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Temperature and Humidity

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Temperature and Humidity
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 15, 2003 7:26 PM
A friend and I are building a large model railroad in a converted mobile home. We are a bit concerned as to what the ideal temperature and humidity should be. Anyone have any advice?
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Temperature and Humidity
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 15, 2003 7:26 PM
A friend and I are building a large model railroad in a converted mobile home. We are a bit concerned as to what the ideal temperature and humidity should be. Anyone have any advice?
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 15, 2003 7:57 PM
The problem is that neither temperature or humidity (well maybe 100% nearly all the time could be a problem) by themselves will be a problem. It is the change in temperature and/or humidity that cause the problems. First, you should select a temperature that makes you comfortable. Second, choose a temperature near the median in your area to make it easier to stay near the same temperature. The humidity, should follow the same rules. Pick something comfortable that is hopefully near the median in your area. Too dry can cause problems in wood that will make it split and too wet can eventually cause it to swell but you are not likely to choose these because they are also uncomfortable. Just try to keep it consistent. Good Luck - Ed
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 15, 2003 7:57 PM
The problem is that neither temperature or humidity (well maybe 100% nearly all the time could be a problem) by themselves will be a problem. It is the change in temperature and/or humidity that cause the problems. First, you should select a temperature that makes you comfortable. Second, choose a temperature near the median in your area to make it easier to stay near the same temperature. The humidity, should follow the same rules. Pick something comfortable that is hopefully near the median in your area. Too dry can cause problems in wood that will make it split and too wet can eventually cause it to swell but you are not likely to choose these because they are also uncomfortable. Just try to keep it consistent. Good Luck - Ed
  • Member since
    November 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,720 posts
Posted by MAbruce on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 7:55 AM
I've found it helpful to prime all wood benchwork, which will seal it and help stop any issues of expansion from humidity/temp changes.
  • Member since
    November 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,720 posts
Posted by MAbruce on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 7:55 AM
I've found it helpful to prime all wood benchwork, which will seal it and help stop any issues of expansion from humidity/temp changes.
  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 11,378 posts
Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 8:03 AM
If you use homasote I suggest following the above advice -- shellac or paint it otherwise it is a wick for moisture
Dave Nelson
  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 11,378 posts
Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 8:03 AM
If you use homasote I suggest following the above advice -- shellac or paint it otherwise it is a wick for moisture
Dave Nelson
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 10:11 AM
Piggybacking on the original question, I have one of my own.
I am planning on building a 5X9 layout with a foam top and the typical wood legs, sides, etc. Is there a problem with having this layout in a garage that is not temperature regulated. THe garage door would be opened daily, and I live in the Twin Cities area of MN. If the table itself would be fine, would any of the scenery on the layout be affected. Structures, trackwork, trees and shrubs, etc.?
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 10:11 AM
Piggybacking on the original question, I have one of my own.
I am planning on building a 5X9 layout with a foam top and the typical wood legs, sides, etc. Is there a problem with having this layout in a garage that is not temperature regulated. THe garage door would be opened daily, and I live in the Twin Cities area of MN. If the table itself would be fine, would any of the scenery on the layout be affected. Structures, trackwork, trees and shrubs, etc.?
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 10:36 AM
The Cochise & Western Model Railroad Club in South-eastern Arizona (http://users.ssvecnet.com/cacole) has a 20 x 40 foot layout in a non-air conditioned, non-heated building where temperatures range from 25 to 110 degrees, and humidity ranges from 10 to 90 percent, depending on the time of year. We built the layout on hollow core doors, which are usually pre-coated with a weatherproof plastic, and two layers of 1/2 inch thick Celotex Sound Board. We avoided Homosote because it is known to swell up or contract with variances in humidity, since it is made from pressed recycled paper. The Celotex Sound Board does not change at all, even if it becomes saturated with water or scenery materials. Everywhere possible, we used natural dirt from around the area, mixed with water-based latex or acrylic paint as necessary, for our scenery. Atlas code 100 nickel-silver flex track was used throughout, with every-other track joint left unsoldered to allow for track expansion and contraction. Track laid in the cold of winter needs to have a slightly larger gap than track laid in the summer. Overall, we have had problems with expansion in only two areas, but these problems were easily solved by grinding off more rail at one of the unsoldered joints.
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 10:36 AM
The Cochise & Western Model Railroad Club in South-eastern Arizona (http://users.ssvecnet.com/cacole) has a 20 x 40 foot layout in a non-air conditioned, non-heated building where temperatures range from 25 to 110 degrees, and humidity ranges from 10 to 90 percent, depending on the time of year. We built the layout on hollow core doors, which are usually pre-coated with a weatherproof plastic, and two layers of 1/2 inch thick Celotex Sound Board. We avoided Homosote because it is known to swell up or contract with variances in humidity, since it is made from pressed recycled paper. The Celotex Sound Board does not change at all, even if it becomes saturated with water or scenery materials. Everywhere possible, we used natural dirt from around the area, mixed with water-based latex or acrylic paint as necessary, for our scenery. Atlas code 100 nickel-silver flex track was used throughout, with every-other track joint left unsoldered to allow for track expansion and contraction. Track laid in the cold of winter needs to have a slightly larger gap than track laid in the summer. Overall, we have had problems with expansion in only two areas, but these problems were easily solved by grinding off more rail at one of the unsoldered joints.

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