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    • September 30, 2019 7:07 AM EDT
    • 30 September, 2019 - The Fall Open House at the Finger Lakes Live Steamers is now in the history books listed as great success with record numbers of families coming to see the facility.  Those of you on Facebook can see videos of the people and the crowds.  The #1 Gauge Garden Railroad and Live Steam tracks were well observed by many people.  The 1 inch and Inch and a half tracks had lines of people all day, with sometimes the wait to get on as long as 2 hours.  We ran out of food at 2 pm and popcorn by 3.  Didn't here one complaint and nothing but Thank Yous for us opening up to the Public.  Lots and lots of people that are not part of this hobby, got to see the fun.  Many said they came here as kids and now are bringing theirs.  With this being the 50th Anniversary at one location, there is a lot of history.  The weather was great with a perfect Upstate Fall Weekend.

      .

      Today, we start for home.

       

    • September 26, 2019 7:39 AM EDT
    • Bruce Chandler said:

      Are they into "operations" now?

      Roger Caiazza has a very good switching puzzle set up on the #1 Gauge Garden Railroad.  The Finger Lakes Club also has a good operations setup on the

      1 inch (4.75 inches between the rails) ride on trains and we keep pushing for "Operations" style running on the 1.5 inch (7.25 inches between the rails) track.  Maybe someday, but the "Roundy Rounds" are still in control.

      This weekend is one of the 2 money making weekends of the Club's Annual Calendar.  We carry the public for donations, just like you would a Merry Go Round.  Truly, just round and round and round. 

      .

      Jan and I are here for support staff.  I'll work with parking our guests and Jan will be in the kitchen.  Neither job is glamorous, but it supports the club.  This is a great place to be in the heat of the Summer and provides us a good mooring as we travel around the Northeast for the Summer events.

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      Stop on out and see us, if you are in the Rochester/Syracuse area.

    • September 25, 2019 7:35 PM EDT
    • Bruce Chandler said:

      Are they into "operations" now?

      Probably emergency ones considering the age group that is able to partake in such an event.

       

    • September 25, 2019 6:39 PM EDT
    • Are they into "operations" now?

    • September 25, 2019 5:46 PM EDT
    • 25 September, 2019 - We just arrived back at the Finger Lakes Live Steamers.  We are here for the "Public Open House" this weekend.  The Finger Lake Live Steamers is located 2 miles north of of I-90 (New York State Thruway) between Rochester and Syracuse.  If you are in the area, please stop by.  I'll be working parking, so have somebody in a lime green shirt, point you toward me, unless I'm the one giving you my line of cr*p about hot air balloon rides as you try to find your way on to the property.  Should be a fun weekend.  Not as much fun as operating on the Bluestone Southern, but it will do.

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      https://fingerlakeslivesteamers.org/

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    • September 18, 2019 9:27 PM EDT
    • Nice figure in that Blue Stain Pine, great salvage, those slabs will make beautiful Mantel timbers.

      When we built our house on the ranch back in 1976 we used V rustic blue stain Pine for Wains coating

      in all the rooms up about 3 feet to a chair rail, looked fantastic. 

    • September 18, 2019 9:13 PM EDT
    • That’s some fine looking timber, Devon. Glad it did not go to waste. And yes, we have the pine beetle here in the south. I’ve seen them destroy hundreds of acres of pine. What a waste! 

    • September 17, 2019 9:34 PM EDT
    • As much as I love working with wood, I just like wood for what it is. I am fascinated by wood, with its different grain, color, texture, and yes even defects. One such defect is spalting or blueing. This happens in various ways to various woods when they are dead and dying and are caused by an invasion of fungus. Here in the west, at least, there is a real problem in pines with the Pine Bark Beetle. This beetle lays its eggs in the cambium of a tree, that layer between bark and wood, were it's larvae eat the cambium layer killing the tree. Most people don't realize that the vital part of a tree, its circulatory system if you will, is only a few mm thick. its what transports nutrients up and down the tree. The bark is like skin and protects the tree, the hardwood inside is like bone giving it a skeleton. But the life of a tree is dependent on the cambium for survival. So these little assholes bore in, lay their eggs, their larvae hatch then eat the tree to death. It is a plague that is killing the pine forests of the west (at least, don't know if the east has this problem). As the tree dies a fungus invades the pine and grows in the wood. This fungus stains the wood grey. We call the end product, "blued pine". It makes the wood useless as a building product as it weakens the wood fibers. However, it mkaes for some beautiful decorative lumber for ornate and rustic projects alike. As I said I have an affinity for defects in wood. I love blued pine.

