Author Topic: Progress on The Shelf  (Read 10538 times)

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Dave V

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2010, 12:41:18 AM »
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Ed's being coy here, but it becomes obvious what the purpose of the shelf is if you think about Ed's interests.  The shelf scratches one itch, while the Baltimore industrial layout will scratch another.  The purpose of one doesn't dilute the other purpose the way they would if they're both crammed into a single layout.

The shelf is simplistic and minimalist, yet elegant in conception.  But I won't steal Ed's thunder.
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wm3798

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2010, 07:47:13 AM »
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Meh.  I'll withhold final judgment until I see it in person, but from what I see, it's little more than an extension of the Kidney.  Ed tried to explain it to me when he came down last weekend, but I couldn't visualize it.  (in fairness, the jumble that is my layout is pretty hard to envision, too!)

From an execution standpoint, though, it's looking really rushed.  The yellow sky should have been dealt with, and I'm very dubious about the quality of light that the twinkle lights will provide, as well as the potential for distraction, at least until a valance is concocted (which will screw up the ceiling tiles a lot more than a track light...)

Perhaps a more complete track plan, showing potential locations to be modeled, key scenic elements, and maybe some proto references would be helpful.

I guess my problem with it is the disconnect between the switching and the main line.  To me the essence of railroading is precisely that connection, and to avoid it so purposefully just leaves a gap that my mind can't bridge.

Lee
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tom mann

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2010, 08:01:03 AM »
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Last night in class, we discussed Ed's approach as part of a broader discussion about postmodernism.  My professor thinks that Ed is attempting to destruct all contemporary layout-construction theories and instead focus on a dissonant experimentalist approach.  For example, if Ed posted a photo of himself cutting a piece of foam in the Home Depot parking lot to fit it into his car, that photo would be consistent with mindset of the ones previously posted.  Another example would be a close up photo of the hatch that Ed is blocking as an example of the rejection of normal design constraints.

In other words, Ed's layout is a reflection of his skepticism of conventional layout design.

This is why Ed lately sports an "ironic" beard.

DKS

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2010, 08:15:09 AM »
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...from what I see, it's little more than an extension of the Kidney.

You think maybe Ed has become an organ donor?
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

Dave V

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2010, 08:58:46 AM »
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I will agree that his construction techniques look inadequate to me.  I don't think we've resolved how the layout edge will withstand occasional impact, and I'm not entirely sure even with a valence that the Christmas lights will work out.  I'm particularly concerned with how much heat they will generate while in contact with the ceiling tile.  That seems like a less than good idea.

Overall, though, in spite of the satirical nature of Tom's post, he's nailed it.  Although I'm from Lee's more traditional school in that I want my layout to have both the switching and the mainline aspects in one, I'm curious to see how this works for Ed.

I think Ed's "rushed" construction is a nod to the experimental nature.  If it turns out to have been a bad idea, he's not out much cash and he hasn't created a permanent corpse in the basement.
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Blazeman

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2010, 09:00:03 AM »
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This discussion makes me think of a couple movie titles, but with Ed being subbed in the title:

"What About Ed?"

"Something About Ed."

And I don't even know the man.

DKS

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2010, 09:02:33 AM »
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This discussion makes me think of a couple movie titles, but with Ed being subbed in the title:

"What About Ed?"

"Something About Ed."

And I don't even know the man.

Actually it's all coming across more like a Fellini film...
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

Philip H

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2010, 09:06:08 AM »
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ya know, I actually think the shelf resolves a huge problem we all spent time debating with Ed after he bought the basement.  As you will recall, he wanted great switching opportunities, and extensive, railfan style running (Ala Todd Treastor).  He went through a number of gyrations of layout planning trying to have both, but couldn't get a plan that really scratched both itches.  So he settled on a plan for the larger layout that is more heavily switching oriented, and thus less railfan friendly.

Now he's moved vertically to provide himself the railfan aesthetic.  The other layout will still be built - or so I was told over the end of Lee's new signature photo friendly bridge.  But this one keeps him building on something for the short term, and it gets trains running quickly - and how many of us have had that as a first order modeling goal?

Sure, he's doing a few things construction wise that we all find . . . unique . . . but at the end of the day he's out to satisfy himself, and from our conversations it seems he's achieving that.

besides, I think once he really makes progress on the big layout, this shelf will come down - he'll be having too much fun otherwise.
Philip H.
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tom mann

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2010, 09:15:33 AM »
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Overall, though, in spite of the satirical nature of Tom's post, he's nailed it.  

You know, that is really funny; because when I started to write the post it was going to be satire, but by end of the first sentence, I thought "sh*t, this is what the guy is actually thinking". ;D
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 09:22:39 AM by tom mann »

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2010, 09:51:41 AM »
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Last night in class, we discussed Ed's approach as part of a broader discussion about postmodernism.  My professor thinks that Ed is attempting to destruct all contemporary layout-construction theories and instead focus on a dissonant experimentalist approach.  For example, if Ed posted a photo of himself cutting a piece of foam in the Home Depot parking lot to fit it into his car, that photo would be consistent with mindset of the ones previously posted.  Another example would be a close up photo of the hatch that Ed is blocking as an example of the rejection of normal design constraints.

In other words, Ed's layout is a reflection of his skepticism of conventional layout design.

This is why Ed lately sports an "ironic" beard.

And this is why Tom is brilliant. Even though he's joking, he my have hit the nail right on the head.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #55 on: October 27, 2010, 10:33:20 AM »
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Ed's being coy here, but it becomes obvious what the purpose of the shelf is if you think about Ed's interests.  The shelf scratches one itch, while the Baltimore industrial layout will scratch another.  The purpose of one doesn't dilute the other purpose the way they would if they're both crammed into a single layout.

