Small Big Box Shelf Layout - 20"x29"

MC Fujiwara Feb 21, 2016

  1. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    While I still love Free-moN, I've given away all my modules except Shoofly, meaning my only "home layout" is my 1'x6' Alameda Belt-in-a-Box shelf switching layout.
    I really miss my 23"x41" Mt. Coffin & Columbia River layout:

    [​IMG]

    & the fact that I could just fire it up & zone out or work while watching trains roll round through scenes.
    [Crappy trackwork subverted the rolling, thus the scrapping]

    A year ago or so, inspired by the small layouts of David K Smith & Chris333, I built some 10"x29" module sections that could be paired back to back to create a table-top roundy round layout:

    [​IMG]

    Or end to end to create a linear switching layout:

    [​IMG]

    Why 10"x29"? Because most important, I designed & built them so they could "stack" & fit into a standard IKEA shelving unit:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Because I know two certainties in life:
    1) I will be moving (again) at some point, &
    2) at least 1 of the kabillion IKEA shelving products my kids' mom has had me assemble over the last 15 years will probably make the move with me.

    So here's the rough design I came up with:

    [​IMG]

    Am currently building only the far left pair, but planning for expansion.
    Each pairing would fit on another IKEA shelf.
    The far right pieces would allow for a longer roundy round layout, an "L", or an interchange option, along with two clamp-on staging/tail tracks.
    And here's the long switching shelf option:

    [​IMG]

    Will be DCC:

    [​IMG]

    [plate will be mounted from the interior to reduce profile]

    And somewhat modular, being connected with alignment nails & 1/4" bolts:

    [​IMG]

    spaced by this high-tech jig:

    [​IMG]

    Next: Handlaid curved 3-way turnout? Why not?
     
  2. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Gorilla Glued GapMasters at the boundaries:

    [​IMG]

    Two ties on each side is probably enough, so I can cut them in half.

    Put down some cardstock to layout the turnouts:

    [​IMG]

    Will need one 3-way turnout with two curved diverging routes, so I mocked it up on AnyRail using 8 1/2" radii & then "easementing" the section through the frogs a bit to create a template:

    [​IMG]

    For the other side I darkened the rail tops with marker, turned it upside down, & pressed into position to create the diverging route.
    In between used Fast Tracks templates:

    [​IMG]

    Building this as all one unit:

    [​IMG]

    Got the ties secured with spray adhesive, then started with the long, straight common rail.
    Filed & grinded down the point rail notches before installing--you can see two notches for back-to-back point rails here (between the dark-grey bars indicating where the throwbars will go):

    [​IMG]

    Am tackling the tough 3-way first, and starting from the through rail "up":

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then filling in the mess in the middle:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Trucks run through fine, though I'll probably replace the top guard rail with one that extends right another tie.

    The fun part will be cutting the iso gaps & wiring the slide switches not to short stuff out.
    Should be fine (I had a 3-way on Mt. Coffin & Columbia River that worked relatively great), though I might have to use a jeweler's saw instead of a Dedeco cutting disc (too big & cuts into neighboring rail).
    And the fact that a 3-way turnout has some very short point rails, so the AdaFruit slide switches might throw too far.
    Might need to do the z-bend, or cut a channel in the throwbar to take up the travel.
    We'll see.

    Fun to work on own project again, & outside comfort zone.
    Thanks for looking.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    With the coming of T-Trak, I have become quite interested in small modular layouts, and how they are stored. I'm certain this will be fascinating to follow along.
     
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  4. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    MC,

    Your Mt. Coffin & Columbia River layout was the bomb!!! I love that layout. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

    John
     
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  5. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's some nice track. How hard will it be to isolate the frogs?
     
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  6. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Should be ok, as long as I hop to it & they don't croak.

    [​IMG]

    No: usually I use 0.009" Dedeco separating discs but they might be too wide for these cuts.
    Might have to try to wear down the disc into a smaller diameter, or use a jeweler's saw.
    I built a 3-way for my Mt. Coffin & Columbia River layout, so I was somewhat successful before :)
     
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  7. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    I learned the hard way to feed the frog or regret later. I can't imagine how to get such a thin cut in that maze of track and not do damage. I look forward to seeing how you do it. Good to hear you have been there and done it before.
     
  8. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nancy,

    A jeweler's saw is the best way to go for this type of work. Blade is very fine, and moves smoothly. MC will just have to a spend a couple more minutes than usual on his cuts (it is amazing to watch him work so quickly -- I've turned around, sometimes, to pick up something and when I've turned back he's 10 steps past where he was [or so it seems]).

    [​IMG]
     
  9. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Member

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    If I'm seeing this correctly it appears that the hinging for the switch throw is accomplished by notching/ thinning the rail at the hinge point and just letting it bend the samll amount needed. But then, do you rigidly solder the throwbar to those two rails or is it hinged or dogged in some fashion?
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Note the blades on these can be very fragile, so be careful in exerting any downward pressure. Also, in the illustration Rick has posted, note the direction of those blade teeth. As taught to me by my father, who spent his career in that business, that is the correct way to have yours in place.
     
  11. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    Okay. I see the track and I see the tools. Now I look forward to see the detales of how and where the rails get cut and frog fed.

    Above MC said, "I had a 3-way on Mt. Coffin & Columbia River that worked relatively great". Hmm...that's an interesting way to put it. I can imagine there was lots to learn doing that first one. Hope this one will build on that experience and you can drop the "relatively".

    In any case the shelf storable module concept looks promising. I look forward to progress. I've scrapped two layouts for crappy track. I know the feeling.
     
  12. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Yup: not much more frustrating than trains sputtering / derailing over crappy track.
    Especially crappy track that you built yourself :)

    After the curved 3-way, the next two "normal" turnouts turned out to take less time than Curry & the Warriors to defeat OKC:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still have one more turnout to go on this fixture, at the far left:

    [​IMG]

    Once everything is done I'll do the iso cuts.
    The fixture on the opposite module should be relatively easy, with the most difficult aspect a crossing very close to the main coming off facing turnouts.
    But already messing up one crossing on my Alameda Belt layout should help me mess this on up a little less, or at least in new ways [​IMG]
     
  13. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh, I so relate...
    The good news is that things generally get better. Messing up a little less will often be good enough to encourage me to continue onward through the fog.
     
  14. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

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    A wise man once told me, "If this doesn't work, we're going to learn something!"
     
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  15. Primavw

    Primavw TrainBoard Member

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    M.C., always a fan of your work! Can't wait to watch your latest installment!
     
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  16. utcke

    utcke TrainBoard Member

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    What? Mar 2016, and then it just stopped? So, M.C., what happened? Live interfering?
     
  17. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    If he's at all like me, he started a project, then life got in the way. School, family activities, managing a household, work... You know, unimportant stuff! :p

    MC, I hope to see more!
    You certainly have the patience of Job to build your own turnouts, much less a 3-way curved one!
     
  18. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not to speak for MC, but he is alive and well. Saw him just before the holidays, even! Life has definitely impacted his train time, though.
     

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