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Building a layout on a rotisserie

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  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, June 15, 2020 10:38 PM

richhotrain
I did come across a medical article about "spinal cord stimulation" (SCS). According to the medical article, appropriate use of SCS can improve patients’ quality of life in cases where they have medically intractable pain or are not surgical candidates.

That's interesting Rich. I wasn't aware of the treatment. I will discuss it with my doctor once patient visits return to normal. Right now there are almost no elective surgeries taking place in Ontario and getting to see anyone in person just isn't happening like it used to.

What is hard to understand when someone like me whose case has been seen by so many specialists is exactly what procedures they have considered and what procedures they haven't considered, especially when they won't see you in person as was the case with the back surgeons. They all have their own special fields of knowledge. The question is "have they thought outside their own personal box to suggest other alternatives?", or are they just saying "I can't help you.".

Thanks for taking the time to look things up. Who knows? I'll buy you a box of beer if something comes of this!BeerThumbs Up

Dave

Edit:

Rich, I just copied the article to my family doctor. Thanks again.

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 5:16 AM

Dave, even better than a box of beer would be a post by you indicating that some form of procedure or treatment has alleviated your back pain and loss of mobility.

What I find interesting about the SCS treatment is the careful selection of eligible patients. So, if you were to be a candidate for SCS, you would know early in the treatment if it is likely to be successful.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 12:29 PM

richhotrain
Dave, even better than a box of beer would be a post by you indicating that some form of procedure or treatment has alleviated your back pain and loss of mobility.

Hi Rich,

I have learned to not get my hopes up. I'm not sure if I would be a suitable candidate or not, but I will pursue it.

Thanks for your concern!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 2:11 PM

Perhaps you can focus on some kit building activities until the back gets better. What did you get??  

Simon

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 12:29 AM

snjroy
Perhaps you can focus on some kit building activities until the back gets better. What did you get??  

Hi Simon,

I have little hope that my back will get better, although I'm open to suggestions like the treatment Rich mentioned.

As far as working on the kits that I have purchased, I figure I'm going to be doing that for a long, long time. Here is a partial list:

For the older part of town,

Bar Mills:

     - O'Doul's Flop House

     - Saulena's Tavern:

Blair Line:

     - Green Door Lounge

     - Tourist Trap:

     - Blairstown General Store

     - Green's Feed and Seed:

Walthers:

     - Apartment buildings (two kits back to back):

For the newer downtown core:

Lunde Studios:

     - The Bon Ton:

     - Magnuson International (to be used to expand The Bon Ton):

City Classics:

     - East Ohio St., Baum Avenue and Grant St Iron Front using multiple kits to create larger buildings:

DPM:

     - M.T. Arms Hotel:

Bachmann:

     - Ambassador Hotel:

Industrial area:

- City Classics:

     - Smallman Street Warehouse (expanded to 10 stories and 2x base size):

Atlas:

     - Middlesex Manufacturing (double kit):

Walthers:

     - River City Textiles (two kits back to back):

     - Heritage Furniture (1 1/2 kits):

     - Interstate Fuel and Oil:

There will also be 11 buildings/structures in the service yard of which eight will be scratchbuilt (three are already built but need paint, details and lighting). 

If that isn't enough, I am going to build five small residential houses from scratch, and there will still be a few more structures needed but I haven't decided on them yet.

Everything will have lighting inside and out. I'm also building 25 signals, hoping they won't make the layout look like a christmas tree, and 40 or so street lights.

Obviously this is going to take a while. Right now I'm trying to focus on getting the benchwork done but there have been constant interuptions. For example, my 4' x 8' work surface is currently occupied by our daughter-in-law's birthday gifts waiting to be wrapped. That IS going to happen tomorrow, and then there will be no more excuses!!!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 18, 2020 11:30 PM

I made some progress tonight. It is minor by most peoples' standards, but I got most of the boards cut for the benchwork. I had to stand for most of the time so my back said "enough is enough" after 20 cuts or so.

I have a couple more pieces to cut but I can start assembly with what I have.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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Posted by snjroy on Friday, June 19, 2020 6:43 AM

Glad to see there is progress. And you have hours of fun ahead of you with these building kits!

Simon

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, June 20, 2020 8:21 PM

Half of the benchwork framing is assembled;

I have to give my back a break and then I will see if I can get the other half at least partly assembled.

