One of my other hobbies is model railroading. I'm planning to construct
a portable HO scale layout with self-contained lighting that I can easily
move and possibly take to modeling exhibitions. It would consist of two
modules, wach one about 2' deep and 5' long. The best construction
scheme I've seen yet for such a module is:
As you can see, it's support structure is a series of plywood formers in
a C shape. The lower arm of the C is 28", the upper arm is 32", and the
upright is also 28". The author of the article used 9mm or roughly 3/8"
plywood with the formers about 18" apart. There are several members
running the length of the module that add strength and rigidity.
I think it's overbuilt. I've seen similar modules built of nothing more
than artists foamboard doubled up for strength. I'm not quite willing to
go that far, but would like to use 1/8" birch or maple plywood.
My major sticking point is the 10" radius arc from the upright to the
upper horizontal arm. I'd like to reduce that or even eliminate it if
feasible. The only weight on the outer end of the horizontal arm would
be light fixtures, either under-counter fluorescents or low voltage
halogen floods, and possibly a roof which could be foamboard. Somewhere
around 2-3 pounds per former or less.
My reason for wanting to eliminate the gusset is to increase the height
of a vertical backdrop and make it possible to curve it around the
outside end of each module. The original calls for a backdrop curved
under the gussets with a 90 degree corner at the ends.
So what do you folks think? Is the curved gusset even necessary? If so,
can the radius safely be reduced? There must be some way to calculate
the deflection of the upper arm under various loads with various, or no,
gusset shapes and sizes.
I've discussed this on a modeling group and one person suggested the
radius could be reduced to 6" or a triangular gusset 4" on top and back.
Others weren't so sure. So I decided to post here where a lot more of us
have built a lot more stuff with plywood.
All help greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw