Saturday, March 28, 2009

Legs for Calais Module

With the frame and top pieces completed for each unit, I moved on to building the legs. I have been looking at different options for the legs and finally settled on leg units built from wood, much like the RMC article describes. After looking over the lumber selection available locally, I decided to go with clear pine 1 x 2 material for the legs. The quality of the wood is pretty high so I feel this will work well. I started the legs by building L-girders, glued and screwed. Next I added a small piece of 1 x 2 for the bottom where the T-nut will be installed, making a "solid" end that is 2 x 3. After some test measuring to determine the needed length, I cut the legs to 47.5 inches long. I drilled out the hole for the leveling bolts and inserted the T-nut and bolts.

I built leg pockets using 1 x 2 pieces and a rectangular section of plywood (see photo). Because the ends are not 90 degrees, I set the leg pockets in a couple of inches from the ends. Using the legs as a guide, I glued the 1 x 2's in place using the assigned leg as a guide (I labeled each leg so it would go to a specific pocket). After the plywood was attached, the leg fit was tight, so I sanded the leg ends some to make them slide in easier.

I inserted the legs and stood the module up. The module will rest on a cross piece connecting the 2 legs on each end, so I set that in place, measuring to get the end around 49.5" off the floor (the roadbed and track make up the remaining half inch). Doing this, I set the 2.5" bolt to about halfway in so I would have an inch adjustment either way, up or down. I glued and screwed the cross piece to the legs, and then added another cross piece at the bottom to stabilize the lower portion of the legs. I tested pulling out and inserting the leg to make sure it aligned OK. A little extra sanding on the legs into the pockets helps. I repeated the process for the other end.

The single module unit is suprisingly stable with no bolts to hold the legs in and no diagonal braces. I do think I will add a diagonal stabilizer to each leg unit to keep it from twisting or bending. As far as a diagonal piece connecting the leg to the module side, I am going to wait until I get the whole module assembled and see how it works. I can pobably make a piece that can be installed with carriage bolts so I have it available if needed.

So, the module A is complete and I am on to module B. Should go faster now that I figured out the process. Here is a look at the completed module A unit.

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