I'm happy to say that I can lift the assembly without any issues as long as I don't have to go too far.

Please ignore all the scratched out cut lines! I changed my mind and decided to use 1x6s in the end supports instead of 1x4s.

Dave

Edit:

I got the second half of the frame mostly done. I just have to add a couple of 1x2s on both frames next to the 1x4s to support the plywood sheets.

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, June 21, 2020 11:56 PM

Too hot to work during the day today, so I waited until things (barely) cooled off. I got the beam that will connect the two end supports glued together. Of course none of the boards were perfectly straight so there is a very slight curve in it, but nothing that will bother the alignment.

The next job is to create a wider space in the garage so I can assemble the two halves of the layout and mount them on the end supports. Dianne has been diligently moving gardening stuff to the new shelves in the garden shed but it has hardly made a dint in the pile in the garage.

It is amazing what we hang on to. We have three mesh bags of swim fins, masks and snorkels that were last used in 2005! We have a large tent that we haven't used in 16 years and a large dining tent that has only been used once, probably 20+ years ago. We have three bedrooms worth of cheap baseboard that we decided was too crappy to install (after Dianne had dutifully painted it all). We have a huge toy chest from Dianne's childhood that she has sworn will get refinished and put into the rec room. She started swearing that 32 years ago!!!Bang HeadBang Head Why do we do this to ourselves????Tongue TiedEmbarrassedConfusedGrumpyLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, June 22, 2020 8:44 AM

Sorry about your back troubles, been there by doing something stupid when I was young. Luckily I fixed mine by sleeping on the floor for a few years but I remember the pain and that they could not fix except for short periods of time which seemed to last a shorter time after awhile. 

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 11:31 PM

rrebell
Sorry about your back troubles, been there by doing something stupid when I was young

Yes, I did some stupid stuff in my youth too, like lifting engine blocks. Interestingly, my back has not been complaining like I expected it would when I am lifting the benchwork components. I'm careful not to overdue things, but what is slowing me down the most is a lack of stamina. That's not surprising considering that my back has prevented me from exercising for several years. Light physio exercises were excruciating but lifting 25 lbs every few minutes over the past few days doesn't hurt much at all.

I got the end support center beam cut to length (the right length I hope!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh) It consists of three 1x6s assembled in a 'U' about 13 1/2' long. I also got the hole for the beam cut into one end support. You may recall my questions about reverse cutting sabre saw blades. To put it politely, they are not easy to work with.

I got to work with my 'new' Dewalt jig saw for the first time. It is one of their basic models. I am not impressed at all with the trigger configuration. The trigger is too long so the first few times I picked the saw up it started up right away. The trigger is so long that two fingers have to be placed overtop of it in order to get a proper grip on the saw. That means when you want to stop the saw you are only holding it with two back fingers and a thumb. Dumb! Stupid!! I'm surprised that Dewalt could mess things up this badly. Using reverse cutting blades didn't help either.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 4:25 AM

hon30critter

I got to work with my 'new' Dewalt jig saw for the first time. It is one of their basic models. I am not impressed at all with the trigger configuration. The trigger is too long so the first few times I picked the saw up it started up right away. The trigger is so long that two fingers have to be placed overtop of it in order to get a proper grip on the saw. That means when you want to stop the saw you are only holding it with two back fingers and a thumb. Dumb! Stupid!! I'm surprised that Dewalt could mess things up this badly. Using reverse cutting blades didn't help either.

Take it back and buy a different brand with a better design.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 4:33 AM

richhotrain
Take it back and buy a different brand with a better design.

Hi Rich,

I would love to do that but the reason that I put the word 'new' in quotation marks is because the saw was actually purchased about three years ago to be used by my old club for making the cookie cutter sub road bed. I didn't do any of the cutting so I never realized how bad the design was. One of the members who did a lot of the cutting expressed his dislike for the design at the time. I should have paid more attention.

On the plus side, I have one more item for the next yard sale!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 19,508 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 5:09 AM

hon30critter

I would love to do that but the reason that I put the word 'new' in quotation marks is because the saw was actually purchased about three years ago to be used by my old club for making the cookie cutter sub road bed. I didn't do any of the cutting so I never realized how bad the design was. One of the members who did a lot of the cutting expressed his dislike for the design at the time.

ahh, been there, done that. Laugh

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 6:32 AM

I was frustrated with the jig saw I had last year, so I decided to buy a new one. I got a Bosch... Works likes a dream.

