One More 4x8 - Loaner DCC - And Paint!
My wife and daughter are out of town on a girl's trip so I have taken some vacation time to be home with my son. This means, of course, layout progress! I purchased another 4x8 sheet of 1/2" Birch Plywood yesterday and cut it to fit the corner piece on the northwest corner of the room. This leaves just two more pieces to go to complete the lower staging level and the first continuous loop.
Joe Scorsone and my father came over to assist which is always nice. Joe came bearing the gift of a loaner DCC system which he had purchased but not used. This is a wonderful gift that will jump-start operations on the Vicksburg Terminal! Thank you Uncle Joe!
With my wife gone for several days her car was kicked out of the garage. The space will be used over the next few days to paint the major components of the layout. Since the railroad is elevated, the underside will be painted white to improve the appearance of the room.
Support Framing for Lower Staging Complete
Monday 4-11-2016 was a milestone for the first Meridian Speedway Layout. The wall framing for the lower staging level has been completed and two 4x8 sheets of plywood have been cut. Thanks to Joe Scorsone who assisted with the work!
Layout Supports Added to Two Walls
Many thanks to my uncle Joe Scorsone who assisted today with some layout progress. Before today, only the North Wall of the Man Cave had a support brace installed. This brace is at the main level of the VIcksburg Terminal, just high enough to allow continuous operation around the room, clearing the height of two doors.
The other three walls will have a lower level that will house two staging yards, one holding trains from Greenville and Memphis on my Mississippi Central Railroad and the other holding trains from Natchez, Hattiesburg, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans on my Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad.
Today's trip to the Home Depot yielded two 12-foot lengths of 1x3.5 wood and 10 more shelf brackets.
Vicksburg Terminal - 1st Footprint
Initial progress on building my first Vicksburg Terminal model railroad is slow at best - baby steps... A large part of the delay is conceptualizing in my head how I want it to come together. Over the last several weekends I have spent some time with my father making taking the first steps.
This will be a ceiling railroad with the main level barely clearing the tops of the two doors in the room. I needed a clear picture of where the studs were in the wall to finalize the location of the major structural components.
So we put the new stud finder to work and mapped the walls. The Precision Sensors Profinder 5000 stud finder that I grabbed at Costco is extremely easy to use.
For quick marking, we used sticky note sheets to mark the studs, angling them to mark the center with the bottom corner. Two walls of the man-cave are external house walls and the studs are spaced 16 inches apart. The other two walls have studs 24 inches apart. Hmmm......
I made several design templates on graph paper of the room and made a number of copies to aid the design process. We marked the stud locations in orange on one of these sheets to paint the picture of what we had to work with. This was very helpful to me.
Today, 2-27-2016, was an important day - the first pieces of wood were cut and installed on the north wall. These pieces define the bottom edge of the main level which will rest on top of this support. Additional segments of 1x4 were cut in 7-inch lengths to aid the mounting of Everbilt 12 inch white Magnum Shelf Brackets that will also support the railroad.
Compressed Air Routed Through the Floor
As my air compressor is rather large and noisy, it belongs in the garage...at all times! My newly confiscated man-cave room that will house my first serious HO scale railroad (Meridian Speedway Vicksburg Terminal) sits directly above the garage. I used my vacation time this week to take advantage of that positioning and drill a hole. A simple task...or so I thought.
A 20-foot reinforced 3/4-inch diameter water hose from Home Depot was my conveyor-of-choice to transfer air from the compressor in the garage to the air tank in the train room. Again I enlisted the assistance of my uncle, Joseph Scorsone, for the project. We figured we should have this done in about an hour.....not!
As it turned out there is about 18 inches between the floor of the train room and the ceiling of the garage which meant a second trip to Home Depot for a LONG bit and then a third trip for a bit extension. I do feel better about the house knowing how much insulation there is around the garage!
Also it seems that the width of the wall of the garage is wider that the width of the wall of the train room. The first hole, and the second hole we drilled down from the train room ended up in the wall of the garage. At last, the third hole drilled about six inches from the side wall of the train room landed in the garage! The hose fit snugly to the bit extension and was easily pulled through the floor into the garage. Success at last!
A metal file cabinet used to store indexed photographs fits nicely over the hose's entrance through the floor, both protecting and camouflaging it at the same time. The 15-foot hose from the tank to the airbrush will allow me to not only easily paint items in the paint booth, but also paint items on the railroad as it takes shape.
The entrance in the garage ceiling is nothing spectacular. It is directly over some wall-mounted shelves, also camouflaging the air line's entrance into the garage. This hose was fitted with male Quick-Connect fittings at both ends. The air tank valve and the air compressor hose are now both fitted with female Quick-Connect fittings so that when disconnected, the air in both the air tank and the compressor will be bottled.
And the timing of this project while my wife was out of town on a business trip...strictly coincidence!
Moving Forward - First Meridian Speedway Railroad to be Built
Yesterday I noticed that one of the two light bulbs in the Paint Booth had burned out rather prematurely. After opening the package I noticed that the fine print said that the bulbs should not be oriented upside-down. Perhaps that had something to do with it.
After dropping the kids off at school this morning, a quick visit to the Home Depot yielded a pair of new GE LED bulbs. Man they are nice! Great light and no heat! A bit pricy, $15 for the pair; but, given the proximity of the bulbs to where I am working, having no heat is a great thing.
Onto bigger and better things, I have decided to build a railroad in my current house. I had originally planned to wait until we moved into our next home with a bigger space by design, however, my wife is not quite ready to move yet. Some nonsense about the kids and high school and blah, blah, blah!
It has been nearly two years since I moved back to Fort Worth, TX from Lincoln, NE and I have the itch to build something. Today I evicted my kids from the spare bedroom that has become their playroom. Really superfluous as the kids live on the xBox anyway.
I have big plans for the room - my Man Cave. This will be the test bed for me to learn some modeling, scenery, and electrical skills. I spent a good portion of the day clearing out all of their stuff. It is nearly a clean palette for me to start. There will be updates coming soon!
The room is 10'X12' and will house my office with several work stations, including the paint booth. Sitting directly over the garage, the room is positioned perfectly to run an airline from the compressor. That will be tomorrow's primary task...