Running Bear's April 2020 Coffee Shop is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

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Well-Known Member
Good evening everyone. 71 and starting to cloud over after a nice sunny day - that was two in a row!!

Willie, Boris, Chet, Iron Belt Ken, Magalyto, Tom, James, McLeod, Flip, Chad, Patrick, Sherrel, and anyone I may have missed - thanks for the likes and comments on my post yesterday.
Willie - Nice work on that building. You're adding lots of personal details.

Working from home isn't so bad. On these nice days I take short walks outside in the sun.

Here's another photo I took the other night - the train station as a steamer pulls in to pick up passengers.


Have a good evening everyone.


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
KARL - That is a beautiful Pacific. Riddle me this? Is that a straight boiler; It looks like it has a taper?
My "Mike" has a straight boiler. I have only seen Mantua's with straight boilers.

EDIT: Ignore everything above - There are several on ebay - I stand corrected!
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Lazy Daydreamer
Good evening Shop Dwellers! 45*F and calm here in central Maryland.

The Waiting Game continues: Day #6, and still no COVID-19 test result for MOH. I thought it was supposed to take four days, wtf?:mad:

Aside from that, we have all the supplies we need for food and cleaning to last us ~3 weeks, after which one of us will HAVE to go to the store. I'm trying to avoid the news media as much as possible since they dwell on the negative aspects. I have plenty of stress already, thank you! Still dialing-in to my regular job. I'm at a point on my current project where I need customer guidance before doing anything further, but they don't have time to talk about it right now. That puts me in "Maytag Repairman" mode, just sitting in front of the screen waiting for some random co-worker to request my help. But that's legitimate billable time, and I need all the hours I can get to offset the temporary loss of MOH's income.

Greg - Sorry to hear about your BIL, I'll add him and his family to the prayer list!

My son is encountering IT hardware problems at the worst possible time: When he has to be connected remotely to attend P.A. school classes. He uses a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 micro-laptop, with an external monitor plugged-in. He'll be watching a lecture and jotting down notes on his touch-screen, when both the external monitor and the PC display suddenly go completely black. Generally it only lasts a few seconds, but one time he had to completely shut down and reboot, losing 10 minutes' worth of notes he had taken. It's not like he can just hop in the car and drive to a Geek Squad counter to get it fixed during this time of forced isolation. We tried doing google searches on it, but found nothing specific easy fix on this machine. Just the usual "Check your cables...check your video card...install the latest device drivers", yada yada.

Nothing to share from the trainroom, sorry about that...


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Looks as if I have to kick the door open this morning?
Supposed to be 68 with variable clouds today - was 72 yesterday.
I'm in the same boat as IBKEN this morning ... My tale of WOE: The Spousal Unit has been on a "save a nickel" campaign and has switched our phones over to T-Mobile. She had a chance to upgrade her iPhone to the latest whizbang model - meanwhile, my LG5 is not compatible with T-Mobile, so I am now the owner of a Samsung a10e of which I fiddled with for over an hour last evening and so far I am batting ZERO with getting it up and running leastwise being able to transfer the data from the LG. I'm developing a strong dislike for technology!

As soon as FLO arrives and turns on the coffee pot - I'll try to watch a couple U-Tube and see if I can screw them up some more!
It keeps asking me for a password when I have never inserted one; this is not the "create a password


Gomez Addams
Staff member
Good morning. It's clear and 34.
I go to the place I worked and pick up my last check today. Hopefully it won't be my final check. I'm in the position of being too old to easily get another job, but too young to retire.
We are now out of work until April 30.


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Sherrel, I may be able to help you with your phone switchover. Give me a call, and I'll see if I can talk you down before you go any further down the rabbit hole.
I appreciate that offer very much, TERRY. I will assemble all the pieces and call you in about an hour - if that is OK?


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear and 59°; another nice day in store, a bit breezy though. Breaking the quarantine today for the grocery/beer trek. It's been two weeks. Don't need TP or hand sanitizer though. Mainly fresh veggies, eggs, condiments and Diet Coke for the wife. I'll pick up some more beer even though I have plenty. I have beef, chicken and seafood in the freezer so I'll look for some pork chops.

Ham and grits for me this morning Flo.

Thanks for the likes and comments yesterday on my latest progress; Rick, George, Guy, Phil, Greg, Sherrel, Garry, Patrick, Mikey, Chad, Mike, James, Paul, Karl, Chet, Tom, Johnny, Ken.

It was not a stellar day in the train shed yesterday. I have come to the point in the structure build that several uniquely Bar Mills issues have come into play. Those who have built any of their kits will understand. Their instructions always seem to trail-off as you get to the end and all of a sudden there are mis-fits about. First is one of my own doing. The cast metal chimney comes with a square bottom for an angled roof; thus requiring the modeler to cut a hole in the roof to install it. What should have been a two scale feet by two and a half scale feet, I made two and a half scale feet square.
04-02-20 001.JPG

I had to fill the extra space with a piece of stripwood as seen above. Fortunately it goes on the back side and the patch/paint job won't be too visible.

