Sunday, June 30, 2019

Benchwork Continued

Some of the paralysis has subsided. I finally committed to wood for the first section of benchwork, section C which is the largest. I went to my local Rockler and had them custom cut poplar planks and 4 36" 2X2 cherry legs to get me going. Expensive, yes about $100. I am not sure the remaining modules will be built like this but I am following Fugate's MRH Tomar philosophy to get me started. 

The wood is beautiful. Almost furniture like. These are photos of the first two L girders and legs. I am debating how to attach the legs with respect to the cross braces. 

Work area. Using wood tray tables as saw horses. L girder top is glued and then screwed to top 

First Girder done

First leg cross piece option

second cross piece option

Friday, June 7, 2019

Benchwork Paralysis Continues

Actually I have been thinking again about the custom woodwork idea. The price of cabinet grade lumber is steep these days but I am coming around to that as possibly the only solution that I can get accomplished. 
Along those lines I started to do what a modeler does when frustrated and build a model of part of the benchwork to give me an idea of what I would need to have cut.  
The attached photo is a 1 inch = 1 foot concept model of the benchwork section C on my plan.  It would be the largest of the sections being 30 inches by 72 inches.  The plan would be (harder to get) 1 X 3 or 1 X 4 wood for the L girder and 2 X 2 legs.  The lower strengthening  pieces would again be 1 X 3 or 1 X 4.  Note that the L girder that is in back by the wall is reversed. This section is 6 feet long and 30 inches wide. The height is 36 inches which allows for up to 4 inches for 1 X 2 cross pieces and 1 or 2 inch foam sub roadbed to reach the maximum planned modeling surface height of 40 inches. 
There are no grades in my trackplan. I plan on using a 1 inch foam as the basic line and adding another 1 inch foam that can be cut out to provide a little surface elevation relief and allow for the turntable depth.  
I am looking for stability and rigidity more than mobility. All wood pieces would be attached by screws.  It could be collapsed back into a pile of cut lumber when I need to move out. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

More on the Port Costa-WC layout design

More on the Port Costa-WC layout design
The design is a modeling display layout rather than an operations oriented replication of freight and passenger movements. Track arrangements at Port Costa an Walnut Creek replicate condensed track plans of actual locations. Avon is a bit more fanciful.  
I operate strictly with DCC fitted locomotives. Trackwork will be a mix of Peco Code 83 and Code 70, Micro-Engineering and possibly others. I have a good stash of Peco Code 75 that will suffice until their Code 70 turnouts are available. Turnout control is another issue. I am used to just hand throwing Peco turnouts. I feel it mimics a brakeman's job on a real railroad.  I certainly have no plans to power turnouts and create a wiring nightmare. Manual push pull controls are probably an adequate solution for me.
I am probably going to add a friends suggestion of a cart fiddle yard/staging connection at the end of Walnut Creek to allow for longer length and by making it double allow for turning a 3 foot train segment. One could look at that as a truncated homage to the original purpose of Port Costa as the southern terminus of the SP car ferry that moved all mainline trains across the Carquinez strait until a bridge was completed in 1928.  The ferry pier tracks would have been located coming off the outside of the curve in the lower right corner. I will possibly do a John Allen style bridge and mirror where it is marked Martinez, Sac , ROW (Rest of World) in the upper left corner.
Note the 5 sections/modules and their dimensions. These form the requirements for the benchwork sections.  Benchwork is my agony. Trying to find a way to create the support structure for the layout at a one meter height that will allow copious under layout storage space.  It is my big hangup and problem of commitment to one solution or another.