Scott Perry's portable sectional layout designed for benchwork, scenery and trackwork skill development.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Great Night on the Dixie!
Wow, what a great night! I have to complain about the NMRA's AP system as it makes me work alone in the basement. Tonight the guys came over to help me think out solutions to problems and we had a great time. Its snowing here, too!
Coalfinger Ken braved the sleet and helped me set up Section Three. Here we are checking his reach. Ken is 5'6".
We laid Section Three on top of a 2" slab of extruded foam and drew the profile for cutting.
Using the new Harbor Freight foam cutter we tried it's variable heat power on the foam.
Ken pulled the trigger and it appeared to have plenty of cutting power. Nice! I only paid $15 for it.
Steve-bay was back from his holiday travels so we used him as a paperweight.
It takes a bit more kerf than I like, but way better than a hot wire.
Here Steve is cutting on a hard surface (the work table) which didn't work so well.
Here is the cut. Not bad! This foam has scored breaks in it and the hot knife helped to seal them so the foam didn't break apart.
Hanging off the table it worked well. We all took a turn getting the feel of the new knife.
We test fit the foam. Just a little too big. We have view blocks on either side that must fit tight.
The foam is a bit rough, but still fine for what we are doing.
I dug out the foot long rasp. We used it to "sand" down the edges to make the wedge fit.
The kerosene heater knocked the chill off as we fit the foam to the wood. Perfect!
Switching to 1" stock (which is really 7/8") Ken takes a turn cutting the thin stuff. It works great! Made a very nice cut.
It still makes a wide kerf that you have to plan for. But the knife cuts VERY quickly.
Here the 1" is dropped on the 2" (which is really 2") and we test fit. The edges are a little shaggy, but still better than a serrated edge knife cut.
The right and left view blocks are next. They are cut from 1/4" sandply plywood. I don't have a proper compass or radius tool, so Big Blue Steve Rowe (yes, he showed up!) showed me how to cipher it out. Haven't seen him in a long time and it was great to have him over. He's a very experienced modeler.
We played with the board until we finally decided that it needed to be 16" long. This seemed to be (for us) the proper amount of backdrop without going so high you couldn't reach it from the pit. We clamped it on a looked at it from all sides.
Here are the dimensions we needed. The side view block is 29 3/4" long, 16" high and has an 8" radius cut on the front (outer) side. The backdrop is 1/8" Masonite cut 29 1/4" long and 16" wide. We will trim the Masonite down and I'll post the exact length later.
Steve helped me test fit the rather springy Masonite.
Steve R. and Ken made a radius template so that all future boards are cut the same. Then they cut out the left view block.
"Ahhh...a bit short. Maybe Scott won't notice. He's too busy talking anyway..."
There! The view blocks and the back board are temporarily clamped to the module. We put an extra piece of foam for the upper level, a loco and track just to get a feel for it. We like it!
The section looks bigger to me than it did in my head while drawing it. I like it! There is a lot of room here.
At this height will be the service area for the locomotive. The tank and sheds are in their rough positions. Everything on each section has a focal point that keeps the viewer's eyes from wandering around.
Steve R. stands in for me as the operator. All you will be able to see is his head in the pit. Steve R. is 6" tall. We've also put the warf building and some track in on the left.
With the backdrop, reaching more than half way across the layout becomes impossible. Too high? Not sure.
Here is the left view block.
The back drop.
A view from the right side. The backdrop height can't be any lower or higher. Its just right. So how do we reach the cars?
Steve B. had an idea. Raise the operator! We put him on an 8" high step. Steve B. is 5' 10". Now he can reach everything while the viewer still has their trackside view. Excellent idea Steve!
The 8" is just right and when I tried it the lift gave me the ability to reach 100% of the layout. I asked the guys if it looked funny with me standing up so high, but they said no. It is always optional. I thought I might make a tool and parts box that you could stand on and use that.
The joints where the two boards meet must be strong and perfect. We kicked around some ideas but the Masonite is still my big worry. It just has to bend too much.
Ken came up with a great idea. Put in steel L-bracketts and screw them into the back. Steve R. and Steve B. added a support of 1/2" plywood behind the Masonite to recieve the screws.
