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SNSR Layout Build

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, November 30, 2020 10:21 AM

A bunch of little bitty windows. When stuff comes out of the laser cutter, they are covered with a very fine dust, which is vaporized bits of acrylic, and they need to be washed in warm soapy water and dried. The millions of tiny pieces are too small and cumbersome to be dried with a towel or something, so they are laid out to let Wyoming's 15% humidity do its thing. Hence this photo:

It is also a good idea to do an inventory count, so laying out in groups helps. Also, including a small monetary offering to the gods of chaos helps insure that a few stragglers don't get sucked into the vortex of doom . . .

Robert

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 30, 2020 10:33 AM

ROBERT PETRICK
Also, including a small monetary offering to the gods of chaos helps insure that a few stragglers don't get sucked into the vortex of doom

Is a penny enough to satisfy the Gods of Chaos? I would put out at least a nickel.

I guess drying the pieces with compressed air would be out of the question.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, November 30, 2020 10:40 AM

SeeYou190
ROBERT PETRICK
Also, including a small monetary offering to the gods of chaos helps insure that a few stragglers don't get sucked into the vortex of doom

Is a penny enough to satisfy the Gods of Chaos? I would put out at least a nickel.

I guess drying the pieces with compressed air would be out of the question.

-Kevin

I sometimes use dimes, or even go all in and use a quarter. But the shiny silver (aluminum-plated copper-clad) surfaces cause a bright glare in macro photos.

I use a calibrated compressor that delivers 98-degree air in controlled bursts.

Robert 

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 3:11 PM

There have been a few threads recently regarding bridges. One talked about road bridges, and I wasn't entirely sure what the OP meant by that. I would interpret the phrase 'road' bridge to mean highway bridge; you know, vehicular traffic. But, being a railroad forum, most posters assumed it meant railroad bridge, which is perfectly understandable. So, I didn't post anything thereto.

But it got me to thinking that since I added a little back story about how I arrived at the name of one bridge on my layout, I should add some more info about the other one.

Here's a photo of the inspiration:

The Hart Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida. A highway bridge. When I first came to know this bridge, it was called the Commodore Point Bridge. The project manager for the company that built it was named Winston Littlefield, an old-school engineer from a time when there were giants who built this country using little more than a piece of paper, a piece of pencil, and a slide rule. 

When highway bridges in Florida cross deep rivers, they have to rise considerably to allow ocean-going ships to pass underneath. That rising (and the corresponding falling on the other side) necessitates a long, gentle vertical curve in the middle, easily noticed in this photo. Fabricating and constructing such a curve on my layout was possible, but a whole lot more complicated to pull off. So mine is flat. And it is compressed a little. I had plenty of room (N Scale), but 66 inches is long enough and there's no sense being ridiculous about it.

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Thursday, December 31, 2020 12:36 PM

I'm currently doing some more design work on the little Maritime Museum for my layout, so I'm belatedly responding to a comment about this photo posted about a year ago. I apologize for the delay.

7j43k

I think those flags read:

"If you can read this, you're too close." 

Ed 

Actually, it reads 'Hurricane Anita'.

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 10:37 AM

Here is the rough first draft of a candidate for the Maritime Museum, laser cut from 0.030" taskboard (a kind of lightweight fibrous papery cardboard similar to the gray chipboard on the back of legal pads). Not wood, not even close, but not paper either. Stiff enough to form fairly straight surfaces that stand up to careful handling.

What I have in mind is an old-timey residence that is large enough and grand enough to house a legitimate museum. By old-timey, I mean from about 1900 or before. A kind of well-built mini-mansion of a style and character that seems suited for a wind-swept and rugged seaside location, and a bit above average within the local gentry. I figure the original inhabitants might have made a little pocket money running rum during Prohibition, or at least they could have kept a lookout for those who did, and they used the proceeds to move up in status and mingle amongst the horses-and-yachts crowd.

Robert

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 11:38 AM

I have visited several small museums, and that building looks right in-line for the smaller historical society museums. The right size, and the right style.

The Widow's Walk (I think that is what it is called) on the roof makes it look more suitable for the maritime theme.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 12:21 PM

SeeYou190

The Widow's Walk (I think that is what it is called) on the roof makes it look more suitable for the maritime theme.

-Kevin

Yes. And a few large artifacts and exhibits displayed on the pavilion out back will also help sell the maritime theme: a pair of crossed kedge anchors taken from a Spanish treasure galleon and a long-nine deck gun from the British frigate who captured her. Plus a solid bronze ship's bell or two that're always popular with the bubble gum crowd.

Robert 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:12 PM

Nice Robert.  According to local historical societies, there a few huge farm houses in the midwest that also have the widows walk, so mom or wife could watch for a son or husband due home from the war, or a long voyage.

There are some in the rual (not as rural as it once was) areas around where I live.

Some had enclosed cupalas with a deck surrounding it.

I suppose it all started as maritime related, but it did carry inland as well.

Nice model!

Mike.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 2:23 PM

mbinsewi

Nice model!

Mike.

Hey Mike, thanks.

This model is my first effort on this particular scratch-build. I think I will add a quick coat of rattle can white primer (to kinda diminish the laser scorch marks) and paint the roofs (rooves?) green (to simulate the copper roofs the neauveau riche original owners would have used to impress the neighbors) and place it on the layout to see how it looks in the overall scheme. It can stay there pretty much indefinitely until something better comes along.

