Christmas in July, Oh man!

SleeperN06 Jul 11, 2014

  1. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    So we are planning a large family Christmas get together this year and everybody is expecting my usual large Christmas train display. It’s been a couple of years since I set it up because I was tired of it and wanted to build a new one, so my wife made me set it up on the patio so I could redesign it during the summer months, but I threw a tarp over it and its been setting untouched for over a year and a half.

    Well now my wife is getting on my case about it, but I just can’t get into it during the summer. The last one evolved over 10 years and I spent a month or two each year making changes. It’s now a 3 level 6ft x 8ft display and I want to remove most of the ¾ plywood and make it lighter.

    Anyway I pulled of the tarp and the Lionel FasTrack has rusted and needs replaced. I haven’t bought any for awhile and I know it’s going to cost me although since I’m tearing it all apart, it might be time to change tracks. I just don’t know what. I don't want to spend a lot of money on something that may only be set up once a year.
     
  2. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, start with seeing if you can clean-up the FasTrack. Unless it has rusted completely through the rail you may be able to still use it. Try some WD40 on a spot and see how it reacts.

    If you find you are going to have to re-track. Gar Graves may still have some stuff available. Atlas, is expensive but solid and durable. You aren't likely to experience it rusting away.

    That would be my only suggestions.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Quite a bit of time has gone by. Maybe just dismantle it for now. Get the old one out of the way, as it might be what is holding you back. Or perhaps the time is past to even build a new layout?
     
  4. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Rick,
    I’m going to pick up some Evapo-Rust tomorrow from Harbor Freight, but all the plating is coming off and it doesn’t look real hopeful unless I can stop it from rusting again. It’s so hot and dry right now that I don’t think it will rust right away, but the time November gets here, it just might.
     
  5. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    I had 2” white foam on it and it looks as if it’s all distorted and really dirty. I plan on removing the foam and cutting most of the plywood out from underneath and then covering it with the pink foam.
     
  6. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ok, sounds good.

    I've never been happy with Lionel track of any era. Not surprised.
     
  7. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    It started to rust years ago, but wasn’t real bad because I was cleaning it all the time. I mentioned it on Model Railroader and someone was arguing that it did not rust and I didn’t know what I was looking at.

    I was thinking about that when I pulled off the tarp. I thought about taking a Photo and finding that old post to show that yes it does rust.
     
  8. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Every piece of three rail track I owned and/or friends owned definitely rusted. Didn't mater who made it. Never mind what I saw happen to American Flyer track.
     
  9. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    GarGraves stainless.
     
  10. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    I’ve been looking at CarGraves and I think it would look good with the rest of the layout, but I’m a little afraid of it. I bought some years ago to make a curved truss bridge and destroyed about 5 pieces trying to bend it.

    I looked up the FasTrack and its going to cost me a little over $100 to replace what I have now, but I’m thinking of changing the layout. Being able to bend the CarGraves might help with layout depending on how tight a bend I can make.
     
  11. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Johnny, I had to make a plywood template and bend the GarGraves around the template. There was a lot of shifting around with the sleepers/ties and I had to keep adjusting them as I made the bend. Once it was shaped to the curve I wanted, I then drilled pilot holes in the wooden ties and tacked them to a plywood or particle board sub-roadbed. For roadbed I used three pieces of HO scale cork. The idea of using cork to quiet things down...well....I don't believe it. I use it for appearance sake.

    It's do able.
     
  12. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    I bought a O-scale trolley a couple of years ago and would like to make room for it this time around, but want to use O-27 track so I can fill it in between the track to look more like a street.

    I used to have a Bachmann On30 Trolley that was a big hit and the HO track was perfect to fit into the layout. The only problem was that it was too much trouble keeping it running.

    The O-27 track makes it really difficult to fit so I was thinking of opening up the inside track a little to make room, but that causes even more problems. I have a harbor on the sub-level and I may have to move farther out into the living room which might cause a trip hazard.

    Below is a diagram of the 1st level showing the changes in red.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    Well I’m back at it after some setbacks with illness and other priorities that popped up. What a pain! I just wish I could get more enthused about it and not feel like it’s such a chore.

