Wednesday, February 29, 2012

OK, Now I Have REALLY Done It

As the sun was gently going down this afternoon at the end of quite a nice hot sunny Queensland day, the bloke from Titan Sheds just happened to be at my place checking up on a quote I'd gotten the other day when I was (cough, cough) sick. 

Looks like my pen somehow accidently slipped all over some of the Titan blokes' papers and I seem to have somehow contracted to buy a shed!

So now I really do have to do something about it all. A lot of work will need doing in the back yard to allow the shed to get in and the yard completed to suit it. And I have about 6 weeks to do it - that apparently is the rough time it takes to get the Brisbane City Council approvals for the shed.

On the left you see my back yard as it stands now, and on the right how it will end up - I hope.

The chooks are going as they are now costing more in feed than the eggs being produced. All the garden beds are going as the vege's just aren't going as well as in the past since the back neighbour has planted a whole row of tightly packed hedge trees across the back fence line, it now shades the garden beds. The compost heap can go as I can easily get a composting bin instead for the vege scraps - no where to use the compost anyway.

The old pergola goes for now, as there will eventually be a new one attached to the house and coming out as far as the new shed - that way I get a full under cover walkway from house to shed. The Cactus Shed also has to go. The poor old things haven't really been the same since I got more into the railways than the prickly things.

The old brick BBQ goes, as wood fired outdoor BBQ's are out - the Weber Kettler has been doing the job now for a decade anyway. The rainwater tank will end up at the back of the new shed and within 12 months I have to demolish the old brick shed as well, as it is just taking up space. The tools and mower and all that sort of stuff will move into under my house in what is currently my garage. I will then build a carport out front of the house to keep the car happy.

Oh yeh, the old Hills Hoist is out the back to the right of the BBQ - it will have to come out for a while. Once the old shed goes then at the back of the yard I can replant the Hills.

So that will leave a much nicer laid out backyard to look at once the new pergola gets built later this year or early next year. It also gives me my precious...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I suppose we must all start at the bottom and work our way up. So I expect that before I build benchwork I'll need to know where to put my Hidden Staging Yard and incorporate it into the design. So I've again been doodling and this time about hidden staging.

So if you enter from the main deck via "Y" and start downward at say a 2% grade, then eventually you get to "X" which is where you enter into the hidden yard itself.

Let's have some basic calculations. Based on a 2% gradient and a deck layout such as in Drawing D from my previous blog post (Drawing C would give even better results since it has a 9 m straight compared to the 6 m one here) we get this:

.  5 cm drop for the loop at "W".
. 10 cm drop along the left hand wall.
. 7 cm drop around the loop at "Z"  (a modification to this one would be to go to "V", which adds about 12 cm or even go to "T" which adds 12 cms).
. 10 cm drop coming back along the left hand wall.
. 7 cm drop for the loop at "W".
. We now enter the staging yard at "X".

This gives a height drop from the main deck of about 39 cm, or if I go with option for "V" or "T", we get a total of about 51 cm - Now you can get you head into a gap like that !  :o)

I expect that the option of going to "T" will be out as far as the dropping of height, as to do the turn around based on 60 cm radius will take it way into the people space in the aisle. But nothing is stopping me using up to "T" for the staging yard itself - dead ended of course.

Now the next decision is whether the yard will be drive through or dead end.

Dead end gives maximum length of each siding, but the locos will be stuck at the dead end as well - unless of course I put points in for run arounds on each and every siding (makes it pretty complex - hey).

A run through yard makes the loco issue go away. But of course I take a hit in the length of the sidings. As for a drive throught, there are two type - one is where there is only room for the locos to come out of the siding and then run back around the whole train. The other drive through is where the whole train can keep driving forward and eventually turns around and come back out of the staging yard.

So what is the length hit will I take by having a drive through? I think I'll go away and doodle some more.

So until next time...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Getting a Headache - The 1st of Many I Expect

Well, been mulling it around a bit more and here are a few more options I am thinking about for the basic benchwork layout for the main level.

A - bog standard straight lines with maximum straight runs but only 50 cm wide decks.

B - still gives a good 12 metre run up one side and all decks are 70 cm wide. Much better for industry and sidings I think - more depth compared to the narrow drawing A. This one gives good disperal of operating staff without them passing each other so often.

C - the long drag strip is gone and is now only 9 metres long. Operating staff are just a bit more on top of each other. All decks are 70 cm wide. If the peninsulas are the locations for heavy industries, then this one gives a better dispersal to drawing B.

D - even less long straight runs again, being down to about 6½ metres as the longest straight. But this one is probably the better for operations for people to stand without getting in each others ways. All decks are 70 cm wide.

There are just so many things to think of and balance when you get down to it when designing up a layout. I would really like to have really big long straight runs, but then that does cut into laying out of the benchwork and the room left for the operators.

So drawings A, B and C are the ones I am tending to lean towards. D has the most points for the operators to stand and alow others to very easily pass, then B, then C.

D also has the more points for deep industries to sit. The industries on D would also be nicely spaced out like is possible with C.

I suppose I shouldn't lock myself into anything yet until I do find out the space I have once the shed size is decided and built and ALSO what are my industries.

Oh well, let's go away and think about possible industries for a while - now where did I put that Great Model Railroads 2012 I just got?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The REAL Where do I put it

You think you have it thought out and then someone makes a smartarse comment, only it is not a silly comment, it has merit and so you think about it. AND think about it and think about it.

Then you realise, they actually have the better idea.

Had the Old Cheese make such a comment. I almost just talked right over the top of her, but got thinking later that night and for the past few weeks. Oh, you are all probably wondering what this all is about? Well, it is about the positioning of the shed in my back yard.

Originally I was placing it on the right side of my yard and I'd be able to have the doorway in the short wall. The coment was innocuous enough "Why not put it on the left side of the yard". Now after much deliberation it looks like I might actually do that. It might give a better layout for my backyard. But still more miles to travel before I make a solid decision.

Now of course this minor change makes it that the doorway into the shed would have to be on the long wall so I can enter straight from my also yet to be built pergola. So I have been playing with my CAD program some more and refining the idea. This of course then meant a small change to the layout benchwork positioning and more thought on that line.

My now even newer dilemma is that I am thinking that 50cm wide benchtops might not really cut it for me. It does give an absolute maximum possible mainline run, but it does make it harder to make busy industry areas. I had also not catered for the standalone walls to support the second deck either. So in my next set of drawings I added in some walls and have also drawn myself up a new design based on 70cm wide benchtops to compare with. Now there you go, a little voice in my head just said, what if it were 60 cm wide benchtops? and so it continues.

So if I have the 50 cm width, I still have aisles of 1 m width, but have pinch spots of 80 cm or less. If I go with my new design, all benchtops are 70 cm and all aisles are 1 m with NO pinch points. I think this gives a better operating environment even though I loose a little mainline length - but hey, this is N-scale, so I'm getting a pretty long mainline run anyway in this size shed (rough glance say I go from a single lap being 110 m down to it being 90 m).

Mind you, I still have to go see the shed man and see what size I can make the shed anyway. AND I may ask for an extra 1 m width and bring the shed up to 12 m x 7 m in the end - time will tell.

So the below drawings are based on 6 m x 12 m inside dimensions.