Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:36 am

On 'Mellstock', I have given the question of sound deadening a great deal of thought before (hopefully!) deciding on the best solution. It is I think acknowledged that gluing the track down firmly is great for keeping it nice and level, but not so good for quiet running. Even worse when ballast is added into the mix. I have considered using closed cell foam, but having read of some instances of less than level track resulting, and experienced the same on layouts I have operated, thought again. In my case I have to consider that the levels are critical, given my insistence on using many RTR conversions without suspension. I have run many conversions very successfully on the Epsom Club’s ‘Wadhurst’ where the ply and rivet or PCB based track is very firmly glued down and very level.

Only last week I unearthed a temporary plywood sector plate built for the early stage of my old Taw Vale layout, and was surprised/pleased to find that the cork sheet, which had been glued down with Evostik, was still pliable after 30-odd years.

So my present (final?) idea is cork sheet, glued down with either PVA or Evostik. The track (PCB, FastTrack and some ply & rivet) will be pinned down gently with veneer pins though countersunk holes in the sleepers; that way they will be virtually invisible. The baseboards and sub-bases (Contiboard) will be pre-drilled for the pins as well. In the storage yards, I shan’t countersink the holes, that will be it, nothing more needed. Just like laying Peco Streamline! In visible areas, after testing and (maybe) the installation of thin card packing to give some superelevation in places, the track will be loose ballasted with dilute Copydex or similar latex dropped on afterwards. The ballast will be cork granules, not granite or any kind of stone. The pins will remain in place to be camouflaged if necessary later. My thoughts are that the track is retained in place by the pins whilst some of the latex will seep below the sleepers, retaining the ballast and also partly the track.

I am making up the track in half metre panels which will have dummy joints put in half way along these. These will be a fraction longer than strictly scale 60 ft but is more economical in the use of rail! All will be connected using the new Peco bullhead fishplates. As I have mentioned before, I am quite taken with the Ward-Platt methodology for reliable running (Scalefour News 206) but am going my own way in some places. This is a big layout (for me, nothing like Tony’s!) and I really don’t want to have to have to revisit things...

Philip

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Serjt-Dave » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:06 am

Hi Phillip. Just read your post. Though a little way off from track laying yet but thinking ahead. I've opted for using rubberised cork from C&L to help reduce the sound level. I was also was thinking of using PVA to glue it down to the baseboards. Also using PVA to fix the track down {ply sleepers} and using brass pins mainly at board joints, soldering the track directly to them to give extra support. I'll be using plastic sleepers in the fiddle yard.

As always I'm open to advice and other thought on the process.

Dave

Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:05 pm

Dave,

I am slightly less keen of using PVA for anything because it dries hard and can therefore remove any flexibility. Also my baseboards are Contiboard, so not quite so sure how well PVA will stick to the melamine surface, although I believe others have had no problems. Hence thinking of Evostik. I had not thought of the rubberised cork though, will have to look into that. I wonder if it can be bought in large sheets?

I am lucky in not having to consider baseboard joints as it’s a permanent layout. I am planning to drill the sleepers so the pins pass easily through them but still locating the track laterally, allowing a fraction of vertical movement. I shall try this in the storage yards first (all PCB sleepers) to see what kind of noise the trains do, or hopefully don’t make.

All this will have to wait for a while until I have built a lot of PCB track panels and cleared the baseboards...

Philip

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kelly
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby kelly » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:17 pm

I have been thinking of what to use for track laying, so have been reading with interest the last few posts. In another thread Martin Wynne recommended Balsa Wood, which I may give a try. The racket cork on the boards usually gives is horrible to my ears (though being DCC with some sound, hopefully some of it will get drowned out!).
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hughesp87
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby hughesp87 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:55 pm

Dear All,

I'm not one to normally post theories on here before I have at least a fair amount of proof to back them up, but given the recent posts on this thread about track underlay, I thought I would describe an experiment that I'm part way through.

My two current projects, one reasonably well advanced in p87 and the other just starting in p4, are both being taken forward on the basis of the idea of 'jigsaw' baseboards first advocated by Iain Rice and ably demonstrated on Vincent de Bode's "Flintfield". In order to create the strange shapes of baseboard required, I'm using laser cut 6mm ply, with all the design being done in CAD beforehand. The boards are very light, but have the potential property of amplifying any drumming or vibration passing down through the track and baseboard top, hence the search for something to reduce this.

Various attempts with foam and camping mat before have not really worked for me, so I thought again about cork. Previous layouts years ago used 3mm cork, stuck down with PVA and the track and ballast attached in the same way. It strikes me that the PVA adheres by penetrating the cork, and with such a thin layer there is a risk that the two penetrating layers of glue might meet in the middle, resulting in a hard sub-base which negates any sound deadening qualities of the material.

