Building a turntable and roundhouse - part 1

Your rating: None (5 votes)

Building and operating turntable and roundhouse, pt 1 - MRH Issue 4 - October 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 Download this issue!

 Read online (beta)

 

 

 

Please post any comments or questions you have about this article here.

 




Comments

Scarpia's picture

Great Project

Les,

thanks for this, it looks like a great project.

However I have to admit my interest faded somewhat when you mentioned the turntable was from a kit (I was kinda hoping it would be a scratchbuild).  

Similarily with your use of the shop to cut your plasic; it reminds me of watching Norm Abrams and the New Yankee Workshop, where the dollar value of his tools was higher than my domicile. Interesting, but not as much as a process that may be more applicable to my situation.

I'm still looking forward to the next installment, however. My complaints aside, it looks like a  great module, and it's construction will be a useful reference point to me down the road.

Cheers

 

 


HO, early transition era www.garbo.org/MRR local time GMT +4

 

I think one of the "real values" to a step by step build

of a project is that you can see some of the engineering involved in the design and operation of the turntable.  For what it is worth, one idea I had a few years ago before I decided not to bother trying to model any sort of steam railroad, was to use an embroidery hoop from a craft store in the correct size for the turntable pit walls.  If it is too shallow for your scale, it would seem to me that 2 or 3 could be stacked to make a turntable pit of the correct depth.

Les Halmos's picture

Great Project

 Thank you Scarpia for the kind words. As far as the Turntable goes believe me if I did not already own a Diamond Scale TT and if I had the experience of putting one together previously,  scratchbuilding one would have been much easier....didn't someone mention scartchbuilding was dead...VBG. All kidding aside once adjusted and built up it's a nice piece and it is as close to scratchbulding as one can get.

OK now on to the "Shop", cutting the parts on that XYZ machine was the easy part, the hard part was to actually design and accurately dimension all the seperate pieces, sure, I could have all cut them myself one by one, if so, I would still be cutting today and I wanted this to be finished in my lifetime...VBG.

My point is if you have access to a power drill why drill by hand?  Same goes for the  "Shop" it was there so I used it otherwise I probably would not have built the roundhouse that way I would have built it much smaller.

I am a great believer in jigs, tools and all specialty tools I can get my hands on! Most of us have access to a  "Shop" or other, for example when you buy wood at your local Hardware or Home Depot, if you pre plan you can save yourself the expense of a bench saw by having them cut the pieces to your dimensions. Or most of us can buy styrene in 4' x 8' sheets from a local Plastics Supplier who can also cut them to your specs. At this point you might say sure, for how much, and to that I reply a lot less than all the engines and rolling stock that will operate on it.

I am not saying that everyone can do what I did or have all the tools that I have but we all have something special to contribute to the hobby that makes us different and from each other we can all learn different ways of doing things.

Take computers and CAD, you could probably say the same thing about those but as you will see in the series they are put to good use and I don't know how I would have done this module or the series without them!

You might also ask why I used a relatively expensive control system like NYRS, well it all depends on what you want to achieve. In my case I wanted to have an operating module on which I can count when operatinge. 

Now all this did not happen overnight, I have been planning and accumulating tools and parts for this project for over 10 years and it never occurred to me to write an article until Joe mentioned that MRH might be interested, so what you see in Part 1 was built and photographed in a period of 4 weeks working most everyday an average of 5-6 hours.

I am glad that there were things you could use in my article and I thank you for your kind comments again, hope you continue reading Part 2 coming to a computer near you in  January!

Regards,

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Les Halmos's picture

Step by step build...

Russ,

I agree with you there are many ways to build a turntable, a friend of mine actually built one out of Hydrocal by using forms like the prototype made of stripwood, looks great! 

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Scarpia's picture

No arguments Les

No arguments, Les, on using tools when they're at hand.

My clearly jealous comments (the same watching Norm Abrams, mind you) were not aimed at that, but more at having a shop that can do the cutting from a CAD program. To use your example, most of us can afford a Drill, but a complete CAD cutting shop is a bit out of our league, and that's a bit different than Home Depot ripping plywood.

As I need to do a custom roundhouse myself, I may need to look deeper into using CAD, if even for my own hand cut patterns.

Thanks again for the article.


HO, early transition era www.garbo.org/MRR local time GMT +4

 

Les Halmos's picture

Plastics shop

 Scarpia,

I agree with you, it may not be in your reach!