Simon

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 8:08 AM

 Might just have to get used to it. Mine is a Skil. I did buy a pack of Bosch blades for it. Considering it's been ages since I used a jigsaw, and that was an ancient one probably from the early 60's, this one is like a dream. It has the larger trigger as well, and it's variable speed. It also has a variable orbit setting - cuts pretty fast but relatively ragged in the top setting, nice and smooth on the low. And it has a laser. My first two cuts came out pretty decent - had I been in less of a rush and pulled out a third saw horse to better hold the cut off piece it would have been perfectly clean instead of having a little chip where it broke off. But there's a lot of things I've been doing that would be a lot easier if I had a helper. 

 It's not easy to accidently turn it on though, there's a thumb button on the side that must be pressed before the trigger depresses.

                                            --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 rrebell on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 9:04 AM

What I dislike are the new T blades, they are not a universal as the old ones.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 6:39 PM

 My saw takes both types. Which made it easy to find some good ones to buy, either type would work.

 Since I got a special plywood cutting blade for my circular saw, I was initially going to use the factory blade from the circular saw on my miter saw (same size and same arbors) but the circular saw blade is coarser than the existing blade on the miter saw. Might not make much difference, I'm pretty much only cutting 2x4s on it anyway. 

                                        --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 11:19 PM

snjroy
I was frustrated with the jig saw I had last year, so I decided to buy a new one. I got a Bosch... Works likes a dream.

Hi Simon,

I don't anticipate having a lot of use for a jig saw in the future, so I will live with this one. I have ordered some new blades with finer teeth that cut on both the up and down strokes. I have used that type of blade with my old saw and never had any serious problems with the saw jumping or grabbing.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,973 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 25, 2020 3:43 AM

I just ordered two more structures, both from JL Innovative. One is their vegetable stand and the other is Val's Hamburgers. Both are fairly simple structures so I could have scratchbuilt them, but the details that come with the kits are worth the money. The vegetable stand in particular has tons of detail castings and signs that would cost almost as much if bought separately, if not more.

I will still be doing some scratchbuilding. One structure will be the two stall engine house with a workshop on the side. I want to do a detailed interior including the exposed wall studs and roof trusses. I haven't decided whether to use wood or styrene. I love the way natural wood looks even though the grain is out of scale, but the cost for all of the materials is significant. It works out to be about the same as a good quality craftsman kit. Styrene will be cheaper but I will have to practise my weathering and wood graining skills.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 25, 2020 5:51 AM

I have run into a major engineering conundrum while figuring out how to mount the benchwork to the support system. The issue is that if the various components are installed in the wrong order I won't be able to screw the pivot plates into the end supports because the screw holes will be blocked.

After about five hours of scratching my skull I have figured out how to do it. I won't bore you with the details, but each step must be followed in proper order or I won't be able to access some of the fasteners. I'll have to recruit three or four people to pull the whole thing off.

I often dreamed of being an engineer, but if it has taken me several hours to figure this out, I would have been a major failure in the profession!

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, June 25, 2020 6:15 AM

Please bore us with the details. Inquiring minds want to know.  Stick out tongue

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 25, 2020 7:13 AM

richhotrain
Please bore us with the details. Inquiring minds want to know.

Hi Rich,

Okay, you asked for it! Let's see if I can explain the conundrum.

In order to mount the pivot plates I need to be able to access the holes in the pivot plates (that's pretty obvious). However, if I assemble the pieces in the wrong order, some of the pieces will block access to the screw holes on the pivot plates. This wouldn't be a problem if I could rotate the benchwork 360 degrees, but the  beam linking the end supports prevents that from happening. If I raise the layout high enough to allow for 360 degree rotation, it is too high for me to work on the top side from a chair which is the whole reason for the rotissiere design.

The solution is to assemble all the benchwork pieces including the pivot plates, and insert the bolts into the pivot plates that will mount the pivot plates onto the end supports. However, in order to create enough space for the bolts to be inserted into the holes in the end supports the beam connecting the end supports will have to be left loose. That will allow the end supports to be pulled apart enough to allow the bolts to fit into their respective holes in the end supports.