So, what would happen if the cork sheet is thicker, and a more rubberised adhesive such as Copydex is used? I'm assuming that the thicker layer will absorb much more of the vibration, and quieter running will result. For my p87 project, I've gone to the extent of using 15mm cork, sold in 3'x2' sheets for notice boards, with the advantage that both the shape of the cork and the detailed track templates can be laser etched into the surface. 15mm may seem excessive, but the reason for this is that it equates to the depth of the turntable pit at one end of the layout, which means that the whole turntable can be built on top of the baseboard. The p4 project, currently at the CAD stage, will probably use 10mm cork, and it will be interesting to note any differences between the two.

DSCN2771.JPG


So that's the theory. We'll see whether it swims or gets shot down in flames (apologies for the mixed metaphores). As the experiment progresses, I will hopefully be able to set up a new thread to describe it.

My apologies to Tony for hijacking his excellent thread.
Geraint Hughes
Cromford & High Peak in P4
Danish Railways in P87

Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:21 am

Geraint,

Interesting thoughts, I agree completely about the possible effects of PVA on the top and bottom of the cork. Coincidentally, I was at the Southampton Show last weekend and saw some 3/16” cork sheet for sale. It was half as expensive again as 1/8”, but it did set me thinking. My baseboards are extremely solid and heavy, so there is unlikely to be any vibration.

I think Evostik to stick the cork down would be better than Copydex, but dilute Copydex for ballasting. I saw once a technique for ballasting involving painting the spaces between the sleepers with PVA and then sprinkling on the ballast. I imagine this would work with Copydex, with what little seeps beneath the sleepers helping to gently glue them down. The only drawback to this method would be the full depth sleepers on the FastTrack I am using on the main lines; I’m not sure whether one layer of ballast would be enough.

It’s unfortunate (for sound deadening reasons) that keeping a good ‘top’ on the track is very difficult with a flexible underlay!

Philip

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steve howe
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby steve howe » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:45 pm

I have tried various underlays over the years and have concluded that cork is probably the best for keeping level and general resilience. I like Evo-Stik 'Time Bond' to stick it down rather than PVA which, being water based could affect the ply baseboard, I also think PVA sets too hard and increases noise transference. Currently I've been using Copydex to stick the sleepers down, I apply it sparingly to the sleepers rather than spreading it on the cork. Its only big drawback is its tendency to wind itself around drill bits!

Steve

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:22 pm

I often find it intriguing how the same old chestnuts arise periodically. One would have thought that someone would have cracked the sound transmission problem by now, but apparently not so. I am not an acoustics engineer, but what I do remember, from my Hi-Fi days is there are two methods of reducing sound transmission. Decoupling and damping or deadening. It has been demonstrated on ample occasions that as soon two media are connected by a solid bond, the sound transmission increases dramatically. In our case this can be caused by a glued bond or even solid dropper wires soldered to the rail and touching the baseboard as it passes through a hole can have an effect. In an ideal world the track would float without touching anything, totally decoupled and totally impractical of course as some retention is needed, so all is compromise.
The second approach as already mentioned by Tim, is sound damping or deadening to absorb sound energy already transmitted to our sounding board baseboards. One of the reasons for my choosing Sundeala board for the top surface was for its sound absorbing qualities, however what is sold as Sundeala today appears somewhat different to that purchased previously for Green Street, which was 12.5mm thick, flat and brownish in colour rather than 9mm thick, pre-curved and distinctly grey by comparison. This has been the source of some problems and caused extra work to overcome.
There is I think no perfect answer and as has already been shown, each of us must find a method that suits and we can live with.
Regards
Tony.
Last edited by Tony Wilkins on Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:49 pm

