Coffee Table Ho and N Lay-out

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by waredbear, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    I guess I should start out by introducing myself...Hi :wave:...I'm Reid...I live in Spokane Valley, WA. My son-in-law is deep into railroads and needless to say the soot has worn off on me. The love affair started with the UP Big Boy. I made a large picture for him of the Big Boy. I will post it when I can find it. He is mostly in to LGB G scale but he is also wanting to build a coffee table lay-out and a small HO system.

    My wife is behind me on this idea because she wants an old western train scene for our western living room. So I bought a DeWitt in HO and a Prairie Flyer in N. My idea is to run the HO around the edge in an oval and the N in the middle in a figure 8. The DeWitt is a small engine as well so I don't think it will look bad running along side the Flyer. Pictures below.

    My idea, since you Gaugers seem to like this, is to do a photo tutorial all along the journey. This will help me (I already have questions) and it will help other newbies out there getting started in the hobby.

    So buckle up and lets get started...

    In His Service,:)
    Reid
  2. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    The Trains

    I guess I will start off by introducing you to the rolling stock.

    The DeWitt
    [​IMG]
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    And The Prairie Flyer
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    [​IMG]

    In His Service,
    Reid
  3. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

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    Sounds pretty cool. Might look a little strange with 2 different scales, though. If you're planning on making this a perminant layout, you should use Atlas track with cork roadbeds instead if the bachmann track for N. I've learned from experiance that N scale Bachmann track warps and curves and doesn't look realistic due to the plastic roadbed. Well, I think I'm going to shut up now! Once again, cool idea, and can't wait to see more!
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    hhhmmmm.... Two different scales.
    Sounds interesting and we'll be waiting to see more pics as it develops!

    Welcome to the forum! :wave:
  5. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    The First Lay-Out

    I'm still trying to decide the lay-out size so I'm using a 4x8 sheet of wafer board to figure things out. My final base will be a sheet of 3/4" plywood. The table...which I forgot to get a picture of, measures 2'x5'. I printed-out the lay-out in the pictures to that size and quickly realized I'm going to go at least 4" wider in all directions to incorporate my edge locking system. (more on that later)

    The Lay-Out
    [​IMG]

    The first thing I realized was that my two tracks were too close together. I didn't leave enough room between the tracks for the roadbed and elevation scenery. I'm thinking of elevating the inside N so I don't have to do any kind of switching. I want to be able to turn the trains on and let them run. I'm also thinking of elevating the outside oval so as to help pass the illusion of the inner train being further away....thus smaller.
    [​IMG]

    I posted a question on another thread about how to mark the center line of the XTrakCad design onto the plywood. I suggested a tool that I remembered seeing. I looked in the fabric section of Wally World and found it...and it worked perfectly...see the pictures below.

    Center line marking tool
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    First I taped the lay-out to the plywood and then I took the tool, pressing really hard, rocked it back and forth along the center line of the track. You can see the indentation marks it left in the plywood. I then traced the marks in the plywood to make my oval.

    Next I tacked a length of flex track around the corner and once I was satisfied I nailed it down.
    [​IMG]
    I know I don't have the cork under it. I was mainly learning how to lay down the track at this point. Now the questions...

    In His Service,:)
    Reid
  6. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    First a picture of the DeWitt. I had to place my first engine on my first piece of laid track to spike the fire within....:D

    [​IMG]
  7. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

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    First off, welcome to the Gauge website, you will find lots of people here to help you.
    It looks to me that you are having a hard time with posting pictures. Follow this link
    so we can all see your work in progress.
  8. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    Now The Questions

    I bought a box of rail joiners...
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    How do you join two tracks with them? Do you cut out a cross member or two to have enough room for them? The next problem I faced was joining track on a curve.
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    The outside track is a lot shorter so I pushed the next track beam over to make a joint.
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    Here is a close-up of the actual joint
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    Now I have two joints that don't match up (curved and straight). Am I supposed to solder them together before I bend them so they bend evenly? Again...am I suppose to remove a wooden beam or two to make the joint? Here is where you guys pitch in and help.....

