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Tom Ward
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I'm currently in the design phase with my layout.  I've been using the program AnyRail to fit a shelf style layout into an 11' X 12' room.  To manage this I'm taking advantage of the 4' X 8' closet and using two levels for additional real estate.  A four level helix connects the upper and lower levels.  The track will be hand laid to make use of curved turnouts and the minimum radius will be 18".  Aisle-ways have a minimum width of 30".  Track height for the two levels will be 42" and 62".  Grades are fairly steep at 4.5% on the helix and upper level but I'll be running a Shay up there exclusively.
I'm planning to build most of the major structures from scratch.  I'll also be incorporating Arduino control of sound and animation in several areas around the layout.
The main theme of the layout is mining and the upper level focuses on that with three stamp mills and four small mines.  The lower level has a smelter but most of it is dedicated to an engine service terminal and small yard with a focus on operations.  In the closet is one stamp mill that is serviced on both levels.  The original plan was for point to point operation but I added a narrow shelf along one wall to connect the track in the closet back into the yard area for loopty loop operation.  I'm thinking it'd be fun to have a rail bus slowly looping around the layout to disrupt switching operations.
I've reached a point in the design where I'm pretty happy with things and think I'm now ready to begin construction.  I ran my design through the TrainPlayer program to verify the design and found the operations to be enjoyable.
Tom



Jonah K
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I'm in a similar, yet smaller situation. Mining theme with Arduino controls for lighting, as well as scrathbuilt buildings.

Looking forward to seeing more!

Tom Ward
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Jonah - I had originally drawn up a design on paper and thought I was very limited with what I could do.  After laying it out with AnyRails and using curved turnouts I found I could add a lot more to the design.  I thought I had added some shots of the layout design but they seem to have dropped out.  I'll try again here with the lower deck first.
The yard and engine service area are on the left with a bump out for the roundhouse and shop.  I have a kit for an HO 90' turntable that I plan to modify for O scale.  The water tank, coal tower, sand house and ash pit are already completed and just waiting for the benchwork to go up.  The roundhouse is a Thomas Yorke design but I need to modify the rear walls to bring it in closer to the turntable.  There are industry flats along the wall behind the yard.  The yard is actually a stretched out and modified Timesaver design.
As you go clockwise around the room from the yard on the left there is a smelter on another bump out.  This is based on the Rose - Walsh smelter but significantly reduced in size.  This will be built from scratch.  Along the wall behind the smelter are more industry flats.  Clockwise from there the track reduces to the mainline and crosses a bridge above a town in a gulley (Blackrock?).  Just after the bridge is a turnout for the helix.  Traveling straight ahead takes you outside the helix across three bridges on a mountainside.  I plan to model this area after the high line above Ophir with the mountainside extending from the top of the helix almost to the floor.  The track enters the closet to service a 20 stamp mill and also branches off to return to the yard area.
Tom

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Si.
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Hi Tom :wave:



WOW !


Your trackplan looks really great for that space !! :thumb:

Good use of the 'odd' smaller area as well.


Curved switches are a def. help in the big squeeze. :)

Sooouper nicely done 'AnyRail' drawing for the project.



:cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:



Si.

Tom Ward
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I mentioned earlier that the roundhouse is a Thomas Yorke design.  I bought it almost ten years ago on eBay for an earlier layout that never got done.  The original design calls for the rear walls to be 53" back from the center of the turntable.  That means the front wall is 30" back from the edge of the turntable.  This small room won't allow for that but having the full engine service terminal is an important feature for me.  The solution is to widen the rear wall sections to spread the back of the building out.  By doing that I'll be able to have it set back 12" instead of 30".  My plan also calls for a two track car shop/machine shop next to the roundhouse.  This will fit on a 30" wide bump out that sits perpendicular to the yard.  By using curved turnouts at the top of the yard I can get it all to fit along the 8' length of wall.
Tom

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Tom Ward
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SI - thanks for nice comments.  I haven't been able to talk my wife into letting me take over the 20' X 30' bonus room over the garage so this space will have to do for now.  She thinks there's some other use for that space but I just don't see it.  I think I have to work on my diplomacy skills or something but ya know, old dog, new tricks.  Maybe someday.....
Tom