The shelf is simplistic and minimalist, yet elegant in conception.  But I won't steal Ed's thunder.

Also, Dave has it absolutely right (Phil too).

The thing is, I don't see the reason why we tend to make this stuff harder than it is.

People spend years planning the "perfect" layout, trying to figure out how to work both Sand Patch and Horseshoe Curve into a layout, while still being able to move cars around on it in a realistic manner.

They do this because:
1. Operations is fun
2. They want to see trains running over Sand Patch
3. They want to see trains running over HSC

But, at the end of the day, they've wasted years planning and never actually turned a wheel, and even if the layout does someday get finished, they still have to explain what that EM1 is doing in Altoona.

Instead, they could've broken the problem down further and addressed each desire individually. That's exactly what I'm doing here.

Yes, I could fit in a bunch more stuff in the given space. I could call one end York, and put in some factories, maybe cram in a #4 turnout and have a MA&PA interchange. I could put in some crackhouses and call the other end Baltimore.

But I don't want to build a layout where I can see York from Baltimore.

Think about the layouts you've seen where someone tries to replicate a real scene. Those scenes often take up MUCH more space than the other ones on the layout because when you start putting realistic amounts of negative space around things, you start taking up a bunch of space.

I want to do THAT. I want this project (not the other one, that's a different story) to be a study in how things work, and how things look, when you include proper amounts of negative space.

It might not work out, but I'll say this, I tried the same thing on the Kidney, and despite it being in my old livingroom, I never had a single guest look at it and call it "cute" or make any reference to Lionel, christmas trees, or anything of the sort.

I kept going around and around on a plan for the basement because I simply don't have the room to build that style of layout with operational interest built in. But I DO still want some operational interest, and that's the reason the Canton project is very much still on.

As far as construction methods go, yes, it's all highly experimental. I've been observing things in this hobby for a LONG time, and I've yet to see a layout take a direct hit from a thermonuclear device. Therefore, I don't see the need to build one like it will, especially this one. It's well above dog height (even when he jumps), we don't have cats, it's above (eventual) child range. Eventually I'm planning on putting shelves under it, so people can't even get under it to hit their heads. I know that, in normal construction, you need to have a certain level of rigidity to provide a solid construction base, however, because this is designed to be constructed on a bench, I don't even really need that.

So yeah, it's not conventional by any means, and I know that that might seem a bit crazy, but I think it's going to turn out really well when all is said and done. And as it has been pointed out, if it doesn't, I'm only out about $100 total in the whole thing (and not much of that is built in - brackets, lights, all three buildings, etc can be reused).


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #56 on: October 27, 2010, 10:35:06 AM »
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If the objective is to get trains running ASAP, I can see skipping lots of woodwork and just using foam. If the sections are short with a good number of supports, they will stand up to a lot. The thick foam in short lengths is pretty tough to bend or break. Honestly, the only times I have seen insulation foam in any application warp is if it was a long, thin section or if it had too much weight placed on it over a long period.

Everyone has limited time. Time spent building benchwork is time not spent running trains or building scenery or upgrading equipment. Some folks like building benchwork, or woodworking is their other hobby. That's fine. But I think some here are underestimating the durability of foam that is well supported, even if it isn't by a wooden fort.

I have to disagree with Lee about whether this is a real railroad- I think any layout that seeks to accurately capture some portion of real railroad operations acts like a real railroad. I think that unless you have a huge space or a very small prototype, the idea of modeling every step from interchange, through mainline haulage, to classification and final delivery requires lots of selective compression. Some prototypes lend themselves to this more than others.

Thanks for the backup on this, btw!

davefoxx

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #57 on: October 27, 2010, 10:57:15 AM »
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Okay, now I see exactly what you are doing.  I didn't get that you were planning on building two layouts: one for switching and operations and the other for railfanning.  Honestly, the more I think about this, the more I think it is pure genius.  It can be a real pain to design a layout that gives you everything you want.

Case in point: my dream RF&P layout.  I could never come up with a good plan that would allow for mainline running and operation (the RF&P was mainly a bridge route (conveyor belt) with only a few locals).  My idea to model Doswell, Virginia allowed me to use the C&O's Piedmont Sub to add in the operational fun as contrast to the racetrack that was the RF&P.  Bernie Kempinski designed a nice layout based on C&O operations around Doswell, but it didn't provide the continuous running RF&P that I sought.  I have yet to come up with a good plan that incorporates both an operational C&O and RF&P and doesn't become a monster layout.

However, if I took your approach and built a switching layout (or, let's say a short line like the Aberdeen & Rockfish) for operations, I could also build a completely separate layout used solely to railfan the RF&P.  And, you may have considered this, but, if not, this would also allow you to use a different scale on each layout.

Anyhow, I got it now.  Great job.  Keep up the progress.

Dave Foxx

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unittrain

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2010, 11:21:24 AM »
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I know I would have liked to take a minimalist approach like this on my layout! I chose building modules and it has been almost 2 years and I have not ran a train one!! I'm just getting ready to install the bus wires, and hopefully will be running trains within a month or two. My layout requires 12 modules and it is all double track it is alot of work wiring let alone building each module. I want so bad to get to scenery and structures ect that is what I enjoy. So I think the less you can put into the layout foundation the better.

Blazeman

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Re: Progress on The Shelf
« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2010, 11:27:58 AM »
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My under construction attempt has 2" foam sitting on a 1x4 frame with support being another 1x4 in the middle. The span of the foam is 8 feet. To protect the front edge of the foam, masonite sheets of ~6" will be attached to the frame and extend to the top of the foam. That will also box in the foam as well.

I think you're on the right track. You won't have sag or bumps disrupting things. That foam is pretty resiliant.