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Thread: I am crazy, yes this is a teaser.

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    If you're clampy and you know it post a pic.
    If you're clampy and you know it post a pic.
    If you're clampy you can show it while the glue sets up to hold it.
    If you're clampy and you know it post a pic.
    Very good!

  2. #22
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    This is why it takes so long. First I have cut all of these pieces, and of course I didn't do 90 degree angles because that's not how the real world works. Then I have to think about access to the tunnels, 3 doors have been fabricated to make sure there are no out of reach spots. Then I have to glue the heck out of them and clamp.

    Now, once these are all glued in place I'm going to remove this top. Why? I want to route the back edges with a flush trim bit because it's way easier to pull it out and do that then to try with it assembled in the module. But that top is flimsy, so it will put some stress on the glue joints. So they will remain clamped and dry for a minimum of 24 hours to reach full strength before I remove it and try to route.

    And, I have to route it before I can finish cutting the two inner mounting braces, because it's just too hard to line up any other way.

    Honestly, these have been a huge PITA to build. But I knew that going in. I decided to build something complicated, but it will be very cool in the end. And complicated takes a lot of extra time.

    It looks like I will meet my self-imposed goal of having basic assembly complete by the end of the year. I hope to get the legs all sorted in January so they can literally stand on their own feet. At that point, finishing the outside of the boxes will be the priority before I beat them up any more. I think I'm going to have to find a commercial finisher around here with a spray booth who can spray finish them in climate controlled conditions. I have realized they are too big for me to get a nice finish at home with a rattle can, particularly since I have to do it outside.

    These are going to take a while. Lots of track and scenery. Honestly if they are in a show by 2025 I will be impressed with myself.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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  4. #23
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    #4 base work "done".



    And a test fit of the mountain line, which still needs to be trimmed on one end.



    Now, to make a top.

    And no more guesses where this is located? It's been featured in the C&O Historical Society magazine at least twice.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    WHOA! I'm suffering from clamp envy!

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    Last Christmas (December 2019) Lowes ran a special on those 6" clamps. I want to say it was $19.99 for a 4-pack. And if you buy quick clamps you know $5 a clamp is a deal. And these are a new design for the Irwin which clamps a bit tighter than the old 6" design. Many of us decided to replace most of our C-Clamps for modules with these. So much faster and easier. The club bought a big batch, and I bought some for my home setup. I already had a few as well. To make work space for this project all of my other modules are packed up right now, so I had every clamp available to help the gluing go faster.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    Many of us decided to replace most of our C-Clamps for modules with these. So much faster and easier.
    Our modular club did the same. I try to pick them up when they're on sale.
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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    I finished the "lid" today. Sorry no picture yet. It's downstairs drying with about 15 clamps on it. That will mark the end of the "major" construction here. Not that there isn't plenty more to do. It looks like I will meet my goal of having basic assembly done by the end of the year.

    Up next on the agenda. Attaching the legs so the modules can be worked on while free standing.

    After they have legs, I need to cut more access holes for the "tunnels".

    Then, I need to cut some hand holes on the ends to make them easier to lift.

    Finally, I need to attach some really stout wheels to the bottom one so the whole stack can roll around.

    Then I will send them out for finishing. I'm hoping to stain and lacquer the outside, and have the underside sprayed white by a professional with a paint booth.

    At which point I will do a big reveal thread and article in my clubs newsletter showing off the bare deck modules and talking about my plans for how the track and scenery all come together.

    Then I should have 3-5 years of slow progress on scenery before they are show ready.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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  13. #28
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    Default Put a lid on it.

    And that, my friends, caps off the project.



    This is how they will travel. Benefits of a trailer with a ramp. I don't know of any way to pack 4 modules into less space, and huge bonus keep them flat which is so much easier on the scenery. The bottom one will be getting a set of heavy duty casters so the whole deal will just roll right into the venue, and then back out to the trailer when done. Modules stay protected from the elements and accidental damage.

    All told, it used 3.25 sheets of 3/4" plywood, at about 75lb a sheet. There was some waste and cut out, so I'm going to estimate 65lbs of each made it into the finished part. So that's about 244 lbs. Then there are the top decks, that's another 2.5 sheets of 3/8" MDO, they are about 30lb a sheet. So that's 75 lb more. The legs are 16lb a pair, 4 pair total. Add it all up and we're at 383 lbs finished weight. Or about 85lbs per module, plus about 40 for the top. That sounds about right. At some point I may try and get them on a scale somehow. Not light, but I knew that going in. The penalty for long modules.

    The casters I'm looking at are rated at 370lb per caster, so I'll be running them at about 1/4th their rated load. That should make for smooth running and turning and all that.

    Having pondered this design for 10 years, it's so nice to see it come together. It takes a lot of extra design and thinking to build modules that pack up like this, and still have room for all the scenery and parts inside. It took many, may weekends of woodworking being extra careful with all the dimensions to get them all to line up. Do they line up perfectly? No, if you're up close when they are stacked you can see a few places where they don't line up perfectly. But considering the literal size of the project, it's more than good enough for me.

    32' of module that fit in one half of my trailer. My load out will probably be to start bringing 44' of module to some of the larger shows. And it's done in a way that setup and teardown will be fast, and not kill me.
    --
    Leo Bicknell


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    Moose speechless...
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Wow. That is very impressive!!!
    Regards,
    Warren

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    Can’t wait to see how the scenery turns out (and to solve the mystery)!