Back to the subject in hand. Further progress has been made with the North end of the Down storage yard to the extent that most of it has now been laid. This includes much curved track and pointwork. At the start of this section, it had been my intention to concentrate on the running lines.
The points for these had been built some time ago, but much of the plain track had not, so a serious onslaught was made on this.
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The next step was to separate the printouts from the construction boards and trial fit in place on the baseboards. This is always an interesting exercise as one soon discovers any differences between the track and baseboard dimensions especially with my fancy curved ones.
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Although I work as accurately as I can to the Templot printouts, I always allow a few mm extra rail at the extremities just in case, so some trimming and fitting is inevitable. The net result is this.
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The next stage was to progressively remove the paper working inwards and laying each section in turn.
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By then, I had changed my mind about the priorities of order of track laying and decided that I should build and lay the sidings so as to complete each area before moving on. Thus a further large quantity of plain curved track was required. Due to the potential problems experienced with the K&L trackbase gauge-narrowing with time, I made the decision some time ago to employ it only on straight track sections and then only in the storage yards.
As I had by now discovered, plain track eats sleepers in vast quantities. I would rivet about 200 in a batch and watch them disappear as 8 x 60' panels were assembled. It proved something of an ordeal by track building. However, the results were more than worth it.
The near baseboard edge is almost the end of the non-scenic part of the layout.
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From the inside there are 4 siding roads followed by the Up main and the rest are all Down roads and sidings.
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There is a supreme irony about this section of track. It has only been positioned where it is to work on. Its true location is 180 away on the opposite half of the layout and will be hidden behind the partition that runs across the room. These views from the outside will be inaccessible when in position.
There now just remains the Up storage yard to complete and then there is the little matter of wiring!
Tony.
Last edited by Tony Wilkins on Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Serjt-Dave » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:09 pm

As always Tony very impressive work there. However I really think you should do some practice track laying, perhaps on my layout. LOL.

As track laying is fast approaching me for my layout, I will be studying your threads on track building and laying etc. I have made my own track before but in my own way. I've never made my own crossing V's or frogs before so not looking forwards to that but at least I've now got a V making jig {the EBMA ones} so that will help.

Getting back to the "old chestnut" I plan on using rubberised cork underlay. To be honest the noise doesn't really bother me. May be because I'm half deaf anyway.

All Best

Dave

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Andrew Bluett-Duncan
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Andrew Bluett-Duncan » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:06 pm

Hello Tony
It continues to be vey impressive both in quantity and quality so thanks for the update and all the pictures.

Have you given any more thought to point operation and tiebar arrangements yet?

It’s early days I suppose, but the design from Mike Norris Scalefour News 181 I’ve now used and have got 7 of these installed on Yeovil Pen Mill do seem rather an elegant arrangement . I know you said you might use it as a basis for development so I’ve been wondering what the little grey cells chez toi have been up to?

Kind regards
Andrew

ralphrobertson
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby ralphrobertson » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:25 pm

That is excellent looking track Tony, looks superb.

Ralph

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:53 pm

Just a short update with a few pictures.
I have been concentrating on getting as much track built and laid as I can for the moment.
Here is the finishing touch for the above board as I have now added the end stops. Basic but functional.
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These are just glued to the cork. The holes are for Alex Jackson couplings if you are wondering.
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Meanwhile I have been making further progress with the up storage yard sidings, but not so much with the clutter.
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The next stage is to turn the boards round so I can get at the remaining five roads on the outside of the baseboards.
Regards
Tony.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:37 pm

Following on from the last post, I have just about completed the track laying for the straight boards of the storage yards with the exception of one piece of track. (Built, but pending.)
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And from the other end.
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A considerable amount of curved track now requires to be constructed to progress with the next two baseboards and my stock of unstained sleepers is disappearing rapidly. I do though have several thousand pre stained ones so have started using these for the non scenic tracks, which could be visually confusing, but never mind.
I also have a new definition of tedium, cutting 9' sleepers down to 8' 6".
Regards
Tony.
Last edited by Tony Wilkins on Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

Phil O
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Phil O » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:49 pm

If it's in the hidden sidings, why bother?

Phil.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:17 am

Phil O wrote:If it's in the hidden sidings, why bother?

Phil.

Because, if you hadn't already noticed, I can be a fussy B****r at times and like to do things a certain way.
Tony.

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Andrew Bluett-Duncan
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Andrew Bluett-Duncan » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:54 pm

Tony Wilkins wrote:
Phil O wrote:If it's in the hidden sidings, why bother?

Phil.

Because, if you hadn't already noticed, I can be a fussy B****r at times and like to do things a certain way.
Tony.


So has this fussy B****r made any progress on tie bar design....? We’re, or at least I, am expecting great things from you Tony :)

Kind regards
Andrew

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James Moorhouse
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby James Moorhouse » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:22 pm

Tony Wilkins wrote:I also have a new definition of tedium, cutting 9' sleepers down to 8' 6".

Here's a saw trolley, used to cut 9' sleepers down to 8' 6" so that old track panels, once lifted, could fit between the stanchions on a Morris Tracklayer. There's a prototype for everything!

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 23.11.09.png

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 23.11.40.png

ralphrobertson
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby ralphrobertson » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:40 am

There you go Tony, you just need to make a P4 version of that!

Ralph

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:08 am

Andrew Bluett-Duncan wrote:
Tony Wilkins wrote:
Phil O wrote:If it's in the hidden sidings, why bother?

