Ken’s been in touch again – this time he shows us how he built his turntable.
And Chris has also sent in a video of his rather fun layout.
Here is the turntable at the mine. Because of the small size I decided to make it myself. So here you see the rough cut out and temporary turntable with track, to get proper dimensions and proof of design. The turntable is not powered at this time. I have also started on the road, made out of drywall compound, and painted with basic grey house paint. The tunnel portals are hand made, cut from ¾ inch plywood, coated with drywall compound, painted with the same grey house paint. Here you also see the beginning of the ballasting, following all the tried and true methods of gluing, except mine is real sand, sifted for size, cost 20 cents for a bucket. Again, I live in Mexico and here you need to be very creative.
This next picture shows the 2 crossings where the road and track cross. I had 2 bags of ties that were for the original layout years ago that never got used, so I dipped them in black paint, common house, dried and now used to fill in blank spots made at rail joints and here for wooden crossings.
Ok, progress, the turntable pit done. Took many ideas, each discarded as impractical, till I finally hit on the method I finally used. Again because of its size I figured I needed several separate components, the circular track, for show only, the bottom of the pit, the walls of the pit, the turntable, and a way to electrify it. Turning for now is manual, may or may not change, we’ll see.
The base needed to be as round as possible, so center hole and compass with blade, sanded to finish. The walls were cut from cardboard, glued and pinned in place, and layered for rigidity, not easy but far easier than the rail. The rail was cut from a piece of flex track, curved, fitted, glued and pinned to dry. Everything is coated with my favorite item, drywall compound. Here it is finally mounted in place. Also there is a notch in the wall height to allow for the rails to pass and rest on as the locomotive enters and leaves.
The turntable was far easier. Material is 3/16 inch thick, cut to shape and glued together. Power comes through the center.
Here is the underside of the turntable, the rod is the center pivot point and one side of the electrical connection, the washer is the bearing surface and the other side of the electrical connection. I found that I needed weight to insure a good connection as well as electrical conductive lube. The base of the table has a brass tube and corresponding washer.
The weights are old auto wheel weights, needed to insure good electrical contact. Also here you see the mine area is now ballasted, the road is in and scenery done. Colors are combinations of common house paint.
This picture shows how small this turntable is, it is now fully functional.
Here are the 2 loco’s that work the mine and deliver the loaded and empty cars.
You also see the “ finished” scenery, tunnel portal, road, and pad for the 2 stall engine house, and the car repair track. Both loco’s were purchased in the early 70’s, still running smooth as silk. The electrical switches are for the 2 engine tracks, and the turntable, also the approach track is likewise controlled, as is the car repair track.
Hope you enjoyed this and someone out there finds it helpful.
Ken, from Mexico”
“Hi Al here is the latest layout i have done, and up for sale , 6 x 4 with 2 track and 2 siding’s, it has working street lights and buffer’s.
The fun bit about it, it has a mini scalextric set in the middle.
(See the layout .)
That’s all folks! As always, please do keep ’em coming – and a big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.
I have bit of a back log at the moment, so if you’ve sent anything in, please do bear with me. I’ll get to you as soon as I can.