19th Jun 2011, 10:58 AM
Things I Have Learned
This is a thread for things that we've all learned from experience, and that you won't find just about anywhere else. So here goes:
DO NOT use nails. Just don't. I tried that, and ended up with benchwork that pulled apart.
Use screws. The best way I have found is to use one drill to pre-drill the hole, then stick another drill with a screwdriver bit into the hole to widen the opening of the hole, then use it to drive the screw in.
If you don't pre drill a hole, screws are hard to drill in, and you'll probebly split a x2 or 1x3.
An L-girder with a 1x3 for a flange makes for eaiser screwing.
3 1x2's should not be used to support a 7-foot span. Can you say sag?
3/4 inch plywood is HEAVY. For the top of the benchwork, 1/2 inch plywood works just fine.
Wood selection-My hardware store sells two kinds of 1x2-one with square corners, and one the the edges rounded. DON'T use the second kind!
Use the straightest lumber you can find. A piece with a 20 degree twist over its length as installed on the layout is NOT accaptable.
Benchwork designed and built by a 12 year old has the quality of benchwork built by a 12 year old.
Rail nippers are designed to cut oriented only one way. Look cosely at the blades-you want the side that is flat, not the side that is angled, toward the part of the track you want to keep.
Hobby pliers work well for driving track spikes.
With flextrack that has been cut by rail nippers, rail joiners are HARD to get on.
The first loco over a new section of track with end up with about a dozen track spikes that had fallen between the ties magnitacally stuck to the bottom of the moter. I would recomend running a magnet over the track to pick up any loose spikes. (but beware, I haven't tried this yet)
Atlas code-55 track requires that all rolling stock have low-profile wheels, and that locomotative wheels are correctly in gauge. A surprisingly large number of quality locomotative have out of gauge wheels.
If you glue cork roadbed to foam with elmer's wood glue, you can pry the cork up with a fngernail a few years later without damaging the foam.
There is something called a 'door jamb saw' that works well for starting to cut up coek roadbed, after which you can use your fingernail.
If you can, pin cork roadbed down while the glue dries with pins that have the little round balls on the end. It is MUCH easier on the hands when pulling them up.
Bachmann Spectrum locomotative can be best converyed to knuckle couplers on the tenderby using a Micro Trains 1128 coupler with the spring that comes with the locomotative in the existing coupler box.
The Knuckle couplers on the Bachmann heavy mountain are mounted much too low, covert the one on the tender as above.
Use solid wire for you DCC bus. DON'T use stranded wire! it will end up stuck un a bynch of loops.
Go ahead and submit your helpful lessons you've learned!
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19th Jun 2011, 11:05 AM