Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Making a start

 It has been quite a while since the last post back on the 13th November last year. You should go back and refresh and read this entry and this sets out all the proposals for the layout, now comes the practical part where the tools come out and a start can be made.

The baseboards will be built using 70mm x 20mm pine for the framework and 7mm ply for the top. As with the plan a start was made on baseboard No.1. This baseboard combined with baseboard No. 2 will contain the loco depot and an island passenger station. There are limitations on the size of the baseboards mainly based on how much room do you need left over for yourself? The finished plan provides a good balance and plenty of operation possibilities.

The ply and timber were obtained and a start was made on the first baseboard. Naturally the construction was carried out in the back yard and under cover in case of rain. A drop saw made sure the timber was cut to the right angle and more than one drill also made things easier. The frame was made and then the ply was added  to the top. To prevent moisture on the top layer it was painted with leftover paint, colour not being important as it will all be eventually covered over.

The baseboard for the first two boards was set at 119cm high and the track will climb to 123cm on baseboard No. 4. This will cut out having a flat track all around and will provide some effort from the locos to take trains around the layout. Most sidings will be level but unfortunately the coal siding on baseboard No. 6 will be on a grade, maybe the locos will have to be on the train permanently to avoid runaways?

One down, five and a liftout to go.

The first baseboard was constructed and all went well, The odd shaped corner was for the liftout section across the doorway and runs between this board and the last one to be built. The board is surprisingly light but strong. It is all screwed together making it fairly rigid. The holes for the wiring were yet to be made, easier to do them at this stage.
The second adjoining board is to contain the loco depot and this is to include a turntable when one becomes available. So at one end of this board it was made wider to accommodate the turntable, it was purely guesswork as to how wide it needs to be. Planning was done by dry laying track and points down on the ground to visualise how it would go.

Board No. 2 wider section to cater for the turntable
Having completed the two boards, they were both carried inside into the room to see how they would go. Legs were made for the first board and the second board was secured to the first using two bolts and wingnuts. There didn't seem any point in providing four legs for each section of baseboard. They were again dismantled and taken outside for painting the top of the boards.

A quick dry out in the sun

The first two boards are ready
It didn't take long to paint the first two boards, a sunny day helping along. There always seems to be leftover house paint that can be used in these projects, luckily the colour wasn't a purple or red.
In for the afternoon feed
One minor inconvenience in building the baseboards outside is the twice daily feed runs that two kookaburras head in for. There are usually two and sometimes three when the junior kookies are around and will land usually on the table waiting for the meat to be brought out. As you can see the baseboard was in the way of their usual landing strip so that's where they landed. They only come in for a quick feed and then they fly off until the next day. The table was rather cluttered with tools and junk so I think he made a good choice on that spot.
Turntable area
The above photo shows where a turntable of some sort will go, the only large round shape around came out of the pot draw in the kitchen. We are still guessing at this stage how big the table will be.
Well the first two boards have been constructed and erected inside the room, the next entry will show how the tracks are dry laid out for these two sections.

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