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Author Topic: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.  (Read 201 times)

Stoker

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 11:41:47 am »
Brilliant Tony ... eight of those self contained double fold units and you've come full circle with any number of straight sections in between. The carry handle is a nice touch as well !
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
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Tony Bird

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 12:01:22 pm »
Hi Stoker,

Brilliant Tony ... eight of those self contained double fold units and you've come full circle with any number of straight sections in between. The carry handle is a nice touch as well !

I hope only four if I haven't got my sums wrong, each folding until is 90 degrees when open. Though that is eight base boards. No further progress yet as other work getting in the way.

Take care

Tony.

Stoker

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 12:05:40 pm »
Yes, just as I meant, but guess I didn't say it very well.
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

Tony Bird

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2019, 11:32:18 am »
Hi,

I had to go to the opticians today so took the opportunity to go to a house window manufacturer to buy some wood finish plastic window surround to use as edging for the base boards.  My previous exhibition layouts have used plywood as edging but because of weather considerations I used window surround for my garden railway; it has a lot going for it, as it comes in 5 metre lengths and is already finished,  I have fitted this edging to one of the base boards to see what it looks like.

I am reasonably happy with the design of the fittings I have made, so I am making jigs to replicate them more quickly. There has been one alteration they have been lengthen a bit to give more clearance for the wing nuts used on one of them. The first jigs to be made are for the fitting that retains the leg when it is folded; one for drilling the other for shape.  Some photographs of the plastic edging fitted and the drilling jigs.

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Regards

Tony.

Stoker

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2019, 09:59:17 am »
Plastic edging has a couple of other advantages over plywood for that usage in that it doesn't try to delaminate over time, and you are not likely to pick up splinters from it either.

Looking good!
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

Tony Bird

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2019, 11:50:01 am »
Hi,

This morning I started to prepare our Rhydypenderyn layout for its winter storage as its next exhibition isn’t until next April.  It is quite a lot of work requiring everything being removed from the trailer so that the baseboards, track and scenery can be checked, repaired and cleaned; so, I do it in stages.  Two of the storage containers have been removed from the trailer and the track cleaned and the odd repair done, later this week the other two containers will be removed and similar done.  When completed the trailer will be loaded again put in the garage and jacked-up off its tyres.  Doing this along with anno Domini makes me see the sense in continuing work on ideas for a new more easily handled layout. 

After being fed and watered mid-day I did some more work on the new baseboard; I laid some track.  The track is from my old garden railway lifted after its sleepers had rotted, I bought new sleepers and then decided to change to Peco SM32 track that has plastic sleepers.  So, I have approximately 30 + yards of rail and more than enough sleepers.  The track is Tenmille code 200 bullhead rail which fits into plastic sleepers with a spigot that fits into holes in the wooden sleepers.  A couple of lengths of rail were rolled into a curve then fitted with sleepers and secured to one of the baseboards.  It was found that the plastic window surround cuts well with a circular saw; it was cut so that is was a couple of millimetres higher than the track so, reducing the height of the edging by about 10 mm to 55 mm (2.3/16”).

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The track is biased to the inside to give equal clearances either side of the model.

Tony.

Tony Bird

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2019, 02:51:41 am »
Hi,

Yesterdays progress.  Well the prototype hinged curved baseboard is finished. The photographs show how the positioning on the mono-leg was achieved; it is important that is at the balance point of the board which helps when erecting the layout.  The layout is put on the edge of the bench at its points of balance and a line drawn’ so anywhere along this line the leg can be placed.  From experience it is better if the boards tend to fall inwards rather than outwards.  This is a provisional line it was done again and correct when the track and edging was fitted.  As the layout was a little low a new bracket for the bottom of the leg was made which allowed a leg 50 mm (2”) longer to be used.  The track has been fitted and in theory if other boards where made it is ready for use.

I am quite pleased with the results which look practical and workable.  It is now decision time do I wish to continue and make a completely new layout which will be quite costly and time consuming?  I am going to do more R+D work as to the options of number, and size of baseboards that will fit in the trailer and there are other considerations as to the space that would be taken up with accessories which the layout would require: skirt, scenery, lighting etc.  We are going to an exhibition in a couple of weeks and using our camper van I will take my pencil case and draw what if’s.

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Regards. 

Tony.

