Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Installing the Subroadbed down to the storage tracks

Well, we have finished the framing of the benchwork all the way to the end of the storage area. Now we are going to put in the roadbed from the branch line bridge over the main to the storage tracks. Rich Luzinski came over today to give me a hand installing the roadbed on a consistent grade of 1.6%. You can see Rich is holding a metal 4 foot rule to check to see that the plywood has the same percent change in elevation over its whole length. We use the red torpedo level to be sure the roadbed is level across the track . In the second picture you see the appliance on the two foot yellow level that we use to set the grade roughly. We put about 5 risers in place with clamps and then use the metal straight edge to check our consistancy. You can also see in the first picture that I have run electrical outlets throughout the framing so I no longer need extension cords for the power tools.
In the last two pictures you can see looking back to the bridge how the roadbed rises to the track I laid last year. In the last picture you see it coming down to zero elvation on the framing. That is the start of the area where the 8 holding tracks will be. More pictures on that later.
The next project will be to move the balance of the stuff that is stored up against the wall to under this new section of benchwork so we can begin building the framing for the last major section of the layout.
I will show you that in later pictures.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Starting the eastbound side of the hidden storage

Well, you can see the end of the first section is up cleanly and bolted to the column of the house for added rigidity. The storage yard roadbed is on the floor. We have the two track main widening out into 8 tracks so I have both east and west bound storage. In the second picture you see the Atlas turnouts which I will use in the hidden area.
I laid them out to be sure that I did not put cross members in a place that would interfer with the switch linkage. The third picture illustrated the maxim that any horizontal surface will soon act as storage. I have my tools and parts back on the top of the earlier section but the roadbed is not graded or secured yet. In shot three and four you see that the benchwork is built over the roadbed because I used it as my template for the size and location of the crossmembers. Shot number four also illustrated how I was able to hold up the lengthy section before adding the cross parts. I clamped legs to the ends and they flopped around a bit but I was able to secure them enough. Now the cross members are in and I have to go back and add the permanent legs. That will be the next installment but first I am going fishing tomorrow to relax.
The last shot gives you a look back to the rest of the east side of the basement. It also shows that we are now entering a more difficult curved section of benchwork where we have to maintain our aisle spacing while making provisions for the yard at Northumberland which will cover this storage area. More on that after fishing!
Just for the record, the plywood you see on its side in the right rear is the roadbed that will hang from the ceiling above this section we are currently building. That has to be done also before I can do the yard. I haven't done this much planning in years.

Building the first section eastbound

As we have now laid out the roadbed on the paper on the floor, we sketched in a curved edge to the benchwork as you come into the room from the foyer.
With that diagram, I am able to cut the wood to the right angles to create the flow to match the roadbed. You can see the pieces on the floor as I build the parts to be able to assemble the parts into bench work. The kids (11 with families) were home for Christmas and my son Justin helped me to raise the parts into a finished assembly. We started with the rear spine that was along straight section of 1 by 4 pine. The cross members were then screwed and glued to it. We made the section by the short wall first as seen in picture three as it attached to the river crossing section way back on the right. That was bolted to the wall and then the long section was raised onto temporary legs so we could attach the two together. Once that was done, the flexible plywood front section was screwed and glued to the crossmembers. The plywood is one half the thickness of the pine so I laminate two sections together and use the clamps to hold it while the glue sets. This gives me the ability to make the curved sections.
This pine that I am using actually was purchased back in 1990 from Pat Mitchell who had a business building large scale scenery then. So it has aged in my house for a long time - who says O scalers don't plan ahead!!
In the last shot you see the finished section with the curved flow. The legs are steel square tubing that Pat Mitchell obtained for me and then taught me how to weld back in the early 90's. I fabricated about 30 legs and can now finally use them.

As I watch thebenchwork go up, I get anxious to get some track down but have to be patient.