Rainier Great Western Railway & Navigation Company

The Route of the Thunderbird


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Brackets will hold up the northwest and north wall table sections, eliminating the need for table legs.
The Home and Design of the RGW....

This Page Currently Under Construction (Literally)

Train Room (Shell)  -  Train Room (Interior)  -  Layout Design

Layout Construction:  (click on pictures for full view)

March 2007:  

With the backdrop set for now, we set our sights on construction of the northwest and north wall sections of the layout.  As we mentioned in the February update, we determined locations of our hanging brackets for the NW and N wall table sections.  Our goal is not to have a single table leg along both of these stretches of the layout.  The reason for this is a combination of the depth of the table, only a maximum of 1 foot, and the width of the aisle along this section.  This combination will put operators and patrons in close proximity to the table edge at all times, as such, the risk of tripping on outer edge table legs is too great. 

The first concern was how to mount the wall sections without external legs.  We considered moving the legs back from the table edge, but that didn't really address the issue, given the shallow depth of the table. Brackets seemed the only real solution, but then what kind.  Angle brackets were considered, but given that three separate levels of track ran through this area, angle brackets would present a visual obstruction that was not acceptable. After sitting with pencil and paper, a concept of our bracket was born.  Steel plate, 3" in width, 11" long, 3/8" thick and bent in the shape of an "L".  Four holes with 7/16" diameter for mounting and one 1" diameter hole to run conduit through.  Fortunately, one of my customers is a metal fabricator and he agreed to make 20 of them for the project.

The first picture below is our first bracket.  You can see the metal is bent at a right angle, giving us a wall mount surface.  We used two 3-1/4" lag screws with washers to affix each bracket to the wall, checking to make sure each was level and in those areas where more than one bracket was stacked, that each was plumb as well.  The second and third pics below were more for "hamming it up" purposes, but you get the idea of how we handled the task.


Steel plate was used to form our brackets.        Chief Engineer Wain Miller admires the installation of the first bracket.        The Owner of the RGW, Michael Highsmith, making sure Wain's efforts are "plumb".


These next three pics provide a bit of reference to what we will ultimately see.  In the first shot, we laid 1x3 dimensional lumber on the tops of the brackets to simulate the table tops.  We were looking to make sure the "flow" looked right. In this pic, you can start to see how we will rise from the lower staging yard to the main table.  The third level is our highest point on the railroad, approximately 57" off the floor.  Table sections will be built in boxes that span the length between each bracket.  Holes will be drilled in each box that correspond with the mounting holes on the extended leg of the bracket.  We will tie all the boxes and brackets together with screws and bolts.  In the second pic, we set up temporary risers at the brackets and used our dimensional lumber to simulate subroadbed ribbon so that we could check our grades.  The final shot is that of our grade tool, which can be purchased through local hobby shops.  It affixes to the end of a 24" or 48" level and has grade percentages marked on the face plate.  It makes setting grades quick, easy and very reliable.


    Dimensional lumber laid across brackets to simulate table tops.        Wain reviews the predetermined grades on the lower two tables for accuracy.        Grade is set using the K-Tool Grade Gauge.    


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