JL&T Railway Blog - The Layout Construction...

JLandT Railroad's picture

All as per a couple of recommendations from fellow MRH members I have started a new blog for the construction phase of the J&L.

As previously mentioned I now have the timber sitting in the layout room ready to go, the drop saw is warmed up, the radio is tuned in for continuous music, and I have stocked up on coffee!

I have one little house keeping job to finish off tomorrow and then it should be all systems go...

Cheers,

Jason...




Comments

Rio Grande Dan's picture

Another Chapter in the J&L Railroad

Starting this new Blog on construction will now give you a second Chapter in your Model Railroad experiences. Up till now your posts have all been about concept, design and the difference between area on paper and actual construction area with the differences exposed just before starting construction. I've been there a few dozen times.

One thing I discovered is, "Draw every thing you planned for your RR in an area 12"(approx 31 cm) smaller both in length and width". Then when you get to the point your at now (Layout and construction) and you find your needing an extra few inches for walking or to create clearance for a turn you have the extra room. Then as you layout your basic bench-work you have the room to make the corrections.

Should everything that you have drawn layout correctly, then before starting slightly stretch and widen your plan to fill the area. For some reason it always seems that what you put on paper never really seems to have enough room once you lay it out. Then again its always nice to have that extra few inches to stretch a reverse loop or "Y" to get that more aesthetic look and with an extra 6 inches(15.24cm) on each end and side it will give you when you start building. It's always easier to stretch the layout to fill an area then it is to shrink it to fit the area and crunch a turn.

One last thing always take your time and think Safety First nobody likes to be called Stubby after they hack off a finger or two on the radial arm or Drop saw.

Now start driving spikes and good luck.

Dan

P.S. what era and Railroad are you basing the J&L on?

                 Rio Grande Dan

Jason, I appreciate the your first post in the new blog is

not picture heavy.  Since the first post will always be at the top of each succeeding page, a short paragraph  or two introducing the blog subject is much appreciated.  I look forward to seeing what you do with this new building you have.  Your railroad sounds like an exciting undertaking, and should be a lot of fun for your son as he grows up with the railroad.

Rio Grande Dan's picture

Let your Blog read like a book it saves a lot of space

As Russ has said, I have one thng to add and that is when you do add photos just click add coment and place your pictures as another post on your blog. Then when someone does click on your blog they can thumb through all the posts and see all your photos as you build rather then you removing photos to add new ones or making everyone look at the same thing on the top of every page..

It is very hard to run out of room by adding photos to your Blog posts but if you remove all your older photos nobody can see the actual changes and progress you have made if the can only see the newest photos and you remove the old. It much better for all if we can see the mystakes the changes in comparison from first to last as we read through the posts that are contained in your blog.

Like Russ has stated your first page of your blog is perfect Don't add photos to it add any new photos to the add comment at the end of every post on your blog it will help people to learn as they read. Like when you read a book nobody likes to have to return to the first page to see your latest photos. add to the blog forum as you go helps to make your blog progress more like a book with new photos on each page as you go rather then everytime you turn the page you see the same thing and have to scroll down through all the same photos on every page. If you try to put all your photos on page one then there will never be room for page 2 or aditional comments.

When you deside to add to your Blog just go to Recent posts and go to the last page and click on add comment and you can't go wrong. if you want to start a new blog then start at the add blog section.

Dan

                 Rio Grande Dan

JLandT Railroad's picture

First site meeting...

Hi All,

Well today the VP and the CEO of the J&L had a little site meeting to check out the condition of the building materials and try and get a feel for the method we are going to use for constructing the basic stud wall that will support the bench work.

The VP (aka Lachlan) checking out the construction tools...

I have decided to use the standard timber top & bottom plate method with studs.  The timber we are using is 90x45 treated pine.  The reason for being treated, well in our area termites are a major problem that are not worth taking a risk with and having them eating at your frame and bench work.  It is also rated to be outdoors and in the ground which should help with expansion and contraction.  Original I was going to use a steel framing system called Unistrut, however this was going to cost around $2000 AUD for the entire set-up and I couldn't justify the cost.  The timber for this section of the framework was around $600 AUD mark.

