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 Another Free-Mo module to display craftsman kits
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AVRR-PA
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/14/2006 :  12:08:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, everyone --

This module has been described and discussed a bit in the Planning Forum. As I cheerfully acknowledge, I stole this idea from RichBeau. I've build Skinner's Row and three Downtown Deco kits and am building SRMW's Wrisley Papers. I want to create a special FreeMo module around them, to take to train shows. The purpose of our FreeMo group, beside having fun, is to attract members to the NMRA's Keystone Division, by setting up at shows.

Here's a mock-up and sketch of the module:







I ran into a "problem" right at the beginning. I had decided to use better plywood on this module than I usually do and Home Depot had birch plywood for $26 a sheet, which seemed pretty reasonable.

Most of it was anything but flat and I had to shift a lot of sheets around before I found a flat one. (Groan... ) I didn't really look at it -- just hauled it back to the shop late last night and unloaded it. Next morning, I find my shop mates and two of the artist gathered around it, oohing and aahing. I had lucked into a sheet of curly birch.

Everybody was appalled that I'd cut it up and paint it green. We finally compromised - I agreed that this particular module would be stained and varnished instead of painted. Here's a picture of the wood:





I'll post more photo's as I move ahead. Because the various structures or dioramas will have their own individual or group bases, the module will be constructed very differently from the usual FreeMo module. I'll be making it up as I go along.

Don Reed
Pittsburgh


Country: USA | Posts: 5005

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/14/2006 :  07:55:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don, how thick is the plywood you're using?

George



Country: USA | Posts: 15974 Go to Top of Page

AVRR-PA
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/14/2006 :  10:16:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, George --

It's 3/4"* cabinet grade hardwood plywood. I normally use much lighter and cheaper stuff -- often 3/8" OSB, which, BTW, doesn't look half bad when sanded and painted. This module is definitely going to be heavy.

*(It's actually 18 mm - pretty close to 3/4".)

Don



Edited by - AVRR-PA on 01/15/2006 08:28:31 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5005 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/14/2006 :  10:31:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don, I know virtually nothing about wood working (beyond how to saw wood into sorta straight pieces) or cabinet making, so I wouldn't have recognized a piece of curly birch even if it had a big sign hanging on it. But I do like your track plan and the arrangement of your buildings. As for the area, it could always be a vacant lot, overgrown with weeds and strewn with junk (if you don't come up with another idea for the area). I created a scene like that once and it proved to be a very effective contrast to the structures around it.




Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

AVRR-PA
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/14/2006 :  12:50:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Mike --

The love of a wood is a dangerous addiction.

To quote Andy Rooney (a serious amateur wood-worker), "I will have enough wood when Imelda Marcos has enough shoes!"

"Curl" is a wood figure that produces those iridescent bands you see running across the boards in the picture. I agree it's beautiful and painting it would be a crime, but there was no way I was going back to HD and sort through that pile again - those sheets are heavy!

Thanks for the ideas -- sounds good to me.

Don



Edited by - AVRR-PA on 01/15/2006 11:37:49 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5005 Go to Top of Page

AVRR-PA
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/14/2006 :  1:00:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This picture is already up on the Planning forum but I want to be sure everybody sees it. I updated the track plan when I realized I need a run-around track to make the mini-layout switchable. I "sketched" it full size and took a picture of it:




The new run-around track is second up from the bottom. You should also know that there will be a roll-around staging module which can connect to either end - the British "tea trolley" approach.

Back to cutting wood.

Don



Country: USA | Posts: 5005 Go to Top of Page

AVRR-PA
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/14/2006 :  10:05:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Today I finished a lot of the basic carpentry for the module -- cross-cutting pieces to rough length, then cutting the 45 degree ends to finished length, making corner blocks (with one 45 degree side), etc. I find it much easier to assemble modules if the corner blocks are already glued in. I glued up the two end sub-assemblies and left them to dry overnight.

Tomorrow I should be able to join the ends and side and have the basic module frame done. Then I can start adding the L-girders at various heights to support Wrisley and the other dioramas.

Here are a couple of pictures:







I glued the ends together on the table saw because its cast iron top is the most dependably flat surface in the shop.

Don Reed



Country: USA | Posts: 5005 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

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Posted - 01/15/2006 :  09:34:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice woodworking, Don. You're off to a good start.

