Ties at Division Street

 photo TieSanding-01_zpse67ecc98.jpg
(“Why yes, my wife is out of town: How did you know?”)

I’m running out of time to get my two S Scale Workshop modules prepped for the group’s next exhibition at a Montréal-area train show in October. The fact that I’m also documenting the process with Barry Silverthorn at TrainMasters TV, while a most enjoyable experience, also complicates the process: Either I can’t work too far ahead between recording sessions, or I have to create demonstration materials to illustrate what I’ve been doing on the modules.

Laying ties will be a mix of these two options. I’ll have to show some of the initial steps in laying ties in the studio, then move to the modules – with ties already in place – to demonstrate later steps like distressing, staining and weathering.

Yesterday, I realized I needed to set up a complete multi-section module in order to properly sand the tops of the ties to ensure there are no jarring bumps. For this, I needed a space big enough for the modules, with a floor that’s more level than the one in my basement – and since my wife is currently travelling, the kitchen came to the rescue.

The main feature on this module set is a level crossing. At one time, an interurban line ran along the side of the road, but by the 1950s era of the Workshop’s modules, this has been abandoned. I’ll include a strip of extensively distressed ties in the overgrown former Right-of-Way to demonstrate a full range of tie-finishing techniques. (Meanwhile, I’ve done a test stain of the ties on the still-active route through this crossing. These will represent relatively new ties, laid when the crossing was removed. They’ll make a lovely contrast.)

While I had the module on its legs, I posed a short freight on it to get an idea of what a train will look like on the very broad radius curve through this scene. The back-lighting in the photo below emphasizes the shape of the train, rather than the details, and I really like how it’s looking:
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The ability to incorporate such broad radius curves – in this case, a radius between 33 and 34 feet – into modules is a huge advantage of Free-mo style standards. I’m very glad the S Scale Workshop adopted such a standard when they decided to build new modules.

With just over a month to go before the show, I’d better get more work one.

17 thoughts on “Ties at Division Street

    • I did mention that my wife is out of town, right?
      And yes – the dog fur is a bit overwhelming right now as both guys blow their summer coats in prep for the winter ahead. So a bit of wood dust won’t even be noticed.
      But I’m also vacuuming as I sand, which helps a lot.

  1. Over here most exhibition layouts have adjustable-height feet, essentially a variant on a theme of a bolt and a rubber doorstop. (For an example, have a look here: http://www.stationroadbaseboards.co.uk/cart_feet.htm. I haven’t used that particular manufacturer myself, it is simply one I have seen on the “circuit”. 20 years ago I actually made some, using a rubber doorstop, a bolt, washer and nut, and a piece of 3/4″ x 1/8″ steel bar drilled for two screws and drilled and tapped for the bolt. Easy enough to do, but takes up time.)
    Don’t you go in for things like that over there?

    • We do, Simon. In this case, I’ve opted for the German Fremo system, which puts the adjustment at the top. Easier on the back and knees…

        • Hi Barry:

          Not directly – but I haven’t looked for one before now. Google provided (see below).

          My friend Pierre Oliver visited a Fremo meet a couple of years ago and saw this leg system in use. A mutual friend of ours is a Fremo participant and explained the leg system to us.

          Here’s the Fremo website

          I have not looked through the site as I write this so I don’t know if it’ll answer your questions – but I assume it will.


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