Bench work help!

It's barely in the picture, but I have a 3 amp resettable breaker next to the ammeter to protect wiring for all the led lighting. The electronic breaker in the PC power supply trips instantly, so it is more of a redundancy in protection. I also ask for leftover odd lengths of the channel at the electrical supply store we use. I can usually get a deal.

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

That sure looks nice John! If I was rich and was done building bench work, I would hire you to wire mine for me! LOL But low and behold I am neither rich or have bench work done! But I will keep you all posted! 

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

We use lots of professional items on the Railroad but I don't like posting photos or talking about it because people have a tendency to say "OH! I would never buy that stuff for a Model Railroad to expensive" 

Yet they go down to the hobby shop and buy another Big Boy locomotive that they don't need!

We are not pros just average blokes who like things to work the first time and just about everything we do is done by us (Bruce Temperley, and myself Neville Rossiter) we don't have access to endless people and resources in West Australia that can help us, I admit sometimes I wish we did, skyrocketing shipping costs, new custom duties all making it harder and harder to have USA O scale in Australia. Roo.

I just bought two cheap old AHM flatcars and the shipping was 35 dollars Customs 5 the cars were 15 ! so 55 dollars all up. I modify the flats into slab cars for the Steel Mill they are ideal for what I want. Sorry for the rant I apologise.

 

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Roo posted:

We use lots of professional items on the Railroad but I don't like posting photos or talking about it because people have a tendency to say "OH! I would never buy that stuff for a Model Railroad to expensive" 

Yet they go down to the hobby shop and buy another Big Boy locomotive that they don't need!

We are not pros just average blokes who like things to work the first time and just about everything we do is done by us (Bruce Temperley, and myself Neville Rossiter) we don't have access to endless people and resources in West Australia that can help us, I admit sometimes I wish we did, skyrocketing shipping costs, new custom duties all making it harder and harder to have USA O scale in Australia. Roo.

I just bought two cheap old AHM flatcars and the shipping was 35 dollars Customs 5 the cars were 15 ! so 55 dollars all up. I modify the flats into slab cars for the Steel Mill they are ideal for what I want. Sorry for the rant I apologise.

 

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I can't imagine even doing it today here in the USA with $600+ engines and $80 boxcars not to mention the price of all the electronics. I got back into the hobby  in 1988 and in the ensuing decade (when I amassed 15 of my 17 or 18 locos, 30+ passenger cars, and maybe 40 freight cars) the most I paid for an engine was $425; most were in the $200 - $300 range with a few under $100; boxcars at $15 (2 @ $24); passenger cars @ $15 - $30 each; 3 new TMCC Cab1's and a Command Base for $125. Over the years I learned to paint, add details, upgrade electronics, scratch build etc.; that to me was the fun of the hobby rather than checkbook railroading. Doing it in Australia or Europe shows a real commitment to O, scale or otherwise. Of course, then in the `70's I restored and raced pre-WWII MG's here in the states and can empathize with you.

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

Hi Tom here is the one we use the "seat" came from a boat store!

Because the layout is four feet off the floor we needed something a bit higher than yours.

That wiring to the left of the photo is new, working on it now, after a great day of running trains.

Roo.

 

 

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Mark Boyce posted:

Ha!  1975; I was in college then.

Tom, sorry for the gag!  I couldn't resist!  That's an excellent bucket seat creeper!  Now you need four on the floor too!

 

LOL in 1975 I was in junior Highschool! LOL

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

. "Doing it in Australia or Europe shows a real commitment to O, scale or otherwise"

I think I'm going along fine considering I have limited cash and resources and just an average modeller living in West Australia nothing special about me !

 

 

Great Tom, when it comes time to start wiring, I just may drop you an E-mail! When it come to wiring I am as dumb as a box of rocks! You can just ask RTR, John H. They have both helped me in the past! LOL

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Tom,  When I looked at your panels, the word 'sleek' came to mind!  They look very attractive and very functional.  

Mike, Once you get into it, you will see it is a basic concept that is just repeated over and over again.  You'll get it fine!! 

I'm no match for Tom or Roo, but I'm glad to share what I do know if asked.

John, and other members interested, you would be (a match for me anyway!) if you knew the whole story.

My layout is just old fashioned DC using relays for the turnouts everything you need to know is in the late Andy Sperandeo's book called "Easy Model Railroad Wiring" it is out of print but I see it sometimes on Ebay best book on wiring ever and i have them all. The wiring looks neat because it is and using industrial parts makes it look more complicated than it is.

