Thursday, May 29, 2014

Backdrops Up!

Over the 3-day weekend, I took one day and said I'm doing a bunch of things with the layout I need to get done. Well, that really turned into only 1 thing, putting up and/or cutting the backdrops I needed. After putting up all the remaining strips I had on hand, I went around, figured out how much more I needed then went over to my local HD and got 4 sheets of 1/8 Hardboard. Once home, I used my cordless circular saw and ripping guide and ripped the remaining items needed to width. The end result is about 75% of the backdrops are in place with the remaining hopefully being put up this weekend. Here are some photos of the installed ones:

The other item I've been working on is my car inventory. I'm glad I'm doing this as I will be jettisoning quite a few cars as a result of being out of era or not appropriate for the selected prototype operations. For example, I have a ton of Bathtub Gondolas which, while were ubiquitous on Conrail, they wouldn't have been on my line or used in delivery of Coal/Coke to the mill or coke plant, respectively.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Benchwork Repair

In my previous post, I used my Kreg Jig to create the replacement L-girder for the helix base. In this post I show how I used it for repairing the sections I had to take out because of the mold/mildew on the wood. In the system I bought, there is what is called the "repair jig". It's the main jig but with clamps and a spacer, you can use it to drill pocket holes in various pieces of wood to reinforce pieces of wood. The big example shown on the Kreg website is repairing furniture that's come loose. In this case, I needed to reattach the front of the grid benchwork so I figured, to make things easier, I'd use the portable jig to make reattaching them easier.

Here is the first end that I'm going to attach the new front section to.

Here is the clamp that also came with the Master jig set. You use it to either clamp pieces of wood together or the jig to the work piece.

Here it is clamped to the work piece and the jig.

As before, I drilled the pocket holes. The jig comes with 3 pocket holes. The 2 outside holes are for 1x3s and above. I forget which two are for 1x2s.

Now I clamped the piece using the same pocket hole clamp as before. This was a little tricky as I had to adjust each side and once I got it, I went ahead and clamped it down.

I then went down each pocket hole and screwed in the pocket hole screws, resulting in an extremely solid open grid

I gotta say, after putting this all together, the grid is solid now, more then it was before using drywall screws. I have a few new sections to put up for the expanded staging and the extending the 2nd level in two areas. I'm going to build out those grids using these pocket holes/screws. Everything should be solid as a result.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Glueless L-Girders

I've been fighting mold and mildew on some of the benchwork. I think there was some on the plywood I bought a few years ago and now it's just manifested itself. The wood had been stored in a shed so I think I'm seeing the remnants of that storage now, particularly after the sump failed for a brief time. Anyways, this required me to rip out a set of legs and an L-Girder. When I was building the L-girders before, I didn't really like using all the clamps while the glue dried or trying to get the screws in to hold both pieces in place. I figured there had to be another way that wasn't that hard. My other hobby is woodworking and I recently purchased a Kreg Jig that assisted me in making drawers for a dresser. I had also used it for the table top of the dresser as well as attached other pieces together for various parts of the dresser. I thought it would be a great tool to use to create a new L-Girder.

First, there are a few various jigs available. The one I used was the workbench jig which includes a base that can hold the Kreg Jig itself. The base also has a clamp and I had attached the vacuum attachment but realized I didn't have the right nozzle to hook mine up to it. I placed the long board into the base and clamped it down.

Jig from above
Jig from the side

I then took the cordless drill with the extra long bit that comes with the set and drilled through one of the holes in the top of the jig shown in the top photo. Below is the first pocket hole drilled for the long board.

 Here are the others for the rest of the board

Next up you put the board together as show  below.

The jig comes with a clamp that is used to join two pieces of wood that will be placed together using the pocket holes.

Below is the setup. I didn't notice it before, but the ends weren't flush together like they should be so the L-girder wasn't flush on that end.

Here is a look from the front.

With one of the pocket holes clamped, you then use the special, square bit to screw the Kreg made screws into the pocket holes and repeat for all the holes.

 The finished L-girder without any glue.

Here it is installed in which it will be the base for the helix.

You can see my mistake on the flush sides with the clamp.

Overall, this whole process, if I wasn't taking photos, would've only taken about 5-10 minutes. In my next post, I'll show how I used the jig to fix sections of benchwork I had to take out due to the same mold/mildew issue.


Welcome to the my Conrail Model Railroad site. I will document the research, design, construction and operations of my N-scale model railroad based on Conrail's Ft. Wayne Line in Ohio.

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