There are a few shop-type jobs for which I have little patience; topping the list are chain-drilling and hacksawing. Drilling a 3/16″ hole in a 1/2″ piece of steel is not a big deal. It might take you up to a minute – no sweat. Needing to do it forty or fifty more times to make a spoke opening in a wheel blank puts the job into the “this is nuts” category. Then to break out the slug AND file down the profile makes you wonder why you even began the project in the first place. A good roughing cutter in a sturdy mill makes the project easier; however, it’s still time-consuming with all that handwheel twisting.

But hacksawing; that’s even more mind-numbing! With a new bi-metal blade, the trusty hacksaw can slice through a 1/4″ x 1″ x 1″ steel angle in two minutes, give or take. The second cut will challenge you doubly. But if you want a real challenge, try slicing off a chunk of 4” diameter round stock! Guaranteed, the job will take you close to an hour – if you finish it at all. Putting it into the bandsaw will take most of the hard work away, but you’ll still be pushing on that chunk of metal for a good long while. Now multiply that by eight – or twelve!

Here’s the good news! For those of you who are building the latest locomotive projects currently running in LSOR, check out these LIMITED TIME OFFERS!

Rio Grande K-27 builders…

Photo 1Allen Models of Michigan, LLC is pleased to announce the pattern plate for the drivers for Kozo’s K-27 has been delivered to the foundry, and delivery of the first run of castings is scheduled for the week of November 18, 2013. The price of drivers will be $15.00 each, with a set of eight totaling $120.00. Allen Models is offering a pre-production special of free USPS Priority shipping in the continental US (or $15 credit for foreign orders) for driver orders placed before November 8, 2013. Call (989) 284-8866 or write to Allen Models of Michigan, LLC, P.O.Box 510, Freeland, MI 48623, or visit

New Tom Thumb builders…

Friends Yankee Shop Models announces the availability of wheels for the Tom Thumb. Wheels are $40 each, $160 for four (engine only), or $320 for eight (engine and tender).

Live Steam & Outdoor Railroading subscribers ordering from Friends’ web page,, should enter the coupon code “Village Press coupon” in the “message to seller” box at Paypal checkout; they will receive a 10% discount off the price of the wheels (shipping charges not included in the discount). The discount will be provided as a 10% PayPal refund, after purchase. The coupon code is valid through 12/31/13.