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Building a layout on a rotisserie

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 10:35 AM

hon30critter
The yard tracks range from about 50" to about 75". I realize that those aren't very long, but the layout won't accommodate long trains so I don't think that is an issue. I have built in a run around but I'm honestly not sure why I need it,

The yard will add a lot. My planned four-track yard has tracks about the same length. That is enough to play with, and you do not need your whole collection on the layout at one time.

I might think about reducing it to three tracks to make room for my fingers.

It should be pretty easy to line it up with a couple of pins and a door bolt.

-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 Water Level Route on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 11:20 AM

hon30critter
I have built in a run around but I'm honestly not sure why I need it, other than perhaps to hold a couple of cabooses.

I had the same thought looking at your plan.  I would eliminate the switch on the ladder track and make your caboose track stub ended.  Leaving space on that ladder track to not only clear the switch, but also be able to clear a locomotive and caboose to get off the caboose track that direction almost halves the storage capacity of that yard track.

Mike

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 7:43 PM

I have never had a caboose track.

I have posed cabooses on a track for photographs, but I have never had the operational need for a dedicated track to store cabooses.

-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 rrinker on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 10:19 PM

 If you're modeling 1954, you ought to have a caboose track in the yard. They have to be put somewhere. They weren't just left on the end of the string of cars in a yard track.

 As for that wire - no wonder you don't use DCC. DCC has a very robust design that doesn;t need any sort of special shielded wire or an extra ground conductor. The palce you need the ground, or more acurately, common, connection with the system isn;t where the bus wires run, it's where the system's communication bus runs between command station and boosters.

                                  --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 Wednesday, August 5, 2020 5:56 AM

rrinker
DCC has a very robust design that doesn;t need any sort of special shielded wire or an extra ground conductor. The palce you need the ground, or more acurately, common, connection with the system isn;t where the bus wires run, it's where the system's communication bus runs between command station and boosters.                                   --Randy

Hi Kevin,

In addition to what Randy said above, the cable you suggested would be very difficult to attach feeder wires to. You would have to strip the shielding first, and then separate the wires enough to be able to strip them with the stripping points being offset by a couple of inches. Also, if you were soldering your feeders to the bus wires, the ground wire could cause a short. Suitcase connectors would avoid that but I'm going to use solder.

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 hon30critter on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 5:59 AM

Water Level Route
I would eliminate the switch on the ladder track and make your caboose track stub ended.  Leaving space on that ladder track to not only clear the switch, but also be able to clear a locomotive and caboose to get off the caboose track that direction almost halves the storage capacity of that yard track.

That makes sense. How about this:

Thanks,

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 Water Level Route on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 8:24 AM

hon30critter
How about this

Precisely what I was thinking.Yes

Mike

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 8:57 AM

 Given the limitations of the yard, that would probably be fine, but I'd connect the stub end back into the top yard track to make it easier to access and drop a caboose. It means the top yard track would have reduced capacity. With just a stub, you're looking as last in, first out rotation of cabooses, or disturbing some that likely would be blue flagged for cleaning and servicing to pull 3 to get that third one to use, then put the other two back.

 Given that the yard hanging out ona  stub like that is going to be more of a staging yard than an actual working yard, I suppose in the end it doesn't really matter.

                                       --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 carl425 on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 9:11 AM

If you will use the yard exclusively for staging then you don't need a caboose track at all.  If you intend to occasionally "play yard", as Randy suggests, a double-ended track would work best.

Think through the process of a train arriving or departing from/to both directions and convince yourself that operation will be satisfactory.  Do you have design software that supports running trains?  That would be the best way to be sure.

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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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 10:37 AM

rrinker
If you're modeling 1954, you ought to have a caboose track in the yard. They have to be put somewhere. They weren't just left on the end of the string of cars in a yard track.

Sorry, I was not clear enough.

I should have said something like this.

Since I don't have room for everything, one of the features I can live without is the caboose track. Not having one is easy enough to work around in the model world. If I ever want pictures of the cabooses, I can just pose them on any track.