George




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rrkreitler
Crew Chief

Premium Member


Posted - 01/15/2006 :  11:25:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don,

While I am involved with N-Trak modules, I have never built, or seen and actual Free-Mo module. Looking at your photos, it looks like you are going to have quite a bit of depth. Is this just part of your design or are Free-Mo modules normally built with this kind of depth?



Thanks,
Dave K in NB

Country: USA | Posts: 873 Go to Top of Page

AVRR-PA
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/15/2006 :  8:27:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, everyone --

George, thanks for the kind words. I'll be posting another photo in a few minutes.


quote:
Originally posted by rrkreitler

Don,

While I am involved with N-Trak modules, I have never built, or seen and actual Free-Mo module. Looking at your photos, it looks like you are going to have quite a bit of depth. Is this just part of your design or are Free-Mo modules normally built with this kind of depth?




This module is quite different from the other FreeMo modules I've built. The standard is 6" tall and the end of this module - where it will connect to other people's modules - is, in fact, that height. But the sides are 10" tall. I did that so I can cut profiles in them for the river and other scenic elements, and also so I'll have plenty of wood for attaching the L-girders which will support the various dioramas. The supports for Wrisley, for example, will need to be quite a ways below the basic surface.

More in a few minutes after I've downloaded pictures from the camera, re-sized them, etc.

Don



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AVRR-PA
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/15/2006 :  8:46:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, everyone --

I got the basic frame of the module glued up this morning. Here's a picture. The two transverse braces are there mainly to give me a place to attach the leg sets.




The pieces in front of the module are three of the L-girders - we actually made six of them. Not sure how many we'll need but this should be a good start.

Next step: sand everything to 220 grit and apply linseed oil (in the form of Watco) to "pop" the grain. I'll let that cure for a week or two while I'm working on other parts of the project, and then apply two or three coats of a clear finish - probably a bullet-proof gym floor finish, since it's going to be riding around in a pickup, turned up on one side.

After that, I'll start screwing in L-girders. No glue on those - I want to be able to correct mistakes, as I expect to make a lot of them. .

Don



Country: USA | Posts: 5005 Go to Top of Page

RichBeau
Fireman



Posted - 01/16/2006 :  07:44:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave a Fee-mo module can be any size or shape. The key element is to be able to connect the modules together. Generally (and you should look at the specs for the specifics: www.Free-mo.org) a module with a single track mainline has 24" wide "ends" (you can have many "ends" depending on the size and shape of the module). The mainline track is set smack in the middle of the end (after ~6" it can go anywhere on the module). There are no backdrops so the module may be viewed, and operations may take place from any side. All control is via DCC.

As Don mention at the beginning of this thread he "stole" my idea. My module which is very simple in shape is described at http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9544. I've buried a number of informational links and resources for building Free-mo modules.

Lastly, and though you may not get into "town" much, Brian Rutherford is the contact for the Pacific Northwest Free-mo Group which is fairly active. They have a web site at http://home.centurytel.net/pnw_rpm/

--Rich



Country: USA | Posts: 2737 Go to Top of Page

RichBeau
Fireman



Posted - 01/16/2006 :  07:46:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fancy smancy Don!
Curly birch!
I don't think that's a standard fasica color...

--Rich



Country: USA | Posts: 2737 Go to Top of Page

AVRR-PA
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2006 :  08:07:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RichBeau

Fancy smancy Don!
Curly birch!
I don't think that's a standard fasica color...

--Rich



It is now... Wait'll I add the turned mahogany legs.

Don



Edited by - AVRR-PA on 01/16/2006 08:10:18 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5005 Go to Top of Page

rrkreitler
Crew Chief

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2006 :  11:27:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey guys, thanks for the info. I'll look into the links. Rich, I'll take a look at the local web site. This surprises me a little. I do not think I have ever seen a display by these guys at any local shows. Maybe I just did not know what I was looking at... hmmmm



Thanks,
Dave K in NB

Country: USA | Posts: 873 Go to Top of Page

Bbags
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/17/2006 :  08:02:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don,
I was in the process of replying to this topic when the forum went off-line yesterday so who knows where my reply ended up.
I really like the base for your Free-Mo.
The curly birch looks most excellent and I think you can display this module in a formal dining room when not in use.

The thing I like best about Free-Mo compared to the other modules I have seem is the fact that the track enters and leaves from the center thus allowing you structures plus switching opportunities on both sides of the track.
I look forward to more progress pictures as you complete this project.



John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

Country: USA | Posts: 13320 Go to Top of Page
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