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Thanks to Pingman's mid-January post (since deleted -- TOS issues??), I ordered a set of Micromark rollers (then on sale).  I ordered the O-gauge set of rollers with the idea that I'd have pull them apart and set them up for my S-gauge engines.  For those interested, here are some pictures of my new test stand based on the re-gauged rollers. Here's the rollers as received and with the plastic spacer plate removed:

micromark rollers

One of the advantages of being a woodworker who can never throw "good" pieces of wood away is you can always rummage around and find what you need without making a trip to the lumber yard.  So firing up the radial arm saw and my router table, I cut up some prefinished baltic birch plywood into the necessary parts, borrowing liberally from ideas posted here by Laidoffsick and others.  The base is 26 inches long by 4 inches wide with a poplar runner, sanded smooth, on which the roller and track stands can slide.

test stand base

I remounted the rollers on the plywood stands - the wooden spacer was ripped to the right width to serve as a locating edge to give the right distance between the rollers (7/8" is the inside-rail to inside-rail distance for S gauge).

remounted micromark rollers

Before assembling the stands, I counterbored a hole to mount the T-nuts for the 10-24 thumb screws that I have had floating around in my collection forever.  I wasn't sure I would need them to lock the stands in place (turns out they slide on the runner pretty easily), but the T-nuts could not be easily added after the fact.

tee nut for locking

The complete test stand has a 13 inch section with track for the tender and trailing trucks and a 3 inch section for the pilot (again based on what others have posted on OGR).  Both track sections also slide along the runner, and just to be 'safe' I also put a T-nut on each, though they slide with some resistance.

complete test stand

Finally, in use with steam and diesel locos

Flyer Pacific on standAM GP35 on test stand

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Images (7)
  • micromark rollers
  • test stand base
  • remounted micromark rollers
  • tee nut for locking
  • complete test stand
  • Flyer Pacific on stand
  • AM GP35 on test stand
Original Post
richs09 posted:

Thanks to Pingman's mid-January post (since deleted -- TOS issues??), I ordered a set of Micromark rollers (then on sale).  I ordered the O-gauge set of rollers with the idea that I'd have pull them apart and set them up for my S-gauge engines.

Nice stand. I do have one question. What prevents the thumbscrew ends from making impressions in the slide sides? Would it make sense to have something hard like a thin sheet of fiberglass board on the sides?

clem k posted:

I think this is the first project I saw posted on the forum using high quality wood materials.   

Gee Clem, I used birch multi-ply for my layout table build.   Doesn't that count?

John - one of the reasons I chose poplar for the runner is its pretty hard so its not going to dimple very easily.  Since I had to cut the thumbscrews down a bit, I also took a file to the ends and made sure they were flat with no sharp edges.  The plywood stands do slide easily but it takes very little pressure from the thumbscrew to secure them -- so far I haven't seen any dimples -- I did look.

Folks - thanks for all the comments.  It was a fun little project and, as usual with these kinds of simple-on-paper projects, it had one character-building moment.  I got all the rollers mounted to the plywood stands, using wood screws and a flat-head bit in my cordless drill (what did we ever do without cordless drills...) and then put all four stands on the runner and sighted down the row and phooey (or words to that effect), they were all slightly misaligned.  The clearance holes in the Al pieces (I just ran a drill though the already threaded holes) are probably 1/64 to 1/32 larger in diameter than the shaft of the wood screws and in tightening the screws down, there's enough torque to move the Al piece ever so slightly -- so I backed all the screws out a quarter turn and re-tightened them with a hand-held screwdriver and a firm grip on the Al pieces.  That seemed to work.

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

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