Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rick's Ramp Project 09 - Attaching the Ramp

We're down to combining the main assemblies!

The prototype photo that I have shows cross braces on the side of the ramp.  I'll add small square timbers here as the pilings are just too hard to cut accurately.

Using some left over bracing I add a brace to the outside of the ramp.

Using a heavier amount of white glue I attach the ramp to the main deck.  There is a slight opening at the joint.

Using a spare deck plank I split it in half with a razor blade and glue it into the gap to fill it.

Next I take a fine grit emery board and sand the edges of the deck where the warning bar goes.

Once it is level will check again for any issues, and then move to the next step.

Here we have the warning boards that go along the edge.  They are bolted to the deck, so let get the bolts on!

I put the boards on an index card with a very small dab of glue to keep them aligned.  Then, using my scale rule, I mark two foot marks on the card to show where the nut/bolt/washer (NBW0 castings go.

I'm using Tichy Train Group #8081 Hex Nut/Bolt set, for HO this is 4.5" hex nut, with a 2" bolt.  These are very tiny.  Instead of drilling the holes, I prefer to use a razor blade and cut the head off, and just glue it to the surface.  This is much quicker and to me more accurate.  One thing you have to watch is blade deflection which can cause an errant cut and leave a small nub under the NBW.  This will cause it not to sit flat.  I put lotion on my hands so the parts will stick to it, and use my fingers to keep the small parts from flying away as I cut.  They go into a small foil pan.

Hey, look who woke up!  Katie likes to see tiny things...

Here is a pan full of 48 NBW parts.  Don't sneeze.

We'll put the parts on with thin CA.  I put a dab on an index card.

I keep one pair of very fine tweezers for just such work.  I'll pick up the NBW by the bolt part, dip it in CA, and then position it.  Hope you are not in a hurry!

The wood is gently pulled off the index card and we have two of the runners.

Next we use the 20 foot runners to do the ramp.  Same fashion.

I even use the same markings on the index card.

When working with small parts, be sure to keep your eyes moist as this helps you to prevent eye strain.  I keep several bottles of wetting drops in my shop.

The runners are test fit and look great.  Let's bolt them down!

Using white glue, I stick them on and straighten them.

I forgot to finish the supports on the ramp, so I go back and put them on.

Next, we need to make the deck look heavily used.  I have this PBL Weathering Brush with a fiberglass tip.  NOTE:  wear eye and hand protection as the fiberglass will get into any soft place it can find!  In different spots I wear down the wood.

Places that will wear are the first part of the ramp where objects hit it, the top of the ramp where low hanging parts hit the ramp, and the end of the ramp where loading is occurring.

After using the weathering tool, I got out the hobby knife and did even more damage, especially around the bumper area.

Those planks were put down somehow...probably with nails.  Using my ponce wheel set, I picked out the smallest pattern and went to work.  Using a ruler as a guide I ran the tool across the deck and down the ramp.

You can't see the nail holes very well right now, but they will show when we add a black wash later.


1.  Use small adhesive colored dots to indicate something on the model that needs repair, but that you don't want to work on right now.  An example is when you need to get a bottle of paint and brush back out to fix several scratches.
2.  Weathering brushes are handy when you need more gentle weathering of wood or plastic.
3.  Use moistening eye drops to help your vision during tedious detail work.

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