After spending so much time reworking the train garden last week I decided to post another video of the round trip ride of the layout. It's not the best way to see the new planting but kids always like the riding view. I've posted "Garden Railroad - South Bay 2017" on my Youtube channel and also posted it on the South Bay Railway page of my website for those you are interested.
With a few extra hands the scaffold has been erected to repair the loon's wing mentioned a few posts ago.
It hasn't been done yet since it seems to rain every other day, and I'd like things to dry out a little before applying epoxy. So here is sits waiting to go!
It seems while I wasn't watching an invader had moved into my garden space. Hidden among the ferns was a 42" Scotch thistle. A little unusual since it is the first thistle I have ever found in the garden. It has found its final resting place, cremated actually, in the fire barrel. Anyway I've been telling folks it was my special project to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary this year, and to honour my scottish heritage! It makes for a better story than being a crappy, neglectful, gardener. A selfie of me and my project!
It was overdue. I've been neglecting the train garden this spring as the weather has been so wet and miserable, but finally I set the automata making aside and spent the whole week rescuing and refurbishing the garden where the the railroad resides. Since I seem to be the principle weeder, and since it was cutting into shop time, I decided to include some mulch cover in the revamp. I hope I don't regret it later as little pieces of cedar find their way onto the tracks to derail the trains. I may have to cover everything this fall as the the cedar cones and leaves start to fall. So here's three photos that show the fruit of my labour so far. Still some more work to be done.
We had a fairly severe storm go through recently taking down trees and branches in the neighbourhood, including a few trees on our property. In all the battering the wingtip of a loon on top of one of our totem poles worked loose, fell to the ground and broke all the flight feather pieces off. It is a bit of a mystery because it seemed to happen a few days later. Oh well there are too many mysteries in life to worry about a little one like this!
Here is the loon with one wingtip gone.
I collected all the pieces and epoxied them back together. When I built the totem I didn't use any screws to secure the wing, trying to stay true to just using wood and glue in the construction. Ten years later i think a few metal brackets on the back of the wing might be in order for strength. Should have laminated and carved the wing bend rather than try a joint I guess. Oh well got a few more years learn anyway.
Here's the wing tip after the epoxy job. You can see the lines where the feathers broke. Next is to build the scaffold and reattach! Painting to come later.
My latest automata is now published on the website and added to my Youtube channel. Be sure to watch both the automata video and Eleanor's walk through the hospital video.
As I promised, Eleanor is receiving a companion to dwell with her in perpetuity. His name is Edgar. He is a good choice since he is not the kind of guy to run off and leave her behind. Eleanor thinks he is quite dashing although many of us might consider him sluggish or maybe even a slime ball. Take my word for it he really is a nice guy.
Here's a quick, no pun intended, picture of Edgar taken in the garden and another of Edgar cruising below the counterweights of the automata. I'm sure they will be great company for each other.
I spent a lot of time with Eleanor today and we had a long talk. The result is that she is now moving as she was intended too. (New carriage rack and and a few rollers to reduce friction.) However Eleanor had a few thoughts of her own, completely in character, mind you. Her first demand was that since she knew that any photos of her be taken from her right side, which she believes is her better side, I needed to move the hand crank to the other side to get her cooperation. She also suggested that since I would be moving on to another project she would like a companion to remain with her. Out of respect of her advancing age I agreed to both items!
So here is a quick video showing her movement, it's a little shaky since I didn't use a tripod. (Wim I hope you like it. It is a lot of gears for a little movement, but is slows things down.) Still a few things to do. A handle, fit and paint the dowels on her hips, a nameplate, fill screwholes on top plate.
I had thought by this time that Eleanor would be strutting her stuff around the hallways of her seniors residence, but as always Eleanor has the last word. As Eleanor and I set out to finish today, she just wasn't cooperating. She just couldn't produce the moves that she had hoped for. Of course in reality, it was all my fault, so back to the drawing board for a few mods to get things moving just right. I'm not sure how to put this delicately but I think I overlooked the mass of her generous behind. So here's a few shots of a close to completed automata. With time scheduled in the shop tomorrow hopefully Eleanor and I will see eye to eye right to the finish!
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.