Author Topic: Loading dock SSS (Scratch Sketch Set)  (Read 8851 times)

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gary60s

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Loading dock SSS (Scratch Sketch Set)
« on: September 14, 2013, 09:20:54 PM »
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One of the first structures that I built from scratch was a loading dock. This is my own design, and the set of sketches include a long version (5 3/32) and a short version (4 5/8). I used 1/16” basswood strips, and .015 styrene. You can print the sketches to make your build easier.

The picture is my completed dock, but also included are 4 sketches, 2templates, and links to 2 PDF's for printing the templates.

When printing these N scale templates, use the PDF's. Select best print quality, set pdf zoom to 100%, and page scaling to "none" (or actual size). Make sure the printed page 3” line is exactly 3” long (you may need to adjust your printer).

You can use the side template as a guide for cutting the strips to length. Glue the long TOP stringer and the angled TOP stringer to the template with rubber cement (easily removed). Then glue the verticals to the top stringer with carpenters wood glue. Next, glue the long bottom stringer on top of the verticals. When glue is dry peel the template off the side, rub off the rubber cement, and make another side. The second side has the long bottom stringer pointing in the opposite direction so that when assembled, the bottom stringers are on the inside. Be sure to sand the end ramp angled stringer, as well as long end ramp vertical, to provide a proper miter joint at top of ramp.

Cut 3 bottom horizontal braces to length (1/2”), one end ramp brace (1/4”) and 12 upper horizontals (3/8”). Use rubber cement in a few places to set sides in place vertically, ½” apart on a sheet of paper, (use a square to make them plumb), so that 4 bottom braces can be glued in place. Glue top horizontals in place. Short end ramp horizontal is next, followed by middle end ramp horizontal. Next, sand top end ramp horizontal to match ramp angle and glue in place.

When glue is dry, peel off the paper. You can paint entire dock a dark brown to simulate railroad ties. The simulated 1 x 6 wood decking is also a template for the dock tops. If you print on label paper and leave a 1/8" border you can then cut them out, peel off backing and stick to styrene. Cut thru paper and styrene, then glue tops to dock frame. When glue is dry, paint bottom of styrene and use pastel chalk to cover white edges (if you paint edges or use a felt tip it may bleed onto label paper). Alternatively you can use wood for the decking.

For mine, I scraped off ballast and cut cork to fit dock in place, positioned dock and glued, then re-ballasted. The vertical dimensions shown in the sketches make the top of the dock
even with the floor of a boxcar when cork roadbed and code 80 Atlas track is used. Different roadbed, track, or rolling stock, may require an adjustment to this vertical dimension.

Those of you that noticed the huge rail gap in front of the dock, will be pleased to know that it has never caused a problem…lol  And yes, I built a lot of stick models as a kid.


None of my Sketch Sets are written in stone. One of the neat things about scratch building is being able to modify designs to suit your needs. If you see something you would like changed, and need a template for it, I'll see what I can do.








Here are links to the PDF's:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ay6gemasvvv9gd3/loading%20dock%20frame%20template%20long%20and%20short%20pdf.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/l5xeen9beowzy11/loading%20dock%20surface%20template%20pdf.pdf
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 03:53:13 PM by gary60s »
Gary

wazzou

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Re: Loading dock SSS (Scratch Sketch Set)
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 11:05:53 PM »
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Looks good. 
I would offer that the ramp should be twice or maybe three times it's current length to ease that steep climb/descent.  Both the ramp and dock could stand to be a little wider also.
Bryan

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gary60s

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Re: Loading dock SSS (Scratch Sketch Set)
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 12:47:39 AM »
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Thanks for nice comment Bryan. My layout gave me limited space, and unfortunately the dock length and ramp angle were fixed due to a restricting curve on one end and a grade on the other. I also felt that 6.6 feet was wide enough. That is the beauty of scratch building though! You can change dimensions to suit your needs.
Gary

MVW

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Re: Loading dock SSS (Scratch Sketch Set)
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 11:26:25 AM »
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Thanks for putting this out there, Gary. I need to build a long loading dock (close to 2 feet) for one of my major industries, and was just beginning to think about how I was going to do it. Very helpful.

Jim

gary60s

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Re: Loading dock SSS (Scratch Sketch Set)
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 09:31:11 AM »
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Just edited to get rid of removed pic at imgur.
Gary