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What did you do on your layout today?

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Wow, the TNs really make a huge difference.  The end cars look great coupled together, you can barely see the gap.

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On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 0:05 AM, cteno4 said:

 

 

 

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How have you found the sturdiness of the Ikea table legs?  Ive actually used these on random tables before in my college days.  Always was worried a well place foot or knee might know them out.  

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So far they have not failed with anyone I've known using them. I think your college days probably exposed them to more torture than you would give them around a home layout. They are a very standard design used all over the place and I'm amazed how strudy constructed they are for $4 ea. You can't build a comparable leg for less out of wood unless it's a 2x4, but then you need a substantial structure to attach a heavier leg to. For a larger table I would always use 6+ legs so if one leg were compromised it would not bring down the table and spread stress out a lot more in the support frame work. You would really need to whack one of these legs to take it out. For a lower layout of smaller size it's plenty of support and if you inset the legs some and cross brace your sub structure properly it should not catch a foot for a good whack and survive the bumps it does get.  

 

One big thing with layout table strength is how much you are going to lean to lean on it to work on it. At 4' wide and under 36" tall if you have access to both sides you are only reaching in 24" which you can do pretty easily without having to lean heavily on or against the layout. If you go much above 24" reach in then you not only pass what is comfortable and you HAVE to lean on and against the layout to work on it and in that case then you need to build very sturdy substructure (1x4 min), use 1/2" plus ply on top and use beefier legs like 2x4 or 4x4 as you are going to be putting a lot of stress on the layout table. 

 

I know I've done this story before but not sure where so here it is again. Long time back i built a 3/4" scale model of the Monterey bay aquarium building. This started as select portions for some exhibit and detail architectural studies. We wanted them to be easily viewable while standing so thentable was built at about 42" high. I realized right away at the first one even with me 6'4" tall to work on the model I would need to have the table be very strong, so I built it with 2x6 frame with 4 cross braces and 1/2" ply top. Legs were made from 4x4s bolted into the corner of the frame. These were very solid, you could stand on them and jump up and down and dance on them with no shaking. Basically built like a deck (I did a lot of construction work when young, came in handy). But they were brutes to move around and weighed a ton. I didn't have to stand on the first couple as I could get access all the way around them. Turned out it was smart to over build the first table as more and more of these were built as we did more and more models of different exhibit halls some were pushed together and finally they wanted them all put together to form one huge model. Then the only way to work on things was to suspend your self out over the model on a trapeze contraption from then rafters or actually walk into the model using strategic stepping points in the model. But even just working along the edges on a small step ladder you ended up leaning on and against the table.

 

its just one of those have your cake or eat it... if your layout size and height gets over a certain size you end up having to jump to a much more substantial structure as you will be putting a lot of stress and your weight on it to work on it. All the layouts I've done for our club and club members have been sized so they don't need to be uber strong, they all have had access so that you don't reach past 24". Also many folks don't want the boat built in then basement and want to be able to disassemble the layout for easy transport and setup and not do heavy construction on site (one members was a 1 bedroom condo where one layout was on his dining room table and later another in his living room and also on a second floor wirh a narrow staircase leading up to it). Being able to construct off site and transport also had to have things in sizes that could be transported by a station wagon or SUV. Also allows the layouts to be reconfigured easily, which most larger ones have, over time. 

 

I always approach a layout design effort not only with the size and space but also these other factors like reach, mobility, how massive will the table be, etc as they are all important to think about as a whole. Rarely are we in situations where we can let one variable control the whole process without having some compromises down the road.

 

cheers

 

jeff

Edited by cteno4
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Actually i've been looking at those ikea legs for some time as table legs for lego layouts, but considering how many have failed at the two clubs i've seen using them, i don't know. One was taken out by a kid simply running to the table and jumping on it. Usually the main screws fail at the top by getting twisted/bent and then later breaking out. But of course i've seen a young kid being taken off the layout by his mother lifting both arms and his father lifting both legs at the same time. Then we had to rebuild the destruction left behind. Godzilla is no match for those kids and some of them can run through right under the lowest cordon chains.

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Yes they are not built for that and few of this style screw in legs are as well. i would not use them on a layout you expected to put a lot of vertical or horizontal stresses on like I mentioned above. To take that abuse you need to have the leg locked into the support frame well and the support frame well locked into the table top. Taller you go also the more force can be put laterally on the joint when any side pressure is put on them. Cross bracing or struts works to really lock legs in but then they start to really look ugly and starts to block access under the layout for work and storage. Again it's all tradeoffs. 

