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Did some scale drawings of what I have to work with with the hot water heater in it's current location... Bottom space is 5 feet wide so gives me plenty of options and I probably plan to have a turntable are there but not 100% sure. On the top right side where the hot water heater is once that's gone I'll extend it out and I also might do the turnaround wrapping around my chimney and maybe even do a helix for a second level down the road as I could easily fit a 20+ inch helix around it once the hot water heater is relocated...

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A hot water heater can even be sort of incorporated into a model railroad's storyline. Master track planner John Armstrong, who was heavily into bad puns, christened the model station near his water heater, "Agua Caliente!"

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I take it you mean you're only using the brass stuff to get the footprint of the trackage, and not planning to employ the brass. Correct ? Hope so, because the brass is a bummer as it oxidizes non-conductive green mold causing stall outs and too much track-cleaning scenes and engine nudging..
Not sure what you mean by NP track.. But try to go all code 83 nickle silver..possibly code 70 (un-shouldered) in yards for a nice visual touch...
 

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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
A hot water heater can even be sort of incorporated into a model railroad's storyline. Master track planner John Armstrong, who was heavily into bad puns, christened the model station near his water heater, "Agua Caliente!"

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That's too funny but I've already picked out another spot in the basement for it to get relocated anyways!

I take it you mean you're only using the brass stuff to get the footprint of the trackage, and not planning to employ the brass. Correct ? Hope so, because the brass is a bummer as it oxidizes non-conductive green mold causing stall outs and too much track-cleaning scenes and engine nudging..
Not sure what you mean by NP track.. But try to go all code 83 nickle silver..possibly code 70 (un-shouldered) in yards for a nice visual touch...
Yeah brass track just for planning to figure out what I'd need. And NP=nickle plated that's what I've always called it. The plan is to go with code 83 for the mainline and paint/weather it...
 

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That's too funny but I've already picked out another spot in the basement for it to get relocated anyways!



Yeah brass track just for planning to figure out what I'd need. And NP=nickle plated that's what I've always called it. The plan is to go with code 83 for the mainline and paint/weather it...
afboundguy;

Just re-examined some of your photos and I noticed you have something in your basement configuration that a lot of modelers would love to have. I don't know if you've already considered it but I'll make the suggestion, and let you decide if you want it.
Your basement walls have a sort of "shelf" built into the stonework/concrete about 4' off the floor. This shelf continues behind the stairway, which gives you the feature that many of us would love to have, a potential "center" entrance to the "layout room." "Center" as in not blocking any part of the wall, like a door, or stairs mounted to the wall, would.
I don't know if this "shelf" extends all the way around your basement, or not. If it does, you have a golden opportunity to have a layout that circles the entire basement, without blocking access, or taking up the entire basement area. A shelf-style layout, of whatever reasonable depth you want,*
could go around all the walls, and still leave most of the center area open for other needs. (hot water heater, furnace, laundry, etc.)

* Obviously, the short segment that goes behind the stairs will have to be narrow, but the rest doesn't.

Just a happy thought; 😊

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
afboundguy;

Just re-examined some of your photos and I noticed you have something in your basement configuration that a lot of modelers would love to have. I don't know if you've already considered it but I'll make the suggestion, and let you decide if you want it.
Your basement walls have a sort of "shelf" built into the stonework/concrete about 4' off the floor. This shelf continues behind the stairway, which gives you the feature that many of us would love to have, a potential "center" entrance to the "layout room." "Center" as in not blocking any part of the wall, like a door, or stairs mounted to the wall, would.
I don't know if this "shelf" extends all the way around your basement, or not. If it does, you have a golden opportunity to have a layout that circles the entire basement, without blocking access, or taking up the entire basement area. A shelf-style layout, of whatever reasonable depth you want,*
could go around all the walls, and still leave most of the center area open for other needs. (hot water heater, furnace, laundry, etc.)

* Obviously, the short segment that goes behind the stairs will have to be narrow, but the rest doesn't.

