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O gauge fiddle yard cassettes query

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Could I please ask the O gauge modellers who use cassettes a couple of questions before I commit to buying a load of supplies to make some for myself?

 

a) what size (non-anodised) ali angle do you use?

 

b) what do you use for the cassette base, and do you treat it in any way (varnish, paint, etc)?

 

c) what do you use for the fiddle yard surface, and do you treat it in any way (varnish, paint, etc)?

 

d) how do you connect track power to the cassettes?

 

I've already been doing some research for a while and so have an idea of what I think I should make, so to answer my own questions here are my thoughts so far:

 

a) 31.8 * 31.8 * 3.2mm - this should produce a strong, rigid cassette with an overall width of 96mm.

 

b) 6mm birch ply, bottom edges rounded off slightly.

 

c) 9mm birch ply. Not sure how well ply on ply will slide?

 

d) docking slots made from smaller & thinner section ali angle on one side of each end of each cassette and the docking track, so that cassettes can be easily joined to each other as well as the docking track. The angle slot should ensure vertical and horizontal alignment as well as power transfer.

 

Other features: lifting handles (I was thinking flat ali bar for the sides and wooden dowel for the crossbar); end stops (must be able to be easily inserted and removed); plasticard or ply strip between the "rails" as flange guides.

 

Any suggestions for improvement gratefully received!

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Could I please ask the O gauge modellers who use cassettes a couple of questions before I commit to buying a load of supplies to make some for myself?

 

a) what size (non-anodised) ali angle do you use?

 

b) what do you use for the cassette base, and do you treat it in any way (varnish, paint, etc)?

 

c) what do you use for the fiddle yard surface, and do you treat it in any way (varnish, paint, etc)?

 

d) how do you connect track power to the cassettes?

 

I've already been doing some research for a while and so have an idea of what I think I should make, so to answer my own questions here are my thoughts so far:

 

a) 31.8 * 31.8 * 3.2mm - this should produce a strong, rigid cassette with an overall width of 96mm.

 

b) 6mm birch ply, bottom edges rounded off slightly.

 

c) 9mm birch ply. Not sure how well ply on ply will slide?

 

d) docking slots made from smaller & thinner section ali angle on one side of each end of each cassette and the docking track, so that cassettes can be easily joined to each other as well as the docking track. The angle slot should ensure vertical and horizontal alignment as well as power transfer.

 

Other features: lifting handles (I was thinking flat ali bar for the sides and wooden dowel for the crossbar); end stops (must be able to be easily inserted and removed); plasticard or ply strip between the "rails" as flange guides.

 

Any suggestions for improvement gratefully received!

We did a test sample of an O gauge cassette, but the resulting length and weight ( 5 coaches and an engine ) made it very unwieldy , we didn’t progress the idea

 

Dave

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We did a test sample of an O gauge cassette, but the resulting length and weight ( 5 coaches and an engine ) made it very unwieldy , we didn’t progress the idea

Dave

I am intending to have multiple cassettes per train, so each loco would have its own, a B-set would have its own, a toad its own and a rake of up to six wagons on another. Maximum length would be about a metre.

 

The goal is not to have to handle the stock any more than absolutely necessary, and I don't have the space for a ladder of sidings using points.

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Sounds like a traverser with a loco and brake van might be a better solution.  0 gauge locos are not good at surviving 3ft drops on to concrete. 

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Be very careful, l have two three foot six cassettes on my 'Grundy Street' layout and they are a night mare to lift and turn with a O gauge class 37 and a couple of wagons on ??

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We had cassettes on our "Ultramarine Works" industrial layout and at 2ft long they worked well. When we went out to 3ft6 for our "Lowick/Scratchy Bottom" layout they were to big so we moved to traversers. In hind site a rotary table would have worked better again.

 

Marc

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Sounds like a traverser with a loco and brake van might be a better solution.  0 gauge locos are not good at surviving 3ft drops on to concrete. 

 

 

Be very careful, l have two three foot six cassettes on my 'Grundy Street' layout and they are a night mare to lift and turn with a O gauge class 37 and a couple of wagons on ??

 

 

We had cassettes on our "Ultramarine Works" industrial layout and at 2ft long they worked well. When we went out to 3ft6 for our "Lowick/Scratchy Bottom" layout they were to big so we moved to traversers. In hind site a rotary table would have worked better again.

 

Marc

 

Oh dear! Look like the consensus is that cassettes in O gauge are not a good idea.

 

Unfortunately I can't see any other solution fitting into my plans with the space I have available.

 

With a traverser I don't see how you avoid handling the stock to swap loco & toad from one end to the other. With a turntable traverser I'd still have to handle the stock to change the make-up of a train, unless I was happy to stick with fixed rakes. I'd considered both these options and others and it seemed to me that cassettes were the most versatile solution.

