Friday, March 17, 2017

New layout base

That's the base for the new HO streetcar layout. It's built-up from these birch art panels >
Two, 2'x3' ones and one 2'x4' centre section. The 2'x4' is up there on the rolling frame that has supported my last two layouts.
[That's the old EVRR track plan. I need to get the lead out and update the plan with the recent finding.]

I'm using a 2'x3' art panel as a base for the N-scale EVRR, and a 2'x2' one for the HOJPOJ diorama. I wondered if three of them could be bolted together to make a base for a larger layout: one that would be fairly easy to take apart so it could be hauled outside to the backyard for photos, or upstairs for showing off at Christmas. It wouldn't have to withstand the rigours of being taken to shows, or joined up with other modules to make some gigantic club layout, so I thought, how light can I build it if it only has to entertain us around the house? Like the EVRR, maybe I could even hang it on a wall like a painting - with accessories placed on a shelf of course.
Before I jumped into the job of bolting panels together I did some thinking about a track plan - which I'll get into in another post - and about weighing all the components so I had some idea about the weight of the thing. The old LOL got crazy heavy, so this time I figured I'd weigh everything and keep track of the weight as I go along. Here's the weight breakdown so far,
2, 2' x 3' birch art panels: 3.6 kg
1, 2' x 4' birch art panel: 2.2 kg
2, 10" metal straps: 0.280 kg
2, 5" metal angles: 0.283 kg
28, 1/4" washers: 0.085 kg
16, 1 1/4" bolts: 0.173 kg
22, 1/4" nuts: 0.079 kg
6, 2" bolts: 0.083 kg
Total = 6.783 kg ( ~ 15 lb)

For comparison, the EVRR train board, which is a 2' x 3' birch art panel with a 1/4" cork sub-base glued on, weighs in at about 2.27 kg (about 5 lb on the dot).

Cost-wise, we're looking at about $100 CDN for everything, which is a bit high, but I didn't want to get into a lot of cutting and nailing and gluing, so I opted for art panels and nuts and bolts, which altogether are a bit more expensive than buying pieces of wood.
The straps and angles are to distribute the stresses associated with the end panels hanging off the centre panel. The straight straps are 10 inchers. Longer ones probably would have been better, but ones longer than 10 inches were considerably thicker, and I didn't want the extra weight.
Likewise the angles are 5 inches on each leg. Bigger ones were also thicker and heavier. I think these will do. We'll see,
That picture shows all the panels bolted together before I flipped it over. I don't know if this will be successful, but time will tell.

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