Tom Ward
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The structures for the engine service terminal (water, coal, sand and ash) are mostly finished.  Making these was what got me really interested in scratch building and animation.  The water tank is built around a 4" PVC coupling which looked about the right size to me.  The spout is animated and has a dedicated sound track.
The coaling tower was my second project.  My original drawings were based on a DSS&A design and articles by Wayne Wesolowski in the 1988 Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.  While doing the drawings I found that an architect had used this same article to design a new coaling tower for the Henry Ford museum in Michigan, built in 2014.  His design was kinda beefier than the original so I modeled mine after that.  As I was building it I developed the idea that this is my railroad and I would do things a little different from the prototype and I made some minor modifications that made sense to me.  The coal pit is based on the one in Chama.  The coaling tower chute in front and the bucket in back are driven by DC motors (converting over to stepper motors now) and there are sound tracks that tie in with these operations.
My third project was the sand house and while loosely based on the Chama and Durango sand houses I made my sand bin the way I thought made the most sense.  A hopper is parked on a trestle over the bin and loads it directly, just like the coaling tower.  I know manual labor was cheap back then but it adds some nice detail to the scene.  The spout on the sand tower is animated and has a sound track to go along with it.
The ash pit is based on the one at Chama.  Sort of.  I plan to have a pile of ashes with glowing embers beneath it that will be activated when an loco stops there.
For all four of these structures I'm using an Arduino Mega controller with a motor control board and a WAV file player to coordinate the sounds and animations.  There are seven "scenes" here and each is controlled by a push button mounted on the facia.
Tom

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jtrain
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Tom, that's an excellent layout.  I really like the right side of that track plan, great space for vertical scenery with a train running along the mountainside.

The only problem I see with this plan is in the lower left hand corner where the track crosses the entryway.  At 42", this will be an uncomfortable duck under height and the track being on a curve (not to mention those two spurs), a lift out, swing out, vertical hinge, or a roll out section of track there would be difficult to engineer.

I would strongly suggest making the upper level a continuous loop and making the lower level a point-to-point operation between the engine terminal and the stamp mill.  At least, that's what I would do.  Crawling under a 42" duck under would get old very quick.  The upper deck, at 62", is high enough as a nod under, so it's not as much of a problem.

Other than that, this is a winner of a plan for that space.  The roundhouse, smelter, and mill on the lower level are really going to be the stars of the show.

--James:2t:

Lee B
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I really like what you have so far. I have seen few On30 layouts in small rooms that don't look toy-like.
I think you have an excellent balance for authentic looks for track and structures, but still small enough to fit into a small room.
I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!

Tom Ward
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Lee + James - thank you for your comments and suggestions.  I agree about the area in front of the door being a difficult duck-under.  I was planning for it to be hinged to swing up against the wall at the bottom of the drawing.  I don't expect it to be used often as its only real purpose is for the rail bus to run continuously as a distraction.  It may be more trouble than it's worth.  My main interest here will be point to point operation.  As far as the engineering for it.......I suspect you're right about track alignment problems here.  The track running up to it on the narrow shelf along the wall serves a good purpose for switching at the mill and I like the idea of the two sidings coming down from the yard.  The curved track running into the turntable was just based on prototype track at Chama and I thought it looked cool.  I could eliminate all of that and reduce it to one track or dump the idea of the lift up gate entirely.  I'll figure that part out when I get to it.
I'll post the drawing for the upper deck here shortly.  It only goes around half the room because I was concerned about things getting too claustrophobic.  The area over the roundhouse and yard on the left will stay open.  The coaling tower is 14.25" tall and I didn't want it getting lost behind an upper deck valance.
Tom

