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The ATLANTIC CENTRAL build thread

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The ATLANTIC CENTRAL build thread
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, June 20, 2022 6:44 PM

OK, after slow progress and unexpected delays, here is at least a look at the room prep progress. For those not familiar, here is the track plan, including the plans for the lower level hidden staging areas.

 

 

 

Benchwork construction will begin in the first two areas as soon as the ceiling and lighting is complete in those areas. The first two areas comprise what is effectively the right side of the track plan as you look at the drawing.

The lighting is 6" recessed LED "can" lights, the ceiling is the Ceilinglink grid system that allows drop ceiling tiles to be installed directly to the bottom of ceiling joists.

These first pictures are of the area to the lower right on the plan, the ceiling and lighting is basically complete. Next step is to box in the steel beam.

 

 

 

The next area, just above this area on the plan, has the ceiling partly installed. Some plumbing upgrades need to be completed to allow completion of the ceiling in this area. When the ceiling is up in this area, benchwork will begin on the wall to far right of the plan, including the staging yard that extends into the workshop area.

 

This picture gives some view of how the ceiling grid works. There was a learning curve, even for an old construction guy like me, but I am very happy with the product. It is extremely versatile and easy to use once you learn its "nature".

 

Here is a shot of the workbench, in close to its final location. The stub end staging yard will be along the wall to the left of the bench, about 18" above.

 

The layout of the light fixtures may not make sense yet, but they are layed out based on the benchwork plan. Aisle lighting is centered over the aisles and will be switched and dimmed separately from the layout lighting. Layout area lights are spaced slightly closer than aisle lighting. 

Today I ripped the plywood strips that will box in the steel beams, and cleared some items from the work area for the plumbing.

My work and family schedule is still demanding, but after the current three major projects I have right now, I am planning to take some time off and reduce the work schedule.

Questons welcomed,

More soon if all goes well,

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, June 20, 2022 7:15 PM

OH YEAH!!!

As you know, Sheldon, I have been looking forward to this for a long time now.

Cannot wait to see your progress. Best of luck.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, June 20, 2022 8:07 PM

For those of you not familiar, the lights look like this from the back, so they can even mont right where a joist is located.

 

Example:

 

And here is a closeup of the ceiling grid, same part top and bottom joins to make the track.

 

It will take about 70 of these lights to cover the layout space. Each light only draws 12 watts, so the entire layout lighting will be on one 15 amp breaker.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 12:05 AM

What a nice layout plan. Nice big curves, big uncuttered spaces. Can't wait to see it take shape.

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 12:15 AM

Bah! You're ahead of me. My layout is smaller, I will pull ahead.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Just kidding.

I love all the before pictures. I can't wait to see the plan become reality.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 6:18 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

It will take about 70 of these lights to cover the layout space. Each light only draws 12 watts, so the entire layout lighting will be on one 15 amp breaker.

I don't mean to appear critical, but 70 of those lights seem like too many in my experience. When I built my current layout in a 25' x 42' space, I decided to upgrade the light in my entire basement which measures 34' x 60'. It took me 54 floodlights in cans to cover the entire basement. That seemed quite adequate to me. No dark spaces with the cans spread 6' apart.

The lighting is LED, so each 65 watt floodlight only requires 7 watts of power. For zoning purposes, I split the basement into two 15 amp circuits. The layout is all on one 15 amp circuit.

Rich

Edit Note: As soon as I posted this reply, I began to think that maybe 70 lights is not too many if the intent was to space them 4' apart. How big is your space, Sheldon?

Alton Junction

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Posted by Water Level Route on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 6:47 AM

Excited to see your progress Sheldon!

Also, thank you for showing what you are using for the ceiling and lights.  My basement has very low ceilings, where drywalling them isn't feasible due to the plumbing for both water and heat, and a traditional drop ceiling would mean I would have to duck the entire time I'm down there.  I had no idea something like the Ceilinglink system was out there.  Might be just what I need!  Thank you!

