A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

February 5, 2017

Pier One

Meanwhile, back at Aquia Landing our hero has been sanding, puttying and painting the Potomac River surface. This is necessary before adding the wharves.
First pilings and pilot caps. Note the pile of precut pilings in the background. I need about 390 but I cut about 500.
 While the putty was drying, I cut about 500 piers approximately 0.625 inches long. I initially tried using my chop saw with a stop for the correct length. But the saw was not doing a good job with such small pieces. They were splintering and flying about the room.

The blue is actually darker than this image leads one to believe.
So I resorted to cutting the pilings on the laser. The quarter inch oak dowels were a challenge to cut. It took two passes with the laser to make the cut. I was hesitant to use the laser on stock this thick. The laser leaves a noticeable draft angle when cutting quarter inch wood. That is the kerf (i.e. the cut mark) is wider at the top than at the bottom. But a quick passs with the cut dowel over some sand paper squares up the cut surface.

I made a trio of pilings and pile caps assemblies (see first photo).

I am using a new glue that is optimized for wood. It looks and acts like a CAA glue, but supposedly can be sanded and stained.  Nonetheless, I prestained the parts as that should give the best results. The glue seems to work pretty well. It sets in 30 seconds. That is better than waiting for yellow glue to cure.

Three down and 50 or so to go.

Some touch-up on the backdrop will be necessary


  1. Obviously you were not watching the Super Bowl? But great work.



    1. People often ask me how I get "so much done" or if I sleep. The trick to getting a lot of stuff done is to not watch TV. I rarely turn it on. But for the Stupor Bowl I did have the TV on with the sound off. The TV is in the same room as Aquia Landing. So I was able to watch the game from the corner of my eye as I worked on the layout.