Tom Ward
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The upper deck will be the mining area and I'll try to imply mountains on an 18" wide shelf.  The track will be mostly level at 62".  Everything begins at the helix.  This will be an 18" radius climbing a 4.5% grade through four levels.  Total climb will be 20" with 5" rise per loop.  Leaving the helix you enter the mining district with four small mines and two larger mills.  The mill to the left at end of track will be based on the Little Dora mill located outside of Silverton.  I just really liked the way it looked.  The mill to the right is labeled Argo Mill but I think that's not going to work.  Too reduced and too cramped.  There's a third mill in the closet that is supplied with raw ore from the smaller mines.  This mill is based on the plans in the book "Modeling the Mining Industry" from Western Scale Models.  For years I've wanted to build this 20 stamp mill and include all the interior workings.  Now I'm having second thoughts.  A number of folks have built beautiful models from these plans and I dont want mine to be just another one in the crowd.  I'm thinking now that I'll do the interior of the Little Dora mill, replace the "Argo" with something smaller, more Gilpin like, and replace the closet mill with the back side of a lumber mill, just the stacks of cut lumber and the backside of the mill.  Then I could have a lumber yard, or part of one, in town to supply lumber for the mines.  If I went that way I can eliminate the 5% grade running around the outside of the helix to the upper level of the closet mill.
To service the mining district I've added some sidings, a run around and a wye.  The wye takes up a lot of room but makes it possible to turn the engine and adds some interesting operating value.  The buildings for the smaller mines will be based on mines in the Gilpin area and the scenery kind of a mix between Gilpin and Silverton.  It's all still a work in progress.
Tom

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jtrain
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Tom,

The only person you need to please is yourself, the rest of us will be along for the ride via this forum.

Good luck with the layout, it's a solid plan for a model railroad!

--James

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Wow Tom.  I am impressed.  Looks like quite a bit of action in a small space.  Ops is the thing for me. Mining of course being the coolest.  Can't wait to see progress.

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Hi Tom :wave:



'Level-2' looks like the perfect compliment to the busier ground floor. ;)

Nice that you could fit the turning 'wye' in there.



:moose:



Si.

Tom Ward
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Getting started on framing up the layout.  I waffled on the track height for the lower level.  Original plan had 42" for the lower and 62" for the upper.  The 62" height is pretty much locked in because I'm 5'10" and that puts the track just below eye level.  Up there but still comfortable.  Furthest reach up there is 20" so I might have to use a step stool.  The lower level is where I waffled.  42" looked too low when I first started putting up the framework.  I raised it to 47" and that looked better.  The helix is in increments of 5" so that's why I chose 47".  But that left me with only 15" between levels and I'd probably lose another 2" to 4" for lights and facia.  The area around the smelter had me concerned because it's going to be a large building.  If I start limiting height to 11" to 13" it might look too cramped.  I went back and set the lower level at 43" and the upper at 63".  I think I'll be happy with that.
The photo shows framing started for the yard area along the far wall.

-Tom

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 101 times)

Tom Ward
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Here's the plan for the lower level again just for reference.
- Tom

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Simon H
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Tom, I'm liking the concept for the layout. Plenty of operation potential that fits into your space well. 
Simon

Tom Ward
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Thanks Simon.  I'm having fun with this.  I think once the track is laid the operations will be interesting too.
- Tom

Tom Ward
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Made a little more progress on the benchwork today.  I'm using Lynn Westcotts book on how to build benchwork.  It shows several variations for shelf type benchwork and I chose to do the one with the girders hanging below the bracket arms, thinking my layout was fairly narrow and that I could use the bracket arms as joists.  I ended up having to shift several of the bracket arms to below the girders to make room for the turntable and a change in ground height over by the smelter.  I also spent a lot of time making things level.  Something I didn't account for until I was half way into it was that the walls of the room are way out of square.  I think I have everything under control now but this is taking way longer than I had originally planned.
I have the bump outs framed for the roundhouse and the smelter.  I was relieved to find that I had left plenty of room in the aisles and that the lower level bench height is going to work out just fine.

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 54 times)

Last edited on Thu Nov 30th, 2017 11:13 am by Tom Ward

Tom Ward
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My plan is to use battery power (dead rail) with DCC for control and sound.  I talked with Pete Steinmetz at Dead Rail Installs.  He has taken over the dead rail sales for Tam Valley and is taking orders now.  He said turn around is a week or two so I guess this is gonna be my Christmas present.  I'm starting out with one engine set up with DRS1 transmitter and receiver, 500 mAh battery, a charger, and a few other things.  He said that size battery will work fine for my On30 engines (2-8-0, 2-6-0 and a BVM conversion of an HO three truck Shay.  He said that size battery will give me several hours of play time.  Cool!  After looking around at some DCC systems I think I'll stick to my original plan and go with the DCC++ Arduino system and use an old smart phone for a hand held control.  I already have the Arduino stuff so that cuts my expenses in half, to about $150 to get things started.  If the smart phone thing is a PITA then I'll change over to a regular hand held later on.  I'm anxious to get started laying track so I think I'll build around to the helix and get things running.  The helix looks like a challenge so I'll put that off for a bit.
- Tom

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Tom,

I know it's kinda late in the game but it would be neat if you could add a little more to the Silverton area.  Besides the D&RGW serving Silverton there were three other narrow gauge lines, so at one time there was quite a bit of action going on.  You might to be able to hint at least to some other lines and provide for some interchange traffic.  There was the Silverton Railroad, the Silverton Northern, and the Silverton, Gladstone & Northern.  You could at least add a few cars from these other roads.

