Building my new p4 layout

Help and advice for those starting in, or converting to P4 standards. A place to share modelling as a beginner in P4.
tmerrion95
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Building my new p4 layout

Postby tmerrion95 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:29 pm

So I'm finally going for it and have started laying track today for my new layout (as yet unnamed) which will be built to p4 standards. The layout itself is not set on any location in particular and will comprise of a terminus station with some crossovers and S&C at one end. The track is going to be mostly flat bottom track but there is some bull head track and S&C in there too. As this is a first go for me I'm not expecting perfection but will do my best to get as close to it as possible. I'll post some pictures of my progress today and will update this thread as I go along.
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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:29 pm

Hi Tom, :)

just want to say well done for making a start, no-one knows until they actually start just how things will work out, but you do have to make a start sometime and I am sure you will find it both fun and maybe occasionally frustrating. I am running a starters group and all the members have started by building their first loco so that they have something to test their new layouts with. This is a good place to get help as there are many good modellers in the Society and there is also an emailing service if you want to ask questions away from the fourum. :thumb

Like you I am starting a new layout for myself and will post what I am doing as I go along soon.

Good luck :!:

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jim s-w
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby jim s-w » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:58 pm

Good stuff. Are those FB templates or bullhead? Just though I'd mention it as FB pointwork is gererally longer.

HTH

Jim

Edited for clarity
Last edited by jim s-w on Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tmerrion95
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby tmerrion95 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:37 am

Yes well spotted they are BH templates. I'm purely using them to gauge the space i require for the trackwork and to get the timbers in the correct possession. For fabricating the switches and crossings I have some of the scale four point and crossing filing jigs. All the S&C is going to be B6 in size as I feel this best represents what I require but dosnt take up too much room
Thomas

Terry Bendall
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:11 am

tmerrion95 wrote:As this is a first go for me I'm not expecting perfection but will do my best to get as close to it as possible.


That seems a pretty good philosophy to me. :D It may not be perfect but what you have done so far looks fine from the pictures. Even if it is not "perfect", however you define that, it will probably work. :D

Terry Bendall

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:04 am

Tom,
could I ask you what your baseboard is made from and will it be a permanent layout, or are you intending for it to be an exhibition layout? :)

tmerrion95
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby tmerrion95 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:04 am

The boards are built of 12mm MDF on a frame of 44x44mm soft wood. It's built in 2ft x 4ft sections and there's 3 in all so it's 12ft long. This method will allow me to add extensions on to either end should I need to

tmerrion95
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby tmerrion95 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:05 am

As for it been an exhibition layout I'll see how it turns out once completed so lets never say never! And it's built in small enough bits so could be a possibility

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jim s-w
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby jim s-w » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:29 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:
tmerrion95 wrote:As this is a first go for me I'm not expecting perfection but will do my best to get as close to it as possible.


That seems a pretty good philosophy to me. :D It may not be perfect but what you have done so far looks fine from the pictures. Even if it is not "perfect", however you define that, it will probably work. :D

Terry Bendall


Exactly. Besides if you achieve perfection on your first attempt where would you go then? :D I think you've got the same approach most of us do. The closer we think we are to perfection is just a measure of how more deluded we are! Lol

Jim

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RobM
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby RobM » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:21 pm

tmerrion95 wrote:The boards are built of 12mm MDF on a frame of 44x44mm soft wood.

Tom, make sure you thoroughly seal the ends of the MDF and to a lesser extent the top and bottom. I have quite a bit of experience with MDF using it as a substrate for my paintings and also on a couple of now scrapped railway projects. If not sealed dampness can get in and expand the stuff which is rather annoying when you build your track over two joints and it is perfect only to find a few days later that the track is no longer in line due to ingress of dampness.
Good luck..... :thumb
Rob
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Updated December 2016

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:02 pm

jim s-w wrote:Good stuff. Are those FB templates or bullhead? Just though I'd mention it as FB pointwork is generally longer.
HTH
Jim
There is FB pointwork and FB pointwork, Some is longer than the equivalent BH some isn't and can be identical in geometry and length, you need to be specific in what you are comparing.
Regards
Last edited by grovenor-2685 on Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited as the post quoted was changed.

