Once happy with the alignment of the paper template, the "flow" of the point work and I'd glued the cork underlay in position, permanent track fixing could begin. The paper template was cut from under the points and then each point was put back in position on top of the cork. When building the points I deliberately left the rail over long, to allow for some fine tuning of the point's relative positions.
Point and Double Slip with over long rail
The rail was trimmed back to the correct length using a fine cut abrasive disc until the points aligned correctly. Dropper wires were soldered to the underneath of both stock rails and the frog, to allow electrical feeds to be attached to these at a latter date. The point was then offered back into place and the position of these electrical feeds was marked onto the cork. Holes were then drilled through the baseboard using these marks to get the correct positioning. A similar procedure was used to position the hole in the baseboard needed below the point's tie bar. Copydex latex adhesive was then used to glue the pointwork into its final position.
Point and Double Slip glued into final position
This process was repeated for the remainder of the pointwork on the layout.
Overall view of layout from Fiddle Yard end
Overall view of layout from incline end
Although I've built points before during my 4mm modelling days, I've always used ready to lay flexitrack for the plain track between them. On this 7mm project I've decided for a number of reasons that I'm going to build the plain track using the same method as I've used for the point construction, ie wooden sleepers, C&L chairs and rail etc. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-9887-first-7mm-315mm-gauge-point-completed-well-nearly-anyway/ My reasons for making this decision are as follows :-
The pointwork is built to 31.5mm gauge and I like the the fact that this gives less side play between the stocks wheels and the rail. Flexi Track is only available in 32mm gauge.
The pointwork was constructed using C&L GWR type 2 bolt chairs. As far as I'm aware Flexitrack is only available with 3 bolt chairs and this difference would eventually irritate me!
I've always had problems matching the final colour of the sleepers between the wooden sleepered points and the plastic sleepered plain track because of the dissimilar materials used.
I want the finished track to look as if it's been built from 60 foot rail lengths, with the sleeper spacing decreasing and wider sleepers used either side of the rail joints.
I've decided I quite enjoy building track!
In order to achieve the correct sleeper spacing and to speed up the construction of the track, I decided to build a simple jig. I used an off cut of chip board as a base and then cut pieces of balsa wood to the width indicated on the C&L track template. These were glued in position onto the chipboard base using PVA woodworking glue. A length of balsa was also cut and glued into position to act as an end stop for the sleepers. Another length of balsa was glued on top of the sleeper spacer blocks to dictate the position of the plastic chairs.
Track construction jig
The jig is used by first sliding the wooden sleepers into the gaps between the balsa blocks. The chairs are threaded onto a length of rail and then positioned on top of the sleepers and pressed against the top balsa strip. Butanone is then used as a solvent to melt the base of the plastic chairs and attach them to the wooden sleepers.
Sleepers in situ in jig
Rail and chairs in position in jig
Once dry the bond between the wooden sleepers and the plastic chair is surprisingly good, I know this because I tried to "unstick" some chairs that I'd put in the wrong place during point construction and it took a scalpel and a fair bit of force to remove them! The half track is then removed from the jig and ready for laying in position on the baseboard.
Half track ready for laying
Once the half track has been laid in position on the baseboard, track laying gauges will be used to fix the other rail into position on top of the sleepers. I've made up a few lengths of half track using the jig, so hopefully should get the main line laid fairly shortly if all goes to plan!