Your RR grading methods??

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rkcarguy
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:37 am

I know when I'm doing a crab boil, the kettle of boiling salt water kills stuff dead. I used to dump it on the driveway, but it would obviously take way too much to do my ROW. This pre-emergent sounds like the best way to go I'll have to research it.
I know several people personally that aren't here anymore due to cancer, so no matter if it's suspected or linked, I try to avoid it if at all possible.
It's true that there is bad stuff everywhere, probably the hex chrome in stainless that makes it require that label, even though it's not going to be released unless it's really rubbed off into your food or welded on and the fumes inhaled.

jcbrock
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by jcbrock » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:57 am

People using fabric may want to consider using road or driveway fabric such as US Fabrics US 200 or the like instead of weed or landscape fabric. These types of fabric are much heavier duty and are used to separate a rock base from the soil underneath. I used it on my driveway and it works well. They claim a 25 year life once covered. It will not prevent weeds, for those the easy-to-find pre-emergent we've used is Preen.
John Brock

rkcarguy
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:11 pm

Good point jcbrock, there is some weed fabric that doesn't do a whole lot because it's meant for flower beds, and driveway loading will push gravel right through it. They do make weed cloth though that is like the driveway fabric, heavy mil woven stuff that passes water and air, but doesn't let weeds grow through. The weave of the driveway stuff will fray out if you don't melt the edges after cutting it, so using driveway width stuff isn't recommended as it would be a lot of work to cut strips from the wide roll and melt all the edges. I'm looking at using this product which I think is the same stuff:

Dewitt SBLT3300 Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier, 3 x 300-Feet, it's $70 on amazon. Has good reviews, one complaint said horse-tails grew through it, but horsetails will grow through asphalt too.

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johnpenn74
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by johnpenn74 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:43 pm

Dick and I once tried the salt on MCC railroad for weed control. It all started when he replaced a water softener and dumped the salt water out near the track.. Killed everything. Armed with this idea we figured figured we would use a push fertilizer spreader to scatter animal salt that we picked up at the ag supply. Any farmer will tell you, you can saturate the salt in the ground and it will effectively poison the ground. It sorta worked. Some places we put it down it killed the grass. Other places, I swear it made the grass grow. What I did realize after the fact was that scattering salt on dew laden grass/weeds makes it burn the plant in a hurry. So spread in the morning.

JP
John Pennington

Project
2 Mich-Cal Shays
Allen 4-4-0 Narrow Gauge Conversion
Reading A5a Camelback 0-4-0
USRA 0-6-0
Clishay
4 Western Wheeled Scraper NG Dump Cars
N&W 4-8-2
ICM 2-10-2
4 Modern Stake Cars
L&N Caboose
4 Big Four Conversion Gondolas

Like I'm actually gonna build all this stuff :-P

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by Glenn Brooks » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:24 am

Ryan, I think I mentioned on another post, I’ve concluded the most valuable thing I should have done when laying in my little backyard pike, was pay closer attention to proper elevation survey of the ROW. Now originally I roughed in the track with a water level- water bucket and hose suspended from an aluminum ladder. This,worked well but was very cumbersome to set up all the time. Vertical accuracy to 1/2” over 50’ or so. Nevertheless, I winged it in many places. The water level is very cumbersome and time consuming to set up.

Then picked up a cheapo second hand laser level and finished off southern half the of track with solid, constant surveys.

End of story, had I used the laser in the beginning, I could have easily reduced my dirt moving, cut n fill, and sub grade prep by 1/3rd.

Second thing, prior to ballasting, I go back through and lay in grade stakes on the centerline of themROW. These really sped up the ballasting process, and eliminated almost entirely, the need to perfectly level the subgrade. With the cheapo laser ( $25 on CL) I can mark the correct elevation for final grade over hundreds of feet in no time - then just slop a bit or gravel into the low spots left by the kubota and rake smooth.

