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Jamiel

Ellerby - 4mm, buildings, rolling stock, scratch & kit building.

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you've certainly put a lot of thought into this. I wonder just how many people would be horrified to learn my layout consists of mainly Hornby Set curves/points with Hornby and Peco code 100 flexi?... The thought of building points fries my brain!

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I thought that C&L kits/track could be built to OO, EM, P4, just depending on how far you set your track gauge to?

 

Hi Jamie,

 

The C&L track components can indeed be used to build track to any gauge of your choice. But the actual kits are supplied with track gauges and templates for one specific gauge.

 

in the case of the 00 gauge kits, it is important to note that they are supplied with gauges to the DOGA Fine standard. This requires your rolling stock to have the wheels widened to 16.8mm back-to-back (after which they won't run on Peco track and will therefore have almost zero resale value).

 

It makes much more sense to discard the C&L gauges and build the kits to 00-SF standard, which doesn't have those disadvantages.

 

The kits can't be built to the wider 00-BF standard because they are supplied with 1.0mm crossing flangeway gaps (the ones supplied with assembled crossings).

 

Some news about track developments for 00-SF has been trailed by DCCConcepts -- http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=26783&view=findpost&p=308810  and may be worth waiting for.

 

Martin.

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Thanks for that Martin.

 

I wasn't aware that the kits came with those specific gauges. I have watched track being built at my local club, where I was a member until I moved to Ireland. I am back in Leeds, but haven't had chance to rejoin the club. I did get some good advice there too, and was told it was not as hard as it looks.

 

I did download Templot, but did find it a bit awkward to try and learn. I have taken a couple of point plans into Photoshop to reshape them (cut and rotate and paste little sections, was the old paper method), but it doesn't fully work, as there is more movement to the track than just that.

 

He is how far I have got with that (50% scale on the orginal JPEG), the blue lines are a guide to where I want the track to go.

PointPlan1.jpg

 

I don't feel that the lie of the sleepers is working well, or that the 'slew' on the right side of the single slip is correct. I could rework the sleepers, of course. I would assume that they would always stay perpendicular to the main line, and the crossing section be at an angle to them.

 

As I currently have two other pieces of software to learn, After Effects and Maya, and because I only have between 3 and 5 points to make, I will probably ask if I can pay someone to make and print out the plans for this.

 

In the long run I know learning Templot will be useful, but I doubt that I would need to use it for a few years yet, apart from this little section, plus After Effects and Maya will be a big software learning process.

 

Freebs - I wouldn't worry about using the track you are comfortable with, everyone has their own needs from a layout. Running stock is quite low on my priorities right now, nothing has moved on mine for well over a month, I enjoy the building more than anything, so that is what I focus on, that and wanting to buy certain locos, although building brass locos is something that I really want to try soon. If that takes off, there will no doubt be even more building, and even less running of stock, at least for a while. Just enjoy your layout how you want to, especially if it is with your children.

 

Jamie

Edited by Jamiel
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Guest jonte

Hi Jamie.

 

It would appear you are determined to have a bash at building your own track work for which you have my utmost respect and admiration and I wish you all the very best.

 

However, for what it's worth and from the experiences of a complete but keen novice, might I add that the only way you'll be able to achieve realistic trackwork AND run RTR stock out of the box, is to build your track to DOGA Intermediate standards which are, more or less, the dimensions used by Peco. Whether your stock, on the other hand, will run smoothly through the crossing is anyone's guess (again, just like Peco).

