my head hurts...

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
b308
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby b308 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:26 am

You've neatly summarized the main problem with newcomers to Model railways... The solid 6x4 board!

If only the Manufacturers didn't perpetuate the Myth that a big solid board is the best way forward with their "track mats" I suspect newcomers wouldn't end up getting caught out like this...

Re the spare room can I suggest getting hold of two Peco Books, "A Home for Your Railway" and "60 Plans for Small Railways", both are easily obtainable and will give you some ideas on how to fit a railway into that spare room! Then re-think how you are going to use that wood you have!! :)

Sc0tty
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby Sc0tty » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:31 pm

I cant see how a 00 railway can be any smaller than 6ft x 4ft if you use 3rd radius curves.

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stuartp
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby stuartp » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:54 pm

If you want to build it in the smallest possible lump and have trains go round and round then it can't be much smaller than 6x4.

The 6x4 board allows you to have the trains in the middle with you around the outside. This is great if you want to set it up on the dining room table or in the middle of the floor so you can get round the sides. What B308 is getting at is that a: you don't have to go round and round and b: you don't have to have the trains in the middle with you around the outside - you can stand in the middle while the trains go around the outside of the room (accepted that might not be an option for you) or on one side while they go backwards and forwards.

Have a look at the books suggested. There are plenty of ideas in there for everything from small termini which fit on a single board to going around the outside of the room on what is effectively a big shelf. As for joining them together, the simplest method is a coach bolts and wing nuts through the frame. It's low-tech but it works. You only really need the two joining edges to be perfectly square, and butt joints in the framework are fine, use some metal angle braces if you want a real belt and braces job. My carpentry is shocking but I get by. Mitre joints are great for picture frames but not really necessary in construction.
Portwilliam - Southwest Scotland in the 1960s, in OO - http://stuart1968.wordpress.com/

b308
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby b308 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:45 pm

You can even do it with you in the middle on a 6x4 but forget 3rd radius curves...

Stuart is right, I am trying to get you to think "out of the box" (or solid board in this case!). The trouble with a 6x4 and 3rd radius in 4mm scale (OO) is that the best you can achieve if you want a roundy roundy is a glorified train set. The main issues are the tight curves (even 3rd radii are tight if you are running express locos), short trains (probably max three coaches) and the fact that your straights are practically non-existent so one end of the train is on one curve and the other end on the next...

So if that's the space you have and you don't want to move down scales into either TT or N then look at the stock you want to run. The express locos mentioned only really look OK on 3ft radius curves and you need a board at least 6ft 6ins wide to have them so look at locos which were built for tight curves, there's plenty around, small tank locos up to about 2-6-2 wheel configuration. They also look nice as well, much better than the stuff I had back in the '60s! That way you can use slightly tighter curves and have a more realistic set-up... Also consider how to disguise the curves you have such as using strategically placed bridges, tunnels, cuttings, etc., CJ Freezer (the editor of those two books) was a master at it but even he said that adding 6ins to the length and width of any of his layout plans would make life much easier!


Perhaps I'd better stop as for a beginner I may be going too far, if all you need to make you happy is to see your trains running round regardless then please ignore the above and go for it, but store the advice for later when the Model Railway Bug really bites!! :)


Regarding the boards, brace with 3" x 1" and as Stuart says align them carefully together and then drill five holes through the two centre pieces and join together with coach bolts. That should work if you place the joined boards on a flat surface but they will be heavy, there's no way of getting round that! Remember when storing it and carting it around to (1) make sure all stock is removed before splitting and moving, (2) the controller is disconnected and (3) any buildings are firmly glued down and watch you don't knock them off on door openings!!

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Bufferstop
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:09 pm

I think you are starting to see what many of us have discovered. My layout runs around three sides of a "room" about 8 feet square and I struggled to get in 24" radius curves at the two "corners". I had to settle for 22 inch radius for a few degrees at the centre of each curve. Fortunately the biggest steamer I'm likely to run will be a Hall and some cunning scenic planning hides the worst overhangs on bogie stock and diesels. Mostly I run 0-4-0/0-6-0 both steam and diesel. I did try an elderly Hornby A4 with tender drive. It just about made it but looked faintly ridiculous. It lives in the display case until such time as I want its space.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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AlunKimber
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby AlunKimber » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:01 pm

Sc0tty,
Not saying it's THE answer, but I am making a layout using 6 mm ply as the main board, with a few different sizes of ply to make a box. It's also modular. Might be a food for thought.........or not.
Cheers
Alun

Sc0tty
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby Sc0tty » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:59 pm

As one door closes, another opens !

I just stumbled across this thead from another forum ( is it ok to cross post? ) which gives me a few ideas about an alternative layout for a 6ft x 2ft board :)


http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... x2-layout/

I am going to have some fun on anyrail when I get home from work tonight !

ParkeNd
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby ParkeNd » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:55 pm

Sc0tty wrote:As one door closes, another opens !

I just stumbled across this thead from another forum ( is it ok to cross post? ) which gives me a few ideas about an alternative layout for a 6ft x 2ft board :)


http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... x2-layout/

I am going to have some fun on anyrail when I get home from work tonight !


Had a look. Interesting.

But this is what b308 and I have been on about. This a 7 ft 6 ins x 2 ft 4 ins board - but with domestic friendly N Gauge. The same in OO requires 15 ft x 4 ft 8 ins.

Image

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Emettman
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby Emettman » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:12 pm

Sc0tty wrote: I do have a large spare room for a rail layout, but the room also has a desks and wardrobes in there, and a sofabed and some bookshelves etc... so the actual logistics of where to put a large baseboard, and where to then store it when not in use is becoming a bit of a headache.


Now this problem, so stated, offers a very different solution.
A round-the-room (or perhaps round half the room depending on how things may be arranged) shelf layout.
4" wide is all that is needed to put a double track behind a wardrobe (or just punch through its sides if not valuable, or at the back of a deeper bookshelf, with added stop to prevent the books being pushed back too far.
Lift out or bridge sections to allow for access when the trains aren't running.

If say three levels of shelves are added when the shelf for the train board is added, general storage can actually be increased.
(and lighting easily put under the higher shelf, too.)

This is completely away from the one board, or two board, idea, but curves are easier, the baseboards can be simple boards (if not bridging between shelves) as supported by its shelf. And each board can be taken out and worked on more conveniently, and changes of plan, too.

What is lost? Width to do much scenery on most of the boards, given that the aim is that the railway is not to eat up room area.
Some hidden track will be plain, and some may be just railway fence, track with ballast, backscene.

This picture gives some idea:
Image
This borrowed from our own NRM site: "How to build a model railway" (see section 8)
http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/track.htm


This may not suit your available room at all, but it would solve curve issues and storage, and need little to no carpentry.


Chris, been let out of his box again.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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stuartp
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Re: my head hurts...

Postby stuartp » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:38 pm

This started off as a 6' x 1' shelf, similar to Emmetman's, it's grown a bit here and was sitting on an Ikea 'Ivar' shelving system. The bit you see is about 9' x 18", it continued to the left onto a short fiddle yard:
Image
Portwilliam - Southwest Scotland in the 1960s, in OO - http://stuart1968.wordpress.com/


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