A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

April 8, 2020

We had to destroy the village to save it

Testing clearance at the hole in the wall. There is only 3.25 inches here due to a stud and a closet wall on the
far side, but it should be enough.

When I was a kid, my friends and I loved building models. After playing with them for a while, we usually found creative ways to destroy them. From soaking rubber band powered planes with lighter fluid for one last fiery flight, to putting firecrackers in plastic battleships, to melting toy soldiers, we were destructive little monsters.   That trend continued when I was trained as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army. They taught me how to build bridges and then blow them up. They even had the insane idea of sending me to Atomic Demolitions School, so if you ever need to nuke anything, look me up.  

Deep into demo
With that background, it's no wonder tearing apart a layout comes naturally to me. However, this time I am taking my time and trying to carefully salvage what I can. Unfortunately, I am not able to recycle any of the track. The reasons are two fold. One, the track is firmly glued to foam  and will not come off easily. The track is spiked 4 spikes per tie and it is very secure. Second, the foam is glued to the plywood sheet that I need to remove. The foam is not coming off easily. However, I was able to salvage the turntable, structures, many of the details and trees.

Demo is almost complete. 

I need to pull the plywood sheet out as I need to drop the track 3/4 inch as it traverses from Clairborne Creek to the stair landing.  A drop of 0.75 inches over the 20 feet of run is about 0.3% grade. That shouldn't be an operational issue. 

While I was doing demo, I was also gluing the road bed wedges together to make the curved roadbed sections. Once I had the full sized curve sections, I began detailed survey to see how things will fit. The main constraints are the height of the stair landing and the gap in the stud by the hole in the wall. I am fortunate that the gaps is 3.25 inches wide, more than enough to clear one track, even if it is on a curve.

I am making the curve roadbed with the previously cut wedges. I am using one domino and two pocket screws to hold the wedges together. The screws act like clamps to let the glue dry while the domino provides strength and alignment. 

1 comment:

  1. I hear that Vietnam-era phrase in my head every time I start gardening, "We had to destroy...". I invariably end up digging up something to plant something else. Oops!

    Sometimes I guess it's true of model railroading, too.

    Not a frequent commenter, I do enjoy all your posts and sharing in your recovery after recent troubles.

    Happy Easter, Bernard!
    Eric Gagnon
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada