I missed this bit of collecting wisdom from Rob O’Hara when he first posted it last month, but Rob describes his concept of mini-collections to keep his hobbies from taking over his life.
There’s been entirely too much seriousness this week. It’s Friday, time to unwind with some trains. In light of that, I picked up some dilapidated postwar American Flyer wheels at the local train store this afternoon to fix up some stuff from my junk box. The wheels were covered in milky white goo/powder/gunk/residue/stuff–whatever you want [...]
The Marx 1590 is the best O27 switch ever made. It’s durable, works well with all makes of trains (just put a track pin in the center rail where the switch pivots so that Lionel trains can pass), and can run off accessory power without modification. The only downside is that it (allegedly) can’t be [...]
When you’re dealing with vintage toy train track, sometimes the insulators on the track will be damaged or missing. This will cause a short circuit and keep the train from running. But there’s a cheap and easy repair using material from an unlikely source: 2-liter soda bottles.
Frequently the trucks (the wheel/coupler assembly that sits under train cars) come unattached. Lionel trains from the 1970s and first half of the 1980s are especially prone to this, though other makes of trains aren’t immune either. And sometimes you just want to change the trucks–some Lionel and Marx O27 cars are just the right [...]
If you want a train for under your Christmas tree but don’t have a lot of money to spend, here’s how to find one and what to ask for. Find a store that deals in used Lionel trains, or find a local hobbyist. Search Craigslist or your newspaper classifieds for an ad stating, “I buy [...]
Here’s a good question: Can you use Lionel O or O27 transformers (or, for that matter, American Flyer S transformers) with HO or N scale trains? The answer is, not directly. But you can if you add a $3 bridge rectifier from Radio Shack (part number 276-1146).
Sometimes you want to know how many volts your train transformer is feeding your trains, in order to avoid damaging the motors. And it’s also helpful to know how many amps you’re pulling from your transformer, so you don’t damage the transformer.
I took my family to a train show–The Great Train Expo–this past weekend. I’ve been going to shows for about 8 years or so, and while we had fun, I ended up not spending any of the money I brought with me. At least not on myself. I think I have an idea why.
If you’re a tinplate fan like me, it would behoove you to make a trip to Big Lots sometime this week. Big Lots has a selection of building-shaped cookie tins priced at $5 each. The buildings include a town hall, post office, bakery, and general store. Additionally, my old friend Radio Shack is selling a [...]