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Kiha66

Mediocre Modules

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Kiha66

Hello all. 

 

It's been too cold to work in the garage the last few months, and I've been wanting a much simpler project that I can finish without too much time spent worrying about my low level in carpentry and design of the layout structure.  I've always been very impressed with @Sir Madog and his excellent single track modules, as well as the ones in japan from the Poppo group.  I've started making a few "mediocre modules" using the simplest deign I could while still allowing operation and expansion in the future. 

 

The modules are based off 1x3 select primed lumber, with 1" thick top boards allowing varying with of the module while they remain the same height.  The choice of select primed lumber means the module will only require a chop saw and glue to cut and assemble, and most critical dimensions are already precisely cut for me.  For these first modules I am using 1x6 board for the tops, and they are built in ttrak standard lengths.  The track is secured with 1.2mm screws which hold very well and allow me to move the track around if it turns out I've made a mistake in the construction.

 

The main challenge now is to figure out how to easily construct a corner module, and then get on to scenery!

 

 

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Kiha66

Here is the second module ready to secure the track, the first is already done and with a friend for him to scenic.  The module is double length, which is the length of a kato s62 stright times 10.  I'll post photos of how I secure the track later.

 

20200105_153524_compress34.thumb.jpg.866d49bb14fd5142072b623f2dec3960.jpg

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Kiha66

While the first modules are specifically designed to be as simple as possible, later ones have the possibility for more interesting track and terrain.  I did a MS paint sketch for a friend who is also interested in the idea, who wanted a bridge and tunnel in a single module. 

 

30529902_tunnelbridge.thumb.png.dfa6b7801f0869874079c1d8b4318043.png

 

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cteno4

These U modules are really great! Ulrich did a great job with his and inspiring what can be done on a minimal module and single track. I’ve been tempted to do a small loop to have something fast to work on, concentrate on doing a lot minimal scenery area, and compact to maybe take to some smaller events with just a table’s worth. On the list!

 

Like the meandering. looking forward to what you guys do!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Sir Madog
Posted (edited)

Gee - I am certainly tickled to see being remembered after such a long time! After quite a few years and a couple of different layouts,  I am now pondering to return to modular N gauge model railroadung Japanese style. No concrete plans yet, as there is a move pending, but something like this could be possible:

 

H2sEwcf.jpg

 

I still have the old modules, so most of the job is done. Depending on the space I will have available in the future I might add a few modules.

 

WyYFaeB.jpg

Edited by Sir Madog
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Martijn Meerts
5 hours ago, Sir Madog said:

Gee - I am certainly tickled to see being remembered after such a long time! After quite a few years and a couple of different layouts,  I am now pondering to return to modular N gauge model railroadung Japanese style. No concrete plans yet, as there is a move pending, but something like this could be possible:

 

H2sEwcf.jpg

 

I still have the old modules, so most of the job is done. Depending on the space I will have available in the future I might add a few modules.

 

WyYFaeB.jpg

 

Your modules are really nicely done, so it's no surprise that people remember them. Also shows that a lot is possible even with little space to work with 🙂

 

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Sir Madog
8 hours ago, Martijn Meerts said:

Your modules are really nicely done, so it's no surprise that people remember them. Also shows that a lot is possible even with little space to work with

 

Not to forget the minimal financial involvement! A mini-module doesn´t cost much more than a pack or two of cigarettes, should you be a smoker 😎

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cteno4

Ulrich, great to see you back! 
 

You are fondly remebered. I've sent dozens and dozens of folks to your article to have a simple and fun way to get started! 
 

looking forward to the new layout!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Kiha66

 

16 hours ago, Sir Madog said:

Gee - I am certainly tickled to see being remembered after such a long time! After quite a few years and a couple of different layouts,  I am now pondering to return to modular N gauge model railroadung Japanese style. No concrete plans yet, as there is a move pending, but something like this could be possible:

 

 

They've been a huge motivation for me for years, and have always been in the back of my mind.  I've worked on plenty of layouts, but what I usually wanted was to have something like your setup!  I'm excited to finally be working on them.  If you do take your modules out again be sure to share some photos!

