A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

August 13, 2022

My wife was wrong...

I did use that piece of wood I was saving for 10 years just in case I needed it. But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I have been  laying and spiking track pretty diligently in the past few days. I now have all the turnouts and almost all the track installed. I just need to add one engine  storage track off the turntable and to replace the flex track on the bridge with hand laid track and I'll be done with track. Yes, there will still be several thousands spikes to go but the track will be useable.

The last turnout is installed 

With the track done, the next step was installing the turntable. I am reusing the turntable from the old Falmouth. I was able to disassemble it and save it. The trick was finding a place to fit in the new plan particularly to avoid the benchwork. I had to work around the Ikea legs and a joist that was screwed to those legs. I also did not want the electronics from the bottom of the turntable to interfere with the view of the TV under the benchwork. I decided to install the turntable at the far left end of the lead to the engine terminal. There will be just one storage track and that is a reverse move off  the turntable. That arrangement spreads the engine service facilities along the turntable lead. I think it looks good and allows me to access the turnout switch stands behind the turntable lead without interference from the water tank or workshops.  It also makes the run to the turntable longer. 

I knew the wood scraps would come in handy.

To use the existing turntable base I had to cut the plywood the turntable was formerly mounted on. This was tricky as the existing electronics for automatic reversing and hub for the turntable extended below the bottom of that piece of plywood. So I could not just place the base of the turntable on my MFT and cut away. Instead, I set up my saw horses and used some scraps of plywood that I have been saving for years for a job like this. They raised the plywood base off of the deck and allowed me to use my track saw to cut nice straight lines to trim it. I knew those wood pieces would come in handy!

Fitting the pit around the legs and joist limited
my choice of possible locations for the turntable.
Next I had to cut the hole in the existing plywood bench top for the turnable. I aligned everything as precisely as I could and drew lines for the center line of the track. I took care to avoid the Ikea legs under the table top. I drilled a half inch hole on the plywood table top to accept the turntable axle. Then I used the turntable spinning in that hole as a trammel to mark the circle necessary for the pit. I added a half inch to the radius to allow room for the wooden retaining wall. Then I used my Carvex saw with a fine blade to cut the circle. 

Instant turntable

 I had to notch one corner of the turntable base to fit around the Ikea legs, but the turntable popped right into place. Four screws pulled the turntable tight and secure. I must say it was gratifying seeing the turntable installed in the pit and even with some existing ground cover on the pit floor. 

I installed railroad ties around the pit wall to act as a retaining wall. The ties give the pit a rough and temporary look perfect for a military structure. 

I put a quick coat of paint on the fascia and its starting to look like something. The new Falmouth with its long sidings and greater track capacity should allow more involved  operations. Plus, I think it is going to look really cool.

The installed turntable, painted fascia and some ground cover looks good.


  1. Looking good Bernie! Hope to be able to visit again sometime.

  2. You're on the homestretch now! That was quick work.