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Multiple Staging Tracks (& access to them, perhaps helix)

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, June 04, 2018 4:07 PM

riogrande5761

It wasn't you I was thinking about but the track.  I found out about the vagaries of temp and humidity extremes with my Bloomington Indiana garage layout.  In summer the rail kinked pretty badly and in winter the solder joints pulled apart.  It could get pretty hot and humid in the summer there and bitter cold and dry in the winter.

I think its been pretty much determined that its NOT the track that is shrinking and expanding but rather the roadbed itself that the track is attached to. I may have one advantage here in that this is almost all circular in nature, so the dimensional stability won't be as much of a factor,.... I hope so.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, June 04, 2018 5:18 PM

 How much sun does that little structure on the back of the shed get? Without insulation, in the Florida sun, I would expect that inside there, it will get hot enough to at least soften hot melt glue. ANd while it is typically the subroadbed shrinking and expanding in response to humidity changes, over a wide enough range, the rail DOES expand - especially when you are talking temperatures that exceed normal human comfort levels. 

 Since you have AC in the shed, a better approach might be to insulate the helix housing and allow the cool air fromt he shed to get in via the openings where all the tracks come in. At the very least, some passive cooling of the helix housing by putting some screened openings at the bottom (louvers with screen in them to keep critters out should work) and a similar set up near the top. Convection will keep the air moving so it won't get quite as hot. 

                                    --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, June 04, 2018 8:21 PM

railandsail

I think its been pretty much determined that its NOT the track that is shrinking and expanding but rather the roadbed itself that the track is attached to. I may have one advantage here in that this is almost all circular in nature, so the dimensional stability won't be as much of a factor,.... I hope so.

It's true some argue that point, but are you that sure that you are forging ahead with no environmental controls?  If it all goes Pete twong as the British say, how will you fix the track issues in that confined space?

 It would be wise to follow Randy's suggestion and circulate chilled air in and out of the helix space in hot weather.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, June 04, 2018 9:20 PM

Fortunately this helix structure will only get about 3-4 hours of direct sunlight each day. Trees in my backyard shade the structure till about 12 noon, then the direct sun gets blocked by the shed and the carport roof after 4 pm.

There are plans for a big screened opening in the bottom that could help with air circulation, and we are looking into a fan situation to help with that circulation,...forced natural circulation.

The fellow helping me has also suggested a method of letting some of the AC in the main shed to leak into the helix space.

As far as replacing the roadbed itself, if that eventually becomes necessary, it sits like a cantilivered shelf on the brackets attached to those upright post that support it from its outer side. So it is NOT 'captured' by supports on the inside curves of those shelfs/roadbed.

(note: had to modify those sun exposure times after viewing them directly today)

 

just prior to sun exposure...

 

 

after 3 pm

 

after 4pm

 

 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 10:13 AM

It isn't only direct sunlight; ambient heat is also at play.

I would suggest not ony letting A/C "leak" into the helix space, but create dedicated vents to force air actively in and out of the helix space.  That would be good insurance to mitigate issues before they happen.

It might be something as simple as buying a computer case cooling fan and putting it in one of the holes to force the chilled air into the space.  The out vent could be back into the shed or to the exterior (one way vent).

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 8:23 PM

I think Jim has the right idea.  What you probably need is a small exhaust fan placed high in the alcove to circulate the warm air out of the space.  The cooler air will fill the void created by the vacuumed-out hot air once the circulation pattern is established.  Just one fan, pointed out of the alcove to draw the cool air into it.

I live in Georgia and my favored room for my new layout is a basement garage stall that has an insulated door.  While the door area is exposed to morning sun, its in the shade provided by the backside of the house in the afternoon.  The garage is sealed by drywall finished walls and door to the living space.  It has no AC duct and the room was surprisingly cool during the few hot days we've had here.  Somehow, a little AC is finding its way into the room.  The insulated nature of the room and its shady location makes a big difference, IMO.

Humidity may be a different story.  I didn't notice a difference but changes in humidity can be a bigger problem for a layout space than changes in temperature.

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 9:04 PM

Doughless

 The insulated nature of the room and its shady location makes a big difference, IMO.


I am really pleasantly surprised at how cool my train shed in the really hot days we had had recently,...without running the AC yet, and even without the ceiling fan. Like you said, good insulation and shade makea big difference.

Doughless
Humidity may be a different story.  I didn't notice a difference but changes in humidity can be a bigger problem for a layout space than changes in temperature.

That is why I am attempting to seal up all materials that might be subject to humidity problems. I think a good coating of paint can make quite a difference,...as seen in many other items, not just railroad stuff.
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 7:19 AM

 Latex paint by nature 'breathes' though, so it doesn't seal anything. You need to use something more along the lines of shellac to actual seal any wood materials.