The section looks awesome! Just what I had hoped. All are excited and I can't wait to work on it some more tomorrow.
Thanks for all the ideas about a Roto Zip. Steve R. brought his Dremel with the Roto Zip bit over and showed it to me. Now I HAVE to go buy one!!!
As always, keep the ideas and comments coming! Questions, too!
You may notice that some of the pictures and appearance haven't been as centered and nice as before. The kind folks at Blogger changed the software. Hopefully they will fix it.
Name: The Dixie Central Railroad Scale: HO 1:87 Gauge: Standard 4' 8 1/2" Dimensions: 8' x 8' circular with 3' diameter center pit, 40" high to base, 43 sq ft layout top Prototype: Freelanced, based on Southern Theme: 1940's cotton and textile hauling Railroad's Purpose: Move cotton from the fields through finished textile stages Layout Purpose: Skill building in the areas of scenery and construction. Modular concept that allows layout to be movable for train shows and for teaching purposes. Location: East Georgia Era: 1940's Style: Twice around, pit design Mainline Run: 33' long main line Min Radius: 22" min radius Min Turnout: #5 Ruling Grade: 2.8% Track Saturation: tbd Design Parameters: Portable, one man set up, lightweight, durable. Minimize hidden track, two track joints per module side. Minimize tangent track, lightweight (portable) construction techniques. Benchwork: Lightweight waffle style based on Sipping and Switching Society modules. Foam scenery base Scenery: four seasons represented, each module being a different season Control: Digitrax DCC or equivalent Operation: one man, center pit control for home use. Two train, 5 operators for show or open space operating. Car card and waybill for movement. TT/TO for trains. Track: Walthers code 83, all turnouts manual throw for realism and more complex operations. Other: Waterways removable for "off layout construction", modular scenery system
Materials Used in Construction
Luan Plywood - 4x8 sheets (5) $8.94 each - $47.82 Drawing Print Out on Plotter (1) - $22.25 (refunded) Table Leg Sets (2) - $44.97 Steam Locomotive w/DCC & Sound (1) - $262.00 CofG Box Car (1) - $13.00 Masonite 2'x4' sheet (1) - $5.06 Corner Round Trim 6 feet (1) - $3.84 Box 1 1/4" drywall screws (1) - $4.00 Wood Glue Tight Bond (1) - $2.78 Liquid Nails Heavy Duty (1) - $2.26 Structures and cars from Steve (9) - $50.00 Boxcar Seaboard - $29.67 Palm Sander (1) - $29.97 Glue (2) - $5.84 Table Leg Sets (2) - $47 Pipe, caps, threaded rod, nuts, washers - $9.92 1 1/4" drywall screws - $2 2" drywall screws - $3 Pipe, caps, feet for legs - $10.63 Extruded foam insul 4'x8'x2" (4) - $113.42 ME Track code 83 weathered 3' (12) - $64.50 Boxcar - Used Seaboard 19555 (1) - $4.47 Hopper - Southern 2 bay #104500 (1) -$24.00 Walthers Code 83 #5 LH Turnout (1) - $21.25 Walthers Code 83 #6.5 Curved LH Turnout (1)-$32.08 Two Bay GM&O WE Hopper (1) - $5.29 Sanding belts (2) - $8.54 2'x4' Hardboard Sand Ply - (2) - $17.46 2'x4' Masonite 1/8" - (1) $4.40 HO cork roadbed case (1) - $25.95 Digitrax Super Empire Builder Set (1) $274.95 1/4" 4x8 Sandply Plywood (1) - $18.99 1/8" 4x8 Masonite (1) - $6.75 Aerosol paint flat black (1) - $2.99 L&N Drop End Gondola (1) - $11.34 Southern Drop End Gondola (1) - $10.53 Car Weights Pack (2) - $9.00 1/8"x1/8" Basswood for pier (11) - $9.21 1/8" dowels for pier (25) - $9.10 Boxcar Southern 27257 (1) $8.00 Flat Southern 116056 (1) $8.00 Flat L&N 24239 (1) $8.00 Tank GATX MA 32316 (1) $8.00 Tank GATX 16101 (1) $8.00 Misc small structures (5) - $20.00 Pier Lumber bundle (1) - $12.50 Boxcar GA Railroad (1) - $8.00 Caboose Southern (1) - $8.00 Boxcar Cotton Belt (1) - $6.00 Kadee 33" Wheels (12) - $7.25
