We’ve attended many trade hows through the years and actively participated in various shows as well. The biggest one to date is the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions EXPO which is held in Orlando, Florida. The event boasts more than a thousand exhibitors and thirty thousand attendees from the amusement park industry around the world. After attending the show since the 1990’s we finally pushed the go button to be a vendor there this year
We build many very big projects in our shop. Building them in the shop makes good sense. Our tools are all handy there. Building in the shop means we can be efficient
In the last weeks whenever we’ve had hung visitors to our property I’ve taken them into the shop to look at the train. The visit includes climbing into the train engine cab and trying out the whistle and bell – much to the delight of the kids. While I also took delight in the loud noises I was watching how the kids used the equipment, taking mental notes on how to improve things. The kids couldn’t resist twisting the various taps (as intended). With the operating controls of the train on the right side the bell cord was on wrong side for the kids to pull.
As I work on the train project a little each day I find the modern tools make it so much easier than when I started the project more than a decade ago. Back then I was happy to use the hand held plasma cutter – a huge step up from the acetylene torch we had used up to that point. But the curves were always a little shaky and there was still lots of grinding to do – especially when I was making multiples of a piece. Now it is as simple as designing a file in EnRoute on the computer and then sending it off the the MultiCam CNC plasma cutter
It was a holiday week which meant we only had only four workdays to complete our long list of things we needed to accomplish. The shipping date for the first ship and related pieces is set for next Tuesday. That morning, bright and early a giant crane and six 40′ container trucks will be waiting. That’s enough to hold one complete Viking ship, two masts, the keels and the balance of the target feature pieces. A few weeks later the final five containers will begin their journey to Dubai
Each day I try to spend at least a few minutes each day to do a little work on the grampa train. Most days it is a short time but it’s enough to build a file in EnRoute, cut a piece or two on the MultiCam plasma cutter, pull a couple of welds or do a little grinding. I managed to assemble and finish the train controller yesterday. Today I cut some holes in the floor of the cab and fit it into place.
I love to design and fabricate somewhat complicated things using EnRoute and CNC tools. For the grampa train project I could have used a simple push/pull choke knob to accomplish the adjustment of the drive controls. It would have worked just fine but it wouldn’t be very authentic. Now I’m not at all a rivet counter kind of builder where everything has to be prototype down to the last detail but the thing I am modelling has to appear to function as it does in the prototype but in a fun way
It’s long been a dream of mine to won an electric train. Every Grampa should have one to share with his grand children. Only I wanted a very large train with the tracks circling the entire yard.
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