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Author Previous Topic: Super Bowl Sunday Topic Next Topic: Bowser Manufacturing co-founder passes away today
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Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  12:03:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Each year at our annual Railfair show here in Ottawa, local model railroaders construct a "raffle" layout which raises funds for our local Children's Hospital, CHEO, the Childrens' Hospital of Eastern Ontario. In the past fifteen years, we have managed to raise over $25 000.00 for this great cause.

The scale choice for the layout flip-flops between HO and N every year with this year's pike being N-scale. When volunteers for the build this year were requested at our monthly OVAR meeting, Chris Lyon approached me about our Friday Night Group doing the build.

"But it's N-scale!" I replied to Chris.
"So..." was Chris's look back at me.
"Your hands are too stubby!" I told Mr. Lyon.
"You've seen me play the guitar!" was his comeback.
"Well...I guess...I play guitar too...hey maybe N-scale could work?" I mused.

And before I could get any more words in, Chris was pulling my arms up to the podium to volunteer...and I'm sure glad he did! The project has been a blast of an experience thus far...and, as the song-writing team from the 70's, the Carpenters, sung..."We've Only Just Begun!"

This thread will serve to detail the project from beginning to end. I hope you'll enjoy our experience along the route as much as we have so far!



Much like a city of Ottawa road repair crew, there's one guy working and a half dozen standing around watching the progress! "How does this fandangled coffee table go together anyway?"
Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Country: | Posts: 11492

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  12:07:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Studying the first picture in the initial post, we see Gerry, Jim, Ron (elwoodblues), Chris (LVN) and Bill studying all the "small" stuff that N-scale is all about. It seems Bill is the only person doing any actual work with the prefab table components.

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Country: | Posts: 11492 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  12:29:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So the build begins!



Jim holds the framing while Gerry takes over as handyman with the allen key with Ron acting as head supervisor. All this bending over is sure to give us all acid reflux!



Rob (Kaz) wants in on the action while Ron continues to offer a watchful eye!



With not enough work for us all, I decide to serenade the lads with an electric Jimi Hendrix rendition of "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad!" All in this pic are wearing their red shirts in support of our troops overseas.



A-ha! The table's form begins to materialize. Yes, it will be a coffee table and not a gazebo or portable garage frame!



Uh-uh...danger zone...Stan's thinking about something! (Just teasin'...in fact, Stan has his engineering degree..a great addition to the team!)



When Stan scratches his head like that, you just know that a great layout design will be produced! I brought along some inch sized square grid paper for the draft of the design which you can just see placed on the shelf of the layout.



Gerry and Jim throw their two cents in on the plan. Both are N-scalers and bring a wealth of expertise to the project as do fellow former N-scalers Ron and Rob.



After the first evening, we've got the gazebo..errr..coffee table assembled and we've brainstormed ideas for a plan. (By this time, Chris has stolen my Fender Strat for a "go" on the strings. Rob obviously likes what he's singing!

As for the plan, we surfed around a "figure eight" plan as well as an "up and over" idea to allow trains to enter the centre portion of the coffee table and climb grades but we threw those ideas out due to potential problems that a novice owner may encounter.

In all likelihood, the winner of the layout may not be a model railroader at all, so we felt simplicity to be our best plan of attack. We settled on two loops traversing the outer edges of the layout, one with a short local freight and the other with an RDC passenger car. Sidings will spread from the inside line servicing a few industries. We are toying with the idea of having these sidings serve solely as "visual interest" rather than being true operational switches as the layout is meant to be a "conversation piece" with trains traversing the countryside. More pics to follow shortly.


Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Edited by - Mike Hamer on 07/22/2007 5:39:39 PM

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Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  1:04:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Our next work session was a week later on the following Friday Night. This worked out well as we generally shut down our regular Friday Night operating sessions for the summer.



Between the two work sessions Stan had offered to create a masonite board the same size as the shelf. Taking information from our plans the previous week, Stan created the basic landforms out of styrofoam and brought the section back for the evening. The layout will have an industrial/city section along one end and a waterfront scene with a smallish harbour along the other. That's Stan eyeing down the scene with Rob glueing some foam roadbed to the layout.



Rob, Chris and Gerry are really getting into the glueing of the foam subroadbed.



Gerry and Stan get into the action...



...while supervisor Ron barks orders!



