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Gavino's module build

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gavino200
3 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Speaking of costs I was sort of shocked a couple of weeks back when I walked down the dimensional lumber isle at homedespot! Yikes it seemed like it was twice the price I had in my head! Nother reason I love ripping my own dimensional lumber from good cabinet grade 3/4” birch and 1/2” Baltic birch! Going to have to do a price comparison here again.

 

clear stuff is really getting pricy. At times on the way out of home despot I walk down the lumber isle I’ll take a glance to see if any especially clear and straight pieces of the premium clear pieces to grab to have for making jigs and other things that require a really clean piece of wood. Yikes those are really expensive now! Sadly our local lumber yards stock little of the premium grade soft woods.

 

jeff

 

Agree. Actually the price of everything has gone up significantly in 2020. We're all a little poorer. 

 

I'm not focusing too much on price on this first module. Mostly concerned about not screwing it up. But for the next modules I'm going to try to get the best value on lumbar.

 

How much are you paying for your 3/4 and 1/2 inch Baltic birch? Are there tricks to cutting it without a lot of splinter generation on the outside lamina?

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cteno4

wood seems to have shot up here. Unfortunately I usually keep a good supply and stock up on Baltic birch ply when our local woodcraft puts it on sale, so I don’t buy often anymore unless really big project! 
 

ive paid like $30-45 for the 5x5 12mm Baltic birch usually depending if I get it on sale or drive out to some of the cheaper yards. I’m usually lazier and just grab it at our local woodcraft as I like to give them business as a good local store and small National chain and they have 10-15% off sales then. It’s nice to have some quality stuff that’s right on the usual grocery shopping route! They are a bit pricy but usually not unreasonable for good quality stuff. Most stuff I do now is a bit smaller so the 1/2 Baltic birch works out better to be lighter. The Baltic birch is also stronger being 9 ply and also has the nice thick outer veneers that take sanding and edge dings well! The nice 9 ply also looks pretty on the edges. I’ve used it in furniture and left the edges exposed as it can even turn into a nice deign detail!


The last good cabinet grade 3/4” birch ply I got like 2 years ago and it was about $50. At the time Home Despot paper thin veneer (they call it 7 ply but the outer veneer layers are so thin I would call it 5.2 layers) was about $35-40, but I expect now in the $60-75 range. Kind of don’t want to look... but whenever I’ve priced out cutting good ply to dimensional lumber to the cost of whole dimensional lumber the ply had been cheaper that even the medium grades that can have knot and twist issues. Definitely way cheaper than clear lumber. Clear 1x4 is like $12 at Home Depot and you get 11 1x4 out of a 4x8 sheet of ply so that would put it at $132 to beat the ply price. Even looking at the best quality dimensional lumber I need to pick thru to get non warped pieces as well and that ain’t fun! 
 

The 3/4” cabinet grade rarely ever warps on cutting with the good stuff. Once cut it can sag a little if you store it improperly and it’s more flexible than dimensional once cut into strips but in doing framing this does not matter as all the right angles end up locking it all in place along with the top ply. For anything that needs to be a long streatch on its own doing and L or T cross section and it’s super strong (how they make glue laminate beams).

 

good quality ply on the tale saw doesn’t chip if you use a good plywood blade (mine is an 80 tooth finish blade) and use a zero clearance insert so the wood is supported right up to the edge of the blade all around. The blade cuts so smooth almost don’t need to plane it, but I usually just cut them a tad big and pass them thru my planer vertically and put a super clean and square edge on them. 
 

yes it takes me maybe 30 minutes of my time to strip out and plane a sheet of plywood (much easier now that I have the flip up outfeed table on the table saw to easily support full sheets of ply), but I’d rather save some money and get nice clean wood and no warping. I can also cut exactly what I want. Goes even faster if I get someone to help move boards as I cut for 10 minutes! 
 

this is why I was saying a decently set up cabinet shop can cut crap like this really fast as they do it all day long and have a big table saw table to handle  4x8 sheets. It’s the stuff they do all day long to make custom cabinetry. Once you know all your linear dimensions the setting up the chop saw or the table saw with stops you can cut everything out perfect and all to exactly the same dimensions. We made like twenty some odd modules like this for the latest JRM layout and had all the lumber stripped out, milled and cut to length in an afternoon with 2 of us.

 

it’s a tradeoff, if you can find someone to help you wack up a bunch of wood in an hour or two then you can save a lot and I think get clear results than with most dimensional lumber you get these days. Definitely get a prettier face than fir, pine or poplar.

 

jeff

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inobu

The splinters are called "tear out". There is a catch 22 in that the lumber shop will cut the wood for you but their blades tend to be dull a contributing to the

tear our. They are cutting the wood just to cut and go to the next customer. The feed rate  ( How fast you cut the wood ) will make a difference. 

 

As the blade exit the cut it can tear out. slow the cut down and the blade nibbles its way out reducing the tear out.

 

Gavino, get a truck. I told a friend the same thing and she cant live without one now. She bought a newer one a few months ago.

