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Building a layout on a rotisserie

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, September 11, 2020 6:16 AM

I understand now, makes sense. Looking forward to see the results!

Simon

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, September 11, 2020 2:56 AM

Hi Simon,

snjroy
one option could be to apply a layer of cork, which is a lot easier to work with than Homasote,

Actually, based on my experience with my old club, I think Homasote would be easier to work with. We were able to cut it with a fine toothed scroll saw blade and then bevel it with a carpet knife (box cutter). There was very little mess. I really like the idea of the additional depth that the Homasote will allow for ditches etc.

snjroy
if you plan to apply a full layer on your plywood and then remove the extra material for ditches and space around the buildings. Were you planning on using a router to remove the material? 

I think the top layer of plywood is out of the picture.

snjroy
I don't see a lot of room for mountains or complex scenery

There will be a hill on the lower right with a water feature below it. However, most of the layout will be transition era urban.

Here is the latest incarnation showing all the roads and the hill outline. The track running east to west along the main road will be for a trolley. Click on the image twice to get the maximum size:

Thanks for your interest!

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, September 11, 2020 2:29 AM

WILLIAM SHEPARD
Have some of the same back problems. Spent 35 years putting radios on airplanes you couldn't stand up in, mostly crawling on hard floors. Got one of the swivel office chairs, then took the pedestal off and mounted the seat basically on the floor with the castors, for working under the layout doing wiring and all the other things. Got rid of the castors and put 2 fixed wheels and 2 castor wheels helped some when I need to stay in one point.

Hi William,

I'm not sure how much of the thread you have read, but I have eliminated the need to go under my layout totally. The layout is designed to rotate so whenever I need to work on the bottom of the layout I can just flip it up on its side. That allows me to sit in a regular office chair to do a lot of the work without having to squeeze myself into tight spaces. The layout is also low enough that I will be able to operate it from a chair.

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, September 11, 2020 2:20 AM

starman
Looks like it is going to be a great layout!  What program did you use to draw your layout?  I'm looking for one.  Thanks. Jack

Hi Jack,

Thanks for your comments.

I used 3rd PlanIt to design the layout. I love it! It is not free by any means, but it works very well. I used it previously to design a 20' x 25' layout for my old club and the program can provide an amazing amount of information. For example, I was able to locate the benchwork framing so that it didn't interfere with the Tortoise positions (96 Tortoises by the way). I was also able to provide exact positions for all three ends on every turnout and I was able to plot the flex track position every six inches. In addition to getting the track in the right place, it made cutting the cookie cutter subroadbed and Homasote pieces a breeze, including being able to minimize waste on the 4x8 sheets. Grades, clearances, radii, elevation, you name it are all easy to determine.

https://www.trackplanning.com/

If you decide to use 3rd PlanIt, don't hesitate to ask questions. There are several experienced users on the forums.

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 snjroy on Thursday, September 10, 2020 11:15 AM

Dave, I went back to your layout plan (hopefully to the right version). I don't see a lot of room for mountains or complex scenery, which is fine. So one option could be to apply a layer of cork, which is a lot easier to work with than Homasote, if you plan to apply a full layer on your plywood and then remove the extra material for ditches and space around the buildings. Were you planning on using a router to remove the material? 

Simon 

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Posted by WILLIAM SHEPARD on Thursday, September 10, 2020 10:28 AM
Have some of the same back problems. Spent 35 years putting radios on airplanes you couldn't stand up in, mostly crawling on hard floors. Got one of the swivel office chairs, then took the pedestal off and mounted the seat basically on the floor with the castors, for working under the layout doing wiring and all the other things. Got rid of the castors and put 2 fixed wheels and 2 castor wheels helped some when I need to stay in one point. With some adjustments to how the seat tipped back, finally got it to work pretty well. Kept the arms on the chair so I'd have some thing to stabilize myself when trying to stand up out of the chair.
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Posted by starman on Thursday, September 10, 2020 7:05 AM

Hi Dave

Looks like it is going to be a great layout!  What program did you use to draw your layout?  I'm looking for one.  Thanks.

Jack

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 9:13 PM

Track fiddler
I'm just wondering why homasote is not a good option Dave?  I have read many times through the years of its ability to hold fasteners well.

Hi TF,

That is a really good question! The more I think about this, the more I realize how difficult it will be to get the top sheet of plywood completely smooth. Thanks to those who have pointed that out.

