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Building a layout on a rotisserie

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 16, 2020 11:08 PM

CapnCrunch
I feel your pain.  After all you've been through, I suspect the lumber yard will bite the bullet and do the right thing.  If not, I've had great success with two-part epoxy adhesives and you might consider using some to splice in an extension.  Good luck!

Hi Tim,

I ordered exactly the lumber I needed to build the benchwork, so I don't have anything to make a splice with. Therefore, I would have to get another piece of wood anyhow, so I may as well get the right piece that I needed in the first place. Using the piece that is too short as is would complicate the construction enormously.Grumpy

For those of you who would suggest that I should have included extra material in my original order, I used 3rd PlanIt's benchwork design facility to calculate the exact size of every piece needed. For example, I designed the benchwork to be 64" wide. If you cut 64" off of a 4' x 8' sheet, you are left with 32" less the saw cut. Therefore, two full 4' x 8' sheets will exactly cover the 64" x 144" layout surface with no waste and only two cuts. Likewise, four 2' x 8' x 2" butt joint foam sheets will fit the surface exactly. Hopefully the lumber company cut all of the larger plywood sheets accurately. I have only checked the 3/4" pieces so far and they are very accurate.Thumbs Up

This is not the first time that I have used 3rd PlanIt to build benchwork. I designed my old club's 20' x 25' 'G' shaped layout using 3rd PlanIt and everything fit exactly as planned. Care has to be taken when making corner joints to get the pieces in the right relationship so the assembly comes out to the right size overall. 3rd PlanIt allows for that type of planning detail. It makes it easy to do other things too, like positioning cross member positions so they will not interfere with Tortoise motor placements.

Dave

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, May 17, 2020 10:01 AM

hon30critter
It makes it easy to do other things too, like positioning cross member positions so they will not interfere with Tortoise motor placements.

That might be the reason that gets me to try track planning software! I get so aggravated with myself when switch machines need to be where I put some wood.

-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 Monday, May 18, 2020 4:47 AM

Hi Kevin,

Here is the drawing showing the turnouts and the frame cross member positions. Some of the Tortoises will be close to the cross members but if they are positioned so that the lever is closest to the cross member and the body of the Tortoise is away from it there will be lots of space:

For those who are interested, I have figured out how to build the benchwork so that is will be relatively easy to handle. I will build it in two 30" x 12' sections. Those sections will have a 1 x 6 spacer in between them and then 1 x 6 x 65 1/2" boards across each end. There will be a 9 1/2" x 16" plywood piece on either end which is what the swivel plates will be attached to. The extra cross pieces that are 8" from either end will support the barrel bolt mounting platforms which will keep the table locked at whatever angle I want.

It will be easier to understand once I post some pictures. I'm just waiting for some Torx (Star head) screws to arrive so I can start assembly.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, May 18, 2020 8:16 AM

 Torx? Really? Do you WANT your fellow Canadians to ostracize you? Any self-respecting Canuck would be use Robertson screws, and nothing but!

Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh 

 

(mainly just covering for my own almost big goof, luckily for whatever reason I did not start puting the support beams on the first verticla int he corner, but instead several away fromt he corner - which is good because the whole end of the layout down there needs to be a lot wider than normal to support the turntable and roundhouse)

                             --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 Monday, May 18, 2020 9:00 AM

rrinker
 Torx? Really? Do you WANT your fellow Canadians to ostracize you? Any self-respecting Canuck would be use Robertson screws, and nothing but!

Hey! Leave me alone!! Stop trying to make me feel guilty!!!

Robertson screws are far superior to slot head or Phillips head screws, but they are not infallible. If the screw heads and the drivers are made accurately they work pretty good. The problem is that a lot of the Robertson stuff out there today is not made accurately. Twenty four years ago when I built my deck with Robertson screws I don't recall having more than a couple of stripped screw heads out of several hundred screws. Ten years ago when I replaced the front porch at the cottage I could hardly get a single Robertson screw in without the bit slipping.Bang Head I have had similar experiences with them recently.

Torx is the way to go! The automotive manufacturers figured that out a long time ago. When they switched to Torx fasteners the life expectancy of their driver bits was increased by somewhere around 20 times IIRC.