 

Inobu

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gavino200
2 hours ago, inobu said:

The splinters are called "tear out". There is a catch 22 in that the lumber shop will cut the wood for you but their blades tend to be dull a contributing to the

tear our. They are cutting the wood just to cut and go to the next customer. The feed rate  ( How fast you cut the wood ) will make a difference. 

 

As the blade exit the cut it can tear out. slow the cut down and the blade nibbles its way out reducing the tear out.

 

Gavino, get a truck. I told a friend the same thing and she cant live without one now. She bought a newer one a few months ago.

 

Inobu

 

Ah, thanks for the explanation, inobu. 

 

I've actually been considering a truck for this kind of thing. But I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about it and they suggested a trailer. I think that's what I'll do instead. 

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gavino200

So some good news. I was talking on the phone about the table leg issue. One of the nurses, a guy who knows woodwork well offered to make the cuts form me. He wanted to do it for free but I insisted that he name a price. He'll do it for $20, which isn't bad, I think. 

 

He also suggested making a box socket for the leg to avoid "hinging". I don't know if this is strictly necessary considering the loading involved here, but I'll consider it. Any thoughts on this, guys? It would make it more difficult to use the right angled ruler. He suggested using a level, but if the floor isn't perfectly level then....

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cteno4

Great news! He’s suggesting you frame in the legs with another cross piece to avoid the legs folding over due to its attachment from two sides and not more. The longer your legs the longterm the lever arm to do this. Probably not necessary, but can hurt to add, does add a little to cost. You could just box them in and it would help and less wood (probably out of your scraps). the only issue is once boxed it’s harder for the bolts to cinch the legs tight in the socket. You have to make them nice and tight, no slop.
 

The big 4x8 tables I made used 2x6 (you are 1x6) and 4x4 legs. I built the first one without boxing the legs, just did the minimum to see how well it would work and was going to beef up as necessary. I jumped up on top of the first one and shimmied around and it didn’t wiggle at all! So I never added any more to the design. I had to stand on top of these tables as the model was about 20’x25’ so to get to the center you hand to step into it at places there were supported areas to stand in. Most of the time it was in various pieces to work on individual galleries.

 

good news is it sounds like he has experience and knowledge! You can probably find something good to bribe him with!

 

once you find your design hopefully you can just do an afternoon of cutting and get it all cut out for you to then go at assembling.

 

on the legs yes if the floor is level the using a level on the legs vertically will work to make sure the will be perfectly perpendicular to the table top. A big quare will work but little inconsistencies in the frame and how you hold the square and just little schmutz in the way can throw them off. Hopefully your frame is pretty square and the legs should be good. Only way to correct the legs not being perfectly perpendicular is to loosen the bolts and add in tiny shims. Hopefully if your legs are square when you cinch in the bolts they will suck in any off perpendicular in the frame to right. It’s going to be hard to get them all perfect. This is why legs are one of the most challenging bits of woodworking! 
 

jeff

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gavino200
4 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Great news! He’s suggesting you frame in the legs with another cross piece to avoid the legs folding over due to its attachment from two sides and not more. The longer your legs the longterm the lever arm to do this. Probably not necessary, but can hurt to add, does add a little to cost. You could just box them in and it would help and less wood (probably out of your scraps). the only issue is once boxed it’s harder for the bolts to cinch the legs tight in the socket. You have to make them nice and tight, no slop.

 

There should be no reason why I couldn't attach the legs first and then box them in. I could make holes in them for the bolts and then screw them in place. First I could assess the sturdiness of the table and see if they're even necessary. This guy is extrapolating from forces on backyard deck railings which would seem much more shearing stress as people lean on the railings. I'd bet it won't be necessary, but I'll do it if need be. I bought an extra plank of 4x6 in case I need it. Eventually I'll use it anyway. 

 

4 hours ago, cteno4 said:

 

 

The big 4x8 tables I made used 2x6 (you are 1x6) and 4x4 legs. I built the first one without boxing the legs, just did the minimum to see how well it would work and was going to beef up as necessary. I jumped up on top of the first one and shimmied around and it didn’t wiggle at all! So I never added any more to the design. I had to stand on top of these tables as the model was about 20’x25’ so to get to the center you hand to step into it at places there were supported areas to stand in. Most of the time it was in various pieces to work on individual galleries.

 

That's good to know. I don't know if I'll be so brave!

 

4 hours ago, cteno4 said:

 

good news is it sounds like he has experience and knowledge! You can probably find something good to bribe him with!

 

once you find your design hopefully you can just do an afternoon of cutting and get it all cut out for you to then go at assembling.

 

Yep, he seems more excited about it than I am. And I'm kind of excited about it. 

 

4 hours ago, cteno4 said:

 

on the legs yes if the floor is level the using a level on the legs vertically will work to make sure the will be perfectly perpendicular to the table top. A big quare will work but little inconsistencies in the frame and how you hold the square and just little schmutz in the way can throw them off. Hopefully your frame is pretty square and the legs should be good. Only way to correct the legs not being perfectly perpendicular is to loosen the bolts and add in tiny shims. Hopefully if your legs are square when you cinch in the bolts they will suck in any off perpendicular in the frame to right. It’s going to be hard to get them all perfect. This is why legs are one of the most challenging bits of woodworking! 
 