Tony Bird

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2019, 12:14:40 pm »
Hi,

After finishing some paying work today I had a look at the track laid on the base boards.  There is a bit of an issue with the sleepers they are not very constant in height in fact all their dimensions are a little variable but the width and length don’t matter.  The very important centre distance of the holes for the chairs are very accurate.  For the intended use in a garden the variables wouldn’t matter but for a layout that it was intended not to use fishplates across the base board joins it is a real problem.  So, I made up some sleepers using 4 mm plywood which is very consistent in thickness.  Having done this and found that 4 mm would accommodate the spigot on the chairs I decided to make a cross section of a base board replacing the previously used 9 mm plywood with 6 mm plywood (our existing layout uses 6 mm plywood which has to be braced when used in larger widths); the aim being to reduce the weight and height of the base boards.  A saving of 5/6 mm was achieved and a third of the weight of the plywood, this if my sums are correct means that up to 16 base boards could be fitted across the trailer.  I will continue to cogitate (which doesn’t hurt if you are sitting down).

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Regards. 

Tony.

txlabman

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2019, 10:55:06 pm »
Thanks for all of the details on the project.

Lots to ponder as I would like to make a portable layout. 

Tony Bird

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2019, 03:16:22 am »
Hi,

Before we go away with in our small motor home, I have done some thinking and drawing for the new layout.  Being reasonably happy with the design and basic construction of the layout, the next step is to decide on the length, width and height of the layout base boards.  The present design of the base boards would allow for up to 16 across the trailer to be stored or up to 28 shorter ones along its length.  If two of the 4 folded curved boards stacked one on top of the other, they would take up the space of 4 boards leaving up to 12 or 24 spaces for other boards.  As there will be an entrance between the curved boards at one end there will have to be a straight board to balance it at the other and as the entrance and the straight board will be the same width as the curved boards they will be stacked and use up another space. Down to 11 or 23 spaces which will allow either up to 5 or 11 pairs of straight boards and a spare to be use for the front and the back of the layout.

Length:  It was hoped to make the running length of the layout as long as possible given the size of the trailer.  The maximum economic length of a base board is 1220 mm (4’) cut across the width of a 1220mm x 2440 mm (8’ x 4’) sheet of plywood, this would fit longitudinally with a bit to spare in the trailer.   A base board this long would allow a curved track with a 1400 mm (55”) radius.  A base board stored across the trailer could only be 880 mm (34.1/4”) long which would allow a curve track of 990 mm (39”) radius which is the same as the inner track of Rhydypenderyn.   Boards stored along the length of the trailer could of course be between the two lengths mentioned.

Width: The width of the curved base boards without their edging if two are the be stacked one on top of the other can only be 200 mm (8”) or less. 

Height:  The 880 mm (34.1/4”) curved board will accommodate up to a 740 mm (29”) folding leg; which is a little short, the Rhydypenderyn layout has legs 840 mm (33”) long which seems OK or it is just that we are used to it?

OK decision time! The easy one: width 200 mm (8”) which allows the boards to be stacked and save two spaces.  As the length also effects the maximum height they will be treated as one decision. To accommodate an 840 mm (33”) folding leg under a curved board it would have to be at least 940 mm (37”) long.  If our standard plastic boxes are used six leave a space usable length of 1000 mm (39.3/8”).  To allow a little wiggle room a length of 950 mm (37.3/8”) has been decided on.  This will allow a 1140 mm (45”) radius curve about the same as Rhydypenderyn’s outer track to be used and it will be high enough to be able to use the skirts from Rhydypenderyn so saving time and a lot of money.

Thoughts were given to how wide the straight base boards for the front and back of the layout would be.  As it only has a single-track main line a passing loop on either side of it on the back straight and maybe a passing loop around a station and a siding at the front.  This would be possible on a 460 mm (18”) wide board.  A drawing of a possible layout configuration has been made.

So, this will give me something to think on while we are away: this is a first draft of ideas it will be interesting to see how much difference to the finished ideas before possibly the start of another project.

In 1996 I wrote an article for the’ Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette’ describing the construction of our first layout ‘Rhydypenau Light Railway’ which was the start of the two maybe three exhibition layouts I have designed and made along with the two garden railways in our garden and the three garden railways of the CMES that I have been involved with.  It might be found interesting it at least shows how my ideas have perhaps only changed a little over 20 years.

