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shaung75

Leasingham Poacher

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Well it was surprisingly good weather this Sunday so I was able to make a start giving the boards a bit of waterproofing, and as the wife volunteered to do some overtime from home I took the boy out with me. Word of advice to those that find them in a similar situation with a (not quite) 2yr old "helping" is to make sure you have a bottle of white spirit to hand as you WILL find yourself turning round to find a child elbow-deep in a tin of bitumen paint!

After dealing with a sticky boy I decided time was better spent in the sandpit waiting for his mum to be free, and then carried on with proceedings. I've managed to get half the loop painted now and hopefully I'll be able to get the other half sorted next weekend, then it's a case of popping to B&Q buying the roofing felt and getting that on.

It's slow progress, but I'm still pleased to see progress none-the-less and I'm starting to get a clearer vision in my head on how I want this to look now with plants and landscaping etc. I think however I may have to take the approach of another member though and tackle the layout in annual stages and leave the left side of the garden till next year. I think if I'm putting pressure on myself to get the whole thing done in one go it'll become a chore and I don't want that to happen, I'm really looking forward to getting into the electronics and programming side of things.

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Wow, a month has gone by already since my last post!

The joy of only being able to work on the layout at weekends when there's good weather has slowed things down, and one of the weekends that was good enough I needed to lay new flooring due to a massive washing machine leak :roll:

But good things come to those who wait (apparently), and it was beautiful weather this weekend so I was able to spend both days outside. Going on from previous advice I have used studwork between posts to brace the top-board to prevent sag, and while it may be a bit overkill compared by the 1"x1" suggested, it certainly makes it a bit more sturdy should Godzilla (sorry, Ben) decide to climb on it when I'm not looking.

I've also cut, shaped and bitumen painted the boards for the right hand side of the loop but have yet to brace these. Due to the width of these boards (going to be 4 tracks) I'm going to use 2 bits of studwork to prevent warping from left to right as well.

Wiring now in place for DCC.

Short-term to-do list:

- brace the right hand section

- complete the top and bottom return loop

- felt the boards

- lay the track

Did some maths the other day and if I was going to lay the track how it will end up being before I run any trains, it'll be another 6 months before I see anything move. This is because I set aside £50 a month for the hobby, but didn't have plans for the loop (phase 1) at the beginning so didn't take into account all of the pointwork that this new plan features. When all phases are complete this section is going to have 12 points and 6 crossovers - at £15.00 on average each that's £270 of trackwork, and that doesn't include the fexitrack! I could get phase 1 to a DCC ready stage using 8 points and 4 crossovers (£180), but that's still more than I can justify at this point. So to get around this and have something running for the Summer, just a pair of DC loops will be laid and then everything else can get put down as and when funds allow.

Order has been placed with eHattons today for the track and fishplates, so fingers crossed for good weather this weekend too

Shaun

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I buy most my points on ebay.co.uk the other place I recently discovered was a second hand model shop in the UK. There must be plenty of those dotted around the UK. Ehattons is great for bulk purchases of flexi track and other new items.

Have you brought track pins yet? As I have two pack of peco pin's that I found to be useless for my strong outdoor baseboard, worth making sure you get the right ones before you bulk purchse, also having a tool to push the pins in might help.

I wish I had known to stagger join's when laying corners. When you lay your track this is really important to avoid kinks that can derail trains - http://oogardenrailway.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=649&p=14408#p14408

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If possible, try to position the ends of your baseboards away from your support posts. I could try and explain why but I think a diagram is better. I drew this a few years ago.

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Edited by Guest

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Ive got to say, I was surprised how costly track has got. Even on ebay, decent Peco flexible goes for very nearly new prices.

I use gimp pins to secure my track, having pre-drilled the sleeper and baseboard, they push in quite easily. I then dab the tops with a spot of hammerite type paint, whilst also doing the track feeds, where they come up through the baseboard.