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:04 pm

Thanks Tom,

The basis of a good layout is building carefully from the roots up and agree with what Rob says about using MDF.

Tom, make sure you thoroughly seal the ends of the MDF and to a lesser extent the top and bottom.


When I built the first section of "Dubbieside" all these years ago - the length was about the same with the intention of extending, if it was successful. I used plywood at the time - cutting up drawing boards that I had used at Art College - the marks from these days are still on the underside of the layout. I did not have much money for building layouts in these days.

MDF is heavier than Ply. Nowadays the weight of the original layout in its present form is becoming an issue, although the use of ply was very successful, without any distortion over the years. More recent additions to the layout are lightweight and much easier to handle. My new layout is going to be even more lightweight as I am hoping to have a new exhibition layout built in the next two years from aluminium and foam-board, etc. :D

Much of "Burntisland" is built from heavy section MDF and boy is it heavy to lift and lug around! We have a couple of larger sections which bolt together and it is like moving a grand piano. David Orr and I have already had to have operations due to having to move the layout about :!: :shock: So we try to avoid the really heavy lifts now if possible. :(

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jim s-w
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby jim s-w » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:16 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:
jim s-w wrote:Good stuff. Are those FB templates or bullhead? Just though I'd mention it as FB pointwork is longer.
HTH
Jim
There is FB pointwork and FB pointwork, and BH and BH of course. Some is longer some isn't, you can't make generalities like that, you need to be specific in what you are comparing.
Regards


The planing length on Flatbottom is longer so all things being the same (same angle) generally a FB point will be longer.

(Edited for clarity.)
Last edited by jim s-w on Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby grovenor-2685 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:53 am

The planing length on Flatbottom is longer so all things being the same (same angle) generally a FB point will be longer.

That depends on which flat bottom switch design you are comparing with which bullhead switch design.
Regards
Last edited by grovenor-2685 on Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: quote edited to match change to post quoted.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Martin Wynne » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:15 am

Info:

bh_fb_sb8.png
bh_fb_sb8.png (55.2 KiB) Viewed 4704 times

Templot prints

2 = FB renewals 1950s - 1960s. Remained in use for many years afterwards.

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

dal-t
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby dal-t » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:32 am

Extremely informative (and speedy) response, as usual, Martin, but can someone explain to a slow learner like myself how the apparently irreconcilable can live in harmony - if the planing is indeed longer, and all other aspects are the same, how can they both be of equal length?
David L-T

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Martin Wynne » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:52 am

dal-t wrote:Extremely informative (and speedy) response, as usual, Martin, but can someone explain to a slow learner like myself how the apparently irreconcilable can live in harmony - if the planing is indeed longer, and all other aspects are the same, how can they both be of equal length?

Hi David,

The planing on those semi-curved switches wasn't longer. The early flat-bottom designs were essentially drop-in replacements for bullhead.

Later inclined designs in BS-110A and BS-113A rail used curved switches which were a bit longer (not much).

GWR and BR(W) designs differed.

Everything changed about 1970 with the introduction of the 1432mm gauge BS-113A vertical designs, but of course the earlier designs remained in use for many years. Everything changed again about 2000 with the reversion to 1435mm gauge and inclined rail, but of course the earlier designs remai... you get the picture.

The history of FB development is far more complex than bullhead. For bullhead the REA designs have remained essentially unchanged for over 90 years, and are still being installed new in some places, e.g. Exeter Riverside.

regards,

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

dal-t
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby dal-t » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:26 pm

Thanks again, Martin, I'm feeling even more relieved than usual that I stick to pre-Grouping and don't have to grapple with all the flat-bottom stuff.
David L-T

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Colin Parks
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Colin Parks » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:28 pm

Thank goodness Martin has clarified the bullhead/flat bottom issue.

