Author Topic: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea  (Read 4807 times)

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tom mann

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 08:27:44 AM »
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Why must the layout be lightweight and portable?  Will you take it down to work on it at table height frequently?  Take it to shows periodically?  Move it to your next abode one time only?  Will the backdrop be part of the frame system?  Why the metal frame?  Why not wood?

Steve


To answer some of these questions:  Lightweight and portable to not only move from room to room or house to house, but portable to be worked on in the workroom.  I also envision that this could be a standardized system like NTRAK, where I could bring my own module over to someone's house much like I bring my favorite freight cars now.

Still need to figure out how to work the back drop in.  I imagine that it would be part of the frame system, though.

The metal frame?  Because of the trade show booths that I'm used to.  I'm always amazed at how light they are.  But maybe David's GatorBoard idea will work, and maybe just a decorative piece of metal would be necessary on the outward facing side.

DKS

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2007, 08:38:34 AM »
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But maybe David's GatorBoard idea will work, and maybe just a decorative piece of metal would be necessary on the outward facing side.

Trust me, two layers of 1/2-inch Gatorboard is more than strong enough. This thing is four feet long, more than two feet wide, with many pounds of rockwork and scenery, and has gotten sopping wet countless times. If the base did any flexing, the deck bridge would be in a world of hurt.



It's been on the road several times, hauled from one end of New Jersey to the other, moved from room to room, etc., etc. After having used this technique going on four times now, I'd be inclined to build a permanent home layout on this stuff.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 08:45:00 AM by dks2855 »

tom mann

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2007, 08:54:55 AM »
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What is the best place to get GatorBoard?  Micromark has it, but in small and thin pieces:  http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action=Catalog&Type=Product&ID=83863

DKS

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2007, 09:38:34 AM »
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What is the best place to get GatorBoard?  Micromark has it, but in small and thin pieces:  http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action=Catalog&Type=Product&ID=83863

A few places. For plain white 30 x 40, Dick Blick ships fast: http://www.dickblick.com/zz132/01/

Artgrafix will custom-cut to order (which is what I did for the Z scale layout in the pic): http://artgrafix.com/store/page10-ss2.html

For bulk orders, Foamboardsource.com: http://www.foamboardsource.com/gatorfoams--gatorfoam--1-2--gatorfoam.html
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 09:40:29 AM by dks2855 »

tom mann

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2007, 01:32:18 PM »
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I found a source for Aluminum channel material.  I figure two of these can support a series of modules, but how far of a run can you make with these before you need to support them in the middle?  I'm thinking that 4 5' lengths can create 2 rails to span one wall of a 10' bedroom, supported in the middle with one bracket.  So you would need 3 brackets in total.

http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?id=297&step=2&top_cat=60

or maybe this would be better:

http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?id=63&step=2&top_cat=60 

« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 01:35:30 PM by tom mann »

tom mann

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2007, 03:56:57 PM »
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Dick Blick has 1.25" 2'x3' deep aluminum frames for $20:

http://www.dickblick.com/zz170/85/

So it looks like you could construct the benchwork for a 2' x 9' layout along a 10' wall for about $100.

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2007, 03:58:24 AM »
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The engineer (retired ) in me is intruiged by lightweight construction, the pragmatist says it will probably never be moved, and if it is, it will be somebody elses problem.  In compromise, it will be sectional (not modular), and economical of material.

I haunt (hunt, too) the thrift shops, especially those that haven't gentrified/sanitized their offerings (usually in the as-is/back room/garage section).  One had a set of office partitions (5), with other hardware for $5.  I was hoping for Micor internals.  What I got was 2', 4', & 5'  2"x4" aluminum channels that were the frame, semi-rigid fiberglass sheet stuffing (good for some automotive projects), perforated steel sheets that will be used.  I may weld/solder (with those Zn alloy rods) some frames for a Ntrak deep canyon module (or not).

Another source of materials is a local manufacturer of enclosed utility trailers.  They dump their cutoffs into a couple of bins and leave it for scavengers.  Most of it is (Chinese birch ply)(using waaaay too much formaldhyde resin) anything from 7mm to 3/4" thick.  I have near 4x8 sheets of 7mm/1/8th to 2x4 of various thickness ply to 8' x 4 to 6" 3/4 11 ply.

Check your Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki   mc/watercraft/ATV/snowmobile, whatever.  Much crating is steel rolled shapes welded and bolted together.  Around here they go into a big dumpster from a recycling outfit.  Light and stiff (being steel. Aluminum flexes much more.)

RMC? had an article about Gatorboard.  Many TV studios use it for advertising purposes, also some theatrical groups.  Usually to be had for the asking.

Bob in IDaho, living on the hope of hitting the lotto, existing on the cheap. (slight exageration)

SAH

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2007, 10:48:36 AM »
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The engineer (retired ) in me is intruiged by lightweight construction, the pragmatist says it will probably never be moved, and if it is, it will be somebody elses problem.  In compromise, it will be sectional (not modular), and economical of material.

Bingo and ditto.  Once I realized the thing was going to rarely be moved I stopped being cute with the materials and design and got busy building the thing.  Have not regretted that decision, but I'm sticking to a theme and scale.  Tom OTOH seems to have decided his chosen scale is "all of them".   ;D  Whatever you decide make sure you can strip the thing down to the frame and start over when the mood strikes you.

As for backdrop support:  I used drywall edge channels, fastened to the poplar frame with brads.  Kraft paper faced fom-cor provides the back support for 0.003" styrene.  (The fom-cor is kraft paper faced because that what was in the scratch and dent bin at Sam Flax Art Supply store - cheap).  The short lip of the channel is bent slightly toward the fom-cor and a spacer made of fom-cor is inserted into the channel slot to hold the vertical support in place.  The styrene is clipped to the top of the fom-cor with a plastic channel I happened to find.  The bottom of the styrene backdrop is held in place by the foam scenery layers.  When I moved, the styrene rolled up and everything else broke down easily and quickly.  Sorry I don't have a photo to share.  The layout has not been reassembled yet.

Steve

tom mann

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Re: failed attempt at module construction - but a new idea
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2007, 11:13:28 AM »
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Yes, my love of many scales, all supported by the same framework.  I also like the idea of change, too.  I will lose interest if I have to look at the same 10' of railroad everyday (but would hate to destroy things over and over).  Being able to quickly move things around (make a new module, put one in the garage) is very enticing to me.  Also, clearing out the room for guests is important, too.  Real estate is too pricey in the DC area for me to afford an extra room just for trains, so a layout has to 1) blend in and 2) get out of the way.