best way to dismantle

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Shaummy, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Shaummy

    Shaummy New Member

    Hi all,
    I need your advice on the best way to dismantle my layout. I am going to have to move so I neet the pieces to be manageable.

    Since we have not found the new house yet, I guess it will be unlikely that the layout in it's current form will be 100% reusable. layout is wired (block wired and turnouts) back to a control panel, track is held down right now by track spikes, not glued or ballasted, and I used cork roadbed over 3/8" plywood subroadbed.

    No scenery has been done to speak of, so there will be nothing to save of that.

    Do I just pull all the track up and cut the joints (soldered) ? Leave the sections of track on the roadbed/subroadbed in sections for moving?

    The benchwork is a mix of 2X4 and 1X4 framing in about 2-4 square sections.

    Thanks alot,

  2. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Don't envy you at all. But it would be a lot worse if scenery or ballast was done.

    I'd leave the tracks in place, cut the rails where the plywood pieces join together, and splice back together later with short sections of track. Without ballast the tracks are removable, but why remove them when putting them back together after cutting still needs the splice sections added.

    You might be able to unsolder the joints and resolder later with new joiners, then no track cutting needed, just remove the sections across the plywood seams. Tracks would have to be cleaned of solder or re-fitted while hot to keep the old solder from preventing the new joiners from sliding into place.

    Twice i moved and left railroads behind. Bummer. One was HO, hand laid code 70 on wood matchsticks soaked in creosote. Lot of hours went into that one - sure hurt to say goodbye to it. Hope the next owner of that place got some use out of it.

    Good luck!
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I wouldn't try to unsolder any rail joiners. Solder usually melts at a higher temp the second time around than when it was originally done. I would just cut the track where it crosses a plywood joint. If you don't have enough supports to frame a section, I would cut the plywood where it is convenient then cut framing from 1x2 to reinforce the ends you just cut, and box it in. Any sections that you are able to reuse, you can either install rail joiners where you cut, or if the sections don't mate that closely, cut back enough to install the small Atlas joiner tracks between sections. When you do ballast and scenery, keep a possible move in mind. A small circular saw will cut through plaster and scenery to separate sections of a layout for a move. You can then splice the scenery back together and apply more ground foam to hide the joint like you would a dry wall joint. I think the main consideration is to plan the underlying bench work to be easily taken apart and transported.
  4. Shaummy

    Shaummy New Member

    Thanks guys, all great info. How about packaging structures and rolling stock for a move? I figured newspaper would do fine for most rolling stock, but the structures may be another issue.

    Any tips for that?

    Thanks again,
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For rolling stock, I would get copy paper boxes. Then pick up some foam core, and make small trays with dividers out of the foam core. build the sides and dividers taller than the rolling stock, so that the trays can be stacked. makes the compartments about the size of the railroad car you will put in it.
    It makes an inexpensive, but effective method of transporting model rail cars. You can do something similar with locomotives, but due to their weight, you want to keep the boxes much smaller. Structures could be packed away in a similar fashion.
    If you put foam core strips glued to the bottom of a box that matches the "footprint" of a structure, the structure will set right in it, and if the box isn't turned upside down, it should travel well.
    These are methods many of the members of the modular club I belong to use to transport models to train shows.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The last time we moved, we bought a lot of plastic boxes with the snap-on lids or hinged lids. The accomodated most of my buildings except for some long platforms.
    I tried to move most of these myself in the car.
    Some of my things are still in the boxes.
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I had several very fragile structures to move awhile back, I placed them in plastic bags which I filled with strofoam peanuts, then sealed. The bags were then placed in sturdy boxes with more peanuts, the bags were kept away from the sides of the boxes. Although the boxes were a good size, they were really light! My structures arrived in fine condition, but if a part or two had broken off, it would have been in the bag, not lost. Hope this helps.
  8. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    call me the pack rat

    everytime i buy a new pice of rolling stock i save the box it came in and take a paint marker to both the box and the bottom of the car just a dot works so when i pack them all up i just match the colors up ,as for buildings i use that bubble rap you see at moving stores and rap up the building and then i place them into a plastic tub and when i get all the buildins in their i get a pice of foam the on you would use on a bed and cut it and use it on the top to fill the space then put the top on o have moved 3 layouts this way 2 of my own and one for my dad from out west .
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I have about 30 plastic kit buildings that were stored away in 1982. I just put them in boxes slightly taller than the tallest, and set them in, then filled in all spaces between with balled up newspaper. If they were really fragile scratchbuilt, or really valuable, I would follow Gary's advice. As it is, half of these won't get used as they are and getting smashed just saves me the trouble of cutting parts out for bashing :D :D :D Seriously, they are fine. If a mover is going to move them, it wouldn't work tho. I hand carried the boxes and nothing has been stacked on them.
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Jon's reply reminds me that we forgot to ask are you moving yourself or hiring a mover? If your hiring a mover, good luck. I think the moving companies only hire the gorrillas that were used in American Tourister luggage commercials. In that case I would figure replacement cost of all of your models and make sure they are insured by the mover against breakage. If you have any limited run models that can't be replaced at any price, I'd carry them in the car myself.
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Moving day

    Some time ago I was given the following advice:
    Move in the middle of the week and not at the end of the month.
    Reason given was that if you move at a busy time, your 3 man crew will consist of a "driver" (permanent moving co. employee) and 2 labourers hired for the day. On a slacker day, you get 3 "drivers".
  12. Shaummy

    Shaummy New Member

    Not to worry guys, I'll be moving myself but may still have the gorillia's they just won't be on the clock :)

    Great advice you guys as always, I'll have to see what I can find on sale to help with the packing.

  13. Shaummy

    Shaummy New Member

    Got it done


    It's complete. I dismantled the layout. It is pretty sad when it takes 6+ months of weekenights to put up and it takes only 8 hours to tear down.

    I hope my new home will have sufficient space to start again.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Warning-Pics May be large

    Before Shots:




    After Shots:



  14. Lightbender

    Lightbender Member

    Re: Got it done

    Hello Shaummy,
    No, its just the tearing down that is sad. Putting up your new one will make you happier, showing us all your progress will make us happier too. Best of luck.
  15. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    We are preparing to move also, but I don't have the same problems as you since my N scale layout is on a door which is mounted on a cabinet with wheels. I did pack all my structures by wrapping them in newspaper and then putting them in a box with shipping peanuts. All my engines are in plastic boxes and packed in a metal case that I can hand carry when we move. The same goes for the rolling stock although I didn't have separate boxes for all of them, I will still hand carry them to our new house.

    Since my layout is about 60% completed, I think I will have to build some sort of plywood cover to protect it while being moved, or stored. If anything breaks, well, that's a small price to pay for the extra room I will be getting for my layout; plus, I need some experience at patching up scenery anyway... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Good luck,


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