Here we go! Gotta start somewhere.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by TrainNut, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    After continually being frusturated at the club layout, I decided to throw in the towell and build my own layout at home. My wife and I discussed possible locations around the house and we decided the new layout could take some space out of a room that we seldom use all of - the dining room. While at first, I think this will be an eyesore, as soon as I can get some fascia on it and some backdrops, I think the appearance will improve dramatically. So here we go off and running... the neat part is that my wife seems very enthusiastic about this project and wants to jump in and help wherever she can. First, we have the plan. I still have not decided whether it will be DCC or DC. Even on DC I will have the capability of running two trains at once independently. I'm only into switching operations every once in a while. Most of the time I just like to sit and watch 'em cruise through the landscape. Next, you can see my pathetic attempt at benchwork. The whole thing is on wheels allowing me to pull it away from the wall and gain access to that dreaded hidden track along the back. Questions? Have at it! I love feedback.
    P.S. The little hard to read black numbers indicate (for the most part) inches above or below the MAIN benchwork. In most places, that results in 4% grades. I know, I know, that's a bit much but I'm okay with that and the design and size of the layout require that. Also, the capital letters correlate the entrances and exits of tunnels.
    Hmmmm.... looks like I am going to have to raise that picture on the wall a bit.

    Attached Files:

  2. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Looks good TrainNut. My only question would be about the access to the back corner, specifically tunnels C and D. Great way to spice up the dining room. I also like your river crossings. :thumb: :thumb:
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Great start, I see nothing wrong with the "pathetic" benchwork, to be sure, mine didn't start out looking that sturdy. I don't have any cross-members but I did use 1/2" MDF under the foam. What kind of dimensions are we looking at here?

    Using casters to get to the hard to reach spots is a good idea, but does present problems. They'd better be secure enough to handle the added weight. I started off with casters on my layout because it was in the garage. I also made the casters adjustable because of the sloping floor... Bad idea, no stability. It didn't take much added weight to make the layout rock and roll. I rebuilt the base but that didn't work either so my third attempt without casters worked, but I have access to both sides now and it's not in the garage anymore, so that's no longer and issue. The point is, be sure your casters will stand up to the added weight of the scenery and other stuff, that it doesn't move around when you don't want it to and they move smoothly when they need to. You can only guess how I know these things. :rolleyes: stooges8:rolleyes:

    Are you still going to work on the club layout? Looks like your going to have your hands full working at home, but your also going to realize really quickly the benefits of making that choice.

    Good luck and keep us posted...:wave: :wave:
  4. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi TrainNut. I guess that it would help if I read the entire post before jumping in. :oops: :oops: I've never built a layout on casters, but I have built other things using them. The one sad reality of casters is that they must be VERY solid, and the floor must be VERY smooth and level. One little piece of unseen minutia can topple your empire (literally). :cry: Good luck with it. It looks like a lot of fun. :thumb:
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hi trainnut, your layout and benchwork looks good. I also have my layout in the dining room. I like it because the family is always walking by to see whats going on. I had a layout in a garage and it got pretty lonesome out there!
    I tried casters,did not like 'em, and then found things called furniture sliders. you put them under the fridge,stove,bed,couch,you get the idea. The legs on my layout don't wobble, but I can slide it all over the place.
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Fine carpentry, TN:thumb:
  7. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    TN, what are the overall dimensions? What radius curves are you using? I like this trackplan, and if not too big, may be interested in copying you
  8. fifer

    fifer Active Member

    TN , I really like the plan! I think you can get by with casters , but be sure and buy larger rubber wheeled ones that swivel.