I only need two sheets of Homasote. They run at about $40.00/4x8 sheet locally. That's peanuts. My old club used Homasote and it worked really well. I particularly like the fact that the Homasote can be bevelled to create deeper ditches where desired instead of having to carve into the foam.

Okay, I'm sold!!! Homasote it is!!!

Thanks TF and everyone for helping me straighten my wee brain out!

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 Track fiddler on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 9:26 AM

Post hogWhistling

I'm just wondering why homasote is not a good option Dave?  I have read many times through the years of its ability to hold fasteners well.

 

 

TF

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Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 9:04 AM

snjroy

I agree, 1/4'' is flimsy, especially if Dave makes cuts around it to expose the foam.

Simon

 

Simon makes a good point.

I thought it was best when I started my 4 by 8 layout to make a full sized track plan out of railroad board (poster board) taped together the size of the layout.

Then the cookie cutter can be cut out of the railroad board and traced on the plywood to be cut out.  It was quite tedious but I thought it was well worth it in the end.

I did it for the ability to create grades easily.  But if they are needed to create a solid based sub roadbed for fasteners, you will also have exposed foam to carve.  The principle is the same and 2" paths of quarter inch plywood is sure less resilient to glue down then big sheets.  Your templates could be made out of  3) 4' x 5'4" sections and puzzle pieced together on the plywood to traceSmile, Wink & Grin

 

 

TF

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 8:35 AM

I agree, 1/4'' is flimsy, especially if Dave makes cuts around it to expose the foam.

Simon

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Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 8:28 AM

Good morning Dave

I can appreciate your idea of installing the first layer of thin plywood on your benchwork framing first to create a flat solid base for a good starting point. 

Then the sandwiching of the 2-inch foam and the second thin layer of plywood on top pulled tight with temporary screws to hold everything flat while the adhesive is drying sounds like a good idea.

It has been my experience that thin sheet goods when installing screws will dimple easily.  Whether they stay that way fastened to foam is another thing.  Especially at the seams unevenness could easily become a negative result as foam is not a very resilient product.

I would be prone to use large fender washers and especially at the seams, a screw and a fender washer every 6" fastened close enough to the seems so the fender washer holds both edges of the plywood evenly together.

My thoughts for an even better result would be to use 5' 4" (2x4's) 1 foot OC with clamps if you have enough.  Or 5" screws through the pre-drilled 2x4's into the framework to hold everything uniform might have an even better result.  Slow drying adhesive and temporary screws to hold everything in place before clamping.  Then a fender washer and a screw in between each 2x4 on the seams just snug.

If you were just sandwiching 4x8 sheets together, your procedure would be a rather simple one.  I can see how a 5' 4" x 12' layout top creates quite a challenge.

 

I hope things go well for you with this project,  I'm confident they will.  After all, it's not just any Joe that can build a rotisserie layoutYes

 

 

TF

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 7:13 AM

hon30critter
 

Getting the thin plywood to sit smoothly on the foam will be a challenge. 

I think that it will be a challenge. 1/4" plywood is pretty thin and a bit flimsy. Sandwiching it around 2" foam seems to invite waviness where you want solidness. I hope that I am wrong.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 7:11 AM

 I used caulk to attach the foam to the plywood - my plywood was screwed in to the frame. It does take a LONG time to set up, since there is practically no air flow - and that was for small 2x8 pieces. Covering a whole 6x10 - I'd use contact cement that's foam safe, or some other type of adhesive that doesn't require air to set up.

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 1:26 AM

rrinker
 At the time, I still had all my copies of back issues of MR, so I stacked those up to hold the foam on the plywood while the glue dried. Now I don't know what I would use. I have far fewer stacks of magazines to use these days, and a much bigger layout to build.

Getting the thin plywood to sit smoothly on the foam will be a challenge. My current thoughts are to first glue the bottom layer of plywood to the benchwork and use my brad nailer to anchor it down as smooth as possible. Once that dries, I will glue down the 2" foam and the top layer of plywood at the same time. I will then use 2 1/2" screws to pull the top layer of plywood and the foam tight to the bottom layer and the benchwork. I can use tons of screws because I will remove them once the glue has dried. They don't have to go into the benchwork framing. Just pulling the two layers of plywood tight together will do the job. I will wait several days before removing the screws.

A quicker alternative would be to use contact cement as doctorwayne does, but I'm inclined to use glue or caulking because they will permit things to be adjusted if need be.