 

So far in the 13 years of club shows we have never had any issues like someone jumping or even falling into the layout. We have used folding Saw horses as they were easy to transport (although do take up space) and very adaptable on our first layout version that had no supporting framework -- the modules were held together wirh splice plates that the Saw horses rested under. Later with version 2 we had a folding frame work that rested on the sawhorses that the modules then bolted down to. Our only main fear here was if someone tripped into the layout and pushed the frame work off the sawhorses, but this never has happened in like 60 shows and that in an environment where people are running around a lot and bumping into each other. Other fear was that someone would kick out a sawhorse as they had to be near the edge of the layout with the slightly inset frame. Again only a few times did anyone ever kick a sawhorse and it never caused any damage, just a couple of magnitude 12 earthquake derailments! 

 

We have also done Ttrak on 2x4 portable folding tables (they fold into 2x2 for transport) on grass for one event for like 8 years now. Again this is a pretty spindly and our modules cover the complete surface (we are standard spaced so 24" across). We don't use any baracades as there are a lot of little kids at the event and they come right up to the modules nose to nose with the trains. At times the really little ones will grab the table edge as well. We keep a good watch for fingers and hanging on the tables but we have never had an issue with pulling on the tables or running into the legs (they are unfortunately right at the edge of the tables), or any hitting the layout. Few derailments from a finger or knocking loose autos around, but not any even minor issue. This event can get crowded at time wirh a dozen or more small kids around the tables. So you can imagine the disasters but that does not mean there is much of a risk to it happening in practice.

 

I looked at putting IKEA legs onto our version 2 support frame work and it would have worked well, just would have to had to redo some cross piece locations to mount the plates. We lost the van in the club so transporting the Saw horses has gotten harder, but I never got to it as we started planning layout 3.0. 

 

For 3.0 we decided to use the centipede supports for the layout as they are extremely compact when folded but can then support 1500lbs! They are totally cross braced so can also take a lot of lateral abuse and not be knocked over or even moved much laterally.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Centipede-Tool-K100-Expandable-Portable/dp/B00T8ABQIS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506972241&sr=8-1&keywords=centipede+support

 

one issue I am finding with them though is they are harder to position On setup and once set up it's really hard to move them if you need to scoot things a few inches. The second issue is that the centipedes take up most of the space under the layout which would be perfect for storage of our transport crates and trains during a show. Im currently looking at moving where they position on the layout to get as much usable storage space as possible, but maintain the proper support needed.

 

I am looking at putting threaded inserts into our L girder support framework/grid so we could do IKEA legs  perhaps. Our minimum layout of about 5'x10' wouldmuse 9 legs as we have 3 L girders running the length of the layout and 3 legs each. Would give plenty of support vertically and I expect would at least withstand a good fall into it without total failure (I'm sure some insets could get ripped out though). Easier to move with one person on each corner lifting the L girders and moving it all at once.

 

Usually inserts don't work so great for high force things but in this case how the leg edge sinches down to the wood around the insert, lateral stress on the legs gets translated into direct pulling on the insert and that can take a lot. Planning on testing it though. I would rather not use the plates on the L girders as they are designed to nest for storage and transport and can't do that well with the big plates attached.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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Switched out the couplers on the DD16 and plows.  It looks much better already, but I think I'll try to get some of the short couplers to reduce the distance even further.   The official Japanese part (Z01-0224) is out of stock, but I think kato usa 923503 should be close enough.

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Starting to get some ideas for a future layout based on the Iida Line, one section of it will be based on the Misakubo #7 Bridge. I am really liking the latest additions to Kato's deck girder bridge range, I have added one of the new R481 sections which matches the route of the line at the northern end of the bridge, I also got the pillar extensions as well which brings its height to that of the prototype. The real bridge has 14 sections but I will be settling for 11 sections, I still need to get one more straight girder section to get there. I got to travel over this bridge in April when we took a return trip to Iida on the Inaji, the bridge was certainly one of the scenic highlights of the trip.

 

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The temofeszt exhibition starts tomorrow, today is the setup day (night)...

 

Lenovo_A1000_IMG_20171005_190650.jpg

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And the sad fact that the initial layout was not workable due to a decrease in the length & width in the table... hence working out a newer layout:

 

And now I know SCARM can actually generate a new part list which is mighty useful for finding out which tracks I have and which are missing and I need to get...

 

Speaking of which, I totally cant use canted or WIDE tracks now due to smaller radius... which means I need to sell off my bulk of WIDE tracks.... 

 

Also, anyone knows how to print out the layout WITH the track dimensions (i.e. S140, or R317/45) on it? The current print out only shows me the track plan but I still need to click on the track on the SCARM program in order to view what the piece is...I guess it's easier to build the layout with a hard copy in hand rather than looking at the cpu screen...

