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"The Back Mill" - Small Layouts,Planks and Micros - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2018 01:36 am
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BCDR
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Hi All,

Time to get building something for those On30 critters to run on. The theme is the yard of a sugar mill (cane sugar/rum distillery). Lots of juggling the various wagons (sugar cane wagons, molasses tankers, rum barrels on flat wagons, sugar cane waste from the mill ("bargas"), the old coal wagon for the steam locomotives, oil tankers for the diesels, the sugar cane crane, and a couple of "golden oldie" passenger cars for local commuter traffic and occasional tourist  in the quiet season between crops. It will be a small layout, the "railway room" is a small closet, dimensions of around 5.25' x 4'. Just enough space for a shelf micro-layout running around one of the corners. This is On30, O scale stock running on narrow gauge track, so although a track plan based on OO or HO track would seem ideal, turns out it aint necessarily so. The stock dimensions are significantly bigger than OO/HO, so trying to get all of the wish list in doesn't work.

The layout is based on a classical "Inglenook" plan, with the addition of a turntable and a traverser for when it (hopefully) gets out of the closet or has a day out and goes to a local show. That's the grand plan anyway. After a couple of hours doodling I came up with the following plan:




So, from left to right: The 3-track traverser, inside the "Mill"  feeding 2 tracks; The Inglenook (solid lines); The disused/storage/RIP track (dashed line); the turntable; and the engine shed. Plenty of space for a few sheds, junk, The point work is all #5 frogs, 3 conventional and 1 stub (to the engine shed, I've never built one, and it cuts space requirements down). Ruling radius is 24", no points within 6" of a base join, and 4" between the rail and the side of the boards. All stock is to scale, useful in determining clearances.

The intent is to have  "KISS" operations, manual turnout levers with switchable live frogs, DCC operation, and no signals. Buildings, sheds, lean-to's,  and scenery as the mood takes me. First step is going to be the addition of some width to the modules I have, one is 1.25 feet wide, the other 1.0 feet, I need 1.5 feet. Modular approach, with ony 2 tracks crossing modules. Nothing complicated with the modifications, shelf-type extension under which I will probably tuck the wiring. The triangular gusset is there in case I decide to extend the disused track onto the small board and connect it to the turntable road (of which I have seen prototype photographs). No back scene, the layout will be operated from the "front", if it goes traveling viewing from both sides.

Like all model railway layout plans it is almost certainly going to get modified as it gets built.

Nigel



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 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2018 05:57 am
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ZeldaTheSwordsman
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An interesting plan, I look forward to seeing it shape up



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 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2018 08:49 am
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Marty
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Plenty to keep you (and us) interested there Nigel.



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 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2018 10:50 am
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Looks good Nigel :thumbs


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 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2018 06:06 am
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BCDR
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Hi All,

Thanks.

Brendan - It should be fun.
Marty - And has to be entertaining.
Ed - On paper at least.

 Those 2 layabouts Blodgit and Fudgit were gob-smacked when they realized that their work had only just started with the building of the locomotives. "There's more?" they cried. "More??". "Too right" sez moi. "We're off to the pub then!" was their retort. Which prompted a visit to the local train show to stock up on track essentials for when they sober-up next month.

Nigel



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 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2018 04:23 pm
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Western Way
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Excellent idea, I really like this kind of lay out :)



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 Posted: Mon Apr 16th, 2018 03:31 am
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BCDR
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Hi John,

It's a toss-up with this pair whether the work they do is better or worse after a session at the pub. Last I heard they were getting into the spirit of things with Captain Morgan. Or was it Ron Bacardi? All in the interest of background research of course. Probably both.

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Apr 16th, 2018 04:13 am
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BCDR
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Hi All,

In my doodling I had a look to see whether a "Time Saver" and "Inglenook" were feasible in my available space and in On30. The answer is yes, but with 8 turnouts and 4 lines crossing the modules not what I was looking for with respect to KISS. And no turntable (although finding one with a diameter of 7"-8" may be interesting, the search is on, but scratch building will probably be called for). Plus very little space for scenic items. Anyway, here it is, sans the sector plate, which would be essential for moving stock from the Inglenook to the Time Saver.

Nigel






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 Posted: Mon Apr 16th, 2018 04:41 am
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ZeldaTheSwordsman
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Hm.. Is the aged Atlas HO deck turntable long enough to work? I realize that's a longshot with how dinky it is even for HO engines, but a narrow-gauge 2-6-0 might be within its limits



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 Posted: Mon Apr 16th, 2018 07:09 am
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BCDR
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Hi Brendan,

Too big. The N-scale one us just about the right diameter for the small diesels or an 0-4-0 or 0-6-0. And the right price as well.

The larger locomotives will get reversed on the traverser when required. 8"-9" diameter is just about doable. Nothing bigger.

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Apr 16th, 2018 07:42 am
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ZeldaTheSwordsman
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BCDR wrote: Hi Brendan,

Too big. The N-scale one us just about the right diameter for the small diesels or an 0-4-0 or 0-6-0. And the right price as well.

The larger locomotives will get reversed on the traverser when required. 8"-9" diameter is just about doable. Nothing bigger.

