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Ikea Malm and connecting the Train-Safe tubes


47137

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The hobby room has a chest of drawers standing on the floor, this has always been a part of the design of 'Shelf Island' as it holds the fiddle yard tight against the main baseboard, as well as holding my socks and so on.

 

The fiddle yard is to the left and 'Wellwood' is to the right:

DSCF2064.jpg.00b6dd70d4849fec6a6b99bf23293d7f.jpg

 

I keep most of my stock in Train-Safe tubes hung on the walls. I began with one tube for my Rapido APT-E (4mm scale of course) and then added eight more. Eventually I ran out of wall. Anyway, I fitted a connector for the tubes onto the fiddle yard some years ago. This worked fine until I pulled the chest of drawers out from the wall to let me run a track behind it, whereupon the side of the cabinet blocked the connector. So the mock-up of Wellwood had a siding to let me connect the tubes there, but this was unwieldy and really they were pointing in the wrong direction for most operations.

 

The chest of drawers is the Ikea 'Malm' with a hinged lid. It is supplied with a mirror so it can double as a vanity unit. A few weeks ago I realised I could lop about 20 mm off the bottom of the Malm, open the top and lay the tubes across the corner of the opening:

DSCF2060.jpg.d54a9ecad4144e2578638ea414b69427.jpg

 

The 600 mm tubes will rest on the edge of the Malm cabinet, the longer ones need support from a hand or a camera tripod:

DSCF2068.jpg.381605cfa920465e4702ae984e87b8c8.jpg

 

The space below the lid now holds the tools for running the railway, and the bike and cars for the Magnorail:

DSCF2061.jpg.9720fe9e55ce8b67f6e4acb6bb4cee5f.jpg

 

I have fixed some card over the mirror, it was too much of a distraction.

 

When I shut the lid it hides the edge of the fiddle yard, and the new 'Wellwood' doesn't need a siding for the tubes. Quite why I never thought of this modification several years ago I don't know, but it is going to work.

 

The carcass of the Malm is still structurally sound at the bottom. I rotated the bottom trim (the kick panel) inwards through 90 degrees and re-fixed it so all of the original strength is still there.

 

I am tempted to build a control panel for the whole layout into this space too. It is in the right place in the system.

Edited by 47137

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  • RMweb Gold

Ikea-hacking, modeller style. I like the creative thinking. I suppose the Trainsafe tubes need careful holding and handling?

 

That lifting lid version of the Malm bookcase looks generally useful, thanks for the tip. I understand why you've covered the mirror though, I would too!

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  • RMweb Gold
1 hour ago, Mikkel said:

Ikea-hacking, modeller style. I like the creative thinking. I suppose the Trainsafe tubes need careful holding and handling?

 

That lifting lid version of the Malm bookcase looks generally useful, thanks for the tip. I understand why you've covered the mirror though, I would too!

 

It is funny how you have to read something written by someone else before you can see your own mistakes. The Malm is a chest of drawers, not a bookcase. I know this, I have had it for six or seven years and I use it every day. So I have edited the post to change "bookcase" to "chest of drawers".

 

The Train-Safe tubes are best when they contain a loco and its train. A self-contained "unit". If you put only rolling stock then it wants to surge from one end to the other as you carry the tube. If you put two or more locos next to each other in the tube and turn the controller the wrong way they will couple up and then there is a Problem. Usually I rely on one loco dragging the other out of the tube.

 

A while ago I made a support from wood and foam to let me hold a tube on a tripod and I've added a photo of this in the blog entry above.

 

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  • RMweb Gold

I'm very much a fan of the Train-Safe tubes but I have found it troublesome to keep the rails clean deep inside them. Have you arrived at a solution? The only way I've managed so far is to push a track-cleaning car through, the kind with a pad which puts solvent (in my case isopropyl alcohol) on the rails, but I worry slightly about the effects of solvent on the tube itself. Perhaps you don't have the same problem because I use mine as a run-through road on in my fiddle-yard, so they get a lot of traffic.

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  • RMweb Gold
On 08/10/2021 at 21:48, Barry Ten said:

I'm very much a fan of the Train-Safe tubes but I have found it troublesome to keep the rails clean deep inside them. Have you arrived at a solution? The only way I've managed so far is to push a track-cleaning car through, the kind with a pad which puts solvent (in my case isopropyl alcohol) on the rails, but I worry slightly about the effects of solvent on the tube itself. Perhaps you don't have the same problem because I use mine as a run-through road on in my fiddle-yard, so they get a lot of traffic.

 

I am still innocent of this particular pleasure in our hobby.

 

I suppose, I don't use my Train-Safe tubes very much. I keep some locos and wagons on the layout to provide a core service, and use the tubes to add 'specials'. Most of these have their loco at one end. I do have one tube with the five locos of the Preservation Society" inside and their reluctance to run smoothly might well be due to dirt in their tube. I am probably quite lucky because locos like my Roco S160 have so many pickups they will rarely if ever stall. Some of my tubes have only rolling stock, so I can run a 'long train' from time to time

 

I just took a swab on the rails at the end of one tube, and retrieved two narrow black lines, one from each top corner on a rail. I'd like to try a firm but absorbent pad on the end of a long handle maybe a foot long but I haven't thought this through and as you say the middle of the tubes will be difficult.

 

A run-through road is an interesting idea and I thought about installing a 1.2m tube as a through connection in the place of Wellwood but decided this was too limiting (I have 0.6 and 0.9m tubes as well) and a conventional baseboard was better.

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