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Author Topic Next Topic: Rebuilding the CB&Q in Wyoming
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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/11/2018 :  10:24:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

dave
Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7134

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/11/2018 :  10:31:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I engaged the services of a pro track planner. We went back and forth a couple of times, and agreed on the following.

The connector on the right side between the small yard and the closest wall will be on a gate, and will be left open most of the time, and probably during operating sessions. My goal is to be able to do a bit of operations, crew size maybe 3 people. The blob in the center will be urban (I like structures!). The line along the back wall is a small HOn30 setup. If I can get a loco and 2 cars to go up and down the hill, that will be good enough.

Min radius is 28", and there's no grade on the standard gauge part. Grade on the HOn30 line will be about 2.5%

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 04/11/2018 10:36:06 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/11/2018 :  10:43:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
About the Sandy Lake & Northern itself: The layout is set in 1898, and connects the northwestern PA oil country with New England mill towns, by basically eliminating everything between the Susquehanna and Merrimack rivers :-) Motive power is 4-4-0 mostly, with a couple of big freight engines (a Colorado Midland prototype 2-8-0 Vauclain Compound, and a Little River 2-4-4-2.) As you can tell by that last loco, I'm flexible with respect to era and realism. The cars will be pre-Safety Appliance rules, but I'm willing to wink and run more modern equipment if it appeals to me.

My primary interest is structure modeling, and I expect most everything will be new scratch-built. I do have a couple of kits to work in, but that could get problematic. My biggest challenge is going to be finding space for a 19th century oil refinery, I'm sure I'll have to compromise more on aisle width to fit that in.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/11/2018 :  10:47:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Track will be ME Code 70 flextrack and turnouts on the main line, with a couple of curved turnouts from FastTracks jigs. The yards will be mostly handlaid, FastTracks #4 turnouts (ME only makes #6 in HO, plus I can compress the yard with custom turnouts similar to ME's new Code 83 yard turnout set.) The HOn30 will be handlaid code 70. The big challenge for trackwork will be that HO/HOn30 crossing.

Subroadbed will probably be hardboard splines. Craig Bisgeier has used this, and I like the idea that it'll provide 'self-defined' easements. But that will require a lot of cutting of splines to start, and that needs a warm and sunny day where I can take the table saw outside. (It's a late spring this year in NH, at least when compared to recent years.)

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 04/11/2018 10:49:17 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 04/11/2018 :  12:30:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dave,

Let me be first to comment that your layout design looks very good, with ample room for scenery and structures, and no tricky track work.

I am planning a small refinery on my own layout as well. I have a print from the 1870's of one along the part of the LV mainline I am modeling, so I know what it looked like and from Sanborn maps how large it was. I am planning to scratchbuild a retort along the lines of what Don Ball did on his layout. How large are you planning to go? Do you have photos or drawings?

I really like the ME code 70 track, so I applaud you on that decision. Our club used spline subroadbed and I will take a look at how we did it (it's been 20 years). Seems to me it was a little different than how it's been described here.

Some of the small print is hard to read on your plan, and I see there's a note about the crossover at Staging Yard 2. Looks to me that it's going to be difficult to use as a runaround, especially if cars are parked on the near tracks, impeding your ability to uncouple. It's a long reach. I'm not sure how useful it will be. You appear to be planning to use the turntable for runarounds.

Overall, very nice.

Mike




_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 4060 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/11/2018 :  12:30:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave your off to a good start.
I'll be following your adventures.

One thing please make your pictures larger so we can see them!!


Jerry

"And in the end, itís not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 10694 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/11/2018 :  1:41:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hohn

Dave,

Let me be first to comment that your layout design looks very good, with ample room for scenery and structures, and no tricky track work.

I am planning a small refinery on my own layout as well. I have a print from the 1870's of one along the part of the LV mainline I am modeling, so I know what it looked like and from Sanborn maps how large it was. I am planning to scratchbuild a retort along the lines of what Don Ball did on his layout. How large are you planning to go? Do you have photos or drawings?

I really like the ME code 70 track, so I applaud you on that decision. Our club used spline subroadbed and I will take a look at how we did it (it's been 20 years). Seems to me it was a little different than how it's been described here.

Some of the small print is hard to read on your plan, and I see there's a note about the crossover at Staging Yard 2. Looks to me that it's going to be difficult to use as a runaround, especially if cars are parked on the near tracks, impeding your ability to uncouple. It's a long reach. I'm not sure how useful it will be. You appear to be planning to use the turntable for runarounds.

Overall, very nice.

Mike





This approach for masonite/hardboard splines seems to be very close to what Craig did on the Housatonic: http://www.ucwrr.com/construction.htm I have an industrial hot-glue system on order, for both gluing the splines together, and gluing them to the risers.

I have LOTS of information on early refineries (and that includes the couple of hours I spent during a visit with the late Cyril Durrenberger.) My best source is Bacon & Hamor, 2 vols, from 1916, available on-line: https://archive.org/details/americanpetrole00huntgoog I also spent some time at the Drake Well Museum, and copied some more modern refinery plans, to get a sense of overall layout and piping.

