Today we'll finish putting the sections of hidden staging together.
Hobby Stop had some bumpers in HO so I bought some.
This one is mounted on the track where the removable cassette will be. This will keep the train from running off the track into the canyon full of carpet. An once of prevention...
I've cleaned the track with alcohol and a lint free cloth (available from hospitals if you know the right nurse!)
The next step is to check all the rail joiner connections and solder them together, with the exceptions of the ones that are across section gaps. The far rail in this picture has a bump in it where the rails don't line up perfectly. We'll fix that.
Using liquid flux and silver solder I manipulate, file down and smooth out ever joined section of rail.
The best tool for the job? A thumbnail! Run your thumb nail up and down the rail head. If the rails don't meet perfectly your nail will catch on the joint. Works like a charm!
I use a flat file and file down most of the rail section, especially if they are not perfectly aligned.
Again, I run the test car over the track and listen for a clickity-clack.
All the track is ready. Now we'll mount the sections. Here is section one ready to go first.
I couple them all together. Section three is a little rough fitting, so I made a few adjustments.
Ok, I made a ton of adjustments. This didn't fit well at all and the rails were too short to meet evenly without a gap. So using my mini table saw I cut some of the roadbed off to make them meet flush.
I grabbed a box of 1 1/4" drywall screws and the wood glue from the garage. Again, I tested the track alignment.
Using the Sharpie marker, I marked where the section goes so that I know where to put the wood glue.
This board was glued in place, and then predrilled and screwed down to the sectional supports for a firm fit. That board ain't going no where!
Section two of the hidden track was positioned and marked.
With some work, section three was finally installed and screwed down. The track is ready for a test run.
Using the test car I push it back and forth. Occasionally I find a bump or something out of place and tune up the track. This take time and can be frustrating but resist the urge to move on until the track is perfect! If not, you will pay the price later.
The car is rolling freely and the grade level is perfect. No run-aways! I need to get a better, heavier car and test it again.
One more time, I clean the track and then vacuum it thoroughly to remove any remaining dust. We're ready for a powered run test! Electrical conductivity is what we want to verify. Even though I wire each section of track separately, any two drops should power all the track if I did the work right.