Acme, an N Scale HCD Layout

logging loco Feb 5, 2021

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  1. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    I failed to mention a few steps in the dry fit that helped keep everything in alignment. These photos are of the wider, front section of the layout, but other than the dowels and dowel holes both pieces are the same.


    20210819_145223.jpg
    Filler piece aligned and gently started into door. I had to gently tap on it.



    20210819_143824.jpg
    Here it is in shown in the section in the upper part of the photo. It is almost flush with the doorskin, just sticking out about ⅛" at the most exposed part of the filler piece. My cut through the door was not straight, square or plumb therefore the filler piece could never be truly flush.


    20210819_143126.jpg

    Now go to the end of the door section that the filler piece was just dry fit into. Drill two holes trough the top/bottom member of the door and into the cleat at the end of the of the filler piece.
    Deepening on the size of the top/bottom member you may need long screws. Even with 3½" deck screws I still needed to counter sink the screwheads about ½".

    I didn't realize this until after the picture was taken. (Just pretend the heads of the deck screws in the picture are really deep in the wood and the spliceplate only has 3 screws in the right half.)

    Repeat this at the other end of the SAME section of door. When complete both ends of this filler piece are temporally secured in place.


    I don't have the correct angle picture for the next step but it is pretty basic.
    20210819_143824.jpg
    Step back at the end of the layout and look down along the filler piece. We are just looking for it to be reasonably straight. There is no need to get crazy with a long straight edge or string line. We just don't want any major bulges or bellies.

    If the cut through the door is a little wavy like mine is, don't worry if the filler piece doesn't exactly parallel your cut. It shouldn't.

    The edge of the filler piece should however be vertical ie straight up and down. This doesn't need to be perfect either just eyeball it or if it makes you feel better check with a square.


    Ok, almost done the dry fit on this piece! Two more quick steps.
    20210819_144058.jpg
    This picture shows both pieces close together but for now we are still just working on one section.
    Every 18"-24" along the cut edge of the door skin tack in a small finish nail or brad. Leave plenty of shank so you can pull it back out easily. Place the nail so it will go roughly into the middle of the width of the filler strip. You can see the finish nails in the above picture. You want to do this on one side (top or bottom) of this layout section.

    Now take a sharp pencil and draw a mark where the door skin meets the filler piece. This marks how far to slide in the filler piece in on final glue up. Mark the finish nail holes and mark the exposed side of the filler strip with some arrows pointing up. You might want to mark which layout section the filler piece goes to.

    Now step back, take a deep breath and admire you're handiwork. Don't worry the filler piece isn't square or plumb. During the next update we are going to match the other layout section to the one you just dry fit. The next layout section will find the "sweet spot", kind of like spooning layout sections :love:.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  2. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for taking the extra time. I found it interesting and informative. Hopefully it will work out well for you.
    And if needed it could work for me.
     
  3. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Your quite welcome. I appreciate your response. I type as fast as a handless pirate.

    Installing the filler piece on the other section is almost the same. The big difference is during the dry fit. Before any screws or nails are installed into the filler piece, the layout sections are pushed together until all the splice plates and holes are lined up, then all splice plate screws are installed. This sets the layout width back to it's original dimension.

    When everything was dry fit together the track pieces aligned up just as before. I never did a final fit of the track over the seams. A couple of the rail gaps were just a little too wide. That will be an easy fix.

    If nobody requests further explanation I'm going to stop the step by step-by-step.

    Soooo . . ., why did your front door get kicked in?
     
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  4. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    Keep on the posting. It's always an amazing thing, the many varied skills we employ to enjoy our hobby! And you are employing a few here! Having shortened many an interior door for a home, watching you do the same, (only making it bigger!) has been a good time! I believe your splice is going to result in a very stable and strong surface!
     
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  5. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry, but to answer the question would violate the boards regulations and the local 'authorities'. And I moved to a friends building. We are better received there.
     
  6. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Will do!
    When I had everything dry fit screwed and tacked there was a bit of flex along the seam. Picture a book spine. It was only a few degrees. I did not have the track over the seam so I don't know how it wold be affected.

    I don't plan on moving the layout while the sections are joined. When the layout is in place almost the full length is supported by the second door which the layout door sits on.
    Confused?
    The door on door set up works great in my little room. The layout is not attached to the lower door.. If I need access to the back of the layout I simply swing the layout like a large sector plate. It sides very smoothly yet it doesn't move from small bumps.
     
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  7. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Understood!
    Sounds like the old "If I told you I'd have to kill you" line!

    Enough proverbial jaw jacking on my part I'd better get busy or I'll never get this rip joint behind me.
     
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  8. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yesterday I glued the filler piece into the second layout section. Here are some photos of making metal alignment dowels from wood screws.



    20210820_093723.jpg
    Wood screw with threads chucked in drill.


    20210820_093747.jpg
    Filing off head.
    Grandpop's large, sharp, single cut file made quick work of removing the head. I ran the drill at a good bit less than full speed and kept the file moving so as not to overheat or wear one area of file teeth.



    20210820_093855.jpg
    Screw with head removed. Thats just a chip in the work bench to the right of screw.



    20210820_093952.jpg
    Next I flipped the screw around in the chuck and screwed it into the predrilled hole. Predrilled prevents the wood from splitting. (Before actually screwing in I squared the drill to the board after I took the picture.)



    20210820_094237.jpg
    I ran the screw in just until no threads were showing.

    When I dry fit the layout sections together I needed to very gently tap the dowels with a small hammer inorder for them to start in the holes in the opposite filler piece.

    I decided to add these dowels after the filler pieces were cut and planed. While the method I used worked a more precise and probably easier method would have been to install the dowels into filler pieces before dimensioning the filler pieces, then keeping the filler pieces doweled together while cutting to length and planning to final dimensions.
     
  9. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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  10. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Shortround,
    I have not seen this type before, only the style that actually holds an entire drill.

    This looks handy. One of these will be very useful if drill dog holes in my workbench top.

    Would also be useful with a three jaw chucked brace. I wonder if I could swap the three jar chuck on that fixture with the two jaw chuck on my brace.

    Slim chance the chuck threads would be the same. The video says screws are M5. That leads me to believe the chuck threads are metric also.

    If the chuck swap worked I could use the brace in the fixture and the fixture would hold my old brace spanked bits.

    Tango Yankey!
     
  11. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's a clever drill attachment @Shortround. Never seen it before. (y)
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Per our posts about our Workmate tables, I ended up dragging out (literally) my Dad's other old Workmate table today, the one that requires a railroad crane to lift and set up. Worked well for holding the HCDs for eventual cutting to length. The rudimentary safety sticker on the thing warns not to set in excess of 750 LBS upon it! :eek: A couple of its bolts are showing rust, but otherwise its in good shape. It's new to me, brought home a few months ago just prior to the estate sale at my late mother's house. With its size and weight in mind, I was going to leave it, but I'm glad I reconsidered.

    2021-08-21 Workmate Large - for upload.jpg
     
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  13. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    The older simpler model I have is at the local True Value for $8. There's even V grooves to hold a dowel to drill across in the middle.
    I have 2 B&D Workmates. But they are more like sawhorses. To small to hole a door flat.
     
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  14. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    True Value shows a version made by General Tools.
    I've a number of General Tools. I've used them for years and have always been happy with them. In my opinion they have always been a good value for the price.

    Ok on to a layout update . . . .
     
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  15. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here are some photos showing installing the second filler piece.


    20210819_145047.jpg
    This is actually the first filler piece to go in but we are on the same step with the second.
    Take note of what I've been calling a cleat. There are two attached to the filler piece, one top of photo, one bottom. These slide snugly into the door just inside the top and bottom rail of the door. Their function is to help locate the filler piece at the proper depth between the door skins. I couldn't rely on the edge of the door skin or internal stiffeners. Remember my rip cut wasn't straight or plumb.



