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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so how many if any of you have finished your layout and not been very satisfied and started over?

I've been working on just getting my track reliable now for nearly 3 weeks and as I get it more close to being done I realize I'm not all that impressed. There are several things I'd do different.
1st and most important, I'd keep my track more in reach. Right now I can't even get to some of my track now that my ground cover and such is down.

2nd I'd make sure to never ever again have 2 pieces of flex track join in the middle of a curve again! This has been a major pain and the only repair I've found to be a permanent fix was to cut the center of the curve out and solder in a new piece of 36" flex in the center of the curve.

there's so much more I'd change, but too long to list!

Maybe I'm just frustrated and venting, lol....

My wife says everything is looking awesome, and she loves being down there while the engines are chugging along (she loves the sound engines!) but maybe I've just been blinded by the work and having a tough time enjoying it lol.......
 

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Yeah ... flex track curved to it's end point can be tricky. Soldered joints are the proper fix, as you've found. Or, avoid flex curved to an endpoint, if possible.

In regards to the frustration factor ... don't sweat it ... we've all "Been There, Done That" ... part of the game.

Good luck!

TJ
 

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Hey dozer...hang in there...I, too, built another layout after not being happy with my first attempt. I was happier with the second layout, and I dismantled the old one and incorporated every inch of it into the new layout! There is hope!

Having a joint in a curve is hard to avoid. Anything bigger than 18" radius is going to have a joint somewhere in there. I think if the radius is a bigger size, it might be less likely to cause problems. One mistake I made on my first layout was to put too much of a curve into my flextrack. It should be as large and gradual as possible in my opinion. The trains will let you know if it is too sharp a curve! I am sure there are things we would all do different again!

Chad
 

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Dozer, give it a few days and a few beers. Try to envision your layout as a living thing that's meant to be constantly in transition, just like the real world is. You tweak it and play with it...tweak it some more and play with it. It's like golf: you can't actually reach the point of having done it as well as is possible. The fact you have higher aspirations is simply an indication you're getting better at it, you know? And be grateful your wife loves it and is impressed: that's far better than "Why are you wasting all that time and money on that stupid train set??" from your wife!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yea, things are getting better. as I tell my wife "2 steps forward, 1 step back" on the layout progress. I had a big break through yesterday and am quite pleased how it's going now. It's getting there lol....
 

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Anton...nice job laying track! You have definitely put the time and effort into the track-laying process!

Reckers, well said as always! A layout is much like golf...a work in progress with perfection difficult to attain!

All we can do is do the best job we can!

Chad
 

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Had to laugh when I read this. I've built several HO and N-scale layouts and I've never been 100% satisfied with ANY of them. Not only that but I've also changed my method for building benchwork several times - flattop plywood, Homasote and L-girder, modular, simple extruded foam, hollow core doors - AND my roadbed.

Like Reckers said, you know you're getting better when you know what your weaknesses are. My significant other and I are ballroom dancers and now that we're thinking about entering some (amateur) competitions, we watch old videos of us dancing and say, "Man, did we suck!" Looking back at some of my old layouts, I think a 6 year old could have better. LOL!
 

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" ... hollow core doors ..."

Hmmm ... hmmm ... now there's an idea!
I laminate 2 layers of 1-inch extruded foam to the tops then glue cork roadbed to that.

They are somewhat limiting in that they only come in standard sizes, but I've never had a plan that needed anything wider than what I could find - you can cut the length down a bit if you're careful.

30-in wide doors are borderline heavy for portable modules IMO but I put window sash handles on one side for lifting.
 

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I've previously posted some thoughts here on the forum regarding the benefits of "I-beam" or "sandwich" construction, i.e., gaining strength and stiffness of a layout base via separation of the "meat" material some distance away from a neutral axis, but doing so in a lightweight manner. I.e., a sandwich, with structural skins top and bottom laminated and separated by a foam (or other suitable) core. The benefits are in accordance with standard and fundamental engineering principals.

To some extend, a hollow core door points in that direction, providing that there are some internal members that "tie" the two skins together.

And although I've never tried it with a train layout, I keep thinking a true skin-foam-skin laminated sandwich would be quite beneficial.

Food for thought ...

TJ
 

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To some extend, a hollow core door points in that direction, providing that there are some internal members that "tie" the two skins together.

And although I've never tried it with a train layout, I keep thinking a true skin-foam-skin laminated sandwich would be quite beneficial.

Food for thought ...

TJ
Masonite-foam-Masonite sandwich? Maybe thin ply? Interesting idea.
 
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