Strips Of Wood

I haven’t made much progress on the layout this week however I did reach the point where I could make some calculations about the materials I’ll need for Morpeth’s pier today and the results came as a bit of a shock. I was able to install the risers for the length of track that crosses the join in the modules today and things went as expected.

This is a shot of the curved roadbed in place with the risers secured with screws and bolts. I don't glue anything in place in case I want to change something later. As long as there's a bit of

This is a shot of the curved roadbed in place with the risers secured with screws and bolts. I don’t glue anything in place in case I want to change something later. As long as there’s a bit of “meat” in the materials being secured I don’t find I need glue.

My roadbed for this project is made up of a 9mm ply sub-road with a track base of a further piece of 4mm ply to which I glue the basswood sleepers (ties). I do the track in this way because it allows me to glue the sleepers to the piece of 4mm ply at the workbench and then screw these lengths of inflex-track to the sub-roadbed. After I’ve installed the 9mm sub-road I will measure and cut the thinner 4mm ply to match the track and then cut this out of a larger sheet with a jig-saw. I glue the sleepers in place, lay some rail and then slip the length of track in place on the layout. I started doing my track this was to match the hand-made points I was constructing on pieces of 4mm ply. The track needed to be sitting on the same base.

I’m going to take this use of ply one step further and make the pier out of a sandwich of 4mm ply and different sizes of Mt Albert stripwood. I’ve drawn the curve of the track out into the water, between the end of the track that is running on “dry ground” and the deck of the main pier on the “water’s” surface. The pier will be reached by a series of seven small trestles that are the width of plain track. Once the curve of this length of track (about 600mm or 2′) straightens out the pier widens into a straight length of “deck” that runs approximately 1.2m (4′) to the end of the module. The ship will sit next to this wider length of pier.

I’ve spent about 4 years thinking about building this pier, not continuously but on and off as the time when I have to make a start on the model itself approached. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been to Coffs Harbour on the mid north coast of New South Wales and taken photos and measurements of the pier there and I’ve also been pondering the various technical problems that need to be overcome to build a model of this size and complexity. I don’t do major sets of drawings, not only don’t I have the technical skill, I’m also too lazy. This model will be made of three major components: one large deck, fourteen sets of trestle legs under the deck and seven sets of smaller trestle legs under the track that leads to the deck. That’s it. I’ll make jigs from styrene to allow me to make up the two different types of trestles but I can’t see any advantage in making up a set of detailed drawings. Any problems I encounter along the way I’ll deal with as they come up.

I got all the stripwood I've been buying for this project out today. There was a lot less than I thought! :-)

I got all the stripwood I’ve been buying for this project out today. There was a lot less than I thought! 🙂

Over the past 3 or 4 years I’ve been buying packs of Mt Albert scale lumber in the three main dimensions my research told me I needed. These are 12″x12″, 4″x12″ and 3″x12″. I haven’t purchased these in any systematic or directed way, I just take the opportunity to buy whatever I think I need and what I find is available from the one or two retailers I purchase from at the exhibitions I regularly attend. I knew I’d be under stocked for the project but today I did some proper calculations and boy oh boy, is this project going to eat strip wood! 🙂

The deck for the main pier is approximately 1.2mx220mm and I plan to “deck” this with strips of 3×12. I need 42m of the stuff and I’ve got 4 or 5 packs of 5 pieces! The 3×12 will also be used for the bracing on the trestles which are really just a row of posts (8mm dowel rod purchased from Bunnings) held together with braces of the 3×12. However the 14 trestle legs require another 19m of the same type of timber. I took a look at the Mt Albert site and they do bulk orders so I’m going to buy 115 lengths of 3×12 which is the variety I need the most of. 42 meters! I bought myself a new bottle of India Ink for this project about two years ago so I could stain all the wood: I might need another bottle! 🙂 Buying the wood in bulk should be a lot cheaper than buying it in packs of 5 pieces.

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