First Amature Layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by J. Steffen, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    Well here we go. Right off the bat I screwed up and used 2X4's. In my defense, they were cheaper than the 1X4's. I'm almost ready to lay roadbed but I was waiting for another reversing module to come in at my LHS. The track sets well and the only trouble spots are at the turnouts; usually me forgetting to set them properly after a few beers.

    I plan on covering most of the table with hills and mountains but the right side will consist mainly of structures and more spurs. It's a simple plan to my liking and my little girl loves it. Then again, she's happier than a pig in s**t when it's going around in a three foot circle.

    All of the switches are Atlas snap switches and the wiring will come later after the track is permanently set. I've tested everything and it seems to work well.

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  2. sidetracked

    sidetracked Member

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    I'm not sure using 2x4's can really be classified as a screwup,,, I think it is looking real good,, and isnt it amazing how beer affects turnout, who would have thought..Im doing like you as far as laying track and getting things figured out before the cork and glue goes down. The only problem I can see doing it this way is now I dont want to take it apart. Keep posting update pictures, If it wasnt for me watching layouts like yours progress I would probably still be on the living room carpet. Also make sure to look for the thin layer of plastic on the foam before you lay scenery on it,,, I have read where some 1 inch didnt have it but mine is the one inch foam from DOW and it has it. In fact I never noticed it until I glued a couple pieces together and then tried to take them apart.
    good luck.............. .............. ............... st
  3. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    The plastic film was the first thing to go. :)
  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    :wave: Hi J
    Nuttin' wrong with 2 x 4s, just heavier! And maybe 99.5% of model rairoaders
    are amateurs, no matter how accomplished they may be!:D :D :D
    There are many who wish they could get paid for it, but those who do
    are few and far between!!
    Your layout looks good; are you planning on some cork or other roadbed?
  5. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

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    How did you screw up with 2x4s? You plan on carrying it around? They work and look fine. I have also used them to keep costs down, lumber prices are thru the roof.



    The wife doesnt know it but I am using the under the tree platforum for an HO layout right where it is.

    2x4s will likely go on it too.
  6. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

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    What size is that 4x8 feet or larger?
  7. jesso

    jesso Member

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    Nothing wrong with 2x4's, unless you plan on transporting by yourself, then it gets heavy, but even so. Looks good, I like that you can reverse your trains.
  8. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    I'm going to try the woodland scenics and if that doesn't work; I'll have to switch to cork. Had to go cheap on the roadbed too...lol
  9. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    It's 4X16 ft. I made two separate tables 4X8 and then topped it with 4X8 foam from Home Depot. I plan on laying more track on the right side and possible a turntable if I can make it look good.
  10. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    I hope I dont have to move it but I figured that if I did have to, I would just knock the legs off it and slide it into a u haul or something like that.

    I was sitting there looking at the track and then realized that once I got it going in one direction; I wouldn't be able to turn it around so I decided to use the Lenz reversing module. You can't see it but there is a turnout on the back straight that will lead to a grade that will take the loco up into the hills. This was where I was going to use the module at first.
  11. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Are you using DCC? I am puzzling myself with how to wire such a double reversing loop with standard DC...

    kevin
  12. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    I'm using DCC. The reverse loops are accomplished with Digital Plus Lenz LK100's. They ran about $48.00 each but they are worth it. No muss no fuss. As soon as the Loco hits the insulators, the polarity is reversed and the Loco keeps moving. Doesn't slow at all. Too cool...
  13. Spawn of Chaos

    Spawn of Chaos Member

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    Nacho: The Atlas Twin will fix that for ya; just wire one switch to the mainline and one to the reversing track. When you've got the loco on the reversing track, throw the mainline switch; this will reverse the polarity of the mainline without affecting the reversing track.

    I got this from the Atlas Big Book of Wiring, 2007 edition (includes AtlasMaster DCC planning as well, but I'm not using DCC, so whatever).

    Oh, and don't forget to insulate the reversing lines from the mainline.
  14. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    I think you have a great start and you have solved the great California foam mystery. We now have an actual photograph(something like an in focus UFO photo) and name for the foam that's available in CA. Everbody, remember this thread for the next time that someone in CA wants to know where to get foam insulation.:thumb:
  15. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    Hehe...

    Home Depot insulation section. I was debating on wether I will go dumpster diving for scrap pieces or just buy a couple more sheets and cut them down for elevations.
  16. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

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    IS that styrofoam you're using? That is, the cellular stuff like cups are made of? If so, I'd recommend ditching that and going with the extruded insulation foam. I get the feeling, however, that for some reason this is hard to find in California. Is that so?
  17. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    It's the insulation type. It cuts fine and leaves no beads behind. I do have some regular styrofoam that I will be using for risers once I get the lower track permanently glued down.

    Thanks for your input.

    -Jeff
  18. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    Laying roadbed today; what a pain in the ace! Mainly underneath the flextrack portions and the switches.
  19. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    In my humble opinion, laying the roadbed is the easiest part of track-laying! :) :)
    Just follow the centerline.... :D :D
  20. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    [​IMG]Not much to add. Tracks laid and fixed. Just have to solder and wire.

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