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Building a layout on a rotisserie

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, August 9, 2020 11:02 AM

richhotrain
It is a General T-Handle Reamer. It produces an absolutely clean hole without any splinters or cracks in the acrylic.

I had an issue with my General T handled reamer. It would chatter/bounce in soft materials and make a pentagon shaped hole.

The nut/washer would hide this, but it aggravated me.

-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 richhotrain on Sunday, August 9, 2020 11:08 AM

SeeYou190
 
richhotrain
It is a General T-Handle Reamer. It produces an absolutely clean hole without any splinters or cracks in the acrylic. 

I had an issue with my General T handled reamer. It would chatter/bounce in soft materials and make a pentagon shaped hole.

The nut/washer would hide this, but it aggravated me.

     -Kevin 

Wow, I have had mine now for going on 20 years and never had a problem. I have built plenty of control panels and lots and lots of reamed holes.

But, no matter, Dave has indicated that he is going in a different direction.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, August 9, 2020 8:46 PM

richhotrain
But, no matter, Dave has indicated that he is going in a different direction.

Hi Rich,

I hope that you are not offended by me not following your advice. I'm sure that your method works, but I am a bit ham fisted so I feel more comfortable using dedicated sized bits designed to drill acrylic.

Thanks for your help,

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 9:15 PM

hon30critter
 
richhotrain
But, no matter, Dave has indicated that he is going in a different direction. 

Hi Rich,

I hope that you are not offended by me not following your advice. I'm sure that your method works, but I am a bit ham fisted so I feel more comfortable using dedicated sized bits designed to drill acrylic.

Thanks for your help,

Dave 

Hi Dave, not at all. I was just trying to head off a discussion of tapered reamer holes as irrelevant to this discussion.

Long, long ago, the guys at my now defunct local hobby shop suggested the reamer when I started cracking acrylic sheets that I was using to make control panels by drilling 1/4" holes without using a smaller drill bit first to make pilot holes. I found the reamer foolproof for this purpose.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, August 9, 2020 9:49 PM

 I managed to drill out my panels a couple of layouts ago with dedicated drills - though I believe a trick I used was to turn the big backwards. The small pilot holes had no trouble drilling the acrylic without cracking, but using the larger sizes to enlarge the hole wasn't quite as easy. I used 2 thin sheets of acrylic with a printed diagram sandwiched in between - the back piece was painted flat black. I think some holes cracked on that piece, but the clear front piece didn't crack, at least not for the holes drilled for LEDs, switches, and mounting holes. Of course, screwing it to the front of the layout cracked the mounting hole on one side.... 

 For the new one, I'm planning to have the diagram right on the fascia, and mount the buttons right to the fascia, no acrylic. Or possibly an acrylic or even a PCB panel - since you can get PCBs made for a low cost, in many different colors, I can have indicidual panels with a schematic in solder mask, and precise mounting holes to snap in my pushbuttons. By making it slightly oversize, I have room to attach it to a hole cut int he fascia, but I can wire it all at the bench - I already have a small PCB that solders to the terminals of my pushbuttons and has an RJ45 socket for the cable to my servo driver board. So the panel s will be assemnbled at the bench, the attached to the fascia, and I just have to run some stanadrd ethernet cables to plug the panel into the controller - no soldering under the layout. The servos of course use 3 pin plugs and sockets, and the frog polarity relay uses screw terminals.

                                             --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 Sunday, August 9, 2020 10:13 PM

rrinker
Of course, screwing it to the front of the layout cracked the mounting hole on one side.... 

I'm going to make the control panel frames out of 1"x1" poplar with a groove to hold the acrylic panels. They will be fitted somewhat loosely so the panels can do what they want as the temperature changes in the garage.

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 Monday, August 10, 2020 8:53 AM

 That was my plan but I needed to hook it up to run the layout. Never got further than that. 

 Got smarter on the next layout - my next temporary control panel was a piece of cardboard cut from a box that I drew lines on with a Sharpie.

                                  --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 Overmod on Monday, August 10, 2020 11:59 AM

Embarrassed

It is difficult to ham-fist a long tapered reamer in acrylic because the cut can be so fine and slow.  If you take a little too big of a bite and it sticks, just reverse turn a little and cut until clear.