04-02-20 003.JPG

Next, the covered stairway doesn't fit where intended.
04-02-20 004.JPG

As you can see, it is too tall.
I spent too much time on it to just throw it away, so what happens if I put it over on the side?
04-02-20 005.JPG

A little long, leaving a bit of a gap.
04-02-20 006.JPG

That can be fixed with some leftover siding cut to fit.
04-02-20 007.JPG

Yeah! This is clapboard instead of vertical siding, but I don't think that it will be noticeable. Also visible is the edge of the roofing that pulled back a bit when the roof was bent into position and fastened to the stairwell.
04-02-20 009.JPG

I can remove and reapply the tarpaper (I have extra) or see if I can just touch it up with some Grimy Black paint like I did the roof.
Lastly, out front, there's a gap below the front door that I assumed would be covered by the front porch. It would have still been there even if I had used the original solid door. But NO!
04-02-20 002.JPG

Unfortunately I had also already chiseled out the trim to fit the porch more snugly before I added the legs and realized that it would be too short. My solution will most likely be to add a concrete painted styrene pad under the whole porch assembly to bring it up to the hoped for height. The other option is to fill the chiseled out portion with putty and add some steps to the door. Extra work either way.

Karl - I have never built a wooden boxcar; it will be interesting to see your progress.
George - Neat videos.
Curt - That looks like quite a complex kit to assemble. I could really get into that one, but I have no coalfields on my layout.
James - Still wondering if that story is an April Fool's joke even though I read about it elsewhere.

Today is National Burrito Day, so enjoy one if it is safe to get one.
Everybody have a great day.


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

Coffee and short stack this morning. Thanks Flo!

Sherrel: Now you know why I stay DC. As someone who's been in IT for over 36 years, I've found the latest and greatest isn't always so.
As my friend Mr. Scott said, "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." (Star Trek Reference)

Not much happened last night. I had my riding mower in last fall for maintenance so it would be ready when I needed it. It mowed the front yard last fall after I got it back to mulch the leaves (which I also blew out of the front beds) and then was stored until 2 weekends ago when I used it to get the first mow of both the front and back yards, then last weekend I got the front completed and stopped it long enough to get the front gate opened to move to the back yard, and the stopped again to close the gate and the mower quit moving. Engine runs, blades engage, but the mower won't move. The small mower shop I use (purchased the mower there nearly 11 years ago) came to pick it up last night and thinks I lost the drive belt which he said they should have caught last fall, so he's only going to charge me the cost of the new drive belt. I told him to let me know if it goes deeper than that. Good news on this is I do have a self propelled push mower that works very well. The bad news is I have a self propelled push mower and bad knees....


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Patrick - Don't remember Mr. Scott saying that, but that is a good one - so true!

Good luck with the mower ... I quit the yard business 12 years ago, but with the wife unemployed now, I may have to start again?


Section Hand
Good Morning Everyone.....sunny day here in Wisconsin.

Yesterday, we when into a suburb of Milwaukee called Wauwatosa to get a "drive by" pizza to take home and we had to stop for a slow moving CP train in downtown Wauwatosa on 68th Street. This is an infamous grade crossing due to the many pedestrian/vehicle train crashes over the past few years. The main drag runs parallel to the tracks and there's several grade crossings that swing the vehicle traffic right in front of the on-coming train(s) when turning on to the side streets when the vehicles must immediately cross the tracks. We were stopped on a slight hill over looking the two track main giving us a great view of the passing train. My wife was amazed at the amount of weathering the 1:1 trains had on their sides and the examples of graffiti that she missed on other real trains. Now she could understand why I like weathered rolling stock and she even encouraged me to do more graffiti.

There was some excellent examples of hopper weathering and rust patterns. I wish I had my phone to take some photographs of the train to keep for weathering reference.

The train was a mixed freight with 50% of the cars covered hoppers and the rest flat, box cars and a few tankers.

After lunch (last of the pizza) I'll be in the train room. During my last session in the layout room my hand vacuum and battery operated drill were both dead in the water. The drill can hold a working charge for weeks even months. Plan on doing a rewire of the two Dwf. signals.

Ken, I have three DB150's and the voltage output varies for each unit, all in the 13 volt range and from what I understand you should be able to adjust the voltage up to 14 volts. I use a Ramp Meter to measure the track voltage and the DB I'm using now is putting out approximately 13.4 volts similair to the two others. I have three DB 150's since the I thought the original unit malfunctioned just before a visit of train nuts and I purchased the third when I heard the DB was going to be discontinued by Digitrax and it remains in its box. I never adjusted the POT in inside the DB 150's.

I found a tall, plaster cast chimney that I forgot I had in a parts drawer and I plan on blacking the stone work and setting it in the foundation of an old structure near the abandoned terminal on the layout.

The stones to the right of the truck mark the foundation of the old structure and th log will be removed if the chimney is installed.

I never cared much for the Star Trek programs, but now I realize how much of the technology on the Enterprise is now common place in our world. "Beam me up, Sherrel!"

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and thoughts about our family and the Corona Virus. The BIL is the most improved patient in ICU ward, but will remain there for some time. His wife remains at home going crazy since she is a very active "Shopper" and has her own medical practice, counting the days untile she return to the outside world.

Willie: Liquid tar to cover that roofing opening. Looking forward to any signage you may add to the building.

Time to move on.....


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