Preparing for a Weekend Work Session

Working on the layout, its something that I try to spend at least a few minutes on every day, even if its just sitting here at my computer thinking about next steps. That said, I wouldn’t be where I am without having had two big multiple person work parties (here and here). I had one in each of 2018 and 2019. I’d like to have 3 or 4 in 2020 depending on need, so I’m getting the year started early and having one this coming weekend. Depending on how much we advance, I may not need big work parties after the track and wiring are complete, as then I will be starting test operations and scenery, but that’s getting ahead of myself!

Tonight, I was cleaning the layout room and getting organized. Nothing like cleaning a room when you know you are inevitably going to make a mess on Saturday! Assuming the weather forecast doesn’t get worse than it already is, I should have four friends joining me to work on a variety of track laying, track repair/adjustment and wiring tasks.

IMG_1169The peninsula, now with my printed survey removed and almost ready for track laying to commence.

By cleaning, I don’t really mean dusting and polishing, I mean getting stuff off the layout and workbench where it seems to inevitably pile up while I’m working so we can see what we are going to do on the weekend. Big goals are to start connecting the track feeders to the DCC bus, and to finish the crossings of the peninsula. This is just fiddly enough trackage that I can’t bend/adjust align it myself, I need at least one, and probably two other sets of hands. I’ll have that for the weekend.

Something new to try for the gaps, etched ties to solder onto the rail to hold it, then cut through everything for the gaps, and an overhead view of the three tracks that cross the peninsula gap.

In the never-ending effort to get better and do things better, it was suggested that I look for pre-etched strips of ties to solder to the track and hold everything in place for crossing gaps. I found some at the recommendation of another modeller from the American Tie and Timber Company, called the Gapmaster. If these work on the peninsula, I am considering going back and re-doing the track onto the CPR staging, there is a slight misalignment somewhere. A guard rail/check rail on the inside of the curve at the traverser would probably fix this, but installing that onto the existing ties would be difficult, replacing some ties at the crossing with this, and other select ties with PCB ties would potentially be an easy path to resolve the alignment issues. We shall see.

In any event, the layout room is now mostly set up. Need to pull out the power drill, Dremel and hand vacuum chargers tomorrow night to make sure all the cordless tools are fully charged and ready to go, then it will be showtime on Saturday afternoon. Clearly to be continued!!

2 thoughts on “Preparing for a Weekend Work Session

  1. Hi Stephen, I went through the same cleaning process in my layout room yesterday as well. What a difference it makes to have a clean workspace. I now know that tools and supplies are back where they’re supposed to be, and the total effect has been to lend clarity to planning today’s and tomorrow’s 15 minute chunks of work on the railway.

    • Robin,

      Every so often my 10-15 minutes in the layout room is just an “I need to find and put away my tools in their right place before I lose my mind day”. There is something oddly cathartic and motivating about finding all the tools back where they should be that helps to get me going on project work again. Glad to hear it has the same effect on you too!


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