       

      So when my brother-in-law called me and said do you have any use for some blued Ponderosa Pine logs, I jumped. He has several beetle infested trees and this one was all but dead and standing feet from his house. It needed to come down. I picked up four logs, three about 6 feet long and one about 10 feet long on Saturday. One of the board members at my work has Woddmiser saw mill and said he would cut it for me. Yesterday we spent about two hours slabbing it up. I cut a few 1" thick pieces, most is 2" that I can resaw later or use as is, and a few pieces I left 4"-5" thick for benches, mantels or whatever. This is some of the best bluing I have seen. Almost more staining than regular colored wood. Its gonna be hard to wait the few months its gonna take for this stuff to dry. Since its mostly dead its already pretty dry but it will take a few months before it is ready to work.

       

       

      For their loss, my brother-in-law and sister will be getting a couple of benches made from the pieces that are still round on one side from the opening cuts that you see on the top of the stack. I will use rounds that he still has at his place for the bases. The cost of getting it milled was three slabs. Not to shabby. It will be a lot of fun to create with this stuff.

    • September 9, 2019 11:40 PM EDT
    • It is a fun idea. 

    • September 9, 2019 10:59 PM EDT
    • Fine work, Devon. I like the swapping idea.  I’ve participated in a swap on a turning (lathe) forum I belong to. It’s a great way for folks to get to know each other a little better and a lot of fun to boot. Maybe we could come up with something similar here, like maybe a flatcar or some trackside detail. Keep it simple.  Just an idea. 

    • September 9, 2019 10:38 PM EDT
    • Maybe grandson. 

    • September 9, 2019 10:33 PM EDT
    • Cool! Kind of looks like Mjolnir's grandpa.

    • September 9, 2019 9:50 PM EDT
    • Well here is the "glamour" shot of the final product. As I have never made anything like this I am pretty pleased with the pair. I think the recipient will get some use out of them. When I receive mine I will show off what I got in return for my effort.

       

    • September 9, 2019 9:48 PM EDT
    • David Maynard said:
      David Marconi,FOGCH said:
      Linum usitatissimum
       
      Linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil or flax oil, is a colourless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). The oil is obtained by pressing, sometimes followed by solvent extraction.

      Well, I don't have no flax neither.....

      Sucks to be you!!!!

    • September 9, 2019 9:47 PM EDT
    • Cliff Jennings said:

      Gorgeous hammer, Dev. Need to post a pic of something that received its attention! 

      Really cool how you're lining up the tables and fences for saw and router.  

      Cliff,

      its not my hammer to whack stuff with. It will remain a virgin until the recipient whacks something with it.

    • September 9, 2019 6:15 PM EDT
    • David Marconi,FOGCH said:
      Linum usitatissimum
       
      Linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil or flax oil, is a colourless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). The oil is obtained by pressing, sometimes followed by solvent extraction.

      Well, I don't have no flax neither.....

    • September 9, 2019 6:03 PM EDT
    • Gorgeous hammer, Dev. Need to post a pic of something that received its attention! 

      Really cool how you're lining up the tables and fences for saw and router.  

    • September 9, 2019 12:52 PM EDT
    • Dan Hilyer said:

      Heck, Devon, after all that work, I’m tired   The router table looks good. How do you change the height of the bit?

      The shaper has a knob on the back of it that you loosen and then it rotates the whole motor assembly to raise and lower it. I have an access door in the back of the table where the old motor and bet went through on the table saw. This allows me access to that knob to raise and lower it and also to aid in changing the bit and to change between router and shaper. The "plate" will be removable also to allow access from the top.

    • September 9, 2019 12:10 PM EDT
    • Heck, Devon, after all that work, I’m tired   The router table looks good. How do you change the height of the bit?

    • September 9, 2019 10:28 AM EDT
    • Thats it flax. Thank you sir.

       

      So with the hammer project done way early, I turned my attention to a few other things. One of which was to revamp my router table. I made this router table out of my old table saw stand when I scrapped it. I had a drop in router. Not something I ever really liked but its what I had. This summer I picked up an old craftsman router/shaper for a song. Paid $25 bucks for it. Takes 1/4" shank router bits and 1/2" and 3/4" shaper cutters. I finally got around to mounting it in the router table. I still need to make a plate to fit the hole in the top. But this will make my router table into a much more versatile machine. I leveled it out to the same height as my table saw and it also doubles as an outfeed table for the saw.

       

      I also fixed my dads band saw and got it back up and running. all in all a very productive weekend.