-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 hon30critter on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 10:44 AM

rrinker
With just a stub, you're looking as last in, first out rotation of cabooses, or disturbing some that likely would be blue flagged for cleaning and servicing to pull 3 to get that third one to use, then put the other two back.

Hi Randy and carl425,

I understand your point about the usefulness of a double ended caboose track. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

I intend to mount the yard on casters as was suggested. It won't need to rotate, but I think I will install hinges on one side so that it can be flipped up to do the wiring.

I have plenty of time to decide. I want to get the main layout running first, so construction of a yard is way down the road. In fact, I have to make space in the garage before I can even consider it.

Thanks again,

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 hon30critter on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 10:51 AM

carl425
Do you have design software that supports running trains?  That would be the best way to be sure.

I use 3rd PlanIt so I can run virtual trains, but I haven't tried it for years.

I'm leaning towards my original design with the double ended caboose track. I think it is the more flexible option despite the fact that it limits how many cars can be spotted on the top track. I can always design the yard with another track too. Another five inches in width won't matter.

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 rrinker on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 1:37 PM

 Instead of going all complicated with hinges - how about keeping the top surface unattached from the carrying frame until the track and wiring are done, so you cna lay it over on the bench and work on the bottom. Once all the wires are in place and tested, you can attach the yard to the rolling frame. Simple. I don't see there being much need to keep flipping it over and changing the wiring, if you've tested it all and proven it works at the bench. Unless you plan on having signals or detection in this detachable yard, you only need a 2 pin connector to electrically tie it to the main layout - PowerPole connectors are probably the best for this, very robust.

                                   --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 Wednesday, August 5, 2020 8:54 PM

rrinker
 Instead of going all complicated with hinges - how about keeping the top surface unattached from the carrying frame until the track and wiring are done, so you cna lay it over on the bench and work on the bottom.

Hi Randy,

As usual, you make a good point. My reasoning for the hinges was mostly to stabilize the subroadbed when it is on its side. I figured I could just prop it up at 90 degrees to the benchwork and the hinges would prevent it from flopping around. However, on second thought, it might be best to have the benchwork and subroad assembled as a unit and just flip it over like you say.

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: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 11:11 PM

 I was thinking along the lines of someone who builds modulaes for a club to some standard, Freemo, N-Track, etc - but also uses them in their home layout by building a framework that supports the module at the proper height without using the module standard legs. Or what Ive seen a few people doing using Ikea low bookshelves as the base and then building the layout as modules and setting them on top. The module gets built at the workbench, and they are small and light enough to flip on end, upside down, whatever makes it easiest to work on some particular aspect of it. Once completed, it gets put in place and the track ends connected to the next moduile, and the wiring plugged in.

 Keep the tolerances close enough, and you won't need a connector track or rail joiners. Cut back a few ties and solder the rail to PCB ties at the edge of the main benchwork and at the edge of the yard section to hold them in alignment and protect better (catch an end and it can easily break off the plastic tie strip - not so much if soldered to a PCB tie). Draw tight latches to link the two when using the yard, the trick seems to be filing a slight angle in the inside top edge of the rails so wheels don't pick the gap, and it should be as reliable as any other trackwork. Our newer modules on the club layout work this way, track right tot he edge. Latch them together and the rail is effectively continuous, no fitter tracks and rail joiners to work loose like the older modules and cause annoying dead spots.

 I figure I am going to do something like this for the removeable section I need in front of my water heater and furnace. I was going to be fancy and hinge it to one side of the layout and put it on wheels like a long industrial gate so it could be swung out of the way, but this is not something that needs to open and close constantly, it will only be moved if there is an issue with the water heater or furnace. If I do put wheels on it, I will probably use retractable casters, so it rests on legs normally but if is had to be moved, instead of dragging it across the floor and causing a massice earthquake, I can drop the wheels and roll it away - maybe even just wheels on one end, I don't expect this section will be very heavy, just wide enough to carry the two tracks and it will have a backdrop to hide the utiliities, and just ballast and basic ground cover. Have to see when I get that far. I always come up with the complex idea first but after thinking about it, end up greatly simplifying things.

