Help!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by oldtanker, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

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    Rick, once you think you have the 'perfect' layout idea, I recommend making a model of your layout. With furnaces , walls etc going on, it is better to make sure before you start, then to find out to late your messed up a dimension. :S
    Anyhow, John Allen and the other greats did this so it must be a good idea:D which is why I do it and highly recommend it.
    Anyhow, mostly read a lot and have fun. :)
    Oh yeah, thanks for the compliment :)
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    The locomotives you have listed are all 4 axle road switchers. They will work fine on 18 inch radius and might even work and look good on a 15 inch radius (you would have to lay out some 15 inch radius and test it to see if it works). If you are not going to run any modern 86 foot freight cars, but limit lengths to 50 - 60 foot prototypes, you should be able to run 18 inch radius without problems, even on your mainline. Also, if you need a big table to fit structures, but can't reach the back, just put the track work where you can reach it and put the structures down in the unreachable areas. Once put in place, structures don't need to be rerailed.
  3. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    fsm, good idea.

    Russ, I may want larger engines in the future but those are the ones I like the best and some are still being used today. I think with the redesign on the table I can use bigger curves. I'm getting rid of the Power Loc track and going with code 83 Atlas flex track if I can ever get it laid down right. Now that I have a good idea on what the table will look like I'm going to need help with track planning.

    Rick
  4. fseva

    fseva Member

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    Excellent diagram!

    Just as a reminder, this would require either a duckunder or a movable section of track to get access to the operator pit. :thumb:
  5. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    FSE, got that...thanks

    Rick
  6. fseva

    fseva Member

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    Movable section of track

    I tried a section of movable track once, and the thing I didn't realize until too late was that you could not simply use a 3 foot section of 5/8" plywood because the humidity in the basement would warp it enough to make it almost worthless. Still haven't figured out if there is an alternative product that doesn't need a lot of bracing... :cry:
  7. fseva

    fseva Member

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    The larger the better!

    Always use the widest radius curves you can for your given space - you won't regret it! :D
  8. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    sign1 Steel????? I love working with metal, don't much care for woodwork:D

    I would think that it would have to be girder construction. Or to make it thin how about plywood with 1x1 angle iron stiffeners?


    Rick
  9. fseva

    fseva Member

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    Code 83 Flex Track

    :thumb: Don't let it intimidate you! You won't be sorry. Just take your time. Make sure your joints are nice and clean, which means that when you cut rail, take some time to file both ends nice and flat. If you get nice tight joints, you won't even have to solder them like some folks recommend. At least not on straight track. I always recommend soldering joints on curves. Remove 3 ties from each side of the joint. Solder while your last 6" or so is still straight. Bend it in place and nail it down. Make sure you don't hit the nails too hard and draw the ties down even a little, since this could get your rails out of alignment. Once your ballast is glued down, you can even remove the nails if you desire!
  10. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    fse, thanks, ever time I have tried flex track in the past it has been a problem...in fact the only good thing was the price.

    Rick
  11. fseva

    fseva Member

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    Stiffening a movable section of track...

    I tried the angle iron approach, but doing it AFTER installing the movable section of track was a mistake - it basically made the section permanent because it could no longer swing down freely. That's why I emphasize knowing what you want to do before you start building. You sure can avoid a lot of headaches! :oops:
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    That would work. I personally like using aluminum extrusions in 1" x 1" angle for the weight savings and ease of drilling over steel, but either one would make a good stiffener to keep the plywood from warping.
  13. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    Well it will be next week sometime before I start redoing the bench work, I think I will try the angle iron, I can always take it out as long as I put it in right. If it works good I will take pictures and post them.

    Rick
  14. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    Andrew, Russ, fseva, OK, the other half and I laid down totes (she has lots) that will cover the area in the rough area of the 8X10 area and walked around some. Did some reaching across and got a good idea of the area that will be used. We even used a piece of 1x6 to simulate a bridge and pit area. I think we have a winner of an idea. Thanks for the input. I should get the bench work changed early next week. Once the foam is down I'm going to try to figure out what to do with track. We are going to a train show this weekend in St Cloud Mn and I'm really hoping they have good vendors there and I can score some track and some of the things like the tools for marking curves (this will be a first, I've always just laid track by just putting it down).

    I'm thinking that if I run a double main line around the entire layout it will be more interesting for the kids that may be here. Then i can put a small town and a few houses in the back corner by the pit and use the area on the 4x8 on the inside by the pit for industry. Any other suggestions on hints maybe even a track plan that I can play with would be great.


    Again thanks.

    Rick
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Rick,

    Glad it's coming together for you...! I would second your idea of having the parts you are interested in operating surround the pit. The "far side" of the 4x8 section could have things to amuse the kids, such as simple "track through scenery", or possibly a siding or two that is appropriate for them (i.e. no award-winning highly detailed fragile industries... ;)).

    I could see the narrow shelf at the top being a bit of a yard or an interchange area, then coming down the right side and across the "top" of the 4x8 to various industries.

    Let us know how that show works out!

    Andrew
  16. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    Andrew thats about what I have in mind.

    Thanks for the help.

    Rick
  17. fseva

    fseva Member

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    I gotta ask, Rick... what do you mean by this? I'm hoping you're not... putting the cart before the horse, so to speak...

    :thumb: The cheapest (and perhaps even the best) tool for marking curves is a yardstick. Drive a nail in at 1" and drill holes at useful radii - say every inch from 18" through 24" - make the holes large enough to accept a pencil. Use the nail as the pivot point in your plywood and rotate the stick back and forth to see which radius gives you enough clearance to the edges and draw it!
  18. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    fseva, I'm under the impression that they make tools for marking curves, never thought about making my own.

    Thanks

    Rick
  19. fseva

    fseva Member

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    Yep - homemade is always the best! :D

    But seriously, there are tools available, but they're based on the same principle. My favorite was purchased from Micro-Mark. The pivot point is actually a retractable tape measure, and it includes a sharp metal piece (your nail), with a special holder at the end of the tape for a piece of lead marker (your pencil).
  20. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    Think I'll just pick up a wood yardstick.....LOL

    Thanks

    Rick