Just an idea.

Tom Ward
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Michael - That's an excellent idea!  At the lower end of the yard on the left side (by the door) is a drop down that when lifted up in place allows full loop operation.  I could roll a cart up here with some interchange tracks that would connect to the bottom of the yard.  That would provide just what you're suggesting.  It would allow me to bring in supplies and materials from other areas and add a new dimension to the operations.  Thanks mucho for the suggestion.
- Tom

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Tom,

I think that's your solution to the problem area around the door.  Take that pair of tracks which form a "yard" and convert them into interchange tracks that represent all points beyond the layout.  This roll up cart concept you just explained could simply be a flat-top cart with shelves for cassettes.  If the cart is at the right height, you could use it's surface to attach and detach cassettes.  I have a personal preference for those devices because you can remove and add cars quickly to the layout.  It's the last piece of the puzzle missing for complete operations on your railroad.

--James

Last edited on Mon Nov 27th, 2017 06:01 am by jtrain

Tom Ward
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I have a three shelf serving cart that'll work great for this.  Measures 19" X 36" if I take off the handle.  Has four wheel steering so it'll be easy to maneuver into the space by the door.  Perfect!
- Tom

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Disguise the top level as a ferry, then you can put ANYTHING on it and have a valid reason for inbound traffic.
Jose.

jtrain
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True Jose, but this is Colorado.

--James

Lee B
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jtrain wrote: True Jose, but this is Colorado.
I had the same suggestions, plenty of times, as I was designing my own On30 layout. I live in an area where ferries were very common, so that's people's answer to everything.
I kept having to point out there wasn't even a navigable river anywhere in the region my layout takes place!

Tom Ward
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Jose - I like the idea of a river barge but would have a hard time tying that into my mining theme, even though this is freelanced.  I had a thought in the back of my mind for a while on how to have a water scene.  I'll give it more thought.  My cart is 19" X 36".  Maybe a three track barge with a tug beside it.  With 36" length I could fit 4 boxcars on each track.  Looks like it would be pretty easy to do.  Might be a way to also tie that in with James idea of using cassettes.  These are both good ideas.  Thanks for the suggestions.
- Tom

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Tom Ward
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OK, back on track.  I'm making progress with the benchwork and am beginning to see that my AnyRail design is gonna work.  Among other things I had concerns about the aisle ways being too restrictive.  I now have benchwork completed for the main yard on the left and the area around the smelter.  With plywood laid out I can see that the aisle ways will be just fine.
- Tom

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Tom Ward
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I penciled in the track for the yard on the plywood to verify things would fit as designed.  The basic track layout seems fine but I ran into a snag with the turntable.  I found that there was a four degree offset between the track coming in from the ashpit and the stall tracks for the roundhouse.  Shifting the roundhouse to correct for that would bring one corner very close to the edge of the layout.  I redrew the roundhouse on a piece of foam board and switched out the custom built doors for some narrower Grandt Line doors.  This narrowed the footprint of the building enough that I could rotate it to correct for the four degrees.  Now stall #3 is 90 degrees from the ashpit track and everything else fell in place like magic.  At the edge of the turntable each track is one inch apart exactly (c-c) and this allows for 40 possible track positions.  I'm planning to use eleven for running engines to; two outgoing tracks to the mainline, one incoming from the ash pit, four stall tracks into the roundhouse, one to the car shop and three outside storage tracks.  There will be several others for storing materials but they'll be too short for engines or cars.
- Tom

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Last edited on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 01:24 pm by Tom Ward

