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SNSR Layout Build

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  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, August 19, 2018 8:11 PM

ROBERT PETRICK
Some people have said (only half-jokingly) that it is somehow unfair for me to use a CNC milling machine for scratch-building.

Bull feathers!!!! That's like saying you can't use a #11 blade to scratchbuild because it makes the cutting too easy. We should welcome new methods into the hobby. CNC is just another method of cutting various materials. It requires the same amount of thought (perhaps even more) to design the project, and it will be just as unique.

Dave

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, August 20, 2018 8:50 AM

hon30critter

Bull feathers!!!!

Hey Dave-

That's pretty much what I thought. Well actually, it's about half of what I thought. I didn't know bulls had feathers.

Robert 

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  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 20, 2018 1:46 PM

Well Shazbot!

Robert, I was out in your neck of the woods a month ago and didn't think to let you know I'd be passing through. I would have loved to see your progress and meet you in person, and it completely slipped my mind. Crying

Good to see you're still at it. I can't wait to see your finished version of the canyon.

I've also gotten started on my new version of the CB&Q in Wyoming. It'll be awhile before I get to Wind River Canyon. I'm hoping your finished work will provide me with inspiration and incentive!

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, October 27, 2018 6:43 PM

I've been working on the high-level long-span Win Littlefield Bridge. It is located at the bottom center of the upper level track plan. Here's a photo.

Nowhere near finished of course, but it shows the current progress. This photo was taken in the work room (aka spare bedroom). The workbench is a 36" by 80" by 1-3/4" solid core door resting on two sawhorses. Not very complicated or elegant, but it is about 40 years old and is as solid and flat as it ever was. I sometimes use a large piece of 1/4" plate glass on top when I get persnickety about flatness.

 

The image shows the superstructure (the stuff above the bridge deck) on the left and the deck itself (upside face down in this photo) on the right. That gray thing under the superstructure is an architectural grade aluminum channel used for alignment and assembly. 'Architectural grade' means ". . . yeah, it's a little more expensive, but at least the edges are pretty square." It is 3"X1"X1/8" by 80" long (same length as the door). It is resting on two pieces of 1x4 ripped to 3.000" (to match the aluminum channel). Raising the channel gives the four bearing points of the superstructure room to extend below where the deck will be attached. Those shiny things with all the holes located at the mid point of the span are 1"x2"x3" machining blocks. They come in handy all the time to act as braces and support pilasters and as simple mass when assembling buildings and structures. I have a bunch of those in all sizes and shapes. A bunch of clamps, too. Square, flat, plumb, straight, level, perpendicular, etc. Words to live by.

 

The original plan was to fabricate, assemble, and install this bridge and write an article about the adventure. I had taken photos of some of the early fabrication and assembly, but I was not satisfied with the results. And the narrative of the process got a little cumbersome and started sounding . . . um, well . . . uninteresting. But the main issue was the mediocre-quality photos. My (old) camera had passed the 15-year mark and was beginning to show its age. Five megapixels is just not as great as it once was. So, I got a new camera. Arrived yesterday. I downloaded and installed Helicon Remote and Helicon Focus. They are specialized software packages to control cameras remotely (eliminate shaky and blurred images, even for tripod mounts) and create enhanced images to increase depth-of-field when photos are taken in cramped and enclosed spaces (such as in a crowded layout room).

 

Anyhow, this is the first photo. Not great. I am still pretty low on the learning curve, but I expect more to come in the near future.

 

Robert

 

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, November 03, 2018 11:10 AM

The task today is building a simple square box from 1x6 basswood, 18" long by 4" wide by 3" deep. Flat and square on five sides, rough and open on the sixth (the back side, will never be seen).

 

Normal table saw work. Glued and clamped overnight. No nails or screws.

 

A little sanding to remove the blade marks and whatnot and then on to the next task.

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Sunday, November 04, 2018 10:54 AM

 

After a little preliminary sanding I cut the box smack dab in half, with each half forming the abutments for the high-level bridge.


