30th May 2016
Work has continued over the weekend, with all 15 boards now made. The picture here shows 12 of them with some of the underside cross-bracing. What’s more, they all fit together, but our work-room is only about 10m long, so it’s not possible to erect the full length at one time, even if we didn’t have parts of four other layouts up at the moment.
The boards are aligned using dowels, and then held together using toggle latches. These are now fitted to 10 of the boards, so that track laying can continue unhindered this week.
The clip is installed first slightly set back from the edge, then the latch is positioned by aligning it in the closed position with fingers, then opened and moved about 1.5mm further away for the pilot holes to be drilled. Finally it’s tested to make sure it holds without putting too much strain on the assembly.
Electrical wires are pre-soldered to the underside of the rails, and after track is cut to length the holes for the wires drilled in the boards. Track is carefully aligned down the middle of the boards, and brass screws used at the end to protect the ends against any gentle knocks (see this blog), then it’s glued down with some of this Deluxe glue, which seems to the job well. Usually, we would solder whole sections of track across the joints, then cut them. But for this G scale we are cutting the rails first and getting the height right by feel and eye as there is a bit more give.
Wiring has commenced, with the first two boards completed, which enabled us to run the loco for the first time very late last night along 10′ of board.
It’s a DCC fitted loco, which is why the sound cuts off when the power is turned off before it changes direction under DC control. Ideally we would have found a way to use the DCC for the auto-shuttle, but we couldn’t find a suitable system available for the higher 20V and current needed for G scale – so the plan is to use the proven Gaugemaster shuttle unit plus their controller.
I think this is going to look and sound pretty impressive.
As work has progressed, it’s important for the team to know what has been done, and more importantly what there is left to do, so we’ve got a simple chart showing the status of each board – and the good news is that it is steadily getting completed.
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