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How do I construct cassette staging/storage

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Posted by barrok on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:17 PM

Oops! The photos did not show up -- here are what my cassettes look like.  They are lightweight and sturdy.

 Chuck

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Posted by BRJN on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 6:53 PM

Fair warning: the following is all theory and no practice

I am going to build some cassettes for HO scale.  I intend to use 1/2" wood for the floor and 1/4" wood for the sides and ends.  I will use glue to keep it together.  One end (and maybe both) will be attached with a hinge and some sort of tackdown.  I am going to use a big nail to hold couplers (and keep the train in place) on the end which does not open.  I intend to make this about 24" long and just wide enough for a piece of flextrack (or my widest car, if bigger).  I will have to also build a leg (or two) and something on the bottom of the cassette so the whole thing will stay put when I am not holding it.

Any additional advice or comments - except for "you are making this all too complex"; I've already been told that - are welcome.

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Posted by barrok on Friday, August 15, 2008 8:25 PM

I use cassette staging on my layout.  I can stack them and they do not take up much room.  I can also use them at different locations on the layout.  Moveable staging, sort of.  I ripped 3' long 1/2 ich ply wood for the base, then ripped old paneling to a heighth just above the tallest car.  I have a solid end with a piece of foam as a bumper on one end, and I use a shaft of bamboo at the other end to keep cars from rolling off.  I've used them for over a year now and have not had any problems.  One just needs to be careful when handling them.

 

 

 

Chuck

Modeling the Motor City

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Posted by steinjr on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:57 PM

 marknewton wrote:
 steinjr wrote:
 So you got two male dowel parts on each end of the cassette and two female dowel parts on the layout ?

Sorry for not replying sooner, Stein, I didn't realise this thread was active again.

My cassettes are as you describe, so they can be turned end for end. The "bridges" are a bit different, on one end the dowels are fixed, and on the other they can slide in and out to engage the sockets. I'll have to get hold of my camera and take some photos I think, probably easier to explain that way.

All the best,

Mark.

 I am getting close to having to build the mating mechanism for my own cassette bridge, so that would be great.

 What I have done so far is to get two longish aluminium (whichever way one wants to spell that word - British, American, Australian or Norwegian English :-) L-shapes, and use a strip of woodland scenics H0 scale track bed as a spacer, before gluing the L-shapes to a 1x3" plank.

 Seen from a cross section, it looks like this:

 

 

 Here is a fairly poor quality image to give an impression of what it looks like in reality:

 

 I've made it about 6" longer than the gap to be bridged, so there should be room for some kind of mounting/mating mechanism at the ends, but I haven't gotten there yet - got sidetracked into changing my prototype and making fairly extensive changes in another part of my track plan - got the last turnouts for the changes in the mail today.

 Edit: btw - it is the gap in the lower left corner of this oom the cassette will have to bridge in my plan:

 

   

 Anyways - I'd also be very interested in seeing some pictures of mounting/mating mechanisms here. 

 Smile,
 Stein

 

 

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Posted by marknewton on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:40 PM
 garya wrote:
I priced aluminum angle once, and I thought it was really expensive

It probably is, but all of mine came from the scrap bin at work. Cheap and cheerful, that's me!

Mark.
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Posted by steinjr on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:36 PM
 marknewton wrote:
 MECman wrote:

I've read about these "pattern maker's dowels" in Ian Rice's books but I haven't ever seen them in person. Is there a US source? What is a pattern maker anyway?Smile [:)]

 thanks,

David



I don't know of a US source, but I imagine there must be someone, somewhere?

The patternmakers referred to are the blokes who made wooden patterns and moulds for casting items in a foundry. A casting with a complex shape would often require a mould with multiple parts, so the dowels are used to ensure accurate alignment or registration of the moulds.

(This is a very simplified description, I know, but you get the idea!)

Cheers,

Mark.

 Was discussed in a previous thread - do a search for user marknewton, word patternmaker - there was a link to a manufacturer in the UK in that thread.

 Stein

 

 

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Posted by marknewton on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:36 PM
 steinjr wrote:
 So you got two male dowel parts on each end of the cassette and two female dowel parts on the layout ?

Sorry for not replying sooner, Stein, I didn't realise this thread was active again.

My cassettes are as you describe, so they can be turned end for end. The "bridges" are a bit different, on one end the dowels are fixed, and on the other they can slide in and out to engage the sockets. I'll have to get hold of my camera and take some photos I think, probably easier to explain that way.

All the best,

Mark.
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Posted by marknewton on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:30 PM
 MECman wrote:

I've read about these "pattern maker's dowels" in Ian Rice's books but I haven't ever seen them in person. Is there a US source? What is a pattern maker anyway?Smile [:)]

 thanks,

David



I don't know of a US source, but I imagine there must be someone, somewhere?

The patternmakers referred to are the blokes who made wooden patterns and moulds for casting items in a foundry. A casting with a complex shape would often require a mould with multiple parts, so the dowels are used to ensure accurate alignment or registration of the moulds.

(This is a very simplified description, I know, but you get the idea!)

Cheers,

Mark.
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Posted by Johnnny_reb on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 10:16 PM

Thanks Gary, but that's not the one I'm talking about. The pictures I seen were different, they may have been on his photo link. They show better details of the joint of the cassettes to the layout and tell the measurements. Find one of Jon Grant's posts the link should be there.

Johnnny_reb Once a word is spoken it can not be unspoken!

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Posted by garya on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 9:28 PM
 Johnnny_reb wrote:

There is another thread about this by Jon Grant some where here in the forums but I was unable to locate it at this time. It goes more in depth as to power routing and has pictures as well.



See http://cs.trains.com/forums/1240861/ShowPost.aspx

Gary

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Posted by Johnnny_reb on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:30 PM

Here is a basic design drawing I make of Jon Grant's "Car Cassette". There is another thread about this by Jon Grant some where here in the forums but I was unable to locate it at this time. It goes more in depth as to power routing and has pictures as well.

">

Johnnny_reb Once a word is spoken it can not be unspoken!

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 10:04 AM

I would build a flat board, maybe with 1/2 inch plywood, or use a piece of 2-inch foam.  I'd use a piece of 1x2 at each end as a stop, probably mounted with dowels and holes.  The stop at the end that connects to the layout would be removed after putting the casette in place.  If the casette is one-way, then the stop at the other end could be permanent.  I'd put side rails on it, too.

Get a big piece of cardboard.  (Hint - buy a big-screen TV and save the box.)  Make up a cover that just fits over the trains.  If you shape the end stops appropriately, they will also help hold the cover in position.  Now, you've got a casette where the trains won't roll off the end, and if you spaz totally they won't tip over the edge, either.  Even better, the trains are covered and will be kept free of dust if you use the casette for storage.  You could probably even stack them on top of each other.

Other than the cost of the big-screen TV, this is a pretty cheap solution, so you could build numerous casettes without breaking the bank.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by WaxonWaxov on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 9:52 AM
 steinjr wrote:
 WaxonWaxov wrote:

 dknelson wrote:
First if you have not already done so you should read Paul Dolkos's article "No Space is No Excuse" in the 1996 issue of Model Railroad Planning. He covers the topic quite well. If you have old issues of Model Railroader you might also have the March 1991 issue where Dolkos wrotes about British model railroad exhibition layouts. Dave Nelson

Are we certain it's the 1996 Model Railroad Planning? Could someone chek their copy to be certain? The description on Kalmbach doesn't include that article.

 

http://index.mrmag.com/tm.exe?opt=I&MAG=MRP&MO=1&YR=96

Stein

 

wow cool... Bow [bow]

Now I know how to search there also.... cool!

 

 

 

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How to find magazine articles (Was: How do I construct cassette staging/storage)
Posted by steinjr on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 9:16 AM
 WaxonWaxov wrote:

 dknelson wrote:
First if you have not already done so you should read Paul Dolkos's article "No Space is No Excuse" in the 1996 issue of Model Railroad Planning. He covers the topic quite well. If you have old issues of Model Railroader you might also have the March 1991 issue where Dolkos wrotes about British model railroad exhibition layouts. Dave Nelson

Are we certain it's the 1996 Model Railroad Planning? Could someone chek their copy to be certain? The description on Kalmbach doesn't include that article.

