More Benchwork

I have something like 18 people visiting the layout next weekend and I’ve been trying to get something complete for them that will make the long trip they’re making to see it worthwhile. I’m not having much success. I didn’t touch the layout during the week although this is pretty normal but nothing concentrates the mind like a deadline with visitors coming or an exhibition on the horizon. I doubt I’ll get any new track laid prior to the visit but I’d assumed getting the benchwork between QW and Morpeth completed shouldn’t be beyond me. I raced to town early to shop for food and get a hair cut and for some reason the lady who does my haircuts decided that this morning of all mornings would be the one where I’d be left waiting for almost an hour. She spent an age tucked away in an alcove working on some woman’s foils, whatever they are. I asked her if the hair had fallen out and whether she was gluing it back on, one hair at a time! 🙂

This photo shows the plate that connects the end of Morpeth to the new storage yard. This is the first time the old layouts have been physically connected to the new. A small but significant milestone.

As usual I started work by finishing the jobs I didn’t complete last weekend and that meant leg struts and cross braces (the boring bits). I then cut and bolted/screwed a piece of 250mm wide pine to the end of the storage yard and the benchwork holding up Morpeth to finally allow me to say I’ve got the old layout connected to the new. It’s all down hill from here 🙂

Using my new handy-dandy laser level I was easily able to mark out the dimensions on the timber I needed to cut. Doing this by conventional measuring would have been a long and involved process of trial and error as one end of this section of benchwork is set at 19 degrees which means no easy datum to measure from.

I’d previously tested the angle required at one end of Morpeth that would allow me to run the new benchwork parallel with the wall and this was 19 degrees. However cutting the other end of the benchwork to length is no easy matter if it needs to match the benchwork that can be seen in the far corner in the above photo. However with my new laser level this job was a snap because it has both horizontal and vertical axes and as such all I had to do was set it in line with the end of the far benchwork and draw a mark on the pine I’d set out on the floor where the green laser bisects the wood. The line that’s running up the ceiling on the photo continues along the floor so it exactly matches the length of the benchwork at the far end of the room. Neat! 🙂

All I had to do was mark and cut the wood, screw the frame together and then install the legs making sure it was level. I like a job where I don’t have to think too much. 

Of course it was half way though this job that I ran out of wood and took a trip to Bunnings to get supplies. It’s time I decide what I’m going to use as track underlay to raise the track slightly to give it a ballast profile. I could probably get away with laying it straight onto the wood but I’m still wedded to the idea of having something under the track. I don’t want to use cork as I find it difficult to get in sufficient quantities and it can be difficult to keep in place while the glue goes off. What I wanted was something such as dense foam with a self adhesive side that would allow me to peel and stick it to the road base. It would preferably be about 30-35mm wide so I could lay it in two strips and this would bring it out just proud of the end of the sleepers. What I found was a product called purlin tape which is laid under corrugated iron roofing to reduce the sound of expansion and contraction.

This 20m long roll of purlin tape is 25mm wide and 3mm thick. It’s a dense foam product that should work well as track underlay. At 25mm wide it’s not quite wide enough for what I’d like to do with it but I can either lay a thin strip down the center of the line or leave a 1cm gap down the center to bring the edges out just proud of the sleepers. I’ll do some experiments.


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