Mike

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:36 AM

richhotrain

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

It will take about 70 of these lights to cover the layout space. Each light only draws 12 watts, so the entire layout lighting will be on one 15 amp breaker.

 

 

I don't mean to appear critical, but 70 of those lights seem like too many in my experience. When I built my current layout in a 25' x 42' space, I decided to upgrade the light in my entire basement which measures 34' x 60'. It took me 54 floodlights in cans to cover the entire basement. That seemed quite adequate to me. No dark spaces with the cans spread 6' apart.

 

The lighting is LED, so each 65 watt floodlight only requires 7 watts of power. For zoning purposes, I split the basement into two 15 amp circuits. The layout is all on one 15 amp circuit.

Rich

Edit Note: As soon as I posted this reply, I began to think that maybe 70 lights is not too many if the intent was to space them 4' apart. How big is your space, Sheldon?

 

The room is about 1400 st ft and the lights are spaced about every 4-5 feet. The plan is to have the aisle lights dim and the layout lights brighter, but both will be on dimmers. I want to be able to make it brighter for working and cleaning.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 8:11 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

The room is about 1400 st ft and the lights are spaced about every 4-5 feet. The plan is to have the aisle lights dim and the layout lights brighter, but both will be on dimmers. I want to be able to make it brighter for working and cleaning. 

Interesting. I did a calculation, and my lights each occupy and provide light over a 38.5 sq. ft. space. Your lights each occupy a 20 sq. ft. space.

I probably could have used more lights directly over the layout, but when I installed my lighting, I wanted everything to appear uniform across the entire basement ceiling in the event that I eventually sell the house.

Since the layout covers approximately one-half of the basement, if I put more lights over the layout to provide 20 sq. ft. coverage, I would need an additional 26 lights which would bring the total to 73 lights. So, your 70 lights are clearly appropriate.

I should add that at one ene of the layout where I have some tall, multi-story buildings and a large backdrop (76" W x 24" H), I did add two strips of 3 floodlights each to eliminate shadows.

Rich

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 8:59 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

For those of you not familiar, the lights look like this from the back, so they can even mont right where a joist is located.

 

Example:

 

And here is a closeup of the ceiling grid, same part top and bottom joins to make the track.

 

It will take about 70 of these lights to cover the layout space. Each light only draws 12 watts, so the entire layout lighting will be on one 15 amp breaker.

Sheldon

 

I will enjoy watching your progress.  Very nice plan.

Since there is no space between the ceiling tiles and the joists, I assume that to remove and reintall a ceiling panel, the grid itself comes apart from the bottom allowing the tile to drop out?

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:23 AM

Douglas, yes the grid snaps together and will snap apart..... with some care.....

    

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:46 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Douglas, yes the grid snaps together and will snap apart..... with some care.....

 

I like the idea of a bright room that can be dimmed for ops.

A couple of train room questions:

Will you leave the floor painted concrete, or install some sort of foot cushioning? (Or is the layout planned for rolling chair/stool height)

Will you conceal the sewer stack that runs along the wall with backdrop or scenery? (I would just paint it blue with the walls and forget about it)

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 11:58 AM

Visible track elevations will range from 38" to 49" with 44" being the most typical height. I will start out with the concrete to allow rolling chairs, especially for the dispatcher, we will see how that goes. Tall stools are in the mix too.

Yes, all the pipes on the walls will be behind backdrops. Much of the rear perimeter of the benchwork is staging tracks with high scenery in front of them. Some of those backdrops will just hover over the staging tracks behind the scenery that blocks the view. But, the backdrop may not go all the way up, still working on that?

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 1:25 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

Sheldon,

 

Looks like things are coming along nicely on the new layout space. Judging by the photo above if you ever wanted to go back into the hobby business you have enough stuff to stock a hobby shop in your basement - LOL...

FWIW: the same could be said for many of usCoolCoolCool.

Lighting the whole space on 15 Amps??  Aint technology great??

 

Looking forward to seeing the progress,

 

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by rws1225 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 1:35 PM

I used the same ceiling system in my now 70 year old house's low basement.  I used different light fixtures and I wish the ones you are using were available 15 plus years ago.

