Author Topic: Designing and Building a PCS (Moving) Freindly Layout  (Read 1130 times)

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delamaize

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Designing and Building a PCS (Moving) Freindly Layout
« on: October 20, 2011, 05:49:45 PM »
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so this is motly aimed at Dave Vollmer, Millitary members and people who move often.
I am really close to throwing down and actually starting another layout. gonna take things a little slower this time around. we got about a year left here in Germany, then it is probably back to the states. So I need to design and build it to move. So I guess what I wanna know is does anyone have sugestions and pointers to building one that is fairly light, but can old up to a PCS move? (Millitary movers are typically not nice to your stuff) Once we are back state side, I will move it myself, but from here I pretty much have one choice. I guess the other option is to just wait out the year, and stay with the unitrack on the table version of the "KT&N."

I am still leaning towards the design that we all disscused here:
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=23898.0
the only change I am making as of now, is going away from the Unitrack, and going to either code 55 (either atlas or ME) or hand laying code 40.
Mike

Northern Pacific, Tacoma Division, 4th subdivision "The Prarie Line" (still in planning stages)

Dave V

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inkaneer

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Re: Designing and Building a PCS (Moving) Freindly Layout
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2011, 11:19:53 AM »
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Well, if you want advice from guys who move their layouts often then ask the ntrak guys.  They're never in the same place twice in the same week!   But seriously, I never had to deal with moving stuff while in the military.  All my stuff fit into a duffle bag.  There may be some restrictions on size and weight that you have to follow.  But this  is the advice I give to anyone, even those who are building a "permanent layout".    That is an oxymoron as no layout is truly permanent.   So here goes.  First, build it modular.  2' x 4' is agood size but certainly nothing larger than 2' X 6'.  Forget the 4' x 8' or the 2' x 8'.  A m,ax width of 2' and a max length of 6' is a lot easier to pack, carry and maneuver through doors, around corners and /or up/down stairs.  Second, build it like you would an airplane not a battleship.   Strong but light are your key words.   Hollow core doors are not the way to go.  Hard to carry let alone maneuver around corners etc.  They are also not very light.  Go with an open grid framework with 1"x 3" or 1"x 4" for perimeter framing and 1" x 2" for cross framing every 12 inches.  Use corner gussets of 1/4" plywood to prevent racking.  Use 1/4" for sub roadbed and use a 1' X 2"  laid on edge on the crossmembers to elevate the subroadbed 2" above the grid.  These 1" x 2" shoud not be as wide as the roadbed to allow for the masonite to follow.  Then use 1" strips of 1/8" masonite or hardboard screwed to the sides of the 1 X 2's to support the subroadbed.   Third, use no glue.   Screws only so repairs, if needed, can be done easily.  Land forms are made from the usual blue or pink styrofoam.   

delamaize

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Re: Designing and Building a PCS (Moving) Freindly Layout
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2011, 02:34:58 PM »
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Thanks for the replys guys.
I can't believe that I missed your talk before Dave. lots and lots of good information there, making me re-think some of my current ideas.
Mike

Northern Pacific, Tacoma Division, 4th subdivision "The Prarie Line" (still in planning stages)

Dave V

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Re: Designing and Building a PCS (Moving) Freindly Layout
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2011, 03:23:31 PM »
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I just have to chuckle for two reasons...  The first is that I've been down exactly the same road and the second is that your question would have been the perfect intro for the video.

Again, I caveat that what worked for me is not necessarily for everyone, but after a few successful PCSs I've learned to live with the shortcomings.  After all, it's nice to arrive at a new duty station with a fully scenicked and operational layout.
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Mr. G

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Re: Designing and Building a PCS (Moving) Freindly Layout
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2011, 06:43:58 AM »
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Great video.  Thanks for posting it. 

My wife and I PCSed earlier this year to Europe and I had to modify my plans dramatically.  As much as I wanted an around the room layout, I realized that it wasn't going to happen if I planned to move it and there was no way I could do as much as I wanted on this relatively short tour.

I noticed you used the term "foot stomp" twice.  That's a term I've only encountered in the DoD and strangely only with operational planners. 
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Everything blends.  Just a general rule of model railroading...

rogergperkins

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Re: Designing and Building a PCS (Moving) Friendly Layout
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2011, 09:21:23 AM »
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For the 30 years that we lived in MN, I built my layout so it was movable.  We moved five times. 
The question that comes to mind is whether it is worth the cost to build a "bullet proof" layout, or more economical to build one that can be disassembled and packed so the basic items are movable.

What I am proposing is probably what those with experience outside the US have done is to keep the bench work as inexpensive as possible and place the layout base on a table with folding legs.   

Kato Unitrak is very easy to disassemble and pack for moving, etc.