Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Building a layout on a rotisserie

30945 views
686 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,618 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, October 5, 2020 12:48 AM

hon30critter
It was impossible to cut the foam perfectly straight. As planned, I will add a 1x6 to each side of the layout in order to provide a proper straight edge.

Dave... I have not used foam much for layout building, but we have used a lot of it to build CosPlay props.

When we needed a smooth straight edge, we would clamp two pieces of steel to opposited side of the foam sheet, then use a 1/3 sheet vibrating sander to smooth the edge to the steel. The sander would hit the steel and stop, this left a smooth edge on the foam sheet.

This must be done outside, and you must wear a mask and face shield.

We found no other way to make a good smooth 90 degree edge on a piece of foam sheet.

I tried to find a good picture, but all I could find was an in-process picture of a Shark-Bazooka. We did not take too many in-process shots of CosPlay costumes.

-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.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 13,519 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 4, 2020 11:44 PM

hon30critter
It was impossible to cut the foam perfectly straight. As planned, I will add a 1x6 to each side of the layout in order to provide a proper straight edge. I decided to use a 1x6 in order to add a bit of stiffness to the layout. It flexes a bit more than I would like.

Did you not say you were using a hot-wire tool to trim your foam to shape?

Something that might work is a heavy construction straightedge, the kind in 4' sections with splined connectors to get longer precision, clamped to follow the line with a block and clamp (to hold the wire tool at the right angle if necessary) to get offset for precise cutting.  Think of it like using a light saber as a router Big Smile

If you use a 1x6 as a control edge against foam any 'spring' or warp you observe sighting down the edge will screw up data points shot via your 'cross' methods.  You could get around this by putting known 'corners' on the benchwork, setting up a laser level just across the corners, and taking your lateral reference from the resulting droopless, bendless line -- it's the same principle as one method to tram steam-locomotive frames accurately.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 4, 2020 10:41 PM

I needed to trim the edges of the 2" foam in order to provide a straight line from which to measure the track positions. Good luck on that!GrumpyBang Head

It was impossible to cut the foam perfectly straight. As planned, I will add a 1x6 to each side of the layout in order to provide a proper straight edge. I decided to use a 1x6 in order to add a bit of stiffness to the layout. It flexes a bit more than I would like. The 1x6 will also provide support for the control panels and the elbow rests.

The downside is that I have had to redo all of the track plotting drawings in order to add 3/4" to each of the coordinates.Grumpy It isn't a big deal. It will take me about an hour to redo the drawings. I'm half done already.

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
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 4, 2020 2:07 AM

Track fiddler
I just don't understand how you transfer the points onto your foam?

Hey TF, no problem. Let me try to illustrate:

I use two tape measures. One is positioned from left to right with the end on the left edge of the foam. The other goes from top to bottom with the end positioned on the top edge of the foam. The top of the layout is zero" for the up and down measurements, and the left side of the layout is zero" for the left to right measurements.

Here are the tapes set up to plot point 20"/-15". The point is 20" from the left side of the layout and -15" from the top of the layout:

Here is a close up:

The plotting point is shown on the foam at the intersection of the two tapes.

Note that the left and the top edges of the benchwork must be perfectly straight and at 90 degrees to each other.

Hope this explains the process.

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
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, October 4, 2020 12:58 AM

Please forgive me.  I understand everything you're saying here.

I just don't understand how you transfer the points onto your foam?

Where the reference points come from and how you determine where they go?

Is there some kind of grid or something?

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 4, 2020 12:44 AM

Track fiddler
I always find it interesting to see things that I do not understand and even more interesting after I understand them a little more sometimes

Hi TF,

The 3rd PlanIt program gives you each of the plotting points simply by clicking on a section of track or a turnout. In order to plot the curves I divided the track into approximately 6" segments. When the plotting points for each of the segments are marked on the foam it will be easy to draw the curve of the track from one point to the next.

The same plotting method can be used for virtually everything else on the layout including structure locations, roads, and even elevation changes. Have I said that I love 3rd PlanIt? I can't say it enough!!!