 

Indeed, fingers crossed. I think I'll pick up some thin shim material somewhere just in case. 

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cteno4
1 hour ago, gavino200 said:

Yep, he seems more excited about it than I am. And I'm kind of excited about it. 


he’s a woodworker! Good ones love helping others do some woodworking and like I said it’s even better when someone wants to learn and help, not just have the final product. I learned this from my father as he was always doing  projects for friends in the shop. One of the first big scale ones was in second grade when my mom got hi to go with her to a PTA meeting and she mentioned to someone that he did woodwork. That night they roped him into building 40 bookshelves for the new library they wanted to add to the school! $1000 was allocated for supplies... next month many evenings spent helping him saw up wood. My big task was to assemble as he had a jig to hold a book case together (all dado and rabit joints so quite self locking) and he would drill the screw holes and I would come along behind with the old yankee push screwdriver and drive screws (pre cordless impact drivers with clutches). Must have driven a thousand of them! Then I’d cut plugs and glue them into all the screw holes then chisel off the excess. Dad would sand with the belt sander and I would be just behind him with the finish sander! come to think of it I probably did more of the grunt labor! Dad was sneaky, but taught me a good lesson. Stopped by 40 years later and they were all still in use!

 

you won’t need to stand on yours and it’s not taking the lateral stress if a railing post. You should be fine. I’d just bolt on the legs, flip it over and see how vertical all the legs are with tape measure and level.

 

when you go to attach the plywood top first check your outside dimensions of the frame are all spot on. then to square it measure corner to corner and you can slant the frame if needed to get the two measurements to match. Best way over a larger frame like this ro check for squareness. The ply is rarely perfectly square, especially if cut at all at the store. I usually cut like 1/8” or so big and just trim off excess once done with the router or belt sander. You can attach the frame along one long edge to the ply then measure corner to corner and move other log edge as needed laterally until they match. Then just drive a screw or nail in each of the unattached corners part way in at a 45 to tack in place. Flip over and finish screwing or nailing the top down. Trim off the little waste bits of the ply edge.

 

little trim router is really handy to smooth up edges like this. These little harbor freight ones work great for small use. I’ve had one lurking in the shop for 20 years and I recently bought a cordless and the old one is happily cutting away in a friends small but growing shop.

https://www.harborfreight.com/14-in-24-amp-trim-router-62659.html?_br_psugg_q=trim+router

 

just need a flush trim bit with a bearing to allow it to ride along the frame and trim off the excess ply edge.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Yakamoz-Bearing-Router-Cutting-Diameter/dp/B07WVZQQLQ/ref=sr_1_40?dchild=1&keywords=router+bit+1%2F4+flush&qid=1606784219&sr=8-40
 

and you could use a small radius round over bit if you want to not have hard edges on your leg corners. Literally takes 15 seconds to run the trim router down each edge of the leg to get a nice smooth little radius on it. Your woodworker will probably have one as well or a full router table and even faster!

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Roundover-Woodworking-Milling-Rounding-Edge-forming/dp/B07GYZ97PN/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=router+bit+1%2F4+roundover&qid=1606784482&sr=8-6

small round over also helps the leg sit very squarely in the corner of your frame as the inside of the frame corner can always have some glue or small wood ships or edge press out right at the corner and can prevent a sharp leg edge from fully nestling into the corner. Usually ah e to run a chisel in there to reall get it clean and a pain. Tiny round over also just softeners it’s look and touch some on things like legs. Doesn’t have to be much at all like a 1/16” radius. 

 

routers are very safe, just loud!

 

jeff

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:


he’s a woodworker! Good ones love helping others do some woodworking and like I said it’s even better when someone wants to learn and help, not just have the final product. I learned this from my father as he was always doing  projects for friends in the shop. One of the first big scale ones was in second grade when my mom got hi to go with her to a PTA meeting and she mentioned to someone that he did woodwork. That night they roped him into building 40 bookshelves for the new library they wanted to add to the school! $1000 was allocated for supplies... next month many evenings spent helping him saw up wood. My big task was to assemble as he had a jig to hold a book case together (all dado and rabit joints so quite self locking) and he would drill the screw holes and I would come along behind with the old yankee push screwdriver and drive screws (pre cordless impact drivers with clutches). Must have driven a thousand of them! Then I’d cut plugs and glue them into all the screw holes then chisel off the excess. Dad would sand with the belt sander and I would be just behind him with the finish sander! come to think of it I probably did more of the grunt labor! Dad was sneaky, but taught me a good lesson. Stopped by 40 years later and they were all still in use!

 

Nicely told story. I almost feel like I was there!.

