Thursday, April 4, 2013

Trackwork at Wollar - Mark 2

I spoke too soon, the photos of the ballasted trackwork in the last post were before the application of the waterbased glue. After taking the photos and doing the post I went back and applied the glue as I normally do, confident that I had beaten the baseboard swelling issue.

By now you will realise that I was wrong. When I checked on it the next morning the swelling and roller coaster track was back in all its glory and even more so. It was worse than the first time so much so that I didn't take a photo.

I thought for a while that I would have to rip up all trackwork platforms, buildings and scenery to replace the actual baseboards. The baseboards have been in the layout since about the mid-1980's and obviously were not good pineboard, not enough resin you would suppose. I have other parts of the layout that are older and the pineboard is still as sound as the day it was built.

I decided that I would give it one more go but this time it would be a waterless process. I carefully removed the track without damage, luckily, and then used the Bosch Multifunction tool to level out the baseboard again.

I gave the baseboard two coats of model airplane dope that I had bought some years ago to shrink tissue paper tarps onto wagons but didn't ever use. I then made a paper template of the area, transferred the shape onto 3mm MDF board and cut the shape out on my bandsaw. The MDF was also coated with the dope on edges and both sides. The MDF was glued down with Bostik Zero Nails and also pinned in place. The rough edge of the MDF gives the illusion that it is not flat.

The track was then spiked in place and the wiring redone after the holes were drilled through their original holes underneath the baseboard. There is a slight rise in tracks at the middle of the platform and this is due to the join of the two baseboards not being in the same plane, that is, not flat in respect of each other.

Finally came the nervous step of ballasting. This time though it was going to be waterless and I used an unconventional bonding medium, liquid hairspray. Now, many years ago I helped my daughter buy a small hairdressing salon and in the existing stocks was a  2 litre container of hairspray that could be used in a pump spray bottle. I did a trial and it worked well, so away I went. The next morning all was well as can be seen by the following two photos. Well, apart from the 'nice' cheap flowery smell! It's gone now. I will have to ask my daughter if the liquid hairspray is still available.

I managed to achieve this over a week with basically one eye as the other has been deeply involved in my attack of the Shingles and I am currently having cortisone eye drops every two hours as the eye has become blurry and I can't read with it at all. The eye specialist says that he can't guarantee that the treatment will be successful but I am hopeful as he said the majority of cases do well if it is treated quickly which is the case.


Wallarah Creek said...

Nice recovery Ray.

Nemesis said...

Ray, I've found that doctors, especially the specialist variety tend to give their patients the worse case scenario, a kind of forward bad news bulletin where any kind of unanticipated improvement is treated with much rejoicing.

Never lose hope mate!

And on tissue shrinking for future covered wagons. I used to build balsa and paper flying model aircraft and found the light sprinking of ordinary water to do the same job as dope, and it is much cheaper!

Ray P said...

It has now been a number of days of 2 hourly eye drops (not at night luckily) and there is an improvement so I hope it gets back to its original state.

Rod said...

No trackwork machines, no earthmoving equipment, no spoil wagons, no trackwork staff...You are a slick worker!!!...and all with one eye closed...Hope you are improving in the health department.
Rod Kelly