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After a 50 year hiatus from modeling railroading I have decided to get back into the hobby. I have opted to go with DCC which is quite a change for me. As I child, back in the old days, each rail and each spike was laid by hand. Also back then, most of the rolling stock and buildings were kits only. As I type this I am in the process of constructing an 4x8 platform in my FROG (not a turnout, but a finished room over the garage : ) . I hope to learn much from this forum and I thank you all in advance for helping me.
 

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Welcome aboard. You're find all the information you seek and then some here. Plus it all comes from great people.
 

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A big welcome back to the fun and enjoyment
of model railroading.

But, if I could advance a cautionary note.
A 4 X 8 benchwork is fantastic for N scale
layouts, but it's barely passable for HO. The big
new 6 wheel truck diesels and the steamers
mostly have a minimum operating radius of 22"
which can barely fit on a 4 ft width but would be better
on a 5 ft width.

Instead of putting legs on a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood
you might want to consider a modular construct. It
makes it easy to fit a layout in tight spaces. And it
also makes it easy to make changes in your layout.

Create frame modules of various shapes and sizes.
Mine used 1 X 3
lumber screwed together as a frame with 2-1X3's in an L shape
as legs mounted in corners for stability. Then bolt the
modules together in the pattern that affords your
track design.

But, whatever your decisions, if you have any questions
or run into a problem, the Forum members have decades
of modelling experience in all scales. They are here
to help you in any way.

Don
 

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Welcome aboard!

After a 50 year hiatus from modeling railroading I have decided to get back into the hobby. I have opted to go with DCC which is quite a change for me. As I child, back in the old days, each rail and each spike was laid by hand. Also back then, most of the rolling stock and buildings were kits only. As I type this I am in the process of constructing an 4x8 platform in my FROG (not a turnout, but a finished room over the garage : ) . I hope to learn much from this forum and I thank you all in advance for helping me.


caldwest;

Welcome to the forum!

I agree with the advice DonR gave you about fitting an HO-scale layout on a 4' x 8' table. Certainly it's been done many times but it does restrict you to an oval, two concentric ovals, one of which will have sharp 18" radius curves, or an oval around a figure 8 which will have both sharp curves and steep grades. Widening the table 6"-12" will let you use broader curves, which will handle longer cars and locomotives. Going to a "sectional" (Don mistakenly called it "modular") layout around the walls will let you have a longer mainline, curves broad enough to handle any size HO-scale rolling stock, and a more realistic shape for your railroad.
However, the choice of one large table, or a contiguous table layout made up of sections,(for ease of transport and construction) or an along-the-walls layout is strictly up to you. We give advice here, not "commandments" or "rules" of any kind. :laugh:

How high is your "frog" room above your garage? If it slopes down around the sides, that somewhat favors the around-the-walls shape since the higher ceiling in the middle will let you stand up, and the edges only need to be high enough to support narrow shelves. They needn't be high enough for standing people. Conversely, a big table in the center, might mean you will be operating in some "restricted ceiling height" (a.k.a. Headbashing) areas around that table.

That over the garage location may also preset some indoor environmental issues. Unless it's heated, and air conditioned, and depending on your local climate, that room may be freezing cold in winter, and/or sweltering hot in summer. If you live in a high humidity area, that can also be a problem, not only for your personal comfort, but also for warping of the wooden parts of your layout. There are some things you can do about humidity changes. An air conditioner, or dehumidifier would obviously help. The wooden benchwork can be made up of 'L'-girders like the one shown below. It's made from a 1x3, and a 1x2 screwed and glued together in an 'L' shape. This construction is virtually impossible to bend, and therefore highly resistant to warping. Painting or sealing all the wood is also helpful in sealing out the moisture that causes wood to warp.

The files below are some I wrote to help new modelers. While you're not really new, since you have built a previous layout, many things in today's model railroading may be new to you. Others will be familiar. Look through them if you want. You may pick up some helpful information. Some of the material is subjective, and based on my personal experience, and preferences. There is a ton of reading in these files so feel free to adopt whatever bits you want to, and ignore whatever parts you don't want.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment WHERE DO I START rev 4.pdf

View attachment Choosing a Scale.pdf

View attachment 1 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 2 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 5 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 6 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 5.pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 3.pdf

View attachment Paintbrush Pine Trees.pdf

View attachment Lighting a layout with LEDs.pdf

View attachment How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf

View attachment Introductory letter for $5 switch machine.pdf

View attachment Assembly instructions for $5 switch machine..pdf
 

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oops!

