Author Topic: Question on module ends  (Read 383 times)

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jsoflo

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Question on module ends
« on: September 16, 2020, 11:44:28 AM »
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I'm building a pair of modules that are not going to leave the home and not to any standards, these are just supposed to be 2 3' modules that I can use in a small area and store easily out of the way. The modules are 3' long x 10" wide, pine frames, with a 1/4" luan top, nailed and glued on to 3/4" pine frame, with a 1/4" cork mat on top of that, other than the last 1.5" of modules, which is 1/4" maple glued to the luan. That way the connection points of the modules will be bonded in some fashion to wood, and not cork.

Track will not be elevated, this is an urban and port switching layout, not a mainline or even well maintained industrial track. All track will be ground level, poorly ballasted, or embedded in pavement. The tracks will cross the modules at module top level, without additional elevation. Approximately 5 tracks will cross over.

I have done a lot of reading on module track connection ideas. I do not want to use joiner tracks. I have done that before and was not happy with it, and it would not work anyway because some of the tracks crossing modules will be on slight curves. I could solder rails to brass screws on either end of the module and then cut and file tracks, or I could just bond the track to the modules with an adhesive and cut and file, or I could try this PC board technique I am reading about. Knowing these are not traveling around and are just moving from storage to use to storage, I would love to get input on what any modular experts or non-expertsrecommend. Thank you for the help!

wm3798

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 11:56:54 AM »
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In my experience you can get away with no connector track as long as you have a rock solid mechanical connection between the module frames.  This ensures that they go together flush, level and in perfect alignment EVERY TIME.  Consider using furniture connectors, with pegs and locking bolts (such as you might find on Ikea furniture) to secure your frame assembly.

Once you have that sorted out, build your track plan, glue and ballast your track across the joint, then just go back with a fine Dremel blade and cut the rails.  As long as the module frames are aligned properly, the track will be right where you want it.  The bond of the glue and ballast will keep the track from moving. and the depth of the Dremel cut will provide you with reasonable protection from expansion/contraction of the rails.  Provide for electrical continuity with Kato connectors or whatever other under the table system you use to hook everything up.

One caution:  If any of the tracks cross the joint at an angle, cut the rails perpendicular to the rail, not at the angle of the platform.  You don't want to create a skewed rail joint that might catch a flange.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

jsoflo

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 01:09:32 PM »
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Interesting and helpful, thank you Lee!

The pair of modules will sit on either bracket shelving or a table, I have not included legs or the ability to add legs (though that would be simple if needed). A table top should be level, in the ways I need it to be- namely through a long area without mid-module bumps, shelf brackets, in theory yes, maybe not quite.

For that reason I was planning on clamping modules together. I built the modules a bit different for these reasons- the end "plates" (3/4" pine) of the two "box" style module builds extend 1/2" beyond the modules on front and back. Basically, I cut all my end plates 1" wider than the module is to create a clamping area. This 1/2" extension on the ends is used to "C" Clamp the modules together without (1) having to do so underneath the modules, since they may be on a table, and (2) should join the modules at less of a pivot point (since clamping at the bottom can still permit the tops where rails are to lean a few mm away from one another. In theory, the front and back clamping surfaces should allow a connection and adjustment throughout the vertical plane.

I could wing nut those clamping surfaces, but I am concerned that would leave less adjustment for non-level surfaces. If this ever became a more semi-permanent shelf layout, I would wing nut them together for sure, but that is not the plan.

Question for you, if I cut angled track perpendicular to rail, wouldn't that lead to rail overhang?

Thanks again

nickelplate759

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 01:14:43 PM »
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If you do run the track right to the end of the modules,  consider making a safety cover for the track to be used when the modules are not connected.  Otherwise the track is likely to get damaged.   Also, consider making the last couple inches track, leading to the edge, easily replaceable.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

jsoflo

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 01:36:10 PM »
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It may be easier to understand what I did with the clamp areas with a photo:
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 01:41:17 PM by jsoflo »

CRL

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 01:38:54 PM »
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Using Peco code 55 track Glued to the roadbed with the bottom rail web buried in the ties also provides a very stable Track end.

jsoflo

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 01:43:37 PM »
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I am using Peco Code 55 and was planning to affix to the module with DAP acrylic latex caulk or Gorilla glue. For the 1.5" at the end of each module the "roadbed" will be 1/4" thick maple affixed to 1/4" Luan plywood (5.2mm). Think either of those adhesives to that substrate is sufficient?

CRL

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 01:54:23 PM »
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I’ve used Liquid Nails (latex) and it’s worked well for me. Gorilla Glue needs to be clamped as it expands as it sets, but you’ll need a hammer & chisel to make any changes so be careful.

jsoflo

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 05:26:31 PM »
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I do recall Gorilla glue foaming up while drying so I would prefer to use an acrylic latex caulk- though what is the consensus, Gorilla glue is a stronger bond? I could use Gorilla glue on the 3 ties closest to the end and caulk or liquid nails for the rest...

DKS

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 06:58:12 PM »
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I do recall Gorilla glue foaming up while drying so I would prefer to use an acrylic latex caulk- though what is the consensus, Gorilla glue is a stronger bond? I could use Gorilla glue on the 3 ties closest to the end and caulk or liquid nails for the rest...

Me, I'd still put my money on epoxy. Never had any luck with Gorilla Glue, and caulk is to flexible.
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

jsoflo

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 07:40:19 PM »
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Epoxy- I had not considered that- any in particular you use or recommend?

Steveruger45

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 09:23:49 PM »
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Ive had good results with Gorilla 5 minute Epoxy
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gorilla-0-85-fl-oz-Epoxy-42001/100670610
Even though it sets in 5 minutes it still take overnight to fully cure
Ive also used Araldite, takes a lot longer to set  (which can be a useful feature) and overnight  to cure.

Steve
Atascocita, Texas

jsoflo

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2020, 01:40:41 PM »
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Thanks Steve- picked up the JB Weld epoxy and will see what kind of results I get. Appreciate everyone's help!

davefoxx

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Re: Question on module ends
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2020, 01:56:32 PM »
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I agree that caulk would be too flexible, but that epoxy should work fine.   Don't be stingy with the epoxy to lock that track down.  On my layout, I flooded the area around a curved piece of track with just CA, and, thankfully, it held its shape without too much kinking after I cut the track with an Atlas saw.  If the track had been straight, I could have gotten away with just yellow carpenter's glue, which is my go-to track/roadbed adhesive.





Hope this helps,
DFF

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