hello i'm new

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by SLOW, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. SLOW

    SLOW Member

    Hello, I am new to this board. I am into N scale trains. I have a 4x6 layout with 6 tunnels. We have 6 cats in our house so I have to keep this coardboard cover that I made over the top of my train layout so that the cats can't play king gong. I was wondering if any of you have an idea of how I can make a cover for it that is see through so that I can display my train board instead of keeping it hidden all the time. It would have to be light weight enough so that I can lift it off by myself.

  2. Railery

    Railery Member

    Hi welcome to the Gauge.:D For a suggestion, U could try Home Depot or a place that sells plexi glass or a clear plastic type sheet. U could use clear silcon glue or plastic glue to put it together. U can preorder the size of sheets or cut your own.:)
  3. billk

    billk Active Member

    Welcome to the Gauge. There has been several threads amongst the various forums about keeping cats off of layouts, maybe you can search for them. Unfortunately, the threads usually turn into a juvenile gross-out contest, at which point one or more cat owners get really upset (let's hope this one doesn't). But there might be something useful in them.

    Obviously one way is to have the layout in a room that can be closed up, but that's not always possible. We own only one cat (or is it we are owned by only one) which seems to hate the sound of crinkling snack food bags so I put them over the layout while it was in construction. Whenever he got up there he had to step on them and made that awful sound and jumped down immediately. He's never gotten up there since, to my knowledge, and I haven't put anything on the layout for a long time to keep him off.

    But each cat has it's own peculiarities, and with six -- jeez! Railery's idea might work out better, if you can make it light enough (would help the dust problem too). You might also check out those transparent vacuum-formed window well covers, probably also available at Home Depot or equivalent, if they're big enough.

    ps Don't forget handles!
  4. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Slow and welcome to the gauge.
    How about turning the small N-scale railroad into a coffee table with a Plexiglass top to cover it. Would matter if Pussy(s) got on top of it then.
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    An Unusual Solution

    This may be the cheapest solution of all if it will work with your cats......Most cats HATE the smell of citrus...oranges, lemons, etc.

    Try installing a couple of those plug in air freshners in citrus scents under or around the layout. It might be that in just a few days kitties will loose interest in the layout completly:)
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Thanks for not mentioning my name, Bill :D :D :D I've been banned from posting any commnets on cats, but I will say that the usual way to "glue" most types of plexiglass is with acetone. I think if you want to just glue it to itself (i.e. frameless) you would probably need 1/4" which would become heavy and expensive. Why not just go with a "fence" of 1/8" thick plexiglass panels a around the perimeter? Then you won't have to lift it and you can remove one section at a time to do work. If the layout is already up high, maybe just a 12" fence would keep kitty-kong off.

    For the record, jesting aside, I like cats just fine, esp. kittens. Love siamese kittens. Little monkeys. And welcome to our wonderful board.
  7. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hey SLOW,
    I'm slow too. My suggestion is use the 1/8 plexi like jon said and make the cover in two halves, 4'x3' each (3-sided boxes), this would make removal easier. A removable support in the center of the layout would keep the covers from sagging where they butt together. A few tabs at the edges of the table could locate the covers.
    How many litter boxes do you have???:D :D :D

    from Olive Branch,
  8. McFortner

    McFortner Member

    Having once had 5 cats when I was married to my first wife, I can say from experience you can NEVER have too many litterboxes! ;) :D :D

    My current wife and I have two kittens and we have 3 boxes....

  9. gerbs4me

    gerbs4me Member

    Welcome to The Gauge.
    If you have any questions just ask.

  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hey Slow!
    there are two questions, sort of begging the answer:
    How high can a cat jump?
    How high do you keep your food?
    How high can a cat jump?
    A 12" plexiglass fence means that the cat lands on your layout from one foot farther up.
    Is it located in an area where you could hinge large plexiglass sheets from the ceiling? They could be raised out of the way for work or visitors.
    I like the plastic bag idea -- but you don't want to deliberately make them afraid. Ours are afraid of running locomotives (I have HO) but they play with cabooses.
  11. Railery

    Railery Member

    My sentiments too. if u only put a plexiglass edge the cats will still go over and farther to drop onto the layout. i have cats and for my new layout i'm trying to decide if i should try the plexi edge or build a glass sliding door and wall to the train room. The cats don't bother the layout when i'm around, its at night when we are all asleep:D When the time comes then i will decide:confused: i like the orange and lemon peels. u could always make an orange orchard on the layout:cool: i know this works, cats hate moth balls. Put some under layout. ;)
  12. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hey David,
    I had a spry tom once who would leap from the kitchen floor to the top of the fridge! Nevertheless, I think you're right about the 12" fence, they might not try going over it from the floor. Be fun watching them thinking about it, though:D :D :D
  13. brendanplaine

    brendanplaine New Member

    Cats and gerbils

    I used to have a 'oo@ scale layout, one day my gerbils escaped and lived in the tunnel for about a week!!! god knows how they survived, but i refused to dismantle my tunnel :D they finally came out when i sent every train i owned in the tunnel, i hit one as well :D

