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@Scotie posted:

Beautiful and well thought out bench work. Given your skill level there learning the other aspects needed to complete the layout shouldn't be too difficult. Scenery (unlike bench work) can easily be ripped out, reworked and etc until your satisfied.

Will be following with great pleasure.

Thank you for your kind words. I decided to use a cookie cutter approach on the front bench hoping to give myself maximum flexibility with scenery. There's going to be a lot of card board weave there.

You can tell there's a real carpenter at work with this layout, very nice benchwork!  The lift bridge is quite impressive considering the complexity of getting something like that working smoothly.  I had to tinker with my Mianne lift-bridge kit to get it operating smoothly!  If I had to build it, I'd be stuck on that step to this day!

Thanks John.  There's no doubt I benefited from our conversations on my lift table thread about how your lift works, especially concerning the cable. I'm not sure my lift is as smooth as a Mianne all of the way through the travel. Very smooth going up. There is a bit of a lurch to side opposite the winch when it starts down as the weight seems to shift. But it all smooths out again for the last 18" or so until seated.

Thanks John.  There's no doubt I benefited from our conversations on my lift table thread about how your lift works, especially concerning the cable. I'm not sure my lift is as smooth as a Mianne all of the way through the travel. Very smooth going up. There is a bit of a lurch to side opposite the winch when it starts down as the weight seems to shift. But it all smooths out again for the last 18" or so until seated.

News flash, the Mianne lift bridge doesn't go perfectly smoothly down, there is some wobble on the way down when it starts.  It smooths out about halfway down, and by the time it gets to table level, it's perfectly aligned.  I attribute that to the fact that with the slides extended, there simply isn't lateral support.  Since it doesn't affect it's functionality, I never chased the last bit of wobble.

@Mallard4468 posted:

Just so that nobody goes crazy looking for arctic birch, you meant "Baltic" birch plywood, correct?

Nope, this is arctic birch cabinet grade plywood, made in Russia. You will get patches in all but one outside layer. Baltic birch, at least what I have used, is furniture grade. Absolutely no patches and very uniform layers.

Freshly ripped arctic birch. Very stable stuff.

ply

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Nope, this is arctic birch cabinet grade plywood, made in Russia. You will get patches in all but one outside layer. Baltic birch, at least what I have used, is furniture grade. Absolutely no patches and very uniform layers.

Freshly ripped arctic birch. Very stable stuff.

ply

One question, as an experienced woodworker who has used baltic birch but had not heard of arctic...

Where did you source it?  (I did a search for arctic birch, and all of the results were for baltic birch.)

Thanks.

I get it locally where I buy hardwoods, highland hardwoods dot com. I can't source good baltic birch locally.

Hopefully, I bought my last two sheets of 3/4" today. When I started this thread a few months ago it was 69.95/sheet. Today, 89.95/sheet. I get 16, 3 1/2 x 60 boards per sheet so it costs me $1.12/foot vs maybe $1.06 for pine but there are no knots or twists.

Last edited by turkey_hollow_rr

I get it locally where I buy hardwoods, highland hardwoods dot com. I can't source good baltic birch locally.

Thanks.  Highland is a great place - never been there, but have ordered from them.  Unfortunately, 500+ miles is a long way to drive for plywood, and I can't imagine what the shipping cost would be...  (Oops, I think it's a different Highland, but it's still hundreds of miles away.)

Rockler usually stocks baltic birch, if you have a local store.

Last edited by Mallard4468

Just caught up on your build Dan. Very nice work. Solid structure is the key to smooth running trains so the extra money spent now is worth it. Plywood is much more stable than dimensional lumber.

I used pocket screws for the first time a couple of years ago on a wainscotting project in my house. Don't know why I waited so long..... Made assembly much easier and cleaner, I used 1 x clear pine over sheetrock.

2017-06-15 20.45.37

Can't wait to see trains running.

Bob

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Last edited by RSJB18

In my experience, whether it be Arctic or Baltic or Russian or Northern...almost does not matter.    The goal is to get plywood from a slow growth cold climate forest which yields a dense stable wood.

One product you never want to use for a train platform is Pine anything.  No guarantee on how bad it will warp.

The best value in plywood for a layout in this market is a 3/4"  (23/32") Birch called "Shop Grade".  It has plugged veneer but perfectly solid core.  Paint grade.

There is a some what popular HD product called "Sandy Ply" which is pure Russian Roulette.  OK for a dog house or your in-laws but a real gamble for your RR.

IMO, the best value in 3/4" sheet goods is Advantech manufactured panels.  Period.

@RSJB18 posted:

Just caught up on your build Dan. Very nice work. Solid structure is the key to smooth running trains so the extra money spent now is worth it. Plywood is much more stable than dimensional lumber.

I used pocket screws for the first time a couple of years ago on a wainscotting project in my house. Don't know why I waited so long..... Made assembly much easier and cleaner, I used 1 x clear pine over sheetrock.

Can't wait to see trains running.

Bob

Bob, that wainscotting looks great! And thank you.

@Tom Tee posted:

In my experience, whether it be Arctic or Baltic or Russian or Northern...almost does not matter.    The goal is to get plywood from a slow growth cold climate forest which yields a dense stable wood.

One product you never want to use for a train platform is Pine anything.  No guarantee on how bad it will warp.

The best value in plywood for a layout in this market is a 3/4"  (23/32") Birch called "Shop Grade".  It has plugged veneer but perfectly solid core.  Paint grade.

There is a some what popular HD product called "Sandy Ply" which is pure Russian Roulette.  OK for a dog house or your in-laws but a real gamble for your RR.

IMO, the best value in 3/4" sheet goods is Advantech manufactured panels.  Period.

I know what you mean about that sanded ply. My local Home Depot has that stuff in 2 x 4 cuts and I grabbed one to use for my table saw outfeed. Never again!  Nothing slides on it due to all the splinters raised.   Most of my shop benches and drawers are from shop birch ply. You're right, that's a good alternative and the price around here is still $66/sheet.

BTW, I'm up to high-heeled sneakers. I don't think I'll have to go to platform soles, but we'll see.

highheels

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@rthomps posted:

Seriously nice carpentry, layout and track plan.   Nice.

This is a great project to watch and follow.  Thanks for sharing your work and obvious high-level of skill.

But, I need to see more pix of wild turkeys.   

Thank you rthomps! The toms were back in the yard a few days ago. They've gone from showing off for the ladies to helping watch what is left of the brood now days.

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