Which area do you live in, isn't there a Plastics supplier somewhere in your neck of the woods?

Sometimes it is surprising what we can find in our own backyard, that's what happened to me with my Plastics  "Shop" ! I used to buy all my styrene sheets in 4 x 8 inches that is, from my LHS and to my surprise I could get them from this Plastics supplier in 4 x 8 feet that is!!!! Not to mention much much cheaper!

Just a thought,

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

joef's picture

Any idea what this shop charges?

Les:

What's your shop charge for the kind of projects you've been having them do? I realize you may be getting a "deal", so tell us what the pricing would be for us mere mortals. (grin)

Joe Fugate
Publisher, Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine

Joe Fugate's HO Siskiyou Line

Les Halmos's picture

Shop charges

 Joe,

The shop charges between $55 to $65 an hour of machine usage!

My 2 sheets (4' x 8') took 2 hours, but they contain a lot more on there than the roundhouse! That's $130 still very reasonable for the amount of parts I received. A lot cheaper than a highly detailed craftsman kit. My cost was $35/hr so I did detail a lot more!

Then again the average model does not have to be as detailed as my 2 sheets were!

 

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Rio Grande Dan's picture

Les I'm building a RGS

Les I'm building a RGS Turntable and round house from Hydrocal by using forms like the prototype made of strip wood. I posted step one the wall forms on my blog last week with a couple photos. Mine is a copy of the real Rio Grande Southern and only had 7 stalls. Mine is no where near as elaborate as yours but the real difference is mine is 100% scratch built and no heavy machines needed the fun part is the 50 foot diamater Turntable (still in the paper plan stage). I took real plans of the original Ridgway Roundhouse as well as 5 years of research to finally start making the forms for the three main wall of the round house. After the plaster is poored I'll have to scribe the mortor lines to make it look like brick. I'm using scale lumber to build all the interior supports and the front wall will be board by board construction so it will take some time to finish but I'll keep adding photos as I build. As for the service pits in the 7 stalls I'll be cutting them into the 1/2 inch Homosote base with a piece of 1/8 inch plywood base sitting on top to simulate the concrete floor. It's not going to be anywhere near as fancy as yours but the RGS was never a Fancy Railroad LOL.

I really Liked your part 1 you look like you spent alot of time putting the article as well as the round house together and I'm looking forward to seeing the completed Model. I'm also very interested in the electronics involved with indexing of the turntable.

Dan

                 Rio Grande Dan

Les Halmos's picture

Building RGS

 Thanks for the comments Dan, I am also anxious to see your TT, as for fancy, the Trenton Roundhouse was pretty well run of the mill for a larger facility, as a matter of fact in Charny Quebec, right next door to Quebec City the 360 degree roundhouse is still standing and still in use , although its vocation has changed a little! It is now used mainly for storage.

I could have modeled this one but it is too modern for what I wanted to represent, although many parts of it have inspired me to build the one that I am. It is a brick roundhouse and the bridge is what I am basing my kitbashed Diamond Scale bridge on! 

Part 2 of my article is near completion, if you like electricity and electronics and the workings of the NYRS control, I will cover those in more detail, it should not disappoint.

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Les Halmos's picture

Plastic Shops and other facilities

 Hey Scarpia,

I forgot to mention that besides plastic shops there is the alternative of going with King Mill Enterprises Laser Cutting Services.

Here is the link http://www.kingmill.com/shop/display_page.php?page=services

They can turn your drawing into a kit in short order and for a reasonable price!

Check it out, you never know!

While you are there and get to talk with Chris Jessee, tell him where and who you got the tip from, I've been tying to get him to advertise for quite a while!

Regards,

 

 

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Scarpia's picture

Thanks Les

Thanks Les, for that Link. I've checked in my local area, and so far come up empty handed with finding a shop (I'm not giving up yet though).

I was just thinking....what a great business opportunity.....

 

 


HO, early transition era www.garbo.org/MRR local time GMT +4

 

Rio Grande Dan's picture

Thanks for the link Les and

Thanks for the link Les and even though it's only 3 months away until issue #5 and your next installment it's still next year. Les your article about the Building of your Roundhouse is already being talked about in a number of RR chat sites and looks to be bringing more people to MRH. Now the bar has been raised for the rest of the model RR magazine industry with the Oct, MRH issue #4.

I was just thinking could you imagine a 30 page article in MRR and it only being part #1? They would put it out as a group of Magazines on Building the super roundhouse complex and charge $19.99 for each of the three books.

