Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Second Level

It's been a couple of weeks since I added the second level to the NS route. Since then, the CCNS club had a show to do in Hickory, I had a Ops session to attend, and in between have been working on the center island which represents the Winston Salem Southbound.

As I laid the splines and started penciling in areas, it became painfully obvious that I did not have the room to do nearly what I wanted on the WSS sub. To fix it, I did two things: (1) added a second level to the center island (2) cut out some of the smaller LDEs I had planned to give proper space to the ones that were left.

Now, how do I get up and down from the second level? A helix. I had never built one, but there was really no other option. I saw on the Internet, a plan for using 1 x 4 lumber cut at angled to form a 16 sided circular object. My ability to work with a jigsaw was poor at best, so this seemed like a good option.

The helix was assembled with threaded rod, fender washers and nuts above and below to hold each level in place. Adding another level also meant I had to add more lights. Since the benchwork was already in place, I had to mount these one at a time. Quite time consuming, but well worth it to light the lower level. For these, I had to be careful to not go above or below the 1 x 4, so I tried handy boxes with a duplex outlet and a CFL in a plug in adapter. This also meant I now have an electrical outlet every 16". That should come in handy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Laying Spline

The last CCSB was plywood plains... nothing but flat landscape for miles. I wanted this one to be different, so I thought I would try splines. Nobody around me had done this that I knew of so there was nobody local to turn to for advice. Guess I have to go this one alone.

I took some of the scrap primed 1/8 masonite that I had and cut it into 1 1/2" strips on the table saw. I set a couple of screws into the risers where I wanted them to go and clamped and glued each strip. The next day, I removed the clamps to find a completely rigid roadbed.

While the splines were drying, I finished the walls in the pit and to the exit side.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Second Level

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been over thousands of trackplans in my mind. It is obvious that what I want to do will require a second level. To do this, I've added benchwork on the right side wall. I need to get down to the first level and have been thinking about a nolix.

A nolix is trackwork that climbs as it goes around the wall. It functions as a helix, but does so over a long distance. I can slope the benchwork of part of the right wall upper section at 2-3% and continue the slope across the pit to arrive at the lower level. Question is, what can I pull at 3%?

My very first version of a layout had an incline. I had tested it with a little 0-6-0 steamer and it would run up and down with a car or two, no problem. One day, I tried 10 cars, and it wouldn't even make it half way. The next day I tore the whole thing apart and said the next layout would have no elevation. It didn't. Now, I'm back with this grade being an important part of this whole building.

Friday, I soldered some track together and hooked up the booster and ran a train up. It would carry around 10 cars up with no problem. Two in a consist could haul 25. Good enough for me.