Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rick's Ramp Project 06 - Construction of the Ramp

Cut! Cut! Cut!  I love this Caliber Cutter.  Its a shame I can't get you one.  Someone will make them again.  Dr. listening?  10 people have already asked me where I got mine!  It was in a back alley transaction if you must know.  Haven't seen my youngest girl in a picture lately have you?  I miss her...

You know my rule!  Sharp blades before you start!  That goes for cutters, too, so I swapped out the blade.  I kept the old blade in an Altoid's Tin Box marked "used blades" and will use it again for scraping the work surface or some other menial chore.

All the deck planks are cut.  Let's stain them.

My daughter Katie gave up her one-cookie Christmas cookie tin for her old man so that I could have a flat staining pan.  Just what I wanted and well worth the two Fig Newtons I gave for it.  Shoe dye and alcohol stain again.

I stained these a little lighter than the lower ramp parts as these are in the hot Tennessee sun (on the layout.)  All are thoroughly dried in a few minutes.

Mix up the two colors once they are dried and you are ready to go.  Let's build the ramp first since we need some deck planks in order to square it up.

Using the five deck supports I cut an angle a bit tighter than what I needed, and then trimmed the cut by eye until I got a ramp angle that looked good.  You can do this more scientifically with a compass, but I can usually do it by eye pretty well.  Once I had both ends chopped the way I liked, I duplicated the cuts on the other boards.  That clear wood is quite shiny!

Using a disposable paint brush (25 for $1 at the dollar store) I touched up the cut ends with dye stain.

Handy square in hand, I put down the outer joists and attached a plank to either end with white glue and squared it up.  Let's allow this to dry thoroughly.

To dry, I flipped it over.  Once it was dry, I placed the other joists on the planks and checked the alignment with the ruler and with the joists already installed on the frame.

Planking or decking is a repetitious job and one not to be taken lightly.  This is the part of the model that everyone will stare at.  Believe it or not, when I show you pictures of the finished product, you'll be able to see if the planks are straight or not.  Use your square and take your time planking.

I turned the ramp upside down and put a heavy glass on it and left it to dry.

Someone asked me why I kept a roll of toilet paper on the desk.  Great question!  They must have seen it in a picture sometime ago.  Instead of grabbing a big paper towel for each time you need to clean up a small mess, I just use TP.  Its cheap and I can tear off exactly what I need.  I also use it as a heat sink when soldering, and a quick absorbent for spilled paint.  Other uses are to clean out paint lids, for absorbing too much CA glue, and for blowing my nose.

Wait a minute!  I just finished the ramp and there are no where near enough deck planks for the main frame!  What the heck went wrong?  Something must be wrong with the calculator...because I need at least 50 more planks!  Back to work...


1.  Toilet paper is a cheap material for small clean ups, cleaning glue from the tip of a bottle, and has many other uses.
2.  Use weights to help make sure joints are properly glued together.
3.  Always start with a sharp blade.  They are cheap and will improve your model building, as well as reduce injuries.

1 comment:

  1. Scott,
    Thanks for this! I'm building an On30 layout on the cheap, and you offer quite a few great ideas!
    ~ Carmine


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