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@Serenska posted:

Hi Joe:

It all looks great.  I love the cutout/channel you've created for the waterway under the Hellgate bridges. I'm interested to see your progress as it unfolds.

One question I have is this: How did you cut your homasote?  Did you take it outdoors and use a jigsaw?  Or did you use a utility knife? Homasote is wonderful material once it's fitted and in place but it can be a royal PITA to work with before then.  I'd love to hear your approach including what worked and didn't work for you.

Steven J. Serenska

I did take it outside and cut it with a jigsaw. It was indeed messy. It would have been too hard to cut with a knife due to the curves.

Then after I fit it, I took if off again and painted it in the garage. Less chance of getting paint on the carpet.

The things we do for our hobby.

@NJCJOE posted:

I did take it outside and cut it with a jigsaw. It was indeed messy. It would have been too hard to cut with a knife due to the curves.

Then after I fit it, I took if off again and painted it in the garage. Less chance of getting paint on the carpet.

The things we do for our hobby.

We cut the Homasote in place for my layout, very little mess.  For the straight cuts a really sharp flooring knife was used.

 

A jigsaw with a shop vacuum was used for the curves.  Very little dust escaped to go anywhere.

The edges were all routed in a similar fashion with a vacuum close at hand, again very little dust escaped.

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I painted the top with a roller, and I did have drop cloths around the layout to make sure I didn't get paint on the carpet.  For cutting the Homasote, there were two on the job with the router, it's a three-handed job.  The jigsaw picture was Tom cutting, he's an old hand at doing these.  I've taking my turn at doing it, it's not too hard to saw with one hand and hold the hose.

@NJCJOE posted:

I did take it outside and cut it with a jigsaw. It was indeed messy. It would have been too hard to cut with a knife due to the curves.

Then after I fit it, I took if off again and painted it in the garage. Less chance of getting paint on the carpet.

The things we do for our hobby.

Hey Joe:

Thanks for the extra detail.

When I started my layout, I cut one piece of homasote on a table saw with a fine-tooth blade mounted backwards to minimize the bite.  The cut went fine but enough dust was thrown off to block out the sun.  I later cut a curved piece with my jigsaw and the shop vac nozzle right next to the blade but, dust-wise, I had more or less the same result.  I guess I'm not as talented as GRJ. 

When I resume building the layout, I'm definitely going to mark the homasote with a Sharpie and then carry the pieces outside to do the actual cutting.  Unfortunately for me, my layout is on the third floor of the house, so it's a long way down and up.  As you say....the things we do for our hobby.

There are various ways of getting it done but whatever you're doing is producing a nice result. Thanks again for sharing.

Steven J. Serenska

Last edited by Serenska
@Serenska posted:

Hey Joe:

Thanks for the extra detail.

When I started my layout, I cut one piece of Homasote on a table saw with a fine-tooth blade mounted backwards to minimize the bite.  The cut went fine but enough dust was thrown off to block out the sun.  I later cut a curved piece with my jigsaw and the shop vac nozzle right next to the blade but, dust-wise, I had more or less the same result.  I guess I'm not as talented as GRJ. 

When I resume building the layout, I'm definitely going to mark the Homasote with a Sharpie and then carry the pieces outside to do the actual cutting.  Unfortunately for me, my layout is on the third floor of the house, so it's a long way down and up.  As you say....the things we do for our hobby.

There are various ways of getting it done but whatever you're doing is producing a nice result. Thanks again for sharing.

Steven J. Serenska

So I'm not the only one!! 

Has anyone else used a knife blade with a jigsaw to cut homasote? We have cut hundreds of feet of the stuff with minimal dust.

Left side is a toothed blade, excellent for a choking cloud of dust with homasote. Perfect for inside use if you want to clean for six months.

Right side is a knife blade, perfect for cutting homasote with almost no dust. It cuts curves, etc with no problem.  

Used with a shop vac, it might do okay on the third floor. I would try my first piece outside but my Paula just said that there is not enough dust to matter, especially with a shop vac.



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6/11/22 - I picked up my standard gauge track from Kirk at USA Track a couple of weeks ago. Nothing like opening boxes filled with new standard gauge track.

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Today I finished installing the standard gauge track. Next I have to wire the track and then I can get it screwed down in place. Starting to look like something now. Hopefully trains will be running soon.

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@Mallard4468 posted:

Very nice.  Reminds me of the SG layout at the TCA museum - you can let the trains really stretch their legs.

It's funny you say that. Last time I was at the TCA museum, I was looking at the standard gauge layout thinking this track plan looks familiar. Well, that's because my plan is similar and I have been looking at the drawing for the past year. Didn't plan it on mimicking the TCA layout. It just kind evolved that way.

@jay jay posted:

Beautiful! What bridges will you use for the other end of the river....more Hellgates or what? That Hiawatha set is gorgeous. Well done, Joe!

Thanks John.

I actually did consider using two more Hellgate bridges to span the river. However, I can't fit two side by side in this location and there was no way to modify the track layout. I didn't plan ahead for four Hellgate bridges.

I plan on using the deck girders I had from two O scale deck girder bridge kits. I got these kits in a train lot purchase and when I opened the boxes there were no decks, tracks or railings, just the girders. The girders are made of metal. I thought about cutting them to use them as girders, but then my wife came up with the idea to use them as is, above the layout surface. Thanks sweetie! .

I plan on making a deck out of wood and painting it black. It will look like a larger plate girder bridge. It will be different. And since it's on the standard gauge portion of the layout, it doesn't need to be completely realistic.

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Last edited by NJCJOE
@NJCJOE posted:

6/17/22 - The inaugural run of the standard gauge has taken place! Still need to make some tweaks. The accessories were just placed on the layout. However, their final positions will change over time as scenery is constructed.

Joe, This is incredible! I always loved your layout at previous home, thinking wow, this would be hard to beat!? Look at you now! Wishing you many years of health and enjoyment. It is well deserved buddy

Best,

West Coast Joe

Last edited by Trainlover160

I haven't made a lot of progress lately. Started adding some foam board to the layout to create some basic scenery contours. I also did a little more work on the girder bridge.

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Most of my time has been spent learning how to carve and paint rocks out of 2" thick foam board. A lot of trial and error. I'm working on the rock faces that will line the river bed. I'm hoping to get to the point that meets my satisfaction soon so I can work on the river. Here are some earlier test tries.

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