Laser Cut Wood

Discussion in 'Wooden products' started by hartleymartin, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. hartleymartin

    hartleymartin Full Member

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    I started using LibreOffice Draw to create vector graphic files for laser-cutting. Some of my first projects are for a KA Tramcar carriage, an 1884 Glasson's Contract High-sided D wagon and for track panels.

    The track panels are to be cut in 2.5mm plywood. Pilot holes for Micro-Engineering rail spikes are included in the drawing. In the 1890s, the NSWGR used 21ft and 24ft rails. These track panels are for 24ft panels, simply because the measurements are a little more convenient for drawing. Since this is for O gauge (7mm scale) I decided to go with Karlgarin Models Code 100 rail which has a more prototypical profile - wider head and foot - more accurate for O gauge.

    The drawing is to fit on a 600 x 300 x 2.5mm plywood sheet and gives me about 2.5m of straight track. In this era the NSWGR track had sleepers spaced at 2'9" intervals, with 1'9" spacing at the rail joints.

    Several years ago I hand-laid most of the plain track for Stringybark Creek. In the end I did about a scale mile of track, with 4 pins in every sleeper. I remember I could do about 8 yard lengths in a solid day of model-building and in the end I did about 60-70 yards of the stuff. For the next layout the group used American pre-made plain track and hand-built the points. The layout I'm building is only going to require about 6-7 yards of plain track, 3 points and 1 catch-point.

    [​IMG]NSWGR 24ft Track Panels 1890s by Martin Hartley
     
  2. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice work Martin
    Also a nice touch including the track spacing guides.
    Where are you sourcing the rail ??
     
  3. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Wow - the things we do to take our mind off real life :thumbs:

    A Catch point, now there's something not often modelled, looking forward to seeing the progress.

    Paul
     
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  4. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Not sure about catch points Dundee... more like catch cold this time of year :avatar:
     
  5. hartleymartin

    hartleymartin Full Member

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    I had to use up some of the area of the 600x300mm sheet and it seemed to me that some track spacing tools would be handy. They're basically just an enlarged version of Peco's HO/OO gauge ones, though they only go down by 2mm so that they clear the sleepers and the spikes. I am essentially creating my own set-track.

    The rail will be from Karlgarin Models. I figure since I am going to this trouble I might as well go premium, though I do or did have a stash of Micro-Engineering and Peco rail somewhere.

    The plan for making curved track is to simply cut out the web on the inner side of the curve. I will also probably laser-cut some of my own templates, though Carlingford's requirement for curves basically consists of 3 short sections to form the loop and siding.

    I will certainly be doing a catch-point since for the era I am modelling I require one, but it will be based on NSWGR practice and what I can glean for a couple of historic photos.

    The only problem I have at the moment is that I don't have measurements or specifications for ME "Micro" spikes. The "small" size is specified for about 0.7mm diameter, so 0.5mm pilot holes should be fine, but I don't know if the "micro" size is smaller. I have a packet of them somewhere!
     
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  6. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    The reason I asked where you are planning on getting the rail is I have tried contacting via their web page contact several time and not had any luck getting a reply.
    I’ve tried again this morning because in several place on the web site it notes they had internet issues previously but that They are now fixed but
     
  7. Gloria Aldridge

    Gloria Aldridge Full Member

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    HI SMR Chris,
    Good luck with your track build be interesting to see the catch points once they are made.
    Regards,
    Gloria.
     
  8. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Gloria
    It’s Martin that’s actually doing the laser cut track panels and planning a catch point, but I’m also about to start on a new layout that I plan on having all hand laid track as well.
    I will include probably 2 or 3 catch points in the layout to be prototypical for the track layout I’m planning being a terminus as well the catch points will protect from runaway to the main line from the sidings, May not actually make them operational as it’s going to be a exhibition layout and I don’t want trains accidentally in the dirt with inexperienced operators when at a show.
     
  9. hartleymartin

    hartleymartin Full Member

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    Chris,

    I got a response from Richard to buy the rail. It seems that it makes most economic sense to buy three lots at a time, and seems to be somewhat comparable to Micro-Engineering rail. I figure that since I'm effectively going to hand-lay all the track for a small layout, I might as well go premium on the rail. I probably have Peco stashed about the place somewhere and I could use it in the storage yards or for some other project.

    I still use plain analogue control for the most part, and my solution is to put an isolating section before the catch point so that locomotives can't drive themselves through it, though that doesn't stop them from shoving a rake of wagons through a catch-point!

    Carlingford will only need two switches controlling four point motors. The loop on one switch and the siding with catch-point on the other. I had thought about some form of interlocking with nice big levers, but I'll leave that for another time.
     
  10. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    For your turnouts, have a look at Templot.com, there is a learning curve, but the results are worth it. If nothing else you can use it to generate the sleepers

    Paul
     
  11. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Martin good to know they actually still exist and you got a reply but I still haven’t had any reply this week,
    I’ve got a bit of micro engineering rail on hand enough to do a few points and some track sections, was originally ordered from “The Rail Car” to do Moonan Flat but it took months to arrive so I ended up using the peco standard 124BH track.the MicroEngineering rail actually arrive 3 weeks after the first exhibition I did with the layout.
    I think ModelOKits keep it in stock now, if I don’t get any contact soon I will go with the ME rail as I’m going to make a start over the Xmas break.
     
  12. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Spoke too soon Martin Just had a reply from Richard
    I’m going to order some of the 125 for the main running line and 100 for the wheat silo sidings on the new layout it’s not that expensive when compared to the ME rail.
     
  13. hartleymartin

    hartleymartin Full Member

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    The turnouts are already available from another manufacturer, though I think they might use 3.0 or 3.5mm wood for the sleeper base. Not a problem, since I've always built the points as separate items on their own sub-boards so that I can re-use them in the future.
     
  14. hartleymartin

    hartleymartin Full Member

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    Andy_Sollis, jakesdad13 and Chatty like this.
  15. hartleymartin

    hartleymartin Full Member

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    Test-build. This took about an hour, since I was triple-checking that everything fit and matched the drawings. A competent modeller could probably do it in half that time. Only tools needed were a sharp hobby-knife, small file, steel ruler, bottle of glue and a paper-clip.

    [​IMG]KA Test Build 01 by Martin Hartley, on Flickr

    [​IMG]KA Test Build 02 by Martin Hartley, on Flickr
     
  16. hartleymartin

    hartleymartin Full Member

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    Test-build continues. Turned out I goofed on some of the underframe dimensions - the bufferbeams are about 5mm narrow. Not sure how that got past me to the laser-cutter. Dapol cosmetic screw-link couplings, Slaters MR buffers - extremely close match to the type used on this carriage.

    [​IMG]KA Test Build 03 by Martin Hartley, on Flickr

    Arc roof under construction - I hope this works. I've never done a carriage with end-platforms.

    [​IMG]KA Test Build 04 by Martin Hartley, on Flickr
     
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  17. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Similar in looks to the Leek and Manifold - it’s coaches platforms we’re slightly narrower to allow the foot steps to still fit within the external loading gauge.

    I’m quite impressed. !!
     

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