Tetter's Layout Progress and Other Pics.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by tetters, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I could throw together a couple of # 5's for you if you want. Left or Right?
  2. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Tetters, thank you for that generous offer :wave:, but you should be careful, I might accept it....

    I don’t know exactly which turnouts I will need, as I am still in the early stages of planning a second shelf above my existing layout. I looked around for turnouts and I think I will take Micro Engineering turnouts as a second best solution. They have plastic ties, but besides that, they look very good. But your offer is really tempting. I don’t even have a trackplan yet, the only thing I know is that it will be designed to achieve a good looking layout and rather than a layout that offers lots of ops.
  3. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Then I guess I shouldn't show you this...:mrgreen:


    Two # 6 turnouts merged into a crossover. As far as the layout goes this is one of my integral parts. Without this crossover, the trains can't get to the industries.

    It came out bang on too! I used the rails on the through track of the right t.o. to construct one half of the frog point and stock rail on the diverting track on the left curved t.o..

    I can't wait to mount it on the layout.
  4. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    You are really wetting my mouth. Constructions like this makes hand laying so appealing to me – can’t do that with ready made track. Oh well, I have to think about it .......
  5. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I know what you mean. I think that is what also got me interested was the flexability to improvise. My paltry skills pale in comparison to Tim Warris' (Fast Tracks owner) handlaying skills. You should check out his blog. CNJ Bronx Terminal

    I am in awe when I look at his handlaid stuff. No jigs either. :eek:

    The only "downside", if you want to call it that, is that it requires some careful planning and creative tie work. I was just thinking through a spot where a couple of turnouts connect in a way to allow access to the back yard ladder, but also go straight thru to the maintenance service tracks. I've got it figured out now. I'll be sure to post up my results.

    I can't wait to tackle those # 6's though.
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Wow, that looks scary. I've always admired the results of handlaid track, but it also looks insanely time consuming, and me being impatient as far as getting the trains rolling, would probably not be capable of laying the track

    Excellent work!
  7. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Tetters, I know the Bronx Terminal and what this guy does is absolutely unbelievable. But I am very impressed by your progress too. Looking forward to seeing these #6s mounted in your layout.
  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Working O/T.

    The boys at the rail shop were really burning the midnight oil on this one...also known as...my neck is killing me!!! :mrgreen:


    This bugger took me about three hours to assemble. The same area as I mentioned before with the difficult tie placement. I got the ties glued down however, I was also fooling around with a couple of seperate turnouts for this spot. I didn't like the idea of having some rail joiners tightly fitting together in such a small space inbetween the two long PCB ties at the top of each t.o..

    So I hunkered down and assembled this turnout "cross-over" of sorts all as one piece. The straight rails on the top will continue through to the engine facilities and maintenance area. The left diverting track is connected to the top end of the right hand t.o. for the East yard ladder. The rails are spaced at 2" on center.

    Despite the fact that this was a royal pain to assemble, I'm confident that once I finally start putting all these pieces all together, its going to be worth it.

    Whew...Good Night Folks! :sleeping:
  9. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Test fit on the wood ties.


    Gotta get back to work...on the layout of course! sign1
  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I'm just about finished laying all of the ties for the yard, maintenance tracks etc...whew. The speed was made possible due to some very helpful jigs (once again courtesy of Fast Tracks) which allowed me to laydown 2ft of ties at a time in the straight and curved portions of the yard trackwork. I would have made my own, but purchasing these saved me some time and aggrevation of attempting to do so.

    So far I've laid close to 2000 individual wood ties, including the ones for the turnouts. Then I will turn my attention to the west end of the yard where the # 6 curved cross over t.o.'s are located. Once that's done, I'll place down the roadbed for the yard lead and the ties for it.

    Then I'm going to sand the tops of the ties to level the whole lot of them. I can then turn my attention to getting the ties stained, ballasting, electrical work and finally the rails can get spiked down.

    Saying I have lots to do is an understatement.

    On a personal note, there is also a purpose to this flurry of activity to at least have some sembalance of a working "layout" in the next few weeks. Not just me working my arse off and saying, "Hey look at what I can do!" and showing off.

    I normally wouldn't even mention something like this cause I'm mostly private personal life wise. This has been weighing heavily on me though. My younger brother (21) is going to Afganistan to serve with his artillery unit in February and will be visiting for a couple of days in December. He told me on the phone a couple of weeks ago, that when he visits he wants to see some trains running before he goes back to his base after the holidays prior to shipping out. Thus the motivation to keep this moving get it done. I figure if I can get the yard done, and the lead constructed, he can at least see some switching done in the yard and try out a couple of my Gp's. So as much as this is for me...I'd like to give him something to think about while he is over there and the anticipation of seeing more work down when he comes home. He is coming home too.

    NCE Power Cab is on its way, as well as some Caboose manual ground throws with contacts to power the frog, lumber and rail.

    So I need some support to stay motivated folks. Don't afraid to post up.

    I could really use some advice on what to use to colour or stain the wood ties. I was thinking a simple wash of india ink with water to darken them a bit, not make them black though. Any suggestions???
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    No wonder your so motivated. I would be to.
    About staining the ties, I am wondering about the pc ties. Will the ink stain them? I would try just a tie first and see. You might have to use paint.

  12. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I'll have to paint the PC ties...try and get them to match. One trick I've discovered is that some people darken the areas around the points and the frog to show "use". So a few darkened ties is pretty normal in the prototype. I'll also have to darken the occasional cross tie to add to the overall effect.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    What about painting all the ties? Might be faster than painting some and staining the rest.

  14. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I'd thought about that too.

    One source (and there are not many of them on this topic, at least none that I could find) suggested some black craft paint, and water. Dip a 1/2 brush in water, then in a bit of the paint and brush onto the ties. I'll have to try it out. I imagine the water dilutes the paint enough to not "blacken" the tie completely, however colour it like a treated tie.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    What if you dipped the brush in alcohol first. That might make the paint flow better.

  16. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    What strength would you suggest...would 70% be enough?

    I have a huge bottle I use to clean the brake rotors on my mountain bike with. Get any grease and other contaminents off the pads and rotor surface... :mrgreen:
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I don't know Tetters. I know alcohol is used in ballasting to make the water flow better, that's why I suggested it. Maybe someone else will chime in and help.

  18. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Kurt, Loren...

    What do you think of this?



    It's "Black Onyx" acrylic paint. I dipped the brush in water first and then lightly dabbed it in the paint. It was still damp when I applied the ballast (which is not glued down). I carefully removed the ballast on top of the ties with my fingers. I kinda like it. It looks like the ties on the track work in my neck of the woods.

    I'd still like some opinions though.
  19. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I like the way the ties are not all the same color. But to me some of them look a little to dark, like they were just replaced. In the top picture, almost center, there is a real dark one, a light one, and then the one above that looks best to me. Like you said though, your neck of the woods. The ties here seem to be grayer, more weathered.

  20. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    As far as I can tell from the pics, it looks very good. I am with Loren that I like the way the ties are not all the same color. And your ties still look like wood and not like plastic :thumb:. Can’t say anything about the color itself, because I don’t know what you want to achieve, but it looks good to me.

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