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Still here!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

I’m still around. I’ve just not been actively building much. There’s not enough free time in my personal life to pursue all my hobbies :-)

Avery Family Interview

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

A few months ago we were interviewed by a local radio station. This was about our passion and hobbies related to LEGO.

The following link has the audio clip that aired as well as a photos that were taken during the interview.

New Crane

Friday, July 13th, 2012

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I posted last. I’m a %#&#^$ blogger :-)

One year and two Brick Fiestas later, I’m still around and still building! Speaking of Brick Fiesta, I was Co-Chair this year. The event took place last week. It was a great success, and I’m still really tired!

I built a new crane for the event:

click to visit my Flickr site

It’s very similar in function to previous cranes that I’ve made. However, this uses a brand new turntable design. It’s smaller than previous designs (ie Crane Project #1) and it works well. I also designed a boom with a triangular cross section made mostly of studless beams and parts.

More details to come later! Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Blog is Back Up!

Monday, June 13th, 2011

I’m sorry the blog has been down. I’m not sure how long it’s been down, but probably about a month.

My host upgraded it’s PHP, and all of my blogs needed a little maintenance to make them work again. I think I’m good to go here, although a few of my other blogs still aren’t functioning properly.

On the building front, I’ve been finishing up my UP 844. I’m also finishing up a new, small project that I’ve not announced yet. It’s for the kids and it’s train related. I’ll get photos up in the coming weeks.

I’m also preparing for Brick Fiesta in Austin, Texas. It’s less than 3 weeks away!

Welcome 2011 – News

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

A belated Happy New Year to you all! There are several things I’d like to announce and highlight:

Brick Fiesta: The first ever AFOL (adult fan of LEGO®) convention in the southern US is coming soon. Brick Fiesta will be held in Austin, Texas starting on June 30, 2011 and will run through July 3. TexLUG (the Texas LEGO® Users Group; my home-state LUG) is presenting this event. I will be there as a displayer of MOCs and also as a volunteer to help with the convention.

My Building Desk: The modifications and “upgrades” (that I previously mentioned) are done. I worked on it slowly through December, particularly during the Christmas break, but it’s finally complete.

And it’s awesome. I finally have an efficient, well organized build area. And no photos :-) I’ll get some up soon.

Various Projects: Seems like I always have multiple projects sitting around waiting for completion. Well, I decided to scrap some and finally pick up old ones and work on them.

• Crane Project: This started years ago as a study of some new ideas on heavy-duty designs for large cranes. I’ve decided to scrap the turntable design completely (instead of just revising it) and start a new one. This will be a long-term project that may not get finished for a long while (that should be a disclaimer on every project of mine :-)

• UP 844: Last year my family and I saw the Union Pacific heritage 844 steam locomotive (a 4-8-4) roll through town. Shortly after, I became greatly inspired and bought a set of BBB XL drivers. This project is only about 30-40% complete, and I finally picked it up last weekend and worked on it. I’m hoping to get it done in a month or so. It will be PF (LEGO® Power Functions).

• Trees: I recently built a large tree and fixed (or nearly so) the issue of the leaf elements falling off. This involves using very short pieces of flex tubing where leaf elements join together. I plan on re-doing all my previously built trees. Photos to come soon.

• Trains: Aside from the 844 MOC, I’m still very much interested in building new train stock. I’m not sure what I want to do just yet, but I do need more rolling stock as well as revision of my existing MOCs. For example, I’d like to re-do my UP diesel MOC to make it PF compatible. We’ll see… This is low-priority at the moment.

• Something Big: I’m set on building something new and quite large for Brick Fiesta. I’m not sure what it will be. Perhaps the results of the crane project? Perhaps something else? :-)

Brick Fiesta 2011

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

TexLUG (Texas LEGO® Users Group) is hosting the first international AFOL convention in Texas next year, scheduled for June 30 through July 3, 2011. I’m part of the TexLUG club and will most likely be helping out with this event as well as attending it with MOCs to display.

