As suggested in the last entry, Congdon's Shop's home will be in boxfiles that were picked up cheaply from a supermarket. I am still not entirely sure what the future holds with my job, but conceivably I could be flying once a week to a mine site in the middle of nowhere. I'm not saying that the layout would be taken, but it would be nice to have the option.
The baseboards themselves have been constructed from plywood and fit into the boxfiles. This gives the baseboards the slightly unusual dimensions of 357 x 235mm or 1' 2 1/16â€ x 9 3/16â€ in old money, as it allows a couple of mm to remove the layout whilst maximizing the available space. I'm not sure whether this means Congdon's shop is a â€œboxfile layout,â€ especially as two boxfiles have been used for the scenic sections and is quite likely that buildings, scenery and stock will be dumped in a further (two). I'll leave that description for others to discuss. The baseboards are 33mm thick, which leaves enough room for some control below the layout.
Construction was based on the same basic structure as south yard, plywood sides glued together by short lengths of hardwood. The 3mm plywood was cut using a high tech stanley knife. For anyone considering the same method, it is much easier to start with a new blade, which I discovered about halfway through after a trip to Wickes. Cutting accuracy was a problem, especially cutting the long side pieces and hence a plane was used in order to ensure that all of the side pieces were the same width.
Using this KISS principle, it should have been really hard to make a mistake. However a slight step was observed about half way along the join between the two boards. This was corrected by sliding a knife in the joint, clearing out the dried glue, applying fresh glue before clamping the rise down.
Departing from south yard, I decided to incorporate an additional plywood baton down the centre of the boards in order to try to stop any warping or sagging. South Yard has only very slightly sagged in the centre of the board. Additional diagonals had also been cut out but upon consultation it was decided that these weren't needed and would be a hindrance.
The other departure was the two blocks of softwood incorporated into the joint side of each baseboard. This will eventually be for the C & L pattern makers dowels, to ensure correct alignment. More by coincidence than planning, the recess incorporated by this is slightly larger than the depth of the dowels.
I couldn't find the dimension of these online, so for those who are planning to use them in the future; the screws supplied are 3/4â€ length with 16mm thread showing when installed, the plate is 1â€ diameter and 3mm thick. finally the dowel itself 8mm diameter and 11mm length.
Keeping the two boards together will be done by a couple of bolts through the softwood blocks. As can be seen in the photograph, when these holes were drilled it dragged some of the side of the block out, coupled with this the bolts are also very tight. Eventually when I make my escape from Cornwall and get access to a drill once again, I will ream these holes out and glue the shown brass tube on the inside. The bolts will pass through these tubes, which I hope will be a more accurate and neat solution that will be less susceptible to wear.
The track plan has been drawn based on the layout of platforms and sidings at Callington. This should mean that one day the layout could be back converted with the addition of more modules and buildings. Unusually this means that coaches have to be propelled back out of the station for the loco to be able to run around, which also happens to be excellent for space saving. A standard CAD package was used to draw the diagram in layers with templates for the points recycled from the planning stages of ST Ruth.
The platform length was determined by the longest train that I was planning to run, which turned out to be a three car Class 118 DMU. Loco hauled trains will only be comprised of 2 coaches, but in reality 3 coaches for specials can be accommodated with a slight overhang. I will concede that the sidings are probably too long, but there are photographs of lots of wagons surrounding Callington station, so who knows maybe not?
I will be using easitrac to build the trackwork, including the milled turnout bases. The turnouts and solitary signal will be controlled using microservo's, should I be able to get them to work. DG couplings will be released using the Gaugemaster EM-1 electromagents to allow for some shunting activities. I only plan to have one controller for wiring simplicity, but isolating switches will be incorporated to allow for more than one loco to be on the layout at a time. Trains will be fed to the layout by cassettes, which will be compatible with my dad's (so I can â€œborrow,â€ if I need extra!)
Once the track plan was decided upon, the diagram was printed out and laid over the baseboards. This highlighted possible issues with the tie bars fouling the sides and were then adjusted accordingly. It also allowed me to check the clearances around the layout between the sidings.
This also gave me an opportunity to play â€œpaper trains,â€ the results of which can be seen in the photographs below with the limited amount of stock that I have.
BHE- WW hybrid Class 118 DMU waits at the platform, and for painting.
A perhaps unlikely scene, Dapol 14xx and autocoachâ€™s waits at platform, whilst the Dapol 2-6-2MT shunts association vans in the yard. Both locos are awaiting replacement chassis, 14xx from the association and the 2-6-2T from Nigel Hunt.
Construction will be delayed for a couple of weeks, due to recovering funds from an celebratory splurge to Hattons for getting an first in my degree. More details of which may appear on the ST Ruth blog soon. Some eagle eyed readers may have noticed a bottle and glass of beverage in one of the photographs, however the question has to be asked â€œHave I Earned it?!â€ (groan...). Predecessors of this glass may have had something to do with the splurge.