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Storable midsize layout

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  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • 3 posts
Storable midsize layout
Posted by sharpless on Sunday, November 05, 2017 3:40 PM

Hello there,

So I am in the planning stages for a first layout after ~23 years away from the hobby. I now have a dream house with a 12x20 ft basement which my wife and I are very blessed to own. I want to build an around-the-walls layout, but the basement doubles as a rec room that my wife and kids love.

The problem here is that with a rectangular layout, one of the shorter 12 foot ends will need to be removable and placed in storage while the kids are there. This will require part of the layout to be on wheels and moved somewhat regularly a few meters into the utility room.

Has anyone successfully built a layout like this where part of it is moved? I suppose the major problem would be to get the height measured correctly. The other problem is  the scenery could be loosened (layout setting is in Appalachia) or the wood moved out of alignment after some time.

My only other alternative I can think of would be a dogbone, but the reverse loop would require a lot of space. Otherwise it would have to be a classic point-to-point design which would require turning of the trains and take away from the "railfan" experience.

Any thoughts / ideas would be most appreciated. Thank you.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 3,933 posts
Posted by cowman on Monday, November 06, 2017 7:02 PM

Welcome to the forums.

It sounds like you need to make a module that will detach from your main layout.  I have heard of folks having a detachable module that they take out fo their layout and take to a club layout at shows, etc, just have it on wheels.

Look up alignment methods that module groups use.  I have seen wooden pins, bolts and various notch arrangements to aling and hold the sections together.  Talk to groups at shows and look at their system of attaching. 

I wouldn't be too concerned about the scenery falling off, as long as you attach it properly in the first place.  You may  have a seam to cover, but creative use of roads, buildings and other elements can do quite a bit of masking. 

If you are worried about your floor not being level, put easy rolling wheels on the two outer legs and adjusting screws on the legs that will be  next to the stationary parts of the layout.

Good luck,

Richard

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,286 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Monday, November 06, 2017 8:59 PM

I don't see any problem with having a section of the layout roll away and then be reconnected later.  Alignment, of course, is the problem.  I know some guys who have used these:

 

https://www.freemansupply.com/products/foundry-tools-supplies/alignment-dowels/freeman-square-head-dowels-installation-tools/freeman-square-head-brass-dowels

and they have worked beautifully.

Once you get the removable section back in rough position, you should be able to draw the sections together with some C-clamps using the above as aligners.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 3,806 posts
Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 7:43 AM

They make adjustable swivel casters but you best bet may be to build height adjusters into the carts to get proper alignment. Sine it is an all the time move, you proubly need to invest in metal joining plates to get perfect alignment.

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 2,111 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 6:40 PM

Model Railroader built their Beer Line on casters.  It also uses modules that can be placed in different orientations to change the track plan.  The good news is it is a series available to subscribers of Model Railroader Video Plus.

The bad news is the 1st 5 videos won't download for me at this moment.  This does not seem to be a glitch on my end, so I would call them before I subscribed just for that.  I think it is a worthwhile subscription regardless.  I have emailed them regarding the problem.

The alignment pins they use are from Great Britain and the link is in the video.

In some of their videos, eg the Canadian Canyon, they solder the ends of the rails at the junction between modules, to circuit board ties nailed to the subroadbed for added stability.  I am not sure this is absolutely necessary, but they take their modules on the road.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 2,111 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 7:10 PM

Customer service is on the case:

"Kalmbach has not removed the Beer Line videos from the VP site. Programming is aware of the problem and they are looking into a solution. 

We appreciate this opportunity to be of service."

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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