Layout planning: The Fyan Spur of the Frisco

bem1492 May 15, 2020

  1. bem1492

    bem1492 TrainBoard Member

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    To foam, or not to foam; that is the question.

    I am planning on laying 2-inch foam as the top layer on the bench work. Do you use a foam layer?
     
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  2. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    I’ve become a big fan of raising the layout above the normal height. For several reasons, easier to get under for work and you are looking more into the scene, not down on it. Not good for smaller visitors so I keep a lightweight step ladder available for when the grand’s want to see things.
     
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  3. bem1492

    bem1492 TrainBoard Member

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    Dale, what is the height of your layout?
     
  4. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    It varies, the main layout is at 50”, the BNSF is at 53 where it crosses Bird Creek.
     
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  5. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    bem1492, definitely use foam before you install track. It will let you model below track level scenery and it's easy to carve. I use a keyhole saw and then use a rasp file with a handle to smooth. After that I painted the foam brown and sifted real dirt while the paint is still wet. Now it's ready to sift ground foam of your color choice using white glue mixed 50/50 with water. Be sure to use the glue mix first then the ground foam, otherwise you will have a big mess.

    Joe

    Keyhole saw and rasp file with handel.
    20200531_120408_HDR.jpg
     
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  6. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    When I did N scale, it was foam (blue) all the way. (Now I am using foam core, about 4mm, with three layers but that is another story.) (y)
     
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  7. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    I started with 1” extruded foam (blue or pink) for the base layer. Anything above the base was white EPS that I picked up at HD as garage door insulation in 1/2” thickness. We ordered a cheap import Hotwire cutter off of eBay or amazon, I can’t remember which. It’s adapted to 110 so I just plug it in and go to carving. It kind of seals the surface as it cuts but that has not been a problem. All of the small hills on the layout were cut from eps with the hot wire cutter. Once you carve it, cover it with ground cover and foam, it softens the cut lines very well. I always painted the foam with a ground color prior to adding the scenery layers.

    There is an orange one on Amazon right now for 19.99 and free 2 day shipping. I believe it is the same one we bought. They do come in handy if you are working to provide some topography to your layout.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  8. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I agree, when I wired my layout, I was sitting on my 2ft step ladder and reaching up!
    I am 6'5", so I like it higher than average.
     
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  9. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Just came across this.

    Really digging this so far following along with interest.
     
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  10. bem1492

    bem1492 TrainBoard Member

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    Good advice. Thanks, Dale!
     
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  11. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Blayne,

    Hope you can make it Saturday, it would be great to see you! Bring a loco for show and tell.

    Dale
     
  12. bem1492

    bem1492 TrainBoard Member

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    Working on the module legs today. (I settled on a floor-to-railhead height of about 51".) I'm attaching removable legs using the technique described by Luke Towan (Boulder Creek Raiload) of gluing into the corners braces that have insert nuts, and then bolting the legs onto those braces.
    20200609_131516.jpg

    Here is the corner module, ready for a foam top.
    20200610_083355.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  13. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Looking good coming along well.
     
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  14. bem1492

    bem1492 TrainBoard Member

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    One module (the creek & road) left to go.

    1AD6F143-2FC6-4504-A577-1639190A9D6B.jpeg
     
  15. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    (y)
     
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  16. bem1492

    bem1492 TrainBoard Member

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    The final, weirdly-shaped module that contains the road and the creek. The plywood on the front-left 8 inches of the module is taller so that it matches the height of the foam. This is where the staging cassette will attach, and I want to give the track a firm foundation as it goes onto the cassette.

    20200612_150619.jpg
    Plan30_Module5H.png
     
  17. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    You have my interest, really nice benchwork. Thank you for posting.

    What are you going to do with the cassette? I have them in my layout drawings and have a idea on how to build them but would like hear what other people are doing.

    Ship It On Frisco

    Joe
     
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  18. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Nicely executed Blayne, it’s going to be a great operating railroad! Thank you for posting pictures of your progress.

    Dale
     
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  19. bem1492

    bem1492 TrainBoard Member

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    Joe,

    I plan to use the cassette track (and the module track up to the turnout) to set up incoming traffic at the beginning of an op session and as the destination of outbound traffic at the end of the session. between sessions, I'll remove and store it. (I'm planning for the cassette to have legs that will fold under it.)
     
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  20. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    My design is two cassettes with three tracks that slide in to modules 09 and 10. Will use tooling pins for alignment and plug in electrical connections. The bases are going to be quarter inch Birch plywood with Masonite side rails. This is what I have planned at the moment but if I see a better setup would definitely rethink.

    Joe
     
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