Tom Ward
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I was originally gonna control the turntable with an Arduino controlled motor but after discussing things with folks on the "track" part of this forum I've decided to go with a manual control for simplicity.  I found the parts for this at McMaster-Carr.  They have a small handwheel (3 2/3" dia) with a dial indicator in the center.  This has a display set up like a clock with hour and minute hands and 12 positions around the dial.  I'm planning to replace the dial with one showing 40 positions.  The output from the handwheel will go to a right angle gear reducer with a 30:1 ratio.  I'll use a toothed pulley on its output connected by a timing belt to a pulley of the same size beneath the turntable.  With the 30:1 ratio every full rotation of the minute hand on the handwheel will move the turntable exactly one track position.  With the minute hand at the 12 o'clock position the turntable bridge and the track will be properly lined up.  It will take 30 turns of the handwheel to move the turntable 360 degrees.  Movement of the turntable should be slow enough to look realistic but a full rotation might be a pain in the wrist.  I don't expect there to be much more than 180 degrees of rotation needed very often.  I think I'll use a switch controlled solenoid beneath the turntable pit to lock the turntable into position.  That's my plan.......
- Tom

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Last edited on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 01:26 pm by Tom Ward

Kitbash0n30
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Tom Ward wrote:  I redrew the roundhouse on a piece of foam board and switched out the custom built doors for some narrower Grandt Line doors Just taking a moment to pass by and be paranoid - there is enough room for posts between the doors so the roof will remain the roof instead of the floor, right?
It does look like there may be circles on the diagram which represent them

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@Tom
Heavens -166$ for that handwheel?

Tom Ward
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Yes, I compensated for the 12" X 12" posts and the width of the 30" stone walls.  Thanks for thinking of that though.
Helmut - true, not exactly eBay cheap but I thought it would add some fun to the operation.  Besides, looking at production turntable prices I'm still all-in for less than half the price and I'll have something unique.
- Tom

Last edited on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 04:58 pm by Tom Ward

Tom Ward
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Helmut - Kinda funny.  Your comment about the price made me look on eBay.  Found one new for $40.  It'll be delivered Dec 12.  Thank you for the inspiration.
- Tom

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Tom,

It might not be that hard to justify some sort of barge or ferry.  When Owens Lake had water, before the Los Angeles DWP drained it, there use to be a steamship that traveled across the lake hauling mining supplies from the ex-Carson & Colorado on the west side to Cerro Gordo on the east side.

I believe that the steamship sunk with a shipment of gold with it...never to be found.

The smelter use to pour 500 pound gold ingots so that thieves couldn't run off with it.

I'm sure you could invent some excuse for at least a small ferry that transports maybe 4-6 freight cars.

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Michael M wrote: I'm sure you could invent some excuse for at least a small ferry that transports maybe 4-6 freight cars.Or, looking at photo of steamboat Klamath being hauled from Lower Klamath Lake to Upper Klamath Lake on page 96 of book Blow for the Landing; a Hundred Years of Steam Navigation on the Waters of the Northwest, how about several freight cars that transport a small ferry? :)
Oh! Just found the photo online, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klamath_(steamboat)

Tom Ward
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Michael - OK, that works.  This is free lanced anyway so I'm not really stickin' to reality.  I like the story about the ferry fulla gold.  The lake is now dry and still no sign of it huh?  When did they drain the lake, in the 30's?  So maybe it's buried under 80 years of silt.  500 lb ingots of gold?  You could probably do a flyover in a Cessna with a metal detector and still see that.  Sounds like someone made off with the goods.
- Tom

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The C&C actually ran on the east side of the lake.  The Cerro Gordo mines are also on the east side, in the Inyos, somewhere in the 9-10,000 foot elevation. Ore was originally freighted down to Swansea near the lake for reduction.  Yes, I believe I remember reading that there were one or two small steam vessel that traversed the lake serving some of the small communities and resorts.  They worked out to about an 80' beam if I recall.  Kind of like the Tahoe steamers of the same era. You can see how high the lake was before the great water theft of the 1920s if you look closely while driving around the lake.

If it were something that you were entertaining a water to rail operation can be quite interesting.  I am going to do one in Central Nevada since I can't model it the way it was, I've decided to have a bit of raucous fun in the vein of the days newspapers. The Reese River Navigation Company! An invention of a 1940s Reno Harold's Club promotion as a fun way to try and make Nevada history "more interesting" as if it needed that!  The "river" has never been very wide, in fact it was once claimed that the trout had to have their sides regularly greased so that they could get through.  Mark Twain, Dan DeQuill and above all Fred Hart would be proud.
;)

Last edited on Mon Dec 4th, 2017 02:28 am by Steven B

Michael M
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Steven,

You're right.  My mistake.  Espee's Jawbone Branch ran up the west side to Owenyo just a little north of Lone Pine.