 

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Sir Madog

Don´t expect that to happen any time soon. We are in the midst of preparing our emigration to a country further up north and that is a major undertaking for someone closing in on 70.

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RogerMc
12 hours ago, cteno4 said:

... I've sent dozens and dozens of folks to your article ...

 

Send some more please, where can I find the article?

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cteno4

Roger,

 

see the links up in the first post of this thread. This technique started in japan as a Ttrak offshoot and Ulrich did a wonderful set of them and wrote his work up for the club website a long time back. Mediocre is not the word to describe them, just urlich’s humility. He is a great modeler and nice chap for sharing!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

 

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Tony Galiani

I think this is a great concept and have read the posts on this and the article on Japan Rail Modelers of Washington web site with great interest.  If I could learn to cut wood precisely enough to make these modules I would build some as they seem easy to transport, set up and, very important for me, store away.  However, the DIY stores in my area aren't geared to cutting wood for small projects like these.  I continue to look for some ways I could do it myself and produce consistent sizes.

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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cteno4

Tony,

 

a cheap miter box and Hand saw can cut very cleanly and accurately. Trick is to clamp the wood and box to the bench with a C clamp and saw slowly and easily. See if they have clear poplar for the wood, little more expensive but it saws easily with a hand saw and no big knots that don’t saw easily! Don’t do oak or a hardwood, those are a bear to hand saw and not needed for the project.
 

once you have one piece cut to proper length you can use that one as a guide for the rest by putting on top of the piece to be cut up against the blade And flush the lower piece end to the upper one. Alternatively clamp a piece of wood to the miter box Or bend (as long as you keep the miter box screwed or clamped to the bench all the time) to make a stop so each Piece gets cut exactly the same.

 

attaching the legs can be done with just a couple of small finishing nails and some glue. if you feel uneasy about making perfectly flat end joints then inset the end pieces a few mm. Won’t be noticed. Or inset them 2 or 3cm to make them like little sushi trays. The height of the modules only needs to be as tall as the deepest depression/valley module you want in the setup. Any little wobble Or small height inconsistencies that may come up can be fixed by either gluing some shims of thin chipboard on the legs where needed. Gluing on a strip of squishy felt across the bottom legs can also help take up a bit and protect you from the wrath of your wife for scratching the dining room table with a setup!

 

if you are apt to do some woodworking the handiest power tool after a cordless drill is a small chop saw. Even a very cheap one is accurate enough for 6” wide boards. Also check out used options as they are pretty hard to ruin and one quick chop will tell you if it’s not straight but even then a simple one can usually be easily realigned easily. They are safe with blade guards and being slow and careful it would be very hard to hurt yourself!

 

also ask around, there may be someone in the neighborhood or friend of a friend with a chop saw that would cut these out for you. Would literally take 10 minutes to cut out a dozen and woodworkers love to help folks on projects like this.

 

do it you’ll love it!

 

cheers,
 

jeff

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JGSDF

Hello, 

long long time ago, now my modules are stored half unfinishend in the Basement.

Now i am in trouble with myself, should i restore them,  or planing a new project.

What ever, wish you much more success, and have fun with your project.

I am watching your progress.

JGSDF

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Tony Galiani

Should have thought of using the first piece as a guide to cutting more - after all, that is just what I do when cutting plastic strips as I did for my Sankei renovation.  It's just a matter of scaling up to the larger material.  Live and learn.

 

And I spotted a potentially handy way to store and transport these modules.  Chris Nevard shows some modules he built that can be stored in plastic containers.

http://nevardmedia.blogspot.com/

 

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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Martijn Meerts

You could get the bases laser cut. With bases that simple, laser cutting wouldn't cost much more than the minimum cost. Usually laser cutting is calculated per minute the laser is turned on. If the laser cutting shop also supplies the material, they usually have high quality stuff.

 

I've had T-Trak bases laser cut for me, and while they're definitely more expensive than building them from scratch, the fact there's no frustration in building them is worth a lot as well. They go together great, and when you need more, you can be 100% certain the new ones will be exactly the same.

