May 15, 2006

Tracks on the wall, and under the stairs

Finally got back to the layout, and have made great progress getting the final link between Ridgway and Durango built. This is a double-level shelf running along the wall and thru the basement stairs, and because it's one of most difficult piece of benchwork, I've left until nearly the end.

Here's the Ridgway yard area; the underside of the stairs is to the right. That board-thingie sitting on the yard is the upper-level main that installs inside the bathroom - through the closet and bathroom and into the laundry area. It's one long piece, and the fewer joints the fewer problems w/ trackwork, I reckon.

Here's the two levels of mainline approaching the stairs from the other side. It's a very narrow stack of two shelves, the lower one 4" wide, the upper 4.75", and part of the trickiness was figuring out how to support it. After building a mock-up, I finally settled on a 1x2s screwed into the wall, with more 1x2s on the outer edge under each shelf, which is 1/2" 4-ply plywood. This forms a bridge, basically.

There's a little 7" lip in the wall (where it changes from drywall on concrete to a normal stud wall), and I was able to have a 1x2 stick out from this lip to form a brace perpendicular to the shelf. I think a single angled bracket under another part will complete the supports for this.

Part of the mock-up was figuring out how high I needed my guardrails to be; the track is right against the edge of this little shelf, along a major aisle into the layout, and I've got to protect against trains falling off. I found that a wall only 3/4" high (measured from the plywood base) will work, even with the track elevated on cork roadbed. This wall is low enough to reach over easily for track cleaning, but high enough to keep equipment off the floor, or so I think.

After briefly losing a test car INSIDE the stairs (the back is closed & drywalled), I put this guardrail on the portion that's actually inside the stairs as well.

Once this is finished up, it's on to Telluride. The benchwork there is completed up to Keystone Hill to the edge of town, but I haven't built further because I need the floorspace for cutting large plywood sections. Now that most of those are complete, I can more the tools and finish up Telluride. And then, finally, on to track laying.

Track laying has been delayed, because (1) I didn't want delicate track in an area of such heavy construction, and (2) because I couldn't afford the track yet anyway. I think both of those issues are ending, enough to begin trackwork anyway.