    In His Service, :)
  9. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    I've done several coffee table layouts but, all in N Gauge. I'm interested to see how a table as big as yours will turn out. Good progress so far.
  10. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    Waiting

    So I sit and wait for you to tell me what to do next so I can continue with my lay-out.
    [​IMG]

    Just to refresh your memory...this is not my finished product. I'm going to use a sheet of 3/4" plywood for the base. I was just playing around this weekend to see what I need to do.

    Thanks for you help.:)

    Reid
  11. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    Picture Problem

    Why do you think I'm having a problem posting pictures? I'm not. I have them saved over at www.hunt101.com and link to them. This is how I post pictures on all of the forums. It seems to work just fine. :D

    Reid
  12. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Will you be using a pre-existing table or building your own? As far as your problems joining track on a curve... there are several different solutions but I prefer to first, use my dremel tool to even up the rails. Then I cut the ties underneath so that there is half the length of a rail joiner of rail sticking out. Never try to join tracks on a curve. Let the end of the curve straighten out a little, join and solder the next piece while it is straight. After you have them soldered, then you can continue bending it around the corner.
    Like I said, I have done several of these and you can check out the links in my signature for lots of ideas I'm sure. As far as sitting around waiting for people to answer your questions, be patient. Sometimes it takes a day or more to have the right person check in who has the information to answer your question.
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Sounds like an interesting project! I really like the tracing wheel tool hint. Keep us up to date!
    Ralph
  14. Spawn of Chaos

    Spawn of Chaos Member

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    With FlexTrack the sliding rail should ALWAYS be on the inside of the curve and you should cut off the extra with either a standard "jigsaw" or with the Atlas SuperSaw (SuperSaw works better IMO).

    You should use the rail joiners, then solder the joints. The joiners will more or less line up the ends of the track and the solder will ensure a good electrical connection.

    Just my $0.02, from a guy who only knows about that much anyways...sign1
  15. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Just out of curiosity, why? I've never paid any attention to which side it's on and have never had any problems so am interested in why you say this.
  16. Spawn of Chaos

    Spawn of Chaos Member

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    Eh...that's what Atlas said. Ionno, if you never had any problen and you've been around longer than me then I defer to you for sure.
  17. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    For those of you who havn't seen a model of it yet, the De Witt Clinton looks at first like a N Scale train because its so small!!

    waredbear, you will be the first person I've actually heard of that mixes scales, although it's not my cup of tea, I think that it will look quite interesting. That's one big coffee table you are going to be having by the way.
  18. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    I was thinking maybe because, in my opinion, it's easier to work with like that. Though technically speaking there shouldn't be operational troubles.

    Perhaps saying something must be done a certain way is a bit strong in such a case. sign1
  19. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    SCORE!!! Right Place At The Right Time...

    I was visiting our local discount hobbie store Saturday looking for some N scale bridge risers. A man walks behind me and is looking at the model cars. He turns and asks if I'm into model trains. I said I'm just starting thanks to my son-in-law. He says..."I have some N gauge trains I should give you". :D He states that he also has some HO but he he probably keep that for his grandson. okay.... So he gives me his number and tells me to call him. So I ring him up yesterday and go out to his place to pick-up the N scale train. He said he had about 5 engines.

    We walk out to his garage and there are two boxes. One with N and the other with HO stuffed down in them. There is also a grocery bag between them with both HO and N flex track hanging out of it. He starts going through the N box and my eyes start to water. :eek: The first engine he pulls out would have been enough...but no...there is more...see below.

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  20. waredbear

    waredbear Member

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    Surprise #2

    Try this again...

    [​IMG]

    and then he pulls this baby out...
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    Understand these unit are all new...still in the box.

    Under this box was a complete train box that the unit above came out of. Seems the engine quit and Bachman sent him a new engine with another tender.
    [​IMG]