With apologies to hardcore Canadian Robertson screw afficionados, Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, May 18, 2020 10:37 AM

 All the drywall screws I got are Torx. Nice of them to include a bit in the package, too - which thnakfully lasts longer than the box of screws, so I will end up with a surplus. The accuracy of these mass produced things though leaves a lot to be desired. Out of about 200 I've gone through so far, I only found maybe 2 or 3 where the head of the screw was too filled in to allow the bit to go in, but a lot more than than seem to need a lot of pressure to keep the bit from jumping. 

                                       --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 richhotrain on Monday, May 18, 2020 10:45 AM

rrinker

 All the drywall screws I got are Torx. Nice of them to include a bit in the package, too - which thnakfully lasts longer than the box of screws, so I will end up with a surplus. The accuracy of these mass produced things though leaves a lot to be desired. Out of about 200 I've gone through so far, I only found maybe 2 or 3 where the head of the screw was too filled in to allow the bit to go in, but a lot more than than seem to need a lot of pressure to keep the bit from jumping. 

                                       --Randy 

Use an impact drill with a magnetic bit holder to keep the bit from jumping.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, May 18, 2020 3:50 PM

 I'm not going to buy another drill when I already have 2... I could just use the old one, now that I have the adapter to use the new battery packs on it. The old one is significantly heavier and never had an issue, even with the Philips headed ones. And it's not an impact. I do have a magnetic bit holder, it makes it quicker to drill pilot holes and then run a screw in. Though unless workign near an edge, these new screws witht he Torx heads don't seem to need pilot holes. Of 3 splits in spacer blocks, 2 were in ones that had a pilot hole. And I placed a dozen, 2 screws per, with only one split. Even many of the uprights - I predrilled all of them when I cut them, but sometimes the predrilled hole failed to line up with a stud, so I just moved the screw over and ran it in, no new pilot hole. No splitting.

                                  --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 richhotrain on Monday, May 18, 2020 5:48 PM

rrinker

 I'm not going to buy another drill when I already have 2... I could just use the old one, now that I have the adapter to use the new battery packs on it. The old one is significantly heavier and never had an issue, even with the Philips headed ones. And it's not an impact. I do have a magnetic bit holder, it makes it quicker to drill pilot holes and then run a screw in. Though unless workign near an edge, these new screws witht he Torx heads don't seem to need pilot holes. Of 3 splits in spacer blocks, 2 were in ones that had a pilot hole. And I placed a dozen, 2 screws per, with only one split. Even many of the uprights - I predrilled all of them when I cut them, but sometimes the predrilled hole failed to line up with a stud, so I just moved the screw over and ran it in, no new pilot hole. No splitting.

                                  --Randy

 

That is one of the advantages of an impact drill. It does not need a pilot hole and, in fact, doesn't work well with a pilot hole. It depends upon resistance. C'mon, Randy, cough up some dough and buy an impact drill. I don't know how I lived without one for so many years.

Rich

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, May 18, 2020 10:28 PM

richhotrain
That is one of the advantages of an impact drill. It does not need a pilot hole and, in fact, doesn't work well with a pilot hole.

That's not consistent with my experience.

Mine works fine with a pilot hole and there are 2 cases where I need one.  A screw close to the edge of a piece of plywood will split the surface ply between the screw and the edge if you let it countersink itself.  Also, some self-drilling screws won't start in the hard surface of the plywood.  Sometimes I use my countersink bit by itself without the pilot hole. That seems to work for both problems.

Even with those issues, I still love the impact drill.

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 Monday, May 18, 2020 11:08 PM

I'm going to drill pilot holes for the pine 'T' and 'L' joints even though I have an impact driver and I will be using the Torx head screws. Nothing annoys me more than seeing a piece of pine split because I didn't bother to drill a pilot hole. I also think that it is easier to drill a pilot hole while holding the wood in place than it is to try to drive a screw directly into the joint.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, May 18, 2020 11:17 PM

I went out to the garage tonight to start cutting boards. I'm going to use my jig saw with a straight edge clamped in place because getting the long pieces to my radial arm saw and holding them properly will be a pain. Dianne doesn't like helping with the RAS.

