Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Starting a new AsiaNrail module

With the 9 day long Hiller exhibit now behind us, I have started on a new module project.  This is not exactly a "new" module and is actually quite old, let me explain.

Back in the 1970's Jim Fitzgerald, Paul Ingraham, and a few others here in the SF Bay area had a modular layout standard they called "Interail".  The dimensions were metric, and Paul's AsiaNrail module standards that we are currently using borrow some parts of the Interail standard.   From Paul's memory they had set up this Interail layout about 10 or 12 times including at the NMRA National Train Shows in Calgary in 1979 and in San Mateo in 1981.

A few of Paul's current AsiaNrail modules had originally been Interail modules and he had a pair of old Interail modules that had originally been built by Jim that he gave to me.

This is one of Jim's old Interail modules.  The modules are in metric dimensions.  They have a 22.5 degree angle on each end and if put together can make a 90 degree turn.

The first order of business to bring these old modules back to life was to give them legs.  These legs would need to adjust in height between the two heights we use on the AsiaNrail layout.  I had not made legs for this narrow of a module before but had some experience with legs for narrow modules from helping Paul set up his modules.

I decided on a design that uses pairs of 2 inch wide strips of cabinet grade plywood that are held together by 1/4-20 bolts.  The upper sections have 2 holes with Tee nuts set 8 inches apart while the lower sections have 3 holes set 8 inches apart.  To raise or lower the legs, different holes on the lower sections are used.
The first photo showed the legs at the 43.125 inch height.  This second photo shows the same set of legs raised to support the module at a 51 inch height which is the normal for AsiaNrail.  The cross supports on the top and bottom are bolted to the legs with 1/4-20 bolts into Tee nuts that are on 1/2 inch thick plywood wings that are attached to the leg sections.

For leveling and fine height adjustments, there are four 5/16-18 bolts on the bottom feet.
When not set up the pieces are re-assembled into a storage configuration with the leg sections being sandwiched between the cross supports.
Here is the module up on it's new legs.  There is not much on either of these modules except for code 80 track and lots of old ground foam scenery.  I have some plans for these that will be much more interesting and with the differences in type of track and wiring I am going to completely strip these down to the wood structure.

So being satisfied with the legs, the next step will be to paint them and then move on to the module itself.

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