Monday, March 26, 2018

Finding virtual (and actual) stuff ...

N-5-a 463 on the Richford local, George Corey photo. 
Moving is ... well I was going to say "is an adventure" but frankly it just plain sucks....
But the weirdest part is the unboxing - it's like Christmas morning - especially when you find a few months have passed before you're reunited with your stuff. 
Of course there's a fair amount of "what did we save this for?" Followed by the amusement of discovering the movers carefully wrapped and boxed up everything - even the plastic knives and forks from the local fast food place that happened to be sitting on the kitchen counter on moving day!
Then there's this file folder of papers that I'm constantly loosing and finding again. I swear it has legs. In my case it's copies of three typewritten booklets listing the industries served by the CV.  I thought I'd included the folder in a small file box of reference material I brought to the apartment. Went to look for it a few weeks later only to spend most of a frustrating Sunday afternoon looking for them, concluding the folder must have gotten boxed up (maybe with the plastic knives and forks?). 
Of course yesterday I was emptying a few more boxes in the office, including that box of reference material I'd taken to the apartment. Sure enough, there was that stupid file folder with list of industries. It wouldn't be so bad except this isn't the first time this folder has gone rogue. It disappeared in the old house a couple of times. And I wouldn't be surprised if I went home tonight to find it's gone over the hill again.
In addition to the "analog" unpacking, there's also the fun of virtual unpacking. I'd packed up my large Mac desktop since there simply wasn't room for it in the apartment. Saturday I unpacked it, plugged it in, and turned it on for the first time in months. Thankfully, she fired right up - and I ran across several Richford branch photos George Corey had emailed me a few months back, including the one above. I think it nicely captures the spirit of the Richford Branch in the late steam era. 
It also reminded me I need to include a few wood pile trestles on the layout. 
And speaking of the layout, for ease of reference I've added a tab just below the header that should take you directly to the most current CV Richford Branch layout design. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Admin note - new email address

Update as of 10 Sep 2022:

Although I do get emails on the gmail address below, it's usually easier to email me at my Comcast address:
mjmcguirk AT comcast DOT net. 

(Naturally, remove the "AT" and "DOT" with the appropriate symbols and remove the extra spaces). 



One quick note - in moving to the new house we had to switch for a few years from Comcast to Verizon (our new HOA has a service agreement with Verizon). 

While you can contact me through the comments section on the blog, some folks prefer to email me directly. I have no problem with that. But please, moving forward use the following email address:

cvrrfan AT gmail DOT com. 

(Naturally, remove the "AT" and "DOT" with the appropriate symbols and remove the extra spaces). 



Shop Thoughts?

My birthday was on the 21st. Normally I'm able to get a round of golf in on my birthday - this year Northern Virginia was carpeted in snow so we stayed inside and got more boxes emptied. I'm almost at the point where I can get started unpacking/sorting out the basement. I'm also starting to think more about the model building "heavy shop" that I'd like to create in the smaller of the two presently unfinished storage areas. 
I've received only a few comments on the Richford layout design  - and a few of those seemed considerably less than enthusiastic. Since we're actually in the house I've been getting a better feel for the space and think another scope reduction may be in order. Perhaps the 180-degree turn in the lower left of the plan between Sheldon Jct and the lead switch to the paper mill, should be removed. Or perhaps the paper mill could shift to a narrow stub ended shelf against the wall and eliminate the turn back curve? 
It simply seems like the layout footprint where that curve is shown would be intruding too much into the space. On the other hand, I have no idea what I would do with that floor area if the layout wasn't there.
In any event, this would mean eliminating Enosburg Falls or Sheldon Jct. from the plan. Not an appealing prospect. 
I plan to mock up the benchwork footprint full size with cardboard (there's no shortage of that at the moment!) and see how all this actually looks, and how it fits the space when combined with other uses for the basement. 
More on this to follow - hopefully with photos. But first I need to get the cars in the garage - so there's more to do upstairs!
Honestly, getting what I'm calling the "heavy modeling shop" is going to take priority over the layout for the forseeable future. Currently this is a raw space, so it needs studs/drywall, and lighting. To many times in the past I've jumped right into layout construction before I'd gotten things organized. I also found I wasn't using the tools I do have since it was too much trouble to dig them out, set them up, and then try to use them in a cramped, underlit room. 
The result was I found myself tripping over my tools, myself, and others. 
This time I want to have tools and materials where I can find them before starting the layout. And, frankly, I also want to build some models before I start lugging a bunch of wood into the basement. 
The sketch (not to scale, but the dimensions are accurate) show my initial cut at how to arrange countertops/cabinets and the like. 
I do have a large (and extremely heavy!) Ikea island with gobs of drawer space. Christine had been using it in her craft room in the old house, but it doesn't fit in her new sewing room so she gave it to me. 
At first I was going to use kitchen-style base cabinets (with one or doors) as the base - then it occurred to me it may be more efficient to have large open shelves below the countertop for storing tools that are not in use. Some tools get used for most projects. These, the drill press or belt sander for example, will have permanent spots on the counter. Others, such as the mill, can live on the storage shelves and then be moved to the countertop when they're needed.  
One more note - this isn't the space where I envision myself sitting in the evening building a freight car or structure - this is for the "power tools" and bench tools. In other words, most of the work here will be done while standing. I have a modeling desk upstairs (immediately adjacent to Christine's new craft room) where I plan to do kit assembly and the like. 
Appreciate any thoughts on what does and doesn't make a good shop. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Richford Branch track plan - first look

As I've mentioned previously, I've been working with layout designer (and my good friend) Lance Mindheim on designing the plan for the new layout. Shown below (click to enlarge) is the layout design in the "current final" state - Lance and I both decided to forego any further tweaks or adjustments to this plan "on paper" - adjustments and tweaks may well be made full size as the layout is built - but with the possibility of the finished layout being a little smaller than shown here the basic footprint and theme are a 90% solution. 
I'll post some more details on how the plan could be built and operated (which in turn will explain the layout design proper) in the future. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Move - The Conclusion

As you may have noticed from the last few posts, we are (finally) in the new house. While the final walk-through and closing went fine, the following week was a bit topsy turvey as I contended with being sick, we had some confusion about paint colors that delayed the painters a day. That normally wouldn't have been a big deal, but a series of events spiraled the entire process out of control. 
A major windstorm knocked the power out for 4 days - which prevented the painters from working which in turn delayed the movers. That same storm delayed delivery of our new furniture (as a reminder we sold our previous house with all the furniture so the main level of the new house is empty!) In addition, that same wind storm blew a fair number of shingles off our roof! 
We'd planned to take this week off work and get settled. Needless to say that didn't happen and we're still living out of suitcases. 
For my part, I’m spending the weekend emptying boxes, moving boxes that ended up in the wrong room into the right room, and other fun moving tasks. 
We've moved a lot of times over the years - we were a Navy family once - but although this has been one of the shortest distances we've moved, it has been, without a doubt, the craziest. 
All that said, we're thrilled to be in the new house and have already met many of our neighbors who thus far seem to be wonderful folks. 
Beau and Molly have also met some of the canine neighbors but have at this point stopped caring much and have given up frantically sniffing every corner of the house and simply collapse at the end of the day in utter exhaustion. I know how they feel. 
So, since we have heat and lights, and the new internet pipe seems to be working (house phone is still an issue though…) I thought I’d post a quick update.