Alas, no useable blades!Bang Head My old club had used my jig saw extensively for doing the cookie cutter subroadbed sections. I guess they used up all the good blades that were with the saw. The two blades that were in the box were in pretty rough shape. I would be better off using a chainsaw!

Oh well. Home Depot is now open again so I can pick up what I need tomorrow.

Dave

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 12:06 AM

hon30critter
Nothing annoys me more than seeing a piece of pine split because I didn't bother to drill a pilot hole. I also think that it is easier to drill a pilot hole while holding the wood in place than it is to try to drive a screw directly into the joint.

I am with you Dave. I drill pilot holes and countersinks for all screw holes.

Phillips is by far my favorite screw drive. If you get quality fasteners, nothing works better. You need to pay the price to get actual construction screws, not the garbage they sell in the consumer stores. Go to an industrial supply center and pay for the good stuff.

-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 Tuesday, May 19, 2020 6:00 AM

carl425
 
richhotrain
That is one of the advantages of an impact drill. It does not need a pilot hole and, in fact, doesn't work well with a pilot hole. 

That's not consistent with my experience.

Mine works fine with a pilot hole and there are 2 cases where I need one.  A screw close to the edge of a piece of plywood will split the surface ply between the screw and the edge if you let it countersink itself.  Also, some self-drilling screws won't start in the hard surface of the plywood.  Sometimes I use my countersink bit by itself without the pilot hole. That seems to work for both problems.

Even with those issues, I still love the impact drill. 

Well, I am just relating my personal experience with the impact drill.

I build my layouts with 2x4 lumber. I want the layout to be strong enough to stand on which I have had to do quite often for such activities as installing directional lighting, pouring otherwise inaccessible waterways, etc.

On prior layouts, I used a cordless drill to make pilot holes and a corded drill to install the screws. I always use Phillips drywall screws for this purpose. That proved to be a lot of time and effort, so for my current layout, I used an impact drill.

I quickly discovered that not only were no pilot holes needed, the pilot holes adversely affected the performance of the impact drill which requires resistance for maximum performance. So, I built a 42' x 25' layout with cross members and diagonal braces without any need for pilot holes with just the impact drill.

A couple of comments about impact drills. They require special bits which need to be replaced quite frequently unless you use a magnetic bit holder. Initially, I was going through a lot of those special bits. Once I had the magnetic bit holder mounted on the impact drill, I rarely had to replace the bit. Also, the drywall screw does not wander while using an impact drill without pilot holes. I'll bet that I completed the framework for my new layout in half the time that it took me to build the similarly sized prior layout.

As for splitting wood, I never had the problem without pilot holes on 2x4 dimensional lumber or 3/4x4 hard pine. My only problem with split wood while using an impact driver without pilot holes was with 1/2x4 soft pine that I used for some support pieces. In that case, I drilled pilot holes and simply used a cordless drill instead of the impact drill. I have concluded that if and where you do need pilot holes, you do not need an impact drill.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 6:05 AM

hon30critter

I'm going to drill pilot holes for the pine 'T' and 'L' joints even though I have an impact driver and I will be using the Torx head screws. 

To each his own, but I see no need to use Torx head screws.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 6:10 AM

SeeYou190
 

Phillips is by far my favorite screw drive. If you get quality fasteners, nothing works better. You need to pay the price to get actual construction screws, not the garbage they sell in the consumer stores. Go to an industrial supply center and pay for the good stuff.

Dunno about that. For building my layouts, I buy Phillips head drywall screws at Home Depot and never had a problem. Let's not forget, you are building a layout, not a missile launch pad.   Laugh

Rich

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 1:42 AM

richhotrain
To each his own, but I see no need to use Torx head screws.

Hi Rich,

I'm hoping that the Torx head screws will minimize slipping of the bits. I figure there will be some standing required when I am assembling the framework so I want that to go as smoothly as possible. Over the last few days I have been measuring and marking the lumber. My back will only allow me to do that for about 10 minutes at which point I am in serious pain and I have to sit down.GrumpyAngryBang Head

Dave

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 4:07 AM

hon30critter
I'm hoping that the Torx head screws will minimize slipping of the bits.

I was an early adopter of drywall screws. I always thought they were handy. I've had dozens of styles and finishes over the years.