 

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cteno4
5 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

Should have thought of using the first piece as a guide to cutting more - after all, that is just what I do when cutting plastic strips as I did for my Sankei renovation.  It's just a matter of scaling up to the larger material.  Live and learn.

 

And I spotted a potentially handy way to store and transport these modules.  Chris Nevard shows some modules he built that can be stored in plastic containers.

http://nevardmedia.blogspot.com/

 

Cheers,

Tony Galiani


toni, using jigs as simple as just the first piece is the secret to woodworking! More than a couple and a stop set (like a block of wood clamped to the bench) becomes the perfect way to make them all identical. With jigs you can really do a lot of woodworking with simple tools. The jigs don’t have to be permanent just some blocks clamped down right.

 

Those are interesting shaped storage boxes, I’ve seen few that are long and thin like that. storage boxes for modules is the eternal search. Murphy’s law usually is one of the dimensions is a quarter inch too small and one 6 inches too big and one just right! Ttrak is notorious for this and usually end up with boxes with 2x volume needed plus which gets hard with transport of numerous modules. The nice thing about the U modules is usually they are thinner and can be stored as displays on a regular bookshelf nicely. 
 

cheers

 

jeff

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Kiha66
Posted (edited)

Glad to see simple modules are getting a lot of attention! 

 

 @Tony Galiani My design on these modules was to minimize the amount of wood working you have to do.  If you're in the US you can use 1x3 dimensional lumber and only have to roughly cut the boards to fit, as the critical measurements are already cut for you!  If you're in a metric country I'm not sure exactly whats available, but its possible that there's something similar out there!

 

I completed two more modules last night, as well as revised the upcoming bridge module.  I'll post the updated plans when I get them sketched up.

Edited by Kiha66
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Tony Galiani

I appreciate all the great info on this.  And, conveniently for me, it turns out that one of the members in my jazz workshop is a woodworker so I have someone to assist if necessary.

 

I do have one more question.

image.png.b82f9b61c337a054a3247101c1b89489.png

I see the 1x3 wood pieces holding the track section.  I am curious about the top section.  I looks like some sort of finished board.  Could you tell us what it is?  I am in the US so, if I can find a finished top piece like that, it would certainly make things easier.

 

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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cteno4

Toni,

 

it looks like it’s preprimered board. Most big box stores, builder supply and lumber yards will have some of their dimensional stock in the forum of pre painted with a white primer so ready to just paint away. Kiha can confirm.

 

you can get the dimensional stock in a number of widths as well, so you can make modules the width you want. dimensional plank lumber is 1/2” less on width and 1/4” less on thickness so a 1x3 is actually 3/4” x 2.5” so put that into your calculations.
 

if you get your wood worker friend to cut stuff for you then think about cutting the end sections out of the same material and that way you will have a smooth with grain edge as opposed to the cross grain edge on the end on the front and back. The cross grain is hard to get smooth and look clean even when sanded well. Since these modules only show these edges making them all smooth will just make it disappear more -- nice thing about these is the modules themselves are very little visually as compared to regular Ttrak boxes which can end up looking huge and distracting. Kiha used the cross cut piece to just assure he has them all the same height as he wasn’t sure he could cut them exactly the same length. Your wood worker friend should be able to just put a stop on his chop saw to cut them all exactly the same and since same stock as the top all will make it all line up.

 

do ask your wood worker friend for some help cutting I bet he will be happy to help out and show you the basics on putting it all together. Probably has a sander so you can quickly get all the edges clean and smooth to paint or stain. A small edge like on these looks nice as just finished wood rather than painted. Simple stain can be applied to the whole module with a rag.

 

stuff like thi you learn best by doing with someone to show you.

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Kiha66

More progress on the modules, this one belongs to my friend Tim.  Scenery base work in progress, using mostly odds and ends we had lying around.

 

20200121_190823_compress89.thumb.jpg.554016efecdeb8c3495ecf1d7db68857.jpg

 

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