 

http://index.mrmag.com/tm.exe?opt=I&MAG=MRP&MO=1&YR=96

Stein

 

 

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Posted by WaxonWaxov on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:17 AM

 dknelson wrote:
First if you have not already done so you should read Paul Dolkos's article "No Space is No Excuse" in the 1996 issue of Model Railroad Planning. He covers the topic quite well. If you have old issues of Model Railroader you might also have the March 1991 issue where Dolkos wrotes about British model railroad exhibition layouts. Dave Nelson

Are we certain it's the 1996 Model Railroad Planning? Could someone chek their copy to be certain? The description on Kalmbach doesn't include that article.

 

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Posted by WaxonWaxov on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 7:51 AM

thanks, Stein.

 

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Posted by steinjr on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 3:12 PM
 WaxonWaxov wrote:
 dknelson wrote:

First if you have not already done so you should read Paul Dolkos's article "No Space is No Excuse" in the 1996 issue of Model Railroad Planning.  He covers the topic quite well.   If you have old issues of Model Railroader you might also have the March 1991 issue where Dolkos wrotes about British model railroad exhibition layouts.

 

Dave Nelson

First of all, I apologize.. I know this is an old thread, but I found it through Google.

Would Kalmbach have a back issue copy of that, and were would I go to order it?

Thanks

 

Model Railroad Planning:

http://kalmbachcatalog.stores.yahoo.net/model-railroading-model-railroad-planning.html

 

Model Railroader back issues:

http://kalmbachcatalog.stores.yahoo.net/model-railroading-model-railroader-magazine.html

 

Great Model Railroads:

http://kalmbachcatalog.stores.yahoo.net/model-railroading-great-model-railroads.html

 

Stein

 

 

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Posted by ChrisNH on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 1:59 PM
 WaxonWaxov wrote:
 dknelson wrote:

First if you have not already done so you should read Paul Dolkos's article "No Space is No Excuse" in the 1996 issue of Model Railroad Planning.  He covers the topic quite well.   If you have old issues of Model Railroader you might also have the March 1991 issue where Dolkos wrotes about British model railroad exhibition layouts.

 

Dave Nelson

First of all, I apologize.. I know this is an old thread, but I found it through Google.

Would Kalmbach have a back issue copy of that, and were would I go to order it?

Thanks

 

Kalmbach may still have it. If not, I got mine on ebay a bit cheaper then their back issues although quality varies. 

There was also a MRR I just recently read, so likely 90-92 somewhere, that had a multi page article on british layout techniques for staging.


Chris

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Posted by WaxonWaxov on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 1:52 PM
 dknelson wrote:

First if you have not already done so you should read Paul Dolkos's article "No Space is No Excuse" in the 1996 issue of Model Railroad Planning.  He covers the topic quite well.   If you have old issues of Model Railroader you might also have the March 1991 issue where Dolkos wrotes about British model railroad exhibition layouts.

 

Dave Nelson

First of all, I apologize.. I know this is an old thread, but I found it through Google.

Would Kalmbach have a back issue copy of that, and were would I go to order it?

Thanks

 

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Posted by garya on Thursday, March 20, 2008 9:44 AM

Jon Grant has pictures of his cassettes in this older thread: http://cs.trains.com/forums/1240861/ShowPost.aspx

I priced aluminum angle once, and I thought it was really expensive.  Never thought of using steel stud channel--funny, because I built some of my benchwork with it (was given leftovers at a construction site).  I'll give it a try.

Gary

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Posted by MECman on Thursday, March 20, 2008 8:39 AM

I've read about these "pattern maker's dowels" in Ian Rice's books but I haven't ever seen them in person. Is there a US source? What is a pattern maker anyway?Smile [:)]

 thanks,

David

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Posted by steinjr on Thursday, March 20, 2008 1:22 AM

 marknewton wrote:

My cassettes are simply aluminium channel with flex track glued to the bottom. There is a small length of angle attached at each end to which the patternmaker's dowels attach. These are insulated from the cassette, and feed power to the flex track. The female sockets on the layout are wired to the track power bus. I place a Kadee coupler height gauge at the free end of the cassette to prevent over-runs. Otherwise, as Chuck has already noted, the loco or power cars will stop the train from rolling out of the cassette. Any other bits and bobs are superfluous.

I'm using a similar arrangement to bridge the gap between the fixed and portable sections of my new layout. The only difference is that one pair of dowels slide in a bush, to allow their removal from the sockets.

