Michigan Central UNLIMITED

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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Congrats New Guy, your off and running!

Now the fun begins, along with the frustration, confusion, annoyance, head aches, ulcers, grey hair, thinning of the top pasture, red eyes, $$$ spent on asprin and so on and so forth :D

BUT, now you will see progress and that will inspire you ... well done mate!
 

roofintrash

Active Member
Looks like a nice space so the hard work payed off. Time to get crackin. Did you have as hard a time screwing something into that brand new drywall as I did? Bout killed me lol
 

new guy

Active Member
Looks like a nice space so the hard work payed off. Time to get crackin. Did you have as hard a time screwing something into that brand new drywall as I did? Bout killed me lol
Thanks, that was the hardest part!

Not to the new bit yet, having no trouble with the old stuff other than no second stud on the bottom! Put blocks in the 'new' wall but on the old one we have to use the vertical studs. The bit we have done is SOLID!

Used this as an excuse to ditch the old Ryobi and get some new DeWalt action! Plus we are FANATIC about pilot holes! 1x4's like to crack!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

roofintrash

Active Member
Thanks, that was the hardest part!

Not to the new bit yet, having no trouble with the old stuff other than no second stud on the bottom! Put blocks in the 'new' wall but on the old one we have to use the vertical studs. The bit we have done is SOLID!

Used this as an excuse to ditch the old Ryobi and get some new DeWalt action! Plus we are FANATIC about pilot holes! 1x4's like to crack!

I hear ya brother. Every screw on mine was drilled and countersunk. Mucho better.
 

new guy

Active Member
WIN_20150927_193342.JPGThe design of support we came up with, minimal vertical legs for kicking, those we MUST have will be set about an average foot size distance back to minimize jostling of the trains.
WIN_20150927_193416.JPG'Hip Bump' and a few accidental 'Head Bump' tests are being passed with flying colors!
 

new guy

Active Member
The angled supports are the "Bee's Knees" for this type of benchwork.
Thanks! Actually thank 'my' Carpenter! The Dude KNOWS his framing!

Puzzled and puzzled like the Grinch over video after video and books galore till I saw this technique used, they used what looked like pieces of 1 1/2" or 2" galvanized pipe, cut to length and flattened at the ends which were then bent to the proper angle and drilled for bolts. Avoiding vertical legs prone to attract feet was something I wanted to avoid if at all possible.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
If at all possible, if you do make switch panels for turnouts or whatever, make them so they swing away and don't stick out. You can get friction stays that allow them to hold up while you use them and then push down out of the way. The ones at my clubs that are fixed, sticking out, I'm always knocking my hand or hip on when concentrating on my train.
 

new guy

Active Member
If at all possible, if you do make switch panels for turnouts or whatever, make them so they swing away and don't stick out. You can get friction stays that allow them to hold up while you use them and then push down out of the way. The ones at my clubs that are fixed, sticking out, I'm always knocking my hand or hip on when concentrating on my train.
Good stuff Toot, but nothin that fancy going on down here, the only things on the edge will be the panels for the throttles and a few boxes to hold throttles when not being used. All turnouts will start manual and I was looking at the mechanical types of control for switches I have a hard time reaching. Over time I may convert some to power but not for a while, I got to log a few hundred hours of 'just train time' to 'cut my teeth' on and then start getting 'fancy'!
 

new guy

Active Member
"There is no scrap, all can be found usefull"
WIN_20150928_080916.JPG'Bumpers' for the 'end of track' at yards and spurs
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
NG - Looking good. Glad you started the post. Wish you had seen this post I made a long time ago for wall mounting. A bit cheaper than lumber and incredibly strong. Maybe for another part of the layout. It also gives you a little more space under the layout. My layout for the most part is along the wall. I have had a guy well over 250 pounds put his full weight on the layout and it didn't budge. The supports are half inch rigid conduit. Learned this trick from an old cabinetmaker.

