A Plastic Decking Experiment

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by Big Jim » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:56 pm

This looks very impressive John. I am watching with interest, ready for the time I can start mine.
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steamer68
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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by steamer68 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:34 pm

Hi john that plastic decking looks really great and the best thing is it won't be harmed by the elements, will keep an eye on your progress. :thumbleft:
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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by IrishPeter » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:27 pm

I am looking at this with interest as I will have the raised section of the Coverdale Light Railway to build when I am next in funds. As I have to pay the taxman at the end of the month that could be a while. Curses! Given that soft woods tend, as my grandfather used to observe, to rot betwixt wind and water (two syllables, please) I have thought that plastic pipe was the way to go for outdoor uprights. The growing range of extrusions for fascia board in the back corner of the local hardware barn is something I have been watching with interest for a while. Of course, a lot depends on what the planning authority (aka 'Er indoors) will allow. Really fascinated by what you have done so far.

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Peter in Va
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by FBGR » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:37 pm

Works are continuing steadily, with the major straight part now all decked and the first bridge abutment structure made.
DSCF4627 resized.jpg
Leaving the most awkward part to the end is not always a good idea, but at least I am more experienced at working with the material, so I can see through any problems without delay.

J0hn
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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by FWLR » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:26 am

Looks very interesting material, but will the UV harm it in time...i.e. make it brittle, hope not because a lot of work has gone into building it by the looks of things. :thumbright: :thumbright:
Rod

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by FBGR » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:27 am

I don’t think that long term loss of flexibility of the material is going to be an issue. The use on house facias shows that once in place, it will remain for 20, 30 or more years without deterioration. It may well become brittle over an extended period, but even then damage is only likely to occur from sudden impact events.

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by FWLR » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:54 am

Glad to hear that John, only saying because there are some issues with PVC, carry on doing a brilliant job on your line. :thumbright:
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:


https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by IrishPeter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:47 pm

Compared to what we usually get out of soft wood in the open air, 20-30 without significant deterioration for uPVC sounds like a major step forwards in terms of durability. My previous outdoor efforts have been at ground level because soft woods were ant and termite bait where we used to live, but I am getting to the age where the floor is seeming further away than it used to do, so the next outdoor line will be at least partly raised, which is why this experiment with uPVC extrusions is so interesting.

Peter in Va
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by FBGR » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:51 pm

Decking completed today.
DSCF4640 reduced.jpg
DSCF4641 reduced.jpg
Also I was able to sort out the supports for the bridge.
DSCF4639 reduced.jpg
Just levelling bolts through some hacked about bits of left over plastic fixed to the underside of the bridge deck – you can’t see the captive nut.

The original drop-in bridge was quite heavy, and took up quite a bit of space in the little (plastic) shed. This has been stripped back to just the plywood deck with the (ballasted) tracks (including a point) on. I have in mind to fix a few bits to tidy this basic deck (and strengthen if thought necessary). Otherwise I will manufacture some drop-in (plastic) stoneware arches and parapets for it.

A bit of tidying up to do, then its track re-laying.

J0hn
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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by LNR » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:05 pm

That is one very well thought out project, beautifully assembled with such a clean finished result. Short of sub-terranian upheaval I imagine it should be there for a very long time.
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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by tom_tom_go » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:08 am

I agree, this has been brilliantly executed.

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by FBGR » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:18 pm

Well that just about finishes the decking, and time for a little reflection.

Apart from loads of bits of off-cuts, this is all that was left.
DSCF4645 resized.jpg
There was no 400mm wide board, just under a metre of 450mm wide board, just under 2 metres of 30cm deep fascia, and just over 2 metres of 10cm deep facia. As we started with 15 metres of 30cm deep and 30 metres of 10cm deep, I think this was quite close. We didn’t run out of the 1000 plasterboard screws, but there is about 50 left.

You could say that we ordered just enough, but it was close. We have still got some part lengths of material that we had obtained before when we were experimenting, but we didn’t have to resort to cobbling together bits to finish the job.

Using brackets or cleats (short lengths of the 10cm deep fascia) to connect the various sections worked well, but you had to consider the order of construction to be sure that you can avoid congestion around some joints, and of course you have got to be able to get a screwdriver in to be able to do up the screws.

This was fine on the square joints but the non-square ones needed specially fabricated cleats. Initially this was no problem apart from having to wait for the glue/solvent to go off before being able to use them. But we also found that even having carefully constructed the bracket to the measured angle, when we came to fix the joint, the angle was different. So, while the screws would pull the plastic bits together to fit the bracket, this would distort the adjacent piece, meaning trying to fix the adjacent non-square bracket was even further out of shape. Some of the non-square brackets had to be remade, and this could delay the flow of work. Rejected / not used non-square brackets/cleats.
DSCF4644 reduced.jpg
The remaining bit of 240mm wide decking was used to complete the decking behind the engine shed. This decking had been in timber, which was removed to be able to fix the back edge member of the new decking. It needed some packing to prevent twisting, but why would I want to go back to timber. Now I can re-fixed the last section of the fence building retaining wall and the end of the Carbide factory.
DSCF4651 resized.jpg
Now we have been able to relay the first section of track.
DSCF4656 resized.jpg
The packing under the track is left over bits of the plastic boards – I had allowed for this. With plastic, there’s no chance of nailing the track down, it has to be brass screws in pilot holes. At least this means that it can be unscrewed for inserting levelling packing (if required), or even moving it a bit.

Two things to follow. First is to finish the track-work, ballast, paint all the outsides black (or very dark brown), make and fit bridge/bridges cladding and abutments and fill all spaces in between with scenery. Second is to wait a few years to see how it all lasts.

I will save the reflection for later, may be a couple of weeks when the track is all connected up...

J0hn
The world's going to end very soon --- so why am I doing this?

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by bazzer42 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:13 am

That is such a tidy job it will look good painted. Paint doesn't cover up bad workmanship (How do I know that ?). Personally I would go dark brown.

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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by FWLR » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:22 am

Really impressed with the plastic John, it looks like it will be down for years. :thumbright:

The left over lengths you have could they not be used for some building of some sort, a shelter maybe. :thumbright:
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:


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Re: A Plastic Decking Experiment

Post by IanC » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:01 am

Very informative and useful. I am undecided about what to use when I get round to making a start on my garden railway.

I may very well use this material and methods for part of my line, which will have to be built on different types of ground.

I think a trip to my local DIY store to see what's available is on the cards.

Ian
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