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
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, October 4, 2020 12:34 AM

That is really cool Dave

I do not find it hard to admit I am computer illiterate but there is the answer to my question.

I always find it interesting to see things that I do not understand and even more interesting after I understand them a little more then I did beforeWink

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, October 4, 2020 12:29 AM

Track fiddler
You had mentioned you found a track plan you like.  How does one transfer a track plan from a piece of paper to a full size 5 by 12 layout?  What is the best way to go about doing that?  

Hi TF,

Here is an example of a track diagram with the plotting points marked on it. It looks a bit busy but it is actually really easy to follow. Like I said, I just use two tape measures to mark the x/y coordinates. The distances are measured from the upper left corner of the layout. The fact that the measurements are to 1/32" is a bit misleading. You don't need to work to that fine a tolerance. I'm just using the dimensions that 3rd PlanIt gives.

I really think that 3rd Planit is worth every penny that it costs.

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
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 2, 2020 11:36 PM

After procrastinating for a while, I have decided to glue the foam down. I held off until I was sure that I didn't need to do any more deep carving. Any carving that is left to do, like ditches for example, will be shallower and it will actually be easier to cut them with the foam firmly glued in place.

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
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, October 1, 2020 11:04 PM

Hi TF,

I use 3rd PlanIt. That allows me to plot the locations of all the turnouts to within 1/32". I also mark the locations of the flex track every six inches. Then all I have to do is connect the dots.

The layout diagram is set so that plotting point 0/0 is at one corner of the layout so I just have to use two tape measures to measure out the x/y axis. I mark the plotting points on the foam.

Once the lines are drawn I will install the cork roadbed.

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
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 10:01 PM

Dave

You must be getting close to the next step after your foam is down.  I'm just curious because I've never had you're next upcoming task at hand.

You had mentioned you found a track plan you like.  How does one transfer a track plan from a piece of paper to a full size 5 by 12 layout?  What is the best way to go about doing that?

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:41 PM

rrinker

 Once ballasted and painted - it's hard to tell. I've seen photos that I couldn;lt tell were of N scale models, yet not only was it N scale, it was on Code 80 track, which is even more oversized by scale than Code 100 is for HO. That used to be the dead giveaway to N scale - unpainted, undetailed Code 80 rail looks VERY obviously oversized. But this photo - just couldn't tell.

 

That's great news Randy because my PECO code 55 track looks exactly like Atlas code 80 in appearance and that's what made my decision so hard looking at that beautiful ME N scale track.

I have decided I am going to pre paint all my track and turn outs.  I know I will not be ballasting for a long time and Midwest Products cork actually looks pretty good with the textured color in appearance like ballast.  I do not want to paint that.

 

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:19 PM

I just had rotisserie chicken tonight and it was a juicy birdDinner

But my hat is still off to Dave's Rotisserie Layout Eh Stick out tongueYesWink

 

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,934 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 12:16 PM

 Once ballasted and painted - it's hard to tell. I've seen photos that I couldn;lt tell were of N scale models, yet not only was it N scale, it was on Code 80 track, which is even more oversized by scale than Code 100 is for HO. That used to be the dead giveaway to N scale - unpainted, undetailed Code 80 rail looks VERY obviously oversized. But this photo - just couldn't tell. The tradeoff is a bit more work required in painting the track to help hide the oversize nature. Makes a lot more sense than tossing otherwise perfectly good track to spend a small fortune on new stuff, which STILL needs to be ballasted and painted to look right 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
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 28, 2020 8:52 PM

snjroy
Quality turnouts are not cheap...

Hi Simon,

You certainly have that right! I wanted to use Code 83 on my new layout but I have tons of Code 100 turnouts and track which was purchased years ago for a layout that never got started. It would cost me another $1000 Cdn. to buy new Code 83 track and turnouts. I really prefer the appearance of Code 83 vs Code 100, but for $1000 I will just have to suffer.Smile, Wink & Grin

I did opt for Code 83 in the locomotive service area primarily because the geometry of the Peco Code 83 double slip turnout fit the plan much better. I decided that the whole service area would look better with the lighter rail so that required buying five Peco Code 83 turnouts and five pieces of Code 83 track.