 

I have indeed purchased and built a C & L kit as you intend - supplied with roller gauges to DOGA Fine as Martin correctly points out - which I initially built using the supplied gauges, but quickly changed to 'OO-SF' using the appropriate gauges (including flangeway and guard rail gauges) supplied by 'Polybear' of this parish and I have to admit to achieving a modicum of success. Yes: RTR stock runs exceptionally smoothly over the crossings and switch rails, of this there is no doubt. However, my only RTR loco at the time (a Hornby M7) could not be coaxed to pass through the crossing without applying full power via the controller. The problem, it transpired, was that one set of driving wheels was too close together and required 'easing out'. I followed advice and used the flat of a screwdriver blade to complete the operation and, success, it ran through beautifully. However, the adjusted wheel set was now skewed like the loose wheel of a cow boy wagon train prior to turning turtle while being pursued by 'them there injuns!' Totally unsatisfactory. I then built a couple more points to 'OO-SF' using the same gauges but this time using my preferred method of rails soldered straight to PCB - don't look as nice but far more robust than those C&L placcy things - over which I attempted to run my recently purchased Bachmann City of London. Yes, you've guessed it: like the M7 before, it refused to go through the crossing unless full voltage was applied. Again, I was advised to alter the offending wheel set(s). But this was an outside framed loco and the prospect of messing with well over a hundred quids worth of locomotive filled me with dread. I put it straight back into its box where it has remained.

 

Now, having said all this, I feel a bit of a hypocrite as I'm about to build a small layout using the few points referred to. Locos to be purchased will include a Black 5 and a wealth of Manors, Granges and Halls as the subject is mainline terminus themed. However, I'd decided that if this idea was to come to fruition, I was not prepared to leave to chance the ability of any manufacturer to ensure that ALL wheels were set to an appropriate gauge - you'd be extremely lucky IMHO to find that this was the case - and as there was no way in the world that I intended to go back to prising out any offending wheelsets with a mere screwdriver, I successfully located and purchased a tool made for the purpose from none other than Germany; and what a rigmarole that was! Still, even with the right tool to hand, I know that I will have to somehow remove complicated valve gear sets from the wheels of any future locos to get at the wheel centres so as to use the tool, a concept which still frightens me if I'm honest. Still, feint heart never won fair maiden so I will go ahead no matter what, hopefully with the kind assistance of an experienced RMWeber to hand.

 

Now, although Martin has your best interests at heart - and I know from personal experience he is indeed most generous at helping we novices get started on this road and I thank him for that - I cannot agree with his claim that RTR stock will run through first time straight out of the box, as my experiences have shown. Perhaps there are some examples out there that have, but I would venture they're the exception rather than the rule, and I would implore manufacturers to agree a standard and improve their quality control to ensure that it is met, consistently. Until then, finding a RTR that goes through pointwork first time and without some alteration having to be made, is somewhat of a lottery. And of course, the luxury of merely altering the gauge of offending wheelsets  can only be limited to (steam) locos: Diesels, wagons and coaches will have to have theirs replaced as per DOGA Fine, EM gauge and P4 so a cost will be incurred.

 

Just before I close, and returning to the subject of C&L Finescale kits: may I say the finished result looks great. However, built as supplied, they are fragile and will require some 'beefing up'. To do so, ensure that the plastic sleepers around the crossing nose, guard rails and switch rails are replaced with PCB ones also available from C&L and also replace the plastic chairs in those locations with the brass variety which were formally Exactoscale and are now supplied by C&L (I believe PH Designs and Masokits (P4) also supply this type of chair but will require fabricating). From memory, the ready formed crossing with wing rails was 'wonky' with the flangeway on one side out of true. This necessitated me unsoldering it and reforming it using the flangeway gauges I obtained from Polybear.

 

Believe it or not, I'm really not trying to put you off, or be controversial, but just trying to regale you with the tale of one who has already trod the path you intend to take. It can be both enjoyable and extremely frustrating, although I would be fibbing if I were to say they were experienced in equal measure.

 

Good luck, once again Jamie, and best wishes,

 

Jonte

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Thanks for that Jonte.

 

There is one main reason for wanting to go the built track route, which is so that I can have a constant curve throughout this section. If it would avoid the problems you have mentioned, I would not have any problem compromising the positioning of the guide rails to match that of Peco track. I am not looking for a perfect representation of how points should look.