 

1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

 

you won’t need to stand on yours and it’s not taking the lateral stress if a railing post. You should be fine. I’d just bolt on the legs, flip it over and see how vertical all the legs are with tape measure and level.

 

That's the plan. 

 

1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

 

when you go to attach the plywood top first check your outside dimensions of the frame are all spot on. then to square it measure corner to corner and you can slant the frame if needed to get the two measurements to match. Best way over a larger frame like this ro check for squareness. The ply is rarely perfectly square, especially if cut at all at the store. I usually cut like 1/8” or so big and just trim off excess once done with the router or belt sander. You can attach the frame along one long edge to the ply then measure corner to corner and move other log edge as needed laterally until they match. Then just drive a screw or nail in each of the unattached corners part way in at a 45 to tack in place. Flip over and finish screwing or nailing the top down. Trim off the little waste bits of the ply edge.

 

Thanks. Good advice. The frame ended up about an 1/8 of an inch short after sanding so I can probably do that. Though, I probably lost some plywood in the central cut. 

 

I'm planning to lay the ply down on the floor, and lay the frame down upside on it. I'll draw the outline of  the frame on the plywood. That way when I put the plywood on the frame, I'll know where to place screws to fix the plywood down to the central struts of the frame. That should make it firm and prevent vibration.

 

 

1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

 

little trim router is really handy to smooth up edges like this. These little harbor freight ones work great for small use. I’ve had one lurking in the shop for 20 years and I recently bought a cordless and the old one is happily cutting away in a friends small but growing shop.

https://www.harborfreight.com/14-in-24-amp-trim-router-62659.html?_br_psugg_q=trim+router

 

just need a flush trim bit with a bearing to allow it to ride along the frame and trim off the excess ply edge.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Yakamoz-Bearing-Router-Cutting-Diameter/dp/B07WVZQQLQ/ref=sr_1_40?dchild=1&keywords=router+bit+1%2F4+flush&qid=1606784219&sr=8-40
 

and you could use a small radius round over bit if you want to not have hard edges on your leg corners. Literally takes 15 seconds to run the trim router down each edge of the leg to get a nice smooth little radius on it. Your woodworker will probably have one as well or a full router table and even faster!

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Roundover-Woodworking-Milling-Rounding-Edge-forming/dp/B07GYZ97PN/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=router+bit+1%2F4+roundover&qid=1606784482&sr=8-6

small round over also helps the leg sit very squarely in the corner of your frame as the inside of the frame corner can always have some glue or small wood ships or edge press out right at the corner and can prevent a sharp leg edge from fully nestling into the corner. Usually ah e to run a chisel in there to reall get it clean and a pain. Tiny round over also just softeners it’s look and touch some on things like legs. Doesn’t have to be much at all like a 1/16” radius. 

 

routers are very safe, just loud!

 

jeff

 

Interesting ideas. (though routers are far from safe. You wouldn't believe how many router injuries I take care of). 

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cteno4
10 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

I'm planning to lay the ply down on the floor, and lay the frame down upside on it. I'll draw the outline of  the frame on the plywood. That way when I put the plywood on the frame, I'll know where to place screws to fix the plywood down to the central struts of the frame. That should make it firm and prevent vibration.


good idea, but remember it’s a mirror image so won’t translate on your staggered cross pieces you will need to flip those after you flip the plywood over.

 

here’s the little tool you use for this sort of layout but you can just use a long board and draw out center lines based on Mark’s you put on the side of the frame where the center points of the cross pieces are.


https://www.rockler.com/ez-mark-line-cords


 

17 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

Interesting ideas. (though routers are far from safe. You wouldn't believe how many router injuries I take care of). 


table routers can be dangerous, as blade is sticking up spinning and folks will drive boards thru with fingers and not a pusher stick and and the guard back and be dumb. Even then you really have to be very unthinking to hurt yourself, I’ve never ever come close to hurting myself on a router table.

 

a little trim router with a bearing on the end is really hard to hurt yourself with unless you lock it on, turn it over and jam your finger into it!

 

really not fair to judge the now dangerous power tools are by er visits as I’ve spent 55 years around them and never been hurt by a power tool and I’ve used them a lot! My father as well. I have injured myself with a hammer and matte knifes! Couple times I was scared by something that happened but I was doing the proper safety procedures and all was well! Really the stove is dangerous, cars are dangerous, etc. there are a lot of idiots out there that never learn the basic safety of a tool first, get trained a little (youtube can be great here now) and just pay attention and use common sense. Yes there are accidents, but all the ones I’ve seen have been pretty dumb moves of totally unsafe behaviors, not thinking at all or letting startle reflex over ride safety, I’ve also been around a lot of people doing absolutely idiotic things with power tool and those are the ones headed to the ER.

 

jeff

 

Jeff

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gavino200
8 hours ago, cteno4 said:


good idea, but remember it’s a mirror image so won’t translate on your staggered cross pieces you will need to flip those after you flip the plywood over.