Recently, though, my wife's nephew, who is in the trades, did some remodeling work for her mother. We supplied all the materials. He specified the underlayment and sheathing screws which used a T-15 or 20 Torx bit and they had a thread-cutting point on them.

I inherited all the left-over fasteners, about 20 pounds of various sizes. I love 'em. Won't go back to Phillips anytime soon. They grip the fastener securely so I can reach a spot with the screw in place and it won't fall off or cam out.

Likewise, my son was doing a kitchen remodel which included moving some walls and framing. He had several styles of Torx fasteners and a couple of DeWalt high torque impact drivers to zip them in. At the end of the day I was convinced. Torx star drive from now on.

Last year I built a deck with Trex and many of those fasteners were Torx as well. The main stainless screws were #2 square drive.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 4:45 AM

gmpullman
Torx star drive from now on.

I will certainly post my impressions of how well the Torx screws perform. Now if they would only get here from Amazon! I was surprised that Home Depot Canada has a very limited selection of them.

Dave

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 6:11 AM

hon30critter
 
gmpullman
Torx star drive from now on. 

I will certainly post my impressions of how well the Torx screws perform. Now if they would only get here from Amazon! I was surprised that Home Depot Canada has a very limited selection of them.

Dave 

Dave, I am sure that you will be pleased with the use of Torx screws. Don't get me wrong. I am not anti Torx. I just have never felt a need for them. A few years back, I ripped up the floor of my cedar wood deck and installed all new cedar boards, using a corded drill (pre-impact drill days) and square slot deck screws. Worked like a charm. I wonder if Torx deck screws would be even better?

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, May 21, 2020 9:37 AM

 The ones I have claim all sorts of advantages over the same brand's cheaper version with Philips heads. Better self-drilling, a special notch in the flute to make it drill instead of split the wood, and little tabs under the head to allow it to self-countersink. The only ones that the bit jumps are the rather long ones I use to screw the uprights in the wall studs, and that's WITH a hole pre-drilled in the upright. The shorter ones to attach the plywood to the uprights just shoot right in.

                                    --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, May 21, 2020 2:11 PM

hon30critter
I'm hoping that the Torx head screws will minimize slipping of the bits.

If this is your top priority you should go with square drive.  The Torx (Spax is what I use) is better than phillips, but in my experience the bit never slips out of a square drive screw.

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 Friday, May 22, 2020 7:41 AM

carl425
If this is your top priority you should go with square drive.  The Torx (Spax is what I use) is better than phillips, but in my experience the bit never slips out of a square drive screw.

Hi carl425,

Being a Canadian I have been using Robertson (square drive) screws all my life. They were invented in Canada. Recently I have found that the quality has declined. It used to be that a Robertson screw would stay on the tip of the screwdriver or bit without having to be held. That no longer seems to be the case. When I built my deck in 1996 I only had a couple of heads strip. Recently I seem to have had a lot of trouble driving Robertson screws.

Part of that may be that I need new bits. I figured that, since I had to buy new bits, I may as well try the Torx screws. The bits are about the same price, as are the screws.

Dave

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Posted by fwright on Saturday, May 23, 2020 11:33 AM

I had to replace portions of my deck.  Owning a pop-up camper, I had learned the superiority of Robertson to Phillips head screws.  But working on the deck, I found that the Torx head were a cut above the Robertson's.  I never stripped a Torx head, and I could remove them even after being painted over or jammed hard in the wood.  No matter how much torque I put on them, the Torx bit wouldn't slip in the head, nor would the screw snap.  I am now a believer in Torx.

Fred W

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, May 23, 2020 11:41 AM

richhotrain

 

 
SeeYou190
 

Phillips is by far my favorite screw drive. If you get quality fasteners, nothing works better. You need to pay the price to get actual construction screws, not the garbage they sell in the consumer stores. Go to an industrial supply center and pay for the good stuff.

 

 

Dunno about that. For building my layouts, I buy Phillips head drywall screws at Home Depot and never had a problem. Let's not forget, you are building a layout, not a missile launch pad.   Laugh

 

Rich

 

 

By "Consumer Store" I meant like Wal Mart and the like.