(Now, having said that, I have to say this is experience only for thin rigid plastic.  I throated my Citori using a very precise reamer provided by the owner of an aerospace firm.  He gave me careful instructions and said it was impossible to screw it up.  Sure enough I put little ridges in the throat and it took him 20 minutes to scrape them out... 

If you are going to step drill sizes there is really no better solution than the CLAMP the work to the table of a drill press or equivalent, so the drills will all run at the same angle to the bore, concentric with it, with smooth control of advance and depth stop.  Yes, I approve of face and backing sheets, but they are less critical on a press; I like the wood bits with ears (like a poor man's Forstner) for the cleanest edge in acrylic whether or not you're doing sequential to minimize the heat.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, August 10, 2020 12:05 PM

richhotrain
Wow, I have had mine now for going on 20 years and never had a problem. I have built plenty of control panels and lots and lots of reamed holes.

This was only a problem in certain materials like 0.040 styrene and the like.

In metal it works perfectly. I do not think I have tried it in plexiglass or arylic.

richhotrain
I was just trying to head off a discussion of tapered reamer holes as irrelevant to this discussion.

Oops.

-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 richhotrain on Monday, August 10, 2020 12:54 PM

SeeYou190
 
richhotrain
Wow, I have had mine now for going on 20 years and never had a problem. I have built plenty of control panels and lots and lots of reamed holes. 

This was only a problem in certain materials like 0.040 styrene and the like.

In metal it works perfectly. I do not think I have tried it in plexiglass or arylic. 

richhotrain
I was just trying to head off a discussion of tapered reamer holes as irrelevant to this discussion. 

Oops.

-Kevin 

Not a problem, Kevin. I just cannot believe how a simple suggestion to Dave about using a reamer as an alternative to drill bits could take this thread so off course.  Confused

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 10, 2020 7:11 PM

richhotrain
I just cannot believe how a simple suggestion to Dave about using a reamer as an alternative to drill bits could take this thread so off course. 

I don't mind the discussion at all Rich. I'm sure somebody will learn something.

I haven't finalized the order for the drill bits because the shipping cost came back at $25.00 USD. That's more than the bits and it brings the average price per bit up to almost $20.00 Cdn. That makes a reamer a rather attractive option.

I'll think about it while I'm on vacation.

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 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 12:56 AM

I think I jumped the gun on ordering the acrylic control panel faces. I just added a very small yard to the main layout so now the control panels won't quite match the track plan.GrumpyDunceBang Head Oh well, it's only two turnouts so maybe I can add them to the control panels myself.

I am my own worst enemy! I have no patience. I charge ahead with things that should be given sober second thought.

I still plan on building a separate larger yard, partially for staging and partially for operations. The small yard will provide a bit of entertainment, but it will only hold a half dozen cars.

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 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 1:03 AM

I just purchased a CMX track cleaning car on eBay. I have been watching the prices rise for years and I wish I had taken the plunge several years ago, but I couldn't justify the expense. Now, with the layout imminent, I figured I'd better get one before the prices go any higher. What the heck, it's only money!CryingSmile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

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 19, 2020 8:30 PM

We got back from our vacation this afternoon and there was a big package waiting at the door! My acrylic control panel faces have arrived!

The images are pretty clear, certainly clear enough for my purposes. There is one error on the second panel from the top in that the turnout numbers got hidden behind the track. I thought I had corrected that problem but 3rd PlanIt can be a bit cranky sometimes. I can have just that one panel printed again for not too much money.

The next step is to cut out the individual panels and drill the holes for the switches and LEDs.

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 SeeYou190 on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 8:37 PM

Those panels look beautiful Dave. Be careful cutting the holes.

-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 Wednesday, August 19, 2020 8:58 PM

Whoa, those look nice. How thick is the acrylic? My pushbuttons can only panel mount to things less than 1/8" - 3mm to be exact.

                                     --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 19, 2020 9:31 PM

Thanks Kevin and Randy,

The acrylic is 3 mm.

I have to give credit for the idea of using printed acrylic signs to carl425. I was originally thinking of using a vinyl window sign but he pointed out the 3 mm acrylic option.

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 Wednesday, August 19, 2020 10:36 PM

Those did come out nice, Dave.  I imagine they would really look good with a LED strip or two as a backlight.  Using 3rd planet, someone could even have them printed with rail and tie detail if they were so inclined.  It's amazing how many regular folks came up with cool stuff for model railroaders and didn't even know it.

