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Burton-on-Trent South - Upper Level Baseboards

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Upper Baseboard - Framework

 

As I mentioned in the previous posting, the Upper Level baseboards have taken me days to design, draw up, correct, tweak, and generally fiddle with until they meet my requirements of being sufficiently clear of the Ramp tracks, and be capable of being slid out:heat:. All the 'work' has been on the framework to support the baseboards. I haven't yet drawn in any mid-board stiffeners, but these can be adjusted to suit later (including avoiding point motors):unknw_mini:.

 

In the 3D renderings below each element of the baseboard is colour coded as follows:

  • BROWN - Baseboard
  • ORANGE - Frame
  • DARK GREEN - Baseboard vertical 'step' (where there is a dropped area)
  • CYAN - Runners to permit sliding out of the baseboard
  • PURPLE - Perimeter timbering & support

Here's a view looking down from opposite the window. I hope you can see the downward gradient, starting top-right, in a clockwise direction:

911162214_modelrailwayPlan43-finalisingupperbaseboards13.jpg.e88bbcce1ea72b2b3dd3716263d0b9c9.jpg

And here's what it looks like looking up at the underside from opposite the window:

1005988562_modelrailwayPlan43-finalisingupperbaseboards12.jpg.4eed1e8c52ad155a780bd0c8a00525b5.jpg

There were a few places where the Runners and/or the Framework was so low that it caused interference with the Ramp tracks below :mad_mini:. At those locations the Runner is cut into 2 separate sections, and BLUE triangles added to support the resulting cantilever:biggrin_mini2:. The Runners only take any weight when the baseboard is being inserted or removed, so it shouldn't cause a problem - famous last words ...

Where it is necessary to have gaps in the Framework, these will be stiffened by adding aluminium 'L' angles.

 

It's been something of a mission this Upper Baseboard, but I think I've now cracked the major hurdles :dance_mini:.

 

To anyone out there building baseboards, I can recommend drawing it up in a CAD program (or similar) before you commit to cutting and assembly. It helps with dimensions and avoids costly mistakes (or mistakes that take ages to fix!) when actually building.

 

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Upper Baseboard - Framework

 

Lest there be any doubt (another good Contract Document term - usually where the text lacks all clarity!) regarding the usefulness of drawing the layout in 3D, here are two examples showing the problems I was encountering and how being able to adjust the drawing in 3D eventually provided a solution, after much head scratching and hammering on the keyboard:banghead:.

 

First, under the baseboards at the Window end. Here is a view looking to the Door side (Window on the left) with Connection 1 (down Ramp) on the left with Connection 2 (up Ramp) on the right.

You can clearly:sarcastichand: see how/where the 'gaps' in the Upper Level baseboard supports provide enough clearance to the Connection 2 Ramp tracks:

1009208998_modelrailwayPlan44-LLxover1.jpg.00de3a779fc38aaa91e0df532d235140.jpg

 

Secondly, under the baseboards opposite the Door (Window in the Distance) with Connection 1 (down Ramp) on the left with Connection 2 (up Ramp) on the right.

As in the previous example you can clearly:declare: see how/where the 'gaps' in the Upper Level baseboard supports provide enough clearance to the Connection 1 Ramp tracks. Please ignore the American locomotive in the distance:stop: - the software doesn't include any UK rolling stock:sorry::

1446855470_modelrailwayPlan44-LLxover2.jpg.924a999f8d56d38f4c989b6ab050f4c2.jpg

 

The software also enables the creation of videos:good:, for example a drivers eye view as you move around the layout, but I haven't worked out how to import them into RMWeb:wild: due to the rather enormous filesizes involved. If anyone can help in this regard it would be appreciated:help:.

 

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Upper Baseboard - Rendering

 

Now that the Upper Level baseboards are in a 'reasonable' state:danced:, it's possible to have a better look at what the Upper Level should look like once completed.

Below are two renderings from the CAD software, showing the Upper Level.

 

The first one is looking from Opposite the Window (Door on the right). The station is off to the bottom left, with the road level elevated. The blue 'wall' is a scenic break hiding the Ramp Tracks coming up from the Lower Level. The Fueling Point is bottom-right.