Home Depot does sell some good quality fasteners, including real construction screws, but you need to look past the garbage they also have on the shelves.

fwright
I had to replace portions of my deck. Owning a pop-up camper, I had learned the superiority of Robertson to Phillips head screws.

Robertson Drive Screws are used extensively in the Recreational Vehicle industry, where they have some advantages for hand-assembled equipment.

I would never purchase these for personal use. They can be very troublesome to remove. I have had very bad experiences with them on RVs.

I believe most problems with Philips screws are caused by:

1) Choosing poor quality fasteners.

2) Using poor quality drivers.

3) Using the incorrect driver.

-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 Saturday, May 23, 2020 3:26 PM

SeeYou190

I believe most problems with Philips screws are caused by:

1) Choosing poor quality fasteners.

2) Using poor quality drivers.

3) Using the incorrect driver.

I agree. 

Rich

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:48 PM

I have been commenting in the Diner about my layout progress so I should bring things up to date here. I apologise for any duplication.

I have revised the benchwork and support structures a bit to make better use of materials and to make things a bit lighter. The change in design required that I buy a couple more 1x4 x 12' pieces. I also needed to get a replacement for the 1x8 x 12' that was not quite 12' long. I also realized that I needed to have a large flat surface to build the framing on so I ordered another 19mm x 4x8 sheet of plywood. Heaven knows how I'm going to move that around!?!

The lumber company that I have been dealing with has the right materials, but I have decided that the order desk person with whom I have been dealing is a couple of plys short of a full sheet. He screwed up the first order big time so they had to make two deliveries for one order. The second order was very simple so he got all the materials correct, but he neglected to actually schedule the delivery. When I placed the order on Friday morning he suggested that I might have it delivered that afternoon. I thought that was great, except it never showed up. Saturday morning I phoned the order desk to ask when I might expect delivery only to be told that the order was not listed for delivery at all! Of course the sales rep wasn't working on Saturday. I'll try again on Monday morning, and I promise I will be polite! This is one of those occassions when I wish I was back in management!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

I got the rest of the Torx screws. I'm not sure if I have enough of the 1 1/8" screws but I have 5 lbs. of 2 1/2" screws so I will use them in place of the shorter screws where they won't poke through. Why did I buy 5 lbs of screws? Simple. They were about $10.00 more that the 1 lb. box and I would have had to buy 2 lbs. I'm sure my son will find a use for them eventually.

I also got the new jig saw blades, except I messed up on the order. These ones are 'reverse' cut blades. In other words, they cut on the down stroke instead of the normal process which is to cut on the up stroke. I don't understand the reason for reverse cut blades. All I can see is that the saw will have to be held down quite firmly to avoid having it bounce. Blades that cut on the up stroke naturally pull the saw down onto the work surface.

I also received some cool little detail parts for my trolley diner project from Ngineering. They are etched brass 'cast iron' dining tables and chairs. I had ordered tables and chairs from Preiser but they turned out to be a bit too big to allow two rows of tables to fit inside the trolley body unless I did some serious surgery on the tables. I think I can make the Ngineering tables work. They are truly works of art, and as a bonus, there are additional chairs and benches included in the fret:

FYI, I have decided to put structure building projects on the back burner and concentrate on building the benchwork.

Pictures of the benchwork soon!!

Dave

 

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:53 PM

 The down stroke blades make a cleaner cut on the top surface of the material. Useful if cutting a fine veneer plywood and you want to have a nice side that will be the 'out' side of your project.

                                    --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 Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:00 PM

rrinker
 The down stroke blades make a cleaner cut on the top surface of the material. Useful if cutting a fine veneer plywood and you want to have a nice side that will be the 'out' side of your project.

Thanks for the explanation Randy.

If I'm just cutting pine boards will the downstroke blades make any difference? Having a fine finish isn't an issue. I can sand off any break out bits.

Dave

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Posted by carl425 on Saturday, May 23, 2020 11:13 PM

hon30critter
If I'm just cutting pine boards will the downstroke blades make any difference?

The cut will always have a clean edge and a splintered edge.  Upstroke or downstroke just changes whether the clean edge is on the top or bottom.  For example, the downstroke blade should be used to cut a hole in a countertop for a sink.

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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