All I can say to any other RR magazine is "Watch for the next issue of MRH coming to a computer near you & it's FREE!!"

GREAT ARTICLE LES!!!!!!!!!!

Dan

                 Rio Grande Dan

Steamloco's picture

 Merci, Les!

 

Merci Les,
J’ai bien noté  que le gros plan du réseau  est marqué en français.  Il faut dire qu’il m’a fallu plusieurs seconds pour m’en rendre compte. En bref, merveilleuse, l’article ! Un super « step by step » ! Bravo.
 
Thanks Les,
I noticed that the overall track plan was done in French. Though, I have to say that I took me a couple of seconds to realize it. At any rate, great article! A wonderful step-by-step! Nice work.

Steamloco

Les Halmos's picture

Link

 Scarpia.

You are welcome don't give up the search!

 

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Les Halmos's picture

Link

 Dan,

Thanks, It's good to hear that people are enjoying the article, by the way it's my first modeling article, all the other one's I have published so far were Specifications and Websites!

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Les Halmos's picture

Merci, Les!

 Steamloco,

C'est à moi de te remercier pour tes gentils commentaires. Eh oui, j'avais remarqué que le texte était en français mais je l'ai laissé tel quel! Tu est le premier à le remarquer!

Je suis content que tu as aimé l'article. N'oublie pas de revenir et lire la deuxième partie en janvier 2010!

 

It is I, that thanks you for your nice comments. Oh yes, I did notice the track plan was in French, but I decided to leave it that way. You are the first to notice!

I am glad you liked the article. Don't forget and come back to read Part 2 in January 2010!

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Fascia plate for the turntable idexing

Les,

In your article you said you can get the fascia plates from New York Railway. I called Jack and he said he does not have them yet. Are you sending them?

 

Ken Jacobsen Yaphank Valley RR & Narrow Gauge Division

Les Halmos's picture

Fascia plate

 sunkenmel wrote: fascia plates. Are you sending them?

They went out over a week ago, both double like mine, and also single, they should arrive shortly!

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Fascia Plate

Les,

Thanks for the response. I ordered the turntable indexing with the double fascia plates and Jack was waiting for fascia plates to come in so he could ship my order out.

Ken

Ken Jacobsen Yaphank Valley RR & Narrow Gauge Division

Fascia plate

Les,

Jack from New York Railway Supply said he still has not received the fascia plates.

Ken

Ken Jacobsen Yaphank Valley RR & Narrow Gauge Division

Les Halmos's picture

Fascia plate

 Ken I will look into it and get back to you!

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Fascia plate

Les,

I just got an email from Jack at New York Railway Supply. He got the plates and is sending one to me.

Thanks, Ken

Ken Jacobsen Yaphank Valley RR & Narrow Gauge Division

Les Halmos's picture

Fascia Plate

 I'm glad he finally got them, Canada Post and US Postal services don't always go the way we want.

I hope you will like the plate did you order a single or double?

 

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Fascia plates

Les,

I ordered the double. I got it installed today. It looks great. I just have to program the unit.

Thanks for making the plates.

Ken Jacobsen Yaphank Valley RR & Narrow Gauge Division

Les Halmos's picture

Fascia Plates

 Ken,

You are welcome....I'm glad you like them, show us your installation... pictures....we need pictures!

Regards,

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Fascia Plates

Les, Finally here is a picture of the plates installed.

Ken Jacobsen Yaphank Valley RR & Narrow Gauge Division

Les Halmos's picture

Fascia Plates

 Ken,

Nice panel the fascia plate fits right in and the assembly looks great; I am glad you like the plate.

I see you went with the double plate (Including the APR). Have you finished programming the system yet?

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

Fascia Plates

Les,

 

All the programing is done and it runs great. I still have to finish all the wiring to the track. The engine house

and the lead in tracks are wired. Not the best picture but it is the only one I have that is under the 1Mg limit of the upload.

Ken Jacobsen Yaphank Valley RR & Narrow Gauge Division

Les Halmos's picture

Fascia Plates

Ken,

 Nice looking TT & Roundhouse, I know what that wiring is like believe me, also the programming is a lot of fun...no?

As for uploading pictures greater than 1meg try saving them in photoshop or another program to a smaller size before uploading!

Keep up the great work and send us more photos.

 

 Les Halmos

 

MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist


>> Posts index

MRH search (Google)

User login