 

I am hoping to avoid having to lift them too often, and just being able to slide them around on the fiddle board surface. I think I'm just going to have to build a couple and try them out.

 

Thanks for the replies everyone.

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For a couple of months I have used a length of guttering which serves me well so far.

It's more of a sliding motion keeping the weight of the loco on the baseboard rather than a full pick up.

I still need to add some proper packing instead of a Lolly stick but you get the idea.

Some slots to cut in the end of the guttering with something across the opening to prevent anything rolling off.

 

Paul

post-6856-0-62146800-1544289857.jpg

 

post-6856-0-61276800-1544289911.jpg

 

post-6856-0-07963300-1544289941.jpg

 

post-6856-0-43013000-1544289968.jpg

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For a couple of months I have used a length of guttering which serves me well so far.

It's more of a sliding motion keeping the weight of the loco on the baseboard rather than a full pick up.

I still need to add some proper packing instead of a Lolly stick but you get the idea.

Some slots to cut in the end of the guttering with something across the opening to prevent anything rolling off.

Paul

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gif20181208_171640_resized.jpg

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gif20181208_171712_resized.jpg

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gif20181208_171734_resized.jpg

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gif20181208_171800_resized.jpg

I'm starting a nervous sweat just looking at those photos!!

 

I tried a 4ft cassette in O many years ago & soon gave up on the idea - even sliding them about on the baseboard isn't the easiest of things, not helped by how much an O Scale loco can weigh, which will particularly effect trying to lift a cassette up.

So definitely in the "not a good idea for O" camp, here.

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Like I said it's a sliding motion and not a full pick up of the cassette. I too have had issues handling locos with bits being knocked off.

At present this method suits me fine.

 

Paul

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Another vote for guttering here. Separate cassettes for locos avoids a long cassette with weight all at one end. As to end caps, they sell them with the guttering, I just removed the rubber gasket.

 

post-12721-0-70266800-1544292810_thumb.jpg

 

post-12721-0-33112000-1544292868_thumb.jpg

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The guttering idea looks ok, but I think I'd prefer the ply base & aluminium angle approach to give a more rigid cassette to protect the very expensive stock!

 

To answer one of my earlier questions I found some old scrap aluminium angle to experiment with to find out what size I should use. (This is not the profile I'll be using, and is only being used to gauge to best overall width for each cassette).

 

First decision is that 3mm thick is too much - I'll go with 1.5mm. According to the GOG standards, O-FS wheel flanges should never exceed this.

 

Then, what width? The following photos show the difference between 19mm, 25mm & 30mm.

19mm:

post-33485-0-52599700-1544470626.jpg

25mm:

post-33485-0-16076600-1544470627.jpg

30mm:

post-33485-0-80292300-1544470627.jpg

 

To my mind the first two are both a bit tight for O gauge.

 

The 30mm looks good, and should give sufficient space between the stock and the upright to add handles, etc. This will give an overall cassette width of 92mm.

 

Now to find the best place to order aluminium angle cut to size...

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Personally, I would have thought the narrower the better to stop stock falling over sideways - with handles on the outside.  The point of cassettes is surely that you don't shift stock around by hand, so don't need room for that?

 

Cheers

 

Chris

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Personally, I would have thought the narrower the better to stop stock falling over sideways - with handles on the outside.  The point of cassettes is surely that you don't shift stock around by hand, so don't need room for that?

 

Cheers

 

Chris

 

Hi Chris, I get your point but I've ordered the ali angle now so I'll put a trial cassette together when I have all the bits and see what it's like.

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When we built the cassettes for East Dean, we used 2x1" aluminium angle, with the wheels running on the edge of the short leg. The angle w 3mm thick, which made it stout enough to pick the cassette up by gripping by the sides. With the hindsight of experience, the only thing that we would have done differently would be to have laid the angles to 31.25mm gauge. The problem we had was that it was easy to get a wagon running with the wheels on one side running on their flanges on the angle with the opposite side wheels derailed inside the edge of the angle. Re-railing could be tricky with low height wagons.

 

Jim

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On thing we found when operating DC there wasn't a need to insulate the sides as when you cut the power to the loco the current went as well. If you operated DCC you got a tingling sensation as the AC current was still flowing. We had to put plastic tape one the sides to insulate it.

Marc

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A bit of progress to report. I now have the necessary materials so have put together my first test bed cassette.

Here are the parts:

P1160127.JPG.e0c7c2a7ec2cfa3d962447cc1f10f2a7.JPG

 

9mm ply base, 100mm wide, length to suit the particular loco (in this case probably a Pannier or Class 08).

The (non-anodised) aluminium angle is 1.25" * 1.25" * 1/16" (31.8mm * 31.8mm * 1.6mm).

