Sputtering start to a new layout

Stephane Savard May 24, 2018

  1. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    It fits!

    I'm a bit amazed actually, but the whole thing fits where it was supposed to, more or less. I did have to move the bridge to the left about 10 mm so that the first pier could clear the tracks below, but still, it fits!

    Here it is test fitted in place...

    IMG_20200825_143535166.JPG
     
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  2. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    and yeah.. the cross beams cannot be seen from any angle :D
     
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  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    How about if you want to take some cool pictures down at track level? You do have a photo car you use, don't you ;)

    Sumner
     
  4. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    I'll get some pictures at track level once I've had it installed. For photo car? you mean that blue passenger car I've been using to check for clearances on curves? :)

    Edit: LOL, I'm just slow, I've now realized what you meant by your post! Yes! later on when I do take track level pictures, those cross beams will be visible!
     
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  5. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    That looks absolutely great Stephane! Impressive. (y)(y)(y)
     
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  6. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know, that looks like a future "Mirror Lake" below the bridge!
     
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  7. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Sometimes I do wish engineers would stay a little further from the edge, especially with things like machine tools.

    Old school American made machine from the late steam era-
    Engineers didn't even know where the edge was, so when things go wrong, you put out the fire, clean up the mess, replace the cutting tools and turn it on again.

    Modern foreign built machine designed right at the edge-
    No fire to put out, but wait 2 months for replacement parts for all the stuff that broke to come from who knows where.


    BTW, Nice bridge, Stephane
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
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  8. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Well then!

    Been a while since I updated this. The problem is that I didn't work on the layout until, umm, 3 weeks ago? Since I'm now working from home, I spent a lot of time building up my home office, then working on a few things on the house, and well, you know. Anyway, I finally did get back to painting that bridge. So yeah, here's the bridge!

    IMG_20201103_180416773.JPG

    First, the abutments. I tried something new for the concrete paint. A base colour and then I did quick spurts of airbrush of darker and lighter colours to speckle a concrete texture. Turned out pretty good I think. I did the same with the bridge deck. Rust comes later with panpastels.

    IMG_20201104_182044668.JPG

    I did much the same with the piers. Just sprayed different browns and then a dark wash. I still don't have the hang of applying washes, I dunno, here it's nearly not visible. But it's okay, looks fine to my eyes.

    IMG_20201111_180729638_HDR.JPG

    And so that brings us to the installed bridge! It fits! Later when I ballast the track, I will also be adding ballast to the deck of the bridge. It also marks a major milestone. The track is finished!!!!

    Yup, that was the very last bit of track. I also installed track feeders everywhere on the main line section and the second reverse loop. I have no pictures of that, I mean its identical to the pictures I did umm, a year and a half ago now? Also installed two AR1 auto-reverse units. They work, mostly. I keep adjusting the little pot trying to get it perfect. It mostly is at this point.

    And so, what with the pandemic and my parents wanting to see my progress and what not, I did a video of a train going around the whole track (main line and through both reverse loops).



    A funny thing happened. When I first tried out the track, it was with a single SD-40 and seven cars. Imagine my surprise when the engine stalled, spinning it's wheels up at the first bridge! Yeah, so I have a rather harsh grade, and that curve just before the bridge made it worse. So, I found that I was able to get the ten cars I wanted up the hill if I added a second SD40 to the train! Well, that's the reason I bought that second engine, so I'm pretty happy about it. But yeah, that was a close one! I won't be pulling 30 car trains, but I never meant to do so anyway. It was always going to be 12 cars max.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy, hopefully I'll be working on this some more in the coming weeks!
     
  9. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Congrats, that is terrific. I can see you really enjoying the layout. The bridge came out great and hopefully you are very proud of how your design work turned out,

    Sumner
     
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  10. S t e f a n

    S t e f a n TrainBoard Member

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    Amazing! Just read the whole thread in one go. Thanks for posting this project log, Stephane. Very inspiring!

    A question regarding Kato bridges: you were able to slip the Kato track out of these molded clips near the end of the bridges? I'm thinking of cutting the clips (and anything else that sits above support beam level) out of my Kato bridges, until just a flat surface is left, and laying Micro Engineering flex track (maybe bridge track) through them.

    3D printing: I see the Photon is now on sale, but so is the Photon S, Photon Mono, and probably a bunch more. If you had to buy a 3D printer right now, would you go with resin again, and which printer would you recommend?
     
  11. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you Sumner, Stefan!

    Regarding the Kato bridges, I guess it depends on the bridge. In one case, I did replace the rail with atlas flex track (if I remember right). This was the plate girder bridge. The truss bridge might be more difficult, but not impossible.

    As for 3D printing, I'm not up to date on the technologies. I don't use my own printer all that often (last time was for that viaduct print!) The only thing I could say is that you definitely want to be using a mono coloured screen, this is the new generation of printers that are faster and last longer. But yes, should I buy another printer today, it would still be a resin printer, mono-coloured screen, and if possible, larger. Or rather midsized. There are the regular photons like I have, and then there are the large ones like the phenom (?). But it would be nice to have something between those two sizes.

