Tuesday 31 January 2017

Look Before You Leap

I have recently obtained the timber for the next two baseboards coming off from Eden. Knowing that I am crap at carpentry, so much so that if I see termites queuing up I will put out some of my work for them to enjoy. Better than getting embarrassed with the end results.
But the choice of model railways for a hobby has allowed my deficiency in carpentry to be all covered up so nothing shows. I even went to the extent to go to the local hardware store and obtained a corner clamp to try and ensure that the corners would be at 90 degrees which I am told is the ideal angle for corners.
Being armed with a corner clamp and also a drop saw which only comes out of the shed on special occasions I started on the baseboards.
The timber was measured up and was put under the drop saw. Now I am not sure if it was my inexperience with the saw, whether it was the model of the saw ( I always buy the cheap ones) but the finished product didn't look too straight. I was hoping that the two crook pieces put together might work but only nearly. So the basic frame was laid out on the concrete and my corner clamp now got its first workout. I think I would have designed it slightly different but for $10.40 I couldn't expect too much.
The twisting in the timber frames will hopefully straighten when I get the cross braces in. With a bit more head scratching, I was able to work out how I wanted the base boards to be assembled to allow a slight grade.
The first "new baseboard" is put into place
The first new board (above) will be "L" shaped to allow the track to turn 180 degrees coming out of Eden. I have butted the new baseboard up to the exit board from Eden and used bolts with wingnuts to hold. As previously explained this part of the layout will be transportable. Where to at this stage I don't know but it is movable. It will be virtually a fixture for the foreseeable future. In the photo above the corner near the door has been screwed into architrave. The screw is hidden and can be easily removed if the layout needs to be moved, it also saved making another leg.

Looking the opposite direction to the first photo. The level was part of the posed photo.
 When I got the first board into place I felt that things were starting to happen. It has been a while since I had assembled the two baseboards for Eden. It was here I was able to test new things (1) a new scale and (2) a new operating system - DCC. So far all has gone well but I need a destination to run trains to.
Yesterday I received two sheets of plywood that I can use for the baseboards. There will be enough to get me down to and across the roller door, the site of the first station. Once I had screwed the corner to the door it was surprising how the rest of the baseboards became more rigid. The second baseboard can be seen standing up in the above photo. Most of this timber came from the old window surrounds from recent renovations. It was destined for the skip until rescued, it is too expensive for landfill. 

The proposed track and structure placement

The next stage after laying out the base - boards is where everything is going to go.
I often just pull up a chair and seem to sit there and stare at the boards for ages. Eventually when something comes to mind I do a dry run with a bit of track and a few buildings, cars etc to get the feel of how it will turn out.
Having made the changeover to On30 modelling the brain has to recalibrated to think differently from mainline modelling. You are now allowed to have sharp curves and get away with it. And O scale certainly fills all available spaces quicker. On the other hand this makes the modelling quicker in that there is less detail to provide in the same area as HO.
In the left photo can be seen the track wandering off up the hill towards the roller door. I will explain the curved turnout template more in the next blog.
Where the black truck is, is where the coal unloader will be and further up the hill is another siding. Think Nobelius siding on the Puffing Billy railway and that's what it will be.

Looking back towards first baseboard
 The photo on the left shows how the track will wind its way up the hill. In this corner behind the track at the bottom will be a trestle bridge on the corner baseboard.
I try in my model design to not have too many tracks that run parallel to the edge of the boards. Trains looks so much better running through curves and it also allows for super elevation to be included. I have stuck a tree into the foam to give a sense of scale. The track is the old code 75 HO used here because it holds its shape better than the O scale narrow gauge track. As well the good old paper templates will show if it all fits.
The baseboard in this area will be around 50cm wide, which is wide enough to have enough detail and also it has to provide enough space for operators between this board and Eden.
I have one piece of plywood leftover that was part of the old Bega yard. I will move it over to the first new baseboard as soon as this stinking hot weather goes. At least the hot weather has given me a reprieve from the painting inside the house.

A two wagon siding, industry to be decided.
 The last shot shows the siding to be provided on board number two. It will hold two wagons and can only be shunted by trains moving away from Eden.
These sidings around the layout will eventually form part of the operation of the layout overall. I will eventually have job cards that will show where all the wagons on a train will end up.
I will outline the reasoning of the curved point and the working of the coal unloader in the next blog.
Sorry gotto go, dinners ready.


  1. Your carpentry looks good to me!

    1. Thanks Colin, I'm getting better with age

    2. Not sure yo need to beat yourself up wrt to your woodworking. I'm in building and have seen far worse from "Carpenters" !!
      Looks fine :)

  2. Thank gents for your encouraging words re my carpentry, at least most of it will be covered up in the end.