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Thanks Chris, I hadn't thought of that being a potential issue for unsupported boards but it makes perfect sense. If you posted that because mine aren't level in the photo, it's because they hadn't been fixed down at that point and were just laying loosely on the posts. Image below is them fixed down flush amd level.

Thanks pppp, i remember you pointing that out earlier on in the thread. I've since looked up a few videos on youtube and there's a good one of someone building a helix which shows the method well.

I agree with the ebay prices too - some cheap examples are aweful, and in my mind if I'm going to pay nearly full price I may as well go brand new for reliability sake. I'll probably go second hand for the fiddle yard though as they're going to be sheltered and hidden so don't have to look good :-)

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It's good to see the amount of progress you've made because the length you've photographed there is similar to the amount I have to do along the bottom of my garden. I've been putting it off, waiting for better weather or just that little something that gives me the spur to get started - perhaps your photos are just what I needed. You've made it look quick and easy.

If you can't stretch to the cost of adding all those points just yet then a simple out and back run will give you ample enjoyment for now.

I have quite a lot of reclaimed track from my first layout and once any damaged sleepers are removed it's almost as good as new. I'm not sure I'd choose to buy secondhand track as you never know what you're going to get but it might be worth the chance if the price is right. A 25 metre pack of new Peco Streamline is less than the cost of a new loco these days so it pretty good value and I've recently found that TrackShack offer good prices and very prompt delivery. I've used them a few times recently.

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Hi Mick, I certainly hope you find the inspiration to get yours over the finish line as I for one can't wait to see your completed loop. For a sense of scale, there is just shy of 1.2m between each of those posts.

From the image below, the right side in red have also been cut and waterproofed, I just need to get some more studwork before fixing them down in place.

Then it's connecting the two sides (in blue) to make a loop. This is where I was going to be setting up as DCC from the start and have pointwork in to kickstart phase two (towards the shed), but as before it's cost prohibitive at this point so I'm just laying it as a pair of simple loops at this moment in time.

Thanks very much for mentioning TrackShack - I've not heard of these before and looking at their prices I'm looking at shaving a third off what I was expecting to pay.

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I'd agree track is getting expensive, C+L EM Gauge flexitrack is now £121 for 25 yards, or £43 for 10 yards from Marcway. Points from Marcway (soldered to copper sleepers) are a minimum of £25 each built, not surprisingly with around 50 needed for the full railway I'll be making my own.

I just wish it was warmer out there, it's delaying wall building for the track to run on.

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Thanks Mark

Typical - the wife grants me an all day pass to work on the layout, and rain stops play at 1pm :evil:

Still, progress is progress I guess. I was hoping to get as far as felting the boards today but only managed to brace and fix the right hand side, and make a start on the closest return boards. Wednesday and Thursday are looking like good days so I might book those off to get that completed. Aimee (my wife) set me the challenge to have something running for the boy's birthday in 2 weeks time, once the felt is laid I can just come out in the evening to potter and lay the track.

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Hi Shaun, looking good, how dear is your sheets of marine ply very expensive my side of the world double the price of 8x4 sheets

Quote

Typical - the wife grants me an all day pass to work on the layout, and rain stops play at 1pm

Love it you are the same as me got to get permission to work on the layout, only being to work a day at a time, my heath stands in the way as well as having a disabled son too.

Coming into the second year of construction of my layout, my layout isn't permanently set up like yours will be so taking a lot longer to build, tomorrow will be painting the front corner module and first curve top the spiral.

My club is holding our annual train show this weekend, biggest train show in Queensland, you can look us on the net, I will working at the show two days , Friday setting up and the one day at the show got a good job, manning the exit to the building, planning to buy some wagons.

It has being cool of a morning to a nice warm autumn day should be a lot cooler, in the low 30's, could drop all of a sudden, being raining, in the past, it has being a wet weekend, we need the rain, I have had to use the soaker hose, haven't mowed the back yard for a while.

http://www.brisbanemodeltrainshow.com.au

Tony from down under.

