New Beginnings

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Mountain
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Mountain » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:20 pm

This site also has a for sale and wanted section. The more we as individuals use it the more popular it will become. :) It reminds me. I have a whole collection of 00 gauge items I'm slowly letting go as my efforts are into 7mm narrow gauge instead.

Regarding the best wood to use.

Ply is good but it tends to be a little noisy especiallyn if pinning track directly to the board.

Chipboard is good but it needs the edges protecting as the edge are vulnerable to breaking off.

MDF is another option. Its main drawback is one needs to have a very well ventilated area if working on it (E.G. cutting it) as it gives off tiny fibres which are similar to aspestos (Very fine almost invisible dust which can linger in the air) when it is worked on. Hence it is better to work on MDF outside rather then indoors.

Syndela just needs too much support to make it work.

Hardboard also needs too much support. However, hardboard can be used with success for backscenes as if one is careful, it has the advantage that it can be easily curved providing ones doesn't try to turn it too sharp.

People have used all sorts of other materials with varying success, but the best three materials successfully used are the top three above with plywood being the most popular choice followed by chipboard as a second choice though I've found with chipboard one does need to buy a thicker board for most circumstances, making plywood an overall winner.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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Artisan
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Artisan » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:30 pm

Thank you for the valuable information concerning which material is good for a baseboard. Much appreciated.
Best regards,
Greg

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Artisan
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Artisan » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:32 pm

Another question about track. What is best for the beginner. Track in sections or lengths of flexible track?
Best regards,
Greg

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Artisan
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Artisan » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:35 pm

Is Roco and Lima track any good?
Best regards,
Greg

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Mountain
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Mountain » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:45 pm

I prefer flexible track as it is cheaper but where space is limited, mixing with sectional points saves space. Also of note, sectional curves are better when one is in a tight space as flexible track tends to try and spring outwards (It tries to stay straight) and can cause issues where the track joins are.
If N gauge is the same as it was when I tried it, it has a very clever design where code 80 and code 55 can be freely mixed as the code 55 with the lower profile rails has deeper sleepers to compensate and an extended place where the rail joiners go, so it all works well together.
So to sum up. Sectional track for the main curves of an oval. Either sectional or the flexible range of track for points (Sectional points and the flexible equivalent which are not actually flexible but sold in the Streamline flexible range, have different angles so if one wants to put them back to back be aware one needs the same type of point to do this), and to save on overall cost, flexible track for the straights and gentler curves or minor curves.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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Mountain
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Mountain » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:53 pm

I bought Peco track. Not tried Roco or Lima track, except Lima in 00 which their better later track didn't hit the UK market. The bulk of older Lima track which did was a bit too cheaply made.
Now I dont know about N gauge track except to say Peco is very good.
I will say is that it is better to keep to nickel silver track as it has better qualities to work with. There was a time when steel was the common track to buy in 00 gauge, but nickel silver is so much more suitable as a current carrier and can also be used outdoors, that steel has almost disappeared from the market. Nothing wrong with steel if it is in new condition and kept clean, but it was a lot of work to keep steel rails clean (Especially if you have a layout like I used to have in a damp garage where after a few days of non use I had to rub a layer of rust from the rails and carefully fettle the points so they transmitted current...). Much better to stick to nickel silver. It was a Godsend!
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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Artisan
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Artisan » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:44 pm

Thanks for both lots of information. So if I am going to make a layout which is end to end then the flexible track would be better for what I want to do? If I want a loop at one end then I should use curved track. Is that right? Also, what are the codes you mention like 55 and 80 and how is power connected to the track? I have also read about isolating the power on certain parts of the track. How and why is this done? I'm getting information overload. This is all going over the top of my head at the moment. I think I need to lay down in a darkened room! :D
Best regards,
Greg

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Emettman
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Emettman » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:35 am

Tight curves (and these would be) are best laid in pre-curved or "set" track.

In 4x2 in N, lots of options are available, but not including running long passenger or fright trains.

Basic ideas available are:
Oval continuous runs (already ruled out)
Station to station end-to-end
Station to fiddle yard end-to-end (the fiddle yard, not having to be realistic, leaves more room for the main station)
Station to same station end-to-end via a return loop.

Mostly the track plans would suit N or OO9 narrow gauge.

I put keywords into Google image search and the results were here:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&q=4x2+track+plan&backchip=online_chips:model+railway&chips=q:4x2+track+plan,online_chips:n+gauge&usg=AI4_-kQ6PYwp0UlotiXg7GA0EB_4ouJtEg&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiAu4qp_fzdAhVPgM4BHeGRBhkQ4VYIJigB&biw=1366&bih=636&dpr=1

Not all of them are "good", but some idea of the variety can be obtained.

