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kalbert

  1. How much do I really need?

    With budgets getting tighter and tighter all the time it's becoming more and more difficult to allot some budget to non essential items. Fortunately model railroading is an essential part of my budget under "Mental Health". Until now this included any items I wanted, but there is room within this segment of the budget for some pencil sharpening. For example, I would love to have a Kato C44-9w Dynamic Duo set or a Heritage SD70ACe but on my little layout there's no place to let them run ...
  2. Quality of My Photography Goes Way Up

    I spent less than $15 and about two hours time to improve the quality of my photography tenfold. Following some common ideas found by a Google search for "Cheap Photography Lighting" I made a trip to Wally-World and picked up some black Duck brand tape, a 14x14 cardboard box, some white gift wrapping tissue, a white poster board, an 8" utility light, and a big round 'daylight' 60w bulb. The bulb and the lamp cost about $12, the rest of it was almost free.

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  3. Fixing a GP50 and Some Other Locos

    Some one came to me the other day asking about how to fix their Kato GP50 that wouldn't move anymore. Theirs had succumbed to the same flaw mine had a while back, the connection between the motor shaft and the flywheel/worm to one of the trucks had broken. For the GP50, the connection consists of two cone shaped piece with a notch in the wide end. These are pressed on the shaft of the motor and flywheel/worm. A small plastic "+" shaped part fits in the notches to couple the two shafts ...
  4. More Benchwork, Shelves, and Lighting

    Using slightly smaller stamped shelf brackets and an 11x72 piece of particle board I built an upper shelf that will be used for storage and also to hold the lighting for my lower layout shelf. I followed the previous marks on the wall and attached the shelf brackets to studs, and screwed the particle board on.

    For lighting I decided on two 21" Lights of America under cabinet lights from Wal-Mart. Sorry, I couldn't find the exact product anywhere on the Internet to link to. These ...
  5. Building the Basic Shelf "Benchwork"

    As I plod along with my revised start over plan it seems time for benchwork, which in this case is a shelf.

    I decided on hanging the shelf from the wall vs building traditional bench work because its cheap, easy, and (should be) sturdy. For about $15 I got stamped metal brackets, a couple small packages of screws, some PL400 foam board adhesive, and some 1x3 boards. I already had the pink foam leftover from my previous layout building fiasco.

    Starting on the wall, I marked ...
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