Sunday, March 27, 2011

Track Laying - Weekend 3/27 Udpdate

I have been working on finishing installing the ceiling tile sub-base for the rest of the Layout and some roadbed and track. I need to build a bridge and I am going to have to hand-lay a 45 degree crossing once my material gets here, so here are the latest photos.

I also need to started getting my Easy DCC system installed, so I can start working on track and turnout power/control wiring. I re-used the pull-out draw from the old HO layout and the booster panel.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Track Laying - Weekend Update

Here is were I am after this weekend.

I accomplish getting Clarksville mainline and first of two sidings, along with switch machines. Second siding going to wait as I think more on the industries going in here.

See the other post made this weekend on uncoupler magnet and switch machine preps/mods.

Tortoise Switch Machine - Thick Deck Mod.

My layout has a 1/2" plywood deck and I am creating elevations by stacking ceiling tiles, so in some area's I need to extend the switch machine throw rod.

This requires beefing up the 0.032 spring steel I use for throw rod. I accomplish this by installing a piece of 1/16" Brass tubing from K&S.


Uncoupling Magnet - Installation

Here a couple of photos of the installation of the uncoupler magnets.

I used a 1" dia. Forstner bit to form a pocket for uncoupler magnet 

You will notice I used some styrene to space the magnet, as the balsa wood spacer start deforming from the magnets

Replaced the roadbed and painted the section removed black to mark the uncoupler magnets

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Uncoupling Magnet - Option Two

After couple of e-mails to my friend Richard, I when on a hunt for some magnets. Finally found some that I thought would work.

What I got were some 1/4" dia. x 1/8" thick magnets at Hobby Lobby.

Based on the info I got from Richard. I had a couple of options for a base either a washer or a small piece of sheet metal. I opted for a washer, so I dug thru my draw of misc nuts, bolts and washers, and found a 1/4" fender washer which is about 1" dia..

With the instructions here what I came up with

The magnets were painted on the North or Positive side. A spacer of 1/4" x 1/16" balsa wood holds the magnets apart as they try to pull together. The space between the magnets is formed by the natural repel force of the magnets. I had not glue the magnets down at this point but I believe I should before final placement.

The uncoupler setup was placed in the pocket I created under Option One and place the cork roadbed and track over it. I was able to uncouple MT to MT, MT to Accumate and Accumate to Accumatewith good success, only quirky issue is the accumate to accumate, I needed to get a full car away from magnets for the couplers to re-align for re-coupling.

At this point I am moving forward with Option 2

Friday, March 18, 2011

Uncoupling Magnet - Option One

Here is what I used for my door layout, but I did not like how it came out, mainly because I did not give enough planning to this.


So this time for Option One. I thought I would embedded the magnets into the ceiling tile below the cork roadbed.

This worked for the M-T Coupler's but did not for Accumate Coupler's. Placing the magnet like I did on the door layout just below the track works for both, but I do not like the look.

Here the info on the magnet used from Radio Shack (sorry I forgot to rotate the photo first)

For Option Two, I will be try my friend Richard's solution, just need to contact him to get the info on the material, so that will be for another post.

Tortoise Switch Machine - Prep

I am going to re-use my switch machines from my HO Layout, so I thought I would show you how I am prepping them.

First - I do not use the throw wire that comes with the machine I substitute a 0.032 Dia. wire.

Second - I add a connector to the machine

So I can plug on my wiring harness


Here is the info on these connectors

Staging Track and Clarksville - photos

As promise here are the photo's of finished staging

I got started today on Clarksville, started with building up the base and then on to laying roadbed 

Next is to determine how I am going to do uncoupling magnets.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Staging Track - Finished

Last few days have been installing the staging tracks, feeders are installed and (8) tortoise machines installed.

Sorry no photo's tonight, but I will add some tomorrow.

Next up is Clarksville area of the plan, will need to build up the base first, then on to installing track.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Staging Track - Test Fit

I have completed the test fit of the staging tracks everything is just pinned in place, here a photo

Before I can finished. I need a couple of items on order to finish prep on the turnouts, should have them by Monday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Track Laying - Starting

Started laying the foundation for the staging tracks and work the grade up to Clarksville. 

Staging area - one end will be on a slight grade this was done to reduce the grade up to Clarksville from a 3% to a 2% grade.

Here a couple of my favorite shaping tool

Also trial layout of the first yard throat

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Work Session

Today was a short day (3-4 hrs) on the Layout, as I got to feeling bad after lunch. I did finish up the other side and clean up the room.

Then took the 1:1 plan I printed out awhile back and placed them on the layout for Staging and Clarksville

I need to pick up a couple items and start prepping the PECO turnouts for Tortoises and DCC. While working out the grade up from staging into Clarksville. It is presently a 3% Grade. A 3% should be ok, as I am going to limit trains to 10 cars, but I am going to look at trying to get this to 2%. I have also been looking at various ways to build the grade fom Woodland Scenic risers to building my own out of some 2" foam I have laying around.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday Work Session

Morning session

Finished the backdrop this morning. had couple setbacks during the week with repeat joint cracking.

Afternoon Session

Started adding the first two layers of ceiling tile (approx 1 1/8" or 15 scale feet thick) to form the base or 0" elevation, to allow for any creeks and such. The layout will have two levels, to be added (where needed) by three more layers of ceiling tiles (approx 1 11/16" or  22.5' scale feet thick) this plus road bed should allow for track clearance.

First layer I screw on, so to make it easy to remove if needed and allows for reuse of benchwork. I am also reusing some tiles from my dismantle HO Layout.

Here my preferred choice of adhesive is Loctite Power Grab, heavy duty was used for the backdrop had some left over so I going to use it too. 

I apply a bead around the edges and one down center, then slightly spread the bead out. I do this as the Power Grab only gives you a few seconds to adjust the tile, so I get a smooth and level tile.

Here the far end of the layout done with both layer

I have trim the tile, two ways in the past (1) a drywall saw and (2) Rotozip. Use a downward stroke cut with the drywall saw as a up stroke cut sometime will cause the tile to break were you do not what it.

The drywall saw does not give as smooth of a edge as does the rotozip

But the rotozip creates a lot of dust in the air, possible if you have a helper with a shop vac this could be minimized, but the rotozip does a quick job of trimming.

Here were I ended today, tomorrow the other side.