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 2:19 PM

Sheldon, thanks for all the photos, and I'm looking forward to more showing your progress.

I also used this ceiling system.  My basement ceiling height is 7'6", which isn't really too low, but I wanted as much clearance as I could get.

I saw this system at a Menards when I was looking at suspended ceilings, and I decided to give it a try.

The only issue I had was some difficulty getting the panels into the last row, but after several tries, I figured it out.  I lost only one inch of room height.

As has been mentioned, I wish those lights had been available when I did the work.  I had to put in regular can lights, so there was some planning to make sure each light ended up in a space between the joists.

Thanks!

York1 John       

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 4:43 PM

York1

Sheldon, thanks for all the photos, and I'm looking forward to more showing your progress.

I also used this ceiling system.  My basement ceiling height is 7'6", which isn't really too low, but I wanted as much clearance as I could get.

I saw this system at a Menards when I was looking at suspended ceilings, and I decided to give it a try.

The only issue I had was some difficulty getting the panels into the last row, but after several tries, I figured it out.  I lost only one inch of room height.

As has been mentioned, I wish those lights had been available when I did the work.  I had to put in regular can lights, so there was some planning to make sure each light ended up in a space between the joists.

Thanks!

 

Yes there is a learning curve to installing the panels.

None of the retail stores in this region carry this or any of the competing systems, I bought mine direct. Glad I did, everything negative the "other " company said about this product was a lie Ceilinglink is a simple and well designed product - those others are needlessly complex.

Yes, we have been installing these kinds of lights in our work for a few years now, they finally came down to eearth in price. 4-5 years ago a single light was $28, I bought these for less that $9 each and they have ajustable color index.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 4:56 PM

Did two of those plastic channel hug the rafters ceilings Sheldon.

The bigger ones were easier.  It's when one got into a smaller room and the young carpenters that built the structure didn't crown the rafters all the same way that made things really difficult for the later guy. 

Shims were needed on that 2' on center runner.  That last corner ceiling tile was a bit of a challenge to figure out to finish the room until completing the second ceiling.

Your basement is looking really nice though and it's good to see you startBow

 

 

TF

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 5:09 PM

rws1225

I used the same ceiling system in my now 70 year old house's low basement.  I used different light fixtures and I wish the ones you are using were available 15 plus years ago.

 

This house is almost 60 years old. We just moved here 4 years ago from one that is now 121 years old - where we had been for 24 years after completely restoring it.

The basement there was completely unacceptable for a model train layout - my last layout was above my detached garage/workshop.

That was a 1000 sq ft room. I now have a bigger yard, smaller house, and a bigger layout space.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 5:14 PM

Rich, I don't have the numbers in my memory or close at hand, but I used a lumen formula based on kitchens and work spaces, knowing I could dim them from there.

I have good vision for my age (reading glasses only), but I'm not so good (or happy) doing things in dim light any more.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 5:21 PM

Sheldon.

Respectfully asking...Have you figured out where your going to put all that other good stuff to make room for a productive work environment down there?

 

TF

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 5:34 PM

Track fiddler

Did two of those plastic channel hug the rafters ceilings Sheldon.

The bigger one was easier.  It's when you get into a small room and the young carpenters that built the structure didn't crown the rafters all the same way that made things really difficult for the later guy. 

Shims were needed on that 2' on center runner.  That last corner ceiling tile was a bit of a challenge to figure out to finish the room until you did the second ceiling.

Your basement is looking really nice though and it's good to see you startBow

 

 

TF

 

Not sure I understand if you are asking a question? This system atttaches directly to the joists and then snaps together.

I did not worry about all the joists being perfectly in the same plan - and once it is done it is not noticable if there are minor ups and downs - just look at the pictures.

After considering a number of factors, I started in the middle of each area, as you can see from the area not yet finished.  I am only using L channel on the outer walls, not near the steel beams. I will post the details of that construction when I get some of it up.

