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I started in the "Modeling General Discussion". Not many responses/lurkers. So, i will attempt to tell my story here. I chose "tools, etc." because it's all about how to build a layout using unconventional ideas and methods. Some work, some don't. If you'd like, go to the regular forums and MGD and find the same title as this. I posted today, so is near the beginning. But will move down until ??
The basic idea I have is to discuss odd ideas and how they work or don't work.
I am building a shelf railroad. It is 12" deep (and yes, that's narrow.) It is 24' long, giving me a lot of switching. My original idea was to try to not use wood, screws, etc. So, it's a 2" thick pink foam base. Mounted/just laying on metal brackets. These metal brackets are screwed into the wall/which was a violation. But how else can you attach a bracket that Must be solid? The foam is just sitting on those brackets for ease in moving around while working. Also, these boards have warped a bit and I weight them down/temporarily. I can caulk them later. (And it looks like I will Have to.). I painted the foam a nice tan color for western scenery. The underside is white to look nice. The shelf is at my arm pit height/approx. 60" so that white is nice. The brackets are white. The view is not unpleasant. I have already cut and painted fascia boards. 4" high, painted dark green. The fascia and the roadbed are: 3/16" thick foam board. Purchased at Dollar Tree in 20" by 30" sheets. I cut it 4" wide/high for the fascia. And cut roadbed strips 1.75" wide for the low strip and 1,6" wide for the upper strip. I caulk them down. The caulk is DAP Alex. I used the clear to avoid problems. This caulk holds them all in place and when I needed to change/move them, they pried up with a scraper/bought at Dollar Tree. Very easy to work with. No residue. And just re-caulk in the new place. No mess, no fuss. After I had done a good portion of roadbed, I then caulked track on top. I use PECO code 83 and #5 Insulfrog turnouts. I soldered feeders to rail joiners and put them at each turnout at the point end. I did go through some frustration in this, but have resolved all problems to my satisfaction. Some joints aren't good, so I just took the bad out and put good in. I used AWG 20 stranded and solid. I have a lot of both. In fact, a ton of AWG 20 from ? It is actually a cable, blue color, that when the blue insulation is taken off, yields 8 different wires in 8 different colors. And 26' of that is more than enough for this layout. I got that first 8' board done and tested it for continuity. Some minor problems quickly resolved. Tested DC 12 volts to make sure the rail joiners were working. I then started connecting wires. Instead of 14 or 16 buss, I use the 20 and connect a wire from each feeder to a terminal block by the command station. All told, there's now 5 sets from the left and 9 sets from the right to the Zephyr/DCS50 located in the middle/approx. 12' from each end. To be continued.
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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