The spacing of the horizontal studs will be 600mm (24"), the bottom plate will be attached to the concrete floor using dynabolts around every 1200mm (47").  The top plate will be attached horizontally (around every 2m (78") using beams that will span the width of the layout and then attached to the steel shed frame, this will stop the framework from wanting to pull in, and will later provide a frame for a ceiling and fascia that will run around the top deck.

The actual deck supports/brackets are still up in the air, and I am considering my options.  One is to use the same timber and have it screwed, glued & blocked to the studs (shorter spans upto 600mm).  The other is actually using 15mm (1/2") galvanised pipe that would be placed through a hole drilled into the studs.  There is one section of deck that is supporting a span between 700mm - 750mm (27.5" - 29.5") this is the section that I am considering the galvanised pipe for, or I may even bight the bullet and install a small section of the Unistrut system as I know it will span and support these lengths.

I will be using a light pine frame with luan door skin and "Canite" top that will form the layout base, in total this will not exceed 110mm (4 1/4").  This combination has been used with my current module and I'm very happy with the way it has performed.

I'm going to mock up a small section of wall first and run a few load tests on each section before finally making my mind up as to which method I'll use.

Cheers,

Jason...

 

 

Web Blog:  http://jlandtrailroad.blogspot.com/
Skype:  jlandtrailroad, GMT +10, Melbourne, Australia.
Facebook:  Jlandtrailroad
caboose14's picture

Man.............

I see that nice big empty building and it even gets me excited! I really can appreciate the amount of planning and research you are doing prior to construction. You're going to have a rock solid foundation for your layout. In my opinion that is a crucial first step. Looking forward to seeing what is sure to be a great railroad taking shape. Thanks for sharing and keep the posts coming Jason!

Kevin Klettke CEO, Washington Northern Railroad

wnrr@comcast.net
http://wnrr.net

JLandT Railroad's picture

Hope it's rock solid too...

Kevin,

Your spot on with getting the frame section right, I would hate to think about having to replace or strengthen any part or section of a layouts frame after putting in trackwork, wiring and worst of all scenery!  I'll actually ask the question now of all, what you all believe would be an average weight of a section of benchwork, base, trackwork, wiring, structures, and scenery over a section around 900mm x 600mm (36"x24")?

At this stage I've taken a rough estimate that a section would not exceed say 20kg (45 pounds) as this the weight of a bag of Portland cement (I have moved my fair share of them around this house!).  As I mentioned I will mock up a section of wall and load test it with several different scenarios.  I'll hang bricks of each support and measure the vertical distance and check it after a couple of days, then shock test it by me sitting on it.  So if it can withstand those tests I'm fairly certain it will survive for many years.

Thanks for the comments, and likewise please keep your posts and photos coming too.

Cheers,

Jason...

Web Blog:  http://jlandtrailroad.blogspot.com/
Skype:  jlandtrailroad, GMT +10, Melbourne, Australia.
Facebook:  Jlandtrailroad
JLandT Railroad's picture

Missed the PS, Dan...

Sorry Dan I missed your PS at the end of your first comment.  I think when I first started on MRH I was unsure about the era and area, although that has changed somewhat in the last couple of months.  At this stage I have narrowed it down to the decade between 1970 to 1980 give or take a year or two on the 70's side (so I can run my PRR GP7's), the area was going to be around Chicago/Illinois area but I'm actually thinking about coming back towards the east a bit more towards Detroit/Michigan so that I can pick up the PRR and the Reading more.

As I have said it's hard here in Australia to find the resources easily to base things on, this is half the reason why I decided to have the layout as a proto-freelanced layout.  Not prototypical scenery and track wise, but more the actual RR operating in a fictional area based around a state or city.  This way the actual motive power and rolling stock used is somewhat prototypical but the area and scenery has some poetic licensing attached to it.

Wikipedia has been good and I have gleamed alot of information from it, however it doesn't go far enough to explain actually how far a RR would have travelled, eg: Would a Reading train actually go anywhere near Detroit or Chicago?  Likewise a PRR train?  Or would a CSX, BN, UP, NW train run eastwards all the way to New York.  If the answer is yes to all above well then it makes it easy for me to say it will be the Chicago/Illinois area that our pike will be loosely based on.