I was able to get rid of my surplus Atlas Code 100 flex track by doing a deal with my favourite hobby shop. They were out of Code 100 track so they gave me a nice in-store credit in exchange for the track. Win - win!

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
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, September 28, 2020 8:40 PM

Don't feel too bad about that Dave.

Too much is always better than not enough.  I have stuff around here I don't even know what to do with.

Whenever the world gets back to a normal place.  A Model Railroader swap meet is definitely what I have on my menuWink

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 28, 2020 8:27 PM

Track fiddler
Take careful account of those turnouts.  My first order was just enough material to cover the main line.  I had one extra right turn out and one left short.

Hi TF,

Too late!! I already have way too many turnouts!Sigh When I was planning my first (never built) layout I bought all the turnouts before construction had even begun. My back problems put an end to that layout, but I was left with two large drawers full of Peco HO Code 100 Electrofrog turnouts. I think I have about 40 in total. The new layout will only use about 18 of those (plus six Code 83 turnouts in the service area). If I ever get to building the yard that will use up another 11 turnouts. I will still have turnouts coming out my ears!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

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
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,618 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, September 28, 2020 12:10 PM

hon30critter
I just did an analysis of what I still have on order for the layout. Holy jeepers!! I still have close to $1000 on order!

I made my $1,000.00 order earier this year, and it was a huge weight lifted off of me.

Just knowing that I have what I need, on hand, for my big layout project is well worth it. Good for my peace of mind.

-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.

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 1,213 posts
Posted by snjroy on Monday, September 28, 2020 11:12 AM

Quality turnouts are not cheap...

I hear you guys about the benefits of working slow. I spent years on my plan, and it is paying off now. All my trackwork is done, and I have not encountered any "unplanned" design problems. I can have an operating session involving switching without moving anything with the 5 finger crane, except for the few Caboose hand-throws that were intentional. I did change a few things during construction: it was related to scenery work, which I find is hard to visualize on a 2 dimension plan. I moved a siding to make more room for a mountain. I only saw that once the mainline was built. I guess I could have done a miniature mockup like some modellers do, but I don't have that much time on my hands...

Simon 

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, September 28, 2020 8:42 AM

hon30critter

I just did an analysis of what I still have on order for the layout. Holy jeepers!! I still have close to $1000 on order! 

 

Mornin Dave

Take careful account of those turnouts.  My first order was just enough material to cover the main line.  I had one extra right turn out and one left short.

After I paid PayPal I ordered the rest of my stuff.  Now I have one extra right, one extra left and extra other stuff but better extra than not enough.

 

And the price, I can't even consider it, this stuff adds up quickly

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, September 28, 2020 2:33 AM

I could not tell the times I moved too quickly and made mistakes

With everything now that's why I move........ "Steady As She Goes"

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,618 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, September 28, 2020 2:30 AM

hon30critter
It takes me a while to figure things out. If I move too quickly I often make stupid mistakes.

Ditto for me too on this thinking thing.

I need to work out everything in my head over and over before I move forward. I think I have already built my entire next layout three times in my mind.

-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.

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, September 28, 2020 2:06 AM

Wink  First of all that rotisserie layout of yours DaveYes

And that's the beautiful thing about hindsight Dave  With the exception of some help from our friends here

A lot of times no one tells us  where to run

When you're late seeing things for yourself the first time  You see it all so clearly the next time

At that point spelled out so clearly for the next time round 

 

That's the best place to be

 

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 27, 2020 10:44 PM

Track fiddler
Last we spoke here I was having another roadblock laying my track because the ME Bridge track did not line up up with the PECO.  This was a big dilemma and was keeping me from beginning to lay my track. Well as stupid stuff will have it,  I'm the worst at common sense.  While I was relaxing up north and had some time to think.  I thought of my dilemma and all the sudden it wasn't very hard anymore. It's was all the time just simple common sense.  

Hi TF,

"Great minds think alike"! True, except nobody ever clarified how long it takes to do the thinking!Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

My mind often works the same way as yours. It takes me a while to figure things out. If I move too quickly I often make stupid mistakes. Fortunately, we both have the benefit of being able to ask our fellow forum members to help us solve our conundrums.