 

I presume that it is the guide rails trapping the wheels that is causing the problem? Is it possible that beefing up the points have made then too inflexible, and so caused the sticking problems?

 

I would be interested to hear if others have had similar problems, and what solutions they have come up with. I certainly do not wish to alter the rolling stock, and do not wish to go down the EM, P4, etc. route.

 

Hopefully when I get chance to go to the club in Leeds again, I can get some advice, as they are building track for a layout designed to run OO gauge RTR as well as kit built stock.

 

I am planning to use a mixture of plastic and PCB to beef up the points, and the brass chairs sound a good idea. I have already used soldered PCB sleepers on some of the Peco points I have tweaked to hold the ends at the right angle, and of course at the joins of the base boards - it is a movable layout, although like Sandside's Baccup, it is not sectioned in a way to allow it to be moved easily enough to go to any but the very nearest shows.

 

Any more advice on this would be most welcome.

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Hi Jonte,

 

Many modellers have tried 00-SF and reported excellent results with recent RTR models. However, it's true that you are reliant on the manufacturer's quality control. You didn't quote any dimensions, but my opinion would be that if a wheelset is less than 14.3mm back-to-back it is faulty, and the model should be returned to the supplier.

 

If you don't want to think about wheels, then use the long-established 00-BF standard (DOGA Intermediate) instead. However you won't get such smooth running through the crossings with some of the finer kit wheels. Gauges for 00-BF are available from Markits, SMP, NMRA, but NOT from C&L.

 

regards,

 

Martin.

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Thanks for the information Martin.

 

As I really don't get smooth running through the points there at the moment, so adding kit built points will make an improvement anyway. Presumable, if the track is built to the same widths as Peco points then there should not be any worse running than through those anyway, except for any incongruities in my making of the kit.

 

I may try some of my stock on the new layout at the Leeds club before I make a start on building the points, and then make a decision based your, and other club members advice.

 

It is interesting to hear what others have encountered when making points, and the solutions to the problem.

 

I will post some more progress on the goods building soon, but the photos I took this evening weren't clear (not enough light to get a fast enough shutter to stop blur).

 

Jamie

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Thanks for that Jonte.

 

There is one main reason for wanting to go the built track route, which is so that I can have a constant curve throughout this section. If it would avoid the problems you have mentioned, I would not have any problem compromising the positioning of the guide rails to match that of Peco track. I am not looking for a perfect representation of how points should look.

 

I presume that it is the guide rails trapping the wheels that is causing the problem? Is it possible that beefing up the points have made then too inflexible, and so caused the sticking problems?

 

I would be interested to hear if others have had similar problems, and what solutions they have come up with. I certainly do not wish to alter the rolling stock, and do not wish to go down the EM, P4, etc. route.

 

Hopefully when I get chance to go to the club in Leeds again, I can get some advice, as they are building track for a layout designed to run OO gauge RTR as well as kit built stock.

 

I am planning to use a mixture of plastic and PCB to beef up the points, and the brass chairs sound a good idea. I have already used soldered PCB sleepers on some of the Peco points I have tweaked to hold the ends at the right angle, and of course at the joins of the base boards - it is a movable layout, although like Sandside's Baccup, it is not sectioned in a way to allow it to be moved easily enough to go to any but the very nearest shows.

 

Any more advice on this would be most welcome.

 

No problem, Jamie; I'm really trying not to be the harbinger of doom I appear, just trying to introduce some balance to the case for 'OO-SF'. 

 

As you can see, I'm not against the idea, just trying to point out the pitfalls the newcomer (especially) might face. Again, these problems aren't insurmountable provided you have the right tools to deal with any shortcomings and if anybody is considering this route, I'm only too happy to let you know details of the tool required and its retailer. As Martin points out, there are those fortunate enough not to have experienced the challenges I've faced, but it's only right and fitting that you should be aware of any potential pitfalls before you make your choice.

