TEMPORARY LAYOUT QUESTION

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TEMPORARY LAYOUT QUESTION
Posted by POTRZBE on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:19 PM

I am planning a temporary layout for the grandkids.  I will have to assemble it at my home at truck it approx 1000 miles to their home.  Here's what I am planning.  Please let me know if you see any flies in this ointment.

I will get a 3/4 inch sheet of 4x8 plywood cut in half.  To those two pieces I will attach a 48" piano hinge.  To that I will attach 1" thick pink foam for sound deadening.  This will sit on 2 sawhorses of about 40" in height.

The whole idea is for this platform to be portable and knock downable.  They are at a stage right now where they just want some track up and trains to run.

Thanks in advance.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:28 PM

I think you may need some sort of framework for the plywood, otherwise I don't think the plywood will remain level (ie will warp).  However, that presents the problem of being able to fold the table.  Those are just my thoughts.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:30 PM

Good plan, but I'd advise the following...

Since the tracks will be sitting on 1" of pink foam anyway I'd go with a thinner grade of plywood, that 3/4 in thickness is going to be heavy and cumbersome, even if you fold it for convenience.

Personal experience, my under the Christmas tree layout is on a 3/4" 4x8 piece of plywood cut lengthwise for easier storage, but let me tell you those two halves get heavier with each passing year!

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Posted by POTRZBE on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:43 PM

Thanks for the quick responses.  Their dad will do the lifting.  My main concern is the piano hinge and support of the 2 saw horses.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:47 PM

Depending on where the fold is and how it goes if you have a substantial enough piano hinge and good strong sawhorses you should be fine.

And at least "Dad" is doing the lifting! 

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Monday, March 12, 2018 4:27 PM

Agree with Firelock, 3/4 inch plywood is very heavy. 7/16 OSB or even 1/4" with foam board would be much lighter for transport.

Are you planning on having the tracks attached to the folding platform? Tube track can be very diffacult to work with attached to a folding layout. You will want to use FasTrack. You can more easily dusconnect and reaasemble FT sections.

 

 

Something like fastrack is better because you can easily disconnect the track at the joints, 

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Posted by cwburfle on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 7:08 AM

I think a one piece, hinged layout made of a 3/4 inch plywood sheet is not going to stand up, and is going to be too heavy for dad to move around. And if it's too heavy, it is not going to be used.

A while back I built two Tinplate tracker modules from kits that a local guy made up.
The top was luan plywood with 1 by 4 pine framing. (i'd put one center brace down the center of each half) What made it so strong was using glue and screws to assemble the frame and attach the top.

The two sections can be attached together with carriage bolts. We used "C" clamps on the modules.
Electrical connections were made with jones plugs. Don't know whether they are made any longer, I would use whatever similar product is made today.

The modules had detachable legs with levelers on the bottom, I think they were 2 by 2 with braces. I don't see why sawhorses couldn't be used.


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Posted by DJSpanky on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 7:57 AM

Okay, I'm going to play devil's advocate here.

Do they need a layout laid down on plywood?

The reason I ask is, with FasTrack, you can make pretty much make any layout you want, lay it down on floor or carpeting, leave it up as long as you want (or as long as their parent's can put up with it :D), then take it down and stack the pieces in a plastic tube until next time.

Plus, you can make the layout as big as you want. For example:

layout

It also gives them the chance to be creative, as our multiple track layout above demonstrates.

Any way, just wanted to share some thoughts.

Spank


Mr. Potty Mouth - Rockin' your sugar-coated, bubble-wrapped world one word at a time.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 5:56 PM

DJ, you just gave me some ideas on how to amuse myself the next time Lady Firestorm's away on an extended visit somewhere!

I'm sure Ginger our attack Basset might find it amusing as well.

Hey, maybe I'd even leave it on the living room floor for Lady F's return, just to hear her scream!

PS:  How'd you get through those nasty storms up in Jersey?  Everyone and everything all right, I hope.

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Posted by traindaddy1 on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 8:36 PM

Hello:

I agree with the replies concerning the weight. A thinner board with the foam, properly supported, should be fine. Probably will need a separate small table (or snack tray) to hold the transformer.

Am glad you said "truck it".  A 48" x 48" x 4" approx. is a huge item.

Since you mentioned "platform", I assume that you will be adding the track when you get there.  

Curious....What type of track are you planning to use?

Wish you all the best. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by DJSpanky on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 9:39 PM

Firelock76

PS:  How'd you get through those nasty storms up in Jersey?  Everyone and everything all right, I hope.

We survived - got 6 inches on March 1st, 21.25 inches last Wednesday, and 4 inches last night. Still have about 16 inches in the back at this point. Hoping the next nor'easter they're predicting (Tuesday) leaves us alone.

Spank


Mr. Potty Mouth - Rockin' your sugar-coated, bubble-wrapped world one word at a time.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 5:22 PM

Holy smoke DJ, Lady Firestorm and I feel your pain, when we lived in Stockholm (Sussex County) we didn't stop worrying about snow until the first of May.

A weekend I was away on business Lady F had to deal with a 22" snowfall.  She was digging constantly so our (then) Basset hound Tobi had a place to go!

Basset's don't have a lot of ground clearance you know.

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Posted by POTRZBE on Thursday, March 15, 2018 7:59 AM

The layout will be all Fastrack.  O36 on the outer loop, O31 on the inner loop.  Thanks to the many replies, I am reconsidering the thickness of the plywood platform.  At Christmas I have 3 4x4 sheets side by side but they are only 8 inches above the carpet, supported by fence post type lumber.  That might work better.

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Posted by NNJRailfan on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 3:38 PM

My layout is exactly what you're considering - a 4x8 plywood cut in half with a piano hinge to make it storable and portable (I bring it to my club's semi-annual show and sale).  Here are some of my lessons learned:

1) I used 1/2" plywood with 1.5" foam on top.  It is heavy, but movable (if you have long arms).  I'm not so confident about being able to lift 3/4".

2) I used the 4' hinge sold at my local home depot - while it is strong enough to hold it together I don't think it's strong enough to keep the two sides even for long without central support.  An additional sawhorse in the center is advised.

3) The plywood will warp at the ends.  I lined the edges with 2" molding screwed into the edge of the plywood.

4) Placement of wiring is a challenge.  If you lay it on top of the surface you may want to cover it - I used duct tape and then painted it the same color as the surface, but you can still see the lumps.  If you have the time and patience you may wish to carve out channels in the foam before you affix anything permanently.  If you aren't concerned about it folding completely flat, then you can feed the wire underneath by drilling holes into the plywood.

5) Keeping the tracks at the center divide aligned is obviously important.  After I fixed the track permanently, I glued small blocks on both sides at the end of the track that crosses the center.  When the layout is unfolded, the track ends slide in-between the blocks and remain aligned perfectly with the tracks on the other side.  The only place on my layout where alignment has been a problem is where the ends of the tracks reach right up to the middle on both sides.

6) Glue and screw your tracks down, especially at the center.  Moving the layout shakes the track loose of any glue or adhesive.  Screws don't hold well into the foam, so make sure they are long enough to dig into the plywood.  If they poke through the bottom, use a grinding wheel on a drill or Dremel to smooth them out.

If I think of anything else, I'll post it here.  If you wish to discuss, please don't hesitate to message me.

Craig

This car stops at ALL railroad crossings!

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Posted by NNJRailfan on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 3:44 PM

Aah, there is one more thing - in my experience layouts are rarely "temporary" -- they just get replaced with newer and bigger ones!

This car stops at ALL railroad crossings!

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