Sunday, 22 March 2009

Making a start

At last I feel like I have made a start. Purchased some plywood sleepers and chairs along with P4 gauges from the EMGS. These arrived a few days ago. My intention is to trial gluing the plastic chairs to wooden sleepers.... I can hear the comments already....

First trials indicate that MEK does not give a strong enough bond, but Butonone and Super Glue seem to. Using the finger and nail test I cannot shift the chairs once the bond has taken. So I'm going to build a yard of track and see how I fair.

Next task, cutting the plywood into 34mm sleeper lengths. It was here when I asked myself, "why didn't I purchase the ready cut lengths?" My thought was that if using glue as the main bond I didn't want he pre-punched hole reducing the surface area for the bond. I can see that this task is one for a evening when I'm brain dead.

Next task staining. I'd moved downstairs and and tackle this first thing in the morning in daylight hence the change in lighting in the above photo. I've followed one of Iain Rice's techniques, using a mix of water, isopropyl alcohol, and india ink. After a few trials I've ended up with a mix of 100ml of water, 50ml of isopropyl alcohol, 4ml of black india ink and 5ml of sepia india ink. I was trying to match the colour of sleepers in colour photograph of Bodmin North. At the moment they look close to the colour I'm after. No doubt once I've laid and ballasted the track the colour will look different , for better or worse I will have to wait and see.

Next stage, my first yard of track. Lets hope the chairs will stick to the stained sleepers. More postings will follow.

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