Boxing Clever

One of the worst parts of Portchullin is the lack of thought I gave to transporting the layout about.  One of its attractions is the curve which makes it unusual but this makes the boards big, cumbersome and above all awkwardly shaped to transport.  It also made them difficult to create packing solutions for and the limited solutions that I adopted have never been good enough which has plagued the layout throughout its life.

It was a mistake I am anxious not to repeat with Glenmutchkin and now that it is beginning to accumulate some finished elements, it is definitely time to deal with this and create some cases to enclose the boards when they are either stored or transported.  My requirements for these were that they provide rugged protection to allow the layout to be transported without risk of being damaged.  I also wanted them to be easier to move, in particular on my own, and to pack away themselves without taking up significant amounts of space.

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There are (presently, there are plans……) six scenic boards and the crate for the first two – for the smallest boards – is now complete.  The concept I came up with is to use end pieces that secure the two boards on top of each other, face to face.  To this, I have added larger panels to close in the sides and prevent these exposed parts from damage.  To try and speed up assembly and also reduce the space that they need, each end is hinged to and end piece but conceived such that they fold onto each other so that they pack into the minimum possible space.

One of the other features I included was nicked from the St Merryn team was to introduce packing pieces to make sure that the ends stand clear of the rail ends.  A simple feature that I had not seen described before.

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To make the combined case and boards easier to transport I have introduced some trolley wheels – the operating crew are pretty excited with this and can hardly believe how much they are going to be spoilt!  The other little trick I am please to have employed is to introduce slight feet to enable fingers to get below the box to lift it.

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I have concluded that only the two smallest boards can be paired up in this manner as they are already quite heavy and will get more so as I add the remainder of the features to their topsides.  Thus the remaining board cases will be slightly different.

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About highlandmiscellany

Just playing trains; my weekday life is a bit more serious though!

Posted on May 19, 2019, in Glenmutchkin and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Using those wheels will transmit all humps and bumps and dips from the floor straight into the layout. Carrying boards manually between two people provides for better shock absorption…

    • Whilst there is some truth to this, the bouncing it might do in the minute or so in getting to the van on the wheels is but a fraction of the bouncing it does in the several hours (typically) in the back of the van!

      More importantly, I don’t always have two people to carry it and struggling to move the boards on one’s own definitely causes more problems then wheeling it.

      • The bouncing in the back of the car is indeed an issue – I say this with a great deal of feeling due to adverse experience! But that is (generally) bouncing rather than jolting.
        Taking a layout on the road is an endurance test for operators and layouts!
        I was going to say that help us usually at hand to carry the layout, but possibly not when you get home at 1 am, and some of the “help” at exhibitions can turn out to be a bit of a hindrance.
        So, fair enough: all points to be considered.

  2. Some good ideas here! I would say you have landed a good solid punch on the transportation problem.

  3. Steve Ridgway

    Great minds and all that! The Leamington & Warwick’s Walford Town used packing pieces on the end boards of the carrying frame to protect rail ends from the early days (late ’80’s). Pairs of boards were packed with the scenic surfaces facing each other, with side panels to stop damage from the sides, which also stiffened up the crate from ‘hinging’ at the corners. This has been repeated with Clarendon, and again, great minds, the large and heavy fiddle yard has a set of wheels!!
    Looking forward to seeing Glenmutchkin

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