IMAG0160_BURST002[1].jpg Here you can also see the 1x4 supports for the open grid, cookie cutter method. I did use plywood, mainly for its strength and stability to temperatures for flat areas such as towns and yards, and then cut sub roadbed pieces from sheets of plywood. Used a lot less plywood this way. It's easy to make changes in elevation this way, and access to wiring and such under the layout is a lot easier also. You can see some hydrocal dripping down on th efirst support from scenery above.

Keep the posts coming. Heard a lot of talk, but now I'm seeing some action. Well done.
 

new guy

Active Member
NG - Looking good. Glad you started the post. Wish you had seen this post I made a long time ago for wall mounting. A bit cheaper than lumber and incredibly strong. Maybe for another part of the layout. It also gives you a little more space under the layout. My layout for the most part is along the wall. I have had a guy well over 250 pounds put his full weight on the layout and it didn't budge. The supports are half inch rigid conduit. Learned this trick from an old cabinetmaker.

View attachment 52649 Here you can also see the 1x4 supports for the open grid, cookie cutter method. I did use plywood, mainly for its strength and stability to temperatures for flat areas such as towns and yards, and then cut sub roadbed pieces from sheets of plywood. Used a lot less plywood this way. It's easy to make changes in elevation this way, and access to wiring and such under the layout is a lot easier also. You can see some hydrocal dripping down on th efirst support from scenery above.

Keep the posts coming. Heard a lot of talk, but now I'm seeing some action. Well done.
Thanks! LOL!

So YOU'RE the guy!

I could not remember where I saw that! BEST design (for me) I've seen! LOL! Was going to go to the local Habitat for Humans place and get some pipe to use but my 'wood butcher' came up with a workable design using 1x4's.

I was killin ME with all the plans and dreams! "Talk" was all I COULD do till construction began! I'm hoping the pics will help someone as newbish or more than I am build a good table! I know many more people than the ones that post see the stuff we do here. 'Gawkers' I think someone said, but I was one for a while too!
 

new guy

Active Member
Looked and felt and looked and felt ALL the different thicknesses and finishes of every kind of top I could think might be usefull and kept going back to this thick, SMOOTH, papery type of stuff referred to as MDF. I looks like it will hold whatever method I care to try for tacking things down 'temp' or 'perm'! and should be stable enough to last a while. If it turns out to have been a 'rong' choice then the table design will allow for replacing it with ply. Won't be easy or cheap, but it will be doable. Always trying to leave an 'out' if the plan fails catastrophically.
 

new guy

Active Member
NG - Looking good. Glad you started the post. Wish you had seen this post I made a long time ago for wall mounting. A bit cheaper than lumber and incredibly strong. Maybe for another part of the layout. It also gives you a little more space under the layout. My layout for the most part is along the wall. I have had a guy well over 250 pounds put his full weight on the layout and it didn't budge. The supports are half inch rigid conduit. Learned this trick from an old cabinetmaker.

View attachment 52649 Here you can also see the 1x4 supports for the open grid, cookie cutter method. I did use plywood, mainly for its strength and stability to temperatures for flat areas such as towns and yards, and then cut sub roadbed pieces from sheets of plywood. Used a lot less plywood this way. It's easy to make changes in elevation this way, and access to wiring and such under the layout is a lot easier also. You can see some hydrocal dripping down on th efirst support from scenery above.

Keep the posts coming. Heard a lot of talk, but now I'm seeing some action. Well done.
I Thank ALL! This layout is a 'collaboration of strangers'!

Seriously, that shot is what gave me the idea for angled supports of some kind and many if not all of the finer details of the layout will be lifted from what I've seen here and in videos!
 

new guy

Active Member
WIN_20150928_102059.JPGThe last of the drywall is getting painted, not impressed with the coverage of this 'drywall sealer/primer' compared to KILLS it is like water. The wife bought it and is helping me put it on so as far as she is concerned I think it looks FABULOUS!
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
NG - What you have to come up with now is a PLAN. What type of layout do you want. Do you want to have long trains run continuously around the layout, a switching layout, of a bit of both. I don't have any idea of what the total space you have available. Try to make your curves as broad as possible being that you apparently have some of the newer diesels. They would look a bit goofy on a 15 inch radius.