    In layout news, nothing much has changed visibly. All under the table work, where I hooked up 15 of the 19 remote switches to the control panel. Of the four remaining, two (curved peco turnouts) still need the remote installed in the layout. Then the two remaining switches are the ones at the throat of each reverse loop. Those I need to figure out a detection system to automatically throw the switch when a train comes around the loop.

    Oh! and I just received today two brand new locomotives. Bought a pair of CN 8-40CM engines by Rapido. Whew, those run so beautifully and sound awesome. I even hooked up 9 cars to a single engine and it pulled that up that back breaking 3 to 6% incline with barely a slowdown! Yeah, that incline was only supposed to be 3%, but I measured it with my phone using an app. Eeek! it's steep at places! Ah well, nothing to do but plow on at this point. As for the Dash 8s being able to pull so much? probably the traction tires that Rapido put on. Well, works great!

    IMG_20201126_190543596.jpg

    My next bit will be repairs to the viaduct I built (in the photo above). It's flexing or shrinking, or expanding, who knows. But it's no longer sitting on the piers correctly. Maybe temperature changes, but it's buckling the track at the top switch. I wanted to keep it removable, but at this point I'm going to glue it down solid, I can't have it moving constantly like this.
     
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  12. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Not terribly surprising. Plastic is affected by both temperature and humidity. For what it's worth, I once took a class taught by a quality manager in plastics. He related a story of packing a box of parts in Michigan (they were having dimensional problems with the job) and flying to Mexico to unpack the box. When he cut the tape, the parts literally exploded out of the box. It's not surprising that you're having some issues with a bridge of that length. Perhaps building in some provision for movement would help.
     
  13. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    In this case it might be the rail that's expanding or contracting? The four sections of the viaduct are no longer glued together, the rail (atlas flex track) is holding everything together.
     
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  14. S t e f a n

    S t e f a n TrainBoard Member

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    You can compute how much the rail expands; Nickel Silver has a CTE of 0.016mm/m per degree Celsius (I assume you are metric up there).
    So that would be a tenth of a mm (4 mil) for a six C (11F) temperature change, for 1 m (40 inches) of track - better check my math though.
    The foam is four times that (polystyrene CTE of 0.063mm per m per degree C), but that is still a small movement for plausible temperature changes.

    More difficult is the foam base dimensional change with humidity, or the ageing of the bridge. The latter is what I would be afraid of. At work we tried to use some 3D printed parts for prototyping, and a lot of the stuff (filament printed) just warped and distorted.
    I was hoping the liquid resin lithography stuff was more stable. If you could measure the bridge parts, I'd be very interested to learn how much they changed since they were printed.

    And thank you for the printer comments. Unfortunately the discounts on the Photon Mono X (mid-sized 4k single colour LCD printer) are not that great, and the Elegoo Saturn is not yet out. Those are both 190mm x 130mm x 200 (Saturn) or 250 mm (Mono X) volume printers, wide enough for a 100' bridge segment in N scale.

    How smelly is the resin? Have you tried those plant-based resins, and are those more tolerable?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  15. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    I wouldn't want the smell in my home. My printer is in the garage, and I added weather stripping to the door leading into the rest of the house to prevent it spreading (that and to keep the cold air in the garage in winter) It's not a strong smell as you'd get from say a rattle can of spray paint. But I don't want it around my family.

    Edit: I haven't tried the plant based resins.
     
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  16. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    I think I found the real problem. The table I built is actually two tables bolted together at a 45 degree joint. That joint runs right under the viaduct. When I move the table the layout flexes around the joint (basement has an uneven floor). I strongly suspect that's where the expansion and contraction is coming from.

    We'll, nothing I can do about that now except hope it doesn't cause more problems!
     
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  17. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Even with that issue Stephane, the bridge looks great! That Dash8's are pretty awesome as well!
     
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  18. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Can you fasten a couple of 2x3's or 2x4's across (underneath) that joint to stiffen it?

    I really like the layout!
     
  19. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    BigJake: that's a great idea! I do have a 3" wide, 33" long piece of 3/4 ply left over. I'll fasten that across the joint, right below the bridge.
     
  20. S t e f a n

    S t e f a n TrainBoard Member

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    Just FYI: I ordered some 'Rich-Opto' low odor UV cure resin, and did a smell test today: very little smell, and certainly not the expected solvent odor.
    I spread about a square foot of resin on paper, and let it sit in my office for several hours. It did not polymerize during that time.
    The smell is quite faint, definitely less strong than any paint I know; even scenic glue and latex glue smell stronger.

    The odor is not solvent-like; if anything, it reminds me maybe a bit of the poster paint ('Plaka' paint, a casein type paint) we used as kids. But even that was more smelly, if I remember correctly.
    Now, all this would be worthless if this resin doesn't print well; but the reviews on Amazon are pretty good.

    And thanks again for the inspiration towards 3D printing! My layout will need a ton (over ten feet) of viaducts and bridges, and 3D printing should be vastly preferable over and also cheaper than scratch building using Plastruct or Evergreen profiles. The results should also be better: I ordered some Plastruct OWTS web truss strips, and I'm not happy with the appearance. Huge (0.3mm) ridges, probably parting lines from molding, all along the profile.

    Given your recommendations, I will wait until a few more 4k monochromatic LCD printers appear on the market. I almost bought a small $100 printer, but the only one I found at that price has 0.1mm resolution, which seems a bit rough.
     
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