Project Fuzz, Experts Needed !! :)

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by fuzzyloggin, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    hey all, just wanted to throw my situation out there and see if anyone has any suggested track plans or ideas, i will give some info to let you know but no doubt ill leave some important things out so please feel free to ask for any info that could help you give educated answers for me :)
    i intend on using this thread throughout my whole process from here in so ill give the full run down on what im doing and ask all questions relating to my project in here to make it easy for myself :)


    I am currently in the process of reinforcing my garage roof at the moment, i am building an open grid frame that will be roughly 14 feet long and 10 feet wide for my layout ( i say roughly because in this planning stage i have a little room all around these dimensions that i can add abit or take abit out to suit whichever plan i end up going with)
    the open grid frame will be made from 3 x 2 inch radiata pine which i have ready to go in the garage as well 15 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood that i want to use for the "cookie cutter" method which im just workin out now.i also have two homemade winches that i have mounted to the wall to lift the layout via wire rope.

    i will be building the layout in HO scale

    I will be using an NCE powercab DCC system. (room for expansion later when layout requires it.

    i want to be able to run multiple trains in different directions, i was hoping for a double mainline.

    i want multiple levels of track, as in, some low in the valleys ,some foot of the mountains and some winding up into them..

    i want longest coal and freight trains i can fit winding slowly through pine forrests and into tunnels over bridges.. :)

    maybe a couple of branchlines? depending on what will fit in this space but say a logging place away from town ...

    I know i want alot im just trying to give ppl good info to get some idea of what im looking for and i probably wont get everything i want but i can try :)

    im new to this prototype research stuff but i know im keen on an area in canada called Lytton and the siska bridges. i would like to make my railroad look similar to these areas
    eg the flowing river ,bridges crossing the river in several places etc and the town on the banks of the river with a station by waters edge possibly and a medium/small yard for a little switching ..

    okay i better wrap this up for now as its 3 am in sydney and i have work in 4 hours :)

    one more question before i go is that the only reason i have not built my base frame is because im thinkin that i should decide on a layout first and then i can build wherever the aisles can fit ??? normally ppl will say this is my bench shape can you build me a layout to fit but i didn't want to restrict what can be done with the overall area so i figured if you guys had max dimensions a plan could be tossed up and once refined i could build my frame to suit as long as it came within the maximum dimensions... in saying that i love steves-nazgul's layout this is the look im going for and think the E shaped layout like his is the way to go for me.. i dont want to crawl under into the middle of the isalnd.
    oh crap im rambling now i better head off to bed...

    grrr im frustrated im stuck and dont know best way to move ahead,
    thanks for listening to this and any ideas or sketches would be awesome
    also ill post pictures of lytton 2morrow.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Sorry to put a damper on things...

    Based on the information above, and in your other thread (, I would say that what you are about to attempt will be close to impossible...

    Hoisting a 10x14 layout built of (up to) 15 sheets of 3/4" ply plus 2x3 pine joists will be a heck of an engineering challenge. That's lifting the equivalent of a "bedroom-sized" layout. At 75lbs per sheet (see, you are looking at 1125 lbs in plywood alone. For it not to flex, you will be looking at a steel frame of some sort, which will add ???

    If there is no other room for you in the house, I think that you are much better off building a modular/sectional layout that you can 1) work on a piece at a time, and 2) assemble in the garage from time to time for operations.

    On to happier things... the track plan. If you are interested in that area of Canada, I suggest that more research is in order. Look at the railways that operate(d) there - what are the sources/destinations for all that coal and freight you want to move? Or do you just want scenery to run trains in? The requirements for the industries can often help to suggest a track plan for you...

    Post more about the area and the industries that interest you. :)

  3. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    Ya the guy sounds like this is the only spot for a layout. I would suggest not parking in the garage and making the layout perm rather than thinking youll be able to lift it up to allow the car to pull in. A layout bigger than a 4x8 is gonna be hard to lift up. Heck even a 4x8 is not gonna be fun pulling up and down each time you wanna use it.

    Lets find you a spot that you can use perm year round.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I have a few questions and comments to offer that may be helpful.

    You mentioned a winch system to hoist the layout up into the rafters, and mountains. Unless you have a 14 foot ceiling in your garage, I don't think mountains will be compatible with a hoist. An 18 inch tall mountain on a layout in a garage with an 8 foot ceiling will probably allow you to lift the layout just high enough to have a 6 foot clearance underneat depending on the thickness of the benchwork. 3/4 inch ply with road bed and track and presuming 1 x 4 framing, will make the thickness of the benchwork about 6 inches. An 18 inch mountain brings you up to 2 feet, but then you need to have some sort of stop installed to keep from damaging the mountain top on the ceiling.