    The engineer in me can’t help wondering how you could lighten the load with (e.g.) structural shapes, other materials, and so on. Just as an intellectual exercise of course. What you have done looks awesome!
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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  20. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    The engineer in me can’t help wondering how you could lighten the load with (e.g.) structural shapes, other materials, and so on. Just as an intellectual exercise of course. What you have done looks awesome!
    I've thought about that a lot, in no particular order....

    Aluminum extrusions. Bracing, legs, all sorts of hidden parts could be made from Aluminum -- if you had the skill to weld aluminum which is not particularly easy.

    Removing more material. Those sold fronts protect the modules well, but there's no reason they couldn't have a pattern cut out of them removing perhaps as much as 50% of the material. Depending on your "threat model" that may be just fine as is, or if you want it to survive a driving rain a simple plastic or canvas cover would be lighter.

    Using thinner material in some spots. My vertical separators are 1/2" plywood risers. 3/8's would work. Heck, 1/4" would likely work but would probably need some small quarter-round to attach to the flat parts. I'm skeptical the front and back could be made of 1/2" and be strong enough, but maybe. Some plywood makers offer 5/8's, but I couldn't find any around there.

    My personal decision process was that most of this was not worth the effort. To me, the only reason to make a light module is to make it a "one man lift". And so on a POFF or even a corner I totally get it. These are large enough they will always be a two man lift, even if they weighed 25% of the weight there would be no way for one person to safely remove them and more importantly stack them and make the alignment right. Since they are a two man lift, all I have to do is be sure they are not a significant lift for two people. I think I'm in a weight range where that is true.

    The other factor, to some, is transport. If you're trying to cram a bunch of modules in a mini-van for instance the collective weight can be an issue. I know someone who can get 8 POFFs in a minivan! I own an enclosed trailer with a ramp door I use to move my modules already. My existing modules are on racks that roll in and out. The trailer is rated for 3,000 lbs, more than I will ever put in it with modules.

    So for these reasons I felt all the work to make them lighter was largely unnecessary in this case.

    As for figuring out where, maybe if I set them up end to end and show the whole scene someone can guess.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    Very nice, ingenius work, @bicknell!

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2013 View Post
    Wow! A first! Can you do that again, Leo?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    My existing modules are on racks that roll in and out. The trailer is rated for 3,000 lbs, more than I will ever put in it with modules.
    Hmmm, about right for a moose, though. ...

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    Does anyone remember that scene in Crocodile Dundee when Mick is working on his N-Trak modules and says "That's not a caster, this is a caster"?



    Now that's a caster. I chose some el-cheapo casters from the big box store for my current racks, and I could tell they were barely acceptable at best ever since. Since I'm trying to make this project a bit of a showpiece that wasn't going to do. Plus, all stacked, it is heavy.

    These casters are 5" diameter wheels, 2 inches wide. Ball bearings for the wheels, double ball bearings for the caster. Each wheel is rated for 370lbs, so I should be running them only at about 30% of their rated weight. Overall height is 6.5 inches. They have rubber wheels.

    Overkill? Perhaps. I wanted something that would be unlikely to damage nicer floors. We do occasionally set up in gymnasiums, retirement homes and the like. I wanted to be sure they were rated well past the weight I had. And, most importantly, I needed 6.5 inches of overall height (or more) to clear the angles going into my trailer.

    The two on the left are swivel casters with a foot brake. The brake not only stops the wheel, but also stops the swivel. That's a feature I've not seen before. The two on the right are swivel casters with a swivel lock. With the ring flat then swivel, pull it out and lock it vertical and the casters won't swivel. I'll keep them locked most of the time for easy driving, but I think I'll need to unlock them to side to the wall of my trailer to be secured, and perhaps for some tricker maneuvering locations.

    The care package that brought these also had all the mounting hardware for both the casters and the table legs, so I can now get on with mounting the legs to the modules. I may attempt to get the first one on legs this weekend, we'll see how it goes.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    Small roadblock. I burned myself cooking. Not too bad, nothing that wont heal, but this blister on my thumb is super annoying. Unlikely Ill be doing any construction for at least a week, maybe two.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    @bicknell

    Walk ... It ... Off!
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    Small roadblock. I burned myself cooking. Not too bad, nothing that won’t heal, but this blister on my thumb is super annoying. Unlikely I’ll be doing any construction for at least a week, maybe two.
    Rub some ground foam on it and get back in the game!

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  32. #39
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    I've been healing. The location on my thumb made it hard to work with most power tools and gave me some difficulty typing for the first few days (and that's my whole job!). Don't touch hot pans kids.

    It's not fully healed, but it's back to a point where I can resume most work. Still need to take it a little easy while doing woodworking type stuff, but I can move on. I managed to put in a couple of hours today. I got the feet removed on the legs I bought and installed the new feet which fit perfectly! I got 4 of the 8 legs converted, and the new adjustable feet installed. I'll try and get some pictures of that process tomorrow when I do the remaining legs. I also installed the leg support blocks on 2 of the 4 modules, and the leg brace support blocks on 1 of the 4 modules. There's a chance I might have the first module up on legs by the end of Monday since I get the day off for MLK.

    I've also located two professional finishers. I need to call and talk to them. I'd like to pay a professional to spray lacquer all of the modules. Having them do it in a spray booth will produce a far better finish than I could ever achieve on something this large at home.

    Oh, and I need more glue. I think I'm about to finish off bottle #4 of Tightbond II. Trust me, these modules are not coming apart!
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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  34. #40
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    Yes, but we still need more clues.

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