    Yeah i would use plexi (is that what you call it) we call it Perspex in the UK. Yeah i woulg with either 2 3x4 or 3 2x4, if i were in ur country i would offer to help build it, as i am into the wood trade (carpentry), also what i would do is build a frame aound each piece and then hinge them together, this should then allow you to open them and leave out the way. I did this on a 10x6 layout.

    Brendan Hey Dave you asked 3 Q's not 2??????
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Brendan: it's a cyclical question/answer. I wasn't sure how to show it. Like:
    The statement below is false.
    The statement above is true.
    (Let's try to keep this thread on track or on cats or whatever.):D
  15. billk

    billk Active Member

    Another thing you could try would be to put some strips of double sided tape around on the layout surface while it's under construction. Some cats detest walking on it (but there's probably some that love it). Once they figure out it's there, they'll stay away and then you can remove it.
  16. Ravensfan

    Ravensfan Member

    Let's get creative. Make a dome-like cover (actually, a cylinder cut in half length-wise). Use the 1/8" plexiglass that will be a little more than 6 feet long. The width will be determined by how tall you want the structure. Remember that C= 2*pi*r(or pi*d). So, if you want the dome to be 3 feet tall at the center, the width should be about 9 feet. Then, close up the ends with half circles. You will definitely need the correct adhesive to make sure it doesn't spring open and you will need help in assembly. The light weight of the plexiglass should make it easy to lift and you have a more interesting see-through cover for your trains. You could probably even run the trains under the cover.
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    That's a good idea; you would only have seams on the ends, not the sides. Like a half barrel (sliced lengthwise). You might modify the plan to have it come straight up on the side, curve sharp, go straight across the top to the pther side, then curve straight down (this way you have nearly equal clearance all the way across). A sort of squished half barrel as opposed to a half barrel. Like a loaf of bread.

    A little trick to bending plexiglass, as much as it might be fun to watch it pop open on an unsuspecting operator (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk too much 3 stooges), toss it in the car with the windows up on a sunny day. After a couple of hours, bend it to shape.

    Acetone is the correct adhesive. It melts the plastic and it fuses together. Much like when you glue plastic model parts; the two become one. The joint is as strong as the rest.
  18. Ravensfan

    Ravensfan Member

    Now, there's a good idea.
  19. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I picked that trick up in the Philippines, where they make any automotive window out of plexiglass for $10. Only lasts a coupla years before it cracks and crazes, but it beats waiting 6 mos. for a part.
  20. SLOW

    SLOW Member


    Wow!! You all have such great ideas. First I want to answer some of your questions and comments. First off, there is no such thing as out of the reach of a cat. Our cats jump from the floor to the ceiling with out even having to get a running start. One day we came in from doing yard work to find our darling Troubles kitty hanging by her teath from the ceiling fan. About the kitty litter pan. We have a shed attached to the back of our house. It has a concrete pad with a floor drain. I cut a little door for them to go out into that room and basically the concrete pad is one giant litter box. I just get in there and shovel it out and wash it down when it needs changing. I was at the grocery store and one of the workers suggested that I try the scoop/clumable litter. I was like, "You must be kidding....we do not scoop litter at our house...we shovel it." LOL OK...now, for the plastic chip bag suggestion...that would never ever ever work. Our cats love potato chips and popcorn. When they hear that bag rustle they come a running. One cat would jump on the bags on the board and before you'd know it all 6 of them would be on the train board trying to get the goodies. And the coffee table idea is a really good one except that my layout is the hight of a ping pong table and is about the size of half of a regulation ping pong table.

    I did however, really like the suggestion of making a hoist to lift the top off the layout. I also think that makeing two sections instead of one big cover is a really good idea. I also LOVE the dome idea. I think that I will combine all three ideas. I can build two domes over the table and have a hoist to lift them off. Works for me!!!

    Thank you all for your wonderful thoughts and suggestions. I really appreciate all the thought you put into them.

    Now, for anouther question. ...this one is more technical. Does anyone know where I can get a new motor for my Bachman engine? I really love it but it's half burt out now. It will still pull my cars though...at least for the moment. I really like the looks of this engine, especially when it goes through my tunnels with the lights on. It really presents it's self well and is impressive.

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