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T O P I C    R E V I E W
deemery Posted - 04/11/2018 : 10:24:02 AM
I'll start a blog to talk about constructing my new layout.

First, the space. We finished part of the basement to serve as layout space, shop space and some extra living space. It's my 'playground' but that doesn't mean I get to use all of it for the layout.

This room is dedicated layout space. Unfortunately the building inspector insisted I had to build a closet around the electrical panel in the left corner, and that really messes things up.

I can also extend into part of the general living space.

The shop area is against the back wall, and I'll use the near right wall for the main yard.

We also built a 3/4 bath in the basement (and that drove the construction budget well over estimates, since we had to do an up-flushing drain system to the septic field.)

I did some special electrical arrangements in the basement. First, one of every pair of outlets is switched. That means I can hit one switch and make sure all tools and DCC equipment is turned off. I also added some ceiling outlets for layout lighting, and those are switched separately from the main room overhead lights. The flooring is high quality vinyl plank with integral thick cork base. This stuff is supposed to be 'waterproof' (but the basement is very dry), and it's a lot more comfortable to stand on than the concrete slab. The oak color matches the flooring in the rest of the house, and more importantly it's relatively easy to find most things I drop on the floor.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
railman28 Posted - 03/15/2021 : 10:32:42 PM
Originally posted by deemery

Stain won't put the rail back in gauge.... That's the real problem, not the coloration.


Yes, use the long spikes and spike into the roadbed.
jbvb Posted - 03/15/2021 : 9:43:48 PM
In Homabed, there are techniques involving large spikes and brad nails which might push the rail back in gauge. I don't get my 2nd shot for a couple of weeks, but I could bring my spiking box and demonstrate.
Orionvp17 Posted - 03/15/2021 : 9:08:52 PM
This sounds like climate change issues within the space. Heat and humidity do bad things to the railroad.... Don't ask....

The Dremel tool, the cutoff wheel and the soldering paraphernalia are your friend here. Find the "culprit" space, cut the rail, line everybody back up, spike as necessary and solder it all back together. It's a drag, but it has worked for me....

in Michigan
deemery Posted - 03/15/2021 : 8:59:07 PM
Stain won't put the rail back in gauge.... That's the real problem, not the coloration.

railman28 Posted - 03/15/2021 : 8:26:05 PM
May I suggest a little stain.

deemery Posted - 03/15/2021 : 7:40:31 PM
Today turns out to be 1 step forward, 5 steps back. -Two- of my #8 curved turnouts have sprung loose, so they're now out of gauge. And of course these are in locations that are not easy to work.

You can see the lighter colored wood where the rail is loose.

Damned if I know how I'll fix this!

deemery Posted - 03/15/2021 : 5:46:17 PM
Oh, I should post a photo of the TT lead:

It's that new turnout at the bottom of the photo that caused all the problems. (White paper is where the coal dock will go.)

deemery Posted - 03/15/2021 : 5:42:08 PM
By the way, only Walthers would figure out how to create a PDF that only Adobe Acrobat can properly render! They must swap IT staff with Kalmbach....

railman28 Posted - 03/15/2021 : 4:42:59 PM
Dave, I'm just catching up here. Your making great progress and things are really looking good. Might I suggest that you put a water tank on top the two story building across the tracks from the roundhouse to further hid the corner. you probably of that though. Anyway keep it up, it's coming together nicely.

deemery Posted - 03/15/2021 : 3:07:55 PM
It is a corollary to Murphy's Law, that at some point you'll need to locate a switch machine directly in a joist. (And there'll be a screw buried in the L-girder right where you need to cut...)

So I dug out my handy oscillating saw (THE BEST tool for benchwork modifications).

I was able to finagle one of the Walthers right-angle machines into the opening. Now I have to figure out the wiring. Since I got it in there, I figure I should be able to get it back out to do the wire connections.

In the process, I nicked off a track feeder wire :-( But that's OK, as I have more feeders to solder.

jbvb Posted - 02/21/2021 : 10:57:49 PM
Looks good. I expect I can visit next month.
Michael Hohn Posted - 02/21/2021 : 7:19:51 PM
The styrofoam box for access is a good idea, Dave.
deemery Posted - 02/21/2021 : 12:47:08 PM
Just wanted to put this here. It's the switcher house and turntable

I've done some more scenic work around here, but I removed the backdrop so it doesn't look as good. Eventually I'll get help and hang the backdrops.

deemery Posted - 02/21/2021 : 12:28:52 PM
Another phase of "orogeny" (Geologist term for 'mountainbuilding')

I used paper wads to get a general rough sense of topography. Note the piece of backdrop taped to the wall to set the height of the backdrop's tree line. The rosin paper will protect the wall (or the backdrops once they're installed) from water/plaster drips.

Then I did the classic cardboard web.

I used a conventional staple gun to attach the cardboard strips to the benchwork, and a 'scissors' stapler to connect the strips to each other. Hint: If you can find one that takes staples longer than 1/4" that would be good. Another hint: If the staples arrive before the stapler, be sure you remember where you put the box of staples....

I built a styrofoam box over top of the access hatch. This will be needed to attach the backdrop (once I can borrow some people with long arms to help out...)

Note the mitered corner that fits around the cove in the wall.

Once I'm happy with the topography, I'll draw and cut the contours onto the styrofoam, cut the styrofoam, and then add cardboard on top of that.

Most importantly, the shape of the mountains passed spousal inspection.

Wife is a formally trained artist, so she has a good eye for what looks real or not. On the left side, you can see a valley, so I can justify bridges in both the narrow gauge that goes up the side of the mountain, and the standard gauge around the front of the layout. I wasn't quite sure I could pull that off, but it should work. I'll do a bit of adjusting of heights before I lock everything in place with plaster wrap.

deemery Posted - 08/19/2020 : 3:58:33 PM
The corner building is mostly done.

I haven't decided if I'll add signage. I probably should. Also, I need to do the inside framing around the wall's corner.


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