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 rrinker on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 11:03 AM

 At the time, I still had all my copies of back issues of MR, so I stacked those up to hold the foam on the plywood while the glue dried. Now I don't know what I would use. I have far fewer stacks of magazines to use these days, and a much bigger layout to build.

                              --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 Tuesday, September 8, 2020 12:29 AM

rrinker
Not sure what your old club did, but there's no reason for track and roadbed not to hold securely directly on extruded foam.

Hi Randy.

I'm sure the problem with the club layout was not caused by rough handling because the layout would usually run fine after it was set up. It was only when the temperature and/or the humidity began to rise that the problems occurred. We would go to two day shows and everything would work great for a day and a half, and then half way through the second afternoon things would start to derail everywhere.Bang Head

In any case, I've got the plywood for the top layer so I think I'm going to use it. I can't see it doing any harm, other than making track spikes harder to drive. I'll try driving track nails into it before I make a final decision. Maybe I won't use track spikes at all, but I like the idea of being able to adjust the track position easily.

I will have to make a few cutouts before I install it where the scenery will go below the track level, but that's no big deal.

I think the biggest challenge will be figuring out how to keep the thin plywood flat while the adhesive dries. I have lots of 2 1/2" screws that I could run through the foam to the bottom plywood layer, and then take them out after a few days once the caulking has set.

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 rrinker on Monday, September 7, 2020 10:15 PM

I get the bottom layer, I did the same for mounting stuff underneatht he layout like switch machines. But the top layer of plywood? Twice now I've simply caulked roadbed to the foam, and neither time was it going anywhere. The last oen even survived a hack job cutting through the track and roadbed (I built the benchwork in sections, but laid the cork and track right over the gaps, so to take them apart, I had to cut through both the rail and roadbed). It made the move and sat in a not super pleasant basement, and nothing was falling off or moving when I stripped off the electronics before scrapping the whole thing. 

 Not sure what your old club did, but there's no reason for track and roadbed not to hold securely directly on extruded foam. Maybe if they weren;t very careful in handling the sections and dropped them, or they bounced around a lot in the transport vehicles - then I make no gurantees. I can say our club modules are transported in ways to make it hard to drop them, and when packed in the racks in the trailers, they are wedged in so they don't bounce around on turns. Downside is we are stuck with specific model trailers because if the inside dimensions don't match, we'd have to come up with a whole new packing scheme.

                                         --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, September 7, 2020 3:18 AM

I'm going to put the yard plan aside for now. I need to get back to working on the layout. I was going to do most of the wiring first but instead I have decided to install the 2" foam. That will give me something to draw the track plan on so I won't be guessing where the buses and the other wiring needs to go.

I'm going to sandwich the 2" foam with 1/8" plywood on both the top and the bottom. The bottom sheet will give me something to screw the Tortoises and other devices into, and the top sheet will provide a firm base for the track nails. My desire to provide a solid surface for the track nails is based on my old club's experience with their portable layout. That layout had cork laid directly on top of 2" of foam and it wasn't a very stable arrangement. Things were constantly shifting around which caused frequent derailments. My layout won't be dragged down the road constantly like the club's portable layout was, but it will be in a garage without climate control. I want to do everything possible to make my layout stable.

On the plus side my vertigo has mostly quit so I can go back at the control panels. I just have to be careful when I lean forward so I don't do a face plant!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!

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, September 4, 2020 8:18 AM

hon30critter

 Overmod

The longer-radius lead 'bypassing the ladder' only goes to one track.  What does this track do?

 

It is intended to be a caboose track.

Dave

 

 That's how I am doing mine, and also how I've seen it suggested in more than one yard design book.

                                       --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 Thursday, September 3, 2020 8:09 PM

Overmod
The peculiar thing that occurs to me is that the long-radius main that transits this yard hits four switches, three facing-point, which takes out much of the advantage of increased radius.  I'm not quite sure that the length of track represented by that outside main up to the crossover actually gives you much, and perhaps using just one 'higher-number crossover' at the yard entry instead of the turnout quickly followed by sharp crossover might be better, and save you the cost of one turnout...

Hi Overmod,

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding your suggestion. I re-did the drawing with track and turnout #s.

Click on the drawing to enlarge it:

There is some space available at the bottom. I may put in a RIP track just for interest.

Overmod
The longer-radius lead 'bypassing the ladder' only goes to one track.  What does this track do?

It is intended to be a caboose track.