After a 50 year hiatus from modeling railroading I have decided to get back into the hobby. I have opted to go with DCC which is quite a change for me. As I child, back in the old days, each rail and each spike was laid by hand. Also back then, most of the rolling stock and buildings were kits only. As I type this I am in the process of constructing an 4x8 platform in my FROG (not a turnout, but a finished room over the garage : ) . I hope to learn much from this forum and I thank you all in advance for helping me.
caldwest;

I forgot to include the 'L'-girder photos I mentioned in my last response. If you use yellow carpenter's glue, the screws can be removed, once the glue has set up overnight,. The same screws can be reused on your next project, and the glue joint will be so strong that the actual wood will break before the glue joint does.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

L-girder 3.jpg

L-girder 6.jpg

L-girder 1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Many thanks for the suggestions. I wish I could do more than 4 x 8, but that is my limit as I share the FROG with my beloved wife.
 

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Thanks for the info. The center ceiling of the FROG is 7'. I finished my 4x8 today and put it on wheels so that I can move it around the center as I work on it. I look forward to reading your attachments.
 

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I understand.

Many thanks for the suggestions. I wish I could do more than 4 x 8, but that is my limit as I share the FROG with my beloved wife.


caldwest;

After 38 years of marriage, I understand! You might get a giggle out of the text accompanying sketch #3 in section 3&4 of "How to build a better first layout." Note: you may want to read this while your wife is not home! :laugh:
Congratulations on finishing your 4x8 table. That was quick work, and mounting it on casters is a good idea. Do you have any particular plans for what you want to model on your new table?

have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
caldwest;

After 38 years of marriage, I understand! You might get a giggle out of the text accompanying sketch #3 in section 3&4 of "How to build a better first layout." Note: you may want to read this while your wife is not home! :laugh:
Congratulations on finishing your 4x8 table. That was quick work, and mounting it on casters is a good idea. Do you have any particular plans for what you want to model on your new table?

have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:


I have 45 years of marriage under my belt, it's all about negotiation and saying "yes, dear".

I have purchased the Atlas Kit HO-6 "The Trunk Line" which arrived today. I believe I understand most of it, but I am having some difficulty with the HO Code 83 Terminal Joiners . . . as to where the two sets exactly go.
 

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Terminal Joiners

I have 45 years of marriage under my belt, it's all about negotiation and saying "yes, dear".

I have purchased the Atlas Kit HO-6 "The Trunk Line" which arrived today. I believe I understand most of it, but I am having some difficulty with the HO Code 83 Terminal Joiners . . . as to where the two sets exactly go.
caldwest;

I too am very familiar with both "the two little words that keep a marriage together", ("Yes Dear,") and "the three little words that keep a marriage together", ("I was wrong".) :rolleyes:
As for negotiation, I've heard that "The difference between a wife and a fanatical terrorist is that you can negotiate with the terrorist!":D

I'm not familiar with the Atlas HO-6 kit you have. Terminal joiners however are simply an easy, no soldering, way of connecting feeder wires to the track. Obviously one wire from each pair goes to each of the two rails, but I think you already knew all that, and are asking where, specifically, on the HO-6 plan, the two sets of feeders are supposed to go. I don't know, and without seeing the track plan for HO-6 I can only guess. If that track plan includes an oval loop of track, the two pairs of terminal joiners may well be intended to go one pair on either side of the oval. Hopefully, one of the other members will be familiar enough with the Atlas HO-6 set to help you. I'm surprised Atlas didn't show the recommended location for those terminal joiners on a diagram shipped in their kit.

Good Luck, Have Fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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caldwest;

I too am very familiar with both "the two little words that keep a marriage together", ("Yes Dear,") and "the three little words that keep a marriage together", ("I was wrong".) :rolleyes:
As for negotiation, I've heard that "The difference between a wife and a fanatical terrorist is that you can negotiate with the terrorist!":D

I'm not familiar with the Atlas HO-6 kit you have. Terminal joiners however are simply an easy, no soldering, way of connecting feeder wires to the track. Obviously one wire from each pair goes to each of the two rails, but I think you already knew all that, and are asking where, specifically, on the HO-6 plan, the two sets of feeders are supposed to go. I don't know, and without seeing the track plan for HO-6 I can only guess. If that track plan includes an oval loop of track, the two pairs of terminal joiners may well be intended to go one pair on either side of the oval. Hopefully, one of the other members will be familiar enough with the Atlas HO-6 set to help you. I'm surprised Atlas didn't show the recommended location for those terminal joiners on a diagram shipped in their kit.

Good Luck, Have Fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
Thanks for the reply and info. I have the terminal joiners figured out. According to the blueprint there are two blocks ending with an 18" radius terminal. These are not prewired as with the other terminals in the kit, hence the terminal joiners that were included in the kit. Today I installed Styrofoam on the layout top, made a frame for a control panel, and cut the hole for Power Cab mount.
 
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