Well its time to start loading the smaller trailer (proposed layout trailer) with exhibits for Winterbourne over this coming weekend, we leave tomorrow as we like to take it slower than we used to.  We hope to visit our son and family on our way home and he will check my layout calculations using CAD.

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Regards. 

Tony.

Tony Bird

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Re: Designing and maybe making a portable model railway.
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2019, 12:26:37 pm »
Hi,

While still trying to finally decide on base board sizes; to move a little manufacturing progress I started to cut some 3 mm plywood into sleepers.  The sleepers are 12.5 mm wide (1/2”) and 72 mm long (2.3/4”) an inexpensive circular saw was used to cut the plywood to width.  I was very fortunate with the supply of the plywood I was visiting our local builders supply to get some paint; while walking around I found a sheet of damaged 3 mm plywood I thought that the thinnest that they stocked was 6 mm.  I looked to see if there was a shelf for 3 mm plywood and there wasn’t so I took it to the checkout and asked if I could buy this damaged one; they said no!  I could have it for free, it was just packing that hadn’t been cleared away which had been used for other wooden products.  There was a label which I hadn’t noticed on its other side.  So, I have a sheet of 2440 mm (8’) long by 380 mm (15”) wide 3 mm birch plywood for gratis!  You have to win occasionally.

An 800 mm (31.1/2”) length was cut which will allow 10 sleepers to be cut from each 12.5 mm width sawn.  From the 380 mm width enough lengths were cut to produce 240 sleepers or enough for 10 yards of track.  As I cut a lot of thin wood the fence of the saw table has been modified having an adjustable strip that holds the wood down while being cut.  It will need a lot more than 240 sleepers for the layout, but this is enough for a start.  Cutting and drilling jigs need to be made which will have to wait until we return home.  Winterbourne Show first!
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Regards Tony.
 

Tony Bird

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Hi,

On our way home from Winterbourne we visited our son and his family who checked my drawings using CAD.  My measurements weren’t far out but it was good to have them checked.  He did the three most likely sizes for me.

The shortest which will fit across the trailer.

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The most likely to be used and fit along the length of the trailer.

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The longest possible cutting across a 2440 x 1220 sheet of plywood.

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Regards Tony.

jkbixby

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I am really enjoying following your thread Tony - the amount of detail is amazing and being able to put in words makes it even more so.........besides it may well save me burning a lot of midnight oil while designing a similar setup for the club if I can generate enough interest.
Regards,
Larry

Tony Bird

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Hi,

Still working on baseboard sizes and think I might be getting somewhere; to make a bit of progress I decided to cut some more sleepers.  The sheet of 3 mm plywood that I got for free was cut to a length that would allow the cutting of 10 sleepers.  From its 2440 (8’) length; four lengths were cut which were then cut into strips 12 mm wide (1/2”) on a circular saw, lots of saw dust!  If sums are correct there are enough strips to provide about seven hundred 70 mm (2.3/4”) long sleepers, enough I hope for the whole job.  A drilling and cutting jig was made and few finished sleepers made.  First the plywood strips were stained and the jig used in drilling the holes and marking the sleeper length.  To speed things up a number of strips were stained and each end of the strips were drilled and mark for cutting when a number of strips had been done, they were cut and the process started again, boring but reasonably fast.  A number of chairs were fitted  to check the gauge was correct, this was done using a hammer and a piece of rail in the chairs to stop them breaking.

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Regards. 

Tony

Tony Bird

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Hi,

Finally, after a lot drawing and consideration of the layout design a decision has been made.  The track could have been single or double, the single track allowing a larger layout the double track being smaller but with a longer track length.  As it is for use at exhibitions will be double track not being very proto-typical for a narrow-gauge line but will allow more trains to be run at the same time.  It has turned out more or less the same design as our existing layout which has proved to be very practical for running steam model locomotives. The drawings due to the size of paper used only shows some of the front and back straight base boards that will be made.  A start will be made on making the boards for the curved track at the end of the week as I hope to collect the cut plywood on Thursday.  One of the advantages of using the Tenmille track which is higher than the Peco SM 32 of the existing layout is that most vintage model locomotives will run on it.

There are two options for the width of front and back straight base boards which can be decided on at a later date, probably after the end boards are finished.

Single track design.

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Drawing of the base board for two curved tracks.

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Drawing of narrower straight base boards.

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Drawing of wider straight base boards.

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Regards Tony.

 

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