Notice I said preliminary sanding; yes, there's quite a bit of effort involved in making wood look like concrete. The workflow goes something like this: sanding, sanding, sanding, primer, sanding, sanding, primer, sanding, top coat, sanding, and then finish coat. I suppose you could give short shrift to any of the above-mentioned steps, or even eliminate one or two here and there, but what would be the point?


A couple of photos showing a closeup of the North Shore abutment set loosely in place and an overall view. The opening to be spanned by the bridge is 6 feet wide by 27 inches deep by 9 inches high. It represents the San Juan River inlet (or outlet, depending on how you look at such things) to the deep water port that occupies the entire lower level of the layout. The high-level long-span bridge is required to allow ocean-going vessels to pass underneath.

 

  

 

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, November 05, 2018 8:21 PM

I cut out a few pieces and parts from a sheet of 3/16" basswood. The technical name for that white thing under the blank stock is a sacrificial spoil board. It is there to prevent cutting into the tooling plate or the machine table. Doing so would create indelible marks of shame and would earn considerable rebuke within the Sacred Brotherhood of Machinists, and make it considerably harder for me to earn my Junior Assistant Rookie Apprentice rating.

Robert

 

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Monday, November 05, 2018 9:00 PM

This is amazing. Your good work is becoming a real treat to look at. Keep up the good work!

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, November 05, 2018 9:48 PM

Robert! That bridge is really something!!Thumbs UpBow

Dave

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Posted by Erie Lackawanna in Georgia on Thursday, November 08, 2018 2:01 PM

I’m really enjoying your thread and watching progress you are making!   

Like the track plan but do have a question and/or suggestion if I can be so bold?   I was an ironworker (Went to school at night) and I model a steel works similar to yours.   Have you considered a small yard or run around track off the main?  The amount of inbound and out bound cars might be difficult to manage by a crew with solely stub end tracks.  Your main line crews could pick up and set out blocks of cars and the mill crews could keep up on the demands of a couple of furnaces.

i hope you might find the suggestion worth considering!

Mike

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Thursday, November 08, 2018 4:34 PM

Erie Lackawanna in Georgia

I’m really enjoying your thread and watching progress you are making!   

Like the track plan but do have a question and/or suggestion if I can be so bold?   I was an ironworker (Went to school at night) and I model a steel works similar to yours.   Have you considered a small yard or run around track off the main?  The amount of inbound and out bound cars might be difficult to manage by a crew with solely stub end tracks.  Your main line crews could pick up and set out blocks of cars and the mill crews could keep up on the demands of a couple of furnaces.

i hope you might find the suggestion worth considering!

Mike

Hey Mike 

Thanks for your comments and suggestion. I will give it some consideration. 

Can you provide a sketch of what you have in mind? The layout plan shown early in this thread and on my blog is drawn to scale, and you can use that as someplace to start. Or, just draw something freehand and I'll try to noodle around with it. N scale, remember.

Robert

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Posted by Erie Lackawanna in Georgia on Thursday, November 08, 2018 5:16 PM

Thanks Robert - I’m honored to make a sketch for your consideration.  I appreciate the opportunity share the idea with you!

Mike

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Posted by Bigjim7 on Friday, November 09, 2018 6:34 AM
I love Bridges and your's is outstanding. Well done.
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Posted by Erie Lackawanna in Georgia on Sunday, November 11, 2018 10:38 AM

Hi Robert,

I did mark up a couple of ideas but I’m not sure how to get them to you.  Perhaps you could shoot me an email to:

Mike

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Sunday, November 11, 2018 4:01 PM

Erie Lackawanna in Georgia

Hi Robert,

I did mark up a couple of ideas but I’m not sure how to get them to you.  Perhaps you could shoot me an email to:

( I removed email address )

Mike

Hey Mike 

You should not post your email address on this, or any other, public forum. That is Internet Safety Rule #1. I removed it from this reply, and you should edit your post as well.