 

 

new dinning layout.jpg

parts list.jpg

Edited by JR 500系
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My ideas always change, but the need for a staging yard is always present. I was playing around with the thought of having a modular staging yard for my trains to use on the dining table (or somewhere else). So, I stated making a traverser that could hold at least six trains. I ended up making one for ten or nine trains (depending on how it all works out). I'll keep electronics very simple with current flowing through the physical connectors that secure the tracks in the correct positions (probably like sliding locks).

 

IMG_20171006_102614.thumb.jpg.121bac55e1ad40224bcb58ac3c0e336b.jpg

 

Train lengths will be 6x 20m cars and equivalents of that in different lengths. And yes, I need a loooot more track...

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On ‎10‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 7:59 AM, cteno4 said:

So far they have not failed with anyone I've known using them. I think your college days probably exposed them to more torture than you would give them around a home layout. They are a very standard design used all over the place and I'm amazed how strudy constructed they are for $4 ea. You can't build a comparable leg for less out of wood unless it's a 2x4, but then you need a substantial structure to attach a heavier leg to. For a larger table I would always use 6+ legs so if one leg were compromised it would not bring down the table and spread stress out a lot more in the support frame work. You would really need to whack one of these legs to take it out. For a lower layout of smaller size it's plenty of support and if you inset the legs some and cross brace your sub structure properly it should not catch a foot for a good whack and survive the bumps it does get.  

 

One big thing with layout table strength is how much you are going to lean to lean on it to work on it. At 4' wide and under 36" tall if you have access to both sides you are only reaching in 24" which you can do pretty easily without having to lean heavily on or against the layout. If you go much above 24" reach in then you not only pass what is comfortable and you HAVE to lean on and against the layout to work on it and in that case then you need to build very sturdy substructure (1x4 min), use 1/2" plus ply on top and use beefier legs like 2x4 or 4x4 as you are going to be putting a lot of stress on the layout table. 

 

I know I've done this story before but not sure where so here it is again. Long time back i built a 3/4" scale model of the Monterey bay aquarium building. This started as select portions for some exhibit and detail architectural studies. We wanted them to be easily viewable while standing so thentable was built at about 42" high. I realized right away at the first one even with me 6'4" tall to work on the model I would need to have the table be very strong, so I built it with 2x6 frame with 4 cross braces and 1/2" ply top. Legs were made from 4x4s bolted into the corner of the frame. These were very solid, you could stand on them and jump up and down and dance on them with no shaking. Basically built like a deck (I did a lot of construction work when young, came in handy). But they were brutes to move around and weighed a ton.

 

I always approach a layout design effort not only with the size and space but also these other factors like reach, mobility, how massive will the table be, etc as they are all important to think about as a whole. Rarely are we in situations where we can let one variable control the whole process without having some compromises down the road.

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Wow would love to see that Monterey Bay aquarium model, that's one of my favorite aquariums.

 

What about switching out the screws from the ikea sets from the tiny 1in to maybe a 2in and then mounted into a thicker piece of wood attached at each corner of the 1/2in baseboards.

 

I am giving myself about 2.5ft of reachable space on each side for my layout, and giving a nice buffer zone so I can maneuver around the entire layout.  I also want to round out the edges to give me more mobility since I don't need the edges total square.

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It was a grand model in the end. Bit patchworked as it was an organic growth from various, mainly interior, study models for exhibits in the spaces. Later prettied up the exterior to match that look and feel. All chipboard! Lots of bundles of gray and brown chipboard! The kelp and Monterey bay tanks were built over a 3/4" scale model of the tanks built from 3/4" plexiglass that the Japanese plex company did to show off what they couk do making joints become invivible. At the other end of the scale I made one of the whole place 12"x12" out of cardstock and roofs and each floor was removable to show exhibit areas and big tanks. They could take this to small meetings and was more fun than pointing at plans.  I'll dig out the binder of photos I still have, sadly I kept few myself, thousands are buried in the MBA archive! Was a fun place to work as a kid! Lots of stories. I still do the auditorium presentation system now. it's been almost 40 years now.

 

its not the base plates coming off that's an issue, it would be the main post bolt coming out of the leg failing. You won't rip out 5 3/4" screws into 1/2-3/4" board. The center bolt is welded into a disc in the center of the end of the leg and thats what would pop if given lateral force or the leg end itself just buckle at the plate. Again I think you would really need quite a catastrophic event for this to happen and if you use more than 4 legs for a table much less likely. For a home layout I think it's overkill to make big beefie support structure as many times you may need to move it at some point. Also can get expensive. You are probably going to have the kid flinging himself onto the layout at home! Also just taking care how you get onto the layout to work on it is worth it as slipping can both injure you and probably destroy a lot of valuable train stuff. Just like Japanese prototype trains, run them carefully and they don't need to be built as tanks.