Owens Lake went dry in the 1920s after LA put in an aqueduct.  After decades of litigation DWP is putting some water back in the lake.

When Leadfield in Death Valley was being promoted some of the brochures had a steamship on it!  Little lead, or anything else, was found at Leadfield and the rush and the town quickly died.   http://mojavedesert.net/mining-history/leadfield/

Last edited on Mon Dec 4th, 2017 05:18 am by Michael M

Tom Ward
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With the track design in the yard area verified I decided to get started on the turntable since everything revolves around that.  So to speak.  I had selected a Walthers HO scale 90' kit (not motorized) because I thought it would be a good base for kit bashing into an On30 50' "Armstrong type turntable which would be about the right size for my layout.  My original plan was to replace the bridge deck and use everything else.  I opened up the box yesterday and started assembling the bridge and quickly found the quality to be so poor that I would have to replace 90% of the parts.  "Ya gets whatcha pays for".  The bridge itself isn't even correctly centered in the pit so one end scrapes against the wall.  The wheels for the bridge just scrape across the top of the plastic rail and since everything is plastic there's too much resistance in the movement.  At least to my liking.  I'd like to use the pit because I like the shape of the floor but it resonates with a cheazy plastic sound.
My first thought is to clean out the ring rail and ties and replace them with wood ties and metal rail.  I think it needs a bearing in the base too.  I can add some sound dampening material to the underside of the pit too.  I'll try that first and if it doesn't work out I'll hafta make my own pit.  I'd like to widen the bridge and replace the wheels with metal ones.  Id also like to do the bridge deck in wood at a proper width.
I did find a really nice turntable kit made by Kitwood Hills (http://www.kitwoodhillmodels.com/13-5-on30-pit-turntable/).  It's about an inch longer than this one which would be OK.  It also comes motorized for £87 which I think is about $130 US.  I guess that'll be my backup plan if I totally muff this conversion.  It would probably be cheaper and easier to just get the kit but now I'm feeling challenged to do something with what I have.  We'll see how high my frustration breaking point is set.
- Tom

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 130 times)

Lee B
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Man, I like that turntable you have the photo for. Looks about as long as the Peco one, though. I really wish I could have built turntables about 1/2 inch longer that the ones I have, but the Peco ones are just long enough for a ten-wheeler...
The peco ones also include all the electrical contacts and 'split ring' for turning. It's quite foolproof and needs no special wiring at all.

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Lee - The photo is of the kit made by Kitwood Hill Models.  It's 13.5" in length which is plenty long enough for my 2-8-0.  It's motorized also.  I looked at some of the other turntables on the market and found them to be either too short, too long or too expensive.  This one is laser cut plywood with some metal parts and looks like it has enough quality parts to suit me.  For all that the price is also very fair at about $130 in US dollars.  I think the kit is made in the UK.  If I was really smart I'd just go ahead and order one now.
- Tom

W C Greene
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Why not build one yourself? Then you'd get exactly what you need & want! It ain't hard to do anyway.
Just a suggestion...

Woodie

Tom Ward
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Woodie - I think you may be right.  I keep going over this Walthers kit trying to decide how to redo the parts I don't like about it.  The amount of work involved in making it right is probably more than if I made one from scratch.  I need to give this some thought.  Thanks for the suggestion.
- Tom

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So, I've decided to build my own turntable to get things the way I want.  Thanks Woodie.  I settled on a length of 13.5" because it looked right with the 2-8-0.  Everything else was designed around that.  I talked to Larry Olsen at Diamond Scale and will be using some of the components he offers for O scale.  The dolly trucks are the main thing and he's sending me a scale drawing of that so I can work them into my design before I start ordering parts.  I'll still use the dial hand rank and 30:1 speed reducer for manual indexing.  The picture below is my drawing compared to the Walthers HO turntable.

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 95 times)

W C Greene
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Howdy Tom, not only will you have fun building this yourself, but then you will own the ONLY one...nobody else will have one like it! There's a certain satisfaction about building something yourself, it does wonders for the mind!
Have fun, let's see more when possible.