As far as the woodwork goes it is just basic woodwork two beams joined by crossbeams glued and screwed and covered with MDF or Ply. Nothing fancy very basic. You can buy a cheap docking saw for 100 bucks put a good blade in it and build all your benchwork then toss it.

Toms work is very advanced, mine is day 1 week 1 woodwork.

Roo.

 

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I see a lot of nice work here. Where do you guys get your lumber? No matter where I buy mine if it's straight  when I buy it  warps after it has been in my hobby building for awhile even though it is heated &A/C plus a dehumidifier being used. I have almost given up on building a layout.  I just burned about 200.00 worth of lumber, yes it was that bad.

One thing about trains, it doesn't matter where they are going, it's having the sense to get on.

Tom Tee posted:

Lumber, ahhhhh.  It think it would easier to convince you of my religion or politics.  I frequently get push back on this.  Simply put; I do NOT use dimensional lumber for decking support, decking framework or module components at all.  Exception is at bump outs.

For framework I use Maple/Birch shop grade 23/32" (3/4") plywood.  I usually have it slit on the yard's  saw into thirteen 3 1/2" X 8' strips.   SO take what ever price you pay for quality hard wood 3/4" plywood and divide it by 13 and you have a rather economical cost of frame work material.

I do not use any screws or bolts for building frame work.  It is only glued together.  I do use a pneumatic brad gun to tack the material together.  Tightbond III for perfectly flat fully touching/contact surfaces.  Polyurethane premium adhesive for rough irregular surfaces.

I use dowels when dry assembling so when  adhesive is applied everything will be where it belongs. 

Clamps, yes I do have a large assortment of clamps.  Pipe clamps, bar clamps, C clamps and squeeze clamps.

If you want to see how curved benchwork side frames are made visit a curved staircase manufacture or look at my photo below:

first valley out & second valley in jig 003

Clamping up a valley module above.  

Cutting the drop angle cross members from a single sheet of plywood below. 

No scrap at all.  All "left over material" becomes either risers or cleats.  As you cut "L"s out of a sheet the long legs get shorter, the short legs get longer as you cut into the body of the sheet of plywood.  Simple remedy,  flip and weave in sequential pieces as viewed in lower photo.  Note the grain.

first valley out & second valley in jig 001

first valley out & second valley in jig 002

Finished module below.  All my work was in modules due to possible relocation.  This layout had to be moved within four years.

Richard's valley

The same drop center valley module side frames can be used for either an inside or outside corner.

Concrete arch bridge 011

When necessary you can steam 3/4" plywood and wrap it around a paint can.

Paint can plywood

 

 

Thanks Tom. My other choice was to use poplar from a saw mill done the road. Not cheap but it's straight. I am going to look into the birch plywood.

One thing about trains, it doesn't matter where they are going, it's having the sense to get on.

I ended up using Mianne for mine, which is made of poplar. No warping, twisting or anything like that in the few years since I got it.  It has been great and was very fast and easy to assemble. I now use poplar from Home Depot or Lowes for all my small projects on the layout and off. They have several small thickness sizes and lengths that are good for hobby projects and about all I can handle these days. I can't handle sheets of plywood anymore, but I think Tom Tee's methods using good plywood is arguably the best out there. No warping with that and his benchwork looks great too!

 

Here is an idea for a simple module layout .I built four for a display layout at shows  I still have them sitting in a shed doing nothing.

The idea is this one sits on two sets of legs first so it's self standing then the next one has one set of legs and one end rests on that "step" you see at the end. I made a jig for the leg assembly so they would all be the same again all this is built by an amateur with just a cheap docking saw, woodwork is not my trade. My trade was Motor mechanics I liked Drag Racing and getting cars to go fast.

Not much difference to welding up a chassis with metal or building a module with wood same principles.

I hope to one day donate these modules to the local club. Roo.

 

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John H posted:

Mike,

I used this book exclusively to build my layout. I found L-girder simple to construct, with a lot less lumber. If L-girder interests you, this book is tremendous help. Just for the record, it states that a properly braced 2X2 will support over 1000# vertically.Screenshot_2018-08-05 HOW TO BUILD MODEL RAILROAD BENCHWORK By Linn Hanson Westcott Excellent 9780890245422 eBay

 

Hi John H, Looking in the same book from Linn Westcott, maybe you can help me out? On page 18 Fig. 4-8 It looks like if I do a 1 X 3 I can put a support leg every 9' 6". Can you confirm this?

