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Old 26-10-2017, 11:28 AM   #1
Nokonium
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My layout will be 12' x 6' to allow access on three sides. I have done some research and have selected 1/2" ply with 2" x 1" battens. Legs will be 2" x 3".

First question: How many legs? I already have wood for 6 legs, but one of those will need to be in the middle of the side where I will have my controls. Gut feeling is that 4 legs isn't enough for 12x6 would it be better to use 7, one in from each corner, one middle back and one either side of the controls, or even 8 if I cut out the middle (see Q2)?

Planned layout is to be on three levels:
Base level will have roads and a canal.
Second level will be where most of the track is, double main, curves mostly R2's on inner and mostly R3's on the outer, with sidings/fiddle yard. One branch will go to the top level with a 2.3% incline.
Top level Incline up to bridge then level, curves all R3.

Level heights are currently 86mm above the base level (111mm above the base board) and rising to 172mm above the base level (198mm above the base board.

Second question: Would it be advisable to cut an access hole in the middle of the base board to get to the electrics on the second level? Access to the top level will be relatively easy as it runs along three sides of the layout and I can make the side and back scenes removable.

Third question: What is the best way to build the levels? I will have 1" foam where I need to cut the canal etc. I think that as I need to install point motors and droppers etc. that I should build the base of the second level and the incline in thinner plywood that is easy to drill/cut and cover it with cork.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 26-10-2017, 11:48 AM   #2
Tinker
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On the leg spacing going roughly 18" from each corner and 3 -4 feet spacing between legs, Inclines or helix, inclines need a minimum of 8 feet this is still quite steep by railway standards. this all assumes its OO gauge....
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Old 26-10-2017, 11:49 AM   #3
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Don't forget to set the legs about 6" back from the edge of the baseboard so you don't keep kicking them.........HB
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Old 26-10-2017, 12:11 PM   #4
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Will the layout be screwed to the wall? If so then six legs should be fine. If not, you are going to need a few more legs if the legs are not cross supported.
I've just drawn a diagram which explains a bit.
If you look at diagram 1, I've showed the directions of force at the weak points which need addressing. Now let's first concentrate on strengthening the main board from the weakness of the force pushing down at the centre. We can simply add another leg in the middle like we have at diagram 2. The problem with just doing this is that it is costly in wood and it does not always provide enough strength from sideways forces (Let's say someone nudges into the board from the side).
The solution is in diagram 3, which only needs the strong wood legs of diagram 1, but by adding thinner wood as diagonal cross pieces, one can not only resist sideways forces, but strengthen the downward force which diagram 1 had issues with.
Most people opt for diagram 2 instead as it is the simplest form, and for most circumstances it works OK.
It is better to overbuild then underbuild with permanent layouts.
When one builds a portable layout, a whole lot more thought is needed to it so it is strong enough without being so heavy that it can't be carried without serious assistance!
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Last edited by Mountain Goat; 26-10-2017 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Forgot diagram.
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Old 26-10-2017, 12:19 PM   #5
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Can I just make sure we are all in the same place with the layout dimensions and access around it please? Have I got this properly Keith? The blue part is the wall (or other limit) the green is the baseboard (roughly)? If so then the red area will be beyond your reach without a central access well. R-
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OO Gauge : Train Controller Gold via Elite : Block sensors via CTI : Servo motors for points : 9 Locomotives
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Old 26-10-2017, 06:41 PM   #6
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Wow what a lot of replies

A bit more info and explanation.

The floor area of the Studio/Train Shed is 15' x 12'. The layout can be attached to the wall at one of the 6' ends, on the middle 4', so I will do that to increase the stability and use all 6 of the remaining legs to support the rest of it. The legs are going to be 18" in from the corners/edges where two battens cross so that I can screw the legs to them. I think that bracing the two legs at the other 6' end should then be enough.

Layout is OO gauge and the incline will be over 12' long starting at the front, along the side and then along the back. It will be 2.3%, according to AnyRail, which is about 1 in 43. I will check that engines will be OK on the curves and if they struggle I can drop the incline to the bridge over road/canal on the base level and continue it on the other side of the bridge.

Regarding the access well, I was thinking of it being only through the base board and have a continuous sheet over the middle, where we will have the village etc. There are no rails more 2'6 from an edge. The front right corner will have a movable obstruction - the booze fridge.
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Old 26-10-2017, 06:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokonium View Post
Wow what a lot of replies
The front right corner will have a movable obstruction - the booze fridge.
Glad to see you have priorities right!!

Good luck.
Ted
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Old 26-10-2017, 06:55 PM   #8
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Cheers twalton1145
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Old 26-10-2017, 10:52 PM   #9
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Personally I'd avoid R2 on your main lines as modern big locos don't like them much. R3 is the minimum I'm using on my layout. Remember that you need to check spacing of adjacent lines on curves to make sure rolling stock won't foul each other - I'm trying to remember this off the top of my head but I've had to allow a 63mm minimum centre to centre on my main line curves. Your layout sounds similar to mine - when building the upper layout I made sure I fitted everything I could think of - points / points motors before putting the deck in place - there simply wasn't enough room between the lower and upper deck to get in there and try and fit point motors etc. I cut as many access holes in the lower deck as was sensible - just so I can get, whenever I need to in the future, to point motors (mine are the below deck type). Oh also might be an idea before you fit the deck battens to drill holes through them (from side to side) so that once you've fitted them you have ready-made cable routes
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Old 27-10-2017, 08:06 AM   #10
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We cannot incorporate the range of things that we want using R3 and R4 for the main lines. The two locos that we have are OK with R2 (or so it says on the box) and although we will buy more locos I appreciate that I will be limited, ones in current wish list are 0.6.0 or 0.4.4.

I have taken into account the clearances needed, I have a couple of diagrams showing a range of critical minimums for a range of gauges. I have just done a replan as Iíve decided to use electro frog points instead of Setrack and maintaining the relevant clearances was a real pain, still got some bits to go back to. When I feel Iíve got something possible Iíll post it for comment, I can export it with track ref. noís on. Current plan isnít showing red anywhere for too sharp or too steep but some bits are too close to fit other stuff, like the canal, that we want in between the main line and the branch line.

I am planning to use below deck points motors as well, though which ones isnít decided yet. Iíve seen the holes in the deck battens in videoís but I havenít yet sorted out where Iíll run the main power bus and how Iíll supply the 5 or 6 power districts that I think that I need.
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