Future home of...

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by ocalicreek, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member


    Russ...very creative idea indeed! And I think there is a Harbor Freight nearby...I'll have to check on that. It took me a couple passes over the description to really get what you're suggesting, but it sounds like it would work. I will file it away in the possibilities category if a movable section becomes the best option.

    After I posted about casters I realized my garage floor is naturally going to be sloped away from the house. Indeed, this is the case in my garage and the gorilla racks along the side really make this evident when you look up and compare the top of the shelving with the garage door track. Using the jacks as levelers would seem to alleviate this problem.

    This also brings up another point. Lighting. I haven't searched the posts yet, but has anyone come up with any creative solutions for lighting in a garage? I was planning on hanging flourescents (with 'daylight' spectrum tubes), but this will only work where the garage door will not hit them, unless they're right up on the ceiling above the door when it is in the open position.

    Any thoughts?

  2. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    You should have enough room between the garage door in the open position and the top of the ceiling by the looks of your pictures. But depending on the location of the light fixture, if the garage door was in the open position, it could possibly block out the light (I'm not sure if you would ever be working on the layout at night with the doors open, but you never know).

    You could go with a combination of the flourescents with the daylight tubes and some track lighting along the walls. Having track lighting would aide in light placement for picture taking and would keep it from interfering with your garage door. You could even go as far as using multi colored bulbs in the track to produce different lighting effects (sunrise/sunset, twilight, etc).

    Just my thoughts.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Galen, are you going to use backgrops anywhere on the new layout? If you are, make the frame work for them strong enough to support lighting fixtures. The fixtures could be mounted to some electrical conduit mounted to the benchwork behind the layout and then bend the conduit to put the fixture wherever you want it in relation to the layout.You could mount them as high above the layout as necessary to not interfere with operation, but still have the garage door clear them.

    Another way to do it would be to locate studs in you garage wall, and run a few of 2x4s across the garage ceiling 4-6 below the garage door track. Talk to someone in the building trades at your church if one of the members is a contractor, you may need to use 2x6 to span the full width of your garage to have adequate strength, since there won't be any mid span support. You probably won't be able to get lumbe longer than 12 feet, and you may want 8 or 10 foot lengths if your vehicle won't accomodate anything longer. That is not a problem. This will be a 2 or 3 person job. You can use some 2x4 lumber cut to the length needed for support posts, and make temporary posts to support the ends of the boards. Cut some 1x3 or 1x4 bracing to go from the post to the cross brace to keep it from getting all "wonky". Bring a cross member from each opposite wall to meet in the center of the garage. To make the splice take a 2x4 or 2x6 cut to about 6 feet long. Clamp it to the cross members coming from both ends, and drill 1/2 inch holes through both the splice board and the main boards aboutr every 6 inches or so. Now use real 1/2 inch nbws to bolt it all together, then remove the bracing and post lumber. Space these cross members 4 feet apart if you are using 4 foot fixtures, 8 feet apart if you are using 8 foot fixtures. Hang the fixtures off these cross members. Wiring could be run from the power source along the cross member at one end of the fixture and down to the fixture.

    This second option has the advantage of allowing you to have lighting for the whole garage, not just the layout area.
  4. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member


    The room currently has two fixtures mounted in the ceiling. They are simple ceramic screw-the-bulb-in fixtures, one over each 'stall'. In fact, the first picture I posted shows one without a bulb in it, if you look carefully near the top of the photo.

    For my workdesk I have a positionable lamp that clamps to the desk and swings out over the work area. This has provided ample light for close up work in the past, along with whatever room lighting there may be. In CA, it was an incandescent bulb above the porch door and whatever other lamps I may have had until the Timesaver area was set up. For that, I hung a pair of flourescent tubes in one fixture (really cheap and easy from HD) and WOW what a difference! SO I definately want to maximize the light in there.

    But I also love night/twilight time and want to incorporate a day-to-night sequence somehow, that can be stopped at any point so that I can run in perpetual twilight if I desire. You know that time of day when the sky is so dark blue, it's past sunset but not yet dark...anyway, that would be cool. Not sure how to get there, but I know it will happen.