While I was building my benchwork I was working on a plan of what I wanted to do. Growing up in the 50's and having spent a lot of time riding in the cabs of different locomotives, I decided to go with the transition era. This did limit me somewhat to the types of locomotives I could run, but was exactly what I wanted. I am set in the late summer of 1957.

You don't have to constrict yourself like I did, but apparently you will be in the modern era. Choose a location. Apparently Michigan is your choice. What industries are in the area you are going to model, if you are going to model a particular area.

A good plan will probably help make things easier for you in the long run and help keep your interest in the layout. Look at some of the forum members layouts. Curt, Garry, Ken with the D&J and David for instance. They have a theme set in an area that they have interest in. A little research into the area you're interested in will be a big help.

A track plan. You can scratch it out on the back of a napkin or use a program such as Scarm. I personally never had a plan drawn because I knew ahead of time that my layout was going to ba a point to point and I wanted to have plenty of room for industries to switch and wanted to have towns to detail. I only wanted to have the track go through any scene only one time. Not a problem. From the way you have been talking, you want to have trains running continuously.

Try to maximize the length of your run if you can. Do you want to have engine servicing facilities? What industries do you want to have. Planning ahead you can have room for these and other features you may want to have. I screwed up and had to tear out a bunch of track because some of the buildings wouldn't fit into my existing track work. Have any structures you may want partially built ot at least have the footprint of the structure available so you can adjust the track work ahead of time.

A decent plan can save you both time and money. I consider myself lucky because my plan worked out for the most part and the layout does just what I planned it to be.
 

new guy

Active Member
NG - What you have to come up with now is a PLAN. What type of layout do you want. Do you want to have long trains run continuously around the layout, a switching layout, of a bit of both. I don't have any idea of what the total space you have available. Try to make your curves as broad as possible being that you apparently have some of the newer diesels. They would look a bit goofy on a 15 inch radius.

While I was building my benchwork I was working on a plan of what I wanted to do. Growing up in the 50's and having spent a lot of time riding in the cabs of different locomotives, I decided to go with the transition era. This did limit me somewhat to the types of locomotives I could run, but was exactly what I wanted. I am set in the late summer of 1957.

You don't have to constrict yourself like I did, but apparently you will be in the modern era. Choose a location. Apparently Michigan is your choice. What industries are in the area you are going to model, if you are going to model a particular area.

A good plan will probably help make things easier for you in the long run and help keep your interest in the layout. Look at some of the forum members layouts. Curt, Garry, Ken with the D&J and David for instance. They have a theme set in an area that they have interest in. A little research into the area you're interested in will be a big help.

A track plan. You can scratch it out on the back of a napkin or use a program such as Scarm. I personally never had a plan drawn because I knew ahead of time that my layout was going to ba a point to point and I wanted to have plenty of room for industries to switch and wanted to have towns to detail. I only wanted to have the track go through any scene only one time. Not a problem. From the way you have been talking, you want to have trains running continuously.

Try to maximize the length of your run if you can. Do you want to have engine servicing facilities? What industries do you want to have. Planning ahead you can have room for these and other features you may want to have. I screwed up and had to tear out a bunch of track because some of the buildings wouldn't fit into my existing track work. Have any structures you may want partially built ot at least have the footprint of the structure available so you can adjust the track work ahead of time.

A decent plan can save you both time and money. I consider myself lucky because my plan worked out for the most part and the layout does just what I planned it to be.
I guess I can't help but be 'classed' in the 'transition' era. I like a wide variety of stock of all kinds, Loco's and 'rollers'!

I'll be doing a mix of 'fantasy' stuff that never existed ever and an attempt at a wee bit of 'real world' action, being FROM Detroit I am bound to have something related to the Auto industry.

I will have enough room to do pretty much whatever, 90 feet of 3 foot shelf with the 'connecting' table 24'x4'. I widened the ends of the shelf to take the 24" curves needed for the 'big boys' and they will have 'room to run'! The 'interior' is where it will get tricky with curves down to 15" for the many smaller runners I have. I 'want it all' as far as continuous running and 'yard action'! Industries will be put where they 'sprout' as the layout progresses. I figured, build the max table allowed my SWMBO and 'fill it up' over time.

