Hey John 

You’re well on your way, and it looks great !  I’m might slow you down a bit , I’m going to need quite a few Super Chuffers and Generators. 😀

Alex 

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TrainHead posted:

Is this stiff sturdy enough to stand on it?

Depends on your size.  I was wondering the same thing so I talked to Tim a bit.  He's never had anyone tell him it broke.  He is aware of a 200lb man walking on a layout.

I did an experiment. I bought two legs and one beam.  I put it together and sat on it.  It took some work to balance it. Once 100% of my weight was on it, it shattered.  I weigh 280lbs. Hope that helps.

John, wouldn’t the weight be distributed better with more legs and decking? Seems like your test just showed the strenght of a single beam, by chance a 48” beam? I wonder how a 1x4 would hold up spanning just 2 legs? And I don’t see many people putting their weight on it single beam like that.

Of course you can shorten the beams and add more legs. This stuff is pricey enough and doubling the legs and shortening the beam would double the price.

No, a 4 foot 1x4 is not as strong because of the MDF core on the I-beam. A 2x4 would be stronger.

If you were climbing on your layout there is a good chance that at some point all of your weight would be on the middle of one beam. The way the plywood attaches wouldnt offer a whole lot of load distribution to other legs. Dont forget the additional weight of scenery and such!

I didn't do this to be exact. I did this because if it HAD worked, then I'd spend the $2k on the stuff. I'd really hate to spend this money and find out it won't support my overweight self. This was a true worst-case test and man if it passed I woulda been so happy! I actually bought 2 beams and the legs were not damaged, so I could do some more testing but I'm pretty sure 280lbs is not going to be supported.

Like it was said already, this is off topic.  This is not about my layout.  I hope I helped answer the question of can you walk on top of this stuff.  The answer is "maybe."

Now...back on topic...hey John, you running trains yet?!

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Don't you love my little test loop on the floor?  I just build the layour around it, can't wait to lose that and be able to test stuff on a real layout!

That's funny to me...it beats a chalk outline on the floor....don't know why I didn't just leave the circle of track on the floor when I built my last layout.  Makes me shake my head at myself. 

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

Image result for nj hirailers logo

 

Tim seems to think that I could put my weight on a finished section without it breaking.  I'm going to avoid that if possible, because I'm chicken!   I really need it to support my layout, I'm not looking to create an elevated dance floor for midgets!

Alex M posted:

You’re well on your way, and it looks great !  I’m might slow you down a bit , I’m going to need quite a few Super Chuffers and Generators. 😀

Just a bump in the road Alex.

Personally, in 50 years of layouts, I never thought of building one where I would have to climb up on it.  Though I am only 170 pounds, I wouldn’t want to hurt myself at my age and with my physical problems.  That said, I can see the Benchwork should hold you fine as Tim said.  He would know 

Looking great John(sorry been busy not checking messages lately). Its always good to dry test fitting something in, I always had some issue even if I did it. Like grandpop used to say, "measure twice, cut once." My reply was, "well, I do that but I still can't cut straight."

Its starting to really come together. Pretty soon you'll be testing how the track keeps up or drops its current, leveling off the track, getting nice even grades, all that sort of stuff. You'll get that new engine(or old new engine) out on the tracks, smoke steadily rising, and then you notice the powers not on, oops.

Dave, I'm really hoping I don't see smoke from any orifice except the smoke stack on any of my stuff!

I have been taking my time as once I finish a step, I really don't want to go back and repeat it!

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Dave, I'm really hoping I don't see smoke from any orifice except the smoke stack on any of my stuff!

I have been taking my time as once I finish a step, I really don't want to go back and repeat it!

Yeah, it really is a PITA when you are doing something, get it all set, and then you have to take everything all back apart. I have visions of my Uncle Eddie(God bless him) working on my grandfather's Ford Golden Jubilee tractor trying to figure out what's wrong with it. He had pulled so much stuff apart the first fee times that he just left it open to the bare bones to work on it. He had gotten that working back to better than it was first day off the factory floor. Well, now the tractor has had a few bad years of my sister's boyfriend trying to work out what isn't working on it(he's a mechanic, can fix all sorts of things, my uncle was a wonder with vehicles, tractors, and pretty much everything else). Needless to say I wish my uncle was alive because he would either fix it or bury it.

Hopefully John you won't have any of those sorts of issues. Of course trains aren't tractors, but they can be temperamental at times. May that never happen(unless you forgot to turn the power on like some have done).

I disagree that reverse loops are over rated.  Racetrack track plans soon become dull.  Having the ability to change direction or even hold a train in the loop while other things are taking place adds to the fun.  Of course those of you with outbuildings dedicated to a layout or basements the size of a high school gym will have a different opinion, in my small crappy basement the linear solution with loops at each end and in the middle provide endless variation.  