 

here’s the little tool you use for this sort of layout but you can just use a long board and draw out center lines based on Mark’s you put on the side of the frame where the center points of the cross pieces are.


https://www.rockler.com/ez-mark-line-cords

 

Ah, Good point. I guess I can do it by not turning the frame over. and just using a ruler to extend down the final two inches to mark the board.

 

8 hours ago, cteno4 said:


 


table routers can be dangerous, as blade is sticking up spinning and folks will drive boards thru with fingers and not a pusher stick and and the guard back and be dumb. Even then you really have to be very unthinking to hurt yourself, I’ve never ever come close to hurting myself on a router table.

 

a little trim router with a bearing on the end is really hard to hurt yourself with unless you lock it on, turn it over and jam your finger into it!

 

really not fair to judge the now dangerous power tools are by er visits as I’ve spent 55 years around them and never been hurt by a power tool and I’ve used them a lot! My father as well. I have injured myself with a hammer and matte knifes! Couple times I was scared by something that happened but I was doing the proper safety procedures and all was well! Really the stove is dangerous, cars are dangerous, etc. there are a lot of idiots out there that never learn the basic safety of a tool first, get trained a little (youtube can be great here now) and just pay attention and use common sense. Yes there are accidents, but all the ones I’ve seen have been pretty dumb moves of totally unsafe behaviors, not thinking at all or letting startle reflex over ride safety, I’ve also been around a lot of people doing absolutely idiotic things with power tool and those are the ones headed to the ER.

 

 

Yes, all of these things are dangerous. But sharp things that spin fast are particularly hand unfriendly. Also, it's really not just idiots who injure themselves. I see craftspeople of all ages and skill levels. Really, a lot of master craftspeople and professionals. The funny thing is that almost all of them tell me about their safety record - "I've spend x years using these and have never been hurt...." AFTER mangling their hand. Just be careful. I'm not opposed to using a router. I just wouldn't call it safe. 

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Martijn Meerts

Just a minor lapse in concentration, and power tools can do lots of damage. I've used quite a few of them, and feel quite comfortable with all of them, except the circular saws. Great for what they do, but that giant blade with the massive teeth spinning like there's no tomorrow.... (I still use them of course, but I'm extra extra careful with those, it's also why I didn't go with a cheap one, the one I have has all sorts of thick metal guards around everything)

 

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inobu

There is a term Defensive driving where you continually predict the action of other drivers on the road. You have to use that same mindset with

power tools. The potential is with everything. I have a pair of saw horses that will guillotine your fingers in a second. They are really good as I have 4

but every time I touch then I say to myself "these can chop your fingers off" as I'm setting them up and taking them down. 

 

Know your tools and know their hazards.

 

45-1017.png

 

Inobu

 

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cteno4

I’ve only know a couple of really qualified and truly safety conscious people get injured from power tools and both were really dumb things they were doing. The let their usual safety loop at home that day. But they did not defend their actions and fully admitted their stupidity and used themselves as a warning to others. I’ve see other folks get injured that were various levels of experience and training and they always blamed the tool, but it was always stupidly or lack of training/experience. On a job site or in the shop many times I would see something going on unsafe and mention it to be told “I know what I’m doing”, famous last words. So someone may have been doing it 20 years like that and getting lucky (most power tools have some safety features that can fight a lot of stupidity) but it will catch up to them eventually. Some are really skilled and careful but they get good and that can lead to cocky that they can control things outside the safety margins because of their skill, which maybe true but then you are riding on that very thin line of one little slip and bam! Cocky is just another word for stupid.

 

just like driving one time not paying attention cause an accident, so you try not to become complacent. I much better trust myself in the shop than in the car as in the car it’s easy to fall into complacency sitting in a comfortable seat. In the shop I’m going thru procedures that I’ve been trained for and have good safety protocols built in plus I’m in a very thinking mode planning a cut making it, then fitting the piece, it’s part of a bigger process and I find it easy to do the proper safety measures like this. I also am not in a rush in the shop, I’ve learned if I rush I will screw up something, so never really pays off. I was trained from a young age to step thru things in the shop with thought of what do I need to do next, what’s the best tool, what’s the best way to set the tool and work up, and what are the basic safety considerations and potential hazards. They are all very simple common sense/critical thinking loops strung together and if you just do them and follow the process it works great. Get cocky (read stupid) and think you can skip some because you are so good and bam! I’ve actually had friends working with me in the shop ask what’s wrong as I will stop and pause for a couple of seconds. I just say I’m thinking thru the setup or next tool, etc. it’s funny as most comment with some surprise that I’m just not “doing” it from by experience but I’m thinking at each step. I think they think it’s like that unconscious way folks do a lot of the driving of a car maybe.
 

inobu’s example is very good example of the thing that’s really to beware of, the seemingly innocent things usually are the most dangerous as you are not expecting them to be hazardous with spinning sharp blades, but they can easily be just as effective on finger slicing! There are no safety guards, bright colors at danger spots, etc to even warn you at each use. Also they are something that have no training or safety process for the basic use like most power tools do. You just grab it and not thinking start to use it. I have many little scars on my hands from those kinds of innocent looking little things!