Wish I had figured this out in the beginning. I think I could have shaved one whole summer off the road bed work.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

rkcarguy
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:08 pm

Good point Glenn. I had planned on borrowing the surveying level from work, as I'll need it to shoot in my foundation forms nice and level for the house anyway. I'd need it several times though for the ROW, and that might get annoying with work so maybe a laser is in order.
I've got a couple dead/dying tape measures, I'll strip them out and electrical tape sections of them to some posts so I can grade my route as I go.
Because of my "Tehachapi loop", I'm going to need to plan my grade carefully, from the beginning of it north to the more simple area so that I don't end up with any grades that are too steep.

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makinsmoke
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by makinsmoke » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:14 pm

We use a mirror not only for final ballasting and
track set, but we also use the mirror after rough
grading and plate compacting.

It will give you a flat, level look you can’t achieve simply by eye.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by Glenn Brooks » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:46 pm

Makingsmoke, Iam a little sense at times, just don’t grasp the concept. How would I use the mirror? And how big should it be, etc.

Thanks much,
Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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johnpenn74
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by johnpenn74 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:12 pm

Glenn, a mirror is simply a tool that allow yous to look down the run of dirt, gravel, or railhead with having to drop to your knees. Typically, you attach the mirror to a pole at 45 degrees so you look down, towards the ground, and the mirror reflects your vision down the right of way, railhead etc. Your eyes are doing the work, its just a matter or you are looking at 100+ feet of run so the errors really stand out. I will disagree that a mirror is anything other than line of sight, as well, your eyes are doing the work. Its not like it is a scope with a cross hair or a physical contact measuring device like a transit. That being said, mirrors are extremely useful to do corrections and spot checking as it is a single tool that one person can use to find highs and lows by placing a marker, or by having a second person walk down the path.

I am a big believer in having a grading plan, setting monuments and knowing where your grades begin and end. (probably from a previously life in surveying) Not that you can't just wing it; I am sure there are lower budget earlier railroads that did, then again that's probably the difference between a 4-8-4 cruising at 80MPH and a bumpkin logging road from Georgia plodding alaong at 15MPH.

An interesting tool I have made use of lately is an ***adjustable*** rotary laser level. This, is s cheaper model that does not auto level the beam in the horizontal plane. Instead it has a typical 3 point adjustment on the tripod. This allows me to adjust the tilt to match the overall grade. The trick is I don't have to survey, log elevations, determine the grade, caluclate new positions, etc... instead just tilt until the elevation on the pole matches at the tripod, and the far end. Then all the reads in the middle are the same number. Real easy for doing corrections to existing track.

I remember back in the NGLS we used a builders level and calculated every elevation, surveyed the dirt, and then final check on the railhead. It was worth it. We have the best built track in the Southeast.


JP
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John Pennington

Project
2 Mich-Cal Shays
Allen 4-4-0 Narrow Gauge Conversion
Reading A5a Camelback 0-4-0
USRA 0-6-0
Clishay
4 Western Wheeled Scraper NG Dump Cars
N&W 4-8-2
ICM 2-10-2
4 Modern Stake Cars
L&N Caboose
4 Big Four Conversion Gondolas

Like I'm actually gonna build all this stuff :-P

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NP317
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by NP317 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:17 am

Glenn:
I believe that Kitsap Live Steamers has a track-viewing mirror rig you can look at for ideas.
~RussN

mikeehlert
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by mikeehlert » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:13 am

On weed control.... Roundup now has a 365 version claiming to control weeds for a year, pre-emergent built in. I am old so not too worried about contracting cancer from new exposures but wear gloves and use a really coarse spray/solid stream. Blackberries are prevalent in Northern California where I tend a ranch occasionally. Ortho Weed-Be-Gone is slow but sure for them.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Your RR grading methods??

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:18 pm

JP, and Russ, thanks for the info. Very handy ideas. The mirror might be a very handy tool for Che king my track as the ballast and sub grade settle. My builders laser has proved invaluable. And I like the idea of one that can adjust to shoot slopes. Iam thinking about building a track maintenance car. One that will measure existing slope and any super elevation, e.g track unevenness, plus allow me to grab the rail and raise it for correcting ballast. But, maybe the horse has already left the barn on this as Iam just finishing up my track laying.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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