 

rounded corners are nice but they are a bit more carpentry, especially around smaller ones to bend your facia board and working around your substructure support. Curved edges of a scene really can make a beautiful visual frame but to really get the effect you need to do a lot of curves and make it flow well wirh the scene and layout and that gets to be a lot of work! Corners are also where you tend to catch the layout walking around it or working on it so rounding reduced the possibility of creating the magnitude 15 layoutquakes! We noticed this on our second club layout that went from a big rectangle on the first layout to having 3 sided ends on the second one.

 

Cheers

 

jeff

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Traverser project is slowly moving along:

 

IMG_20171011_103329.thumb.jpg.9062af4cd38e2ea8546665a9f1a561ad.jpg

 

I actually don't need to stabilise it anymore. At first I thought I would tip when fully slid out, but it doesn't, so I'm quite pleased with that result.

 

IMG_20171011_103249.thumb.jpg.797ac021d0fd29380aba85faf007dcde.jpg

 

Tbh, I just need tracks, adjustable feet, and it's ready to be finished and used... Detailing can come later. The most important part (stability and durability) has been successfully finished.

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Very cool toni! Are you going to drill some holes for an indexing lock/peg?

 

i might have to think about this for a truncated jrm ground track yard when we don't have room for the big yard.

 

jeff

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I bought some simple metal sliding locks to keep the yard in place, as well have current flow. No complex wiring required, no switches required, as the lock will do all the work. Hopefully I can show you more progress after I've gotten the tracks to let the project make more sense... I also probably need to level out the tracks with an underlay on either side, so that will also act as a dampener for sound.

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On 10/2/2017 at 4:32 PM, SubwayHypes said:

Hey I love that siding on the right side directly under the blue EF65....where do you get this?!

 

That's from Greenmax.

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Helped my brother with getting started building some scenery for a Christmas village he's building, which made me want to get going on some train stuff as well.

 

Still slowly cleaning and organising the train room, so not much done, but I've started experimenting with Vallejo burnt umber and flat brown paints to paint the track. The flat brown is actually fairly red, so that by itself is probably a good colour for track that doesn't get a lot of use. The burnt umber looks very close to what real track would look like. I haven't seen it in daylight yet though, so don't know the exact results yet. I've painted a test bit of track with 1/3rd flat brown, 1/3rd burnt umber and 1/3rd a mix of 2 parts burnt umber and 1 part flat brown.

 

I'll have to check tonight to see what it looks like (and hope there's some daylight left), and I think it needs a 2nd coat as well. Also have to check how well the paint sticks, since I didn't use a primer, only roughened up the surface a little bit.

 

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My club had very bad results with vallejo and peco tracks. You can also remove them easily from kato unitrack rails, but it does stick to the roadbed. Revell matt reddish brown (37) worked for us so far. (i don't paint my unitrack, by IST does so it's tested with both peco code 55 and kato unitrack)

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Brushed off some lung cancer from the roof of one of my 2nd hand MoHa 484s. A little soap and a small brush did wonders! Now the tobacco smell is gone and the roof glisters unrealistically again :3

 

IMG_20171017_001150.thumb.jpg.06d2cf6d12237a6c9441401dd3b2bc12.jpg

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Was already pretty dark when I got home, so didn't get a chance to see the paints in decent light, however, it looks like the flat brown is too red, the burnt umber is close, but not quite there, but the mix of the 2 looks pretty good. Also, a single coat of paint doesn't really cut it ;)

 

11 hours ago, kvp said:

My club had very bad results with vallejo and peco tracks. You can also remove them easily from kato unitrack rails, but it does stick to the roadbed. Revell matt reddish brown (37) worked for us so far. (i don't paint my unitrack, by IST does so it's tested with both peco code 55 and kato unitrack)

 

I could rub the paint off pretty easily, so it's definitely not sticking well by default. However, I didn't clean the track before painting, just slightly roughened it up. I also didn't use primer at all. Metal is pretty hard to paint on with most acrylic paints though.

 

Going to look into it a bit more, Vallejo's own primer is supposed to be pretty good, sticks well to metal, and can either be brushed or airbrushed well. Definitely also going to try and clean the track, there's likely to be residue left from the manufacturing process. With regular building kits you should always wash the parts in some warm soapy water, going to try the same with a piece of track. Roughen it up a bit first, then a bath in the soapy water, and then some primer before painting the final colour. Lots of work of course, so hopefully it'll be worth it ;)

 

I do actually have some rusty track paint that sticks really well to metal. I've used it for my 0-scale test track. The problem with that stuff is that it's expensive, and it's a "secret" mix of various Gunze colours. It's also pre-thinned for airbrush, and brushing it without airbrush takes 4 or 5 coats. I bought it at the same place where I bought all the stuff to hand lay the 0-scale track.

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