  9. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Wow, thanks for the comments. If your curious how this plan evolved, it originally came from a larger straight version I had built in my garage. Due to the heat, lack of space, and seclusion from the family, it was doomed from the beginning. I however, liked the plan and wanted to replicate in a smaller version. The pictures show the layout that the original concept came from in my garage. Then, I submitted my first draft here to you fine folks in this thread ( ) and you can see how it evolved from the comments I received.
    The bottom leg is 2'4" deep by 9'0" and the top leg from the bottom left corner is also 2'4" deep by 7'0". All of the radii are 11" or greater with the exception of one curve hidden inside tunnel H which is 9-3/4". I figured that since it was hidden inside the tunnel, who cares. Hmmm... a lot of concerns about the castors. I guess time will tell. I went down to Lowes and bought some pretty good ones that had ball bearings and swiveled but I did not get the really good ones. So far they have passed all my tests on the slalom pad but as Don brought up, we shall see once the scenery starts getting loaded on. I did spray WD-40 on 'em and it improved their performance dramatically.
    Yes, absolutely... I feel honored that I created something someone else is interested in copying. If you have access to AutoCADD, I can just send you the file and you can modify it to your liking. Let me know.

    Attached Files:

  10. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    Haha, I just now realized it's N scale! Wonder what the dimensions would grow to for HO
  11. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Pathetic? No way! That looks like pretty good benchwork to me.:thumb: Lots of room for storage. You can get some inexpensive fabric to go below the fascia. This helps to draw your eye to the layout itself and not on all the "stuff" that's underneath.

    Nice work. Look forward to seeing your progress.
  12. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    Personally I think the benchwork looks better then most attempts. Also if it doesn't rack when you move it then you got it perfectly/ If it does rack then put 'x' braces on it and it will be fine. ALl in all I think you have done a great job. :)
  13. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Looking Good So Far TrainNut.:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  14. n2trains

    n2trains Member

    From the pictures, it looks like you used the Atlas turntable/motor. Are you satisfied with the way it works? from what I've observed/used, the Arnold/Rapido turntable, albeit expensive, works the best of all that I've seen. Looks extremely well done, the inclines/declines, though steep, seem just fine since you won't be running long trains on such a layout of course. I wouldn't worry about it too much untill you reach 5-6%. But it's good to hear that your wife is enthusiastic about it! Most girls I see/talk to think I'm an utter geek for liking trains, though I have found 1-2 that like them... hence why I'm more or less dating one of them! hehehe
  15. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Keep in mind that the two pictures taken in the garage are of a layout that no longer exists. It was simply the inspiration for the current layout in my dining room now and I only posted those old pictures to show the similarities between that plan and the new one I have come up with. Yes on that layout in the garage, I did use the Atlas turntable and to be quite honest, the layout never made it far enough for me to even have used it. I did however salvage the turntable and will be using the exact same one on this new layout. Hopefully it will get wired up this time. If it does not work to my satisfaction, I can see a date with the garbage can and I'll find one that does work.
  16. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Bridge ideas?

    Okay, so I'm building this monstrous canyon and I've been thinking about my bridge situation. I've got 5 bridges crossing this gorge in close proximity. One of them (the highest) will be a double wide crossing over the top of a single width (see plan earlier in thread to clarify what I am talking about). I am not real strict about the timeline I am modeling.... let's just say... diesel era on. My width is 10" across the top and I was wondering if I should use 5 of the same bridges or break it up by using different kinds. Through the magic of Photoshop, I have taken one bridge and placed it in all 5 locations to give an idea of what it would look like. I don't really want any supports coming down in the middle of the canyon... just end piers. Any thoughts? Clear as mud?

    Attached Files:

  17. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    With a canyon like that...I'm going to buy stock in Scupta-Mold.
    Can't wait to see the finished project though.
  18. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer


    That is one big canyon and I like all those bridges croosing it. Cool, Can't wait to see more progress on it!!!!:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  19. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Looks to be a Grand Canyon to me. :thumb: :thumb: Why not use that photo shop and try different bridges in different places until you get the effect that you're looking for. :D :D
  20. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    That's going to turn out really great. You've got canyons there that are at least 150' deep. That has got to be nothing but fun to work on.:thumb: :thumb: I'm really jelous that I don't have the room to do something like that.:wave:

    I hope you're going to take pictures as you progress.

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