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 Loco shed, scratchbuild

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Nelson458 Posted - 08/20/2017 : 3:01:26 PM
I have only recently, after some 5 or 6 years, started building a small layout. Although I am not much into operations, I do enjoy a little switching, and have found Peco insulfrog turnouts just the ticket for me, easy to throw the points, very little wiring. In fact, I might have gotten a little carried away with their turnouts . My 5' by 10' layout, is more destined to be a large diorama than an operating layout. And that was my intention.

Soooo, that being said, I have always wanted a small facility for the engines, nothing big, an engine shed (rather than a roundhouse) and machine shop, coaling station and a source of water. Ever since I built Sierra West's engine house, I thought that might be just the thing for this layout. Since that shed is HOn3, it won't do well here, besides, I have plans for that later.

So I set about planning the actual size of the shed. I already knew from the beginning what I wanted, and where, I just hadn't gotten the track set up and everything 'sized' so it would fit. It will be about 13.5" deep, contain 3 tracks, and one off to the side. I'm building it on 3/16" ply, it is pretty flat now, but after I glue stuff down that might change, so I am going to re-enforce the bottom with some sturdy hardwood. The layout sits on 2" foam, so I would need to cut into that for the added strips underneath.

The engine shed will be built very similarly to the Sierra West model, board by board on a framework of 6x6 stripwood. Or maybe 4x6. The roof will be peaked in the center, and the right hand stall will be set back 4.5" which will be used for small engines.

So far, I made a simple cardboard moch-up to see how it fits. I am glad I did, as the two r/h tracks didn't line up like I wanted. I had a short l/h turnout leading into those stalls and open area, and replaced it with a medium length 'Y' turnout. That proved to be much better. Sometimes a simple change is all that is needed.

So here are a couple of pictures, a birds-eye view and a sketch of the front of the shed. I hope to start on the project soon, but with an upcoming trip to Colorado for the show, not sure how far I will get before the next weekend.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Michael Hohn Posted - 10/14/2019 : 11:15:24 AM
Yes indeed, very well done, Tony. When it comes to building HO shelves and work benches you’re the man.

Nelson458 Posted - 10/13/2019 : 8:57:09 PM
Originally posted by time2play

Nicely done Tony. And informative...


Thanks Bob
time2play Posted - 10/13/2019 : 6:53:22 PM

Nicely done Tony. And informative...

Nelson458 Posted - 10/13/2019 : 2:57:23 PM
Bench legs

Many of you have detailed bench castings from the likes of Rusty Rails and others, and putting on a set of legs can be a little troubling and awkward. It has been for me too, and today I want to show a couple of ideas I came up with, and please, share any you may have, I can always learn something.

The first produces a heavy looking bench, great for just putting one on, or not wanting to add too much detail beneath, although you could if you used a little savvy and used smaller ‘timber’ or spaced things apart more.

In either case, I pre-cut my strip wood, pre-stained, and pretty much ready to go. Some pieces should be left long (side bracing) to be trimmed later, or to keep the bottom rail even on both sets (back and front) of legs. You’ll see a little way down the road here.

First, I laid out some styrene, .060” in the back and .015 in the front. Just needs to be thinner in the front than the leg posts. The distance apart is your choice, in this case, I used 4 leg sections as the height, so I spaced then in 3 places along the opening to get it all even.

Lay down 2 sections of the top and bottom rails

With 2 small square blocks or steel that you might have, and glue on the end legs. I used Canopy glue, which dries fairly quickly.

Then the center leg, unless you have a short table. Then the ends will do fine.

Do both front and back leg sections, and when dry, glue them to the casting as shown. As it happens, there is already a .04” step on the castings just for this purpose, which is very handy indeed. Hold until dry, using Canopy glue, which sticks to resin nicely, making sure it is square.

Do the same for the opposite side

Now you can add some slightly long side supports and trim when dry.

Now, if you wish, you can add some boards below the top. I took some 2-by strip wood, wider than .04”, wide enough to overhang the support, or to lay flush with, and with a sharp razor blade, cut openings where the legs go. I think you can see where this is going from here. I made one for each side. Then glue in place. With the remaining gap between the two, just cut another piece to fit. If you make them a little long, you can cut them to size after the glue dries. Being a short opening, I intend to add some pipe under here.

NOW, for the second lighter look, with another casting, something I didn’t do on the first, is take a file to clean off the area of paint and to make sure there are no obstructions. In this castings case, there was a piece of resin that was bridging the gap to the open drawer, plus a small bubble of casting in the opening too.

I also changed tactics and glued the side leg support onto the ends of the casings. I made them the same width as the casting width, making sure the ends were square. I then measured the overall length for the leg supports, in this case, 1.556”.

