Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Getting There

This past weekend my daughter came downstairs and helped me put up the first 16' feet of sub-roadbed, 1/2 plywood on top of risers. I decided to do it in a way that would make putting it up quicker. Over on the staging side, I was putting up a riser on every support. Mentioning this to someone at my operating group session on Friday night, told me what he did to make it go quickly, do every-other one, put the sub-roadbed down, then go back later and put in the filler risers. Doing this made this 16' go up in about 45 minutes, about as long as I could keep a 5 year old entertained. This section is going to the Orrville area/representation. Here are some pictures:

Risers connected to plywood by pocket hole screws

Plywood top

2nd one
I stopped where I did because I had to figure out the rise at the end as from Orrville to Massillon I need to gain 1/2 of my elevation change needed for the swing back from Alliance into staging which goes over the line at the west end of Orrville. I went down last night and figured it all out. I plan to use the Woodland Scenics 2% starter kits and just start from the height that matches. Anyways, I figure I need 1 7/8" from the top of the plywood to the bottom of the plywood. I tested this using one of my auto racks. As I, most likely, won't have double-stacks, this was my tallest car. I could've gone another 1/8 or slightly more, but decided to give myself and extra few 1/16" to be safe. Basically, I now know that my plywood top needs to be 1 3/16 higher at Massillon then at Orrville. I'll work on those risers the next few nights as I complete up other work around the house (it's amazing what you can do when you finish various tasks around the house, just part of the momentum). I'd like to have all of the tops for the 1st level in by next weekend. The upper level should go much easier as there's no change in the elevation (that's planned). Ultimate goal is track laying starting Labor Day!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Subroadbed Construction Commences!

The first riser was installed last night:

I put up another 13 of them before hitting a wall rest wise due to tiling a bathroom for the past week. Hoping to get more done this weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

More Benchwork Work

If you couldn't tell, I'm in a building kinda mood. I've been dedicating a minimum of 30 minutes and no more then about 1 1/2 hours each night to doing something layout related. Tonight (last night?) was no different. I removed the 3" I needed on the sections of benchwork using my trusty cordless Kobalt Sawzall. Seriously, this tool is awesome, highly recommend. Here's the resulting benchwork:

I think I mentioned this previously but I've had some of the wood have moldy looking spots on them. I remember seeing this on one or two pieces of plywood that I ripped into these 1x3s. I really didn't think anything of it at the time but obviously when I saw it on the layout on more then one piece, I started cutting and throwing stuff out. Well, today I discovered the main culprit. The piece in the bottom picture above had nothing but that mold/mildew spots on it as well as this big long streak UNDER the primer/sealer I had put on. I immediately tossed it. I'm hoping that's the last of it. On a bright note, I found a whole bunch of 1x3s I had cut up that I forgot I had since I had cleaned the basement and stacked them all nicely under the benchwork. I don't know about everyone else, but I can never find anything after I clean. Moving along, I put up one of the fronts, reusing the good one from the set I took down.

I then laid out the rest of the fronts mixing and matching the sizes I need to finish. After I did this, I realized, these are last pieces, except for any angled pieces I need and whatever goes in for the helix, of benchwork I need to put up before I can start with risers. I'm very excited. Hopefully by Saturday everything is up and we're talking about risers starting to pop-up. Here's a panoramic view of the remaining work to be done.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Staging Rebuild

I realized I hadn't updated the site with my work on the staging and mill areas. Here are a few pics of my updates over the last few weekends. At first, I had to rebuild the area to go from 15" wide to 24" wide on both the upper and lower areas and then put backdrops. First the upper level which is where the blast furnace and coke plant will be:

And then the lower level, which will be staging:

I then put the fronts up.

I used my Kreg Jig for all of this. The shelves are really, really solid, which is great for the upper level. I also worked on the other side of this wall. Next steps are to fill in some holes in the backdrop where 10' of backdrop was needed but I only got 8' long strips.

I will say this, getting small steps done each week is really good. I still have a goal of being ready for track laying come this fall.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Update and 2nd Level Plan

Work keeps going slowly on the benchwork reconstruction. I've got all the pieces cut for the staging and steel mill complex. I only got a few up and will work this week on getting the rest up. I then played around with the 2nd level plan. The one thing I wanted to at least try to do is keep some resemblance of prototype setup as well as see if I couldn't reduce the upper level benchwork back down to 12 inches wide. The bottom level is 15" and so is the upper level around 2 of the 3 walls. It's 12" on the wall above what has always been the yard area. But before I took out the sawzall (which all the guys in my operating group say is my favorite benchwork building tool), I needed to make sure the plan would fit the reduced width. I came up with a slight compromise as only where the BOF and Continuous Caster are would I need to be 15" wide, due mostly to the width of these buildings or supporting structures like adhesive shed or scrap shed. Here's the resulting plan:


Welcome to the my Conrail Model Railroad site. I will document the research, design, construction and operations of my N-scale model railroad based loosely on Conrail's operations across it's system.

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