Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

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Zeffico
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Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Zeffico » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:03 pm

Hi Everyone,

Moving forward from my planning post for Otterston (https://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=51207). I'm now in a position to start construction of my little 'L' shape layout.

Due to size restrictions I'm limited to 520mm wide therefore the 'L' shape configuration was decided to be used. This configuration also gives me the potential down the line (no pun intended) to extend to it with out difficulty (hopefully).

My layout is going to be based on the below drawing to give me a nice variety of using a couple of small passenger trains along with some shunting. I'm basing my layout on a branch line-esque feeling to it (Southern/BR) with a small industrial area near the small fiddle yard. The rail layout also gives me some nice open spaces to try some landscaping too.

Image

At the weekend I was able to buy the materials for the baseboards and over the pass couple of evenings when I could start the construction process for them.

I ended up going with 18x44mm planed square edge whitewood and will be finished with a 9mm plywood top. Did think about going for MDF but the weight was quite significant between them therefore leaning towards the lighter plywood. As there is a potential for moving the layout frequently weight will be playing a important factor in my design.

Image

The bracing in the picture hasn't been fixed yet as I need to overlay my full size plans to insure no clashes with future point motors.

So I guess watch this space for future updates and any tips would be great as this is my first attempt at a model railway.

Zeffico.

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:20 pm

Hi - The main station and goods yard look like fun to operate, my only thought is I think you might regret not allowing more room for you fiddle yard, it looks proportionately small compared with the rest of the layout and with it at the back you might have difficult getting locos detached and replaced at the other end of the train. If you had any spare space beyond the end of the two fiddle yard sidings I would use it. My layout has a six track fiddle yard, and it is too small despite most workings staying within the main running area of the layout.

Jim
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Zeffico
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Zeffico » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:13 pm

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your response, much appreciated. To be honest I'm not going to be really using the fiddle yard to fiddle but more of an area to hide any trains that have departed from main view. Probably going to be at max a 2 car DMU or tender engine with 2 coaches.

Saying that though I've added a short section of track into the fiddle yard area that I could remove to allow a set of points to be added in the future that runs onto a extension section to the fiddle yard.

I hope that makes sense.

Zeffico.

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TimberSurf
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby TimberSurf » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:33 pm

What do you mean by moveable? What type of supports and/or legs do you propos? At the moment without further detail, it looks very flimsy!
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Bufferstop
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:42 pm

I'd tend to agree with TimberSurf, 9mm for the top surface is more than needed, 6mm would be perfectly adequate. The side rails need to be deeper, use some of the weight saved by using 6mm for the surface to fit 100mm deep front and rear rails of the same 6mm ply. Otherwise even with the 9mm top there will be a risk of flexing whilst being moved. Track, even flexible track, doesn't take kindly to being flexed in the vertical direction. If your woodworking skill is up to it a perfectly rigid 4x2 board can be made entirely from 4mm ply with a short glue blocks along the joins. Mine aren't up to that so it's 18mm square strips glued and screwed along all of the joins.
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby GWR_fan » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:15 am

I agree with Bufferstop in that the side rails seem too flimsy, making the boards flexible, even with bracing added. Before attaching the upper board I would drill several holes in the internal bracing to accommodate any wiring.

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Zeffico
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Zeffico » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:30 am

Dear all,

Thank you for your comments but surprised to hear you don't think the frame is 'man-enough' for my layout especially getting the frame size from 'The newcomer's guide to model railways' book I picked up last week.

Before seeing these comments this morning, I did install the bracing last night (glued and screwed) and included several holes within the bracing for wiring.

As I'm restricted by height of the layout too (around 250mm in total) this is one of the other reasons why I went for this baseboard construction.

We regards to your query Timbersurf, we currently have a couple of guest rooms at our place that can be occupied at short notice therefore I need to dismantle the layout easily in order to free these rooms up and store out the way.

Leg wise, was planning to use our 'L' shape sofa bed with rigid top as a temporary location but then probably look at either trestle or pocketed legs.

