Saturday, July 20, 2019

More Benchwork Progress

I am finally test assembling the initail section benchwork for the layout. This gives me a 72X32 inch working surface that will underlie the most complicated trackwork and turntable. The tray table milk carton are there to support the test assembly. In order to get the legs and cross supports square and accurate, I will unbolt the L girders, build the supports and then re-assemble. There is a lower cross support to keep the leg assembies rigid. Like archeologists I will  carefully mark which leg and L girder now go together to ensure they go back the same way. The printer and PC are going on a lower stand before the final assembly.  I am working in fairly tight area hear so things have to move around for each step. The sections will have the 2 inch high full locking casters mounted after the legs are in place to bring the top of benchwork to bring the level height to 40 inches. This will clear the rolling storage carts that will go under the layout .
I am still playing around with baseboards. The advocates of foamcore over sheet extruded foam probably have the upper leg as I have no friends with an available pickup or large SUV to go 40-50 miles to the nearest Home Depot that sells 1 and 2 inch extruded foam. I can easily drive 10 miles to a Blicks Art Supplies and buy 40 X 60 sheets of 1/2 inch foamcore to form the baseboard in my mini SUV. I can laminate two sheets together to create a fairly sturdy 1" thick baseboard. The turntable pit depth problem will be solved by taking a 1/2 inch piece of plywood and mounting it under the lip of the L girder to support the pit and give me more than adequate depth. The turntable and engine shed are the focus or crown jewel of this layout representing Port Costa 1947-54 so everything must be designed around that feature.

2 40X60 sheets of half inch foamcore waiting for final completion of section C

I keep plugging along. I am designing the A section for along the wall perpendicular to the C section above and the connecting B section which may be suspended between the A and C sections.  See my earlier diagram posted in this blog. The A section will be similar to the C section in construction but only 20 inches wide.  It is about 56 inches long. 


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Benchwork Continued Part 2-Section C Almost There

It takes me about a week to do each major task in building the first section of the benchwork. I have now completed the two sides of the major section which I am tackling first. On my initial map it is section C. I intially thought it would be 30 inches wide but after laying out the trackwork using the free trial version of Anyrail I have had to conclude it will need to be 33 inches at the widest point. Fully assembled, section C will be about 32 inches wide. 1 X 2 screwed to the side for about 48 inches that need this width will probably work.

I finally bought a hand mitre saw for $11 at Harbor Freight so I could correct the mis-cut on one piece of the four poplar 1 X 3's  that will form the cross braces for the legs. I thought about how to attach the cross braces with my minimal toolset and working alone. It gave me a nightmare. So I will remove the legs from the L girders to attach the cross pieces and then somehow rebolt it together working slowly and carefully. I used carriage bolts for this very reason. I am carefully labeling legs and girders to ensure any minor offsets from perfect measurement will go together.
This is how it is supposed to go together when I test fit the legs after completing the L girders.
After the two leg and cross piece components are bolted back to the L girders I will raise the structure high enough to screw in the casters and raise the whole structure to the 40 inch planned height. 

I may work on the sub-roadbed after that and install the initial turnouts and connecting track for Port Costa to ensure my plans work. By then I also hope to have the turntable and pit built. Getting 1 or 2 inch pink extruded foam and transporting it from the nearest Home Depot that sells it (about 40 miles away) is proving to be a problem. No one I know has a pickup or SUV with the needed room to move the 96 X48 inch sheets. 

I am going to test using multiple sheets of 1/2 inch foamcore from Blick in 4 layers to give me the 2 inch base needed to accomodate the depth of the turntable pit. After I assemble section C I may find a way to provide a floor suspended from the L girders to handle the turntable pit depth problem and reduce the foamcore to 2 or 3 layers. I have some 1/2 inch plywood that may provide as suspended base.

Beyond that I have spent a lot of time thinking about section A which will be 66 by 20 inches. And also about section B to connect A and C. Currently this will not be a full benchwork structure with its own legs but rather a 1 X 2  structure supported from both A and C sections.  I have some 1 X 2 that was used to support the celotex baseboard of the old Padstow layout.