Best wishes, Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Mountain
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Mountain » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:12 am

To feed power to the track via the train controller one needs to either solder the leads to the track or use power connecting clips.
Soldering is preferred as it can be hidden easier, and is more reliable electrically speaking.
Track can be isolated by using isolating rail joiners (IRJ's). These are basically plastic railjoiners instead of metal ones.
Peco code 55 or code 80 is a personal choice. Code 55 looks more realistic, as code 80 rails have a higher rail profile generally more suited to older models. (Read on). I don't know so much with N gauge, but with 00 (Which one has the choice of code 100 or code 75), the finescale track (Code 75) can only be used with modern models as the track is a lower profile. With 00 gauge, those who want to run old models with new will use code 100 track because code 100 can cope with the deeper wheel flanges on older models where the finescale code 75 track can't. I dont believe this is quite so much of an issue with N gauge with the code 55 equivalent due to its careful design. Hopefully those with more experience can advise on this.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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Artisan
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Artisan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:15 am

Mountain and Emettman (Chris).

Thank you both for your reply to my post. The information is very helpful and is starting to help me understand the technicalities of model railway building.

Some other questions:

If I am going to secure the baseboard to the workbench top in my office do I need to build a frame to support the baseboard?

As I am operating to a budget and looking to purchase all that I need from secondhand stock I do not want to waste money by buying the wrong items. So with regards to a controller what should I be looking for when building an end to end layout?
Best regards,
Greg

mahoganydog
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby mahoganydog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:32 am

Hi Artisan,

When I was heavily into N gauge I was running anything from early eighties Farish to early 2000's and even some (Horrible) Lima stuff plus a Peco Jubilee. Never had any issue or problems with code 55 track. This is much stronger than code 80 which tends to break easily because of the rail chairs being used to hold the rail while 55 is deeply set into the plastic base.

Regards a controller Gaugemaster first time every time assuming you want to use DC that is.

Re a baseboard frame you will need to make one but I strongly advise that you avoid the commonly used 2x1 timber, just not strong enough and sags. I would suggest that to save weight you use plywood, plenty of designs out there to look at. This of course depends on what tools you have the worst choice for cutting anything is a jigsaw which is the shopping trolley of the powertool world; won't go straight no matter how hard you try.

Jim
In a world of fences and doors who needs windows and gates?

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Artisan
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Artisan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:40 am

Hello Jim,

Thank you for the great information. Very helpful.
Best regards,
Greg

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Mountain
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Mountain » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm

I'm glad you mention jigsaws not cutting straight. I bought a cheap one several years after my dad died (I think was £10.99) and didn't expect much but I couldn't get it to go straight. I assumed it was the cheapness of the tool.
If my dad was still alive he would have told me as he was a carpenter machinist, though when he worked in his job as a council carpenter the majority of all their work was with hand tools where he would be sharpening and resetting the teeth on his handsaw once every other month, grinding and case hardening any damaged chisels and then sharpening. He used to test his chisels by gently rubbing them on his arm. If they could cut the hairs off his arm they would be ready for use.
If my dad ever met another carpenter machinist (Which was rare as most were carpenter joiners... A carpenter machinist was a step up as they would have to be trained on joinery as well) he would show his hands and say "Look. I still have all my fingers" which not all in the job had.

Back to the baseboard question. 2 by 1's will work as my dad made me a few layouts in the past, but there again, most of his work was professionally jointed and I tend to take the easy route and just glue and screw wood together! :D For my portable layout I used wood which was around 3" x ½" as I wanted it to be light and rigid. Part of the reasoning is that due to needing space for legs to fold into, I didn't really want to have any internal support.
I dont see an issue with 2x1's if they are made into a decent frame. They can be very strong. When my dad made me baseboards he wouldn't be happy until both I and he would sit on the boards after he had made them, and my last layout which we did this on didn't have legs, but was screwed to thew wall and also he made four simple angled brackets with very strong joint work (I found out how strong they were when many years later I tried to break them for firewood!) The layout was 12ft x 10ft in a large L shaped which had ends that came out to 4 ft wide for curves (A type of L shaped dogbone layout), and it had the thinnest bits being just 2ft wide. All with no legs and all could take both of our weight without damage. It is more about the method then the solidness of the material. We had inch thick chipboard as a top surface.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

mahoganydog
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby mahoganydog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:39 pm

Mountain,

my weapon of choice for cutting ply is a rail saw which is basically a plunge saw with a guide rail. An 8ft cut in ply takes sub ten seconds with a perfect edge. If I'm cutting strips an adjustable set square comes in which I use to set the position of the guide rail with no faffing remeasuring it each time.

Jim
In a world of fences and doors who needs windows and gates?

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Artisan
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Re: New Beginnings

Postby Artisan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:52 pm

Interesting what you have said about tools, timber and board cutting. I am blessed with having a neighbour who is a retired carpenter joiner who has a workshop in his garden set up with all the tools you could possibly want. The bonus is that he has kindly offered to cut my board and timber for me. What a nice neighbour! :D
Best regards,
Greg


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