7mm New O-gauge layout

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by pricei, 16 November 2020.

  1. pricei

    pricei Member

    Having completed the construction of the final baseboard for my new 7mm layout, I thought it would be opportune to start a new thread to record its progress. It's going to depict a fictitious location in the late-green/early-blue diesel era. I've yet to come up with a name.

    For those of you interested in the construction, the fifteen baseboards were built with birch ply that I ordered online and cut-to-size from Woodshop Direct in Cornwall. The sides, top and bracing are 9mm thick and the legs 12mm. Although it's taken me a few months to put the boards together, it's certainly been a much cheaper option than purchasing ready-made or laser-cut versions - even after accounting for the 1000+ screws, nuts and bolts I consumed during the building.

    The layout is located in my house attic. It's a reasonably long space but narrow with limited headroom so a fiddle yard-to-terminus design was the only realistic option. The length of the boards totals 9.5m. I know it sounds a lot but by the time you've accounted for a fiddle yard at one end, a station at the other (each capable of holding a diesel with four Mk1 coaches) and the station throat pointwork, there's not actually an awful lot left for a scenic area. The joys of 7mm modelling!

    Anyway, I've included a couple of pictures of the baseboards below. The four at the far end are deliberately lower to accommodate a fiddle yard traverser. If you're wondering why some of the bracing boards are in different positions, it's to ensure sufficient clearance for the point motors. Time will tell if I got that right.

    PXL_20201108_172440628.jpg
    PXL_20201108_173016815.jpg
     
  2. Al Tait

    Al Tait Western Thunderer

    You do realise you're not suppose to eat them? Tea & Biscuits would have been a better bet!
     
    Deano747, Osgood and Lancastrian like this.
  3. Muddysblues

    Muddysblues Western Thunderer

    Nice start on the boards, and the room looks nice and tidy, will the layout be set to one side of the room ? or staying central ?

    Best regards
    Craig.
     
  4. pricei

    pricei Member

    It will stay in the centre. The boards are 950mm wide and I've made them reasonably tall so I need access from both sides to reach everywhere. Aside from that, I'd be forever hitting my head on the ceiling if they were offset to one side!
    Regards, Ian
     
    Muddysblues likes this.
  5. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Western Thunderer

    That is the best thing I have read on any Forum since this latest Lockdown started. Thank you for the giggles :D

    Ian
     
    Al Tait likes this.
  6. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Western Thunderer

    Ian,

    Very nice work. I have some Birch ply from Woodshop Direct for my baseboards too, but not yet started. I really like your loft space. I'm unable to use mine due to the house design..

    Ian
     
  7. pricei

    pricei Member

    It was the first time I've bought wood online and I was impressed. My carpentry skills are pretty limited and having all the ply pre-cut simplified the build enormously.

    In case it helps when you start on your own boards, I found these narrow flooring screws from Toolstation to be really useful for joining the ply together. They're very thin and, provided you drill a 3mm pilot hole first, they can be screwed into the end of 9mm ply without splitting it. The clever part is that they have two different thread patterns which automatically pull the two pieces of wood together as you tighten the screw. The Torx head stops the screwdriver bit slipping as well.

    Screw.jpg

    Having said that, I quickly found that trying to drill a 3mm hole into 9mm ply and keeping it straight wasn't easy and so I invested in a drill guide. I remember at the time thinking that £29 was expensive for a lump of metal with holes in it but it proved to be a godsend. I must have drilled several hundred holes in total and everyone was pretty much perfect. A good investment.
    Regards, Ian

    Guide.jpg
     
    Deano747, Osgood, spikey faz and 11 others like this.
  8. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Western Thunderer

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the advice, that will prove really useful :thumbs:

    Ian
     
  9. Muddysblues

    Muddysblues Western Thunderer

    £29.00 ÷ 700 = £0.041 pence per perfect hole .... bargain :thumbs:

    Best regards
    Craig.
     
  10. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    It would be, but it wasn’t quite that cheap...
     
  11. pricei

    pricei Member

    True, but I reckon even 4p per hole was still good value!
    Ian
     
  12. pricei

    pricei Member

    Work on the fiddle yard traverser is now underway. I'm probably being a tad ambitious but I thought I'd try making one that comprised three sections - a smaller one at each end capable of holding a diesel or coach and a longer, central section that's long enough to accommodate three coaches. The intention is to be able to run a loco around a rake of four Mk1 coaches within the confines of the fiddle yard area.

    PXL_20201127_133942467.jpg

    The track has only been temporarily pinned into position for the moment. Once I'm happy everything fits and aligns reasonably well, I'll be removing it so that I can drill holes for the feeder wires and then permanently fix it back in position over a cork base.

    My initial plan was to adopt the traditional solution of mounting the traverser sections on drawer runners but then I came across 'linear guides' whilst browsing the internet one day and thought they might afford a more robust solution. There's a wide selection on eBay so I ordered a pair to try out (they're shown on the left in the photo below). I wasn't impressed when they arrived - the guides (which move along the rails on sets of small ball bearings) were very rough in operation. The seller did send me a replacement set but they weren't really much better. I'm sure if you pay a lot more than I did, you can get guides that are smooth but, needing five pairs, I couldn't really justify that cost so I reverted to plan A and bought heavy duty drawer runners at Screwfix for £7 a pair. They're on the right in the photo.

    PXL_20201127_154411085.jpg

    The runners work remarkably well with hardly any lateral play so I've been able to mount the traverser sections reasonably close together. The only concern I have is that when a traverser section is moved to its furthest position, the 3kg weight of a typical Heljan diesel does cause the runners to bend downwards a little and this alters the vertical alignment. To try and counter that, I've ordered some small furniture castors which I'll mount underneath the traverser to help support the weight of the assembly on the baseboard. I'm hoping that will eliminate the problem.

    Ian