I want to do something substantially larger than Don Ball's refinery. I'm thinking it'll stretch 6' along the bottom/near wall on the track plan, which I'll bump out by 12" or so to accommodate the refinery. That'll include 2 different kinds of stills, bleachers, agitators, loading rack, and some way to represent storage tanks. In part I need to figure out what this refinery will produce, probably kerosene and lubricating oils. (So tank cars of crude coming in, and boxcars of cans/bottles going back out. That'll require a bottling house, too.)

The big yard will be the last item to be built. comments very much welcome. A full resolution copy of the track plan is at http://www.earlyrail.org/SLN-large-track-plan.pdf The footprint and 'topology' (central blob) are fixed. But within that I still have flexibility, until I start bending spline. I plan to put the two yards on homasote-over-plywood, rather than on splines.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 04/11/2018 1:46:55 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/11/2018 :  6:09:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got a cheap laser level, as I need to put a line at the same elevation across multiple walls (and through gaps in those walls.) Turns out the T Nut from the legs on my previous layout fits the threads in my camera tripod.


Then I started screwing a 1x4 around the walls. This will be the back of the benchwork that sticks out from the wall. The grids that stick out away from the wall will be held up by heavy duty angles. (Max extension will be about 12". Any more, and I'll use legs instead of angles.)

A couple lessons learned: (1) Level works best when you -unlock- the floating head (2) It's really hard to put up benchwork by yourself. (3) my stud finder isn't very good. (4) it's pretty much impossible to screw into a steel lally column (that I forgot was there...)

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page

tloc
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/11/2018 :  6:26:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deemery



A couple lessons learned: (1) Level works best when you -unlock- the floating head (2) It's really hard to put up benchwork by yourself. (3) my stud finder isn't very good. (4) it's pretty much impossible to screw into a steel lally column (that I forgot was there...)

dave




Gee Dave seems I know all about 1 to 4. Welcome to the club! I will add the Hammer drill needs to be in Hammer mode to drill into concrete.

Looks like you are off to a good start despite 1 to 4.

TomO



Country: USA | Posts: 2159 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/12/2018 :  09:22:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I need to take a time-out and rethink a couple of issues. First, I need to check track height, benchwork and how I'll access the light switches (for both rooms) that will be below track grade with track and benchwork in front of them. Also, I need to get my order of Homabed and make sure I'm accounting for that thickness as I ponder track height. Finally, my mitre saw might be failing, it keeps on popping the circuit breaker. Once the closet to the electrical panel is behind benchwork, it'll be a nasty duckunder to access it. So I need to address that problem soon.

edit Well, I got a good deal on a new mitre saw at Home Depot (10" Ryobi sliding compound, $140, $70 off. Guy said, "I've sold 4 of these already today" and that was around noon.) I also looked at clearance for the light switches, and I think I'm OK if I do a small change to the benchwork. The duckunder to get to the breaker box will be a pain, but hopefully I won't have to do that very often.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 04/12/2018 4:07:47 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 04/12/2018 :  5:38:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dave,

Sounds like you got a good deal. I bought a sliding miter saw ten years ago (Bosch) and itís my favorite tool. Now I can cut wood up faster than I can stand paying for it.

I also have a stud finder; waste of money at any price.

Mike



_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 04/12/2018 5:43:28 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 4060 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/13/2018 :  09:25:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hohn
...
I also have a stud finder; waste of money at any price.
...

It was a present from my wife. Much merriment ensued. It also has a laser level that works well along a single wall.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/14/2018 :  10:19:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, I'll be following along! Looks like a great layout and I'll be anxious to watch your progress.

With regard to a stud finder, I have a good one and use it a lot. Works great for me! The cheap ones aren't sensitive enough and are easily fooled by varying densities in the wall board, etc. The good ones should also detect any electrical wiring in the walls as well.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13726 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/14/2018 :  7:48:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been using FastTracks 'SweepSticks" to ensure I don't go below my 28" min radius. I bought about 1/2 circle's worth. The tape marks are the approximate limits of the benchwork from the track plan's footprint, and the SweepSticks help me visualize the curves within the footprint, including provisions for some straight sections separating opposing curves.



Russ Greene (http://www.nebrownstone.com) has been working on some new stone bridge/causeway products. He sent me a sketch so I could check how they'll fit in the corner by the closet.


You can also see the various size steel brackets that will hold up the along-the-wall benchwork.

The other accomplishment today was buying another 20 or so 1x4.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page

quartergauger48
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/14/2018 :  8:29:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks like you have done plenty of homework Dave and will be building a very unique layout.
I would just caution this decision, The duckunder to get to the breaker box will be a pain". If you ever have to change a breaker and get inside the box, you'll need room to work. I had to change out my entire box last yearn as the main overheated and melted, The box, breakers, were only 10 years old....So, just something to think about'..




Ted

Country: USA | Posts: 5637 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/15/2018 :  11:06:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The building inspector mandated 30" working space around the panel, that's why that damned closet is there. :-(

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7134 Go to Top of Page
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