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 Overmod on Thursday, September 3, 2020 3:07 PM

The peculiar thing that occurs to me is that the long-radius main that transits this yard hits four switches, three facing-point, which takes out much of the advantage of increased radius.  I'm not quite sure that the length of track represented by that outside main up to the crossover actually gives you much, and perhaps using just one 'higher-number crossover' at the yard entry instead of the turnout quickly followed by sharp crossover might be better, and save you the cost of one turnout...

The longer-radius lead 'bypassing the ladder' only goes to one track.  What does this track do?   Is it 'safety' against switch failure at the yard ladder throat?

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, September 3, 2020 3:51 AM

FYI, any work with power tools is still on hold. I'm still feeling light headed and I'm still experiencing vertigo occassionally.Grumpy

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 Thursday, September 3, 2020 3:22 AM

Here is a slightly updated version of the yard which allows better access to the upper yard tracks from the bottom track:

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 Thursday, September 3, 2020 3:15 AM

snjroy
Hi Dave. Questions for you about the yard : -do you have or plan having several cars? -do you mind backing up a loco in your yard?

Hi Simon,

I want to have enough cars in the yard that I can make up whatever length trains suit my fancy. The locals will be short because there are only be so many actual destinations on a 5' x 12' layout and all of those spurs will only hold a few cars. I do want to be able to run longer trains even if they are just going around in circles. I like to watch trains!

I don't mind backing trains into the yard. I am using Peco medium turnouts to make that easier to do.

snjroy
The answers will help you decide whether you want escape tracks, i.e., tracks that allow a loco to pull in the yard, and switch to a parallel track to get out. You can put one escape track between two storage tracks without losing to much  space... that's what I would do.

I have an escape track at the bottom of the yard on the west end. There is also a crossover fairly close to the yard entrance. Those will (I think) allow locomotives to escape their trains regardless of which way they entered the yard.

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 Thursday, September 3, 2020 3:07 AM

Overmod
I think that if you set that section of your double main up to run CTC, you could easily have the dispatcher assign the 'drill' section of the near main to be out of the current of traffic, and just treat things as a short piece of single track temporarily

Hi Overmod,

That's pretty much how I thought it would operate, although the CTC will all be in my head at least for a while.

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 Thursday, September 3, 2020 2:59 AM

SeeYou190
Dave, If I understand your goals correctly, your yard is for shuffling cars and fiddling with the train consist with the trusty 0-5-0. If these are your goals, the yard design should be just fine. -Kevin

Hi Kevin,

Actually I do want to be able to switch the yard using locomotives. That's why I put a run around on the bottom two tracks. I figured that would allow me to pull a train in locomotive first and then escape the train.

If I back a train in I could use the second from the bottom track because it has direct access to the top six yard tracks. I could also back the train onto the bottom track but that might involve more fowling of the main when switching depending on how long the train is.

There will certainly be some 0-5-0 activity going on as different cars are placed on the yard track or removed from it. One thing I will be able to build underneath the yard tracks is plenty of storage space. I wish I had kept more of my freight car boxes!Dunce

Thanks everyone for your input!

Dave

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

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 5:56 PM

Hi Dave. Questions for you about the yard :

-do you have or plan having several cars?

-do you mind backing up a loco in your yard?

The answers will help you decide whether you want escape tracks, i.e., tracks that allow a loco to pull in the yard, and switch to a parallel track to get out. You can put one escape track between two storage tracks without losing to much  space... that's what I would do.

Simon

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 9:55 AM

hon30critter
Nobody seems to want to tell me if my yard design is functional.

Dave, If I understand your goals correctly, your yard is for shuffling cars and fiddling with the train consist with the trusty 0-5-0.

If these are your goals, the yard design should be just fine.

-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 Overmod on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 9:44 AM

hon30critter
... I'm still having trouble trying to figure out where to put a drill track so that I'm not fouling the main line when working in the yard. Given the space limitations I'm not sure that I can avoid that sometimes, but I have the advantage of having a double main line with enough cross overs that I can avoid the fouled track and keep running.

I wonder if an abbreviated version of the track work at Smiths Mills in Canada, where they had the near-miss with VIA on account of what turned out to be frequent such fouling (admittedly into only a single main), might be useful.  Transport Canada was kind enough to send me the incident report, and I believe it has a track diagram in it somewhere.

I think that if you set that section of your double main up to run CTC, you could easily have the dispatcher assign the 'drill' section of the near main to be out of the current of traffic, and just treat things as a short piece of single track temporarily (as at some bridge- or terrain-related bottlenecks in the West).

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