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aussietmrail said:

how dear is your sheets of marine ply very expensive my side of the world double the price of 8x4 sheets

Nearly the same here Tony, I paid £29 per sheet for "exterior" grade ply whereas the marine ply is £49 ($55/$94aud). I opted for this as it appears to work well for Mick's layout and for the simple fact the price of the marine ply would have meant the garden railway would have remained a dream. I've given it a few coats of bitumen so it should do alright, and if it doesn't, if it only lasts a few years I'll be happy. I've seen a few OO videos on Youtube where the wood is virtually rotten and they're still running well, so I'm optimistic it'll last anyway :?

Have fun at the show, let us know how it goes

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Huzzah! The trackbed for Phase 1 is now officially complete! Not having any experience doing this kind of thing before I'm surprisingly pleased with myself - all but one bit of felt (clamped down at the other end) has bonded nice and flat first time.

Right, coffee and then to give the lawn a long overdue mow before the wife and boy arrive back home.

Track laying tomorrow 8-)

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That's looking great Shaun and the loco and coaches adds a sense of scale making it look even bigger than at first viewing. Bet the little 'un will be delighted to see a train on show when he gets home. Track laying tomorrow :o Now we're rolling!

I think you win the prize for progress today - was hoping to get some felt down myself but I've just about had enough for one day. It's good to see things moving forward on the forum at last - if only this weather would stick around for a few weeks.

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Thanks Mick

I agree about the coaches putting the size into perspective, I've been working on it for weeks and kept wondering if it was going to be big enough and was worried that the station area wasn't going to accommodate 5 coaches. Still need to have a think about how I'm going to fix the station in place, but that can come later when the right hand side has 4 lines laid.

One thing I have learnt from today though is to keep junctions simple - felting the wye junctions was a complete pain!

mick said:

Bet the little 'un will be delighted to see a train on show when he gets home.

No chance of that happening tonight, he understands that the models aren't toys and is happy to just watch them go round on his trakmat layout, but if he has them in his hand rather than on the track he gets frustrated when he can't push them like his other toys and has a tantrum! These were firmly packed away by the time he came home :lol:

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It's official, I finally have a garden railway!!! Well, as the lines don't actually go anywhere at the moment it's more of a trainset in the garden, but still :)

I can't believe it took my longer to actually lay the track than it did to felt the boards, there's certainly a knack to the flexitrack :lol:

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shaung75 said:

....And no, the lawn didn't get mown last night...

Never mind the lawn...just keep adding photos of your layout and trains! :D

It does take time to lay the track and it's something that's best not rushed. It certainly pays to make sure it's down correctly without any kinks and you'll hopefully be rewarded with trouble-free running.

Regarding the first photo, for a moment there I thought you'd got yourself a drone and we were about to be entertained to some aerial video but after viewing the image full size I found it's just an extension reel :(

Is that it for this week or do you have more time off? If you're back at work them maybe it'll give me chance to catch up!

Enjoying the updates - keep them coming!

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A drone is another wish-list item :)

Following the technique yourself and pppp have mentioned I've managed to lay the whole lot kink-free thankfully. Glad I found this forum otherwise I wouldn't have know about that.

Thats me done working on the layout for a few months, I need to do some other jobs around the garden that have been neglected because of this. Also need to gather the cash together to get the points and some more track - the two loops used nearly 60ft which was more than I was expecting!

Ben has just seen the trains running and the look on his face made the sunburn worth it

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shaung75 said:

Thats me done working on the layout for a few months, I need to do some other jobs around the garden that have been neglected because of this. Also need to gather the cash together to get the points and some more track - the two loops used nearly 60ft which was more than I was expecting!

There is one job to do now, that you'll regret if you don't. You need to bond your rails. The fish plates may be conducting electricity at then moment, but they will start to fail to do that in a few month.

It's a crappy job, but it's even harder to do once those shiny rails have dulled.

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