Skyview Lines begins

Tom Crofton Mar 12, 2019

  1. Tom Crofton

    Tom Crofton TrainBoard Member

    I'm starting a new thread based on my introduction:

    I'm a year away from building the layout but am working a bit on major pieces besides the track and bases so I can drop them in when the time comes.
    Here's the ferry I plan to build. the first picture is the one from the vendor of a completed card-stock ferry thumb_HsB09.jpg P1010012.JPG P1010016.JPG

    I down loaded and printed the 4 pages and scaled them out to somewhere between N and HO.
    I did the math by measuring the width of the track and had them blown up 170% to get to HO.
    As you can see in the last one, the track printed is close enough for the scale.
    I am going to cut these out and trace on wood before building the paper model. I am going to experiment with planing and sanding walnut in my double drum sander to see it I can get it thin enough for this project.
    I have some pine too, so i will see if I can make my own flat stock thin enough to bend. Otherwise I'll get some wood veneer. As a carpenter I am trying to not use a lot of plastic or purchased materials when possible.
    I received this book for my 66th birthday yesterday (!) and also one on bridges that are both chocked full of real descriptions of their subjects. These are both fantastic resources for scratch building. I have my first I beams and punched box beams made
    These are both just first tries and need some adjustments to shapes and proportions. They are cherry wood painted with automotive primer/surfacer to hide the grain. To use full size cabinet shop tools I am limited to how small i can go but the NMRA charts of bridge members show a double track Warren truss of 150' length is made of pieces similar to the above so I'm going with a streamlined (oval punches instead of laced) box beams. The flanges on girders are a touch thick but so are the plastic shapes available. I can get down to about 3 inch thick scale before losing my wood, but most of these built up pieces in large structure are close to 2 inches after riveting.

    This project is going to proceed slowly now that the weather is changing, but I will keep updating the progress. I am very thankful for all the other threads I am reading and am really excited about the walk around multi cab system explained in the book above. I am drawing the line for my layout at mechanical, pneumatic and electric controls (when the first two are difficult) and avoiding the electronic (DCC et al ) for now. I'm going to get a bunch of old cars and locos as the build happens and upgrade them and repaint/weather as the layout comes to life.
    my goal is to concentrate on action, and have a bunch of stations for helpers to run the layout. Kids need to discover this world and have enough electronics already.
    astrotrain and WM183 like this.
  2. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

    This is wonderful. I love to see maritime themes in railroad layouts, and scratchbuilt ones are better yet! Definitely excited to see this one progress!
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I love ferries and railroads, so seeing the combination of both is exciting for me! :)
  4. Tom Crofton

    Tom Crofton TrainBoard Member

    I was able to plane and use my drum sander to get some maple down to 1/16" or .06 which is very thin but scales to 6" HO. I'ts very flexible and the grain is good for this, tight and closed.
    I am going to try a carrier board and tape the machined piece to it with double sided tape to see if I can go thinner.
    I was also thinking of just sanding a taper to the exposed edges after it's built to get closer to scale.
    Veneer is available at 2/83" or .024" or 2" HO. That's as far as I can go but I'm trying to get close with my own trees instead of buying stuff.

    I like the small ferry to fit a 10 x 15 layout. A container ship is something like 9 feet long in HO
    I'm thinking of going to an island and bringing back some special type of ore so i can use the Titchy ore cars.
    The famous heavy water work by the Germans used this size ferry to transport a tank car and it was sunk in the ford, ending their atomic plans.

    I have also enjoyed watching a Swedish fellow build his waterfront scenery and it's clear, that's going to be part of the plan
  5. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

    This is an interesting approach to model shipbuilding. Do a RailImages search for Trainboard member Pete Nolan and you'll see that he does something similar except that he uses styrene rather than wood. I'm interested to see how your approach works out.

    BTW, if you're interested in building layout size boats (great lakes sailors still refer to their ships as boats) at something less than 2 feet in HO scale, this old lumber hooker might be for you. Built in 1890 by Burger and Burger, as far I know, she worked on Lake Michigan her entire life. Since a spring storm in 1940, she has rested in about 10 feet of water off Marinette, so is both literally and figuratively close to home for you.
  6. Tom Crofton

    Tom Crofton TrainBoard Member

    Looks like I'm gonna have to build that boat too! My son has been going to school in Houghton MI and there is the "portage" across the Isthmus that looks like a river. It was connected with some dredging on the easy end to be a short cut for this size boat to not have to go around the Keweenaw Peninsula. If the Edmond Fitzgerald had fit, she probably would still be sailing.
    RailMix likes this.
  7. Tom Crofton

    Tom Crofton TrainBoard Member

    laid keel

    the thin maple works pretty well but the black cherry is the best so far. Next summer I'll have to P1010019.JPG cut down a basswood and get it drying.

    The CA glue is pretty messy but this all gets covered and outside painted.
    this plan has a lot of symmetry and straight cuts. A good first try. I've decided to not build the paper model. All of the little tabs are annoying but the pattern is terrific.
  8. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

  9. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

  10. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    I used to build paper models. The one problem I had with them was when you built it, the white edge of the paper was showing somewhere. You could always build a core and then glue the paper to the outside. One of my friends was working on a Great Lakes ore freighter. He sanded the entire hull out of one piece of lumber and then covered it with the details like the deck material and portholes.

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