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Hard to believe but summer is over! Normally We would be starting for business in September . This year however we will be starting on October 15th. After 30 years at our house, we had decided it was time for a change. We have been involved this summer in moving from Kansasville to Gresham Wisconsin, about 3 hours north. As a result, we just have not had the time to attend train shows, and work very much with our TinMan business, and so we need to reach out to you folks cross country to help us acquire inventory for the upcoming fall season. Specifically we need O and O27 switches, remote control tracks and of course tracks. Also we are in need of Lionel transformers new. we have now Lionel/Ives standard gauge 3 rail track. Sooo if you have some excess inventory you can dispose of, please contact us. We would love to buy it and most important can promise your old treasures will be reconditioned and given a new life on someone’s layout,
We have a system where we can email shipping labels to you to ease the process. Email: TinMan@TinMan3rail.com or feel free to call at 262-914-0057 for details.
We have reconditioned thousands of pieces of tinplate track over the past few years, we are unfortunately seeing more and more tracks that are Fubar. Which means they are rusted and pitted beyond practical repair or refurbishing. Supplies are getting more and more scarce. So as a result we must redouble our efforts to make sure our refurbished tracks will not end up as scrap or unusable for many years to come. We cannot re-tin tracks economically, but we can increase our focus on our TinMan Gen II tracks, eventually making it our exclusive offering. We want your great great grandchildren to open a box of tracks and run trains on them.
The Chinese tracks we seeing, are just not the same quality as the original Lionel/ k Line etc. that we have been accustomed to. This is not a criticism, just recognizing that it would be too costly to produce those qualities of track today. While occasionally we end up with some fastrack, Cargraves or Realtrax that we will offer for sale as is. We will not be reconditioning any of the track or switches of those brands, Our experience is when they break, most are junk.
So below is our new business plan:

  • O gauge: We are eliminating bright and shiny tracks in favor of our TinMan Gen II tracks. The new process we have developed for these tracks has been working really well. The stainless steel pins have proven to be a good decision. We no longer have any continuity issues due to rusting pins inside the tracks. Our O22 switches continue to be very popular. Hate to say it but the Chinese O72 and O22 switches are starting to give us grief to the degree that we have had to scrap quite a few of them. Once again the quality just is not there.
  • O27: We are committed to being the major supplier for those who prefer to stay with O27 tinplate. Last year we actually sold an equal amount of O27 tracks and switches vs O gauge. We will be increasing our production of Gen II painted tracks, and anticipate sometime this season we will be dropping our Bright and Shiny tracks in favor of the TinMan favorite Gen II tracks. Stainless steel pins will be installed on all tracks, switches, and remote control tracks we sell. O switches continue to be our mainstay reconditioning project, and we have resolved ourselves that the reconditioning process is a significant time investment and will continue to be. Our techs have surpassed over 1000 reconditioned remote control switches, and have determined there are no cute shortcuts that can be taken with them, and have them work to original or better standards. As much as we hate to do it, we will need to be increasing prices on these items.
  • O27 switches and controllers: We will redouble our efforts to provide the best working and longest lasting switches and controls and will include with every O27 switch: All O27 switches sold will have the provision for accessory power hook ups. All O27controllers will have the ROB NELSON cd system built in. This was an option that I personally was a little skeptical about, but now must admit, it is a really good system. We have had a couple of incidences where the cd system did not work properly, and are adding some additional testing to insure they will work 100% perfect. All O27 remote control switches will have NO D RAIL FUNCTIONS.
  • All controllers we offer will have our oversized LED’s to indicate the switches positions.
  • O gauge customers will also see the end of bright and shiny tracks, from us, however we will continue to provide what we call Korean era tracks, that were galvanized. These tracks, once we install the stainless steel pins, are acceptable for outdoor installations.
    Our O gauge controllers for the uncoupler/unloader tracks are scheduled for redesign. Have had some issues with the push on toggle switches, and have ordered new switches that are much heavier duty. If you have some problems with our previous controllers, let us know and we will replace them with the new heavy duty models.
  • We have officially added the Lionel/Ives standard gauge tracks to our line of tracks and switches. The tracks will only be available with the TinMan GEN II modifications.
  • Transformers: Last year we have created two test benches for testing and evaluating our transformers. This new equipment accurately evaluate the performance of our transformers. Up until now we have been reluctant to sell transformers other than the KW and ZW models. With this new equipment we can now offer a wide range of transformers from Lionel and American flyer, and sell them with confidence knowing they will work properly for our customers. We have already been pleasantly surprised by what we are discovering with many of these transformers.  Only the KW and ZW transformers will have our “bells are ringing” feature.
  • We will be adding the Lionel/Ives standard gauge track and switches to our list of items we recondition. They will be reconditioned to TinMan Gen II standards.
  • We recognize a need to redo our instructions.

Please! When storing your tracks, give the tops of the rails a quick wipe down with transmission fluid. This will protect them from rust, and can easily be removed when you are ready for the track with a wipe down using Acetone.

Lastly: help wanted!
Virtually all of our Arizona staff are retired seniors who are not getting any younger. Most all are now Mid 70’s. Last year was another record sales year, and as the season progressed with the additional sales, many of us ended up working way to many hours. We are now looking for a tinplate hobbyist who has not only serious interest in tinplate but has the necessary business, and technical skills. Most important would be able to take over our Arizona operation eventually. Ideally someone who would be able to assume  100% these responsibilities for at least 10 years or so. If it sounds interesting to you, give me a call. Rich AKA TinMan 262-914-0057 or email: tinman@tinman3rail.com