55495764_modelrailwayPlan44-LLxover1.jpg.79f0bd62e19c3b014626674b915f9169.jpg

 

The second one is looking from the Window (Door on the left). The Brewery Buildings are in orange, and the Brewery Lines passing under the mainlines can be seen in the lower-right. In the top-left are the two Leicester Lines branching off from the Mainlines. In front of the blue 'wall' (scenic break) the Leicester Lines & Mainlines pass under the station at the top-right from where they go down the Ramp to the Lower Level.

811569765_modelrailwayPlan44-LLxover2.jpg.9f0be8f6a867a075b47d2503b1c84fdf.jpg

 

Hopefully this all makes sense. I'm sure that if I described it in text, no one would understand a thing!:rtfm:

 

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On 04/05/2020 at 18:39, ISW said:

*snip*

The software also enables the creation of videos:good:, for example a drivers eye view as you move around the layout, but I haven't worked out how to import them into RMWeb:wild: due to the rather enormous filesizes involved. If anyone can help in this regard it would be appreciated:help:.

 

 

Found it ...

There's an article in RMWeb about posting videos at:

 

 

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On 03/05/2020 at 16:55, ISW said:

Upper Baseboard - Track Layout

 

... with my layout design such that I was having all kinds of trouble designing the Upper Level baseboards such that they would support the Upper Level trackwork and be clear of the Ramp Tracks underneath.

 

Now this may not look like much progress, but it's like an iceberg. 90% of the work is underneath the Upper Level baseboards! I'll explain later.

 

 

For reference your first point above is why i kept my scenic section to one side of the garage only to avoid the low hanging clearances from an all round the room upper level.

 

Totally agree on the matter that 90% if not more of the work is underneath the top baseboards - plus when the top baseboards go down you still have to go underneath to wire up and add everything else that needs to be out of view. 

 

Keep taking your time in the planning out stage as it will come to fruition eventually - like mine now it has been 2 years after starting from the garage floor upwards.

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On 04/05/2020 at 18:39, ISW said:

Upper Baseboard - Framework

 

You can clearly:sarcastichand: see how/where the 'gaps' in the Upper Level baseboard supports provide enough clearance to the Connection 2 Ramp tracks:

1009208998_modelrailwayPlan44-LLxover1.jpg.00de3a779fc38aaa91e0df532d235140.jpg

 

 

 

Reading through the rest of the topic i assume you are not running electric trains?

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11 hours ago, TrentValleyRailway said:

 

Reading through the rest of the topic i assume you are not running electric trains?

Matt,

 

I presume by 'electric trains' you mean those with overhead line equipment (OHLE). Burton-on-Trent has never been on any Network Rail (or BR!) plans for electrification and remains diesel only to this day (and probably for the foreseeable  future as well). 

I'm modelling the mid-1970s when BR blue diesels ruled the rails, but that doesn't stop me running a few in BR green ... The newest diesel I'll run will be a class 56. Even the class 58 is too late for the era.

 

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11 hours ago, TrentValleyRailway said:

 

For reference your first point above is why i kept my scenic section to one side of the garage only to avoid the low hanging clearances from an all round the room upper level.

 

Totally agree on the matter that 90% if not more of the work is underneath the top baseboards - plus when the top baseboards go down you still have to go underneath to wire up and add everything else that needs to be out of view. 

 

Keep taking your time in the planning out stage as it will come to fruition eventually - like mine now it has been 2 years after starting from the garage floor upwards.

Matt,

 

It still might be worth looking at making the 'inner' one of your ramps, at the upper level, part of scenic section in the future. Assuming it's not 'too' steep.

 

With so little clearance under my Upper Level baseboards, there is no chance of me doing insitu installation of the wiring (not without a chiropractor, lots of yoga, and much longer arms:sarcastichand:) . That's why I've designed the Upper Level baseboards to be removable (as are the Lower Level baseboards & ramps). Yes, it does introduce a lot of 'joints' into the layout, but at least I have the comfort of knowing I can remove a baseboard for installation of the wiring, servos for turnouts, and also any future upgrades, modifications, and troubleshooting.

 

Planning:read: is about all I've done in 2020, and I'm currently preparing the Upper Level baseboards & support structure in SketchUp. Hopefully, that'll be finished in a few weeks. Then it's a case of finding somewhere to buy the timber, with all the Covid-19 restrictions in place.