I also experimented with multiple ways to layout and mark where the tracks go, then I realized with each area only being about 12' wide, and starting in the middle, I only needed to get the first one straight....... Then I used that as a guide for fixed measuring stick to mark the next row, and so on out to each side.

I never used this product before doing this project, I don't do commercial work and most of my customers are not the drop ceiling type.....

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 5:39 PM

Track fiddler

Sheldon.

Respectfully asking...Have you figured out where your going to put all that other good stuff to make room for a productive work environment down there?

 

TF

 

Well, half of the stuff you see is the trains, most of the rest is working its way up and out, what remains will eventually be stored under the layout.

There is a plan to build a detached garage, but given a lot of factors, I am actually saving that prolect for last around here - I can make do just fine.

In the area that is completed, the ceiling work and wiring was done in about 10 hours, with all stuff right where it is. 

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 5:44 PM

No residential drop ceiling customers on my 35 year watch either, only commercial is why I stated I only fiddled with two of those.

I just wanted to see what you thought after using it on your own home.  I was just curious to see what you thought about that system.

 

TF

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 6:10 PM

Track fiddler

No residential drop ceiling customers on my 35 year watch either, only commercial is why I stated I only fiddled with two of those.

I just wanted to see what you thought after using it on your own home.  I was just curious to see what you thought about that system.

 

TF

 

OK, like I said somewhere above, it has a learning curve, but I would use it again. Planning is a little different than regular drop ceilings. It is very versital, and I really like the the fact that the top channel and the bottom channel are the same part - unlike the other two systems on the market.

Important point - it is much more forgiving than you first think, more forgiving in many ways than regular drop ceilings.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 6:33 PM

A good answer. 

Flipping homes in MPLS for over 25 years I learned 2 3/4 inches was the safest bet for a drop ceiling.  There were lots of soffits with that. 

I tried one of those ceilings at a 2 1/2" drop one time and that extra quarter inch less gave us nothing but problems.  Accessing a problem in the ceiling in the middle of the room is another story as well.

My partner and I considered residential flips as commercial finding the fastest way to polish a diamond in the rough.

It appears you have 9-foot ceilings down there and if not you wanted to keep them looking that way with your head-room rather tight.

Looks good to me Sheldon as I see you achieved your objectiveYes  I will also say, I bet you'll never do one of those againWink

 

 

TF

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:03 PM

Must be trick photography, that ceiling is only 6'-11" high. That's why a zero clearance system was so important.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:20 PM

Still droped them down 2 3/4" for 7 foot drop ceilings in Minneapolis.

The only problem is if you ever have a problem from above anywhere in the room.  You need to access it and make it go away like it never happened. 

Grid to rafter systems can be dismantled from the outside corner of the room but make it that much more difficult than cut out drywall for repair.

The Saving Grace could be (IF) something never happens.

 

 

TF

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:58 PM

Track fiddler

Still droped them down 2 3/4" for 7 foot drop ceilings in Minneapolis though.

The only problem is if you ever have a problem from above anywhere in the room, you need to access it and make it go away like it never happened. 

Grid to rafter systems can be dismantled from the outside of the wall but make it that much more difficult, than cut out drywall repair.

The Saving Grace could be (IF) something ever happens though.

 

 

TF

 

You are mistaken there. This system can be disassembed anywhere in the field. I have already had to do it while installing it.

Simply find a joint in a runner, use a small pick/screwdriver to unlock and pull down the lower tee, the tiles come right out. You may have to take a little more area than you need for access, but it is easy enough and goes right back together.

You might want to learn more before you judge:

https://www.ceilinglink.com/

I don't really care for the look of drop ceilings, but on the other hand I would never buy a house with drywall ceilings in a basement.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by mobilman44 on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:44 AM

Wow, I think many of us are really looking forward to your work! 

IMO, you are the exception - having the knowledge, experience, skills, space, and bucks - and be able to put it all together and build a layout.

One question...Do you have a place to put everything during construction?

BEST WISHES !!!  

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, formerly modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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