Three weeks since my last post, I see!
Well, I lost a week when the branch of the family from the IoW came to stay, although I did get a running session of Wood Bros with Second Grandson while they were here, which was great fun. These 8-year-olds seem to take to technical matters with no problem.
For the last two weeks I've been busy with the layout but not achieving much. First up, I stuck cork tiles to the surface prior to starting track-laying. I even got as far as cutting grooves for the wire-in-tube (standard brass wire and styrene tube) point operating gubbins for the left-hand point.
Then I found some 30mm thick expanded polystyrene (the white stuff that produces round bits that stick to everything) in the back of the garage, so I ripped off the cork tiles and stuck the white stuff down. I didn't have quite enough to cover the length - it was 20mm narrower than the width, but I put the space at the back and the 'lectrickery will fit in there - so found a gash bit of poly in the back of the garage - not the same thickness, so I had to delicately saw off the excess - and sawed off too much, so I had to pack it up level with the rest.
When that was dry I stuck a fresh set of cork tiles down on top - I didn't have quite enough left in the back of the garage, but by crafty cutting what I did have and deft fitting of the bits, I got the area covered.
Now that there was an additional 32mm on top of the original surface the holes at the ends were too low, so I had to get the trusty hole-cutter into action and cut them higher. Also, when I had been getting ready to lay that first point, I realized that the hole in the back-scene was in the wrong place for the slide switch for the right-hand point, so it was filled in with a gash bit of hardboard from the back of the garage, and is now the site of the electrical connections. Also also, I realized that the site for the slide switch for the left-hand point was now too low, so I decided that the slide switches would both be inside the back-scene, reached through artistic circular holes - cue the hole-cutter again.
Pieces of wooden batten were stuck in the 20mm gap, onto which the slide switches will be screwed.
Progress so far:
From the front - the 30mm poly and cork tiles, electrical connections, and wood blocks in evidence. The white at the top of the back-scene is acrylic paste to fill in the patten on the back of the hardboard, where some distant hills might appear.
The rear, showing the electrical panel - 16v AC input, DIN socket for the controller, and two push switches for track isolation. The hole for the left-hand point (on the right) has been cut - I'm waiting to check the final position of the other slide switch before cutting the other one.
Top view, showing the 20mm gap at the back. The heightened holes at the sides can be seen - I stuck more wood blocks inside them so that I can put brass nails on either side of the track and solder the rail to them, for extra secure fixing of the ends. Also seen are the grooves for the wire-in-tube and wire from the frog to the switch for the left-hand point.
Today I finally got the left-hand point stuck down onto the cork, with the wire-in-tube and slide switch in place - careful critical-path analysis was required to make sure I didn't have to rip the point up again to fit the wire to the tie-bar - first solder the wire from the frog to the slide switch, then screw the slide switch down, then fit the wire-in-tube with the wire through the slide switch and fix down, then glue the point down.
Now, a bit of advice please. I'm doing this work in the garage - in the front as the back is full of stuff I put away 'in case it's needed one day'. It's quite cool out there, so when laying the track do I have to allow for expansion of the rails when the layout is brought into the warm one day, and if so, how much? Would it be better to do the rest of the track-laying in the warm so that expansion has taken place, and then contraction back in the garage won't be so much of a problem?
Right, all-in-all a sorry story of ad-hoccery and bodgement, but things have moved on, and the next instalment shouldn't be so long in coming - famous last words.