Ironically, my test vehicle, a Bachmann van, ran straight through the crossing first time every time (straight out of the box!!!) it's just the darned locos that needed coaxing.

 

To answer your question, Jamie, yes: it is indeed the check rail (I erroneously referred to it as a 'guard rail' in my previous post) that is the fly in the ointment if the wheels aren't set to the correct gauge as Martin points out. To be fair, the check rail is in the right place - set using the appropriate gauge remember and supplied by Polybear - and is just the consequence of incorrect btbs of wheelsets (either too far apart or, more often, too close together that are the problem). 

Also, flexibility is something you DON'T want with track work. For instance, my existing C&L point mentioned in my previous post has yet to be beefed up; consequently, when I try to clean the rail tops with a piece of denim, the check rails move forwards and back wards in the process!!! As I've no wish to pull it apart yet again, I intend to add a drop of superglue between the chairs and check rails both sides to eliminate the problem. My next one, however, will be built as I've described using metal chairs at vital locations (btw, if I apply too much force to the switch rails, the adjacent stock rail moves with it!). My ten a penny but not as 'good looking' PCB jobs have none of these little foibles.

One other point (ahum!!) is that with points built to 'OO-SF' standards, you may experience some tightness around the area of the switch blades which I've not experienced with other gauges. However, Martin has a method of overcoming this problem (without resprting to GWR type 'joggles' in the stock rails) which is marked on his excellent templates - please don't try and attempt any of this, Jamie, without recourse to these - and this is to put a straight bend in the diverging stock rail of particular length PRIOR to the point at which the stock rail begins to curve. Don't worry, Martin provides the dimensions of each 'bend' for different types of point on his templates (I think I'm right in saying that a B6 type requires a straight bend of 29mm in length(?)).

 

Finally, I would recommend purchasing a btb gauge made for the purpose from DCC Concepts to assist with ensuring consistent wheel standards compatible with 'OO-SF'. I'm in the process of securing one and they're much easier to use than a Vernier gauge. Incidentally, I'm assured that if the 'OO-SF' btb gauge I've described is used to set the btbs of ALL RTRs, they will run through PECO point work (the Code 75 finescale variety anyway) as smooth as silk, so even if you eventually elect to stay with Peco, Jamie, it might be well worth forking out the twenty quid (plus postage) or so required to overcome this annoying  shortfall with proprietary track.

 

Hope this helps and please don't hesitate to ask if need you more info, even if I'm not wholly sure of the 'tecnicul' jargon involved. I'm afraid it's only bargain basement advice from me.

 

Best wishes,

 

Jonte

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Thanks Jonte.

 

That is a real help. Hopefully I will be able to make a start on this section of track work in a few weeks time.

 

Jamie

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I have done some more work on the goods building, but nothing really worth showing more photos of. I have cut a platform base piece, but need to work on that before it is anything other than a shaped piece of thin ply.

 

In the meantime, the next building has started to be planned, the North end, No.2 signal box. The South No.1 signal box will be based (very closely, in fact copied) from the box at Castleford Gates, which is a listed building, sadly now falling into disrepair. It is a beautiful building, and like the Plaistow Water Tower is something inspiring to model. As I need a box at the other end of the station I have been searching for reference for a box to fit at that end. I started a thread, and got some very interesting replies, especially about the necessity of signal men to cross their legs in busy times, see: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/72780-sunderland-station-signal-box/

 

Here is my initial front plan for the North end box, which is a cross between the Castleford Gates and Sherbun boxes. I wanted something a little larger than the Castleford Station box, and I also wanted to position it between the goods and passenger lines, in a similar position to the Sunderland Station box.

 

SignalBox2a.jpg

Any comments, feedback, advice, will be greatly appreciated as always.

