Further points :-
Stand shed clear of ground on low supports if possible- mine wasn't, and so
the floor rotted and fell apart (mind you, it toook about 25 years to do
this, having originally been the site hut when my parents built the house).
Concrete blocks or railway sleepers are a possibility, though these latter
are currently stupidly expensive.
I'd definitely avoid a coke fire, as CO might prove lethal if not used in a
building with adequate ventilation. To be honest, a 60 W bulb was adequate
most of the time in mine, with a fan heater on the few occassions when it
got really cold.
In my experience of N stuff, as a general rule of thumb;
Japanese and US outline is cheapest and highest quality.
UK is a bit dearer and lower quality (even the new "improved" stuff isn't
that good when you look what the US and Japanese get).
European is more expensive, better quality than UK, not as good as the best
US and Japanese.
DCC in Farish is possible, but not the simplest.
I'd still suggest it for someone starting out; may as well go with DCC from
Don't rule out some of the "less obvious" controller makers, such as
Uhlenbrock (who make Fleishmann's DCC controllers) - I like their Daisy and
Should be OK, so long as you've some expansion joints (or flexibility in the
track to otherwise expand and contract). Watch out for spiders, mice and
other shed life. Condensation may be an issue if its not got adequate
I'd not build a 6*3 layout on the side; reaching across 3ft of layout is a
right pain; at best you'll catch your jumper on something at the front, at
worst you'll stain your back whilst reaching over. .
I'd build a narrower layout down one side - say 1ft to 18in deep, if you
want continuous run, return the tracks up the other side of the shed on a
temporary plank shelf until you get round to doing it properly. I'd also
use as much of the 10ft of run as I could.
NC - Webmaster for http://www.2mm.org.uk /
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I think you are going to have to insulate it, and maybe heat it, to
try and provide a stable climate to control dampness. The problem
wont be rain getting in through a leaky roof, but the formation of
condensation when temperatures cycle from cold to warm through the dew
point. If you can keep the ambient temperature above the dew point
then you can avoid the problem.
If the shed is well insulated, then heating need not be expensive,
and a small wattage electric convector heater with a thermostat can
keep the shed at a reasonable temperature (50F+) when not in use
without costing an arm and a leg, and can be turned up when in use to
get the ambient temperature up to a comfortable level for humans.
A bit of ventilation does no harm either, especially when you are in
the shed, to get rid of all the water vapour that we humans exude :-)
And don't be tempted to use open flame oil heaters - they chuck out an
unbelievable amount of water into the atmosphere.
I am pretty happy that the shed will not be a major issue, I'll follow the
guidance on insulation but not sure if I can endure the laughter from my
wife when I try to carpet the shed. For heating I can use a spare
greenhous electrical heater, works well and has a nice defrost setting. The
idea of narrowing from 3' to 18" sounds good as well.
Thanks, I can now move the dream along a little further. Still not sure
how I'll fit the Cheshire Lines Committee into a Continental setup but I'm
working on that one!
Yup, do NOT use a parafin heater, every pint of fuel burnt produces a
pint of water in the air. Best is a pot-belly stove burning coke (you
get to use all that junk mail to get it started) but that requires
firing up, an electric fan heater is probably the next best option.
You can get clever and run a thin ply trunking down from the roof
area to the heater so it draws its air from the top (whewre the warm
air gathers) and blows it out at foot level (whewre the cold air
collects), this reduces the temperature gradient with makes you feel
better and keeps your feet warm especially if you are sitting still in
the room. You can get very uncomfortable if your head gets hot and
your feet cold, doing this also reduces by quite a lot the amount of
heat you will find you need in the room.
If you want to go over the top add an electrostatic 'ion generator' at
the intake end and cut slots into the trunking into which you insert
metal sheets (or varnished ply sheets) coated with grease. That is how
they clean the air in 'clean rooms' and it will help deal with the
dust you generate. These sheets need to be removed, cleaned and
re-greased at intervals.
Do not smoke in the room if you can avoid it. I do not use them so I
cannot comment on the effect of 'smoke units'
A shelf layout running round the walls is preferable for many reasons,
I feel it is better than any solid board design. I had such a layout
in a small shed in N that kept me entertained and I have helped built
a couple for other people.
DStrip lighting is preferable, a strip down each side for preference
to avoid casting a shadow with your body.
Its fine having a shed layout, and it makes a nice 'escape pod' when
things get stressed
Strange clean rooms, the biggest in the country (was biggest in europe)
where I monitored its classification (class 100) and the ones where I
work now, down to class 10, all use HEPA ceiling filters, with several
other stages before that, none of which use grease....Lots of places
sell spun fibre filters, much easier to live with.
My experience of the idea dates back to the mid 1970s, it was an
electronics assembly area, positive pressure via filters but with
greased plates just hanging in the room, which I was told were to
collect dust - I tried the ioniser and greased plate idea myself a few
years back, high ceiling room, cold feet, it fixed the problem of the
cold feet and the plates collected a lot of gunk from the air
The main problem with an unheated, uninsulated garden shed is that the
changes in temperature also bring with them changes in humidity, and
those in turn can wreak havoc on baseboards, trackbeds, anything made of
wood or woodfibre (such as MDF.) Same is true of unheated, uninsulated
attics, garages, and basemenst (cellars.) Also changes in temperature
can affect rail length in nasty ways, although that effect is usually
not as great as the effects of humidity on the underlying track bed.