Woodie

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I've ordered the parts to build the turntable bridge including styrene parts from Plastruct to build the girders and wood 8" x 8" ties and 2" x 10" deck planks from Kappler.  I probably won't be getting these for another three weeks so I went ahead and got started with what I had on hand.
I built a wood buck (right name?) for the turtable bridge.  This will be clad with the styrene girders and topped with the decking so it won't be seen but will provide good support for the center shaft and dolly wheels.
- Tom

Attachment: TT 5.JPG (Downloaded 60 times)

Tom Ward
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I built the handrails also.  Several times.  The first time around I used heavy solid core copper wire but the result was that it looked like it had one hundred years of heavy abuse.  Since my railroad was still in it's infancy in the 1920"s and my foreman was meticulous with maintenance this wouldn't do.  John Garaty suggested I try brass rod.  I found some 3/64" brass rod that measures out to .045", plenty close enough to .042" for 2" pipe.  I soldered the stanchions on but could not add other details in brass because my iron is too hot.  Really need one of those resistance soldering stations!  The stanchion bases and suports are made from styrene.  I simulated pipe joint T's by layering three coats of brushed on enamel paint.  Once the railings were painted you probably can't see the pipe joint detail but I know it's there.
- Tom

Attachment: TT 6.JPG (Downloaded 59 times)

Kitbash0n30
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That worked. One thing which could work is to use lower melting point solder on later part additions.

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Kitbash, thanks for the suggestion.  I wasn't aware of other solders with lower melting points.  
- Tom

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I got my plastic order in yesterday and was able to get started on the girders for the bridge.  I'm using 0.030" thickness for all my materials which works out to roughly 1.5" thick.  This is about twice as thick as the prototype but 0.010" and 0.020" just looked too wimpy to my eye.  All the other dimensions are close to correct according to the book "Bridges and Trestles" by Model Railroader magazine.  For flange angles I'm using 6" X 6" (1/8" X 1/8")  and for bracing angles I'm using 4" X 4" (3/32" X 3/32").
I'm still waffling on the internal support.  I already have a wood buck that fits between the girders but I'm kinda tempted to dismiss that and go with the internal bracing.  The wheel dollies are coming from Diamond Scale and will need something more substantial than plastic to attach to.  I also haven't figured out how to mount the bridge to the center shaft.  I've seen drawings of how the real turntables use a pivot bearing but that won't do here since I'm driving the bridge through the center shaft and not the bridge wheels.  I've read a lot about making sure there is a slip fit for the center shaft so there isn't any binding so I just need to put a little more thought into how to build up that area of the bridge.
I don't think I'll be getting the wood order until January so the deck won't get done for a while.  Guess I could start thinking about how to build the pit.
One question.....any good ideas out there on how to make rivets in O scale?  I saw that Archer makes rivets (1.5") as resin decals but they're $18 a sheet.  Same with Micro-Mark.  I think I'd spend more on the rivets than the rest of the model.  I could try blobs of paint but need to spend some time working with that.  Anyone have a good technique for homemade rivets?

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 109 times)

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Hello Tom,

Low melt solder containing  antimony (M Pt about 158 F) is the stuff to look for (not sure if it contravenes any U.S. EPA etc regs); it's still legal here in Britain. Or "specialist" solder for use on white metal parts.

Regards,     Michael

Tom Ward
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Thanks Michael.  I'll check it out.  I enjoyed working with the brass and would like to be able to do more of that.
- Tom

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I've been using one of those roll punches that I got off of eBay for a buck or two to make rivets.

For bolts I cut off the head of a dress pin and glue it into a pre-drilled hole.

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Michael - both good ideas, thanks.  Unfortunately the punch won't work for me since I've already glued up my girders.  I like the dress pin idea for bolts.  Pretty clever.
I'm going to order a sheet of rivets from Archer.  I figured out that I need 40" of double staggered row and 54" of single row in 1" rivets.  I worked out their spacing on paper and it looked too wide for O scale so I ordered for S scale.  The O scale rivets were spaced at 8.2" and S scale they are about 7".  Looked better to me.  The book says prototype spacing was 3" and that looks way to close to me.
- Tom

Last edited on Fri Dec 22nd, 2017 04:39 am by Tom Ward

oztrainz
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Hi Tom,
I'd bee looking at GrandtLine http://www.grandtline.com/products/miscellaneous-hardware/  (scroll down} and a pinvice with a small drill If you want to go for a riveted look.