Once I lay in the reverse loops, I plan on one additional loop all the way around.  It will have switching to allow me to either join it to the big folded dogbone for an additional loop, or to run it as a separate independent loop that doesn't connect to the main loop.  Finally, there will be the sidings for industry and the like.  I have in my future (near future) plans to add a yard off to the left side down the wall of the basement extension.  That will give me more parking space for staging.  It also gives me something to do after the main track plan is done.  I won't say "until the layout is done", we all know that never happens.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Once I lay in the reverse loops, I plan on one additional loop all the way around.  It will have switching to allow me to either join it to the big folded dogbone for an additional loop, or to run it as a separate independent loop that doesn't connect to the main loop.  Finally, there will be the sidings for industry and the like.  I have in my future (near future) plans to add a yard off to the left side down the wall of the basement extension.  That will give me more parking space for staging.  It also gives me something to do after the main track plan is done.  I won't say "until the layout is done", we all know that never happens.

Excellent thinking GRJ!  Exactly what I plan to do when I get a little more space in the train room!   Actually considering a double main loop with a crossover and option to run around the room.   May be a challenge using Fastrack though.  

Jim 

Operator of the Southern Railway System.

Powered 100% on DC.   

John, Even with months of planning, RRTrack designs and input from many, it still evolved once I began building, using fastrack left me without many options for on the fly custom bends, but it all began to take shape when I laid it down, and wound up with a reversing elevated section which added that function and gave me a lot better layout for multiple operations.

I just wish I had more real estate for a larger yard than I got, fortunately, switching is not a huge part of my fun.

I really like the way you optimized and kept the 072, I just couldn't get that much space and wound up with 060 and 048 main lines.

Paradise & Pacific Railroad

I have too many things that run on O72 to sacrifice that part.   I'm working on the track plan in AnyRail, I want to get the main loops figured out, then add the rest of the industry sidings, etc.  Of course, I want to leave room for scenery and buildings.

I'm sure once I actually start laying track that it won't end up exactly like the plan.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I have too many things that run on O72 to sacrifice that part.   I'm working on the track plan in AnyRail, I want to get the main loops figured out, then add the rest of the industry sidings, etc.  Of course, I want to leave room for scenery and buildings.

I'm sure once I actually start laying track that it won't end up exactly like the plan.

Good thinking again GRJ!   I decided on 072 on the outside main right away.   Not only will it allow bigger engines, but it just plain looks better.  Its easy for me to not have a track plan at all.  Just keep moving it around until I like something.   Then move it again.  Sooner or later it will all come together.   That's the best thing about Fastrack!  

Jim 

Operator of the Southern Railway System.

Powered 100% on DC.   

Your on the right track John (pun intended). AnyRail was my third and last program and by far was the the easiest to use, at least for me. Like others have already said it gets you started. Good thinking sticking with the 072 curves. There's much more flexibility with motive power and passenger cars. Even after I started to lay the track I still tweaked the plan the way I wanted to. In the end mine looks kind of sorted like my AnyRail plan.

I put O72 on my 3 rail highline as I had to go around 2 tight curves on my T shaped line to stay near the walls. I thought that it would be big enough as many engines list it as a minimum curve. It does work and one of the curves is inside a tunnel so it won't look too bad. However if I had more room, I would go bigger. When I run, I always slow down on those 2 curves as it appears the equipment is on the edge of derailing. It doesn't, but it looks like it wants to. Our grandson also slows down there without being told to. I installed a retaining type wall inside the tunnel to protect from derails.

 I have to believe many posters that state, go with as big of curves as you possibly can.

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

I recall one of John Armstrong's layout books discussing "cosmetic curves" and using landscape and structures to "hide" tight curves (which 072 is with scale equipment) .  I won't be building a layout, but I hope John that you can incorporate those into your layout.   

 

Carl

Engineer-Joe posted:

I put O72 on my 3 rail highline as I had to go around 2 tight curves on my T shaped line to stay near the walls. I thought that it would be big enough as many engines list it as a minimum curve. It does work and one of the curves is inside a tunnel so it won't look too bad. However if I had more room, I would go bigger. When I run, I always slow down on those 2 curves as it appears the equipment is on the edge of derailing. It doesn't, but it looks like it wants to. Our grandson also slows down there without being told to. I installed a retaining type wall inside the tunnel to protect from derails.

 I have to believe many posters that state, go with as big of curves as you possibly can.

Sounds like you have a built-in prototypical "speed restriction": not really a bad thing, is it?

And it sounds like your grandson is a natural-born engineer. 

Mark in Oregon

Strummer posted:
Engineer-Joe posted:

I put O72 on my 3 rail highline as I had to go around 2 tight curves on my T shaped line to stay near the walls. I thought that it would be big enough as many engines list it as a minimum curve. It does work and one of the curves is inside a tunnel so it won't look too bad. However if I had more room, I would go bigger. When I run, I always slow down on those 2 curves as it appears the equipment is on the edge of derailing. It doesn't, but it looks like it wants to. Our grandson also slows down there without being told to. I installed a retaining type wall inside the tunnel to protect from derails.

