My friend Chris Abbott visited on Tuesday and, among other things, we installed more than 30 feet of fascia on the layout.
The front edge of the Port Rowan peninsula looks so much better now that it has been clad in Masonite:
The biggest challenge was removing and then reinstalling the four switch control stands governing the yard throat, but even that went off without too much trouble and even without paint the fascia makes a huge improvement to the appearance:
We also worked on the St. Williams side of the Lynn Valley, adding a section of Masonite in the corner:
I will now be able to fill in the terrain with foam board.
So far, the layout has needed more than 45 feet of fascia, including 16 feet Chris and I did earlier in the Lynn Valley:
I say “so far” because with that, we’re done with fascia – at least for now. There’s a section still to do in front of the staging area, but it will have to wait until we’ve installed the mechanism to control the sector plate and wired up the track.
My friend Chris Abbott visited this week and we put up the first pieces of fascia.
Before our session, I picked up some Masonite at a local DIY store, and had the store cut the 4′ x 8′ panels into four 8′ long strips. Chris and I installed two of them – so, 16 feet – which was enough to clad the layout through the Lynn Valley:
This work included adding some additional supports, contouring the top edge of the panels to follow the scenery, and dismounting – then remounting – two of the switch stands in St. Williams. Good progress and already it makes the layout look much more finished.
The next eight-foot section of fascia to mount includes four switch stands so it’ll take two sets of hands and some time.
It’s a harsh reality that my layout room has some obstacles, notably a bulkhead that houses ductwork and runs the length of the room.
I’m getting pretty good at avoiding the bulkhead, but occasionally I’ll bash my head against it – sometimes hard enough to see stars. Every time I do this, I vow I’m going to address the problem. And now I have.
I grabbed a couple of lengths of pipe insulation from the local DIY store. Pool noodles would also work. Looking from the end, I cut away one quarter of the tube, applied some No More Nails (the foam board-safe stuff) and stuck them to the edges of the bulkhead:
I left them to dry overnight and checked them this morning – they’re firmly attached and a whole lot more forgiving than the bulkhead, so I’ll use this method elsewhere in the layout room where heads and bulkheads may meet.
I should’ve done this years ago.
I hosted a work session / dinner last night, with my friends Chris Abbott and Mark Zagrodney coming by after work to help build subroadbed.
It was most useful to have three pairs of hands put to the task since there were a few very long pieces of plywood to cut, install and level. These included the roadbed for the east end of St. Williams…
… and the west end of Port Rowan:
Port Rowan is going to be a long, skinny yard:
Earlier in the day, I added bracing for a potential third bridge on the layout – an overpass just west of St. Williams:
This didn’t exist in real life but there’s a lovely short bridge over a road at Rymal, further north on the Hagersville Sub, and adding the bracing means I have the option to include this bridge if the mood strikes.
Over the weekend, I found myself with a day to devote to roadbed construction and I’m really pleased with my progress.
I now have roadbed east of the Lynn Valley into St. Williams and as far as the station:
In the Lynn Valley itself, I added extra bracing under the future location of the trestle and the deck girder bridge. This will help keep the roadbed in alignment across the gap when I cut away the plywood to make room for the bridges:
Heading west out of the Lynn Valley, I’ve installed the roadbed for the yard throat in Port Rowan. This includes four track switches and an elevated spur serving the coal dealer:
I was a little concerned about vertical curves on the short but steep grade on the coal track, so I set up a train to test these (see lead photo). I’m pleased to report I have no worries – couplers stay aligned over the hump and by carefully repositioning the locomotive along the length of the grade I’m satisfied that all wheels will stay in contact with the rails at all times.
Just a little bit more roadbed to install – all of it fairly simple – and then it’s onto cork roadbed. That’s when things will really start to look like a layout!
I had a free afternoon today so I hauled a sheet of 3/4″ plywood into the trainment and cut my first roadbed.
I installed a “?”-shaped piece (without the dot) that takes the mainline through the Lynn Valley. The location of this piece is critical since it must connect St. Williams and Port Rowan without hitting any of the intervening walls.
Here’s an overall view, looking from Port Rowan:
The curve radius is 41.5″, with easements (which I laid out using the bent stick method). I found this discussion of easements on the Model Railroad Hobbyist forum to be most useful in planning mine.
Here’s another view, this time looking across the future location of one of the bridges in the Lynn Valley. Port Rowan is to the right:
Obviously I will need to cut away the roadbed when the bridges are ready to be installed.
Yes, one can build benchwork for a layout in a single day:
Port Rowan will be on the peninsula in the foreground. The mainline loops through the Lynn Valley (out of sight to the right) then along the walls in the background. St. Williams will be in the corner by the window, with the staging yard to the left.
My friend Pierre Oliver is a wizard with wood. This actually took about five hours, when one factors in time for tea and lunch.
Next up: Risers and plywood roadbed!
Yes – it happened!
Pierre Oliver and I started this morning, and six hours later (with breaks for lunch and tea) the job was done. We’re now ready for risers and roadbed.
Truth be told, Pierre started this morning. When it comes to wood, he’s a professional and it was great to see someone working with the calm confidence of experience. For my part, I handed over materials and tools, held ends of boards, and kept Mocean and Jack (and myself) out of the way as much as possible.
I’ve spent two more hours in the layout room, cleaning up and organizing the various storage items that live under the benchwork. So no pictures with this post, but I did take some and will share them soon.
It’s great to move from a paper plan to three dimensions.
(No photo of Benchwork in a Day yet, but in the meantime here are photos of Mocean and Jack…)
I’ve been thinking about roadbed for this layout.
The sub-roadbed will be 3/4″ plywood, providing plenty of strength. Typically, I’d add 1/2″ Homasote on top of this, but Homasote is getting hard to find – and in any case, I’m not sure it’s needed.
Generally, advanced modellers use Homasote for two reasons. First, it deadens noise. Second, Homasote takes spikes well – important when hand-laying track.
However, on this layout I’m probably going to be using tie plates I picked up from Simon Parent. These have fold down tabs to help position them on the tie. And they’re not spiked – they’re glued in place. One sprays the bottom of the tie plates (while they’re still in the fret) with Super-77 Adhesive from 3M, then sets them aside to dry. The tie plates are then threaded onto a length of rail, positioned over the ties, and the glue on each tie plate is reactivated with a small drop of lacquer thinner:
A few spikes may be needed to hold things while gluing. But they shouldn’t pose a problem since I’ll be using full-depth (not profile) S scale ties from Mt. Albert Scale Lumber and I do have some spikes short enough that they won’t penetrate these.
So, I’m going to use cork roadbed, which I’ve found from past layouts has the same sound absorbing qualities as Homasote and is a standard item at any well-stocked train store.
Thanks to Chris Abbott for pointing out that the Midwest Products cork roadbed in HO and O are the same thickness, and that one-half strip of each creates a nice S scale roadbed.
I picked up a box of each at Credit Valley RR Company yesterday so I’ll be ready to start laying out roadbed as soon as Pierre Oliver and I tackle the benchwork this week.
My friend Chris Abbott came over this evening and we got a lot done.
We loaded his truck with some wood from my old layout. He can use it. I can’t.
We got the last of the old layout out to the garage, making way for the new.
And we ripped 3.5″ boards out of 30 of the 40 finger joint pine boards I picked up for the framing. This gives us a good start on the framing itself, with the leftovers – just under 2″ – perfect for risers, braces, etc.
Benchwork goes up next week. Very exciting!
Chris and I then retired to Harbord House for pints and a meal – which, as I’ve said many times on this blog, is an example of the balance between operations and socializing that is one of my objectives with this layout.
So far, it’s working!