Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The aftermath...

Sunday my head finally stopped spinning from Friday's work session.  The session went far better than I could have hoped for, but as my friend Jim Fawcett stated in a conversation the other day, it was chaos. :)  The good kind, if there is such a thing. 

So Sunday I went back into the basement and worked on installing the double wide section that contains the engine house, and roundtable.  Plus it's the section of the layout where the main branches off from the yard and heads towards the removable sections that will contain the York, PA station and PRR interchange/active staging table.

I had connected legs to the center of the double section and strengthened them with two metal angle brackets similar to the ones used to hold up the top deck.  I hung this section on the brackets, and then bolted the connecting sections to each side of it.

Double wide section in place and being checked to make sure it's level.

Final section is bolted to the other side.  Now all of the bottom deck is installed.

Once this section was in place I worked on some issues that were brought up at the work session by Ted Pamperin and Jim Fawcett.  Both were concerned that since extra weight was added to the top of the helix frame, the legs were starting to flex a little.  So I added angled bracing to stop this movement. 

Another area that I'm working on at their urging is to get rid of some of the flexing we were noticing when you press down on the shelf bench work.  The problem seems to be with the brackets flexing a bit when leaned on (The obvious answer would be NOT to lean on them, but it's probably a good idea to stiffen them up because you know someone, whether during an operating session, or work session, will inevitably will do just that) so legs will be added on each corner of long sections.  Since the bottom deck will have skirting I'm not worried about how a few legs will look on the layout. For extra bracing up on the top deck, I'll possibly use something I saw in Tony Koester's Multi Deck Layout Book, that John Rogers did on his last layout, using a large carpenter's square as a bracket strengthener.

This is the type of carpenter's square John Rogers used for his upper deck support.  A 16"x24" one goes for just under $6.00 on Amazon.

I figure 4 of these will do the trick.  I will have one on each end of top deck/shelves along the two walls.

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