Just a happy thought; 😊

Traction Fan
I do have that pretty much around the whole basement minus the bulkhead area but that would be easy to get around. The main issue right now is I have two cats currently and while the older cat doesn't walk on that area as she's 15+ years old the younger cat walks on that area all the time. I do have the breaker box against the wall and I'm not sure I could fit 2 tracks behind it but I could more than likely get a single track behind it with maybe a turnout behind it to give the illusion of there being 2 tracks behind there.

I would love to use that shelf area for a configuration like you mentioned to go along with the possible helix around the chimney and it definitely peaked my interest and has been in my mind but for now I'm starting slow and I have plans to expand and if it were up to me I'd turn the whole basement into a train room but happy wife equals happy'ish life :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
This isn't the video I was looking for, but you'll get the idea. :)
That's awesome... I def want to do a second layer but I don't know if I'd have enough space to do a turn around loop by the stairs so I was thinking of making it more of a large switching yard so I could keep it narrow but the wrap around the whole basement idea could possibly alleviate that requirement we'll see... I'll start with the main level first and go from there...

Plan to start laying down the foam Monday morning. I still might do plywood in one area as I'd like to have a slide out flat drawer so I can have a work area... Not sure if I want to just do a simple slide out or something with a hinge...
 

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I do have that pretty much around the whole basement minus the bulkhead area but that would be easy to get around. The main issue right now is I have two cats currently and while the older cat doesn't walk on that area as she's 15+ years old the younger cat walks on that area all the time. I do have the breaker box against the wall and I'm not sure I could fit 2 tracks behind it but I could more than likely get a single track behind it with maybe a turnout behind it to give the illusion of there being 2 tracks behind there.

I would love to use that shelf area for a configuration like you mentioned to go along with the possible helix around the chimney and it definitely peaked my interest and has been in my mind but for now I'm starting slow and I have plans to expand and if it were up to me I'd turn the whole basement into a train room but happy wife equals happy'ish life :ROFLMAO:
Well, if you have cats, any model railroad is going to take a beating, no matter what shape or size, it is. If you did decide to do the shelf thing you could enclose it. My own layout is a bookshelf one, based on an old Model Railroader Magazine article. I am a dog lover, and thus feel the only good use for cats is to take tire tread impressions! However, I do plan to add plexiglass front panels to enclose the layout.

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Discussion Starter · #129 · (Edited)
I ended up deciding to lay the plywood down first instead of just using only the pink foam. Was able to squeeze in some work yesterday as my old man drinking softball league was rained out...

I decided to mount the TV on the stair risers and I'll keep the DVD player mounted under the benchwork which lets me get rid of the stand it was on freeing up even more room in the basement...

I also don't plan to secure the section by the HW heater so it'll be easier for the plumber to move that and the washing machine hookups that currently feed my RO/DI system for making water for my saltwater reed tank...

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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
Worked on putting up some masonite for the "walls" yesterday and cut out the last small piece of plywood in the corner. I ended up "framing" out the sections by the window to keep the cats from being able to get behind it as they can fint between the foundation and the joists of the main floor. I plan to add some plexiglass so I can still get the natural light but add another preventative layer to keep them off the layout.

It's going to end up being about 44" high when I put on the pink foam so the older cat will have no chance of jumping up that high and I'm not even sure the younger cat could jump that high. I do have years of experience in deterring cats from jumping on things so I'm confident I can keep them off pretty easily...