Please check out the Brick Fiesta site for more info:

Status Update

Friday, August 27th, 2010

I’m sorry, but I don’t have much to update :-)

I actually dug out the Pennybacker Bridge model (or the pieces of it, actually), assembled most of it, and repaired the damage done when I broke it down after the last show. I’m thinking of maybe displaying it in my house somewhere, but it’s rather large and I’ll also have to keep it out of reach of my kids! :-)

Work, photography, and my home life has occupied my time. My sons and I have tinkered a lot, but I’ve not built anything serious since the bridge.

Actually, I do have a train project going. I need to finish it…

Projects & Stuff – Feb. 2010

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

TexLUG’s display at the Healthy Baby and Child Expo in Houston was a good success (see more info and pics here). Our modular tables (based on the MichLUG design) made their debut and worked quite well.

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It was very nice to have a flat, level surface (roughly matching LEGO dimensions) to set our stuff on.

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Finally… I have taken photos of my train work :-) I’ve been messing around with two things. The first is an 8-wide bogie for freight cars.

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I did a lot of test runs at the HBCE show, and the fatal flaw in the design is that the outsides of the bogie fall off. Their attachment to the inner frame is a little weak, and that’s something I’ll revise.

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My other train work has been on a compact, powered bogie. This design will be useful to make a powered (using LEGO’s Power Functions parts) boxcar or perhaps a tender for a steam engine.

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It’s problem is that the whole assembly torques to one side when running. This presents a problem when running through switches. I’ll work on debugging this design.

I’m making the switch to using PF trains and getting away from the old 9V system. One of my old 9V motors died recently, and it’s just the push I needed to move to PF. Aside from that, I’m really attracted to making PF trains because I get to design and build the drive systems. That’s Technic-related stuff and that’s what I enjoy.

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And finally we have Project X.

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More about that later :-)

Update Jan. 2010

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

We’re already in the back-half of January 2010 and I honestly don’t know where time has gone. It almost makes a whooshing sound as it flies by.

My older son has been building a lot in the past several months. He’s built many small sets and has also started to use his imagination to make his own MOCs.

It’s been a lot of fun watching him build and play. A lot of my “LEGO time” is just being with him and helping him when he needs it.

So what’s new?

The complete Memorial Hermann tower model is pictured below. Sometime later, when they get the model in its permanent display, I’ll visit it to take my own photos.

I’ve been helping out our LUG (TexLUG) to build modular train tables. Here are some photos from Tony Sava.

I continue to tinker with PF trains and making powered bogies. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before here, but I’ve been wanting to “upgrade” my existing trains to PF, and I’m experimenting with various wheel and gear arrangements to find something that works smoothly and is durable.

My crane project sits idle. I disassembled the base and plan on building a new turntable. Rather, I need to finish the design that I came up with last year.

I’ve not yet disassembled the 10+ foot long arched truss bridge I built last year. I’ve decided to re-use it for an upcoming TexLUG event in March. But I’m going to widen the bridge by 8 studs to make passage of TexLUG’s monster-wide trains possible :-)

I think that’s it for the to-do list. Oh wait, there’s the white tower crane project as well….

So many ideas… too little time :-)

Memorial Herman Tower

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Whoops… I’ve let a lot of time slip by. I’ve been sitting on a special project for a long while now. It’s done as of about two weeks ago, but I have yet to upload the finished photos. Here’s a sneak peak of the unfinished model.

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This is a 1:130 scale (roughly) model of a new hospital building here in Houston. I was contracted to built it, and planning and construction took place this past spring. I ended up passing along a portion of the model to another builder, Kurt Baty, so the MOC is actually co-designed and built by us.

Aside from that, nothing LEGO-related has been going on around here since the 10-foot bridge. I’ve messed around with some custom trucks for my train rolling stock, and I’ve played along with my 4-year old son quite a bit. He’s into building his own MOCs :-)