CNR 3737: Test of Wisdom

On Friday, Andy Malette and I returned to working on our CNR S-3-a Mikados. With other commitments we had taken the summer off, and much of the autumn – our last day in the workshop was in mid-May – and it was time to get back at it.

Andy had cut and filed some sheet brass for us to fold into the covered steam turret located immediately in front of the cab. (Thanks, Andy!) I removed the exposed turret and the various lines that radiated from it, then bent the shroud and soldered it into place. It took some doing, and some cleaning up afterwards, but it’s in place.

CNR 3737 turret shroud

The next step was to start plumbing the turret (and the air pump, and the feed water heater, and…) … but I looked at the photos and looked at the model and nothing was making sense. We still had an hour set aside to work on things, but I realized that due to a combination of things (including lack of sleep the night before), I just didn’t have the focus to tackle the plumbing on Friday. So, we called it a day.

It was hard to do that – it has been months since we worked on these locomotives and I’m enjoying the process as much as watching new models come together. But I realized that I could do more damage than good if I kept at it. Upon reflection, it was the wisest decision I could’ve made.

I reminded myself of this today, while revisiting the model in the comfort of my own workshop. I again took a look at plumbing and, after installing one pipe between air pump and turret, pushed back from the bench and called it a day. Again, a hard decision to make – but the right one.

CNR 3737 turret shroud

I will look at the project later this week. Meantime, Andy and I are planning another day in his shop, later this month. I’ll do my best to get more sleep beforehand!

3 thoughts on “CNR 3737: Test of Wisdom

  1. I hate that feeling, but its the right decision every time. There are nights where all I want to do is putter on some model, but I get to the workbench and quickly realize that for whatever reason, I’m not actually feeling whatever project or task is in front of me, and I walk away lest I make a mistake and set myself back instead of forwards.

    Nice post and a good reminder that sometimes discretion is the better part of valour when it comes to trying to push ahead.


  2. Trevor,
    It’s a hobby – and you’re attempting a project for which you have little or no experience, using tools and materials that are new to you. I think you need to give yourself a break so if you’re not in the zone that day, you’re not in the zone that day.
    I had a similar experience with the old layout – I’d set up a work session on the layout several days in advance. My friends would show up, tools in hand, and I’d have to tell them “sorry, just not feeling it today.” I felt guilty that I had dragged them over to the house and all we ended up doing was a BS session out on the deck or at the local watering hole. And yes, I felt like a slug that nothing had been accomplished. But in retrospect, the bull sessions were often more enjoyable than working on the layout would have been!

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