Meetings

Our regular meetings are held at 1:00 pm on the 2nd Saturday of the month (except June, July, and August).

We no longer meet at the Lansing Public Library. We have several other locations available, and we will alternate among them for the indefinite future. Please check this page or the Division 5 Journal for current meeting information!

Here’s our meeting location schedule (subject to changes) thru May, 2018:

  • The March meeting will be held at Olivet College, where Terry Davis will present another “make-and-take” scratch-building project. This year’s project will be an early-era wooden flatcar.  Bring your tool kit! See the “Highlights” below for more information, a map and directions.
  • The April meeting will be at Andy Keeney’s layout.  There will be 3 clinics, subjects to be announced. Check here later for details,  a map and directions.
  • The May meeting will be at the Meridian Township Fire Station 91 and Administration Building, 5000 Okemos Road. Click here for a map , or here for a map and directions. The clinic will be “Maintaining A Fleet Of Steam Locos”, presented by Bill Neale. The layout tour will be at David Wentworth’s. A map and directions will be available at the meeting.

For a recap of past meetings, see our Journal page.


Highlights of our next meeting:

  • Date:  Saturday, March 10, 2018, 1:00pm
  • Location: The C.S. Mott Academic Center at Olivet College. Directions to the College are here, and a campus map is here (the Mott Center is building 10). Enter through the north door and stay on the ground level floor. Room 103 is the 2nd (or maybe 3rd) door on the left side of the hall after the fire doors.
  • Program/Clinic: Terry Davis will lead us through the construction of an early era flat car in N or HO scale. Materials will be provided. Stain, glue and tools will also be available, but it would be especially handy for participants to bring a chopper, tweezers/forceps and gel or gap filling ACC cement if they have them. If you have a jig with magnets to help keep everything square or a small machinists square – that would be useful. Otherwise, standard items like razor blades, cutting surfaces, calipers and (especially for anyone planning to try this in N-scale), an Optivisor would be good things to pack.
  • Here’s more from Terry about the clinic: “The hands on clinic for 2018 is going to be a scratch built 36’ wooden flat car in HO scale (1890 to 1930 vintage).  Why, and what use is that to me??About 7 or 8 years ago, John Hartmann approached me about building a freight car toward the 4 scratch built of 8 total cars that have to be constructed to get the NMRA Achievement Program “Master Builder – Cars” certificate.  I decided to give it a go for this year.  A number of years ago I built a kit of a flatcar from REM’s Railroad Models (Grand Blanc, MI) and it didn’t seem too bad to do.  I wanted to have a make and take on something folks could construct in an afternoon – hence the wood and the era (which I realize few folks in Div 5 are interested).  At least during the 1890 – 1930 time period, the construction was pretty straight forward. I try to do these in HO and N scale and I have plans for both.  The problem is the hardware is not as available for N scale as HO.  I plan to provide plans, lumber, brake wheel and brakewheel post (wire), stake pockets, bolsters, truss rods (nylon fishing line), turnbuckles, stirrup steps and a brake cylinder.  However, turnbuckles, bolsters, stirrup steps and brake cylinders are not available in N scale.But if you really had your heart set on doing this project in N scale, turnbuckles probably wouldn’t be seen, a piece of dowel painted black would do to provide the silhouette of the brake cylinder, stirrup steps could be “made” out of wire and I think a small block of wood could be used as a bolster.

    I recommend doing this in HO scale where things are already available.  What I need to know is how many folks are planning to attend and whether they want to attempt the project in HO or N scale.  I’m hoping folks have a couple of couplers and a pair of trucks (preferably arch bar – but Bettendorf will do) they can bring (I’ll try to find appropriate screw and drills to mount trucks).  If folks would let me know by the end of the weekend if they are coming and what scale they want to try by emailing me at tdavis@msu.edu , I can order the stuff we will need (sans trucks and couplers).  A more detailed list of tools and stuff to bring (stuff you already have) will be sent out the week before the March 10 meeting.

    There are a lot of nice kits of more modern era cars on the market, but half of the submissions for the certificate have to be “scratch built.”  Even if the car we construct isn’t appropriate for modern era, it could be loaded with scrap and left on the end of a siding or displayed on a shelf off the layout. To actually use the car in a train, it will need some weight added.

    So let me know if you are planning to attend.  If you don’t think you wish to undertake the project, feel free to come anyway, as I will have a CD or a series of train related videos playing on the computer and projector in the room we meet in (rm 103 Mott Hall).”

  • Layout Tour: To Be Announced.

Meeting dates for 2018 are:

  • April 14
  • May 12
  • June: No Meeting
  • July: No Meeting
  • August: No Meeting
  • September 14.
  • October 13.
  • November 10.
  • December 8.
Meeting dates for 2019 are:

  • To Be Determined