    20210820_094849.jpg
    In this picture we see the rip cut edge view of the door with the filler piece dry fit. The cleat is now inside the door section. It's location is between the arrow marks. The screws I have will reach. The drill bit?



    20210820_095038.jpg
    Here is the bit chucked in the drill. Definitely won't be going into the cleat.


    20210820_095619.jpg
    My solution was to drill holes ½" deep large enough to clear the screw heads.


    20210820_100316.jpg
    When I pulled the filler piece back out to apply glue I noticed there were no holes in the cleat. The cleat is shown across the top of the picture with the screw pointing to it. There should be two holes in it approximately above the holes in the door rail.
    I think the screws just pushed the cleats away from the door rail since there was no way to hold them back. Here is where the little light bulb in my head should have gone off. It didn't. We will come back to this on a future update.


    20210820_101804.jpg
    This just shows me putting glue under a failed stiffener glue joint.

    20210820_102741.jpg
    I used Elmer's Wood Glue for all the glue joints. The bottle was old I wanted to use it up. The glue had gotten pretty thick in the bottle. It was difficult to spread with a brush. I had to workfast and hit the filler piece fairly hard to drive it in. It fit in smoothly but snug during dry fit. In hind site I should have thinned the glue a little. Another missed light bulb moment!

    20210820_103011.jpg
    This is installing finish nails to hold everything while the glue dries. I also used the few clamps I have.

    20210820_103150.jpg
    Not every thing goes perfect, especially with this whole rip cut and filler operation.
    I didn't notice a knot when I started this finish nail. The knot caused it to bend.

    20210820_103216.jpg
    I just nipped off the nail.
    (Sorry about my fat sausage finger in this shot)

    The second filler piece is glued up.
    Now the wait begins!
    WILL IT FIT?
    WILL I HAVE TO TEAR IT OUT AND START OVER?
    STAY TUNED FOR ANOTHER EPISODE OF . . . .
    Sorry, I guess I've been listening to too many old time radio progams
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  16. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Drywall screws such as that are designed to be driven into 2x softwood (pine, spruce, etc.) lumber without pilot holes, so the drill is unnecessary unless you were driving the screw into thinner/harder material that might split. Doesn't look like that's the case here.

    A countersink bit would allow the screw head to seat below the surface for filling and hiding, if desired (and to grip deeper into the end grain of the filler strip.) Screws and glues don't hold particularly well in end grain.
     
  17. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    BigJake, Thanks for the reply.

    Cleat is thinner soft material that I did not want to split. The cleat was tacked onto the filler piece with a couple finish nails toed in.

    The sole purpose of the cleat was strictly to help me return the filler piece to the same depth after removing filler piece and applying glue.

    The method I used caused a minor problem.. There was another simple way I could have done this. I'll go into with some photos in a future update.

    Thanks again for your input I appreciate it.
     
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  18. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Another way to handle end-grain joints is to drill holes for dowels across the grain, and then drill/drive the screw into the side of the inserted & glued dowel. That way, the screw gets good, solid long-grain to grab onto, rather than end grain, and the dowel has a decent amount of long grain to bond to with the glue.

    But depending on how the whole layout and hollow core door are supported in use (an storage, if different), it may not be necessary to do any of this. In other words, if the end piece is not subject to forces that would sever the joint, the skins alone will suffice to hold it together. Now, if legs were attached directly to the end piece, etc. then some reinforcement may be in order.
     
  19. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Ah! Those light bulbs that go off afterwards are always much brighter than the indicator lights that ignite before. :whistle:
    Thanks again. I'm beginning to understand better.
     
  20. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    The woodworking book I included in a previous photo had I diagram showing that technique. I was unaware of it until I read it. Pretty neat trick.

    The end piece was only to act as a stop to keep the filler piece from going to far into the door.

    The layout sits on another door below it. The lower door lays across the top of free standing Plano plastic shelves. The holes in the top shelf that would be used to extend the shelves higher, have round rubber floor protectors inserted in them. This was initially done as a mockup for benchwork but worked out well so it is now permanent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
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