February 2018
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Archive for the ‘Modules’ Category

New Modules

As I said in a previous post my two foot Bridge module took a fall out of the back of my van and needed some repair. I came to the conclusion there was no way I was going to be able to fix it so I just tore it apart. This left me with the need to make another one as it is in the plan for our Railfest 2009 (Hillfest).

I decided I would make two of them in order to stack one on top the other with the faces towards each other in order to protect the surfaces. This led me to think when I am transporting and storing them this two foot length seemed, to me at least, a pain. It seemed to me that four feet would be much more convenient. Now what I will have is 2 – two foot modules and one four foot conveniently packed in a four foot package. I know call me nuts, everyone who knows me does. I never do anything simple the first time.

Now for the part that is hard for me, deciding what to do for scenery. One of the two footers I know what I want to do, as for the other one and the four footer, I have no idea yet what I’m going to do. If you have an idea by all means let me know. I’m not looking for an industry just a scenery idea as our group needs more modules that will give us more length between industries.

New modules standingNew modules packed up

See Ya


Module Legs

Ok as promised… here goes. This is how I build my module legs. All opinions are only the opinion of the author (Me) and are not to be considered the only or best way of doing this particular job………although I may think so 😉

I make my legs like angle iron, two pieces of plywood shaped into an L shape. I have always considered that making legs from two pieces of plywood instead of one piece of 2 X 2 makes a much stronger and durable leg. When I cut the strips of plywood for the legs I need the inside dimension of the “L” 1 ½” in order to support my leg leveller later in the process. One piece will be 1 ½” and the other Legs with no bracingpiece will be 1 ½” plus the nominal thickness of the plywood. So if you use ½” it would be 2”, 5/8” = 2 1/8” and so on. The length will depend on the standard height of your module and how it “sets” into your module. I then glue and brad nail these together but you can fasten them with screws or some other fastener, but do not use a common nail. The purpose of the nail is only to hold the pieces tight together until the glue dries. A common nail does not “bite” or hold the wood tight and will easily loosen while you are working on the legs. Once the glue dries the joints will be much stronger than nails or screws alone.

My nextTemplates step is to cut 1 ½” squares from plywood waste to help keep the L shapeBracing of the leg at a 90 degree angle. I place one of these at the top and one in the middle some where. Again I glue and nail these together. I made some “templates” out of some scraps laying around the shop to help keep all the bracing the same for each set of legs

The next stCross bracing with templatesep is the bracing. I do not criss-cross my bracing as I find once everything is One pair of legs (OK, so they are upside down)fastened and the glue is dry the legs become very sturdy. The length of the bracing will depend on how wide you need to make your leg sets for your module. I rip some plywood between three and four inches wide and then cut them to the desired length. I fasten the top brace approximately 6 inches from the top of a set of legs and the bottom one about 18 inches up from the bottom of the leg.

Now for the leg levellers. You can buy them through various companies and I have some I may use on the next set of modules I build, but here I will show you how I make my own. I start with a three or four inch long piece of 2 X 2 (which is actuallyDrilling through the lenght of Leveller 1 ½” X 1 11/2” , hence the inside dimension of my legs). I use 5/16” nuts and bolts as they are much stronger than 1/4” and the cost difference isn’t that much. I drill a 5/8” hole up the center of the length of the 2 X 2. If you drill this hole too small in diameter it could cause problems for you later on. If the bolt you use for levelling gets bent (and they usually do) or the “T” nut doesn’t set in straight, the screw will bind in the hole when it is screwed up into the leveller. Next I place a “T” nut at one end of the wooden leveller and keep it secure with a couple screws. This will become the bottom of the leveller.

Next I Drilling out 1/8" hardboarduse1/8” hardboard and cut out (or drill out in my case) 2” round disks. These littlParts for the Levellere contraptions will save on the grumblings that go on when you are trying to level up your modules at the shows and you either can’t find your wrench or your fingers are starting to cramp from trying to spin that little bloody bolt 😡 I like to use 3 ½” – 4” bolts for this as our particular group has a 1” plus or miLeveller assemblynus height rule and depending on slopes in the floor you may need a lot of adjFastening the Leveller to the legsustment. I drop the disk on the bolt and then thread and tighten a nut on so as the disk will not spin on the bolt during adjustments. Now all I have to do is spin the bolt into the “T” nut and fasten the whole assembly with glue and brads.

There you have it, one pair of legs ready for a module. One last tip if you have a tap and die set, you should consider running them over all the threads of both the bolts and nuts as you will find they spin much easier.

In a future post I’ll show you how I make all the bracing, nuts and bolts totally self contained in the complete leg assembly. It takes me 5 minutes or less to set up each module at a show.

See Ya