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 Wednesday, August 19, 2020 11:47 PM

carl425
I imagine they would really look good with a LED strip or two as a backlight.

Hi carl425,

Hmmmm?!? That would be very helpful when doing night running. The toggle switch bodies and wires might cast some shadows if the light was coming from behind, but the panels could also be illuminated with LED strips built into the front of the frames and shining down on the control panels. It would be easy to rout a channel into the tops of the frames so the LEDs can't be seen directly. I should be paying you and Randy and some others consulting fees!

Dave

Edit:

I just redesigned the control panel frames so I can fit an LED strip inside the top frame in front of the panel. If I use dimmable strips I can control the light level from a separate controller/power source.

Here is a rough sketch of the side view:

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 Thursday, August 20, 2020 8:13 AM

 Well, seeing how nice they came out, I think I just figured out how I will do my panels. 3mm is perfect. 

 Though most of my things will be distributed. A nice acrylic panel like that will work for the yard, smaller ones for switching areas, but for the random siding or crossover here or there, I want the controls to be right by the turnout they control, so there may only be a little piece of a panel.

                                 --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 Thursday, August 20, 2020 8:54 AM

hon30critter
The toggle switch bodies and wires might cast some shadows if the light was coming from behind

I was thinking that if the LED's were run around the entire perimeter of the frame, and the panel had a reflective back panel, the shadows would be minimized or eliminated.

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 Thursday, August 20, 2020 10:15 PM

carl425
I was thinking that if the LED's were run around the entire perimeter of the frame, and the panel had a reflective back panel, the shadows would be minimized or eliminated.

Hi carl425,

Okay, now I understand your suggestion better. I had thought about doing that but my concern was that the LEDs on the bottom of the frame would be shining directly in my eyes.

I think that the amount of light required to illuminate the control panels should be fairly minimal, especially when doing night operations. In fact, it would really only needed for night operations. During the day the panels will be quite visible.

One product that I have been looking at is LED strips encased in silicone. These give a much more even light along the strip:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/LED-Strip-Neon-Lights-2835-SMD-120LED-M-Flexible-Silicone-Tube-Waterproof-12V-5M/164160561667?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item2638bb6203:g:DnsAAOSwN8JelGNg&enc=AQAFAAACcBaobrjLl8XobRIiIML1V4Imu%2Fn%2BzU5L90Z278x5ickkfOCvCjTOBWK8pwriaolq5mJz7poS%2FykJpwM%2BkOvBlB3FHg2N5U01WJkqUN8FHs5G8zvap4VROxrXKAzQG0S5vPG%2Bq1JUmqs5zIhwJ71cwG390Ldajuc1fdL7q4rk8iThL8Yn%2B7jCEsfpag5cdPP5pfeE4YaTCVyhuTpnDBh70%2FMAB4iAI4ow%2BcIWagAWTzl7vWgdzZPp4LAVh0TReKtdOf0xNBXKQhpEVPWfZUGQQ%2BE%2B0R9I18rev7olnN9J1%2BKtKMx2AjU5wdgpMlIvnUZalZdLh9aHi05CncQzaAJisFcofrkbJ75ffRQdB413o%2BAF2TG5NvQMvHLtjuz2g31JkVNj1nEh3sm9qJ7OeIgQxZCRe%2F3q6TfeTznvxy%2FEAIdjQqwi9i3ZzlLOMh%2BnD%2B73flANTwEy55DWm7LC%2BrhOiTNnQ%2FaAxYrkGvfou1M2SPzO%2BUEDNcDwXU64Wszvq81bjoh6p9N4ChSIiXqzqIY1xLuP7GmpPjpQPotSEPbjmVGCMII31e8TOnSMchNUVTzLuLUeM%2BowU%2FEUF2F6LqbHZutl3iNpjmczo5VP3fw5IEuxUaE7IkHhUk5xM0gU%2F08j%2BHjMQhPBFULSF3cqwmWYvC4KjoP5mjmDKYw4Gl%2FXnUHTcgK4hzO4bHfuaSKhNKZpFZ2ZnqhIURgQTkB0FWr8uD%2BjISB1y3xwBdWYMh6F%2B4zRZYdNxs65rgQlO5crbiEAvDHus68bZGnxZv03eMJkfNHEPMcCYW8u9uC4%2BOvhQApfN8fG%2FTHDCzg4ptEq9yJR%2Fg%3D%3D&checksum=164160561667f40b72a1d8ec4a989752740040b0872c