I take off .01” for the thickness of 2 legs, for about 1.455”. I have two miter boxes, one shown here from Micro Mark, which is extra-long for pieces like what I am about to cut, and one from UMM at https://www.umm-usa.com/, item MN034. They now have some additional saw boxes like the MN060, a nice set of 3. You will also need their saw, JLC002 or the boxed one (as I have) JLC004, a great buy at only $18.95. I have several extra blades, but to be honest, I have used the one I had in it when I bought it, and it’s still sharp, even after cutting numerous amounts of brass, wood and styrene. The Micro mark uses a different screw, most likely metric, but seems too soft and may strip out one day (at the Phillip's head end), and I wrote to them to find out the size of thread, to no avail, but the UMM one is very good.

Now, back to modeling, the calipers shown in here to set the length gives me a cut to within .005” of the length I need. A simple sanding with the NWSL sander will bring it to size.

Now you only need one strip of styrene to hold the top section, cut from 4x4 strip wood, to glue the legs on to the ends.

Now you need to cut one more leg for the center. I used the UMM miter saw here and a small section of the same wood to act as a spacer from when I originally cut the legs. Glue this in the center of the sections, keeping it square.

Cut a long section of material, I used 1x3 here, for the shelf support, and glue it all the way across, keeping it level. This helps keep it level for putting in the boards. Then cut off the extras.

This is how I cut the slots on the shelves below. Lining up the top of the bottom rail to one side. Then I cut using the legs for cutting guides. I will be using this piece, so it is a 1x12 piece of strip wood. You will notice how square I have the legs, they stand up on their own.

Here I have glued in the two leg sections, with shelves attached. I will add the side sections at this point, using the shelving to align them correctly. (with the whole thing upside down here, gave me an idea on a wagon I might build, with drawers on the sides. What do you think???)

Nelson458 Posted - 10/05/2019 : 10:50:15 AM
Originally posted by hon3_rr

Continued great work Nelson!

Thank you Kris.
hon3_rr Posted - 10/04/2019 : 12:56:12 PM
Continued great work Nelson!
Nelson458 Posted - 10/04/2019 : 12:23:16 PM
Originally posted by postalkarl

Hey Nelson:

What can I say but WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I really like that water tank.

Karl S

Thank you Karl I appreciate that.
postalkarl Posted - 10/01/2019 : 10:05:24 PM
Hey Nelson:

What can I say but WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I really like that water tank.

Karl S
Nelson458 Posted - 10/01/2019 : 11:28:53 AM
Bob, Bernd, Jerry and Mike, thank you all for your comments and support.

Yes, a fine model does take some time, as I discovered, and I found that taking a little time off helps, even building some other model, as I did with the water tower and shed, which will become part of the 'scenic set' eventually. But the details take most of the time, not only to make them all, but what ones to add, modify or even scratchbuild.

At first I was going to scratchbuild a step ladder, and may do so one day, but this one was just there, begging to be done.

Mike, I was surprised the wood appearance turned out as well as it did. I basically painted on various pastels to get the effect. I like it.
Michael Hohn Posted - 09/30/2019 : 10:13:03 AM

I built a couple of those Central Valley ladders and, yes, they are a little clunky as well as missing a critical component. You made excellent improvements. I like the simulated wood appearance.

TRAINS1941 Posted - 09/30/2019 : 09:23:20 AM
Tony great work on the work bench problems. The ladder is awesome!!
Bernd Posted - 09/30/2019 : 08:33:44 AM

I've been following this build for a while now. One thing you have taught me is that it takes "patients" to build something with this degree of detail. Keep up the great work.

railman28 Posted - 09/30/2019 : 12:08:52 AM
That ladder is taking you to new heights! Well, not really. Your modeling is already in the clouds for excellence. I enjoyed the tool rack too. I'm really enjoying watching you build.

Nelson458 Posted - 09/29/2019 : 9:37:40 PM
While in the process of adding details, like ladders in this case, one that I had was a 2 part step ladder that I think came from a Central Valley set, but not certain. Regardless, a ladder of this sort would have some cross bars to prevent it from running straight out. So that is what I proceeded to do.

Rather than just glue some styrene to the sides, I wanted to anchor them, and to make it more realistic look like it would fold in the middle.

So I drilled some .014" holes in some 1x3 styrene, 1/4" apart, and also in the ladder sides. Now, previously, I had taken a sharp knife and file to, one, take some material off the ladder to lighten it, and two, give it some semblance of wear.

So when I came to the process of drilling holes in the ladder sides, I broke the back supporting section. Out came some slight expletive, and in a couple of minutes, decided to make my own.

Once done, the rest was easy. But I think the slimmer supporting section looks better.

Nelson458 Posted - 09/27/2019 : 10:15:03 AM
Thanks Mike, there is one wrench missing (on purpose), so maybe it did??? I'll find it an put it on the bench, along with some others, I am sure.

Thank you Russ.

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