                                         --Randy

 

                                     --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 Wednesday, August 5, 2020 11:29 PM

I finally got around to buying the rest of the lumber that I will need for the main layout. I bought 2 - 1x8x12' to make the shelves for the end supports, and I bought 2 - 1x4x12' which will become the elbow rests on the sides of the layout. Also I bought 90' of 1/4x3/4 poplar. That will be used on the edges of the shelves and the elbow rests to prevent cars from rolling off. In addition, I bought enough 1x1 poplar to make the frames for the control panels.

The place I got the lumber from is called The Royal Wood Shop. It is in Aurora, Ontario, and it is a treat every time I go in. The staff are incredibly helpful, the selection is impressive, the quality of the wood is exceptional and the prices are better than the big box stores, that is if you could get anything even remotely similar from them. In 48 ft. of 1x lumber I think I saw one knot and it was less than 1" in diameter. It makes me want to start building furniture again!Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

Now I have to get my butt in gear! I think I'm going to start with the control panels because everything else on the sides of the layout (i.e. the arm rests) has to fit around them.

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 hon30critter on Friday, August 7, 2020 3:31 PM

I have been exploring various ways of doing control panel graphics, and last night something popped into my head! What about using a custom vinyl car window decal? I have already drawn the design using 3rd PlanIt so getting a decal printed should be easy, and so far it has been. I have just ordered a test sample from a company called VistaPrint. The panel is 4" x 23 3/4". Their closest standard decal size is 8" x 40" but I can trim it easily to the right size.

It took a bit of playing around to get the image correct. 3rd PlanIt was doing some strange things which I eventually figured out, and it took a few minutes to get the image clear and to the right size on the VistaPrint website, but their software predicted that the image will be pretty clean.

I'm going to mount the decal on 1/8" masonite that has been painted white at the factory. If the adhesive that the decal comes with won't stick to the masonite I figure that I can use vinyl wallpaper glue to attach it. I'm also going to look for some thin acrylic sheeting to cover the vinyl. I'm guessing that the vinyl printing would wear off after a while with being constantly touched.

I used the cheapest shipping method so it won't be here until late August so we will all have to wait to see the results.

Stay tuned!

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, August 7, 2020 10:44 PM

Cool idea.  So cool I had to go window shopping on their website.  My favorite product on the site is the 3mm thick acrylic signs.  They'd make an awesome control panel.

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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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 8, 2020 1:22 PM

carl425
Cool idea.  So cool I had to go window shopping on their website.  My favorite product on the site is the 3mm thick acrylic signs.  They'd make an awesome control panel.

Hi carl425,

I'll have a look at those too. Thanks.

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 hon30critter on Saturday, August 8, 2020 2:32 PM

Hi again carl425,

Well, in for a pennie, in for a pound! I just ordered my control panels in acrylic. They are not exactly cheap. It works out to $65 Cdn. each, which is about double the price for a vinyl sign, but I figure that the ease and the (hopefully) professional appearance will be worth the investment. I was able to cancel the vinyl sign order so I managed to avoid wasting that money.

The tricky bits will be drilling all the holes, and I have ordered all four panels on one sheet so I will have to cut them apart. That just requires the right tools and a careful touch.

Thanks for pointing the option out!

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 Saturday, August 8, 2020 3:45 PM

hon30critter

The tricky bits will be drilling all the holes, and I have ordered all four panels on one sheet so I will have to cut them apart. That just requires the right tools and a careful touch.

In terms of drilling holes in acrylic, I start out with a 1/16" pilot hole. Then, I switch to a reamer for the balance of the hole drill out. That way, no cracks in the acrylic.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 8, 2020 10:20 PM

richhotrain
In terms of drilling holes in acrylic, I start out with a 1/16" pilot hole. Then, I switch to a reamer for the balance of the hole drill out. That way, no cracks in the acrylic. Rich

Thanks for the suggestion Rich. Is there anything special about the reamer that you use?