    Andrew is right about the amount of wieght you are trying to hoist. Normal roof joists in your garage won't support that much weight if you can engineer a hoisting system. What about the walls around the garage? You can get a lot of railroad in an around the walls "U" shape that is on an 18-24 inches wide shelf. You could then park the car in the center. If there is a doorway that you need to clear, you can make a "draw bridge" across the doorway. For continuous running 2 or 3 portable sections that can be set up across the garage door opening for operation and taken down to put the car in the garage would work. Make them small enough to be easily handled, the harder it is to move them, the less you will want to use them. Anything portabel like that, I would suggest using 1x4 or even 1x3 perimeter framework and 1x2 cross members spaced every 12 inches. Then you can just use light weight 1/4 inch luan ply for your bench top. Make the scenery in the part of the layout more flat. You could probably make some simple racks that those layout sections would slide into for storage under the permanent part of the layout. I think I would be tempted to forego scenery on those bridge sections, and make them 4 inches wide for a single track or 6 inches wide for a double track. If you put up a back drop made up of 2' x 4' sections of 1/4" luan ply bolted into the portable benchwork from behind and overlapping the individual sections so that 2 backdrop sections spanned 3 portable sections, you could put some cleats on the edges of the permanent benchwork for support, and use some sort of removeable legs or saw horses under the bridge sections for set up, then remove the legs once everything is tightened up and the backdrop would support the bridge sections kind of like a plate girder bridge.
  5. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    What about the walls around the garage? You can get a lot of railroad in an around the walls "U" shape that is on an 18-24 inches wide shelf. You could then park the car in the center.?

    Why dont you give us the Area you have to work with and the area you need for your car to fit into. If you can make a quick MS paint mock up of your garage Ill give a hand at a around the walls layout.
  6. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    yes , i know what you are thinking, and these are all valid points, and ones that ive been thinkin about for a couple of months now, when i say 15 boards i just meant i had fifteen boards there to use , in actual fact the surface area of the dimensions i gave you only required approx 4 of the boards i have here, and even so their is alot of weight their i agree, .....

    BUT :)

    i am going to make this hoisted layout happen, i have to.
    there are "other" members of the household that require this layout to be "put away" when not being used :) and the walls of the garage are already being used for other storage :(
    as for the lytton research your right i probably do need more research on the operations but i really am only going for a general feel of the area not an exact model in any way..
    i like the logging and coal stuff so ill go and find out about that side of things and where those trains could be coming and going..
    gtg to work now ill be on again 2nite,
    appreciate all the input guys, and you will find that im a persistent little bugger, this hoist thing WILL happen :)
  7. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    oh sorry by the way breal keep an eye on this post bud, once i got the bugs ironed out im interested to see what you may come up with in the way of track plan sketch.
    cyas soon
  8. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    I still think your not giving around the walls enuf thought. First how tall are you? If your over 6' tall you can make the layout sit rather high and then have TONNES of space under the layout to store anything you need. However its your layout and your home so its really all up to you but i would try my hardest to work on a perm layout that u can share the space with. Im guessing your doing this in your parents garage since it seems you cant have any perm space to your trains.
  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    If we are talking about 15 sheets of 4X8 foot (sorry for using antiquated, non metric measure) and 2x3 structural lumber, thats a good start for a train room. Why not just add on to the garage?
  10. gottaBreal

    gottaBreal Member

    great idea...I think thats the best idea yet
  11. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    i heard of a guy that made the whole layout from foam... he even cut the joists and framing from foam anf glued it. might be a thread here in fact... tyhat would be light. i can say from exoerience that rope stretches way to much! good luck!
  12. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    hey guys,

    breal i gave some more thought to the round the walls style in the garage and it really is a toough one, there are so many factors preventing me frrom doing that layout that i cant see me being able tofree up enough space to do the layout that i want.. :(
    and its not in the parents garage its in my house that i just bought with my wife but we both want the one of our two cars left in the garage as its a brand new car, and the way the internal door is that goes into the house that car can only fit on side of the garage because the door swings in and cannot open if car is on that side so that basically leaves one corner of the garage and not much space. :(


    onto the hoisted layout..

    guysi know i posted i had 15 sheets but like i said in the post above i wont be using all of them for the layout!!! :)

    the space will be 14ft by betweeen 8 -10 feet

    pine frame cooky cutter pine strips for road bed foam scenery

    i estimate the layout to way no more than 200 kilograms???? does that sound right?

