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'First Sunday In June' - SM32 'Stony Shaw' Layout
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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2019 06:06 pm
11th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
Fiddle yard
Our initial thought was to have a traverser fiddle yard, be that manual or powered.
When we started drawing full size plans it became obvious this would be a bit of a beast in this scale,
requiring a far amount of space behind the layout to get the full travel.
With this would come the leverage effect due to the weight of stock.
Thinking caps on, a fresh cup of tea and we set to work devising an alternative.
I present to you the rotisserie fiddle yard MK1 

A quarter scale mock up was constructed to get a feel if this could be viable.
It seems we can get a six road fiddle yard in less than the baseboard depth and fully contained within the last layout board.
We have the potential for pairs of parallel exit roads at each end if required.

Here can be seen the powered end, which may be by stepper motor or some other motor currently under investigation.

It will fit quite nicely in the fiddle yard cabinet.

We are working on various ideas for track locking to ensure trouble free operation,
with the intention for the rotary yard to be operated by six buttons,
with electrical gizmos deciding which is the best direction to rotate to get the track in position in the shortest time,
along with controlling acceleration and deceleration of the rotation.

Possibly the use of power location pins, but more likely to be powered side clamps.
Thoughts also turned to safety devices to prevent stock rolling if the boards are not entirely level,
so a full size mock up was made of the current final solution to prove the concept.

We went through many complex solutions,
but many cups of tea later things were greatly simplified,
and this could well be the solution activated by the locating clamps.
A counter balance weight pivots a bar up which only has to prevent stock rolling off the edge.

This will all be refined to the minimum required to achieve the aim.

Although pleased with the concept something was not quite right with the presentation.
Further head scratching and tea drinking came up with a refinement,
make the fiddle yard board the same as the layout boards,
rather than the cabinet affair we had at the moment.

This photo shows the issue,
original design nearest, the refined version furthest away.

Removing the original cabinet really shows how the new fiddle yard will integrate well with the overall layout design.


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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2019 06:13 pm
12th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
The next meet up saw the construction of a full size 'part' RotaYard to get a feel for sizes.

Thoughts also moved from a twin entry/exit yard into a single centre entry/exit yard,
which means reshaped end supports.

The thinking behind this is we can use a hidden point and spur, just off scene,
to do the job the twin exit was designed for.


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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2019 06:18 pm
13th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
Parts are starting to arrive, baseboard alignment dowels are now here.

While we source some quality plywood in the various sizes we require,
I have taken the opportunity to test some of the production methods for board joining/aligning,
on some offcuts of ply I had kicking around.

The boards are to be aligned by location dowel plates,
having never been impressed by, or succeeded with, the usual suggested installation methods,
thought turned to devising a method that should ensure perfect installation and alignment each time.

The basic problem is wood and wood drill bits,
they just cannot be aligned perfectly,
unless you jig up and clamp the timber perfectly.

The suggested spade drill bit is not the best either,
far better to use a forstner bit.

First up I clamped two facing end boards together,
and drilled right through them in two places with a 25mm forstner bit,
using a pillar drill to ensure an upright hole.

This leaves a nice clean hole which is a snug sliding fit for the dowel plate.

This picture shows just one of the end boards.

The problem we now have is although the alignment is spot on,
there is nowhere for the dowel plate screws to affix.

Solution is to route out a space for a block, roughly 40mm x 40mm to be glued in.

To do this I first took an initial light cut from the back.
Easier to do it this way rather than take out the whole depth in one go.

Then to set the final depth, drop in a dowel plate which has a thin shim underneath,
this then gives a reference point to set the cutter depth to,
which will eventually leave a hole that will take a dowel plate, that will be set slightly below the end board surface.

I put a dowel with the male part in,
because they are such a snug fit you need to grip the spigot to get it back out!

Now it is just a case of routing out to the full depth.
I dropped the dowel plate back in to check fit,
this is when I found out I needed to have a shim under the dowel.

Not all lost on this one, because it was simple enough to put this one back on the drill,
and just shave off a little more on the depth, the others were done with a shim.

Then 40mm x 40mm blocks of ply were glued in to fill the hole just routed.
Not pretty but I quickly chopped these up, left them overnight to dry.

Next day it was simply a case of dropping in the female plate,
drilling a clearance hole though the middle using the plate as a guide.

Then the plate was removed and the hole drilled out by a drill the next size up,
this gives clearance for the location spigot as it passes through the plate into the timber.
Finally drop in all plates and fix in place with the screws supplied.

I am pleased to say the end boards aligned perfectly.


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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2019 06:24 pm
14th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
Track update
Having finally settled on a track section that’s as close as Bredgar's,
the patterns for the plain track base plates are under construction.

Simon has been working on some more patterns for the track components,
side chairs and fishplates which will be off to the casters soon. 

One of the off shoots with couplings is we are going to fit them onto our garden rail stock,
and to make shunting easier we have found the coupling pins need a loop fitted.


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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2019 06:28 pm
15th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
The first batch of plywood arrived, which we ordered as pre cut.

One of our team carried out a site survey, plotting all the levels and track route,
from this information they made a full size master end board drawing,
from this I was able to mark off all the measurements for cutting and machining.

First I made a master template to guide where to drill the dowel holes and cut the front main stretcher girder slot.

Time was taken to mark at an early stage each end board with a unique number so we do not get them mixed up,
this was time well spent it made the cutting work a lot easier and confident the right piece was cut the right way round.

I set them out on the bench in order just prior to numbering.

For neatness, although this will not been seen once the boards base plates are fixed on,
a template was made to guide the router to cut exact size holes.

To do this a full scale drawing was made,
printed out and used as a template for making the template.