If not, then tell'em your turntable bridge was stick-weld fabricated ;)

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John - The Grandt Line rivets would work.  Thanks for tip on that.  Their 0.032" size would be 1.5" in O scale and that's the perfect size for my bridge girders.
"Stick welded"......Ill hafta work on my gluing technique to draw a better bead.
- Tom

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Hi Tom :wave:



Looks like it's going well ! :thumb:

AWESOME !!  looking turntable. :)

I like the design you've chosen. :cool:



:mex:



Si.

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Thanks Si.  I'm having fun but progress is slow.  I'm waiting until after the holidays to place my order for parts from Diamond Scale.  The bridge wheels are needed to get dimensions for the pit rail, correct depth, etc.  Working on carving out the pit now.  I'll post more next week.
- Tom

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I added some bracing across the top that may or may not show once the deck is added.  I then ran the wood block through the table saw to open up the area beneath the bracing.  Once the wood is painted black it should help add some depth beneath the bracing.
- Tom

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 131 times)

Kitbash0n30
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Hey, that's an idea!

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Progress update on the turntable.  I got the pit formed but need a sheet of Homasote to fill the upper 1/2".  I'm waiting on the wheel dollies from Diamond Scale before I can form up the ring rail because I need to verify the correct depth on that.  I got the rivets from Archer and spent a good part of today working on that.  I had to paint the bridge in primer so I could see what I was doing with the rivets.  Tedious work.  Still have a lot to do on the rivets but have included an update photo here.  I've added a few details to the girders.  In the center section is the pivot bearing mounts.  There is additional reinforcing on the inside in this area and it shows with additional rows of rivets.  I also added additional rivets in the area where the frame is notched for the wheel dollies.  This is to indicate the addition of splice plates.  The story is that this turntable was lengthened when the railroad added the 2-8-0 to it's roster.  Making  progress.  Having fun too!
- Tom

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 77 times)

Last edited on Sat Dec 30th, 2017 05:50 pm by Tom Ward

W C Greene
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Looking great! Now, aren't you glad that you built the turntable yourself? An excellent job and something that isn't on everybody else's layout! Carry on, sir.

Woodie

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Woodie - Thanks again for the push.  I'm finding that using my own design and building from scratch is much more rewarding than simply assembling a kit.  More time consuming because of the design stage but the artistic satisfaction is higher and I think that's probably what I'm in this hobby for.
- Tom

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Got the bridge airbrushed in engine black then worked in some Bragdon powders for weathering.  After all that work for the rivets they hardly show after paint and weathering.  If the light is just right.....  In the end I've decided they weren't worth the effort.  Still waiting on my Kapler order for the bridge ties and decking.  I have been spending some time thinking about the drive system and have decided to go with an Arduino driven stepper motor using a keypad and LCD display.  There is some code named AccelStepper that provides very smooth acceleration and deceleration for the stepper movement.  The plan is to be able to enter a track number in the keypad and the turntable will slowly ramp up in speed and then ramp back down as it approaches the track.  Will also have a one button command to swing the bridge 180 degrees.  Fun stuff.
- Tom

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 71 times)

Last edited on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 12:18 am by Tom Ward

W C Greene
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Well, maybe the rivets are hard to see...but you will know they are there! Nice work.

Woodie

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Looks the business!Will dry-brushing with a highlight colour bring the rivets up?

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Len - That's a good suggestion.  I'll give it a try.  I did try highlighting the rivets with light grey powder while doing the weathering but it doesn't stick the same as dry brushing.  The weathering was interesting because I thought I had it pretty good but when I saw it the next day it was too brown so I went over it again a few more times.  I'm happy with it now but am afraid to go back in the room to look at it again :).
- Tom

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Been spending time on the turntable control using the Arduino sketch so there hasn't been much to show in the way of progress.  Yesterday I spent the day in the shop though and got recesses cut for the coaling tower, ash pit and turntable.
- Tom

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 21 times)

Tom Ward
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Here's another to show the roundhouse location.  I built the turntable pit so the whole thing can be removed to work on.  One screw in each corner will hold it in place.
- Tom

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 34 times)

Last edited on Thu Jan 11th, 2018 04:45 pm by Tom Ward

W C Greene
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Looking great! You should be proud of the fine craftsmanship that is shown in these photos. I am watching...

Woodie


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