldn’t find any clips, but I did find that if I simply leveraged the end of the wire between the track and a tie and could then test that I had power to every section.  Although I do not have an engine to test with, I do have the performer car which has lights so I can push the car around and make sure that the lights never go out.  This also lets me test to make sure that the joints between the sections are smooth and make little noise.  So, once I got everything connected, I was happy to find that I have good connectivity to every section that is currently up.

After testing for power, I hunkered down in the weight room and knelt on the rubber pads while I worked on the track that was on the concrete.  I started with what I consider to be the most difficult which is the curved section nearest the weight room door.  I got it done, and then rolled the performer car onto the section and validated that I still had continuity.  A picture is below showing the car with the lights with the camera in the corner under curve number 7.

After finishing curve number 6, I started working on the opposite side of the track near the fireplace.  The little 3 foot section after the S-Curve was the first section to be completed and then I built the 7th curve.  Below is a picture of the 7th curve with the animal cars rolled into place.

I felt like I was done for the day at about 6pm after the dogs reminded me that I needed to feed them.  After an hour of sitting around, I decided that I should work on another section.  So, I started on the long 8 foot section at about 7pm and by 8:30 I had it completed and in place.  Once again, I powered up the track and rolled the performer car onto the new section and then took a picture.

So, I am calling it quits for the day.  Sure, I could do the 5 foot section, but I don’t have an engine and I won’t have one for quite some time, so why rush.

Last of the ties are mounted

I am going into town for dinner tonight at about 5pm so I am pretty much done for the day.  I started at about 9am and worked pretty much constantly till about 3:30pm.  In this time I put the metal rails on the curve in front of the stairs and the straight section in front of the stairs.  I then checked the newly stained ties and a few were still tacky to the touch, but they were dry enough to slide on the metal of the router.  So, I got out my jig and router table, and routed the slots out of all of the new ties.  They were sticky enough that they picked up some sawdust, but this came off easily with the buffing pad for the between-coat roughing.  The nice thing is that the sticky part of the ties came off but the color stayed.  They had dried for more than 12 hours so I am pretty sure that the stain has penetrated as much as it is going to penetrate.

After routing out the slots, I took the two remaining sections (the one in front of the fireplace and the short section to the right of the fireplace) and glued the new ties to them.  As of 3:30pm, they were under the weights and pressure, and so they should be ready to be coated with varnish by the time I get home tonight.

When I got home at about midnight, I went downstairs to put on a coat of polyurethane on the last two sections of track that had the ties glued earlier.  I got the coat completed by 1am and headed to bed.  I will put another coat on in the morning and they will be ready by the time I get to them with the metal rail.

Ugh…no engine, but nicer people

Well, I got an email from wholesaletrains.com saying that they cannot find the engine I wanted through any of their suppliers.  So, I have asked if they can get BAC81088 or BAC81097.

From: WST [mailto:customerservice@wholesaletrains.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 3:45 PM
Subject: RE: Order 200715924 status?

The wire is on backorder and the BAC81493 I can not find at any of my
suppliers at this time

Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 4:13 PM
To: ‘WST’
Subject: RE: Order 200715924 status?

Thank you for the update. Go ahead and cancel the rest of the order and I will find another engine for the train.

Can you check to see if you can get BAC81088 (it is a backorder item also)? If not, how about BAC81097?

Thank you,

From: WST [mailto:customerservice@wholesaletrains.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 4:25 PM
Subject: RE: Order 200715924 status?

I did cancel that and I can get BAC81088 on 10/31


Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 4:47 PM
To: WST [mailto:customerservice@wholesaletrains.com]
Subject: RE: Order 200715924 status?

Thanks for your help! I called up your 888 number to find out what you had in stock and talked to someone that asked me to hold tight and that in about 5 days he would have more information on whether it is in the order coming at the end of the month.

The sense of urgency here is that I hand built an elevated track and am itching to put an engine on it. At the moment, I am just pushing the cars around by hand.

Can you “uncancel” the order for BAC81493 until he finds out more information?


So, I called them on the phone and happened to get the guy that orders the stuff.  He said that they can’t cancel an order for something like this without him being involved because these expensive engines don’t move very quickly.  He said that he had an order coming in at the end of the month that might have it in the box and to hold tight for about 5 days for him to find out the status.  He said that everything was delayed about 15 to 20 days due to the issues with lead paint from China and that it was probably sitting on a dock just waiting to be cleared.

So, I will call back in 5 days and see if they know anything new.