I did this morning try it and see if there was any flex in the frame now the glue has set and hardly saw any flex (fixed one end to work bench and places weight on the other). But hearing your comments now I'm now debating to add more bracing or beef up the timber sides?

As I've already got the 9mm ply I will continue to use that as my top.

Zeffico.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:01 am

If you have a limited height available for storage, look at the possibility of providing stiffening above the board, hidden beneath a row of buildings, or as part of a backscene between visible and hidden parts of the layout. An ingenious solution I saw at an exhibition had a fascia board as high as the backscene attached by wing-nuts and four locating studs along the front. Once the board was supported on its trestles the wing nuts were undone and the fascia turned over and refitted so that it went downwards instead of up, but still providing the same degree of rigidity.
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Zeffico
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Zeffico » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:24 am

Hi Bufferstop,

Do you know what, after I replied to your first post I went away thinking of other ways to strengthen the boards and what you have suggested was actually similar to one of my ideas that I might go with.

I should of said from the start that I am proposing to put a small reinforced back-scene bolted to the rear and sides of the layout (thick black line on plan) which might help with reinforcing too. Not sure if it will be removable yet or not, guess it will be determined what I do scenery wise next to it.

Thank you for your help.

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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:38 am

With a trestle every 18 inches, or attached to the wall, great! As a free transportable, very dodgy!
Once the 9mm is glued and screwed, fix one end then grab the other on each corner and try a corkscrew twist!
Fix both ends, apply weight in middle (lean on it), if it deflects more than 2-4 mm then it is flimsy.
I would strongly recommend further depth to be added. How will you connect the two boards together? With a couple of M8 bolts or even 4, the tension on the 44*18 will rip the end off if you ever "loose" the support!
If you wont start again with say 18*95, then I would suggest you add another 44*18 glued and screwed directly underneath.
Alternately, we can get creative! Add 6mm ply as the backscene (solves some of the length rigidity, Replace the join ends existing 45*18 with 18*95 and add some webs to strengthen the ends and add 45*18 on top of the board to front (make an embankment down to board level
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Bufferstop
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:38 pm

Your baseboard testing sounds similar to mine. Some strips of 2x1" PAR to represent trestles, a couple of three litre bottles of coke stood in the middle and try lifting by one corner. Funny but I've lost almost all interest in lugging around great chunks of timber for the entertainment of others. These days portable, for me, means no bigger than 4'x2' and light enough to lift with one hand.
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Zeffico
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Zeffico » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:52 pm

Thanks again all for your comments, I appreciate them especially being new to building my own layout :D

For me to move forward I think the next stage is to the get the plywood top glued and screwed in potion and then test for any flex. If any flex is present then I will look at reinforcing the board with one of the ideas above.

Luckily I bought a timber pack I bought from Wickes so I've got plenty of timber to help in the reinforcement if needed. One thing I will ask and please say if this is a silly idea but if flex is present could I add say another 2x1'' on its side giving a 'L' shape appearance in cross section (like my quick sketch below) to help reduce the flex along the boards or will I still have the same problem?

Image

I feel its going to consist of mainly Metcalfe kits along with a few small slopes to the station area along with track and ballast. Again weight reduction has been taken into consideration though still wanting to create a decent layout out to be enjoyed.

Zeffico

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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:05 pm

As you/we say, test first, add later! (advice is always better taken when proved by yourself) Your idea has some merit, but I would prefer the addition to be vertical! Its not the only problem though. Torsional (twist) is controlled by the cross members, so they need attention as well!
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:55 pm

A tale of caution!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgzoj_sSJr8

What happens if layout construction and materials are poorly chosen! :o
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Zeffico
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Re: Otterston - 'L' Shape OO Layout (Construction)

Postby Zeffico » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:56 am

Thanks for the link to the video, really helpful and proves how important bracing is to a model layout. So sad seeing that layout getting dismantled.

Treated myself to a new jigsaw and hope to get the ply cut and fixed one evening this week along with the bolts to hold the baseboards together (thinking M6 bolts).

Now to start thinking about buying the track and points.


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