Do it. Do it over. Repeat as Necessary

I took advantage of the lovely spring weather in Toronto this weekend (aka ice storm lite) to make some progress on the trackwork for Comstock Road. The combination of first turnout to be constructed with first baseboard gap to be spanned has been a bit of a mental obstacle but I think I have that part licked. Doing so involved reworking some previously completed parts and other challenges that prompted pauses while I reassembled my calm.

Exhibit A:dammit

That is not normally how I dispense tie plates prior to installation and not a method I recommend. As an added bonus, the grey plastic is a perfect match for the paint on the floor so I will be finding plates for the forseeable future.

Next came the discovery that I had managed to solder the frog extension bits down in a line that didn’t match the straight run through the turnout. Crooked, in other words. Both in gauge with each other but representing a noticeable joggle when viewed from a distance. I briefly considered making do but eventually returned to the principle that it wasn’t going to be easier to fix later and resolved to remedy things.

This alignment failure led into the question how do I align things through a right hand turnout leading directly into a left hand one with the baseboard joint between the two. One normally lays the straight rail and builds out from that but my straight turns into the diverging stock rail right after the gap. I came up with a plan to temporarily lay the rail straight through the second turnout, lay the other rail in gauge with that and then relay the first rail. Now I just had to get the first rail straight. Perhaps I can find a suitable straight edge…


Not the purpose the makers of the four foot drywall square intended  but it did that part of the job. The only character building moment came when my plan to desolder the offending rail at the joint and push it over against the square edge came up against the reality that a 1/4″x2″x4′ piece of aluminum makes an excellent heat sink. Plan B was to lay the other side of the gap and then line things up with that. This worked much better but I did spend a couple of minutes wondering why the solder wasn’t melting before I figured things out.

The end result is part of a turnout laid with all the parts assembled for the straight route through although the closure rail pictured is only placed for fit. Various other bits of plain track spiking also took place as I find that calming. A fair bit of that. I now feel like I have gotten back up to speed on turnout construction which probably means I have forgotten something.


More is done that this but that was the last time I remembered to take a photograph. I have received a request to describe the various parts I am using (Hi, Vince!) so once I have this thing fairly well along I will do a writeup. Which means I need to figure out how to put arrows and labels on photographs, a capability I am past due for learning.

10 thoughts on “Do it. Do it over. Repeat as Necessary”

  1. Yes, this last ‘Spring“ weekend was a perfect train weekend here in Etobicoke, just as long as the Hydro stayed on…it did! And like you, track work, attempting to create a turnout with manual control, and all wiring solely at my workbench….I model in N-Scale.

    And getting there until I used too much Instant Glue and glued the activating switch frozen, just like the ice outside!

    So, doing it over.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Acetone will dissolve superglue. Also freezing allegedly will break the bond, too. (Which is why you should not store your models in the trunk of the car in winter)


  2. Yes, my feeble and ver un- educated computerized attempts at correction!

    Meanwhile poorly instant glued objects have been consigned to the freezer!


      1. 24 hours in the freezer did nothing.
        And Acetone is both flamable and extremely dangerous to one’s heath, so don’t even touch it!

        Only thing to break a glued joint is BRUTE STRENGTH!



      2. Thanks for conducting the experiment. I will cease to perpetuate that rumour.

        Acetone is flammable, true. It is also the major ingredient in nail polish remover. The WHMIS doc characterizes the toxicity as an extreme eye irritant. Nothing else about general hazards.

        edit: add WHMIS link
        WHMIS (Acetone)


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