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Discussion Starter #1
All,
Thanks for all of the feedback that people have given. I have determined my layout based on the layout in the YouTube video below.

Currently I have created the layout to test the grades and make sure I am happy with it.

Ultimately on the lefthand side where the original has a small station, I will have several buildings.

The questions that I am struggling with is how to make permanent the trestle and supports.

My current plan: mark the entire layout. Lay track bed on flat surfaces. On raised surfaces create structure for trestles and elevated tracks. Shape corrugated cardboard to cover trestles (like in the photo). Then use plaster sheets (Woodland Scenics) to cover the trestles and cardboard. There will be a bridge at some point that would not be covered.

Once I have finished the plaster sheets I will build out the mountains and flat areas where there will be buildings and roads (the you tube video is more rural/natural than mine).

Then I will paint and lay the track beds and finish the model.

My question is, what is the best way to provide additional support between the provided Lionel Trestle set trestles? One option would be to buy several more sets to support the cardboard. Alternatively, I have read about people using dowels and plywood? I don't have a table saw so I am limited in that way (or will go buy one :))

Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Andrew

[/YT]
 

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I would buy the table saw. It’s then pretty easy to cut 2x4s or 1X to the exact length/height you want.

Since you built your benchwork, I’m thinking you already have a circular saw. If you don’t want to buy the table saw, you could use your circular saw to cut pieces of lumber of various thicknesses (2x4, 1x, ½”, 3/8”, ¼”) a few inches in length. You could then assemble/stack the short pieces to get your desired heights. The stacks won’t look too nice, but since you will hide them with terrain, it won’t matter.
 

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I cut wood blocks and add them every six inches or so of track - don't use the trestles.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you

So I did kind of do some of that already - I bought a piece of molding that is 1/4 inch think that I cut into small squares that I could do what you are suggesting. You're right it doesn't have to be elegant - just supportive.

You're right I have a circular saw. I am pretty accurate with the saw but it is not my skill set so getting precise lengths of wood to match the grade is challenging.

I think I will just continue to improvise like I have and bolster what I have.

Do you think the cardboard is a good idea?
So it will be trestle/wood, cardboard, plaster sheets, track bed, track. Thanks, Andrew
 

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I would buy the table saw. It’s then pretty easy to cut 2x4s or 1X to the exact length/height you want.
Having both a (basic) table saw and miter saw, I would use the miter saw to cut 2x4s to length. Much easier and more accurate than cross cutting a 2x4 on a table saw for basic woodworkers. A table saw and cross cut sled would have an easy time as well. But that's usually the domain of higher end woodworkers.

On the cheap, you can buy a miter box < $10 and use a basic hand saw ...

Box.png
 

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Rather than cardboard, Luan is lighter than 1/4" plywood but is plenty stiff to span between trestles. Comes in 2x4' pieces. Maybe even 2x2'. Might even be able to skip some trestles. You would need a jig saw to cut the curves and some good sanding tools for the edges.
 

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If you are using cardboard under the track I would buy a sabre/jig saw and a sheet of plywood. And I would cut some wood blocks for the grade risers.

You could clamp a piece of wood or your square across your 2x4 and use it for a guide for perfect square cuts.

Just measure from edge of blade to edge of the saws guide plate and that would be the offset from your cut mark.

save you some bucks unless you want/need a table or radial arm saw.
 

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What radius curves are you using on the elevated sections?
 

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If you are using cardboard under the track I would buy a sabre/jig saw and a sheet of plywood. And I would cut some wood blocks for the grade risers. ...
I did that in the late 80's. And it comes out very well for a couple of reasons. For one, the the (1/4") plywood ensures the grade is very smooth - no humps or dips at track connections and an overall constant grade. And two, you can cut blocks of wood for support. And if they're a little off in height due to "operator error", just place them where their height is appropriate. The plywood will make up for differences in trestle to trestle span (since they'll be hidden anyway).

On a different note ... the Skill jig saw I bought over 30 years ago gave up on a project just last month - gears shot. And I've been thinking of replacing it will a scroll saw instead of another jig saw. Any opinions?
 

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But wouldn't I be covering them with the plaster?
Yes, I assume you plan on having your inclines landscaped as a natural grade. This is why you don't need the bought type trestles.
The wood risers give something to attach sub foundation to.

To Mike; the scroll saw would be good for tedious work like scratch builds. I really don't think it would be as usefull for overall tasks. Both have their particular qualities.

And to Ed; looks like he has 027 track and turnouts.
 

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Thanks Cole, I guess he does not see my question or does not know the radius.:dunno:

I was just going to tell him if he plans on running some long trains that he might have problems running them on the elevated section.
Before he sets up permanent he might want to check by running a long train around the elevated section.

You see in the video a short train runs well, that may not be the same for a longer train.

I tried an elevated section and even with a 54 curve I had problems with derailments. Depending on how many cars and what kind they were, some would derail on the elevated section.

Cole, do me a favor and show him this post? :p
 

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What on Earth is keeping that train on the tracks at that speed???
 

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...

I tried an elevated section and even with a 56 curve I had problems with derailments. Depending on how many cars and what kind they were, some would derail on the elevated section.
What's the term when a car derails because it's too light to carry the load behind it - too much drag pulls it off the curve? An incline just adds to the effective drag.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How do I figure out the radius? I can try to answer the question if I can figure that out. You're right I'm nervous about a train being too long. I have not tried it with a very long train yet. I have tried it with a little train and it seems to have worked pretty well. There are two factors, the stability of the support, and the radius of the turns. The first thing I had to address was the stability of the turns know if the radius was even an issue. I don't want to start building out the permanent model until I know that this is a viable model. Thanks, Andrew
 

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How do I figure out the radius? I can try to answer the question if I can figure that out. You're right I'm nervous about a train being too long. I have not tried it with a very long train yet. I have tried it with a little train and it seems to have worked pretty well. There are two factors, the stability of the support, and the radius of the turns. The first thing I had to address was the stability of the turns know if the radius was even an issue. I don't want to start building out the permanent model until I know that this is a viable model. Thanks, Andrew
If you have 8 of the same curves, and they will make a circle, that circle will measure 27" across.
Then you know they are 27's.
 

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The difference of o/27 track and O track.

lioacc24.gif
 

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...the Skill jig saw I bought over 30 years ago gave up on a project just last month - gears shot. And I've been thinking of replacing it will a scroll saw instead of another jig saw. Any opinions?
I cannot speak to a scroll saw. Never had one. I grew up using Dad's D handle jig saw. I never liked the ergonomics so when I went to buy my own, I got the barrel grip design. I feel it offers more two handed control. The modern battery models use that design and look awesome but unfortunately, my 1980 Bosch is still going fine. Another remnant from Dad "buy the highest quality tool you can afford."
 
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