    Anyway today was the first day that I was free so I tore the old layout all apart and decided to go with Fastrack again except added a few pieces to make it a little larger. I already ordered the Fastrack so there’s no changing my mind now.

    I’m not going to use the old bench work because it’s just too heavy and I don’t have the strength any more to move it around. I’m just going to make a frame out of 2x3s and use foam insulation for the surface to make it lighter.

    I was going to use ‘Foamular 150’ because of its Compressive strength of 15 psi, but I can only find it in 2” and it would be better for me to use 1 ½” because it fits better with my plans.
    02bbc414-1d7e-4d09-af01-10f329edfb7c_145.jpg or f1ddd891-555c-4ff3-ac58-3624e37b65d5_145.jpg

    I’ve almost made up my mind to use 1.5" R-Tech Foam and peel off the foil on the top side. I don’t know what the Compression Strength is and their web site says all sizes are 13psi, but I guess that’s OK even If I don’t believe it and its half the price. Plus it only weighs 4lbs per sheet compared to the 7.55 lbs per sheet of the 2” Foamular.

    I didn’t get a lot done today because I had to dig a 2ft x 8ft hole 4ft deep yesterday for my desert tortoise and didn’t quite get done because I just ran out of strength and had to finish this morning. I have tomorrow off so I’m going to buy the lumber and foam tomorrow and hopefully get something accomplished.
     
  14. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    Ok well after a few distractions I’m back. I'm a little late, but not too late yet.

    I took this whole week off to at least get the new bench work done so I can set up the track and do the landscaping, but I spent all day yesterday redesigning a smaller Christmas layout.

    [​IMG]

    It’s just so hard losing the outside track to only gain 12” of living room space. I have a Christmas box car for every year a child was born in the family including new granddaughter just last month and I really need the extra length to fit all the cars.

    The video below shows the outside track from back in 2011, but not all the Christmas box cars because I bought them after this video was done. I’ll be moving the Polar express up on top and the freight train to the outside track with all the Christmas cars. I’m not sure what I’ll run on the lower inside track because I bought a new Lionel train in 2012 and I can’t remember what I bought at the moment.

    [video=youtube;kVPNGc8sWIE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVPNGc8sWIE[/video]
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looks like winter, Christmas and whimsy. Just what it should be.
     
  16. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks BoxcabE50,

    Well I redrew it with the outside track included and just rearranged the harbor a little to include a new trolley. My daughters threw a fit because they wanted me to lose a couple of levels and condense it with only one train. After all was said my wife gave me a big kiss and said we “WILL” do it our way so tomorrow I’ll be starting the wood frame for the full size version.

    I understand why they don't like it, because it is quite noisy with 3 trains and so much so that you can't hear anybody talk. I guess I'll have to invest in a dozen or so Noise-canceling headphones. LOL No just kidding, I can't afford that.
     
  17. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    I finished the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] level bench and I have it setting up on sawhorses to save my back. I haven’t peeled the foil off yet because I didn’t want to damage the foam before sealing and painting it.

    I started temporally laying out the track to get my boundaries to cut away for my harbor when I discovered that some of my brand new FastTrack is missing the joiners. I thought maybe I could salvage

    [​IMG]
     
  18. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    Just finished routing the foil covered foam board to recess the trolley track so the top of the track will be flush with the ground surface. I will fill in the gaps with spray foam and cut it flush before painting it to look like road.

    I had to ground the router to the foil with a brake rotor to keep the dust from statically clinging to the plastic and obstructing my view of the marking line. It was so bad prior to the grounding that I could not see anything

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'd heard folks used a router on foam board. This is the first time I hav e ever seen the actual evidence. Does your router have a shop vac attachment?
     
  20. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes it does thank goodness. I have to say that it works so well that I may never use my hot wire cutter again or at least for flat surfaces. I tried making flat roads in foam mountains with the hot wire cutter and was never satisfied with the results although depending on the mountain surface it may not be able to handle the job. The only real problem is static electricity from the foam, but that's easly solved with a ground wire to the router.

    Right now I'm working on a solution of fastening the track to the foam and not real sure if caulking is going to hold it. I'm fooling with the idea of using long screw through the foam to fasten to small pieces off wood glued underneath. I just don't have any screws small enough to fit through the track holes and long enough to go through the foam.
     

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