Friday, July 3, 2009

More Thin Walls and Another Couple Work Sessions

The concept of the thin walls was not only to minimize the space taken by the wall itself and maximize the use of the space for the railroad, but also to provide for a structure to support two and maybe three decks. While I am not quite done with the first deck, I decided it was better to put up the rest of the walls so I could proceed with at least deck two in the next few months.
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Our local model railroad club is a round robin type of club so every Tuesday we go to another member's home to run trains, watch videos or work on their layout. I signed up for the Tuesday after Memorial Day 2009 and bought more materials than I needed but wanted to be ready. I got a good turnout but we did not quite get everything accomplished I had desired. It always seems to go a little slower and when you have a bunch of guys all trying to do something it is almost as difficult as herding cats. As luck would have it the following Tuesday was dark as no member had asked to have it so I grabbed it and had the crew back over the next week. We still did not get everything done but the foundation of the walls was in place.
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We did things a bit different from the first wall seen in the earlier blog post. This time we were supporting the wall on top of the "L-girder" benchwork. Also I wanted the garage door to still operate so the wall had to stop short of the ceiling. There were some questions about structural stability, but that was solved using some curves in the wall as well as putting a top plate along the entire wall. The sections that could had the top plate secured to the ceiling. Those that had to clear the garage door had the top plate on the top of the wall. Again, just like a big "I" beam.
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We did put up several 2x4 supports floor to ceiling. The 2x4 is screwwed to a block of wood that is secured to the floor using adhesive (liquid nails) and a masonry nail driven with a powder charge. One of these was later removed as it was not connected and the wall was structurally sound without it. In addition, I had 4 steel "C" supports fabricated to support the wall over some of the Santa Barbara area - where the Depot will go.

To form the curvature we took 1x4's or 1x6's and cut the curve into that and used it to make a sandwich with the 1/8" wall in between. In fact we cut four of the "sandwich" boards all at once so that we had a bottom and a top as well as two stiffeners for the two intermediate levels of track. One half of the bottom sandwich was secured to the "L-girder" benchwork and the same was done for the top which was secured to a plate on the ceiling. The wall was then curved into place and the second half of the "sandwich" was added. As the walls progressed around the layout, a lap of 6"-8" was made from one piece of 1/8" ply to the next. Once all the wall was in place under the garage door, another plate was added on top of the sandwich to tie it all together.

We only got two or three sections up during the club work sessions. Afterward I got my wife to help with cutting the walls and screwing on the 1x2's at the lap joints. When it was all up, I used dry wall joint compound to feather the lap joints. After it was smoothed - several applications of dry wall joint compound - I primed and painted them July 3 and we are now good to go.

Here are some photos of the process:


















Thursday, July 2, 2009

Structures and a Little Scenery

Until I actually start scratchbuilding structures, I have been putting mock-ups around to help both visitors and myself envision what the scene is to look like. I take photos of the structure and then attach them to cardboard or styrofoam blocks and place them in the approximate location. The photo at the top of the blog is of the Santa Barbara Station. Currently, it is one of the styrofoam block structures. The Carpinteria Depot is from plans that I have copied and pasted on another styrofoam block. I also took a photo of the railroad bridge across Carpinteria Creek and will eventually use a couple of MicroEngineering deck girder bridges to model it.

Here are some of the photos and the mock-ups.




























The area around Santa Barbara that I model used to have 3 or 4 lemon packing houses and I plan to model at least two of them. Just for fun I decided to model a lemon grove. I found an on line clinic from the Corona Model Railroad Society http:/www.cmrsclub.org/clinic_trees.html
I also found a lemon stand on-line http://www.bill-bradford.com/ After adding some people, vehicles and smudge pots almost looks like you could stop for some lemonade.

Fascia and Curtains

I have added fascia boards and curtains to the layout to try to hide some of the mess I keep underneath the layout. The fascia is 1/8" masonite. Because I have narrow aisles and wish to enable my operators to pass one another, I have recessed all my carcard boxes. The color of the painted fascia is an approximation of Southern Pacific's grey color they used on later diesels and the dark grey of the 2-tone grey scheme used on the Lark and the Cascade. The curtains are made from garden weed cloth. It comes in 3 foot widths and various lengths - up to 100 feet. I attached it to the back of the fascia using velcro strips.


















Track

Just as in other aspects of the railroad, I do not limit my track work to one style. In staging, I have used code 100 with Atlas turnouts. Once out of staging, I have been using Central Valley Tie Strips and Central Valley Turnouts. http://www.cvmw.com/ I use code 83 or code 80 on the mainline, code 70 in the sidings and have a few industrial spurs that are laid with code 55.

Here are some photos of track laying in the West Staging Yard.




















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Here are some photos of the almost completed yard during wiring. I place feeders in every three foot section. In yards these feeders go to strategically placed terminal blocks which are fed off the power bus.





















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Here are some photos of the Carpinteria area with the Central Valley tie strips being laid in place. The syrofoam block is a place holder for the Carpinteria depot. The section along the thin walls also shows the transition from the homosote to the spline.