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  • Topic: Opinions wanted portable modular oval

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    • January 22, 2019 11:55 AM EST
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      Greg,

      Your concept of foam skimmed with plywood reminded me of the structural foam core I once saw on TV.  I found a good description here:

      https://www.doityourself.com/stry/foamcorepanels

      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • January 23, 2019 10:30 AM EST
      • Jasper, Texas
         
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      Thank you Greg. These units have helped our club spend more time playing and less time setting up. Your idea about a portable unit that is small and light weight to take to our open houses has got me to thinking. I really like this idea. Please keep us up to date on your progress.

    • January 23, 2019 3:19 PM EST
      • Be Nice or STFU
         
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      I'll be sure to document it.

      I'll lay out the ovals with 10' diameter on the outer, and get clearance for 1:20.3 locos on both the outer and the inner.

      Then I'll draw out what I need and see the size of the corners, as pentagons. If the size looks manageable, then I'll make up a couple of straight sections.

      I'm thinking now 2" foam, skinned on 4 sides with very thin luan plywood glued to the foam. The "end plates" will probably be 1/2" plywood, with some kind of locating pins to align them.

      If this works well, a single clamp will hold the modules together

      I like the idea of the 1-1/4" conduit for legs.

       

      I think I have a start... now to research the numerous threads on clearances on curves with 1:20.3... I guess a Bachmann K-27 is the worst case test?

       

      Greg

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    • January 24, 2019 4:16 PM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      One thing to consider...

       

      We didn't have a barn big enough to set the thing up as it was built.  We had experienced woodpeckers workers build the thing, measure thrice, cut once, and there was still a problem closing the last two modules.  We built ours in winter, which can be a problem, up here in the North Woods.

       

      If you can, wait to build that last piece until you have it set up, and can measure the gaps.  A thirty second here, a sixteenth there adds up over twenty modules.

      This post was edited by Steve Featherkile at January 24, 2019 4:20 PM EST
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      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • January 24, 2019 5:03 PM EST
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      Thanks Steve, pretty well versed in precision, we have built modules in Z scale about the same size, and put together a modular layout at shows that was 60 scale miles long, and modules made by many different individuals.

       

      This is a simple oval, 10' wide and probably 14' long  (may make it 18' with two 4 foot modules per side.

       

      Since I'm not making 4 foot wide modules,  only wide enough to carry the 2 tracks, alignment and "flexibility" is much easier. "Club" modules tend to be much wider for more tracks, scenery, etc.

       

       

      Greg

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • August 12, 2019 1:01 PM EDT
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      I've been working on this project and have found some building blocks for a portable layout.

       

      In the mean time, I refined the first task to be something small, that could come to our San Diego Garden Railway Society ( http://sdgrs.com  ) and provide some fun, so I have implemented John Allen's timesaver layout.

       

      The lightweight tables I have found could easily support a 2 track oval and they fold to 2 foot square by 9 inches thick. Opened they are 2 feet by 8 feet. These are "beer pong" tables, of all things, weigh only 20 pounds.

       

      I'll start a new thread using this table and delineate the development of a portable TimeSaver layout.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • August 12, 2019 5:31 PM EDT
      • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Late to the party. Our group had large scale modules we use to take to local train shows in the 90s. We found the pentagon modules for the curves were large, heavy, awkward to transport and store, and wasted plywood because of their shape.

       

      When I built my first basement layout which had lots of curves, most of the modules were 2 feet wide and 8 feet long. They were made with 1" x 4" pine lumber frames, 1/2 inch plywood table tops, and plastic pipes for legs. The tables were sturdy, light enough to handle, and wide enough for three tracks. At the corners I added a triangle to the inside of two adjoining tables. Simple to make, fasten, and took up very little space in the corner.

       

       

      This post was edited by Paul Norton at August 12, 2019 5:32 PM EDT
    • August 12, 2019 9:18 PM EDT
      • Chaco, Paraguay
         
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      when i made the first  (and only) part of my modular layout, i made the R1 modules this way:

       

       

      from here:  http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/17297/under-pressure/view/page/1

      (the pics from the first page might be of interest)

      the sides were from seasoned wood, the top was from very thin plywood, upon that half an inch of styropor (for landscaping and to muffle sound)

      electrical connections with asymetric plugs (nobody can misconnect that!)

       

      your points

      1) i think, what i did was as light as possible, while having some stability.

       

      2) four standard track long (47.5") max.

      width: two foot for double track - but, have you thought about "twin modules"? you could plan your double track on two modules laying beside each other.

      you could first build a single track layout, than build a second loop from modules, that get screwed from the side to the first one. gives you the choice to have a long single track layout, or a shorter double track.

      module width could be a comfortable one foot each.

       

      3) with big curves like that, i would opt as well for the pentagons.

       

      Probably use Split Jaw connectors

      fumbling with them takes time. LGB has/had(?) expansion pieces, that have a big button between the rails for adjusting. if alignment or distance are not perfect, they fix it. (an expensive solution)

      i did not connect the track between modules. holes in the modulframes and fitting bolts give me all the alignment my trains need. electric connection per cables and asymmetric plugs.

       

      I've been thinking of using 2" thick foam with luan plywood on at least 3 sides,...

      using any kind of foam for structure, needs some crossbeams below.

       

      ...and end plates of maybe 1/2" ply with locating pins.

      1/2" ply - if one of the helpers slips, forget your exhibition. that is too weak, screws might get torn out.

       

      ...and only one pair of legs at each module "joint"

      i would make one module as "central" with four legs. then (if needed) one single person can add two-legged modules.

       

      my raw modules were made by the best local carpenter (told him not to measure inches, but milimeters)

      although i was price-shocked, i never regretted that. i can combine the modules in any combination, i want - it fits each time.

       

       

      edit:

      ooops, i did not see the beer-pong post!

      so, i suppose, you do not fix the track to the tables?

      This post was edited by Korm Kormsen at August 12, 2019 9:32 PM EDT
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    • August 12, 2019 9:40 PM EDT
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      Yes and no, I expanded the thread/post to explain what is attached and what is not.

       

      You cannot sit on the "Beer Pong" table, but it is 1/2 to 1/3 the weight of a conventional folding table. For that weight saving, I can keep my fat butt off the table! We have people in their 80's and 90's in our club, portability is key, size and weight.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

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