Starting Over......

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by dturnerfish, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. dturnerfish

    dturnerfish New Member

    Well I did get the track down and functional for my first layout. I learned alot, but I know of numberous mistakes. I am going to get a fresh start. I have spent the last few weeks on a new layout. This is my first draft. Any input is VERY welcome and appreciated.

    Minimum radius 11" (18" for the main line)
    The only eleveation is on the far left, and it only has a 1 1/2" rise.
    This is only my first draft.

    The botom of the image got cut off. It does loop arround.

    Thank you.

  2. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Interesting plan. Lots of places for scenery and industries. You could do a loads-in, empties out arrangement at the power plant.

    Will you be able to reach that corner at the top left of your plan? Otherwise, it looks good.
  3. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    The only way for an engine to drop cars off in the yard in the upper right corner is to back in after going CW on the heavy black rail. You might want to think about putting a runaround in there somewhere. Otherwise it looks good. :thumb: Where are the edges of the layout and the position in the room?
  4. Pitch as I trace it, it works fine to me. All the sites (the yard, the mine, and the power plant) are trailing spurs for a clockwise rotation, making it an easy operation just like the real railroads want. just picture a train starting from the yard area and watch it go
  5. dturnerfish

    dturnerfish New Member

    Not sure if I have room to loop the yard around. It would be nice if I could. I also considered having a reverse loop, but once again space is an issue. I originally switched from HO to N Scale so I could would have plenty of room for scenery. Trying to find the balance...

    As far as the table, I have a 14 inch walk space in the back and the left side. The right side will be against a wall, and the front is open. I think the 14 inch space will motivate me from gaining any weight:p.

    Benchwork is an issue for me. My first wood working experience was my last table. That table is going into the dumpster. It wasn't terrible but it could have been much beter. This is what I learned.

    1. Don't buy cheap wood.
    2. Make sure your wood is not warped.
    3. Pre-drill holes
    4. Use a square
    5. Don't make a table that I can't move from the room.

    As far as my bechwork I am planning on making four 2' X 4' tables, and a 2' X 2.5'. Not sure how I am going to handle the overhang track from the power plant. hmmmmmm. I know if I have to move this layout I will have alot of work re-seaming things, but it would be beter then having to restart.

    I currently plan on using 1X4s for the frame, and 2x2s for the legs. By the way, why arn't 1X4s - 1" by 4"? They are smaller (.75 X 1.5 I think). This really through me off. odd

    I plan on using 1/4" plywood with 1/2" foam on top. I have all ready trimed my under-table switched for this depth (on my current layout), so I am kinda stuck here. I will use an above switch for the powerplant (it will be higher there).

    I really could use some advice. I am a complete novice at woodworking. Thank you very much.


    Note: I forgot to save my layout last time and had to re-do much of the layout. Some changes will be noticable.

  6. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    In answer to your question about wood sizes, the "nominal size" i.e 2x4, 1x3 etc. is never the "dimensional size". The rationale behind this is that 2x4 is the size before planing. Back in the old days a 2x4 actually measured 2" x 4" - now it's 1-1/2" x 3-1/2". Nominal 1x4's are really 3/4" x 3-1/2.

    1/4" plywood is pretty thin - you will need more cross bracing if you use it. A lot of people use 3/4 ply, I personally used 1/2". It costs more, but what would you pay to remove the warping that will occur down the line with the thinner stuff?

    Building benchwork is really not that hard. You don't need major woodworking skills to do it - after all it's just a simple box really. The main reason novices have trouble is a lack of proper tools. If the pieces aren't square, they don't go together properly and this causes all kinds of frustration.

    At the very minimum, you'll need a carpenter's square and a miter box. This is so you can get exact 90 degree angles on your cuts. If you have access to a miter saw (sometimes called a chop saw) so much the better. It will really speed up the work. You can rent one and do all your cutting in one day, or maybe you can enlist the help of a friend or neighbour who has one.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    I have to agree with you SS. I guess that I am just stuck with the mindset that trains should run in both directions on a track. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :D
  8. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    DT, sometimes the lumber yard will make cuts for you. Usually they'll give you one or two cuts free per board and then a nominal charge for any additional cuts. Home Depot will do this; probably others will too.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think he will be alright with 1/4 inch since he is modeling in n scale. I would reccomend that the cross braces go in on 12 inch centers under the 1/4 inch ply. One of the members of the modular club I belong to uses luan door skins for tops to his modules. He has them well cross braced on 12 inch centers, but they work fine for ho without warping and are light to carry and set up.
  10. dturnerfish

    dturnerfish New Member

    For 4 years I was the web developer for Ryobi, so I have numberous power tools including a miter saw. I just never used any of them until I built my last table. Scared to death of the miter saw, but I have been using it with success. The first time I used it I explained to my wife what to do if I cut my hand off, lol. I still have her watch me every time I use it. Maybe some day I will get a bit more at ease with it.

    Anyway, what I am having problems with is planning the irregular part of the benchwork. The part that leads from the power plant to the main line.
    Should it just be part of the table to the left? Maybe make a hanging piece that bolts to the other tables?

    I am also not sure how to make 2x2 wood legs adjustable. I would think something could be found for this, but when I tried to explain this to the Home Depot guy he looked at me like I was crazy. I would like it adjustable so I can make sure the tables line up.

    Should the supports be 1X4s also? or would 1X2s suffice?

    Anyone in Dallas know where I can find homasote? Maybe I could use that instead of foam for extra firmness. Home Depot and Lowes does not carry it. My switch machines will not work over 3/4" thickness (1/2" foam, 1/4 plywood) - I all ready trimed them on my current table.

    Thank you,

  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    To make the legs adjustable, drill a 11/32 hole in the bottom of each leg, install a 5/16 inch "tee" nut, and put in a 5/16" screw. You will have as much adjustment as the depth of the 11/32nd hole you drill.
  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I agree with Russ on how to make the legs adjustable. The first time I made the cabinet that my layout was on, I made the legs adjustable by loosening up two wing nuts and sliding them up or down. The reason I did that is that I also had the legs ( 1 1/2" square) on casters, and they layout was in the garage so I wanted to be able to move it around and level it to the sloping garage floor. Bad choice, the legs were unstable, and when we moved, they finally broke off. I have rebuilt the cabinet and it is now supported by 2 x 4's plained smooth and held with deck screws. It is now part of a semi-permanent layout and is quite secure. All the other legs are made from 2 x 4's as well that were plained smooth. They aren't that much more expensive than 2 x 2's and they look more substantial. If you try to rip a 2 x 4 into two 2 x 2's, you will find they will most likely warp before you finish the cut. The greener they are, the most likely they will warp, so that's not a good option.

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