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
    March 2017
  • 4,237 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, September 27, 2020 10:04 PM

Hi Dave 

I kid you not,  I spent almost three years developing my layout Plan before I started building it and I'm slower than molasses in January doing so.

It is really good to see you started yours as well as I'll be watching for the updatesYes

 

Last we spoke here I was having another roadblock laying my track because the ME Bridge track did not line up up with the PECO. 

This was a big dilemma keeping me from laying my track and some loss of sleep don't you know?

As the rumor has it,  I'm the worst at common sense. 

While I was relaxing up north and had some time to think.  I thought of my dilemma and all of a sudden it wasn't very hard anymore.

All the time it was just simple common sense.  

I lay my normal PECO track over the bridges until I can address them at a later dateIndifferentIndifferentIndifferent

I guess that just made too much sense and that's why I couldn't think of it for a week.

 

Good to see ya DaveWink 

I do have my Canadian Passport border pass you awarded me in case I do have to come up there and see what the heck you're doing up there on your Layout Ah! 

 

 

Smile, Wink & GrinTrack Fiddler

 

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 27, 2020 1:34 AM

I spent some time tonight plotting out the track and turnout positions on a couple of diagrams of the track plan. I had done this previously but then I decided to make a few changes to the plan.

The next step will be to glue the 2" foam to the benchwork and then mark the track and turnout positions on the foam. That will allow me to draw the connecting flex track positions, and then install the cork roadbed. I'm still waiting for some pre-cut cork roadbed turnout sections so laying the cork roadbed will have to wait until those arrive.

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
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, September 25, 2020 12:10 AM

I just did an analysis of what I still have on order for the layout. Holy jeepers!! I still have close to $1000 on order! That's just fine with me because all of the items are really interesting and I look forward to receiving them. Of course, that begs the question of how long it will take me to build and install all of these delicious pieces, but I don't care. I figure I have at least 30 years before I'm done, as in being on the wrong side of the grass!LaughLaughLaugh

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
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,129 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:35 AM

SeeYou190
I decided to install lot of small control panels along the fascia instead of a few bigger ones. These will be easier to modify than a big one.

Hi Kevin,

I don't think that a bunch of smaller panels would suit my layout. There are lots of turnouts that are very close to each other so it only makes sense to be able to see all the routes on one diagram.

Of course, that complicates the process of making changes to the panels. I made temporary panels for my old club so I think I will do the same here. Once I am happy with the track arrangement, I can have the final panels printed.

What I need to change from the way I did the club's temporary panels is to make the individual components (switches and LEDs) easily removable from the back of the temporary panel. The club's panels required that the LEDs had to be removed from the front. That meant that all of the LEDs had to be disconnected in order to change the panel fronts. I have solved part of that issue by using bezels for the LEDs that allow the LEDs to be inserted from the back.

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
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,618 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 7:39 AM

hon30critter
Seriously, I wish I wasn't so impulsive. Patience is a virtue that I lack!

Dave, I have never built a layout where the control panels did not need to be modified along the way.

My "Spare Bedroom" layout started as an "Around The Walls", and ended up involving into a "Point To Point" as time went on.

I fully expect to change the track plan on my next layout as I go along.

I decided to install lot of small control panels along the fascia instead of a few bigger ones. These will be easier to modify than a big one.

They will be laminated paper over a steel backing sheet. The art will be saved as a PowerPoint file, so changes will be easy to make, print, and install.

I too, am very impulsive. The control panels on my last layout were so silly looking by the time the end came for it.

-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.

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,934 posts
Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 7:23 AM

 Print your design, but use the PDF option, not send it to your printer. It can zoom in pretty far without getting fuzzy, and you aren't limited to the paper size of your printer.

 That's what I did oh so long ago to put my plans on my web site, now I just scale the plan to fit the screen and do the export view to jpg, but those do not scale up in size very well. Here's a PDF version from long ago:

https://readingeastpenn.com/images/trackplan/currentplan.pdf

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!