LOL! "Track plan??? WE don't need no track plan!" I'm 'free formin it' all the way "changes are part of the permanent plan!" the only place I can see right now that will be "nailed down" is the MAIN, main line around the perimiter. and the 'end' yards. The 'interior' will be a work in progress for a long time, I like the 'discovery' aspect of 'no plan'. Wether or not to raise the end curve and put yard underneath or in front or in back, I will be able to change it as I find out how I like to run em and what kind of space is needed for different types of operations.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
That's what I did was more or less free forming as I went, but I did have a good idea of what I wanted to accomplish. I would suggest staying away from sectional track and use flex track. This way you won't be licked into a set radius. Flex track can be reused if need be or moved. With the dimensions you just posted, you could end up with a fairly long main line run. If possible, you could widen the end of the table just at the end and increase the minimum radius. That's what I did here. I ran it out to 68 inches to allow me to keep a 32 inch minimum radius.



Large modern diesels will looks so much better on a large radius, and your big boy will also look a lot better. It's your layout so you don't have to set a particular time period. You can do anything you want. I chose my time period and location because this is what I was familiar with. The locomotives that would have been running in that period as well as the industries that would or could have been in operation at that time. Although I am freelancing, I chose to start as close to prototype as possible. I do have locomotives from the Milwaukee Road and Northern Pacific which I connect to and made sure that they were spot on for the period.

Again, you can do anything you want. A lot of people prefer to have power from numerous railroads on their layout. It's their choice. You have a blank slate to work with. You can also consider having hidden staging tracks that you can park long trains on when they're not in use. I keep a few inbound trains hidden to bring "on stage" to deliver to industries along the layout and then send outbound trains there, which will turn into inbounds.

I would hate to see you just throw track down just to get trains running without some sort of planning. This could get expensive some time down the road.
 

new guy

Active Member
That's what I did was more or less free forming as I went, but I did have a good idea of what I wanted to accomplish. I would suggest staying away from sectional track and use flex track. This way you won't be licked into a set radius. Flex track can be reused if need be or moved. With the dimensions you just posted, you could end up with a fairly long main line run. If possible, you could widen the end of the table just at the end and increase the minimum radius. That's what I did here. I ran it out to 68 inches to allow me to keep a 32 inch minimum radius.



Large modern diesels will looks so much better on a large radius, and your big boy will also look a lot better. It's your layout so you don't have to set a particular time period. You can do anything you want. I chose my time period and location because this is what I was familiar with. The locomotives that would have been running in that period as well as the industries that would or could have been in operation at that time. Although I am freelancing, I chose to start as close to prototype as possible. I do have locomotives from the Milwaukee Road and Northern Pacific which I connect to and made sure that they were spot on for the period.

Again, you can do anything you want. A lot of people prefer to have power from numerous railroads on their layout. It's their choice. You have a blank slate to work with. You can also consider having hidden staging tracks that you can park long trains on when they're not in use. I keep a few inbound trains hidden to bring "on stage" to deliver to industries along the layout and then send outbound trains there, which will turn into inbounds.

I would hate to see you just throw track down just to get trains running without some sort of planning. This could get expensive some time down the road.

LOL! Oh, you ver, ver funny!

"COULD get expensive, e says!"

I've sunk a CHUNK o change into this and do not plan on doing anything else with any 'spare' money I ever see again!

The possibilities truly boggle! Only bought the 'set' pieces for starters to make sure the ends and corners 'worked' till I know how steeply I can flex the flex. 300 feet may sound like a lot but I'm thinking it will get 'eat up' pretty quick! For as much 'stuff' as I've gotten the size of this table means this will never be 'done'. The security of a project I know will outlive me is a new and good feeling.

I don't have to have a jobby-job any more and as good as THAT may sound it sounds good to those that never tried it, ya STILL gotta have SOMETHING to DO! I can testify that doin nothing is harder than it LOOKS!

I'll be doing and trying everything that CAN be done with a 'model train'! "Modifying" things to make them take tighter curves will not be above me, grades that no REAL train could ever do, I will try!
 




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