Nigel
Well, that's just it. The Atlas HO deck turntable, the one I'm thinking of, is only 9 inches in diameter. Hence why I called it dinky and was worried about it being too small.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 16th, 2018 07:08 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Brendan,

I had a hard look at both the Atlas N-scale and HO scale turnouts. The N-scale one is 7", and as you say the HO scale one is 9" diameter. The 9" one is still just a tad too short for the Mogul, which needs 10.5". All the diesels (including the big B-B) will fit on the 7" one, as will the the Forney (which should come to around 6.5"). The Mogul is really a "mainline" steam locomotive, not really suitable for yard operations. That will need an 0-4-0 or an 0-4-2 (as well as the 0-6-4 Forney). The aspect I don't like about these turntables is that even when motorized they stop at every track exit on their way round. I am also a bit concerned about the turntable size in relation to the rest of the layout.

I was actually looking at a battery powered model display turntable or a spray booth turntable as a base for a scratch build of a "gallows" turntable. The Tamiya display model has a diameter of 20 cm (7.8") comes with a cobblestone surface, and so would would be suitable for a rotating wood bed as well.Takes weights up to 2kg. Most of the display turntables available go at around 2.5-3.5 rpm.

That said, a Lazy Susan from IKEA and a stepper motor from eBay comes to less than $20. That or a slow speed helical gearbox for around $12.00. Even cheaper using a ball-bearing race under a wood platform. A 6" diameter ball bearing race is around $4, no real need for track or wheels with a 7" diameter top. A "Gallows" type turntable in a well with rail and wheels would be fine with a much smaller one, a 3" square plate race is around $3-$5 and ideal for the central platform. (The larger diameters are ideal for circular sector plates),

Nigel



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 Posted: Sat Apr 21st, 2018 09:08 pm
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BCDR
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Hi All,

First modification to the plan and I haven't even started laying track (than goodness). I suddenly realized that increasing the width of both modules to 1.5 feet was going to be a "quart into a pint pot" issue. I.5 feet plus 3 feet equals 4.5 feet, and I have 52.5 inches. Which is 4' 4.5". 1.25' plus 3 feet is 4' 3", which leaves just enough wiggle room to get it in and out.

Although my wife was prepared (willing would be stretching it) to lose 3' of her clothes closet to enlarge the model railway room to 5' x 6.75', when the contractor started muttering about removing metal door-frames embedded in 55-year-old concrete, a new wider door and metal frame to code (disability access code), new electrical wiring to code, relaying/replacing the 55-year-old wood tiles (which are irreplaceable from stock, special order is around $25 each), a new ceiling, a new....I quickly lost interest as that would rip through the modeling budget for the next 10 years.

So the plan was modified a bit to accommodate the reduced width. Seems OK. I'll be testing some track this coming weeks. Pictures below.

Onto the turntable. After a bit of research i decided that bashing an existing small turntable to what I need is more work than I'm prepared to get into. Now I have never built a turntable for a model railway, so it's going to be a new challenge. I did build a vinyl record turntable from a kit many years ago, so I do at least know the fundamentals (need to be concentric, circular, needs to rotate). What I would like to build is a gallows type turntable, somewhere around 7-8" long, in a shallow cobblestone well.  The general approach is as follows, but any advice, pointers or "avoid that like the plague" would be appreciated.

1. Lazy Susan rectangular ball race, 2" square. This would be an appropriate width for the bridge. Only 5/16" high, so that means a shallow well.
2. Slip ring, 3 or 6 lead connector for the wiring. This would give continuous current with low noise (gold plated contacts). I'm looking at a design with a flange.
3. Motor, gears (?) and drive shaft. I was thinking of a high torque low rpm geared motor here. 12v DC, 3 or 5 rpm, with a speed controller forward/revers unit. Right-angle gearbox to keep the depth to a minimum.

More details as work progresses.

Nigel


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 Posted: Sat May 12th, 2018 10:37 pm
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BCDR
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Hi All,

Some baseboard work today. The 3 x 1 foot module was widened to 1' 3.75" and the triangular piece made. I used the same material (3/8" Baltic birch ply, Radiata pine) as the original module. I had a piece of ply already ripped to 3.75", that extra 0.75" might come in handy. Plus a few pieces of scrap birch ply to make the sides and triangular filler. Glued up and doweled, I will get around to replacing the screws on the original module top with dowels next week. That will make it 100% screw-free.

Nigel

Edit: I went with a small increase in width on the small module,  3.75", and left the the bigger one as is at 1.25 feet. Going with 1.5 feet posed issues of ingress and egress unless I removed the door frame and put in a bigger door. Some modifications to the track plan will be required. May have to lose the turntable or hopefully I can relocate it.
New box frame and top sistered onto the original module. Glue and dowel construction.




Inside showing dowel supports through both frames..




Top showing new section to the left and the original module with screwed on top.




Triangular insert top. Made from scrap pieces.




Triangular insert frame. Made from scrap pieces. Open for the moment, intended to have a small shelf for the NEC controller and cable/jack. Didn't take enough pieces of scrap ply along to the woodworking shop, so a job for another day.




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 Posted: Sun Jun 3rd, 2018 06:52 pm
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BCDR
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Hi all,
After a lot of thought and agonizing I've decided that I can no longer continue with building the "Back Mill". This topic is therefore now closed. The "Back Mill" concept along with the locomotives will hopefully live on in a much smaller and more manageable format along with a new name. I like the idea of balsa (thanks Gene, I had forgotten you had a plank made with it), as I am allergic to HD closed cell foam (pink, blue, green).

I need a few months to recover from the latest (and severe) attack of peripheral neuropathy, then I should be able to get back into some serious modeling. In the meantime it will be 10 minutes on this, 5 minutes on that, plus a lot of armchair modeling on micro-layouts and some writing. Although that may be problematic unless I fire up the voice recognition software. Hate-hate relationship with that though, it hates my accent, I hate it's spelling and grammar.

Nigel



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