TT Nut Module Standards

Re: Lightweight Module Construction

Postby gerhard_k » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:02 pm

Richard-B wrote:I have been involved with a travelling 'sectional' On30 layout for over 12 years... We have been as far as Seattle, and just did O-Scale West 2015. http://roninengineer.com/index.php/the-gang

The YSL has proven that blue-foam and plywood skin-built sections/modules are both light and VERY sturdy. Three of the TT-Tracks straight sections can be stacked together with spacers (<3in each) along with their thin backdrops, and would fit within the airline carry-on dimensions of 22in by 14 in by 9in.

A matched set of three T-Tracks end-to-end gives an almost 5 foot run of similarly finished layout... which is as good as most other systems with a larger form factor.

You have mentioned your lightweight module construction before; I would really like to see a description (and drawings?) of your methods. In the TT Free-Mo thread, you gave a link to About the YSL layout.pdf
YSL Info and Construction, but it doesn't give construction details. I have looked at the PCC group on yahoo, no help there. And the Module Construction for PCC section at http://roninengineer.com/index.php/south-pacific is not at all specific. Can you publish a link to construction specs, or (gasp!) write up a sufficiently thorough description that would encourage others here to try building some of these lightweight modules?
I am actually looking at building a slightly modified version of John Armstrong's Fig. 2-9 small division point yard as a 2-section 8-foot module to Bill Dixon's TT Free-Mo (or FKTT?) standards, to become a separable part of my (planned) larger layout. If these TT-Tracks modules appeal to me enough, I would consider building a small 'country station' as TT-Track for the other side of the layout, which would be flyable to a convention "just in case".
The sections may stack together neatly, but there would still be the problem of transporting buildings and other scenic features...
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Re: TT Nut Module Standards

Postby Richard-B » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:57 pm

Ask... and ye shall receive!
About the YSL layout_2.pdf
YSL build description
(573.92 KiB) Downloaded 422 times
This document describes the original 2003-2004 build-out of the YSL...
with photos showing the initial mass-production of water-level (0-inch elevation) sections using inexpensive thin plywood and 2-inch blue-foam insulation panels; and then the addition of blue foam for the higher-level sections, and the electrical connections underneath.

At shows... we are usually the first layout running trains, and the first to complete tear-down, because we always know -exactly- how the layout goes together. We will set-up twice this summer at member's places (with BIG available floor space!) to do maintenance and some upgrades to the DCC control and power bus wiring.

I'm happy to answer any questions...
Richard Brennan - http://www.tt-west.com
Somewhere between Shenzhen and Budapest...
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Re: TT Nut Module Standards

Postby gerhard_k » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:31 pm

Richard-B wrote:Ask... and ye shall receive!
About the YSL layout_2.pdf
This document describes the original 2003-2004 build-out of the YSL...
with photos showing the initial mass-production of water-level (0-inch elevation) sections using inexpensive thin plywood and 2-inch blue-foam insulation panels; and then the addition of blue foam for the higher-level sections, and the electrical connections underneath.

Thanks for the link, the photos are good, but I still have some questions:
Type and thickness of plywood you use – "door skins" just seem so flexy – and the module in the photo with Jim Long wiring looks more like ½" plywood. Also, has your regular thin plywood proven adequate for the bolted module interfaces?
Are the corners just glued – do they have reinforcing strips?
Are the lightening holes really worth the ~8% (rough calculation) weight savings in the side panels, or are those mostly for the "romance"? :whistle:
Is there a complete top plywood panel? thickness?
Is the foam panel just glued on top or partially inset into the frame?
What is your method of attaching the legs?
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Re: TT Nut Module Standards

Postby Richard-B » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:42 pm

gerhard_k wrote:Thanks for the link, the photos are good, but I still have some questions:
Type and thickness of plywood you use – "door skins" just seem so flexy – and the module in the photo with Jim Long wiring looks more like ½" plywood.
The whole is greater than its parts! The glued-up blue-foam platform with 1/4in (...some 1/8in) plywood is exceptionally strong and light. Some (not all) of the ends may use thicker ply.
gerhard_k wrote:Also, has your regular thin plywood proven adequate for the bolted module interfaces?
The 3/16in bolt holes are backed by glued wooden blocks and wide washers on both sides. There is some slop... which we adjust out with the leg levelers, and then fit short track sections across the gaps.
gerhard_k wrote:Are the corners just glued – do they have reinforcing strips?
Reinforced with pine blocks - using glue and brads...
gerhard_k wrote:Are the lightening holes really worth the ~8% (rough calculation) weight savings in the side panels, or are those mostly for the "romance"? :whistle:
They provide the 1008% speed increase needed to escape earth orbit.
gerhard_k wrote:Is there a complete top plywood panel? thickness? Is the foam panel just glued on top or partially inset into the frame?
None... 0.0000in... No top... just blue foam on blue foam.
You can lift an un-sceniced section using two fingers. The foam is inset and glued to the plywood sides using professional-grade construction adhesive.
gerhard_k wrote:IWhat is your method of attaching the legs?
2-by-2 legs slide into a partial depth pocket formed by wood pieces glued and bradded to the edge. Each leg has a threaded leveler on the bottom end, and they are cross-braced into pairs.

Remember... the only dynamic or torsional forces on the sections are when setting up or loading out...
When the YSL is set-up, it is pretty much unitized, and very rigid.

Also: Some structures are permanently built into the scenery, some travel loose, and the BIG sawmill is built on its own sub-base, which spans two sections, and travels in its own metal container.

Recently... a YSL member built -really- nice wood storage boxes for about a third of the sections... but we did not have these when we went to Seattle in 2008. They really help prevent damage... especially along the edges.
Richard Brennan - http://www.tt-west.com
Somewhere between Shenzhen and Budapest...
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