Sunday, March 15, 2009

Layout Update #3: Drill Baby Drill

I managed to put in a few hours in the basement this weekend, with most of the time taken up with marking and drilling screw holes for the various framing components. Let's go to the graphic:

The plywood/1x3 base for the Transition section (C) is complete, although not as precisely constructed as intended. My hope is that I can smooth out any discrepancies affecting the track by adjustments to the foam layers. I also completed the L-girder and crosspiece frame for the Rural section (D) and it turned out very well. I also prepared the frame for the West Yard section (A) but I need to mark the location of the 2x4 wall studs first, as those will determine the placement of the crosspieces. (Ladies, chime in here with the usual "stud finder" jokes.)

I discovered a complication earlier in the week in that the tape measure I was using for the initial measurements of lumber had a loose clip on the end which, when stretching the tape, caused an extra 1/16" to show up. So, for example, when cutting an eight-foot 1x2 into two four-foot sections, I ended up with a 48 1/16" piece and a 47 15/16" piece. To be safe I had to re-measure everything not already constructed and I hope the already-built sections will not give me too much trouble. Fortunately I tend to work with more than a 1/16" margin of error so I think I'll be all right.

I am currently in negotiations with our budget director about the diversion of some of our tax refund to address transportation infrastructure needs. Stay tuned for an update on that!


J. said...

Good luck with that last bit, Dave. However, I fear the two of you may have different infrastructure priorities (as well as definitions).

Btw, love the title of this post -- and have no effing idea how to read/interpret that diagram. But thanks for sharing!

Dave S. said...

The Budget Office understands the definitions and seems favorably disposed. Regarding an actual outlay, I have thrown myself on the mercy of the Director to provide a figure, as I could burn through the entire stimulus in a matter of minutes.

Your observation on the diagram is apt. At some point I need to flesh it out with some landscaping, buildings etc. to make it more viewer-friendly. It would also be helpful to post some pictures of progress so when I throw around stuff like "L-girder/1x3 frame" people's eyes don't glaze over.

Feel free to leave donations of spare time in the comments.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Cut it twice and it's still too short!

Dave P.

Dave S. said...

Dave P., I even measured twice before cutting once, but if you use the same inaccurate measuring instrument it will only reinforce the error. I now keep a metal yardstick and 12-inch ruler close by and use those for anything less than three feet; when I have to use the tape measure I subtract 1/16". We're almost at the stretch of months without R so who knows what that will bring.

EMM said...

Nearly 1/2 of my basement growing up was trains, my dad eventually had tracks going all around an 8x8 center which included a work bench, tools, etc.

He did not have a lot of scenery but lots of buildings (which were put together in the winter months).

My dad spent hours down there 1) because it was quiet 2) it was away from my mother and 3) he could smoke a pipe, run his trains and play solitaire at his work bench.

To this day I still love trains, solitaire and the smell of pipe tobacco.

Your kids are going to have such fond memories of the Train Room!!!

MLR said...

My uncle's train set is incredible. It attempts to replicate the New Haven line. He took pictures of Connecticut scenery and painted backgrounds to match.

Did you draw up the design yourself or is it a plan from somewhere. In my woodworking, I've found a less formal plan is better since it allows for cutting "errors" to be re-labelled "I meant to do it that way."

Dave S. said...

MLR, your uncle's layout sounds great. What scale is it?

To answer your question briefly, the plan is my own based on the room dimensions and what I wanted it to feature. However, I do expect a certain amount of "I meant that" to take place. Like so many of my answers to the excellent comments, this deserves its own post and I will try to get to that at some point.

Dave S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. said...

What lovely comments from EMM and MLR!

In giving this project more thought (scary), I don't think that room in the basement is big enough, Dave. I think (eventually) you should have the train run through the first floor on a track above the dining room and kitchen and then go back downstairs. How cool would that be?

Btw, I will be very disappointed if the trains aren't running by June.

Anonymous said...

If a train shows up in the dining room and kitchen, I'm getting a really big trampoline AND a pony.

Dave S. said...

Most train rooms are NEVER big enough and the challenge is to do what you want to do in the (insufficient) space provided. On the plus side, our train room has its own bathroom.

Interestingly, the train room is directly underneath both the kitchen and the dining room so J's idea is at least minimally feasible. However, the economics of such an expansion are prohibitive, given that in addition to the extraordinary amount of track required we have to factor in the pony and trampoline as well, not to mention the increased insurance premiums for all of this. ("Exactly how close is the pony to the trampoline?") On the plus side the inevitable meeting with Tom Bergeron would cover a certain amount of these costs.

Also, J, thank you for the deadline imposition - nothing like that to focus one's work! At minimum I hope to have the mainline running by that point.

J. said...

A train, a trampoline, and a pony?! Can't wait! : )

Dave S. said...

We actually already have a small trampoline and a miniature stuffed pony courtesy of Santa Claus. Laura has used both.

Anonymous said...

Why can't you have a trolley that visits your dining room to reinforce what's going on down in the Land of Make Believe? "Today Prince B is speaking nicely to Princess F and is not trying to run over her foot with his bicycle."

Stand by for my considered thoughts on ponies.


Anonymous said...

I had a pony when I was a boy, and it didn't bring a lifetime of good memories. We didn't ride him much, which caused him to remain cranky except when he was fed. I constantly thought he was angling to deliver a backwards deathblow. True to his nature, when we sold him after several years, he gave me one last shot, figuratively speaking.

We sold him to my Dad's boss, who had a daughter about my age. Apparently the acquisition of a pony caused her adolescent hormones to rage in my direction, if you know what I mean. This was the first girl to make a clear move on me. Unfortunately, the move was also clear to my older brother, who saw what was happening and refused to let us slip away for some time in the girl's treehouse. This revealed my brother to be: 1) a nitwit; 2) not merely a little bit mean; and 3) the kind of wingman who would put an incendiary round into your fuel tank.

So you see, whenever I think of that surly pony, it reminds me that my brother is an a-hole. I'm sure that you don't want the same dynamic for F and B, although if it's okay, I'd like to share some advice for F that will benefit B in about 10 years' time.

On trampolines, I remain agnostic.