Monday, January 30, 2012

Finally - Some Positive New Year Activity.....

Australia Day 26 January was the first day in 2012 where we began to make some significant progress on the layout. We made some short L-Girder sections to extend the upper deck on the left hand side of The Shed by about 400 mm. We had decided to do this so as to better enable the main line to curve around to start the journey across the back of the shed. The main line curve as currently constructed seemed to be too close to the shed wall.
The end of track on the baseboard on the left-hand side of the back wall. 26/01/2012
The end of track on the left-hand side of the back wall. You can see how close it is to the black metal bracket but there is still ample clearance, however, we want to get the track furter away from the wall. 26/01/2012

We cut the one joist required for this section and after installing the two L-Girders we screwed this joist in place. We used metal plates to join these new L-Girders with those originally installed.
The short L-Girder extensions have been fitted and the sole joist needed has also been fixed in place. You can see one of the metal joining plates on the L-Girder nearest the camera. 26/01/2012
Looking towards the current end of track. A high timber trestle bridge will link this section to the baseboard on the right-hand side. 26/01/2012

We have learnt from a couple of previous bad experiences to firstly drill pilot holes and then, from more bad experiences, decided to drill out to countersink the screw head. I need to see if I can buy some cup head style short screws when we are fitting the metal joining plates as the countersunk style screws will obviously not screw in flush to the metal plate.
The L-Girders along the back wall on the right-hand side before installation of the joists. 26/01/2012
The baseboard framework on the right-hand side of the back wall. We wanted to keep the basebaord about 300 mm wide at the left-hand end to allow access to the future air-conditioner unit which will be mounted high on the wall above this section. 26/01/2012

For the back wall on the left-hand side we cut one of each 350 mm; 400 mm; 450 mm and the last 500 mm long so we had a gradually widening baseboard width. We wanted to keep the baseboard at the centre of the shed just over 300 mm wide to allow access to the future air conditioner.
Joists fitted along the back wall on the right-hand side. 27/01/2012
Back wall on the right-hand side with the joists fitted. 27/01/2012

We now cut four joists 760 mm long and a further two 700 mm long from our supply of 90 X 20 mm pine, as a starter for the joists along the right-hand wall.

On Friday I went down at Bunnings, Browns Plains at 6.30 am when they open for the tradies. I needed to purchase some drill bits and a few other odds and ends. We didn’t get much done in the morning as I had to go out again to do some other shopping and a concrete tradesman came to look at giving me a price to lay a concrete footpath around the shed.

Friday afternoon, Raymond and I started installing the joists along the back wall. We fitted all but the one nearest the centre of the shed on the right-hand rear wall of the shed. We left the 300 mm one off pending the installation of the air-conditioner.

We then installed the joists in the back right-hand corner of the shed and the first couple moving up along the right-hand wall. At this stage we decided not to go any further pending determining the location of the points and therefore the point motors at the next station. This will be a junction station with a branch leading to a mining district.
The first few joists mounted on the baseboard framework along the right-hand wall. This section is 22 feet long before coming to a baseboard (not yet built) at right angles to the wall. 27/01/2012
Joists in the corner of the right-hand wall. 27/01/2012

Saturday morning we were off to see my father at Greenslopes and then a visit to Austral Modelcraft. I window shopped as usual while Raymond bought a couple of items. We had to hurry home as I had a builder coming later in the morning to give a quote on the upstairs bathroom. We needed to get this stalled project moving again as SWMBO was getting toey about the time it was taking. Six months so far with tradesmen letting us down by not turning up.

On Saturday afternoon we gate-crashed an operating session at Cassino. Craig had plenty of operators who were trying hard following a prototypical operating session. It looked like lots of fun. We took over one of Raymond’s NCE radio controllers to use. Raymond tested it before we left home as it had not been working properly. He opened the battery compartment to find that the batteries were leaking. This was a potential disaster for a sensitive piece of electronic gear. The batteries were expensive Duracell with a Use By of March 2017 – they should have been fine. So it goes to show you need to be careful, very careful. Fortunately Raymond was able to clean up the battery liquid which seemed to be confined to the battery compartment. I will be putting in a complaint to Duracell. Darren suggested he removed batteries from all his equipment if it is not going to be used for a while. Sounds like very sound advice. Raymond and I enjoyed a beer while listening to the conversations of the train controller (Craig) as he tried to keep all his operating staff under control.

Darren had brought along some large sheets of paper for us to use when laying out the track and baseboard on our layout.

Sunday has come and gone. I went to Bunnings to get a length of timber moulding to make a new trammel to lay out curves on the plywood we are using for a baseboard. When we came to try laying out some 36 inch radius curves we found we did not have any ply that would be useful for making such a curve as it was all too narrow. We decided that I should order some new ply from Mr Ply during this coming week.

I then spent the rest of the day doing a bit of work on the Penydarren kit.

This long week-end started out with a lot of progress but fizzled out by Saturday. However, I am certain we have regained our momentum to do some meaningful work on the layout. I should be able to order three sheets of 12 mm ply and have it delivered this week.

Now to have two blog posts in the space of a couple of days is something amazing in itself.

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