Posted by: bgtwindad | March 11, 2010

Half an Inch

That’s how far off my layout is.

Half an inch may not mean much in most cases, but when designing something that has to fit in a room and wraps all the way around said room, half an inch can mean a lot.

In this case, I neglected to account for the width of the Fast Track verticals on which the layout would hang.  They extend 1/2 inch out from the wall.  Because the layout fits snugly all the way around the room, the width of those verticals means the layout is one inch shorter in all directions than the room dimension.

Carving an inch out of a layout design that is already tight is a challenge.  What I did was, I found a “cut point” along the two walls where the layout extends the full length of the wall – the left and top walls in my overview drawing.  The “cut point” is a point where I have one or more straight track segments parallel to the wall, and no curves, angles, or turnouts along that line.  I could then shorten those straight segments by an inch, and that pulls the overall design of the layout in by the required amount without changing any of the angles or connections.

I did also have to adjust the town, streets, and scenery a small bit to fit the new track positions.  However, since those are merely drawn in for illustration and concept purposes, it is OK if they don’t line up precisely.

Had I not caught this, it would have been a significant “Uh-Oh!” moment while building the benchwork!!

Just another example of how attention to detail during the planning phase can really help prevent large headaches during construction and operation.


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