Friday, November 29, 2013

Benchwork Planning

After a long hiatus over the summer, I'm getting back to the railroad again. Over the summer I've done alot of thinking about it, just no working on it. I've also been to a few swap meets and such and have done some more research on specific types of freight cars I'm interested in.

First things first I guess, the track needs somewhere to go. The original plan was to use a door, but after looking at all the doors in the house and their rectangular shape, the oval design of the layout creates some odd corners. I thought about putting a farmhouse in one and some trees in another, but those sharp corners still just don't sit right in my mind. The door idea has given way to a traditional open framework design.

The structure will be composed of 1/2" plywood ripped into 3" strips. Portability and light weight will take a hit, but semi-mobility was still be considered. I doubt I'll be dragging it to any events but I'd like to be able to get it out of the house if we move. The legs will be 2"x2" sticks, detachable, mounted to the 4 obvious corners of the inner structure, and braced with more plywood "boards". The whole thing will be topped with pink foam, and wrapped with 1/8" Masonite for a nice clean look. I'm shooting for around a 48"-50" grade height all said and done.

The track plan overlay is roughly scaled to fit, this is the look I was shooting for with the round corners. You can see clearly why the left front corner is still squared off. The route of the spur there may be modified some day to connect to an add on section, or it might just remain straight. We'll cross that road at a later time. I realize the track near the back of the layout is very close to the edge, I do plan to extend the Masonite up 2" or so to contain things around the back side. You may notice the plan has changed... Again. I've been studying the minimalist works of some others and decided to ax much of the track. I also discovered some #6 turnouts in the track box, so the lower left spur and the cross over have been "upgraded".