Help me with my show layout

Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby ConducTTor » Thu May 30, 2013 11:37 pm

Thanks for the heads up Bill. And sorry for your experience :(
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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby ConnRiver » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:05 pm

I'm working on two sectional layouts (yeah, I'm not the brightest guy in town; one layout is all I can handle, but . . .), one is legless and fixed in position (N scale), the other is stand-alone with legs (TT scale). Both use hollow core doors (HCD). Each end of each door piece (I cut them to width needed) has a vertical 1x4 wood plate screwed in place, the 1x4s from one section are bolted to the 1x4s of the next section.

I will have pink foam atop the HCDs, and atop the foam I intend to try ceiling tile (following Jim Six's example in, I think, the 2010 issue of Model Railroad Planning). When the TT scale layout is moved -- hopefully to shows one day -- I worry the end edges of the foam and tile scenery will become chipped and banged up. Anyone else with a portable sectional layout have similar concerns?

My thought is to include .060 plastic sheet glued and/or stapled to the 1x4 end pieces, extending upward past the carved foam and tile scenery base. Then, trimmed to match the foam and tile scenery base to provide a hard mating surface between sections, hopefully protecting the foam and tile scenery base.

Any thoughts about this issue?

Thanks much,

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa

IMG_1028a.jpg
TT Scale layout - 3 sections, 20 feet total


IMG_1208.JPG
1x4 plates to join sections
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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby TinGoat » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:45 pm

I think most folks use 1/8" thick Masonite/Hardboard for fascia.

ConnRiver wrote:My thought is to include .060 plastic sheet glued and/or stapled to the 1x4 end pieces, extending upward past the carved foam and tile scenery base. Then, trimmed to match the foam and tile scenery base to provide a hard mating surface between sections, hopefully protecting the foam and tile scenery base.

Any thoughts about this issue?

Thanks much,

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa
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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby ConnRiver » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:52 pm

No, not on the front edge of the layout, but on the ends of the sections, where they join together. If the sections are transported often, I worry a bit that the scenery at the ends might get dinged up. So, I was thinking of the plastic as a way to help protect the scenery. But, maybe it's not necessary.

-Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa
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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby TinGoat » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:40 pm

Oh, the Interface Plates....

I strongly suggest that you use 1/2" or 3/4" thick G1S plywood as if you were building modules.

Depending on your local climate you may have problems over time with dimensional lumber warping, cracking and/or cupping.

Plywood is tougher and dimensionally stable.

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Half-Inch to Three-Quarter-Inch Thick Good-One-Side (G1S) Plywood Interface Plates.
Interface-Plate.GIF (7.78 KiB) Viewed 273 times
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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby railtwister » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:41 am

Hi Brian,

The module ends will likely get banged up, as will the sides, and thin styrene will be of little help in preventing such damage. What I have done on my several HO and On30 modules to mitigate the problem has been to enclose each module in a removable cover box made using door skin (the plywood kind, not MDF) and 1x1's ripped from 1x4 or 1x6 stock. The covers slide down over the modules and are held in place with thumbscrews and fender washers threaded into Tee nuts in the module ends (two in each end). During setups, I thread the screws & washers into the backside of the tee nuts to keep them from getting lost. The covers are deep enough to also enclose most of the scenery, including trees and structures, and other club members jokingly refer to them as "coffins".

This has done a good job of protecting the oldest modules for over 25 years, and the only downsides are the extra work required to build the covers, plus the fact that they add some weight and also must be stored somewhere while the modules are set up being displayed.

For the modules with foam terrain extending to the module's edges, I use one-by stock contoured to match the scenery profile, glued and nailed to the top edges of the module, then sanded flush and finished so that it looks like part of the fascia. I also have some modules that are mirror images of each other, and they are stored face-to-face using end plates bolted to the module ends. This method does require some planning for the scenery so that taller items on one module have sufficient clearance for the scenery on the opposite module. Leaving the sides open also allows for more dust to settle on these module than the ones with the full covers, so I added removable panels (held on with small bolts and tee nuts) made of scrap 3/16" plywood paneling to keep the dust (and critters) out.

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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby CSD » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:57 am

May I suggest looking at this: http://www.fktt-module.de/node/250. It is in German, but the pictures tell the tale and it is actually TT scale. FKTT modulals are very durable and well constructed.
Mark
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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby ConnRiver » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Ron, Bill, Mark, thanks!

Ron, Interface Plates, yeah; often, I have to reach -- and come up short -- for correct nomenclature, which leads to clarity. All interesting stuff. The German section/module was highly interesting.

-Brian Chapman / Evansdale, Iowa
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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:13 pm

I haven't posted progress in a while....

All the wiring is done except for 6 relays which UPS should be dropping at my door any minute. The outer loop is electrically isolated from the inner one so I can run 2 DC throttles or DC and DCC...or whatever. I used some speaker terminals I had laying around for power connections - 2 sets for the two loops and a 3 set for the programming track. One of the loops has fuses on both feeds as a precaution. There are power feeds to the tracks roughly every 1 foot (I'm not nudging locomotives during a show!).

The front/public facing switches are switched via Tortoise machines, the rear/staging switches are manually switched by toggle switches (saves money!). All switches have polarized frogs.

The two dead end tracks at the staging have on/off power switches so I can park locos there if using DC.

Some pics (the wiring's a mess but I'm short on time):
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Re: Help me with my show layout

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:15 pm

ConducTTor wrote:There are two loops so I can leave trains running. I'm really not sure what the atmosphere will be like so it's hard to say if I'll have time to do any switching.


From when we were last at a National Train Show, the number of people at a particular layout would seem to to go in waves. I do not know what you have for plans for switching, but I would abstain from doing much of it unless I knew for sure that everything was in order and working correctly 100% as one mess up can ruin the opinion one forms of a layout.

ConducTTor wrote:
Bill Dixon wrote:What about weight? If you don't do light weight construction you will need a dolly or friend to move it around.

What about transport? 3' x 6' will need a mini van.


The 3' X 6' is actually split in 4 "modules" each 1.5' X 3' so transportation and moving it around will not be an issue. Light weight construction is in the plan - I anticipate each piece will weigh no more than 10lbs.


If you need, we will have our truck there, and can help with loading/unloading. We plan on using a lawn wagon to help transport modules and items to the display area. The heaviest item we will have at the show weighs about 60 lbs.

ConducTTor wrote:
Bill Dixon wrote:For your first show layout, simple would be best. Maybe add track connections to the ends it can be a part of something larger.
As the show is not too far away simple and easy to build seems to be the operative word.


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