It had me going for a while, thinking my templates must be wrong as the length had not altered when I changed the rails in Templot from bullhead. There was no difference in length between the two.

Sorry to take this conversation of at a tangent, but some people ought not to be confusing we beginners with too much irrelevant knowledge.

Colin

tmerrion95
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby tmerrion95 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:20 am

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Morning all
I've spent the last couple of days practicing fabricating some crossing V's and there is some photos of what I've came up with so far. Dose anyone have any advice on how I can improve them as I would like the crossing nose to be sharper and finer build and also what is the best way to make the wing rails for the crossing?
Thanks everyone
Thomas
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Le Corbusier
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:49 pm

Others more experienced might have a view ... but as a beginner I found that Brian Harrap's method seemed to work pretty well for me

see link here - http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... ack/page-2

I also read this and found it helpful

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... ete-novice’s-experience/

Tim
Tim Lee

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:01 pm

The second of those is a bit better in that he mentions soldering the tip before you file it.
I see no reason why that technique will not work provided you read the subsequent notes about needing to file both sides.
However I still suggest filing the point and splice rails separately then soldering them together, I think its clearer what you are doing and therefore should lead to a better understanding.
Method shown here, http://www.norgrove.me.uk/points.html

With FB rail its the same but you have to remove the rail foot on the inside of the vee far enough back that it does not interfere withthe rails fitting together. Remember only the point rail forms the actual tip and the splice rail sits back, looking at your photos it looks as though you have tried to have both rails right at the tip.

My link also shows fitting wing rails if you read far enough, the method shown is for fitting wing rails as you build the turnout, if you want to pre-assemble with the vee then a slight variation is needed, several options depending on what gauges you are using.

Regards

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:25 pm

Hi Tom, :D

Good to see you have not been put off.

Difficult to see just how sharp your V is just from the photograph. I always take just a shade off the very point myself. The alignment of the approach rails and the crossing V are the important things here, rather than just how sharp the V is. When building your points do not fit the check rails until last. If you have built the points correctly then an unsprung/compensated wagon should go through without any difficulty. Look out for any dip due to the V dipping or due to the approach rails being high due to a kink at the bend to form the wing rail. (See below)

Taking a wagon and replacing the wheels with S4 ones will allow you to check your work, but check the wagon first to make sure that it sits level on a piece of glass with the S4 wheels in and that the wagon has a reasonable weight. I would also make sure your back to backs on the wheels are correct. Your gauge should slip between the wheel without any slop. Give them a twirl to make sure they are running true and do not assume that newly bought wheels are set correctly, we have all come across some that are too tight/wide straight from the shop. Check again once they are fitted on the wagon just in case you have moved them on the axle during fitting. :thumb

One slight problem you might encounter when making the wing rails and possibly check rails is that the thicker bottom web can take a kink sometimes when bending if you are not careful to bend the rail with your pliers set at right angles. (This is easier to do in bullhead) So when making bends check afterwards, that the bottom is level on a piece of glass as well as the top. It may just bend back into place by putting the rail on to a metal plate or anvil and give the rail a tap from the top or bottom this should be enough to make it level. - check by putting it on a piece of glass or mirror to see if it is properly flat. If it is not then it is possible to saw through the bottom web on the inside of the web. You will find then that it is easier to level, just by putting it on the metal anvil and giving a tap to gently flatten into place. :thumb

If doing a batch of similar points it is possible to make a jig from a couple of pieces of thick card one cut to the angle and then attached to the other card using glue. You can then tweak the rail until you are sure that they match and sit snugly against the angle of the card.

It is a while since I last had a go at building flat bottom, so I will be very interested in seeing how you get on. :)

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:11 pm

I have added some lines to one of the photos to show where the ends of the rails should be.
Regards
vee.jpg

tmerrion95
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Re: Building my new p4 layout

Postby tmerrion95 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:56 pm

Ah with those lines in place I can see it's a case of filling the rails at a slightly different angle to hopefully get an more precise crossing?


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