Monday, April 5, 2010

Layout Construction – March 2010

March 11, 2010
I built the first switches for Denton. These are the east side of town from Lewistown. I also painted the foam creek bed to check the surface for imperfections from covering up the crack in the benchwork. After that had been completed I tested the bridge placement over the creek bed.

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Next I built the removable staging for Lewistown. The staging must be removable to allow access to the short door (in the background) which leads to the crawl space/storage area under the house. In these pictures I have used various things (table, paint can, box) to test the height of the staging track. The track on the staging extension is not permanent.

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March 17, 2010
The Denton area is now starting to take shape. The switches have been installed and a length of track laid on the mainline.

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Here the track over the bridge has been added to complete the curve to Denton. The other photo is a test of a run over the new bridge track.

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March 26, 2010
Now it is time to finish the Lewistown staging tracks. A fascia board was installed to create an area for one end of the staging table to rest on. The table is a 1” x 6” with two 1” x 2” boards for support. The small blocks allow for correct alignment of the table. On the opposite end, I added a 1” x 2” cross ways and small blocks on each wall for support. This setup allows for light weight construction and good support.

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Now came the problem of how to get electrical to the staging table without a complicated connection. The answer was found while walking around Lowes looking for ideas. I had extra AC wall cables from the under-cabinet lights that I bought. Why not use those and plug the power into an AC outlet. For the outlets I used screw in light socket connectors. I removed the outside threaded cover and soldered the wires directly to brass tabs. All that was needed was to drill a round hole in the wood and glue the connector in the hole. BINGO! problem solved. As an added bonus the the plug and outlet have one side enlarged for polarization so the correct connection will always be made.

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March 28, 2010
Here the final connections have been made between the benchwork and staging table. The bus bar has short wires on the top to distribute power to the addition connections. Now when it is time to get to the storage area under the house it will be a simple process of unplugging the cable and removing the table staging table.

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At this point, all I needed to do was add roadbed and track. Viola! instant staging for the railroad. Well, maybe not instant.

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And now for your viewing pleasure. . . . . a couple of videos!