Have you ever posted photos or sketches here before? There are sticky posts with instructions on how to do that. You'll need access to some other hosting site because this forum does not provide for direct attachments to posts. I don't think you can attach files to PMs, either.

If you can figure out how to upload your ideas, I'd like to see them.

Thanks, Robert 

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Posted by Erie Lackawanna in Georgia on Sunday, November 11, 2018 4:46 PM

Thanks Robert - you’re right of course!   I will look at one of the hosting sites later in the week.  A business commitment will rule out getting to it for a few days.

Mike

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, November 12, 2018 6:11 PM

I'm still working on the bridge and inlet at the bottom end of the layout, but I took a little break to cut out some pieces and parts that will form the pavement and parking lot for the prompt service restaurant at the other end (shown at the top of the upper level layout plan). There will actually be two restaurants there: one truly fast-food (with ubiquitous drive-thru window), and the other a sit-down restaurant (such as Perkins or Denny's or Applebee's or Red Robin hmmmm). Modern era.

Cut from 1/4" Masonite hardboard.

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, November 24, 2018 10:35 AM

Here's the latest:

So, what's the housing for a 4-inch popup sprinkler head doing on an N-scale layout? Fair question. Here's a clue: San Juan River Inlet, strong tidal currents, high craggy cliff, busy deep water port . . . Yes, it's a lighthouse. Or at least it will be soon.


It is inspired by visits to the lighthouse on Anastasia Island in St Augustine, Florida when I was a kid. Inspired by, not a direct copy of. There are many other interesting lighthouses all over the place from which to get details here and there.

My lighthouse is not as tall and slender as the one in St Augustine, but by way of compensation it sits atop a 130-foot cliff. Some quick and fuzzy math indicates that the beacon would be visible 16 or 18 miles offshore from a rowboat or maybe 25 or 30 miles from the bridge of a very large container ship.

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 1:15 PM

The technical term for those barber pole stripes shown in the previous post is day markings. When sailors approach unfamiliar shores there might be several lighthouses within their field of view, and the distinctive colors and/or patterns of the towers help identify which is which. At night, the lights have different patterns and sequences to distinguish them. All this info is included on navigation charts.


Horizontal layer cake stripes or solid colors would be the easiest to fabricate, but why bother with easy? One phrase I hear pretty often in this hobby is something along the lines of " . . . we don't need no math, we can eyeball it!" Yeah, well maybe we can, but I like to work out the math.

 

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, January 05, 2019 6:14 PM

Updating . . . Here're a few photos showing the test-fit of the high-level bridge and rough-in of landforms around the north abutment. The north bank is where the town and industries are located and, therefore, this area needs a little more infrastructure. By way of contrast, the south bank is barren and rocky, which is appropriate because that side quickly transitions into mountains and high desert.

Some features of the north bank include: North Shore Drive, with two-way traffic and bike lanes (I model the modern era, and that means having to accommodate the granola-and-Birkenstock crowd); a riverfront walking/hiking/jogging trail; concrete seawall with guardrail and cyclopean rock breakwater; a wooden dock with small craft berth and facilities for rowers and kayakers; and on top of the high bluff, the lighthouse and lightkeeper's quarters (including weather station flag pavilion) and a maritime museum (housed in an old Florida-style mansion designed with cracker and conch architectural influences).


The lightkeeper's house is Barb's Bungalow, a nice little Atlas kit. It kinda matches the prototype, except for the fire-engine-red roof. It is molded in four colors, which is the specific reason I bought it, and I didn't want to paint it.


Which brings up . . . the thing about that photo of the St Augustine Lighthouse posted earlier: the colors are so vibrant and the scenery is so clean and tidy that it looks more like a model than my model does. They (whoever they are) used gloss red paint on the upper levels and on the tower cap as well as on the roof of the aforementioned lightkeeper's house. All in all, the prototype looks pretty spiffy. I used Tamiya flat red on the tower, which I had on hand, and as a result my model is dull by comparison. Oh well.