I am trying to put together a lumber list for my "L" girders and joist, along with lumber for leg supports. I plan on using the one furthest to the left in fig. 4-8.

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Mike,  There is a lot to learn in Linn's book, rather helpful.  However his span specs IMO are way too far apart using the average lumber available today.  That book was written from a nineteen seventies perspective.   

The second edition of that book does not alter the span graph.

I would reduce all of his span lengths in column S and F by 50%.  His span of 21'8" with a  total of four legs spaced out  (2 on each side)  with 1x4  "L" girder is way out there IMO.   My max thought would be 4' span and 24" overhang with diagonal bracing.

Also, using the wet dimensional lumber from today's fast paced big box  store merchandising is not the same quality as the lumber available decades ago.

Look at any pile of lumber in any half loaded rack of big box lumber and there is a layer of twisted & distorted rejects.  Good only for donnage.

I use a moisture meter when picking up lumber.  At the big box stores it is not uncommon to find moisture readings in the mid to high teens.  That is wet wood!!!  At times it actually drips!!

Lumber moisture percentages should be in the medium-high single digits to get a stable assembly.

Just stamping "kiln dried" on lumber does not in and of it's self affect the actual moisture content.

Thanks Tom,  I am lucky as I have a lumber store near me that deals in lumber!  Not alot of the other stuff the big box stores do.

They even tell everyone there not a hardwear store, just lumber! 

I do plan on cutting the distance down, just no sure how far. 

Thanks again Tom.

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Mike - Great that you have a real lumber store near you! They have so much better quality than the junk you get in a big box store (and often no more expensive). I have two independents within six miles and another about 10 miles away. The big box places are about 14 miles away, so for me it's a no-brainer.

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

Modeltrainsparts, Its really nice, the are friendly and helpful, cut anything I want at no extra cost. The nearest Big Box lumber store is about 25 miles from my place so it too works out great for me!

We are spose to get an Ace Hardwear built this fall so that will be nice!

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Hi guys, just a side question. What do you all think about plumbing air into the train room? Not AC. I was thinking if I was going to do it, now would be the time!

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Am not sure what you'd need the air for? One time only for air tools while building the benchwork? With very LOW pressure for dusting? Certainly not for working on trains. For such limited uses wouldn't it be less expensive to buy a $40 compressor from Harbor Freight? Or, if you have a compressor already just run a short length of air pipe through the wall where your bench will be to tap into as needed?

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

That's just it, I already have an upright air compressor and plumbed into the garage. I was thinking air for airbrushing the track after its down and anything else I could use it for. All I would have to do it add a "T" and a short section of pipe into the train room. Add a pressure regulator and I would be set!

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Mike, IMO no brainer.  Do it, if it’s that easy.  The one time you use it will be worth the small amount of work now when it’s easy to do.  Same with a vacuum system if available.  I hooked up piping to my central vac system in the finished half of the basement, and use it way more than I ever thought I would.   All your work is really looking good Mike.   

Thanks Ted! It would be so easy just add a "T" and a small section of pipe. Bummer for me no central vacuum system, but do have a nice rolling shop vac!

Mike

5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Coming from one who knows nothing about air brushing, I am not sure a regular shop compressor is suitable for use in this application? I think Tom Tee has good advice above and that may make your 'air' much more suitable for air brushing. As he says, the regular old air compressors put our moisture and oil with the air which might not be very desirable for airbrushing? An air dryer might be required as well? If so then a special compressor for airbrushing may be less expensive?

The reason I mention this is that I used to work with pneumatic controls and they required special air compressors with piston rings, air dryers, filters and other things that helped prevent oil, moisture and other contaminants from getting into the system. The controls were sensitive and required 'clean, dry and oil free air' to operate properly. Anything else gummed/clogged up the controls and they became unreliable. My thinking was that the 'air' for airbrushing would probably need similar requirements?

Many years ago, I purchased an old compressor with no added goodies.  I had to smooth out the ripples in the airflow and remove the oil and water.  I found a 12" to 15" piece of galvanized pipe and filled it with cotton balls and used Tygon tubing and rubber corks at each end.  It worked very well, even for painting rolling stock.  Sometimes you can overthink things.

My $0.02.

Ed

Indeed you can! I was just throwing the above out there for thought, as I said upfront, I know nothing about airbrushing!

I also forgot to add that I would add the air drop to the train room anyway, while it's easy to do. I am sure it will come in handy for something regardless.

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trainroomgarybriansilvermustangMark BoyceTodd Knoll
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