Jamie

 

EDIT - no sooner do I post a plan, than I spot a problem, this elevation was drawn over a corner pinned photo of the Sherburn box, and the perspective shift has slewed the windows on the ground level to the left, I will count the bricks and even them out. There will be more tweaks no doubt, the chimney will need to be position correctly too, but is just thrown on to gove a feel of how it will look.

Edited by Jamiel
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An updated plan of the North Signal Box at 50% scale (on the original JPEG). The lower floor windows have been centered better, and some alterations to the windows.

BoxPlan1.jpg

 

Here is a current plan of the layout to show where the box will be situated, just north of the road bridge, with the steps facing the tunnel mouths.

PlanJun13.jpg

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Very informative thread which I have just enjoyed reading. I have been using adobe Illustrator for track plans and building plans as work on a Apple mac in my job.

Keep up the good work.

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Back to the goods building, here seen sitting in position, although behind the bit of track  wish to replace. I am making the platform part of this construction, as I want to avoid the gaps that can happen at the bottom of buildings (pet hate, sorry), and so give it a feel of weight and solidity of construction.

 

Goods42.jpg

Starting to add the paving slabs. 7mm Slaters paving, plus a little 4mm here and there, scored into to give cracks, and some randomness to the laying of them. Lots of filling with the Humbrol Plastic Filler, which I think I have a bit of an obsession with.

Goods43.jpg

 

Here is a quick look at the chimneys. I couldn't get on with the Milliput method for the concrete, so I put on layers of plasticard, filed down, and then filled with Humbrol filler, yet again.

 

Goods44.jpg

 

More paving.

 

Goods45.jpg

 

I have also added the little brick detail that sticks out of the front of the building, not exactly sure what I will add under the window, but I do want to add some detail. Perhaps those sloped top boxes salt for spreading on the platforms on frosty days, probably also some brick detail too. I will check the photos again, but I don't think I have any shots of what is there, just a hint at the edge of the door.

It will also have a 'Goods Office' printed sign (I will check the make for my next post). You can also see the undercoated doors, ready for the washes of thinned red.

Goods46.jpg

 

More soon, hopefully.

Jamie

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Absolutely brilliant work, Jamie. Love it!

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Quick post.

The back, ready to start painting.

 

Goods47.jpg

I will detail the layers of painting, since I was asked about this before. I have done a few bits to tidy up brick work, details, and sanded over the paving and edges of the ground brick course before painting.

I am just painting in the areas that were not previously done around the front windows with Humbrol Matt 70, brick red (the same as I did before). It doesn't pick up that well in the photos, as it is very similar to the slaters card colour. It will now have to be left for at least 24 hours to dry, and last time I left it for 3 days. It does have to be completely dry before the next stage, so no rushing it, and I can make a start on the signal box frame, or do some bootleg CD covers in the mean time.

Goods48.jpg
Goods49.jpg

Might be a couple of days before any updates now for that drying time.

Jamie

Edited by Jamiel
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The next stage of the painting. First a clear shot of the front right now the brick red (Humbrol Matt 70 enamel) has dried.
Goods50.jpg

 

Humbrol Matt 121 stone enamel, panted on. Stirred each time I fill the brush so that you get a thick paint with plenty of pigment, not just the solvent part. Roughly painted on, but make sure it fulls the mortar course recess, and let it stand for a minute or two, but don't let it set (wouldn't be a disaster if it did, it would just mean a little more work later).

Goods51.jpg

 

Now wiped off with a kitchen towel. This doesn't work brilliantly on a wall with so much detail, but will be dry brushed over anyway. No worry about the mortar being uneven, it looks better that way in the end.
Goods52.jpg

On the back the less detailed sections of wall work better first time, there is probably less Mek run into the mortar recess as well. This will have to dry for a couple of days now, probably more as I am busy at the weekend.

Goods53.jpg

 

A little work on the gables at the end, and a sand, or salt box for a bit of detail on the platform has been started. Sorry about the tight focus, not much light by the time I finished.