 

it’s not the tool that is dangerous it’s the operator...

 

jeff

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cteno4
5 hours ago, Martijn Meerts said:

Just a minor lapse in concentration, and power tools can do lots of damage. I've used quite a few of them, and feel quite comfortable with all of them, except the circular saws. Great for what they do, but that giant blade with the massive teeth spinning like there's no tomorrow.... (I still use them of course, but I'm extra extra careful with those, it's also why I didn't go with a cheap one, the one I have has all sorts of thick metal guards around everything)


circular saw is probably the most dangerous hand power tool you can use. I use mine in very controlled ways and again think thru how I’m setting the piece up, how I’ll hold things if necessary, etc. again on the site I’ve seen folks do some amazingly stupid things with them safety wise to save a minute to not set up properly or grab a better tool or just have spent a tad more time up front thinking thru the build process as to not even have to use the circular saw in the resulting situation. Rushing just makes stupid moves. 

 

again it ain’t the saw that’s dangerous it the operator being in a rush or thinking themselves “experienced” and better than needing to observe safety — again just other terms for stupidity.

 

jeff

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gavino200

I just dropped off the wood. Might be able to pick it up on Friday. 

 

Until then, I'm going to think a little about my wiring strategy. 

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

I would think main buss wiring for now until you are definitely going to use heavy block control as with reduce the complexity and wiring costs (wire is bloody expensive these days!).

 

just have a main buss wire for each track (or one main one of all dcc) circuit and wire it thru terminal blocks in 2 or 3 places along the module where you can tap off it for your track feeds to blocks. I like the euro style terminal strips as they are easier to pole a few wires in and it all cinches down well with a little collar under the screw. You can find these in bulk cheap if you search around. Also can cut them easily with a razor saw down to the number needed.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10A-Electrical-Wire-Connection-12Position-Barrier-Terminal-Strip-Block-NewesH-sh/313275043615?hash=item48f0a5cf1f:g:66kAAOSwm3paDo5c

 

for between modules you need to think thru if you are going to want to pull modules apart to work on at times. If so then make sure to have terminal bocks at the end of each module and you use jumper wires to go between the terminal blocks on adjoining modules. You can also get fancier and use motorcycle connectors between modules so you can just unclip them. Just put the connector in the middle of your jumper wires between modules. These go up to 8A that’s good for most uses except high amp DCC and then you have to move up to bigger connectors. If just one big dcc power buss then you could use 20A power poles.

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32876264816.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000014.5.460c4a5b7LLnly&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller&scm=1007.14976.200453.0&scm_id=1007.14976.200453.0&scm-url=1007.14976.200453.0&pvid=840d41b0-89c7-4733-9084-8f7bffe54fca&_t=gps-id:pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller,scm-url:1007.14976.200453.0,pvid:840d41b0-89c7-4733-9084-8f7bffe54fca,tpp_buckets:668%230%23131923%2350_668%23808%234094%23730_668%23888%233325%2314_4976%230%23200453%2319_4976%232711%237538%23663_4976%233104%239653%233_4976%234052%2318550%2329_4976%233141%239887%234_668%232846%238109%23276_668%232717%237566%23819_668%231000022185%231000066058%230_668%233422%2315392%2342_4452%230%23194213%230_4452%233474%2315675%2396_4452%233098%239599%23447_4452%233564%2316062%23645


doing block wiring and also point wiring is going to be determined if you have a centralized control panel or local ones. But again you need to think about if your modules need to come apart. There are smaller connectors like the motorcycle connectors that would work to make plug connections between modules for point firing. you can really start to get a mass of wires if doing extensive block control and point control. This is where Dcc helps but has its own needs and issues.

 

I usually like to use bundled pair wire for the busses if there are multiple ones as fewer wires and labeling issues. For 14-20g wire you can find some good speaker wire that is paired individual wires jacketed in an easy to strip jacket. Usually is the best bang for the buck. Monoprice.com can be a good source for this. We use it a lot for bus wires on the club layout as it’s very tough.

 

jeff

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gavino200
53 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

I would think main buss wiring for now until you are definitely going to use heavy block control as with reduce the complexity and wiring costs (wire is bloody expensive these days!).

 

just have a main buss wire for each track (or one main one of all dcc) circuit and wire it thru terminal blocks in 2 or 3 places along the module where you can tap off it for your track feeds to blocks. I like the euro style terminal strips as they are easier to pole a few wires in and it all cinches down well with a little collar under the screw. You can find these in bulk cheap if you search around. Also can cut them easily with a razor saw down to the number needed.

 

That's pretty mucho what I have on the previous layout. Four buses, one for each section. It's a fairly simple question, put together with the advice and help of inobu. A huge improvement on my previous MRC system with one single tree of kato connectors. 

 

I'll probably add a Lok programmer by ESU as I can't stand JMRI (though I respect that many like it)

 

I was planning on making this module the "control module" and adding all the busses that I'll eventually need. They can be extended as far as necessary as I add modules. 