  I have a little trouble picturing the connection between the cassette and the layout part. Quite possibly because I am not quite sure what a Pattern Maker's dowel is.

  Ah - okay - found a link through google to a british shop for model railroaders that shows a picture of both a cabinet maker's dowel and a pattern maker's dowel:

http://www.stationroadbaseboards.co.uk/cart_dowels.htm

 Now it makes sense.

 So you got two male dowel parts on each end of the cassette and two female dowel parts on the layout ?

 Smile,
 Stein

 

 

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Posted by ChrisNH on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 9:17 PM

After struggling with changing requirements I decided on building a drop leaf staging track instead. This provides what I need a little more easily. The down side is I cant turn the train by reversing a cassette, but thats life. Part of my problem was I just felt that the smaller track of N-Scale would require more precision then I was going to get.

I still like the idea of cassette storage and I will definitely revisit the idea in the future. For now though, this gets me moving forward which is a very good thing given how time challenged I have been the last few months.

Chris 

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Posted by Annonymous on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:49 AM
 Burbank Bill wrote:

I would like to see some pictures of any completed cassetes. This idea[and this is the first I have heard of it] intrests me. I have a small layout and I think this could help with staging.

 

Here's a link to a German company that makes clear acrylic tubes for staging and as wall display cases:

http://www.train-safe.de/index_en.php?section=1

 

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:24 AM

Here is a catalog picture of the prefab HO unit that Peco sells:

 

 

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Burbank Bill on Sunday, September 23, 2007 12:34 PM

I would like to see some pictures of any completed cassetes. This idea[and this is the first I have heard of it] intrests me. I have a small layout and I think this could help with staging.

 

Bill

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Posted by BRJN on Friday, September 21, 2007 11:16 PM

 tomikawaTT wrote:
To quote Mark Newton above, WAY over-engineered!

Nah, it's small-child-resistant.  (I hope.)  Smile [:)]

 tomikawaTT wrote:
Two other considerations:

  1. A cassette made of steel stud weighs only a fraction of one the same size made of any wood heavier than balsa.
  2. In the dessicated desert, wood does strange things.  Steel studs don't turn into compound bows and corkscrews, but wood does.

1.  I hadn't thought about that.  I have tools to edit wood; I do not have tools to edit metal.  So I prefer to work in wood.

2.  My Dungeons & Dragons character wants to know if you can make that happen on purpose - especially the compound bow.  <visions of piles of gold pieces dance in his head>

Modeling 1900 (more or less)
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Posted by ChrisNH on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 11:21 AM

I appreciate all the feedback.

I am going to try to constuct something on a 1x2 that will fit into a 1x2 slot in a folding shelf. This will let me try using the two aluminum angles I already purchased. If I have trouble with the track gauge, then I will go with some of the suggestions of using track instead. The layout side will also have a pair of short angles much like the system in Ian Rice's small layout book.

To place them I am going to fasten one down with liquid nails. After it is completely dry I will glue the other one and use my nmra gauge to set it before the glue dries. This is the best idea I could come up with.

If it doesn't work I will only have lost matierials I already have.

Chris 

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Saturday, September 15, 2007 12:04 AM

BRJN,

To quote Mark Newton above, WAY over-engineered!

By using pre-shaped metal trough (I use steel stud material, Mark uses aluminum) the basic 'open at the top' U shape comes pre-fabricated.  If there will be no loco, then one end needs to be plugged and the other end needs to be held slightly raised.  If a complete train ["Locomotive(s) - including MU or single unit powered cars - with or without cars, carrying markers."  Peter Josserand, Rights of Trains.] is to be cassetted, no gates are needed on either end, and the cassette can be attached to the main layout at either end.

I personally store cassettes, loaded and empty, on shelf brackets fitted to slotted rails screwed through the wallboard into the wall's wooden studs - the same system that supports the 'along the fixed wall' portion of my benchwork (and the bookshelves in my home office.)

Two other considerations:

  1. A cassette made of steel stud weighs only a fraction of one the same size made of any wood heavier than balsa.
  2. In the dessicated desert, wood does strange things.  Steel studs don't turn into compound bows and corkscrews, but wood does.

Chuck (modeling Central Japan in September 1964)

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