Monday, 17 April 2017

New Boards

Further issues with my arthritis have caused me to dismantle the layout that I was building on the kitchen units. There were two problems with it. Basically, the return curves were too tight and I was getting a lot of issues with stock coming off the track. Secondly, it required that I stand up to build the railroad and also to do the switching. I can only stand up for about 3 - 4 minutes at a time (I then sit down and recover) so I wasn't getting much done.

My wonderful wife (who puts up with so much from me given my health issues) told me to take it down and reduce the height so that I could do everything sitting down. That had two effects.
  1. I had her support for the mess and work involved and
  2. She could hardly complain about the budget when it was her idea - well, I might not get away with that for everything - smile.
Reducing the height was easy. We just had to lift the kitchen units and take the legs off. This would drop them by about 8" - perfect. I am left with two nice long runs, with potential for staging on each end that is removable. I am thinking about what to do. I have recovered 14 points but little of the track so I have bought a box of 25 yards of Peco Code 83. I will cover this in a later blog entry.

Well, my friend Mark came around and helped me take down the old and put up the new. We took the kitchen units down and took the legs off. Mark moved the glass cabinets across the room (without emptying them). He also moved the steel industrial shelving unit that I had on the left hand side of the door (which had my kit stash on it) across to the other side of the door - commenting that, although it was full of kits that they didn't weigh very much. A younger and fitter version of me would have done all of this on my own but my arthritis prevents me from doing much.

All the new units (from Hobbycraft and John Lewis) all moved up into the left corner and my study desk (the nice electrically power one) was moved back to its old position. This left a clear area under the window. All in all, it gave me a lot more space - but no chance of a roundy-roundy - boo.

Mark gets my eternal thanks for all of his help. We managed it between 9.15 and 12.00. Since then, I have done the following:
  • Bought the 5mm A1 sized foam core from Hobbycraft (they have a special on - 4 sheets for £10.00. That is the same price per board as Amazon but with Amazon you have to buy 10 sheets and I wanted 12 so that was much better. 
  • Made a click and collect at Maplins for the wire and set of wire strippers.
  • knew that Tool Station does a nice line in screws that act as their own drills so I bought a box of 40mm.
  • Went to Travis Perkins and bought 20m (65') of 2"x1" (funny that lengths are in metric but wood sizes are still imperial ;-) (incidentally, I bashed the back of the car against an iron girder which will cost much more than I was planning to spend on the railroad!).
  • Went to B&Q and got a nice assistant there to get  a couple of 48" x 24" 6mm MDF (still confused about units?). into my car.
  • Decided that 40 mm wast't long enough for some of the joints so went to Screwfix (just around the corner from B&Q) and bought some 50mm drill tipped screws.

Now having everything I need, I got going. It was a long holiday weekend so I didn't have any interruptions. I got on nicely and here is the result.

Three boards ready for laying. I put extra strengtheners under to stop the sag that I suffered last time. Tere are 3 more to go plus some faffing around at the end.

I cleared off the top of the units so that I could make the open frame bit.

Here is the open frame. It fits very nicely between the units and the wall. The legs are fitted with t-nuts. I then insert a bolt, glue the bolt head to a castor cup. I can then level each part just by rotating the cups.

Finally, I have it all made up ready for the rest of the foam core to be built.

I hope to finish the foam core tomorrow. I will then plan the track layout by moving actual points around. I intend to have removable staging at both end but we will see how that pans out.

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