If the answer is no, well then I have to narrow it down a little further!

Cheers,

Jason...

Web Blog:  http://jlandtrailroad.blogspot.com/
Skype:  jlandtrailroad, GMT +10, Melbourne, Australia.
Facebook:  Jlandtrailroad
JLandT Railroad's picture

And the frame go's up...

Hi All,

Well today I had a fairly productive afternoon erecting some of the rear section of the frame for our layout.  As previously mentioned it is a timber/treated pine frame sized at 90x45.  This size and method used is what we use in Australia to construct the majority of our brick/veneer homes.  The method uses horizontal top and bottom plates with a vertical stud in between, normally this is fixed together using 75mm (3") nails fired from a nailing gun, I have used hex head screws to allow the entire frame to be disassembled easier if required or alterations to be made during construction.

320320

The frame itself is 2000mm (6.5') high although this will be extended in the corners and every 1200mm (47") to 2400mm (7.8') on the longest sides of the shed.  This extended section will then support beams approximately 140x50 (5.5"x2") that will provide supports for the layout ceiling and further strengthening of the frame in the future once all the decks are completed.  The horizontal studs are spaced every 600mm (24") along the frame, these will then support each deck.  I think I've gone for overkill on the spacing at 600mm, and I could have settled at 900mm but better to be safe than sorry...

320

At this stage I have secured the frames to the concrete floor using dynabolts and to the shed frame using oddly enough retractable blind brackets (only temporary) until I come up with a better method.

320320

In the corner of the frame there is a small 45 degree section of extra frame that will provide the 600mm support to the corners of the decks via one stud, this will also allow a point to support and fix a curved backdrop.

320320

Tomorrow I will hopefully get a chance to finish off this section and test out my idea for the actually deck supports.  I am going to use 15mm (1/2") galvanised pipe that will placed through the centre of the studs horizontally.  This will be achieved by drilling through the entire 90mm width of the stud, then placing the galvanised pipe which will be threaded on one end through the stud and securing it with a threaded cap.

This will then have a small piece of 90x15 pine attached to the pipe using pipe clips, then each section of bench work will be screwed to the pine support.  My idea behind this is that a can make up 1200mm (47") section of benchwork like modules, this will then allow for removal of sections if (a) I don't like it (like a chainsaw) or (b) if I get bored eventually I can change sections or the entire layout quite easily...

So we are finally underway and I'm really excited, it is so fulfilling to actually have something coming up off the ground.  The one thing that I must say is that you have to be really flexible with your thinking, because this afternoon I think I actually spent in total a good hour or more taking steps back and saying "is that really going to work", or "hang on what about that bit".

If I can critique myself I would say that I really should have written down everything that was sloshing around in the old brain box regarding what I wanted!  That way as I'm building a can refer to my notes and think about all those things now, that won't be able to be added when the decks are up, and the scenery completed......

More to come soon...

Cheers,

Jason...

Web Blog:  http://jlandtrailroad.blogspot.com/
Skype:  jlandtrailroad, GMT +10, Melbourne, Australia.
Facebook:  Jlandtrailroad

Jason, I don't know much about East Coast roads.

My buddy is planning to model the area around Philadelphia, and the Lehigh Valley.  He is about 5 years from retiring and moving to the 5 acre retirement property he bought in Newport, Oregon.  Right now he is building locomotives and accumulating rolling stock to populate the layout which will be built in a barn that is on the property.  I think he is focusing on the 1970's or 1980's, so he has built models for the Pennsy, PC, Conrail, C&O, B&O, & Reading,  There may be other railroads that went through that area, but those are the only ones I can think of right now that he is modeling. 

JLandT Railroad's picture

Russ, Thanks for the

Russ,

Thanks for the information, it's a starting point to work from.  Every little bit helps!  There will be someone out there who is an expert about the area I'm looking at, it's just a matter of finding them or them finding me...

Cheers,

Jason...

Web Blog:  http://jlandtrailroad.blogspot.com/
Skype:  jlandtrailroad, GMT +10, Melbourne, Australia.
Facebook:  Jlandtrailroad

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