Saturday, 16 October 2010

Track at baseboard joints

On arriving home yesterday evening I had the surprise of finding a nice bulky envelope containing two Ultrascale wheel conversion packs. One for another Bachmann 8750 Pannier (to be 4694) and other for a Bachmann Class 08 Shunter. Better get my next order placed......... AND place my order for some 08 cranks that are being etched by my local P4 area group (Hi guys... could I have three sets please?).

As for progress on the layout............. my evening modelling time has again been difficult to find recently but track laying is progressing on the plank, all be it very slowly. One thing I've been struggling with is how to secure track at baseboard joints. I've been mulling over options and it looks like I'm going to trial at least three different methods.....

Method 1) At the joint at one end of the layout I'm trying C&L's Baseboard End Track Protectors. They look like they will work well but I'm a little concerned about the width of these protectors and the difficulty in disguising them. At the end I've chosen they are the perfect width for soldering the running rail and check rail to. This end they will also vanish under a covering of hard standing. I may be able to disguise them at the opposite end of the layout but at the middle joint I'm not sure how I can without extending the hard standing area across the baseboard joint.

C & L Baseboard end track Protectors (C1012)

Method 2) One suggestion that has been made by a member of my local P4 group is copperclad sleepers and brass chairs. At the moment I'm not that keen as, so far, no matter how hard I've tried I have not yet been able to paint a copperclad sleeper to match the wooden ones. I'm still going to give this method a trial on the layout though.

Brass chairs and copperclad sleeper

Method 3) I'm also thinking about hammering some panel pins into the plywood track sub-base through pre-drill wooden sleepers. Rail can then be soldered to the head of the pin and cosmetic chairs applied.

Pin and rail test solder

I'm now going to set myself up to be shot down in flames by all those who have much more experience than me. So here goes............

Method 4) With all the above said I still have a thought about using plastic chairs glued to wooden sleepers at baseboard joints. My theory the glue joint between chair and sleeper will be a weak point any damage should at least leave the sleeper and ballast intact. The above three methods would possibly stand rougher handling but any damage might be drastic. Not only would there be damage to rail and chairs but there might also be damage to sleepers, ballast and possibly the balsa underlay. With plastic chairs any damage should only require the rail and any damaged chairs removed then new rail and chairs installed. Hmmmm..... not sure if I'm brave enough to give this a try though................ I'll wait for the sound of those guns being fired..........

Hopefully with the longer evenings setting in I'll manage a few more hours each week and a few photos of my meagre progress.


Anonymous said...

In our elephantine world of peco track laid on (ballast and) plywood - yay, we certainly found we had to drill the sleepers before inserting the pins.

Quite often they hit an harder bit (inherent problem with plywood, perhaps) and bend.

One therefore ends up using far more pins . . .

Good luck with your enterprise!

Bob said...

Yes, Ian, your theory of leaving a 'weak' point to take the strain sounds good.

(When God was a boy, a substance called 'Resin W' arrived as the miracle wood glue. It had/has but one drawback - the joint is often stronger than the wood. PVA is the better option.)