Meanwhile, the trackplan takes shape along the contours of the layout. Yes, the two spurs radiate to the same end of the layout by design...as we have chosen not to make them "active" simply scenic elements for the potential layout owners. Those pushpin thumbtacks sure came in handy. Thanks to Ron for all his "running around" - an inside joke!



To gain an idea of the structural elements of the layout, we placed some of the structures on the layout and drew around their "pad" then removed them to quickly paint in the potential roadways and parking lots. Some of the buildings have yet to be constructed.


Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Edited by - Mike Hamer on 07/20/2007 4:47:51 PM

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George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 07/20/2007 :  1:20:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, looks like an interesting project to follow. What's the size of the coffee table and is the table a kit?

George



Country: USA | Posts: 16280 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  1:23:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Between sessions everyone had some "homework" to do. Bill took some N-scale brick structure kits and did a remarkable job putting them together. I had a blast working with N-scale for the first time ever creating the Bar Mills craftsman kit "Waterfront Willy's"!



Here's my finished product of Waterfront Willy's in N-scale. Check the Craftsman's Corner area of the forum where I documented the build.



Here are some of the structures that will be used for the finished layout including my Waterfront Willy's and Bill's brick railroad structures.


Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Country: | Posts: 11492 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  1:30:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In preparation for tonight's session here at my place, Chris and I thought we should make a few N-scale trees our of spirea we had collected earlier. Making N trees was no different than HO ones...just pick apart the spirea armature until you've got a multitude of smaller samplings!



Indeed, Chris's face is all puckered up as his eyes attempt to focus on such a small item!



Et voila! In about 30 seconds another N-scale tree joins the forest!



Man...I've gotta take those glasses off in order to see what I am doing! That HO layout of Chris's above sure looks inviting!



Well, it may be a small piece of styrofoam but it sure holds a veritable forest of N-scale trees...all made in about an hour or so! You know what...this scale is beginning to grow on me!


Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

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Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  1:33:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi George...yes, it's quite the fun project! The dimensions of the table are 27 1/4 inches by 47 3/4 inches. Yes, the table came as a kit from IKEA. After tonight's session Chris or I will post more pics of the progress.

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

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MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 07/20/2007 :  2:53:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looks like all of you are having a lot of fun besides getting the satisfaction of raising money for a great cause. What an outstanding way to spend a few evenings!




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

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 07/20/2007 :  3:47:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, do you squeeze an HO layout into the 27 1/4" X 47 3/4" space, or do you use a larger table for your HO efforts?

That looks like a great way for a group of model railroaders to raise money for a good cause.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 16280 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  4:54:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Mike for your kind words. These guys are so much fun to be around with...we'd probably hang out together even if there were no trains to work (or play) with!

George, the HO version is typically built on your standard sheet of plywood with legs and skirting added.

In fact, when Chris first mentioned the idea of we Friday Night boys doing the layout, I wanted to make sure the "winner" of the raffle would really want to "showcase" the layout prominently in their home rather than having it potentially being relegated to the attic, garage, or deep recesses of the basement. Just as a very nice aquarium works as a "conversation piece" when visitors come over to someone's house, I felt a coffee table layout would do them same. Visitors to the "winners" house will go away in awe of that model railroad in their den or living room...well, that's my hope anyway!


Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Edited by - Mike Hamer on 07/20/2007 4:56:02 PM

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Frederic Testard
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/20/2007 :  5:42:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A fun team project you show us Mike. And apparently you work very efficiently. Indeed, it would be a shame to see the fine result of your efforts buried in the deeps of a basement. The coffee table looks like a good idea to prevent that.


Country: France | Posts: 17652 Go to Top of Page

Peterpools
Engineer



Posted - 07/20/2007 :  6:22:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit Peterpools's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mike
Thanks for keeping us i the loop. The layout is slowly coming to life but a fine example of steady progress and a unite group effort.
Peter



Country: USA | Posts: 12335 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 07/20/2007 :  7:16:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike congrats on doing a good deed and having a good time doing it!


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Quinn222
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 07/20/2007 :  7:27:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great project for a great cause Mike.


Country: USA | Posts: 1139 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 07/20/2007 :  7:50:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,

I think that the idea of a coffee table layout is outstanding for the reasons you mention. Kudos to you guys for supporting this cause and promoting the hobby at the same time.


Bruce

Country: USA | Posts: 32771 Go to Top of Page
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