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Reply to "Continuing Saga … Newtown Hardwrare House WIP"

Finished putting the framework in that will support the city and then marked and cut the thin Masonite. This material is quite old since I believe I purchased it to build the n-gauge layout with my son before he went to college (it never got past the L-girders) and he's now heading for 39. It's amazing that almost every scrap of wood that I dragged from our old house is slowly being incorporated into this new RR.


There's 3/4" dimensional lumber running across the cleats. I also added more cleats to span areas that I thought would be too broad for stability. I still have to add some brackets around the perimeter to support the thin material and foam around the edges. For some reason, the cleats kept coming out at different heights. I was taking all level measurements from the first cleat I installed, but there must have been stacking errors creeping in since some cleats were more that 1/8" higher than they should be. I was up and down on the scooter more times than I'd like to count. 

City Foundation 3

I was using every scrap of lumber I had and didn't want to got to THD to buy more. So I had to extend on board to span the gap I wanted. 

City Foundation 4

I flopped the pieces of Masonite onto the framework and aligned one edge to keep the amount of cutting to a minimum. From underneath I marked the circular shape of the opening using a Sharpie. The saber saw with a fine-toothed blade made quick work of the cuts. I had to go back and re-cut some of the curves due to the parallax induced by the gap between the curve and Masonite.


City Foundation 6

 Here're the pieces in place... not fastened.  

City Foundation 7


All the pieces are cut and reasonably fit. Now I have to figure out the best way to fasten the Masonite to the support network. I want this 'sub-floor' to be fastened tightly, but the foam on top will be removable so I have build scenes off the layout and bring them to it when done. It's over 7 feet across and much too far to reach, and is not as strong as the layout and wouldn't support someone walking on it. Too much concentrated load would punch a hole right through this stuff.


Tomorrow I will finish up fitting these pieces and then get them into permanent position. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking that I'll mark the position of the support structure on each panel piece from under. Take the pieces off the table and drill holes for some small wood screws in the center of the framework marks and then return them to the frame and screw it down. Since these screws will be hidden, it would make taking the layout apart some day more difficult, but if the foam is detachable, they won't be so hidden after all. I also need to join the panel pieces together. Here again I'll use screw plates underneath made out of some thicker stock and put the screws in from above.


Once again, taking time to write this build thread helps me think through challenges.


Images (4)
  • City Foundation 3
  • City Foundation 4
  • City Foundation 6
  • City Foundation 7
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