This brings up a related question that has been in the back of my
mind. I will be using 2 thicknesses of 2" extruded styro panels
on top of a 1/2" plywood table as the base of my scenery. What is
the best way to use under-the-table switch motors on this kind of
I thought about cutting 1/8" plywood bases for the turnouts
themselves and mortising the bases into the styro with whatever
extra cutout was needed for the switch motor. This way, as long
as the turnout was not soldered into the rest of the track, you
could lift the whole thing out for service or troubleshooting.
Or am I trying to make this too difficult?
Norman Morgan <> http://www.norm-morgan.com
At the club, we settled on a 1/2" plywood block 3-3/4" square. We
made a jig for pre-drilling the block so that every Tortoise would
fit exactly the same way on each block. We soldered wires from the
Tortoise to a molex 8-wire screw down connector. All the under
layout wires connect to the other side of the molex connector.
Every control rod that goes up through the layout surface (3/4"
plywood pus 1/2" homasote, solid spline sub-roadbed ... whatever)
is fashioned to have the same "swing" distance. Any prefabbed switch
machine can be used to replace any other switch machine since it will
screw into the same holes as the previous switch machine (mounted on
the uniform 1/2" block). In a few cases we used RC aircraft rod-in-tube
(can't remember the correct name) to get from a sensible place to mount
the switch machine to some bizzare underlayout location to drive the
switch. We replaced the Tortoise wire with a slightly thicker and
longer piece of piano wire.
I'd go for something heavier at least 1/4" but, 1/2" would be better
Attach directly to the underside of the 1/2" plywood layout base.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul Newhouse) wrote in
Maybe I didn't describe this well enough. The track and turnouts
will be separated by 4" of styrofoam from the underlying 1/2"
plywood. That 4" vertical seemed like a long distance between the
turnout and its actuator. I was talking about small piece of
plywood to mount the actual turnouts on that would be inlayed into
the top surface of the styro, with the actuator mounted under the
inlaid piece rather than the actual table top.
The actual table is inspired by Scheicher's "monocoque"
construction as described in the 3rd edition of his "Model
Railroad Handbook." I decided against the full monocoque method
since I already had one 4x8 table with a 1/2 plywood top. I am
building a second, identical table, arranging them in an L shape
and putting the 4" of styro on top to be able to carve away
negative elevation terrain and build up positive elevation with
more layers of styro. All trackage will be at relative 0
elevation, i.e. 4" above the plywood. That idea came from Gary
Courtemanche's spectacular Blood, Sweat & Tears railroad.
(http://www.bstrailroad.com ). Huge plus and minus swings of
terrain elevation, but all the track is dead level.
Norman Morgan <> http://www.norm-morgan.com
Shouldn't be a problem. The wire that moves the turnout will run
doen the 4-1/2" and it should be enclosed in a tube. We use brass
wire enclose din a brass tube (I forget the dimensions right off
hand). The tube should fit snuggly in the hole that penetrates the
plywood and should fill the hole in the 1/2" plywood, and run up to
just under the ties.
I would thinkt he foam would be severely compromised with the
method you are describing.
On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 13:57:44 -0600, email@example.com
(Paul Newhouse) wrote:
Why compromised? Just a 1/4" recess in the top of 4 inches of foam
and a 2 inch square hole where the tortoise goes through. It should
not be any problem, but if you want to lift them for maintenance it
will be difficult to disguise the joint lines in the roadbed and you
will need to arrange for all 6 joiners to slide back.
I think I would prefer to mount the tortoises underneath.
Make friends in the hobby.
Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Lynn Gobin wrote:
> The Tortoise is 3 1/4" high. However, I would leave a minimum of an
> additional 1" to 2" clearance to access wiring connections at the
> bottom of the machine.
Excellent Lynn, thanks very much!
All the best,
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