Tonight I plan on painting the masonite "walls" in some leftover white primer before I mud the seams as a layer of paint should make the mud stick better... I also may try and cut out some of the back wall's masonite but that will depend on what time I get back from a doctor's appointment I have at 2 where they will be doing some stupid stress test for asthma or something o_O

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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
Did two coats of white primer and started "wiring" the outlets... By wiring I mean just running them and stapling them not actually hooking them up I'll have my buddy who's an electrician actually do the wiring. Wife for some reason doesn't trust me which is funny as I replaced all the electrical outlets and various other things when we renovated the house :unsure:

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Did two coats of white primer and started "wiring" the outlets... By wiring I mean just running them and stapling them not actually hooking them up I'll have my buddy who's an electrician actually do the wiring. Wife for some reason doesn't trust me which is funny as I replaced all the electrical outlets and various other things when we renovated the house :unsure:

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Its looking better each time. Good progress. (y)
One thing you might consider is moving those electrical outlets up front. With an electrical outlet mounted in, or just below, the fascia board you can simply plug in your soldering iron, temporary work light, or other tool. With the outlets on the wall, way at the back of your layout, you have to crawl under to plug any tool in.

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I agree. That's going to be a PITA every time you want to plug something in. An option would be to run power strips with CB's to the underside of the layout or attached to a leg so you have access without crawling to the back wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
Its looking better each time. Good progress. (y)
One thing you might consider is moving those electrical outlets up front. With an electrical outlet mounted in, or just below, the fascia board you can simply plug in your soldering iron, temporary work light, or other tool. With the outlets on the wall, way at the back of your layout, you have to crawl under to plug any tool in.

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I agree. That's going to be a PITA every time you want to plug something in. An option would be to run power strips with CB's to the underside of the layout or attached to a leg so you have access without crawling to the back wall.
Thanks it's been fun working on it... I do plan on running some power strips under the benchwork and probably attach it to the pull out work shelf/bench I plan to incorporate under the layout. The outlets are mainly going to be there to plug some of my fish supplies in and the other outlet in the double gang box will have a constant power which will have the power strips and the other one will be controlled by a switch and will have the power to the train hooked up to it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
Been quite a while since I've been able to work on the layout. Had a ton of training for work and tons of overtime. I was able to knock out a quick water change on my reef tank that was very badly overdue and needed and then I decided to work on the layout. I moved some more boxes and items under the layout and broke down one of the metal shelving units that I had put up temporarily to hold some stuff. Everything underneath is nowhere near their final resting area as half of it is boxes of train stuff that will disappear when I actually lay track and scenery....

I also ended up having a free "home energy assessment" today that's offered by my natural gas company so I can get rebates and use their 7 year 0% financing for gas related projects. My buddy who is my plumber suggested doing a new boiler as well when I do the HW heater and move everything to a different wall to create more room and open up the possibility to remove the chimney... No heating system in the area would open up a lot more room and if I got rid of the chimney (which would be a long ways away) that's even more room!

Plan is to try and paint the insulation with some mistake big hardware box store paint that's brown and only cost me about $5 so I don't have to look at that pepto pink!

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
For reference I want to move the whole boiler, HW heater and water softener system behind the work bench in the back right of this picture which would allow a huge increase in available space for me to take over!!! Please excuse the mess it's still a work in process to move around boxes :cautious:

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Discussion Starter · #138 ·
On a seeking advice point I was thinking of maybe doing a small yard off of the big loop that goes under the stairs for maybe a programing yard but not sure how a few lines off a big loop would look? Would only be 1-2 feet wide and 3-4 feet long and go to the left if you're looking at the first picture... I'm interested to hear everybody's thoughts? If the boiler and HW heater get relocated I should have plenty more room for yards and such but feel it could be a different add on and maybe I could make it one of the forgotten branch lines or something but just don't know if it would look out of place coming off a big 30"+ loop...

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Discussion Starter · #139 ·
For reference here is a scale diagram of the layout so far... If and when HW heater and furnace moves I'll extend that side out quite a bit and aim to do a large yard there otherwise I'd plan on doing a yard on the right side of the diagram within the turn around loop by the HW heater...

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Threw a quick coat of brown paint to get rid of pepto pink first thing this morning
Much better!

For reference I want to move the whole boiler, HW heater and water softener system behind the work bench in the back right of this picture
Right now the WH & boiler are venting out the chimney. Where/how will you vent them if you move them way over there?

Looks like you have hot water heat?
 
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