Thursday, December 26, 2013

089 The Navajo Mining Railway - Completing the Risers

I've put away the depot to dry thoroughly, so let's go back to the benchwork

Keeping your project on a moveable tray really makes it easy to move between different projects.  I keep about three or four projects going most of the time which allows for one to be drying or waiting on parts while I work on another.  It also keeps me from working on the same thing for many days straight, which I don't like to do.

Instead of using risers here, I'm going to insert 1x1 boards and attach them to the framework below.  This eliminates the problem of trying to attach the risers where the supporting braces are located.  My special thanks to Jim for pointing out the obvious!  Its funny how you can miss something so simple when trying to build, photograph and blog at the same time.  Keep your comments coming!

To keep dust down in the shop I often use a manual saw.  I'm allergic to the wood dust, so this makes my nose not run.

Using a 1" x 1" hemlock trim board, I cut it to length and glue it with Carpenter's glue to both the frame and the roadbed, then secure it with drywall screws in a countersunk hole.  Very strong joint!

I cut another riser board and do the same, checking the grade to make sure it is smooth.

After double checking the height and strength, we pronounce it good!

Using my fingernail I run it across the tops of the screws.  This one did not get tightened enough and is sticking out above the roadbed.  This could cause problems for the track, so I'll screw it down a bit more.

There!  The risers are in place at both ends of the loops.

Next, we need to check the riser on the outer loop.  We need it to be 4.5" higher than the framework.  I reset it and tighten the clamp.

This riser is set too high when I stand back and look at it.  Apparently my measurements were wrong, so I'll remeasure and reset it as well.

Setting risers is a bit of science and a bit of art.  Often I've set them precisely with measuring tools, but the natural bend of the wood didn't make a smooth grade.  Tweaking is required.

Again, I pull out the riser that I made and just put in a less intrusive 1" x 1" board, glued and screwed.  This gives me a completely flat area where the crossover goes.

Ok, now we can work on that big outer loop.

Here I had set the risers to the correct measurement per my plans.  The riser on the back right is noticeably lower than the roadbed, which is a big springy-er than I expected.  No matter, we'll pull it down and fasten it.

I'm using 1 5/8" drywall screws to mount the roadbed to the risers.

I carefully adjust the riser on the right hand side to the proper level.

Risers conduct sound.  To keep the noise level down I put a blob of caulk between the roadbed and riser, and don't quite screw the roadbed down all the way.  This minimizes the noise and allows the roadbed to settle in its natural position, which is usually banked.

Next, I secured the far end of the loop to the proper height.

The middle riser is a comprise of lifting the riser and lowering the roadbed.  While this looks like a steep ramp in the photo, it is within the parameters of the layout.

There!  Progress is coming along nicely!

Getting a little cluttered again, so we'll clean it up tonight.

A pink ball has found its way into the layout room, and I hear giggles.  Must be time to put the kids to bed.  Stay tuned, as we are going to get that airbrush booth working soon.


1.  Don't fight the roadbed.  Work with its natural shape to make a nice rise.
2.  The best plans don't always work out with risers.  Use your "eye" to check for a smooth lift.
3.  You don't have to always use a riser.  Sometimes a simple block of wood will do.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!