 

Goods54.jpg
 

Edited by Jamiel
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Having fun with some silly detail, partly inspired by the excellent Birmingham New Street in P4  (http://www.p4newstreet.com/).

It is a box for sand or salt as seen in the previous post. It is formed over a piece of balsa, filed to shape, then covered with 20thou plasticard. The doors are from Slaters wood sheet, and the bracings are from 10thou plasticard, with some small drill holes for detail. The edge was cut from fine plastic strip, with a tiny bit of the usual Humbrol Plastic Filler.

The hinges are from offcuts of the Peco wire from under the points. The clip behind the lock is cut from masking tape, the body of the lock is 20thou plasticard, and the loop is a strand from multicore wire, with a tiny strip of masking tape over that for the loop it goes through. The plasticard was glued to the balsa with Evostick solvent free glue, all the rest was Mek, which I am still surprised works for small pieces of metal.

It is photographed through a magnifying glass, with a 5p behind it. I doubt you will see any this details when it is painted and on the layout, but it was fun anyway, and I will know it is there.
Goods55.jpg

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The first coat of dry brushing, Humbrol enamels Matt 98 chocolate and Matt 70 brick Red, roughly mixed 50/50 with a flat headed brush, mixed and painted on a piece of card (below) until it just gives a slight mark, then brushed on to the brickwork. As you go the paint dries, and you can paint it more quickly from the mix to the bricks, and when it is setting, you go very quickly. When you mix the next bit you don't let it get dry enough, but you can always work back into it.

 

Goods56.jpg

 

It does look a bit blotchy at this stage.

Goods57.jpg

Goods58.jpg

On the retaining walls I would airbrush on a light pass of Brick Red Matt 70, but I might try that very thinned down coat brushed on here so that it doesn't mess up the windows.

There will be more layers, this is still an early stage, but can just be done a little at a time, and added up until it has a nice even feel. I will also pick out some individual bricks to give some detail.

Edited by Jamiel

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In retrospect, I should have painted more layers on the brickwork before fitting the windows. I have had to put making tape over the windows, as I didn't want to risk overdoing the muck on them with the dusting of brick red from the airbrush, or put another way I chickened out. So here looking like the windows are ready for the blitz is the building.

I have added more chocolate (Matt 98 enamel( dry brushing, and also touched up some areas of the mortar. Matt 121 quickly wiped off.

Goods59.jpg

 

I do like how the dusting with Humbrol Enamel Matt 70 brick red pulls the previous coats together. There will be more dry brushing, but it is now over half way through the brick painting.

 

Goods60.jpg
The storage box on the platform has had a few coats, and a bit of dry brushing.
 

Goods61.jpg

A couple of wide views, front and back.

 

Goods62.jpg

 

Goods63.jpg

More soon.

Jamie

Edited by Jamiel
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I am a latecomer to this thread so apologies for repeating the admiration of others.  The only way you could improve on those buildings is if you built them brick by brick!

 

Andrew

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Thank you, very generous comments.

A little work tonight, but nothing worth showing photos of (a bi of dry brushing on the bricks, painting and fixing of the storage box).

Hopefully more soon.

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Jamie

 

if you can get down to the club soon Nick toix is busy building the fan of points into the main storage siding for chapel - templot with pcb and lots of rail....

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Thanks Barry. it would be nice to catch up with everyone. I am busy this week, but will try and make it soon. I'll try and do some LeedsMRS.org website updating soon as well.

I also saw another option that I could try with the points in that area, which is the method of snipping the webbing from between the sleepers of the Peco points, and then bending them to shape. As I have the points to take up anyway, and could try it on them, it is an option to consider.

I saw it done in the following two threads:

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/64977-bakewell-peak-district-line-br-back-to-the-station/page-2

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/58826-grantham-the-streamliner-years/page-7

 

Any thoughts, or experience anyone has of doing this would be interesting to hear.

 

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