 I have to believe many posters that state, go with as big of curves as you possibly can.

Sounds like you have a built-in prototypical "speed restriction": not really a bad thing, is it?

And it sounds like your grandson is a natural-born engineer. 

Mark in Oregon

Mark, Good points about Joe built in speed restriction and his grandson's attention to what is going on!!

My new layout will have the Mianne lift-bridge, and it'll make access to the center of the layout much easier, especially as flexibility starts to wane in my later years.  However, I have identified an issue with the bridge, specifically the hazard to my head!  If you're under the bridge and misjudge the height as you duck under, you can whack your head on the I-beams.  The edges are actually very sharp and square, and I have a couple of cuts on my noggin to prove it.  I considered rounding the edges, but that would only be a partial solution, so I dropped into my local Lowe's store and picked up some 1/2" split pipe insulation.  A perfect fit, and a nice padded place for my head to land on, no more cuts!

Benchwork Step 08

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Hi Gunner, Tommy Thompson here. Have followed all the reply's for many months on your progress.  Well Done !!  I made a brief mention back on page 1 or 2  that I was a few months behind you in ordering and was then waiting on Tim to build.  Tim called today and is shipping on Monday 02/04. Its great when a plan begins  to unfold.  Thanks for all of your comments and updates. I listened to all of them.

Best regards

Tommy

gunrunnerjohn posted:

….  A perfect fit, and a nice padded place for my head to land on, no more cuts!

 

I came to the post expecting more to see. I guess we all have our..... issues?

I'd laugh at you for this but I've done it too many times to remember.

…..Wait.  What were we talking about? 

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

Tommy, glad you're getting your benchwork soon.  I'm working on the track plan so I know where to do the pre-wiring.  Then I'll start putting the top on.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

My new layout will have the Mianne lift-bridge, and it'll make access to the center of the layout much easier, especially as flexibility starts to wane in my later years.  However, I have identified an issue with the bridge, specifically the hazard to my head!  If you're under the bridge and misjudge the height as you duck under, you can whack your head on the I-beams.  The edges are actually very sharp and square, and I have a couple of cuts on my noggin to prove it.  I considered rounding the edges, but that would only be a partial solution, so I dropped into my local Lowe's store and picked up some 1/2" split pipe insulation.  A perfect fit, and a nice padded place for my head to land on, no more cuts!

Benchwork Step 08

Great idea, John. I'm off to Lowe's tomorrow. 

Chuck

TCA 04-57633; LCCA

 

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Here's what the original plan looked like.  I'm removing some of the extra legs in the middle as I want more storage under the bench.  The diagonals were only there because he was using some stuff I already had.  After seeing the plan, I decided to remove those so that space under there is all open.

John, sorry I missed this back in December. Have you noticed anything negative about removing those center legs? Is there any weakness in the center as a result? Thanks.

DoubleDAZ posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Here's what the original plan looked like.  I'm removing some of the extra legs in the middle as I want more storage under the bench.  The diagonals were only there because he was using some stuff I already had.  After seeing the plan, I decided to remove those so that space under there is all open.

John, sorry I missed this back in December. Have you noticed anything negative about removing those center legs? Is there any weakness in the center as a result? Thanks.

No adverse effects I can see.  Tim actually just did it that way to use as much of the benchwork pieces that I already had.  I specifically asked about that and he said it's no problem to remove them.  Since I had more 24" and 48" pieces, picking up a little hardware was enough for me to change it around.  Much of the other side and back don't have the legs in his original design, so it's hard to believe these were required.

Great thread on the Layout. I finally read the whole thing. Great work and ideas.

I used Sievers Benchwork to build a 12 X 14  layout. I laid 1/4 inch pegboard on it instead of plywood, and indoor/outdoor carpet on top of that. I routinely walk on the layout to get to some shelves and cause no ill effect. 180 lbs. I did the pegboard because it was flat compared to the plywood at Home Depot and I can poke a wire anywhere I want with holes on a 1 inch grid. And I did a lot of that.

I agree on liking reversing loops. I have a reversing upper level and lower level on the 048 loops that make for some interesting play time. The ramps are around 9 ft in length using MTH risers with the Fastrack tops on them. If I start the engine out correctly, it runs up and down and repeats without intervention. Then I have an 060 and an 072 loop as well, all of which are connected by switches. 

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

61FCA1BA-D82D-4334-A624-2851905F750AI used the MTH risers, graduated and fixed height, that come with the Fastrack clips on the top. I used some sort of self tapping screws about an inch tall to fasten the base of the riser to the pegboard below the carpet where advisable. Here is a close picture of them. I like mostly track and wire as you can see. 

 

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

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BTW, I just step on the Fastrack with slippers on to walk on the layout...somewhat infrequently. And there are two access holes in the middle of the layout that you cannot see well...they are 2 by 4 foot openings. I cannot afford to gain weight and keep using them.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

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