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 Friday, August 21, 2020 8:18 AM

 Those are probably bright enough for what you need - I doubt they are quite as bright as the pictures make them out to be though. Probably not good for layout lighting, but for a glowe around the edge to help see a control panel - might work. Price is right to give them a try, anyway. They mention cutting them apart like any other LED strip - if you can see through the clear covering to see where to cut them, the diffusion effect might not be quite as good as the photos would lead you to believe, either. 

 You cna also get aluminum mounting track and diffusor covers for standard LED strips, to get them to appear as much less a bunch of points and more like a continuous tube. I'll try to find the link again, they had multiple levels of diffusors, the more diffusion, the less light comes through, but the more even the light appears.

                                  --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, August 21, 2020 9:28 PM

rrinker
 You cna also get aluminum mounting track and diffusor covers for standard LED strips, to get them to appear as much less a bunch of points and more like a continuous tube. I'll try to find the link again, they had multiple levels of diffusors, the more diffusion, the less light comes through, but the more even the light appears.

Hi Randy,

I used a section of the aluminum mounting track with a diffuser lens over our kitchen stove and it worked great. It could easily be incorporated into the panel frames.

Something to think about!

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 Friday, August 21, 2020 10:02 PM

I got the wire hangers today and they will do the task nicely.

However, I have two complaints:

1. The US supplier shipped via UPS, and UPS charged me a small fortune to process the import duties. They added 50% to the cost of the hangers!GrumpyBang HeadGrumpyBang Head The USPS doesn't impose those charges. I won't comment on the USPS current situation.

2. I am really disappointed with Google Search. Despite specifying Canadian sources in my search, the first few pages of results are for American suppliers almost exclusively. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem buying from south of the border, but if I ask for Canadian suppliers I should get Canadian suppliers! For my American friends, imagine if the majority of your searches returned Chinese suppliers! You would get pretty ticked pretty quick, and rightly so.

My 2 CentsMy 2 CentsMy 2 Cents

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 Monday, August 24, 2020 10:06 PM

Today I got the replacement for the control panel with the messed up turnout numbers. It came out fine. I had to order the panel on 18" x 24" stock so I will have some blank acrylic left if I want to make other panels.

Finding the plastic drills I want continues to be a problem. I haven't been able to find them in Canada. I found a reasonably priced source in the US but they won't ship to private individuals in Canada. Oh well, their loss.

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 SeeYou190 on Monday, August 24, 2020 10:28 PM

hon30critter
I am really disappointed with Google Search. Despite specifying Canadian sources in my search, the first few pages of results are for American suppliers almost exclusively.

Google is not my friend any longer. No matter what I put in the search box they take me to where they want me to go. I sometimes need to go all the way to page three to find something thatmatched my search.

-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 Tuesday, August 25, 2020 12:32 AM

I found the drill bits in Canada. I changed my search from 'drill bits for plastic' to 'plastic suppliers in Canada' and the second site I looked at had what I wanted. Interestinbgly, the price in Canadian dollars was almost the same numerically as were the drills in the USA. That makes them almost 35% cheaper than the American drills. That is a rare situation! Shipping was cheaper too.

I hope the bits work as advertized. Some of the holes will be within less than 1" from each other. Wiring will be tight!

I have a question: Do you think that I will need to reinforce the 3mm acrylic panels? They will all be about 5" tall. Three of them will be about 24" long and the fourth will be about 30" long. They will be supported in wooden frames. I haven't cut the individual panels out yet so I don't know how much flex there will be. What do you think?

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 gmpullman on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 5:52 AM

hon30critter
I just added a very small yard to the main layout so now the control panels won't quite match the track plan.

No worries, Dave. You're just following prototype practice.

 2006 photos 684 by Edmund, on Flickr

Just about every signal tower model board I've ever seen had quite a few corrections and modifications on it.

You're right in line Yes

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 7:29 AM

hon30critter
I haven't cut the individual panels out yet so I don't know how much flex there will be. What do you think?

I think these will be needing extra support. The plastic sheets have a lot of flex in them.

-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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