 

1. Four main track buses, yellow, green, blue, red

2. Loconet system. 

3. One or two LED power buses. 

4..Point wires. I have a single block of switches twist tied to single spread of wires that go off in all directions. I'd like to make a single connector between the switch box and the board. Then at least a common zone for these wires to travel in, in both directions. 

 

There's probably something else but that's all I can think of. 

 

Actually, I'm fortunate enough not to have to worry about the cost of wire even though I'm thrifty by nature. There are two other more important issues for me. 

1. I really didn't enjoy spending days on my ass under the board applying the wiring last time, even though I was very satisfied with the result. I'd like to add the wiring to these modules as completely as possible with a minimum of major remodelling later. 

 

2. It's weird but I really like how the wiring under the table looks and I like it to look as orderly and pretty as posible. It's like as if the layout is a real world and the under the table part is the underground infrastructure of the city.

 

3. With LED circuits things got quite complex with multiple resistor-potentiometer sub circuits supplying the buildings. I'd like to design a neater way of doing this for the future. Perhaps with these zones being on zones connected by detachable junctions, and placed on boards that can be removed to work on. 

 

9e7pfFr.jpg

 

 

53 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10A-Electrical-Wire-Connection-12Position-Barrier-Terminal-Strip-Block-NewesH-sh/313275043615?hash=item48f0a5cf1f:g:66kAAOSwm3paDo5c

 

for between modules you need to think thru if you are going to want to pull modules apart to work on at times. If so then make sure to have terminal bocks at the end of each module and you use jumper wires to go between the terminal blocks on adjoining modules. You can also get fancier and use motorcycle connectors between modules so you can just unclip them. Just put the connector in the middle of your jumper wires between modules. These go up to 8A that’s good for most uses except high amp DCC and then you have to move up to bigger connectors. If just one big dcc power buss then you could use 20A power poles.

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32876264816.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000014.5.460c4a5b7LLnly&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller&scm=1007.14976.200453.0&scm_id=1007.14976.200453.0&scm-url=1007.14976.200453.0&pvid=840d41b0-89c7-4733-9084-8f7bffe54fca&_t=gps-id:pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller,scm-url:1007.14976.200453.0,pvid:840d41b0-89c7-4733-9084-8f7bffe54fca,tpp_buckets:668%230%23131923%2350_668%23808%234094%23730_668%23888%233325%2314_4976%230%23200453%2319_4976%232711%237538%23663_4976%233104%239653%233_4976%234052%2318550%2329_4976%233141%239887%234_668%232846%238109%23276_668%232717%237566%23819_668%231000022185%231000066058%230_668%233422%2315392%2342_4452%230%23194213%230_4452%233474%2315675%2396_4452%233098%239599%23447_4452%233564%2316062%23645

 

I'm already using something like those. They can be a pain to crimp but once they work, they work well. 

 

AJpBjty.jpg

 

 

53 minutes ago, cteno4 said:


doing block wiring and also point wiring is going to be determined if you have a centralized control panel or local ones. But again you need to think about if your modules need to come apart. There are smaller connectors like the motorcycle connectors that would work to make plug connections between modules for point firing. you can really start to get a mass of wires if doing extensive block control and point control. This is where Dcc helps but has its own needs and issues.

 

I'm not decided on block wiring. But now is the time to decide. Once I wire this thing, I'm not planning to completely strip it and redo it. I'd like to make it compatible with future upgrades if possible. 

 

I did add isolated joiners before on my last layout but removed them because they made the train lights flicker. This may not be an issued when using capacitor containing lighting systems. 

 

Another disadvantage of adding block isolators to the track is that I won't be able to make a track that can be swapped between DC and DCC which would be nice for running trains that hadn't been converted yet. 

 

Last, I need to watch a bunch of block system videos to see if it's even something I'd appreciate. 

 

 

53 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 

I usually like to use bundled pair wire for the busses if there are multiple ones as fewer wires and labeling issues. For 14-20g wire you can find some good speaker wire that is paired individual wires jacketed in an easy to strip jacket. Usually is the best bang for the buck. Monoprice.com can be a good source for this. We use it a lot for bus wires on the club layout as it’s very tough.

 

jeff

 

I believe it's 16 gauge wire that I used before. I was thinking of using a color code with four colors and two shades of each color. Dark = black, Light = Red

Red/pink, Orange/yellow, Dark blue/light blue, and dark green/light green. 

 

Very much not decided on the block detection, but want to give it some thought. Also want to think about any other improvements that I can make at this stage. 

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cteno4
25 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

That's pretty mucho what I have on the previous layout. Four buses, one for each section. It's a fairly simple question, put together with the advice and help of inobu. A huge improvement on my previous MRC system with one single tree of kato connectors. 

 

I'll probably add a Lok programmer by ESU as I can't stand JMRI (though I respect that many like it)

 

I was planning on making this module the "control module" and adding all the busses that I'll eventually need. They can be extended as far as necessary as I add modules. 