The final model will be a little different depending on construction methods and materials used. Some details are normally not shown because . . . well . . . N Scale, and the 24-inch rules always comes into play.

But some details not shown on this rough draft will be incorporated into the final model; such as doors, windows, shutters, stairs, and railings. I will try to find these things from the usual places, but some will have to be scratch-built because they are simply not commercially available. And here's where the educational aspect of this exercise arises.

A lot of people ask me if I plan to ever use 3D printing, and it seems that now is a good time to start. I will make some 3D CAD models and send the files into Shapeways (or some similar outfit) and see what's what. Might work, might not. But we'll see.

Robert 

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 2:27 PM

Just reading thru the thread,  Robert.    Excellent work indeed.   Something to be really proud of.  Well done.

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by Chuck Stuettgen on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 3:12 PM

WOW!  Very Nice!  Would you be willing to share the laser cut file? My Brother has a 60w laser cutter and I would love putting that on my HO layout.

Thanks

Chuck

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 4:32 PM

Very nice work Robert. I took this opertunity to reread this thread as well. Your approach to layout building is very interesting.

I have been building models a long time, but I have the highest respect for those who work in N scale. I can't even imagine working in a scale that small.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by "JaBear" on Thursday, January 7, 2021 1:11 AM
Gidday Robert, great modelling but then I’m afraid I don’t expect anything less from you!!Smile, Wink & Grin
Am I to assume that “Taskboard” is not a suitable material for a permanent structure?

Cheers, the Bear

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Thursday, January 7, 2021 1:26 AM

Chuck Stuettgen

WOW!  Very Nice!  Would you be willing to share the laser cut file? My Brother has a 60w laser cutter and I would love putting that on my HO layout.

Thanks

Chuck

Hey Chuck-

Thanks. I appreciate your interest.

I've only just recently started into designing and building laser-cut structures. I'm still working out a lot of the details, and there are a lot of details to work out. I'm trying to figure out where the state of the art stands today, and what I can do to advance the craft.

For this particular structure, I am pondering both an N scale version and an HO version as well. There's more to going from N to HO than simply multiplying dimensions by a scale factor of 1.84 or something. I'm trying to figure out which materials are best to use and how those materials can be cut out, handled, assembled, joined, glued, painted, etc.

When I get a little further along the learning curve, I'll send you a PM. I'd be curious to see how well an interested third-party can take a raw set of drawings and assemble the model. It could be valuable to get real-world feedback and an honest assessment of the design.

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Thursday, January 7, 2021 2:01 PM
Hey Bear-
 
I tried responding to your question last midnight (that works out to about noon tomorrow, your time) and first thing this morning, but when I pushed the 'reply' button I got the dreaded 403 Forbidden message both times. No idea if that will happen again after I try to recompose my answer from last night . . .
 
Taskboard seems to be a perfectly stable material to work with, as stable as anything else we modelers commonly use, and perfectly suitable for permanent structures. I guess it depends on what you mean by permanent. Rough, gentle, and/or repeated handling also comes into play.
 
But it appears to be kinda 'chunky'. I don't know if that is the correct term. Maybe friable is closer, but I don't think that is accurate either. The edges and corners fray easily. Taskboard cannot be sanded or filed, and when I try, the surface peels off in layers. It absorbs water and swells up. It bends easily (which is either good or bad, depending on your situation) and leaves wrinkles.
 
I'm new to laser cutting. My plan is to use smooth dense multi-ply aircraft-grade birch plywood in very thin sheets: 1/32" (0.032", not sure about mm for our International System friends) and 1/64" (0.016"). Also, thin veneers of maple and walnut and single-ply balsa or basswood in similar sizes. I have some of this material on hand, and I'll try it out and publish the results as I go along.

Robert

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 7, 2021 5:27 PM

Robert, I found that emojis in the quoted post are causing the 403 error. Delete the emoji and the post will work.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 7, 2021 5:34 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Robert, I found that emojis in the quoted post are causing the 403 error. Delete the emoji and the post will work.

Sheldon 

Well, I'll be. I gotta try that. Sometimes I can quote a reply, other time I can't.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, January 10, 2021 1:55 PM
Gidday Robert, sorry about the issues you encountered trying to reply to my question, but thanks for the reply.
 
Yes, I was a bit vague, but my idea of permanent structures are those that can stand the rigors of repeated transportation as part of exhibition HO scale nodules.
 
A pity about the Taskboard but here are certainly other materials that would be more suitable. I have a friend who is also a modeller (HO scale) who has a laser engraving / cutting business, who also designs various commercial gift / presentation items, and when he comes back from his well-deserved summer break, I’ll pick his brains regarding the materials he uses and their applicability, and will report back. I know he’s mentioned bamboo based products.
 
He hasn’t had the time to do much regarding laser cut model railroading stuff, except for these HO scale “logging cabins” which are cut from 1/8” (3mm) MDF and card. (If I ever get to retire, I’d like to think I could learn how to use CAD and give him the files)
 
IMG_1503 (2) by Bear, on Flickr
Keep having FUN,

Cheers, the Bear. Smile

 

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, January 11, 2021 10:34 AM

Just about ready to place on the layout.

Robert

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 10:52 AM

Nice!

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 4:11 PM

Pruitt

Nice!

Thanks!

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