This leaves a gap of ~2mm along each side between the angle and the edge of the ply so that two cassettes can be pushed together without the aluminium sides touching.

 

The parts dry-fitted (the ruler in the middle is exactly 32mm wide so makes a perfect track gauge):

P1160128.JPG.8216501bf663d3bcdb97e3b9b8de4ad0.JPG

 

I have no idea what the best adhesive is for gluing aluminium to ply so this first attempt will be a test of two possible types, PVA (Resin W) and Sticks Like Sh*t:

P1160129.JPG.b7d0701fb1ec32ea5f5b1703921f6fd6.JPG

 

First piece of angle glued down with PVA:

P1160130.JPG.85091b738dc04b0279ef7f00cdd7696a.JPG

 

Second piece of angle glued down with Sticks Like Sh*t:

P1160132.JPG.7368f015d59dd854d88b0d3198b17cab.JPG

 

This will now be left to set for 24 hours...

 

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End stops for the cassettes will be made from the following bits:

P1160133.JPG.21d0bab2c22d30be10e6d83e3641cd83.JPG

 

The larger piece on the left was my "proof of concept" test, which I was pleased with so decided to stick with.

The two smaller pieces are the width and height of the aluminium angle so fit nicely in the ends of the cassette, although it is the tails on the brackets that hold them securely in place.

The white stops are 5mm foam board (the stuff used for outdoor signs, not the spongy stuff sold by Hobbycraft etc). This is very light, rigid and strong.

The fittings are shelf brackets (the hole needs widening slightly to accept the stud). The studs are belt rivets.

 

Holes marked and drilled:

P1160134.JPG.85ebeb3bd649a77a4d4a988dd445184d.JPG

 

The finished end stops:

P1160135.JPG.d638e0fad337d54af7adaf04b3dde344.JPG

 

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The glue has been left for 24 hours so time for a test to see which (if either) adhesive is up to the job.

Test weights:

P1160136.JPG.a130635a413ff3da87ef6fe2de491af0.JPG

 

3lb (1.36kg), 5lb (2.27kg) & 3kg (6.6lb).

 

Cassette suspended by the angle on one side only:

P1160137.JPG.4d744921c73599585c290802cc458f39.JPG

 

The weight will be taken by the adhesive bond between the ply and the clamped piece of angle, so ought to be a fair test.

The 3lb & 5lb weights were tried first and neither adhesive failed, so up to the 3kg weight. Sticks Like Sh*t:

P1160138.JPG.db8b44cb9d7790f02a9d35a2d8a93ec9.JPG

 

And PVA:

P1160139.JPG.11351b2a4f17cab4ad4fec94ad907c51.JPG

 

Both sides held without any apparent distress.

 

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Next up, the holes were drilled to take the end stops:

 

P1160140.JPG.eb6478f0c13ad9dbbf6d263f1170e966.JPG

 

This cassette is still a work in progress, so still needs the ply rubbing down and treated and the aluminium polishing.

Here I've just placed some spacers which will be replaced by a strip of ply or card in between the rails to aid locating stock on the rails.

A Minerva Iron Mink does gauge testing:

 

P1160141.JPG.11114d7b47cc39ff40a4ca028b777969.JPG

 

The end stops are comfortably above buffer level on the stock:

 

P1160142.JPG.f499651ec997d0717e4762d1c0a3d501.JPG

 

Hope this might be of use to someone in the future...

 

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Having wimped out at 3kg in the earlier weight test I then found that a Heljan Class 37 is heavier than this, so here we have 10lb (4.54kg):

 

P1160144.JPG.a90c50b1a94b04fbbc944c3cf545bb28.JPG

 

Both sides still happy with that, so 11.6lb (5.27kg):

 

P1160145.JPG.1ccb9877ce2a46ee84bd0a0c09a86699.JPG

 

P1160146.JPG.730dd874656c3078d69e221e83f5dcba.JPG

 

And finally, 16.6lb (7.54kg):

 

P1160147.JPG.cedcf4bad056a179ad66d73d8ac5f89a.JPG

 

P1160148.JPG.f802cce0132049807082e257e60d2da8.JPG

 

Both adhesives passed this test.

I found the PVA to be easier to work with so I think I'll probably stick (sorry) with that.

NB: the angle sides are only attached with glue, nothing else.

 

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On 08/12/2018 at 18:16, colin penfold said:

Another vote for guttering here. Separate cassettes for locos avoids a long cassette with weight all at one end. As to end caps, they sell them with the guttering, I just removed the rubber gasket.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_12_2018/post-12721-0-70266800-1544292810.jpg

 

Permit me to say that that idea with the contacts is brilliant.  I bow down before your awesomness.

 

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I"m liking this idea with the guttering simple and effective. Also not a chance getting a 3A AC shock.

Marc

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