    The big sale starts tomorrow (my day off) since alot of folks around here have garage sales on Friday for some reason, and it looks like rain on Sunday. Every day the house gets a bit more organized.

    Remember, as Alton Brown says, "Organization will set you free, America!"

    Our goal: A place for everything and everything in its place.

  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Oh, and I need to dig into the insulation in the attic to find out if the rafters are strong enough to support storage up there. I doubt they would have built a nice fold down staircase into the attic if it weren't, but I want to be up to code. Not that I know what that is, but I guess I can find out. I certainly don't want to fall through the ceiling, especially when there's a layout below!

  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Galen, you can wire garage lighting flourescent fixtures into the two incandescent fixtures you have now. You would shut off the lights at the wall switch, remove the light bulbe and outside of the fixture, and install a couple of recepticals inplace of the lights. Then you just plug your new lighting into the recepticals and the garage lights will go on with the switch.

    As far as finding out what code is, you can ask at your local city hall building dept what is required to support attic storage. I suspect for anything heavy it would have to have 2x6's up there, but you probably don't want to carry anything heavy up the ladder. I would think that 2x4's are probably strong enough for anything you are like going to want to carry up a ladder.
  7. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Good, Bad & Ugly News

    The Ugly News...while sorting through trash to take to the dump I discovered a family sized package of raw chicken in the bottom of the trash can, covered by a foam mattress/egg crate pad. We had been smelling something all week and it was really bad this weekend. Another pleasant surprise from the previous owner.

    The Bad News...well, not entirely bad, just reality sinking in. Seems like I'll have to leave the ping-pong shelving in place for a while longer, thus subtracting (or is it sub-track-ting) potential right-of-way along that wall. NO, I don't want to incorporate it into the layout somehow or vice-versa.

    The Good News...we made just over $500 on our garage sale, Friday and Saturday.:) We got rid of a whole lot of stuff and are making plans to dispose of the rest at a local charity shop. We can put the car in the garage (and walk all the way around it)! And, while digging through the stuff that was left, I discovered some LEGO trains. My workdesk is now in place with a power strip for, well, power.

    NOW...the next steps...making storage space for holiday stuff in the attic, and thus creating more space in the garage shelving, and getting more stuff off the floor. Sorting stuff and finding a place for everything.

    As for planning...for now, show me what you can do in 5' x 9'. Figure on it sitting where a car would (so all sides access), then plan for possible expansion for when the shelving along the side wall comes down, with a connection from the main layout to the wall section. Does this make sense? Good.

  8. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    the solution is right there in front of you:
    You know less is sometimes more!;)
    Problem solved!:thumb:
    I hope this helps
  9. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    I'm thinking of building a leg assembly for the layout with Dad's trains up top and a Lego train loop down below for, uh, my son...yeah, that's it...my son. I suppose I'd have to run them until he's old enough to really play with them on his own, that is, the next few years...

  10. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    latest progress?

    I picked up some sort of terrible virus last week and have been fighting it all weekend. Even today I'm still hacking up crud. Anyway, probably TMI, but hey, as long as I'm sharing here... SO last night I didn't help my condition any by getting up into my dusty attic and making a start at putting Xmas stuff up there. I did, however, make progress on cleaning out the garage and that light at the end of the organizational tunnel is getting brighter.

    On a planning note: I've always thought in the back of my head, "Hey...I've already got a timesaver, why not build John's first G&D as well?"

    And the answer has always come back, "Because of it's inherent design flaws (tight curves, primarily, and the aesthetic annoyance of a lack of 'scenecerity' - mostly from the bridge passing over Gorre.)"

    The argument continues, however, "But it can be run in a somewhat prototypical operating scheme from Gorre up the branch to Daphetid to an interchange, serving the mine on the way back."

    And now I can add these thoughts to the argument..."What if it's built as an Island layout with a scenic ridge down the middle instead of a lake to separate Gorre from Daphetid visually? I've got about 5'x10' to play with comfortably, so curve radius could be expanded. With that expansion, a river or some other scenic feature could be added in to separate the main line bridge section crossing Gorre from the tracks below adding scenic credibility. Not exactly scenecerity, but closer to plausible. And finally, what if I butt my scenicked timesaver up against Gorre...which becomes the town of Murdock's Landing?"