 Once thing to consider is when you are actually building stuff and the atmospheric conditions. At the club I used to belong to, we had heat but no AC. In the summer, the only ventilation was to open up the doors and windows. A whole section of the layout was built over the summer with plywood and homasote, on a 2x4 frame with more bracing than many homes. All was fine until it got cold enough to turn on the heat. That whole end of the layout warped as the heat dried out the wood.

                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 10:04 PM

rrinker

 Latex paint by nature 'breathes' though, so it doesn't seal anything. You need to use something more along the lines of shellac to actual seal any wood materials.  --Randy

 


How about oil based paint as a sealer?

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 10:40 PM

Turned the helix wheel on its edge today to drill all the (MULTIPLE) holes in the upright post that will mount the brackets that will support the spiral, circular roadbed.
(Got a few funny comments from the neighbors wondering what I am building)

 


 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, June 07, 2018 5:51 AM

Line it and mount it on a frame and you have a giant gerble wheel!  Clown

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, June 07, 2018 12:20 PM

 It's a wheel for ROUS.

(and Princess Bride fans in the house?)

                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, June 07, 2018 12:27 PM

Got a few 'gerbil' references. Another said a small ferris wheel.

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, June 08, 2018 11:35 AM

rrinker

 Latex paint by nature 'breathes' though, so it doesn't seal anything. You need to use something more along the lines of shellac to actual seal any wood materials.

 Once thing to consider is when you are actually building stuff and the atmospheric conditions. At the club I used to belong to, we had heat but no AC. In the summer, the only ventilation was to open up the doors and windows. A whole section of the layout was built over the summer with plywood and homasote, on a 2x4 frame with more bracing than many homes. All was fine until it got cold enough to turn on the heat. That whole end of the layout warped as the heat dried out the wood.

                      --Randy

 

 

That's probably the issue right there.  While the temperature was comfortable, the open holes in the room let the humid air in.  Furnace heat by its nature is extremely dry and that was the difference.

Growing up, we lived in a dry part of the country.  My dad actually bought a humidifier to run in the winter months.  Most folks think of dehumidifiers, but humidifiers can keep things constant too.

 

- Douglas

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, June 08, 2018 11:38 AM

railandsail

 

 I am really pleasantly surprised at how cool my train shed in the really hot days we had had recently,...without running the AC yet, and even without the ceiling fan. Like you said, good insulation and shade makea big difference.

 

 
That is why I am attempting to seal up all materials that might be subject to humidity problems. I think a good coating of paint can make quite a difference,...as seen in many other items, not just railroad stuff.
 

If the room is that comfortable with no conditioning, you may not have anything to worry about with the small alcove when the AC is on.  I'd not cut holes in the building for an exhaust fan or anything else just yet.  A sealed building gives you better control of the conditions.

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, June 08, 2018 9:38 PM

Sealing Wood & Masonite

I was (am) more concerned with trying to seal up these materials that can alternately collect and disperse moisture, and change shape accordingly. I wanted to try and limit this feature by utilizing paint to coat both the masonite in my helix structure, the masonite on my shed's walls, and my plywood I intend to build the shelfs with.

I debated back and forth with myself over the use of latex vs oil based paints. Since the latex paints are so much more prevelent, easier to work with, and can be cheaper, I have used mostly those so far.

But if they are really that much inferior in their sealing capabilities, I may end up really disappointed

 

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Posted by Dannyboy6 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 7:50 PM

Here's how I dealt with my two deck dilemma:
https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/124345362/posts/30

 

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:42 PM

a Tom Sawyer couple of days

A couple of days ago I dragged out the metal sheets I had purchased about a year ago to enclose my external helix. Its alum sheeting that matches the sheeting on my primary shed, except it was a silver color rather than white like my shed.

SURPRISE, it had a number of spots of corrosion/discoloration due to being stored right next to one another and subject to rain.

 

 

I was surprised to learn this was a common problem for metal sheeting materials stored in this manner.

So off to the store to buy some primer to cover up this corrosion/discoloration (both sides of 4 sheets). First wash it all down with a big brush, and simple green, dry it out in between our rain storms, and get at least one good coat of white paint on the outside of each of the four sheets. Today I finished up the painting job by getting a good coat of light gray paint on the 'inside surface' of those panels. 

While painting these panels that were leaning against a fence in my backyard, I began to get visions of Tom Sawyer whitewashing his fence. My thoughts turned to what neighbors I might recruit to help with the painting job. I even got out some special French lemonade as a recruit prize for any helpers.

The only volunteer I got was my 88 year old neighbor Robert . But he never got around to doing any painting. I think he just wanted the free lemonade....ha...ha

 

 

For those younger folks who might not know who Tom Sawyer was,....
http://www.pbs.org/marktwain/learnmore/writings_tom.html

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, June 11, 2018 6:18 AM

Most of us older folk grew up reading Tom Sawyer but in todays climate, it isn't probably as widely read - probably due to the culture of the story clashing with today's values.

