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Author Topic: No room of a layout.  (Read 12758 times)
RAM

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« on: June 26, 2011, 04:48:49 PM »

I had a table in a train show yesterday.  During one of my breaks I found a very interesting layout.  It was being displayed by Bill's train repair.  Foam core construction so it is lite.  No wood or framed bench work. The only tools needed is a box opener and glue.  To have a look go to rrinabox.com.  If you have any questions Bill will glad to answer them.  rbklindworth@tds.net.  I am sure these are available from many sources.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 06:52:29 PM »

RAM-

Yes, it's possible to build a railroad with nothing beefier than foam core but I'll bet it isn't very large unless he put serious work into designing foam core beams and corregated, laminated panels. It's sort of like supporting a book on a folded dollar bill. You can get considerable strength from simple and even weak materials if you compensate with good engineering. I'm not so sure it's the answer for most of us.
                                                                                                                     -- D

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CNE Runner


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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 11:06:08 AM »

In his 3rd (and last) book, Carl Arendt's Small Layout Scrapbook, Carl goes through a step-by-step process of constructing a 39"x 8" [100x21 cm] On30 layout using foamcore as a baseboard. Carl did use 1.5" lattice strips for side rail bracing; but that was because he used the layout during presentations around the country. "For normal home use, you can use the much-lighter foamcore rails." Carl's book is still available (although the first 2 editions are not) by going to his website http://carendt.us/ and clicking on the picture at the lower righthand corner.

I hope you find this interesting. Carl is greatly missed by this modeler.
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 12:59:27 PM »

3 layers of 2" foam glued together is quite beefy
Here it's sitting on 6 milk crates. No beams or corregated panels.
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Feel like a Mogul.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 01:17:02 PM »

We use 2' x 4' pieces of 1-1/2" Styrofoam edged with 1-1/2" wide strips of 3/4" fir plywood as the tables for our G-scale portable layout.  It has been shipped around Western Canada and assembled/disassembled many times without damage.  The plywood edge stands up well to excited children chewing on it and careless adults bumping into it.  Weight is a bit more than just foam core but a small fraction of the weight sitting on it and travelling over it.  The light weight frame also gives something to attach the legs to (we use 1/2" EMT.)  Our layout in its present form consists of 50 such tables.



Ray,

Thanks for the link.  I found it very interesting, enough so that I just ordered the book.

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
CNE Runner


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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 04:14:17 PM »

Jim - I am sure you will enjoy Carl's book as much as I have. Without the inspiration of Carl, and the many other mini/micro layout contributors, I would not have a layout today. That doggone MinitrainS Plymouth set still calls to me: "Raaay...let's build yet another display layout..."

Regards,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Doneldon

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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 11:01:31 PM »

RAM-

I wonder if we have a communication problem here. When you say "foam core," do you mean 3/16" thick foam material with cardboard on both sides or foam insulation board? The former is foam core, the latter is what it's called: foam insulation board, possibly with a trade name attached. I surely agree that a layout made with foam insulation would be quite strong, especially when, as in Terry's photo, a small layout is supported by six legs, each of which has more than a square foot of contact. Those large legs would minimize the PSI pushing up against the layout and the six legs would mean there is probably no place on the layout more than 18" from a leg. And let's face it, the table in the photo is supporting 12-15 pounds at most. That's not much.

You could absolutely not do that with foam core without building beams and trusses. Even allowing for the stiffening benefits of the cardboard, a three-ply panel would be only 3/4" thick, a far cry from what appears to be six full inches of laminated insulation board. Jim's 3/4" plywood edges would provide a good deal of stiffening to his G-scale layout. But I wonder of there are any cross pieces or mini shelves on which the insulation board sits. And, Jim tell me if I'm all wet, but I'll bet the legs attach to the wooden frame, not bare, unprotected insulation board.

So I'll stand by my prior post. Build a layout from foam core and you'll either have to keep it small or do some engineering. Building with insulation board is a whole different proposition.
                                                                  -- D
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 12:52:30 PM »

Jim's 3/4" plywood edges would provide a good deal of stiffening to his G-scale layout. But I wonder of there are any cross pieces or mini shelves on which the insulation board sits. And, Jim tell me if I'm all wet, but I'll bet the legs attach to the wooden frame, not bare, unprotected insulation board.
                                                                  -- D

The bottoms of our tables are covered with 1/8" hardboard as protection in shipping - each pair of tables are shipped in a carrier with the finished sides in and the bottoms out.  But the Styrofoam board is edge glued to the plywood and does not rely on the bottom cover for support.  the legs are installed in 3" x 3" x 1-1/2" blocks built into each corner.  These blocks reinforce the corners and provide mounting for the legs.  We have managed to drop a table on its corner a few times but have never had a corner joint crack with these corner blocks glued and nailled in place.  The end pieces of plywood are drilled for 1/2" diameter alignment pins which keep the tables aligned both vertically and horizontally when set up.  There are no track joiners.  I built a set of tables for an H0 club a few years ago with a slightly different alignment system which guaranteed alignment within .01".  Again, no rail joiners meant fast set up and take down.

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 01:58:08 PM »

I looked at the website again. It is form core. When I first looked, I thought it was foam.
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jward


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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 02:04:07 PM »

the thing about this company is that they are not selling the layout per se. they are selling full size plans. you supply the foam core. as such, i'd bet you could substitute solid foam, or plywood, or whatever other material you feel comfortable with.

the only thing i find disturbing is that they claim to have several track plans included in the instructions, but they don't post thumbnails so you can see if they interest you before you buy......

interesting concept though.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
RAM

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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 09:46:01 PM »

This is the email address of the man that was showing the layout.  Bill's train repair rbklindworth@tds.net
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 08:30:47 AM »

Dear Ray and Jim,

Indeed very interesting.  Last year I made a few tunnels for my G scale under the Xmas tree.  Foam boxes cut and glued, relief with pieces of irregular foam glued all over, then covered with paper towels soaked in plaster.  Was a little too heavy and the plaster flaked.  Someone here, perhaps Jim, suggested dry wall plaster.  Will try that next !  The point is the foam was quite strong and fast to work.  I will get Carl's book and give a small layout a try.  Great idea !

A good 4th of July to our friends here and across the border !

Best Wishes,

Jack
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 11:29:18 AM »

Hey Jack - I am glad you are planning on purchasing Carl Arendt's book...you won't be disappointed. Also spend some time (an hour or more) perusing Carl's website - especially the 'Scrapbook' section. Another place, on the website, that is chock full of information is the layout design section...the original plan for my Monks' Island Railway came from the Trackmobile section.

Currently, I am nearing completion of the Pine Ridge II layout - and am about to start construction of my 'edition' of the Box Street Yard III (ala Jack Trollope). I am becoming convinced that building micro/mini layouts is a virus; because once one contracts this bug...

Regards,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Doneldon

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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2011, 01:38:41 AM »

Jack-

Try using a regular cardboard box for your base and add broken foam and plaster cloth to that. The box will give you the strength you need. I've built several of these for various people, everything from Thomas the Tank Engine non-electric layouts to and including large scale garden layouts. (yes, the outside layouts have to be brought in during inclement weather.)
                                                                                                        -- D
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 06:58:06 PM by Doneldon » Logged
kamerad47

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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2011, 04:19:06 PM »

Carl's website,  I truly miss the updates !!!! That's all I make are micro's/ minis !! switching thats what its all about for me!!
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