Once the bolts are in place, I can slide the end support center beam back into place and secure it. The beauty of this plan is that it will allow me to get the spacing between the end supports exactly right.

Okay, have I confused you or bored you enough yet?!? I promise to take lots of pictures so ultimately I hope all this will make sense.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, June 25, 2020 11:20 AM

 If the attachment is nuts and bolts, can you not just put the nuts on the inside, in the tight space, where you could slip and open end wrench over them, while the bolt is on the outside, at least for the one end? Means you need to have a bolt of the right length, too short and it won't catch the threads, tooo long and it will interfere with the rotating part. But no need for the length of the bolt plus a little clearance to slip the bolt into place.

                                      --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 hon30critter on Friday, June 26, 2020 12:46 AM

rrinker
If the attachment is nuts and bolts, can you not just put the nuts on the inside, in the tight space, where you could slip and open end wrench over them, while the bolt is on the outside, at least for the one end?

Hi Randy,

I checked that out and it would work with exactly the right length bolt, but there isn't enough space for a lock washer and a flat washer. I guess I could get away without the washers but I'd rather do things properly.

I'm still going through the process in my mind to see if there is a simpler way. One thing I can do to make handling the benchwork easier is to attach temporary supports for the benchwork to the end support panels so the benchwork doesn't have to be held up manually while the bolts are being installed.

If all else fails, I'll just buy a big bottle of Crazy Glue!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaughClown

Thanks,

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, June 26, 2020 2:32 AM

hon30critter
I'm still going through the process in my mind to see if there is a simpler way.

I'm glad I'm still thinking about how to assemble the whole contraption because I just realized that I can't use nuts and bolts to attach the pivot plates to the benchwork. The reason is that the holes in the pivot plates line up perfectly with the 1x8s that form the center spine. I wouldn't be able to get at the bolt threads to install the nuts and washers! They would be buried in the wood. I have ordered lag bolts instead. Now I have to figure out how to install them!Bang HeadSmile, Wink & GrinLaugh

Maybe I will be invited to write an article for MR, or more likely, they have already decided that they don't want anything to do with me!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, June 26, 2020 8:26 AM

 Well, if there is only space for the head of a bolt, your way should work, just place the bolts in before bringing the pieces together. If clearance is that close, the bolts shouldn't walk back while you slide the end on.

                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, June 26, 2020 9:09 PM

rrinker
 Well, if there is only space for the head of a bolt, your way should work, just place the bolts in before bringing the pieces together.

Hi Randy,

After much more head scratching (if I wasn't bald before than I sure as heck am now!Smile, Wink & Grin), I have figured out how to assemble the pieces. I will mount the pivot plates to the end supports first (no clearance issues - easy access to the bolts) and then I will mount the 3/4" plywood anchor plate for the benchwork to the other side of the pivot plate (again, no clearance issues). Then, with help, I will be able to drop the benchwork in between the plywood plates and screw it all together. Seems to be a workable plan, that is if I have my dimensions correct. I have checked those several times.

Apparently I have to wait two more weeks for the new jig saw blades to arrive so I'm just going to use what I have, i.e. the reverse cutting coarse blades, and let the chips fly. I don't have to do a lot of cutting. Basically I need to cut a 7" x 5 1/2" hole in 3/4" plywood. You are no doubt asking what all the fuss is about, but the side cuts run into a lip that is 3/4" higher than the plywood. The first time I did that the saw bounced all over when trying to lift the saw up to clear the lip. I'm sure that if I was using jig saws frequently that wouldn't bother me, but I haven't used a jig saw in years and the reverse cutting blade made it that much more difficult to handle. I have never felt this awkward with a power tool before!

DunceDave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, June 26, 2020 10:15 PM

Here is the benchwork staged for assembly. This will give you an idea of how big it will be. (It's upside down). It's bigger than I thought it would be in my mind. I'm happy with that.

There a few bits to be added like spacers between the two center beam boards. Next step is to clear some space so I can assemble it all.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by carl425 on Friday, June 26, 2020 11:02 PM

I'm concerned about the front to back rigidity you'll have when it's all put together.  Consider putting a few 18-24" vertical pieces between the two 1x8's equally spaced along the length of the grid. Then attach diagonals from them to the ribs near the front and back edges of the grid. In case it's not clear from my description, when you look under the layout from the end, you'll see V shaped braces hanging under the frame.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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