Saturday, July 5, 2014


I was able to pick up a variety of plastic in the larger format Evergreen sizes (12x24)    Cut in half they fit in the Cameo perfectly.     I altered the roof truss file shown in part one.  I decreased the size just a little to fit the real estate on the model railroad that I've staked out.  Easy to do and it was described yesterday under the Scale function.  I also duplicated the entire truss to cut out three per sheet.  There is a Duplicate function - learn to use it as it makes things go quick.    Most of my next file I will describe was done using Duplicate.    I also added cross bracing for the sides of the buildings.  I did draw this, and then duplicated into two.  I found it easier to draw this x bracing if I drew a rectangle/square first and used that as a guide for placing my lines.  I later erased the rectangle along with my overlap lines.   Actually leaving the rectangle might make it easier to break the pieces out.  
The revised cut file - additional trusses and cross bracing

I put a sheet of .015 in the Cameo and let it do it's thing.  I wasn't looking at the time exactly but I'm guessing the cut took about 20 minutes.   I set the blade all the way down and set the machine to double cut.  Even with this, the pieces still had to be bent and broken out a little.
Cut sheet of .015 styrene

Once the parts were separated, I used .030x.060 strip styrene to laminate to the truss frames to create an angle steel look.  It is still tedious - I cut and fit each piece and it took about 20-25 minutes to make up one truss.  If I set up for mass production and pre cut all the members it would go much faster.   One side received the strip on all members.  The piece still felt a little flimsy so I added additional strip on the opposite side, but only on the primary structural pieces.   It's still work, but I'm happy with the results and more importantly, the trusses will maintain a consistency that will help keep the entire structure neat and proportioned.   They look a little finer and much better than what I've done in the past with jigs.   I still have many buildings to construct so I'm sure I will be building lots of these.   I will probably go back and do the trusses of the stalled soaking pit building using this method.
Cut out, ready for assembly

For the cross bracing, I used .030x.125 strip between the pieces.  This packs the bracing out to fit nicely between the web of  1/4" H columns .
Final products

My next experiment is using the machine to score thicker, .030 plastic for the gas washer plant for B-Furnace.  I'm basing the structure on photos and some HAER drawings but it's free lanced.  The dimensions are fairly accurate I believe.  

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