 

1. Four main track buses, yellow, green, blue, red

2. Loconet system. 

3. One or two LED power buses. 

4..Point wires. I have a single block of switches twist tied to single spread of wires that go off in all directions. I'd like to make a single connector between the switch box and the board. Then at least a common zone for these wires to travel in, in both directions. 

 

There's probably something else but that's all I can think of. 

 

Actually, I'm fortunate enough not to have to worry about the cost of wire even though I'm thrifty by nature. There are two other more important issues for me. 

1. I really didn't enjoy spending days on my ass under the board applying the wiring last time, even though I was very satisfied with the result. I'd like to add the wiring to these modules as completely as possible with a minimum of major remodelling later. 

if you do your main bus wires, dress and hang them and mount all the main terminal strips while it’s upside down it’s much faster and a whole lot easier, later once you have your block feed sdropped you can just screw them into the terminal blocks, much easier to do upside down. Maybe look for a little rolling hassock you could like on to pop under the layout more comfortably.

25 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

2. It's weird but I really like how the wiring under the table looks and I like it to look as orderly and pretty as posible. It's like as if the layout is a real world and the under the table part is the underground infrastructure of the city.

yes it can become a horrid rats nest with some planning and order very fast!

25 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

3. With LED circuits things got quite complex with multiple resistor-potentiometer sub circuits supplying the buildings. I'd like to design a neater way of doing this for the future. Perhaps with these zones being on zones connected by detachable junctions, and placed on boards that can be removed to work on. 
 

yep main power bus you could tap into with a little board with some pots ans resistor that to to individual buildings to control brightness as needed.

25 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

I'm already using something like those. They can be a pain to crimp but once they work, they work well. 

 

AJpBjty.jpg

 

 

Good. Some crimps are easier than others to crimp and pop in. Also a dab of solder doesn’t hurt on the crimp

25 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

I'm not decided on block wiring. But now is the time to decide. Once I wire this thing, I'm not planning to completely strip it and redo it. I'd like to make it compatible with future upgrades if possible. 

 

I did add isolated joiners before on my last layout but removed them because they made the train lights flicker. This may not be an issued when using capacitor containing lighting systems. 
 

For future block wiring you only need to design in your insulators strategically when you build and have at lease one feeder per block (more if big and with DCC and also some dcc block detection spacing needs I think)

25 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

Another disadvantage of adding block isolators to the track is that I won't be able to make a track that can be swapped between DC and DCC which would be nice for running trains that hadn't been converted yet. 
 

not a problem if you have a separate buss for each major loop. Switching from dc to dcc is just switching the power supply on the busses. Spurs and passing loops are an issue when flopping between dc and dcc. If you want point power routing in dc then you can’t isolate them now unless you do some fancy jumpering at the lead in part of the track. Cant always have your cake and eat it too! You can of course make insulated track wing a little cuttoff wheel in the Dremel and slice thru the track.

25 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

Last, I need to watch a bunch of block system videos to see if it's even something I'd appreciate. 

 

I believe it's 16 gauge wire that I used before. I was thinking of using a color code with four colors and two shades of each color. Dark = black, Light = Red

Red/pink, Orange/yellow, Dark blue/light blue, and dark green/light green. 

 

Very much not decided on the block detection, but want to give it some thought. Also want to think about any other improvements that I can make at this stage. 


May want a bit bigger than 16g with dcc. It’s a big debate on the buss size vs power supply vs overall size and configuration. Dcc folks can get you more wisdom here. 16g is fine for regular dc 2A power supplies.

 

jeff

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

 Maybe look for a little rolling hassock you could like on to pop under the layout more comfortably.

 

Great idea. Or I could make one. A little woodwork project.

 

 

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cteno4

Yeah or a pool lounge chair and pop some wheels on it. Your wife may find you asleep under the layout though!

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts
9 hours ago, gavino200 said:

I'll probably add a Lok programmer by ESU as I can't stand JMRI (though I respect that many like it)

 

I'm no fan of JMRI, but the DecoderPro bit actually works rather well.

 

I also do have an ESU LokProgrammer, which is a nice bit of kit, but if you only use it for programming decoders, it's probably a bit too expensive. It does also do firmware upgrades (for ESU components) and of course allow you to customise LokSound decoders. So I'd only recommend it if you have / are planning on using ESU decoders.

 

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gavino200
2 hours ago, Martijn Meerts said:

 

I'm no fan of JMRI, but the DecoderPro bit actually works rather well.

 

I also do have an ESU LokProgrammer, which is a nice bit of kit, but if you only use it for programming decoders, it's probably a bit too expensive. It does also do firmware upgrades (for ESU components) and of course allow you to customise LokSound decoders. So I'd only recommend it if you have / are planning on using ESU decoders.

 

 

I installed an ESU sound decoder in my GS4 assuming that the stock steam sound would me fine. The stock sound is for a diesel. Oops!

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Martijn Meerts

It's a very special limited edition diesel/steam hybrid 😉

 

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inobu

Based on the cost its hard to not like JMRI.

 

Inobu

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