The original design started in the winter of 2017 into spring 2018. I started building in the summer of 2018 with the overall baseboard support structure for all levels. The Lower Level Baseboards were done in the Autumn. Winter 2018 was track laying. Summer of 2019 was building the ramps and track laying.

 

The main thing to remember is that this is a hobby to be enjoyed:good:.

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Upper Baseboards - Detailing

 

As noted in previous postings, it took a lot of work, but I finally managed to get the Upper Baseboards drawn up in the track layout software 3rdPlanIt:heat:. It's not really the best software for drawing baseboards:banghead:, but it did help me to come up with a design that gave the required clearances to the underlying Ramp Tracks.

 

In order to 'properly' design the Upper Baseboards I decided to try my hand at SketchUp, not having ever used it before:read:. I watched a YouTube video on the "Woodworking for Mere Mortals" channel that was really helpful and gave me the basic knowledge I needed to start using SketchUp.

 

I was, to a certain extent, simply duplicating the design I already had in 3rdPlanIt:unknw_mini:, but this time I was able to properly dimension each timber element, and design the joinery (and I use the word joinery loosely, as it's all butt joints and screws:rtfm:) such that it would be possible to actually build it.

 

Here is a view of the Upper Baseboards in SketchUp:

613263704_2-Baseboards.jpg.36e2570ad103c595fdd6b87391e36f8c.jpg

 

And here is the same view with the baseboards 'turned off' showing the framing:

78463739_1-Frame.jpg.5efbd480ba5daa4c7bb6d539492a5f2e.jpg

 

The colours in the above view are to differentiate:

  • Grey - Vertical supports
  • Purple - Edge perimeter frame
  • Orange - Timber framing (44x18mm)
  • Yellow - 12mm plywood framing
  • Cyan - Sliding supports

The following view shows the Upper Baseboards from a lower angle:

1042049108_4-underside.jpg.2f3824ff4a4fbcd895e31f89452bebea.jpg

 

One of the main advantages of doing the drawing this way is that I can isolate separate baseboards, producing views that I can actually use to build the baseboards:good:. Here is one of Baseboard G:

312912140_5-justG.jpg.ed7a1bbb0c747d81e54c8df277115c63.jpg

 

Now at present, the Baseboards are designed with 'upper' and 'lower' levels (as above) to accommodate the planned Upper Baseboard track levels. However, these are simply basic rectangles at present and really need to be fine tuned (aka 'tweaked') to suit the track alignment.

 

To that end, I managed to find a way to get the track layout from 3rdPlanIt into SketchUp:mail:. The track layout was exported from 3rdPlanIt as Bitmap views. These were then cropped in ACDsee to the size of the individual baseboards A through J, still as Bitmaps. These Bitmaps were then imported into Xara Designer Pro and exported as PNG files, but with the background set as transparent. Each of these PNG files were then used as 'textures' in SketchUp. If you understood that lot I'm well impressed!

 

However, the result was:

683688442_3-TrackMap.jpg.787d67a55cb0ce3141586f38ce1e6bdf.jpg

 

This will make it much easier to 'tweak' the Upper Baseboards to match the track alignment in areas like in the view below:

301213265_6-tweaking.jpg.dc7af520342bfdd71ccedc7de1d337ef.jpg 

Still plenty more to finalise, and more to learn about SketchUp to do the changes, but I'm hopeful that actual timberwork can commence in June.

 

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Upper Baseboards - Cutting Plan

 

With the design of the Upper Baseboards nearing finalisation:paint: , it was time to consider ordering the necessary plywood. But how many sheets to buy?:help:

 

So, it was back to the software:read: to see the 'best' way to fit the various baseboard plywood elements into standard 2440x1220mm sheets.

 

And here is the result, 4 sheets it just about enough; assuming I don't make any cutting mistakes or change the design too much:

 

361639401_UpperBaseboards-Cutting.jpg.83cc7877f3ae4045b6d1dc1a9308cf7a.jpg

 

I don't know how others do this, but I find this method to be reasonably quick and accurate.

 

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If the precision of the finished layout is anything like that used in planning for the framework and baseboards, it will be very special.

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Do your ply-cutting plans take account of the thickness of your saw blade and it's teeth, particularly the ply sheet top right above? (Ask me why I pose the question !! )

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