Phil.

Because, if you hadn't already noticed, I can be a fussy B****r at times and like to do things a certain way.
Tony.


So has this fussy B****r made any progress on tie bar design....? We’re, or at least I, am expecting great things from you Tony :)

Kind regards
Andrew

Hi Andrew.
Regretfully not thus far.
As previously mentioned, I have been concentrating on building and laying the track for the storage sidings. I have now reached the stage where, unless I have missed something, I have completed construction of all the storage yard track. There are however still three boards worth yet to lay.
This is going to take some time as there are other tasks requiring my attention, but then I shall have to seriously turn my attention to getting some of this track operational. Not least to return some sanity to the madness of this undertaking!
Regards
Tony.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:12 am

James Moorhouse wrote:
Tony Wilkins wrote:I also have a new definition of tedium, cutting 9' sleepers down to 8' 6".

Here's a saw trolley, used to cut 9' sleepers down to 8' 6" so that old track panels, once lifted, could fit between the stanchions on a Morris Tracklayer. There's a prototype for everything!

Hi James.
I have seen the video of this device in action. Unfortunately it only works on read made track panels.
I have now cut down as many as I hope I am going to need anyway.
Regards
Tony.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:49 am

Onwards and upwards, or maybe not as we shall see shortly.
One of the reasons for wanting to get the next few baseboards dealt with is that I knew there were potentialy problems with them. This stems from the fact that the last baseboard I constructed ended up somewhat different to that as designed. Thus I knew there must be errors somewhere.
Having made all the track required for the next three baseboards, the next job was to dismantle and store the baseboards I had been working on for the South end to make room to erect those for the North end. The next sections of track were then carefully laid out.
This showed a considerable overlap of the track sections in places although the general alignment appeared reasonable.
DSCF0817.jpg

I decided that the best plan of attack was to lay those sections of track that had to go in specific places and adjust and fit the rest to suit and I needed to get at the outside of the baseboards to do this.
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The next baseboard was then erected and the track laid out. As you can see, this join is particularly critical.
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Further track gluing in progress.
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The rail ends were carefully filed to give an even fit at the join and pinned in position. The misaligned track to the left will be dealt with.
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Of far greater concern was the other end of the baseboard. The red line on the printout should be on the edge of the cork and the angle of the baseboard end should also match the end of the drawing.
DSCF0827.jpg

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:49 pm

Such a famous problem; they did a song about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5hWWe-ts2s

Well nearly!!
Last edited by Mark Tatlow on Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Mark Tatlow

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:48 pm

Thanks Mark.
This is the result when fixed down and adjusted
DSCF0830.jpg

and the rest of the next board. The two sections of track to the left were joined to the tracks on the right, but are too short, as are most of the others.
DSCF0831.jpg

Several problems are apparent with this baseboard. The rear track should be parallel to the baseboard edge. It clearly isn't. I have discovered that the right hand end of of this baseboard is not quite 90 degrees as intended. This is throwing the board out of alignment relative to the track. The angle of the left hand end is also not what it should be and explains why I had trouble with some of the angle blocks I made for the corners. In spite double checking my dimensions, something has gone awry. I was also aware that the first curved baseboard I made for this end I had difficulty with and some adjustment was needed to that although I was still not completely happy with it. Perhaps I had a false sense of confidence after the first set of curved boards for the other end went so well.
The end result was that all the errors compounded themselves by the time I came to make the last curved baseboard and it ended up somewhat more curved and shorter than it should be.
I decided that for the moment at least, no further track should be laid until I determined the extent of the problem and possible deviation of track alignment. Indeed, the next baseboards track had not been made because of this.
Careful measurements determined the following.
DSCF0829.jpg

The gap between the tracks on the left show the difference in lengths required and the angle between the baseboard ends. That marked joint is where it is and the lower one (unmarked) is where it should be.
I spent some hours trying to work out how this affected things, but eventually came to the conclusion that amazingly the errors in the angles of the two baseboards more or less cancelled each other out and the track would fit if shortened.
Time will tell, but I am far less concerned than when I first realised I had a problem.
Regards
Tony.

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Serjt-Dave » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:18 pm

Hi Tony, despite your little Oops it's still very impressive and I don't doubt you'll get it sorted. Thankfully for me {I hope anyway} my layout is basically single line {ish}. I've also decided not to have board joint breaks in the rail now and build continuously across all joints. I don't plan on moving my layout {unless the wife kicks me out} so will have joints in the underlay etc but not the rail. The only place I have to do this is on the board that bridges across the door which has to me removable.

Just one question. I know you've probably have already said but what do you stick your underlay and track down with please.

All Best

Dave


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