People have had success with a site such as yours, but I wouldn't risk
it, not in these days of relatively cheap insulation materials which
reduce the cost of heating. The shed should be kept at or above about 15
degrees Centigrade to reduce the risks of humidity changes.
On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 19:04:26 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
I have used plywood in a shed but also 'contiboard' (hard plastic
coated high density chipboard, possibly similar to MDF sold as
shelving), mounted on spur shelving at 15 inch centres.
On top of the contiboard I used fibre insertion used between concrete
sections on buildings to allow for expansion (in the buildings). This
is a lightweight felt material. Not much cheaper, if at all, than
sundela. This gives very quiet running.
I made slots in the surface using a screwdriver for wires and wire in
tube point control (messy job as the felt frays). Once all was ready
for track laying I coated the felt with dilute PVA, not at all sure
this was necessary. Track (peco) was glued down using diluted flexible
(book binding) PVA, you can buy this from model shops from Anita
Decor, you can also buy it direct if you want to buy a lot.
Its been in there for many years, the felt and track was replaced once
when I changed the layout but the shelving in an unheated shed in
Manchester (damp if not wet). The Max Min thermometer indicates that
temperatures have ranged between about zero and up to 90 deg F over
the years. I just ran a rubber over the track, connected the power
and ran an 0-6-0 tank round with no problems at all.
No sign of warping or any other distortion. I used a lot of sectional
(Minitrix) track and put a steel rule between the sections as I
assembled the layout, gives a nice clickety clack and deals with
possible expansion problems. There are no indications of problems on
the Peco flex track sections (mostly the hidden tracks).
One odd point is that a strip of flet screwed to a strip of exterior
ply with some track secured to it using wire instead of glue is still
in good and useable condition after several years propped up in the
The point being that this would serve for quiet running on sections of
track outside (such as the suggested loops). Sitting the track on Peco
foam would add a measure of realism if required. I would suggest
using Slaters 20thou brass wire to secure the track - two holes
punched through felt and supporting timber, wire looped over the
sleepers, down through the holes and twisted underneath. I used steel
florists wire, its still there after several years outside but I would
expect it to rust away eventually
Re coke stoves, you need to buy a proper one. A friend lived on a
canal boat for years, he now has such a stove in his living room and
another (smaller) one in his garage cum workshop with a zig-zag
chimney (apparently a lot of the heat comes from the stove pipe).
He tells me they are safer than parafin/butane heaters from a CO
The Fleishman set track system uses 7.5 inch and 9 inch nominal radius
curves for radius 1 and 2 - Bachman have already said their new
engines wil not run on curves of thess than about 10 inch radius.
Radius 3 and 4 are about eighteen and ninteen and a half inches, there
are no intermediate radius curves in this range.
I have just got hold of some Fleishman stuff to play with European and
US outline stock (http://www.igg.org.uk/rail/layout.htm shows the
This uses Fleishman track, the points of which have a 7.5 inch (radius
1) inner curve. The continental stuff runs like a dream, even the
uncoupling ramps work every time (although not with my old Lima
stock). To date my old Farish locos have coped fine with the 7.5 inch
radius curves but as I understand it the new stuff will not run on
The standard Fleishman points have what amounts to a radius 4 (just
over eighteen inches) curve.
Re CLC you need LNER engines (in the main) and there are firms
offering their own limited ranges of locomotives, including an 060
tender engine, but you would need to check with them re the minimum
I am going to try a US outline engine on these, probably a Life Like
S9 shunter but having asked on rec.models.railroad no one knew if
their US stuff could handle such tight curves.
If you come across any UK outline bodies that will fit on Fleishman
steam chassis I'd like to hear about them but if looking at Farish
stuff go for the diesels, they run better and have better electrical
pick up. Locos that do not run well are ornaments, I knwo as I own
The S9 will run around the 7.5 in radius curves, but I wouldn't
embarrass it by making it do so - that's much too small a radius. Always
use the widest possible radius, and use the tightest only where you
absolutely have to (as in the curves at the each end of an oval.) I'd
avoid sectional track, too, and use flex as much as possible.
What I'm unsure about is whether the L/L engines will cope with the
Fleischmann turnouts, since AFAIK Fleischmann wheels and track don't
conform to NMRA standards and RPs, while L/L engines do. Post your
experience with L/L engines + Fleischmann turnouts here, just for the
record. AFAIK, L/L engines have no problems with Peco track. I've used
Atlas (sectional, flex, and turnouts), and Shinohara (flex and
turnouts), no problems at all with that stuff.
On Mon, 27 Sep 2004 23:25:05 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
The curves are necessary to fit a loop into the available space.
Normally I would avoid anything less than eighten inch radius in the
open but I wanted to test the Fleishmann track system as those small
radius curved points could be handy in a fiddle yard.
I wanted to have a look at Continental and US outline but I'm moving
home in stages so a 'suitcase lid' layout is all I can handle at the
I will report back on how I get on with different makes on the
[ on tight curves and whether the trains can get round them ]
Barry Norman's book (I think it is his) on layout design has an example in a
In this design he puts the return loops OUTSIDE the shed inside closed boxes
(with access panels). Thus the interior of the shed is full of layout, yet
still gives continous running.
Henk Oversloot's fiddle yard on his latest layout uses some moving
flexi-track as the selector to a multiple road yard. Its a sort of cross
between a traverser and a ladder turnout. Takes up not much space. The
geometry took some working out, but once done, it works a treat. (Henk works
to FiNe standards, but the fiddleyard selector is normal N).
NC - Webmaster for http://www.2mm.org.uk /
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