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 hon30critter on Sunday, August 9, 2020 5:05 AM

I have been doing a bit of research about how to cut and drill acrylic sheets. The sign that I have ordered has all four control panels on one sheet so I will have to cut them apart. I have two choices. One is to scribe the acrylic on both sides and then snap the cut line over the edge of a table. The other is to use either a table saw or a jig saw. Both sawing methods require a very fine toothed blade. Once I have the uncut panel in hand I will be better able to make a choice.

The other issue is drilling holes for the LEDs and the toggle switches. Rich suggested starting with a small hole and then using a reamer to enlarge to hole to the right size. I'm leaning more towards buying the proper sized special purpose acrylic drill bits. I will only need two or three sizes and they are available from a variety of suppliers for quite reasonable prices. The specialized bits have a much steeper angle on the tip so they cut into the acrylic much more gradually, and they will produce a clean hole without excessive breakout or cracking the sheet.

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 Sunday, August 9, 2020 5:23 AM

hon30critter
 
richhotrain
In terms of drilling holes in acrylic, I start out with a 1/16" pilot hole. Then, I switch to a reamer for the balance of the hole drill out. That way, no cracks in the acrylic. Rich
 

Thanks for the suggestion Rich. Is there anything special about the reamer that you use?

Dave 

I still have the packaging from when I bought the reamer years ago, and the reamer is still widely available. It is a General T-Handle Reamer. It produces an absolutely clean hole without any splinters or cracks in the acrylic. When I need to produce a number of holes of the same diameter, such as on a control panel, I wrap a piece of masking tape onto the reamer at the point where I need to stop reaming. Works like a charm, never a failure. I see no need to buy specialized drill bits.

Rich

 

 

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, August 9, 2020 5:23 AM

FYI, I mentioned this a while ago but just as a reminder, Dianne and I will be away from August 11th to the 19th. We have rented a cottage on the Mattawa River in Northern Ontario. The place looks great. We will be joined by our son and daughter-in-law and their Boston Terrier 'Murphy' for some R&R, good food, bird watching and lots of games. Hopefully Cole will be able to catch some fish! We have vacationed together for four years now, and each location, despite claiming that the fishing was good, was a total disappointment. As my dad used to say, "the fishing is always great... it's the catching that isn't so good...".Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

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 richhotrain on Sunday, August 9, 2020 5:41 AM

Dave, we posted simultaneously. Check my post immediately preceding yours.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, August 9, 2020 5:47 AM

richhotrain
It is a General T-Handle Reamer. It produces an absolutely clean hole without any splinters or cracks in the acrylic. When I need to produce a number of holes of the same diameter, such as on a control panel, I wrap a piece of masking tape onto the reamer at the point where I need to stop reaming. Works like a charm, never a failure. I see no need to buy specialized drill bits.

Hi Rich,

I'm afraid that I have jumped the gun and ordered four sizes of specialized drill bits. I should have waited, but oh well, I tend to be a bit compulsive. The supplier still has to get back to me regarding shipping costs to Canada. If the costs are too high I will cancel the order and go your route.

Thanks again,

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 Sunday, August 9, 2020 7:56 AM

richhotrain
I switch to a reamer for the balance of the hole drill out.

Doesn't that produce a tapered hole?

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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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, August 9, 2020 8:05 AM

carl425
 
richhotrain
I switch to a reamer for the balance of the hole drill out. 

Doesn't that produce a tapered hole? 

Nope, I use the reamer to cut perfect circular holes to insert toggle switches and LEDs. They fit snugly and perfectly.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 9, 2020 10:56 AM

Yes, the reamer cuts a tapered hole, but the tool is so long and the acrylic so thin that the taper is negligible.

If you must have a straight-sided hole, use a multibit step drill.  Even the cheap generics ought to work nicely in this material.

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