    Hmmm...it just might work. Now to sketch it out and play with the concept. Whaddya think?

  11. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    I think a around the walls layout is best for you. If you can get on MS paint and give us a ruff idea of what area you have to work with Ill try my hand at a layout for you.
  12. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    will do...can't guarantee how soon. Here's the rub. Eventually I will have wall space available, but for now there's a big built-in shelving unit in the way. Getting this unit torn down means finding homes for the stuff it's holding first, and I hope to have that done by Xmas...but am itching to build something now! If I found an around the walls arrangement I liked I'd be willing to settle for building part of it now and the along the wall bit later, however. I'm curious to see what you come up with so I'll try to get dimensions up soon.

  13. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    sounds good.....lets get it done. Really all i need is the outer size of the area and the spots where doors and other objects are you cant move.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Galen, how about expanding your timesaver to make it a more practical switching layout instead of just a switching puzzle. Make it 2 feet wide x 8 or 10 feet long. You could build it as a branch line to be used as a switching layout now, and then tied into your around the walls layout as a branch when you get that built. That would give you something to build, scenic, & play with now. It would also work as a part of your permanent layout when you have an opportunity to build that later. An 8 or 10 foot long 2 foot wide switching module could be mounted on wheels to roll it out of the way when not in use.
  15. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    Ya thats what I was thinking about for him as well. If he has one wall able to get worked on now he can start building that for now and when the time comes add on to it.

    Again lets see the room plan and the space your able to use asap.
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't think he has a wall available, yet. I was thinking more of a center peninsula that could stand alone for now and then be tied in to an around the walls "U" shape layout to make an "E" shape later. Galen was a member of our modular club here in So Cal until he got a new job in Washington State, so he should not have any problem designing a joiner system for that branch to allow him to tie it in to the main layout when operating, but put it away when he needs to park the car in the garage.
  17. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    rgr that sounds like a great idea.
  18. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Russ is right, the wall section isn't available yet...but soon and very soon, hopefully.

    Gotta tell ya, I can now see the appeal of those precut benchwork services. I assembled my 2 year old son's train table last night, an 8 sided table about 2' high and 4' across with interior bracing, drawers that roll out, and many pieces of wooden track to set on top (along with buildings, people, trees, etc.) The thing just screwed together, with all holes predrilled, all pieces precut to the proper length - it was great fun, and this is after a long day's work on top of being sick.

    Okay...gotta run.

  19. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    room diagram...sorry to keep you waiting!

    Ok, here 'tis.
    View attachment 30962
    As you can see it's not much to work with, but should be fun. Check back to the first page of the thread for pictures that show the cable and breaker boxes on the wall.

    Also I'm happy to report that the attic space has been revamped for storage with roughly an 8'x12' platform built amongst the trusses using 2x4s and 8"x12' planks I found laying outside the house. I wonder what the previous owner's intentions were for this material? It's certainly being put to good use now! Tomorrow I begin moving boxes up there in earnest, after work.

    I WILL reclaim the garage space for my trains. There WILL be a place for everything, and everything will be in its place.

    Attached Files:

  20. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Oh, and if it helps, think about N&W's Abingdon Branch while sketching. What's appealing about it for me is not only the pastoral scenery and mountain locale but the operating concept as well...a branch line connecting rural communities with the big city (Bristol). This has been an overarching design concept for the background to the Ocali Creek Railway for some time, with Murdock's Landing at the end of the branch (a rural river town), traversing mountains and little communities as well as mines along the way to a connection with the VGN in a 'big city' someplace.


    Also, point to point designs are okay if there's a good long run between points with some nice scenery in between. I'm running primarily steam, so some sort of turning facility, whether wye or turnable, is preferred.

    That said, a 'live' interchange connection with mainline trains coming in and out of staging through the interchange on some sort of loop while the branch line runs point-to-point is ideal. This way trains can run while I run trains.

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