Tuesday 9 September 2014

Time to catch up.

I am so far behind with this blog I am ashamed to say but I am back here to make make up some time. I'll try and keep the next few posts short as I can so I can catch up to where I am with the build.

Moving on past the window I started marking and putting up battens around the next wall. As I have been buying timber in 2.6 metre lengths I needed to bring the supports for the next section closer so as to span it. I used the same box sections as I did everywhere else in both corners with a leg for support.

The first support on the next wall I secured between two bookcases. Once this was done I could then hang the long shelves between the corner units.
Then once I was happy with the position of the first shelf I hung the top two making sure they were narrower so viewing of the bottom shelf wouldn't be compromised. I then put the angles in at the corners.

I then moved to the next wall and put up the battens again. This is the wall where the bookcases are and I put a support for the bottom shelf between each one for the stability of the shelf but mainly for the stability of the bookcases as had to remove the tops of them so I would be able to get under the lower shelf for wiring. The main upright support for all three shelves at the far end I attached to the outside of the far right bookcase.

At this point I used the same box units as everywhere else only a lot narrower to span the window. The upper two I used smaller sections of timber. The result does brutalise the window somewhat, but this is now well and truly a model railway layout room and not somewhere to put flowers on the window cill and stare out into the garden :0)

I've since painted the outside facing and underneath of the window sections in a dark brown paint as they were very obvious from the outside. This has made them very much disappear.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Splinal Tap - Smell The Wood

Another month has past and I've been put to work decorating our Bedroom and Bathroom so work on the layout has taken a hit, but doing a small bit every day helps keep things moving.
First off I fixed two box sections between the wall and the first peninsula supports to give a solid section to hang the shelves to the door and opposite wall.

At this point I was ready for a change, rather than carry on putting up more box sections I decided to start on the Spline Sub Roadbed. This is a new concept to me but having heard about it on Model Rail Radio and having seen it since, used to good effect on other layouts, I just had to give it a go.
The basic concept is you use strip wood sections and spacers to create curves and inclines rather than plywood cut into sections.
I first clamped together three pieces of strip wood and put nails in the bench work to set out where it would run.

Once I had a starting point at the lowest spot I needed a base board to connect it too. 
I used 1" Spruce plywood which I bought in a 8'x4' sheet but had it cut into 4'x2' sheets so it would go in the car and as none of the bench work is over two feet wide this was perfect. I laid each section on the bench work and marked it from underneath to get the correct fit and cut it with my jig saw.

As a running theme here while building my benchwork, running out of wood is common place and strip wood is not immune. I did get a good supply but after setting out the run and taking into account how many spacers I would need and how wide it needed to be, I now needed more. So while I waited for a trip to get some more I got the next two sections of shelves up.
The section where I had fixed the plywood top is where my UK Country Terminus will be and the track will travel from front to back as it approaches the station, so when I fixed the last part of the baseboard I cut a slot in it with my jig saw pointing in the direction across the board to take the centre strip of the Spline.

I then cut and fixed risers to the benchwork so the grade would be as uniform as possible. I needed it to rise 62mm in about 6.5metres, so I worked that out at about a 1% grade. The sections of the bench work that the risers are attached to are not evenly spaced so I tried to even this out with some odd rising measurements as you might see marked on the risers themselves.

Time to start gluing the Spline together. Each length of strip wood is separated with a small spacer cut from the same strip wood. This I might add is the time consuming part. Apart from cutting each one, they need to be glued in place as level as you can get them and as evenly spaced as you can, making sure that there are spacers where the spline hits the risers, so that it can be glued and screwed in place when it's complete. Each time waiting for the glue to dry.
Again, you can never have too many clamps. Working out from the centre I added each length of strip wood and then more spacers until I had the required width. I did this in 2.5 metre sections as this was the length my strip wood came in.
I used longer spacers where each section joined and when it was complete used screws across the width to secure.

I cut more risers for the higher level of bench top and as with the lower end fixed the centre spline into a slot cut into it.

This week I put up some vertical blinds up at the window to keep the direct sunlight off the layout in the closest to backdrop sky blue I could find.
Lastly for this post I got the last two box shelves to the window up.
Spline Road bed is very time consuming. Constantly waiting for glue to dry is not for the impatient, but the results are fantastic. It is solid as a rock and will take forming with a surform, so I can introduce a little super elevation when I'm ready.
Perhaps I should post to this blog more often to keep the lengths down but at the moment, forgive me for having to much fun building.
Phase two starts soon ;0)

Saturday 22 February 2014

Big boys don't cry but they do have tiers.

I'm on the verge of going out and getting more wood for the build, so before I do I better get this blog up to date.
After the uprights were secure I installed battens to support joists for the 2nd and 3rd tiers.
These are as level and as balanced as I could get them as they are for the most part, making sure the joists are level. I then marked out and cut the Gussets for the joist support out of quarter inch plywood. 12 for the main joists and 4 shorter ones for the end of peninsula support. All my cutting has been done on my Black and Decker Workmate in the garage as to keep the dust down in the room and rest of the house. 
Each gusset was glued, clamped in place and screwed.

At this point I needed a reminder that all this work is ultimately for N scale Trains so I had an evening of laying out some track and putting some trains down to get a sense of space and size.

After each joist was cut to it's own correct length, it was glued, clamped, levelled and screwed into position. most of the main joists are supports for both sides of the upper decks so are very well balanced.

Then came time for the end of the peninsula. As these joists were not being balanced on the other side I had to make sure they were supported adequately. This lead me to the double joist arrangement. Two gussets plus screws though the last joist gave plenty of strength to both cantilevered lash up.

At this point I was out of wood and money. Time to plan my next stage and save some pennies.
I will end this post again reiterating how much fun this build has been so far. The results on first glance seem complicated, but as this is my first ever carpentry project of any kind I am having to keep it simple as I hope you can see. My only regret is that I hadn't done years ago. 
The signs are good and my benchwork so far, point to a happy man.