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Site update – January 7

Is there no end to designing a layout? I sincerely hope not, I’m having too much fun!

I’ve added a page to the 12 foot layout modelling project for the design process. It’s been really good to check the images from a distance (and not standing at the layout board) and seeing where things could be improved. I’m going to make changes and get to the Mk III design later this week.

It’s nice to know that I’m getting closer to an ideal layout design that will keep me happy switching and let me enjoy the layout for the next few years.

Keep an eye out for updates to the page later in the week.

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Site update – January 1 – Happy New Year edition

I’ve added a new Modelling section – My 12 Foot Layout.

This will provide a Work-in-Progress report of what’s happening in the layout build process. For now there’s a front page. It provides my overall thoughts and a photo showing the proposed design (already laid out in track).

As I stated on the page there’ll be more coming in the future including:

  • Track laying,
  • Building construction,
  • Detailing,
  • Operations design, and
  • A session report or two

Looking forward to getting this underway this month.

The new layout boards are complete!

Originally Posted on the Old HVL blog March 24, 2013

OK, so a little about the design and build of the layout boards.
In general all wood is fine quality pine dressed all round (DAR). The board top is 12 mm ply (1/2 inch), while the sky board is 6mm (1/4″) ply. THe legs are “L” girders using 1×2 and 1×3 DAR pine glued and screwed on the along their length. At the base of the leg is a glue bock of 2×1 DAR pine which is used to locate a T nut, with a 5/16″ bolt as a leveller. The nut for the 5/16th bolt mounts on the top of the glue block locking the bolt in place once you’ve levelled the board. I’ll be building a better foot arrangement at some point in the future that is easier on the floor, most likely a wooden ball with a 5/16″ nut through the centre of the wooden ball.

All of the side and end rails are 3 x 1 DAR pine and these have not been glued, but have been Kreg pocket screwed together. The ply was then glued and screwed to the box. Nice, tight and very rigid. There is one rail across the board in the centre  of 2×1″ DAR pine, this has also been Kreg pocket screwed to the sides and the top was glued and screwed tothis also. The skyboard is glued and screwed to 1×2 pine DAR which acts as a stiffener and mounting point on the back of the main board. Mounting to the rear of the main boards is achieved using Kreg pocket screws.

The legs are mounted to the main board using 3 screws on each side to the sides. The top horizontal board bears the weight of the main board above; while the bottom horizontal board acts as a bearing face between boards and allows the boards to lock together using a wooden clamps from offcut of the hozontal boards and 1 x 2 DAR pine. Think an inverted U locking the two legs together. Nice, tight, simple and about 3 months in the planning.

Overall what are my impressions? Very happy to be over the hump of the work. The boards are light and strong. I can lift them fork lift style on my own without hurting myself and as I have a 50 year old back; this is a good thing. Thanks to my wife (Janette) for suggesting the mounting height for the sky boards. At 400mm above the plane of the board they are high enough to be at or just below my eye height, and with the 2×1 stiffeners behind allow easy mounting of lights that will hang out over the board for better simulation of daylight.

I’ve a few sketches and such to put on the gallery site later in the week. This should give you an idea of how the parts look. More photos will be coming before I paint everything later this month or during April, depending on the weather. Well a great day in all, now some remedial work on the old boards to bring them up to spec and height, and then my work is done.