Sunday, 17 June 2018

Reverse Engineering

One of the things we understood would be crucial when we began building Bron Hebog was that on such a large layout, with a sinuous trackplan with many board joints - both end to end and side to side - was to make sure they were always perfectly aligned.

That's why Himself invested in some very high quality German engineering dowels to try to ensure that the boards would always fit together accurately regardless of whether the wood had shrunk or expanded with the season.

So imagine our consternation on the day of the exhibition at Bressingham to discover that one of the track joints, which is slightly on a skew, had moved ever so slightly during the night.

It wasn't much but it was enough to derail one particular Garratt pony truck and occasionally a bogie too.

Considering what to do about this he came to the conclusion that although we had fitted a system of dowels all around the layout they were low down on the frames, but much of the trackbed sits quite a few inches higher on an embankment.

It seemed that maybe there was still potential for this to move off the vertical?

His solution is to fit another series of dowels just below the trackbed.

However, this is easier said than done because these are supposed to be fitted - for precise location - by drilling all the way through the two pieces you are connecting.

This is not possible on a finished layout where you can't get a drill up behind and underneath.

He's just had to do it very carefully from the outside instead.

Let's hope it does the trick.

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