First stage of routing was the dowel recesses and the main back board spline slot.

A bench saw was then set up to cut the track base support points on all the end boards.
In pairs using the bench saw ensured they were parallel with the end board bottom edge.
You can see in the picture the dowel backing plates have been stuck in place.

While I had made a mess and was covered in saw dust,
a start was made on cutting some sleepers for track test building.

I used a band saw for this, here doing the first cut.

A pile of sleepers awaiting the second cut.


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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2019 06:33 pm
16th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
Back to track
With the baseboards for FSIJ under construction,
Simon made up a small length of track to test the assembly method.

The pine sleepers are scale size and glued to a suitable lump of flat board.
A small amount of distressing with a wire brush has given the surface some grain effect,
the colouring of the sleepers will be completed once the track is fixed.

Firstly a centre line is drawn on the board, and next the sleepers are glued to the board.
We purposely made the spacing uneven and slightly off centre,
this is prototypical when you look closely at the track at Bredgar.

Next the rail which is code 215, which matches the prototype, is marked for the plate locations from the sleeper centres,
for this test section I’m using some brass rail which we have spare,
as we only have just enough nickel silver rail to complete the layout.

The plates are then soldered in place followed by the clips and dummy screws, and then the power feed rods,
which are tubes that solder to the bottom of the screw and run through to the underside of the baseboard.

One of the early considerations was to have no visible wires showing on the layout.



A simple jig has been made to drill the four holes to locate the screws that protrude through the plates.
Using the centre line on the track base and on the jig the holes are drilled.


The rail ends at base board ends are always vulnerable,
by using some small countersunk brass screws and drilling a countersunk a hole in the plates,
the rail can be soldered in place which gives a very strong joint.


Before the rails are glued in place some blackening liquid is applied which gives a base for the weathering,
and that's a job for the artistic department.


Rough overall track plan of the layout.


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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2019 06:41 pm
17th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
Bit more activity for the baseboards with machining timber ...

... and making baseboard/support locating toggles.

Using a jig and the template to drill the holes for the baseboard toggles mounting plate bolts.
I used spare brass locating dowel plates to accurately locate the plywood template.

Then the holes were countersunk, just got to get the bolts now.

First stages of assembly of baseboard number one.

Glueing up the front lower beam, you can never have too many clamps!

A few ribs at the front of board one now installed.


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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2019 06:47 pm
18th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
Corner pockets are constructed on each board.
These are for hand space while using the board toggles.

Inner timbers for the board supports were all cut and drilled in one session.

These were glued up with the 3mm ply outer skins in two batches,
mainly because we did not have enough clamps that were big enough to do them all at once.

The aim is to avoid any use of bolts with the erection of the layout to:

1) avoid the possibility of forgetting the bolts
2) speed of put up and take down

The rear cross braces for the legs are steel strip, held to the boards with these toggles,
very similar to what can be found holding up trailer and pick up sides and end doors.

The first problem we came across was the hole required in the strip to clear the toggle element,
was obviously larger than the toggle support screwed into the legs.

This resulted in a slightly sloppy fit,
which basically worked but we wanted something that was rock solid.

The solution was to turn some collars,
which as you can see in the photo above gives a very snug fit for the bracing strip.

The collars are deep enough to accommodate two layers of bracing strip,
we machined a chamfered edge to aid guiding on the bracing strips.

This is the first time we tested the theory, the clamp is there purely to see how rigid it ultimately could be,
and because at this point the front bracing strips had not been thought about or indeed considered.

To test further we tried out a number of legs,
at this point it became apparent the addition a front brace would be preferable,
although not necessary when the baseboards are attached.
But it does mean we can assemble all the legs and move them as a whole,
should that be needed while sighting the layout at a show.

We have all been there, erected the layout,
and the organiser comes along and says, can you move a few feet left!

We came up with a whole range of wonderful solutions for the front brace,
but many cups of tea later we revised it down to a strip of steel and a screw.

So front braces were fabricated from the same steel stock and suitable locating holes machined out.
These are now simply dropped in place on the screws.

The bracing strips have a dual purpose, when not bracing the layout,
they are clipped together and form trolley handles for the sandwiched together baseboard legs,
which with the simple addition of a plate and trolley wheels mean no lifting required.

Here you can see the first two boards assembled and tested on the legs.


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 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2019 02:23 pm
19th Post

Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5210
Hi Martin  :wave:

The story of you guys build so far is pretty AWESOME !  :thumb:

The trackwork alone is an eye-opener !!  :shocked:

A lot of thought & work has gone into the 'display hardware' as well ...

... or 'Baseboard Jim, but not as we know it'  ;)

I made the Thread title a bit more descriptive of your project Martin.

Are you happy with it ?  L:

As a second thought ... is this 'officially' classified as SM32 ?  ???

I suspect your gonna tell me it isn't ... Is your gauge 32mm ?

I think 'SM32' is virtually unknown 'across the pond', but fairly familiar to folk over here in the U.K. ...

... with 'PECO' even making R.T.R. track of 32mm gauge, for 2' gauge 16mm/foot scale trains.

Simple question from me Martin :- What are you using as a 'chemical blackener' ?  :java:

GREAT lookin' project !  :)

:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
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 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2019 03:17 pm
20th Post

Joined: Sun Jan 27th, 2019
Posts: 56
Hi Si,
Happy with the title change.
Yes SM32 is the size, we are modelling two foot gauge in 16mm to the foot scale, which also equates to 1/19th scale.
For blackening we use Casey’s Gun Blue, usually get it from the gun shop in Biggin Hill.
Will have another bash at updating the thread again tonight.

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