 

 

 

 

Robert

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  • Member since
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  • From: Foster, RI
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Posted by mammay76 on Sunday, January 06, 2019 8:22 PM

Just read through your thread! Excellent looking layout, Looking forward to more!

Joe

Modeling:

Providence & Worcester Railroad

"East Providence Secondary"

HO scale

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 06, 2019 8:30 PM

I have to say it again, that bridge looks fantastic!

Dave

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Posted by RWSlater on Monday, January 07, 2019 5:00 AM
The Bridge is looking great. Robert
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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, January 07, 2019 1:25 PM

Hey guys, thanks. Kind words are always helpful and encouraging.

Robert

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, January 07, 2019 2:51 PM

Somehow, I've missed seeing this topic.  Now that I have, I will say that I am very much looking forward to seeing more.  This is one of the rare layouts that feels "spacious".  And that is a real treat.  Hooray!

 

Mike brought up an interesting point about switching the steel plant.  It got me looking at another couple of locations; and I, too, have a couple of suggestions:

 

Consider the switch that ties the lead to the paper and chemical plants--the one "above" the intermodal tracks.  I recommend moving the tie-in point from that location up the main track aways, either to just before the curve or just after.  This gives a lead for a switcher to work those two plants without fouling the main so often.

The same could hold true for the intermodal yard.  It's tie-in switch could move around the two 90 degree bends and tie in over there.

 

Over at the sugar and forest products area, I recommend changing the handedness of the two crossovers, and then positioning them as far apart as possible--right up to the curves.  This will give you a larger run-around track for making up a train.  And also make the switching more convenient.

 

Just below the town, over on the right, there's a track cutting over from the far track to the ones in front.  I recommend, just above where it ties into the latter, that you add a crossover, so that a train can come from this track and go around a train stopped on the other main. 

 

I think it would be a good thing to add a couple of double crossovers into the two-track mains.  One location leaps out:  way up at the top.  Another could be above the intermodal yard.  These give you flexibility of train running.  I strongly recommend you use "paired" crossovers, rather than the kind with a crossing in the middle.  They are much more common, especially out away from dense trackage.

 

Ed

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  • From: Just another small town in Ohio
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Posted by Erie1951 on Monday, January 07, 2019 3:33 PM

Robert...

In addition to being a Junior Assistant Rookie Apprentice, you are certainly a Master Bridge Builder, too. Thumbs Up That's one of the finest big steel bridges that I've seen modeled.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, January 07, 2019 7:47 PM

7j43k

Somehow, I've missed seeing this topic.  Now that I have, I will say that I am very much looking forward to seeing more.  This is one of the rare layouts that feels "spacious".  And that is a real treat.  Hooray!

Hey Ed-

You hit the nail on the head. 'Spacious' is what I was going for. From the very beginning, a specific design criteria was to have a very low track-to-scenery ratio. I prefer open space, panoramic vistas, and long continuous runs that allow trains to stretch their legs. I also wanted a low layout-to-room ratio, and that meant wide comfortable aisles (minimum 36") to accomodate several operators and spectators.

Glad to hear that you found this thread. It has been here for quite a while, and I try to make regular periodical updates to chronicle my progress, but sometimes progress is slow and the reports are far between. I occasionally make reference to things I posted here in other threads that address wide-ranging and related topics, but I guess my presence on this forum is not all that influential.

Anyhow, thanks for your comments. You've given me plenty of stuff to chew on for a while.

Robert

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 6:15 PM

In case anyone is curious what the weather station flag pavilion mentioned in a previous post is, it looks something like this:

Robert

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 7:10 PM

I think those flags read:

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

 

 

Ed

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 11:09 PM

I cut out a few pieces and parts for a structure in Wind River Canyon. Dang! I should've put a penny or something in the photo to show relative size. Sorry. Not too small. But the image does show that they need to be filed and sanded and generally cleaned up a bit. Cutting marks and fluff and whatnot.

Robert

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