--------------------------------------------------- Project Total $1,353.23 Budget $1,500
Layout Design - 8 hours Operation Plan - 1 hour Shopping for Lumber - 1.5 hours Construction Bases - 3 hours Construction Bases and Sec #1 - 3 hours Base Inner Radius - .5 hours Operations Design - 2 hours Complete Section One - 1 hour Trackwork Study - 1 hour Build Section 2,3,4 - 2.5 hours Build Section 2,3,4 - 3 hours Saw Sections - 1 hour 12-13-09 Section 3 - 30 mins Shopping and structures - 1.5 hours Complete sections (Done!) - 1 hour Remove clamps and check - 30 mins 12-20-09 Purchase leg material - 40 mins 12-20-09 Leg assembly S1 - 1 hour 12-20-09 Research - 1 hour 12-21-09 Leg final assmbly - 2 hours 12-22-09 Buy foam sheets - 1 hour 12-23-09 Visit hobby shop - 1 hour 12-24-09 Visit hobby shop - 1 hour 12-25-09 Clean up shop - 2 hours 12-27-09 Trip to hobby shop 1 hour 12-27-09 Elevation Corrections on drawing - 1 hour 12-27-09 Sanding section 3 - 45 minutes 12-29-09 Sanding completed - 2 hours 12-30-09 Assemble and foam Section 3 - 4 hours 12-31-09 Clean up shop and organize 4 hours 01-01-10 Trip to Home Depot & work 1 hour 01-02-10 Foam cutting and draw track cl - 3 hours 01-08-10 Pier construction -1.5 hours 01-09-10 Pier drawings - 1 hour 01-10-10 Pier assembly - 5 hours 01-11-10 Pier assm, rolling stock work - 3 hours 01-13-10 Foam cutting - 1.5 hours 01-16-10 Working on Pier - 4 hours 01-17-10 Working on Pier - 5 hours 01-19-08 Working on Pier - 1.5 hours 01-20-10 Working on Pier - 1 hour 01-21-10 Working on Pier - 1 hour 01-22-10 Working on Pier - 30 minutes 01-23-10 Working on Pier - 2 hours 01-24-10 Working on Pier - 3 hours 01-29-10 Working on Pier - 2 hours 01-30-10 Benchwork & Rolling Stock - 3 hours 02-07-10 Benchwork Sec 4 - 2 hours ----------------------------------------------------------------- Total Hours: 92 hours
* Blog time is NOT included but taking and processing photos is included.
Sabre (Jig) Saw Sanding Sponges Measuring Tape Pen - Gel Marker Speed Square Extension Cord Heavy Duty Table Saw (use high quality!) Screw Gun/Drill Countersink Bit C-Clamps (8) 6" opening Digital Camera Chop (Miter) Saw 3 x 8 Work Table Hand saw Safety glasses Table Saw Push Stick Caulking Gun Gap Gauge (hand made) Bar Clamps ( I didn't have any but they would have been handy on the radius installation) Palm Sander - Electric Belt Sander Large Rasp for Foam Radius Drawing Tool (I don't have) 48" metal rule 36" metal rule 48" drywall square 16" metal rule 24" metal square rule Rolling tool tray Radius Tool (for turntable) Serrated edge knife Spackling Blade 6" (Cutting foam) Pliers Utility knife and blades Hobby Knife Old saw blade Plastic tray Metal condiment cup #8 Paint Brush Small clamps (6) Popsicle Sticks Northwest Shortline Chopper Chop Saw - Harbor Freight Scale People in HO - Measuring Curved Tip Tweezers (Sharp) Round Toothpicks
I've been a model railroader all my life and never remember not having trains. I started out with an N-scale layout when I was five, moved in to HO until I was 30, switched to S scale for another few years, then to On30, HO and then On30 again!
Exciting coverage of the On30 Okefenokee Swamp Railroad, a model train layout constructed in On30. This unusual layout is based on the prototype Hebard Cypress Company and the Waycross & Southern Railroad that occupied this large Georgia swamp in the 1920's.