    if so i should be right for weight as im placing steel square tube across the beams in my roof and bolting the pulleys straight to them , to lift i have bought two geared boat winches rated at pulling waaaaaaaaaaaay over that amount of kilograms,
    my roof is 10 foot high and im only after a 6 foot clearance from the finished product so that mean i have about 4 feet of layout height wise??? is that enough for mountains???
    so basically i want to hoist a layout much like nazgul's in the middle of my garage.. :)
    it should be interesting to see how this unfolds , anyway its friday morning here and i have to go to work , over the weekend ill post some pictres of the garage in question and the materials, winches ill be using :)
    please think positive when reading this thread :) together we can make this happen :)
  13. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    ok guys im back, busy week for the fuzz :)

    so i thought id post some early pictures to see if i can generate abit more interest.
    it seems you guys have put me in the two hard basket :) and thats ok but if i just show a little of what im doing and what i have to work with it might help shake off some of those negative vibes , and doubting thomas's.... no offence to long island tom for the catch phrase! :)

    im not to sure about this picture posting part and how to put the text in between and stuff
    so a run down on the pics is probably in order,

    first pic is part of the reason a round the wall layout wont work for me ,cluttered walls from storage,garage doors have divider in mddle so car can not park in centre, car must go on one particular side of garage due to my internal access to the house and the length of the car, and so that left me the short side of garage next to internal house door for layout which really just wasn't enough room and besides all that my wife was not too keen on me permanently taking up garage space. :)

    right the second pic shows one of the two home made winches i have designed and mounted to the wall to lift the setup, even know im using two winches and this will make it hard to raise lower the setup evenly its ok as a rod has been designed to traverse the distance between the two winches and operate them together plus they are geared well to allow for lifting with relative ease.

    the third picture shows both the winches mounted in their spots.

    the fourth picture shows approximate are of my layout although i have room in one direction to expand if needed , i also need to plan aisles or some sort of cut out in the area so i can reach the extremities although i will be able to walk all the way around as well.

    and the fifth picture shows the roof im about to hack into to mount my pulleys :)

    Attached Files:

  14. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    i forgot fourth picture :)

    Attached Files:

  15. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    so you see it is happening, and thought has gone into this project and it could be interesting to see how this unfolds for something different.. :)

    ill post a revised list of basic facts so far...

    length = 12.2 feet (not much more to work with on this measurement)

    width = between 8 and 11 feet ( pretty flexible here )

    suspended from ceiling using two purpose built winches,purpose built pulleys, wire rope and reinforced ceiling joists :)

    3 x 2 inch pine , open grid frame. ( 3 x 2's on their edge provide a solid rigid frame when built correctly , as proven by the wooden house truss company next door to my work who were consulted on the project)

    i plan on cookie cutting ply for my roadbed and track frame

    i will be using as much foam as i can for scenery.

    i can fit just over 2 feet vertically of layout, so i have to keep mountains to a min (but i still want them, also in that vertical distance i have to take 3 and a half inches out for frame thickness.. )

    i will be running the NCE power cab dcc system to begin with.

    and i need to place aisles into my overall dimensions wherever is best for the track plan. ( these need to be symetrical to minimise affect on the centre of gravity)
  16. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    All those envious of the yard tool rack say aye. "Aye."

    Looks like a pretty serious project. I'm really looking forward to seeing your progress :)
  17. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I'm a little concerned about how to make the 2 separate winches hoist evenly. All the examples I have read about of hoistable layouts used a single hoist with the 4 cables tied into one prior to the winch. If you have a smooth, even hoisting arrangement you can leave a lot more stuff on the layout.

    Still, you are making real progress! Congratulations!
  18. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    This sounds like a pretty cool and ambitious project. Out of curiousity, what are the winches attached to the brick with? I don't know enough about mechanical engineering to say anything intelligent about this, but I am wondering whether the two bolts I see in the picture are going to be a potential stress point within the system. I look forward to your progress as I have always been intrigued by layouts that break from the typical against-the-wall model.
  19. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Let's assume you want to go with the hoistable layout. First, what ever weight the framing of the layout adds, plus the plywood weight, plus the weight of scenery, buildings, and rolling stock, will result in something too heavy for standard garage framing. Also, it will require a hefty winch to lift it, unless it is counterweighted (which effectively doubles the supported weight). The layout would simply require its own gantry, which would not stress the garage framing. Counterbalancing would reduce the physical size, and power of the lifting winch.
    To keep the layout frame within reasonable limits, would require more attachment points for the lift than just at the corners (which might get in the way of operation). All but basically two of the lift points could be attached to the counterweights, the actual lifting could be done from the center of the assembly. Stopping the upward motion would require a single sensor. The "backup", would simply be, when the counterweights hit the floor.
    It is do-able, but the layout room preparation would be a major undertaking.
  20. fuzzyloggin

    fuzzyloggin Member

    just out of curisity , would anyone like to hazzard a guess at the weight of scenery for a 10 x 8 layout with scenery in the style of steves(nazgul's) layout

    i know its heavy bud but it aint rocket science and im not trying to lift a car :)

    im estimating total weight of layout at between 500 and 700 pounds.

    im using heavy duty lanyards that will make the cables removable from the layout when in the lowered position sitting on legs.

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