Jun 23, 2008
Jim your area is so clean.Do you want to come to the Boro to clean mine in between work sessions?
Congratulations on your 47th aniversary! The staging area looks great--looking forward to the mainline. I am also planning spline roadbed and will be watching your progress. In fact, your pictures have already answered one of my questions, which is how to join the very first spline together lengthwise when getting started. I see you have used about 12" spline "splices" held together with tape. That is one of those simple solutions that I never would have thought of had I not seen it first in your examples! Jamie
Congrats on your 47th!
Gentlemen, thanks for the good wishes.
Thom, I have enough problems keeping MY area relatively clean - all those little wire bits! But cleaning up after stages keep the whole area much more workable.
Jamie, that little trick was born out of necessity. Seemed like a good idea at the time, and by golly it was! I mainly wanted to see how the mains would look and if I would have adequate clearance. I need to create an anchor end, but the spline in position will likely be the beginning as well.
Looks great! also congrats on your 47th, I'm just past my 30th with my wife, seems like a lot of water under the bridge since we had met.
I see you have the staging completed, I visualized exactly what you did, and it did come out pretty good. Looks smooth.
Did you get that two inch spacing you were looking for?
What are you going to use for the spline? I believe the traditional material is thin strips of pine or fir...in other words, stick lumber, ripped down. It looks like you've got a strip of masonite or something. Am I right? Are you going to use that for your spline or is that just for the mockup?
I have wondered recently whether a material like 1/8" luan plywood would be more cost effective, less wasteful, and easier to install than pine. When all is glued together it should be just as strong.
I'm gonna use the masonite, Ben. I've seen other material used also, and thought about using other stuff, but the masonite had to be bought for the backdrop backing anyway, which gave me a goodly number (17!)of one foot strips which rip easily, and then I'll need fascia as well, so it's a logical choice.
Layout is looking great so far Jim.
Congrats on 47 years! That is something to be really proud of!!! Best wishes to you and the wife.
It was spline time at Oakville this week! First time I've used it, and I like the results so far.
Here you see the finished unsanded spline in the foreground and the gluing/clamping process in the rear. Actually all the spline you now see has track on it, I just ran out of time to photograph it. We'll show that next week.
Will this be handlaid track as well, or just the turnouts? I would like to try spline someday. Yours looks very nicely done. Got clamps???
Looks good, Jim. What are the dimensions of your spine?
Jim, That does really look good. I am about to rip my splines from Masonite on the table saw...any tips or tricks? Seems like something that flexible is going to be fun on a table saw. I am thinking of stacking several sheets together somehow. Also, how wide do you rip your splines? I was thinking 1" but 3/4" seems to be the norm. Jamie
I used 1/8" thick and ripped 'em one inch.
I'm using ME code 55 weathered. I couldn't handlay and have it look that good! Besides, this is a WHOLE lot faster...
Yeah. Use an old blade! The masonite tears up whatever blade you have in the saw, dulls it very quickly.
Don't do it in the house. You won't believe the amount of dust it generates. Wear a mask.
The flexibility is a problem, but can be gotten around. I'm working with the one foot wide sections left over from the background backing and they are fairly easy to maneuver for one person.
I tried stacking sheets and was not happy with the result - they tend to wander a bit, and you want as clean a rip as you can get.
I'm using 1". I like it STRONG. I'm very impressed with the strength of the finished spline, and I don't think I'm gonna bother securing it - it does not move, period!
Jim, Thanks so much for your informative reply. I am very much a proponent of "not re-inventing the wheel" and your techniques look like they will apply perfectly to my layout, so I can assure you your information will be put to good use. Thanks again and as always, looking forward to additional updates from your fine work. Jamie
fantastic job and great posting, its like a great looking "how to" article that keeps coming, so keep em' coming! Love your work,
Do you glue or screw the splines together?
Glue is pretty essential to making spline. That is what holds it together.
Screws could be used to hold it together while the glue dries, but it looks like Jim is just using clamps, which is the usual method. Clamps are less work.
With such a thin material, screws will need to go all the way through and stick out one side, and that can be a pain (literally). Screws could be used in places where you can't fit a clamp. At the club we recently took out some scenery and put in new spline for a new yard lead. There were some spots where we would have had to remove additional scenery to have place to set the clamps, so we used screws in those spots instead. Since we were screwing to another existing spline the screws didn't have to go all the way through and poke out into the air.
Ben is, of course, correct. I'm using yellow carpenter's glue. By the time I have fourteen splines and the 1/2" spacer down, the strength is incredible. I may not even fasten the splines to the risers - the glue has done it for me. I'll be rasping on the peninsula today and that will tell the tale for sure as to whether or not I fasten.
And Jan, thanks, the article idea HAS crossed my mind and I am taking/have taken many pictures that have not appeared here just in case. I note PowerSteamGuy is also building, however, and we both write for N-Scale, they may not want to turn the mag into a layout construction thing...
Although I have yet to get to my roadbed (less than a month I hope!), one important issue I think is to use yellow/wood/carpenters glue as opposed to plain old white glue. I believe the white glue remains water soluable even after drying, so it could all come undone if you use any wet scenery methods for ballasting, track painting, etc. Others who have done this before could confirm/deny this. Jamie
Correct, Jamie. The yellow glue is not water soluble. I'm using Alex caulk for both roadbed to spline and track to roadbed. On the old layout I used silicon sealer, but it stank and was difficult to get off your hands. I don't bother with brushes or putty knives, just use my fingers to spread the glue and the caulk. Goes faster, and you can FEEL what you're doing. Cleans up well, I keep a damp rag handy, and wash it frequently. I left it upstairs yesterday and placed two layers of spline with nothing to wipe on, I was peeling glue off my hands for two hours!