 

Dannyboy6

Here's how I dealt with my two deck dilemma:
https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/124345362/posts/30

 

Blank page

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, June 11, 2018 5:28 PM

Got my helix structure all screwed together and moved it outback this morning. Elevated it into position via some saw horses and worked on leveling and connections to the rear of the train shed.  It only took two of use to lift it and carry it out back,...thanks to almost all alum structure

Went out to the hardware store to get some special bolts for supports,....

Then the torrential thunder and hour long storms came, and everything came to a halt. Have to get some pics tomorrow. Its going to look good.

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:19 PM

Helix is Hanging on its Own,...finally

Okay its bolted to the rear of the shed on one end, and standing on two poles on the other. Looks gooood, and its rigid.

I'm very pleased with the access gap height which is larger than I first surmised. I had not included the difference between the height off the floor of the main shed as compared to the extra 6 inches I got by the new height off the ground on which the shed sits. Pretty easy to get into, especially when I lay a piece of foam pad on that concrete pad.

One of the photos shows a chair and a step ladder inside the loop as I was bolting things up. With the roof on it will be tall enough for me to stand in (I'm 6'4")

I think my access to that 3-way turnout that will distribute trains to the staging tracks is also going to be of little concern.

 

 

 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, June 14, 2018 6:27 AM

SO next question is, how are you going to build the helix that goes inside the gerbil wheel mounted on it's side?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, June 14, 2018 6:12 PM

All of those vertical alum post are already drilled to accept the angle brackets that will support the roadbed. The brackets are all purchased,  the roadbed is already all cut and painted and waiting installation. I may be applying another sealing coat of paint to them once our extremely high/early humidity drops down a little bit so things can dry more quickly. Likely I will be installing the roadbed in its quarter-circle pieces from the bottom up, along with the tracks for those sections.

And I need to put a roof on the helix before I begin roadbed installation. I hope to do most of the roadbed and track installation prior to putting on all the skins on the structure. And I have some plastic rain gutter material that will likely be mounted into place for the transition tracks from the helix into the main room.

I may delay things a bit until our DAILY bout of heavy thunderstorms in afternoons/evenings subsides. I just finished redoing my blue sky painting in the main shed, and likely will start putting up the supports for the staging tracks, and their plywood roadbed, and installing some of that staging tracks. The rain won't hurt those,...and it won't bother the all alum helix structure either.

Oh yea, I also painted that concrete slab under the helix with some special lt-grey paint I purchased a few weeks ago to originally seal the roadbed materials. It was ALL WRONG for that job with its sand paper finish, but it worked out OK for refinishing my concrete. I even sampled some of it on some other walkways I have, and know I am in the mode to pressure wash those this weekend and paint them with this paint (side-tracked from RR project)

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, June 14, 2018 6:50 PM

Helix Vacuum  & Clean Up Tool

 
Wow, this one deserves mention. Look at discussion and photos on this other forum,

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/33341

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, June 17, 2018 11:21 PM

Unpowered (rather mechanical) Peco Turnout Control

I am getting close to installing the shelfing for my staging tracks,....3 separate areas. In general these staging shelves will be made from ¾ plywood, cantilevered out from the walls, and approx 14 inches in width. They will be located 8” under the main deck level above them (that's 8” top of deck to top of deck).
 

So I will have a considerable number of turnouts and tracks covered over by the solid sheets of 3/4” plywood that will be the main deck subroadbed. This thought of a big sheet of plywood covering the staging tracks and turnouts began to concern me. What if I should experience problems with any of those turnouts??

My thoughts turned to powering those turnouts. Sure they are remote in a sense, but do I really want an electrical gadget controlling them,...that can go bad? I'd better look thoroughly at good old mechanical devices like simply push-pull rods-in-a-tube.

Or at the very least have that mechanical connection to the turnout itself, and then its actuator (perhaps electrical) be located at the outer edge of the staging shelf for easy access.

My turnouts will be all Pecos which are very reliable in a mechanical sense.

Now I am looking for a mechanical linkage that is very simply and reliable,...rod in a tube.

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, June 17, 2018 11:23 PM

Here is the overall plan, and as you can see the staging branches out to three areas, with a goodly number of turnouts all located under a big shelf of main deck above it,...only 8 inches above it !  (actually there is only 7 1/4" between the two as the decks themselves are 3/4" thick)

 

I know there are a significant number of rod-in-tube configurations. I found this just a few minutes ago...
http://www.trainboard.com/highball/index.php?threads/unpowered-remote-turnout-controls.27695/
 

Does anyone had more specific experiences with a specific one, and particularly with one for use with Pecos?
BTW I was hoping to keep all controls and wiring for the staging tracks, up on the top of the plywood deck of the staging tracks.

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