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With regards to compression, you'll find it easier than you'd expect. I'd advise against leaving out features, just stick to reducing the distance between them, or get rid of some duplication. If you have a row of houses, for example (in general, not just here), remove one or two, and you'll find it very easy to keep the "feel" of the place. And "feel" is much more important than accuracy (in my opinion, anyway).

 

If anything, if you were to model it all to scale, you'll find it doesn't LOOK right. Because we model only a narrow "slice" of the surrounding area, perspective makes it just look wrong (in a lot of cases), so compression usually works in the modeller's favour.

 

Banff does appear to be the perfect choice for a model railway. The natural backscene of the mini-cliff means you don't have to make it up, and the houses for the line to disappear behind is certainly a big plus. I look forward to watching this develop.

 

With the fiddle yard, have you considered something along these lines?

nevard_090403_catcott_HM_DSC_4352_WEB.jp

Where the entire fiddle yard can rotate on a central pivot. No points. If you wanted a challenge for your automation idea, this would certainly add to it (but it is feasible) :-)

Edited by Dragonfly
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Thanks for dropping by, Dragonfly!  Thanks also for your words of wisdom and encouragement re: compression.  Really appreciated.  I also look forward to watching this design develop :)

 

Sadly (or perhaps fortunately), the pivoting fiddleyard idea, as neat as it is, won't work for Banff.  While outgoing (up?) trains had a fairly normal consist of chimney-first loco, wagons, coach, guard-last brake, the inbound trains were quite idiosyncratic: tender-first loco, guard-first brake, coach, wagons.  This makes it relatively easy on the fiddle yard, where all I should need to do is put the loco on the other end of the train, hence the original idea of having a fiddleyard with a run-around.  In real life, Tillynaught (the other end of the line), had a run-around, while Banff used gravity shunting

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Not having seen this thread before, and just having read through from the beginning, I am really surprised that nobody challenged your idea in an early post that you need to be able to run round trains in the fiddle yard.  The key word is fiddle - so you just lift the loco off and shift it to the other end, maybe using a Peco Locolift to avoid the need to rerail it.  That saves at least 50 cm of length by losing the second fan of points.  And you can use small radius points in the FY as the visual effect doesn't matter.

 

Thanks again Chris.  Just trying to get my head around the Locolift, which I've never seen in real life, just Youtube. I think its 305mm in length, so to use a Locolift in this manner I would need a storage siding that was 305mm (loco pickup) + (bit of space for decoupling) + (length of train less the loco) + 305mm (loco setdown) + (bit of space for coupling).

 

Looking at Youtube, it looks like there is a bit of a bump as the loco enters and exits the Locolift, so I'm think I would not want to pull the entire train through the Locolift in it's setdown position, meaning that I would need to add a loco length to the above calculation to allow the loco to be driven off the Locolift, the Locolift removed, and the loco coupled to the train, i.e. 305mm (loco pickup) + (bit of space for decoupling) + (length of train including the loco) + 305mm (loco setdown) + (bit of space for coupling).  This might be 305 + 50 + 1050 + 305 + 50 = 1760mm.

 

Does that sound right?

Edited by aardvark

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Not quite that bad.  After you've lifted the incoming loco off, you can roll the stock along by hand to where the loco (and lift) was, leaving a space at the other end to put the lift down again.  Then if you're worried about running the train through the lift**, move the loco away from the train, remove the lift, and back down to the train.  So you really only need length of train (less loco) plus length of locolift (which I've just measured as 315mm overall) plus a smidge of flexibility to avoid leaving an intermediate coupling parked on the uncoupling ramp (if you use a ramp) - and it doesn't all need to be in a straight line, though obviously you need straight track at both ends for the lift.  Oh, and some sort of buffer to avoid running through the lift and onto the floor (!) which steals another 45mm if you just clip in a Peco buffer.

 

** I only use my lifts on a short siding, so I've never tried running a train through.  But there's a sort of rerailer at each end of the lift, so I reckon it should be OK. 

 

Cheers

 

Chris

 

.

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I have been looking in from time to time (as an exiled and interested Scot).

 

Like you, I have a space problem, My length is not all that I would like it to be.

 

One thought, which crossed my mind, would be to take your extract from the OS map, paste it into an image programme, and then either 1. compress the overall length, or 2. reduce the overall size of the highlighted section to fit the available length.

 

Option 1: As you are planning to use RTL pointwork, the overall length of the plan can probably reduce naturally to fit your space.

 

Option 2: By keeping the overall proportions as per the map, as it is reduced, the breadth ( caused by track spacing) will be distorted, but  might give you a better fir.

 

I am modelling in 2mm Finescale, and need to lose about 20% of the overall length of my plan, but have yet to have a templot session to see how it might work.

 

Best regards

 

Ian

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Great to have your company, Ian.
 
I tried reducing the OS map, but it just didn't work for me.  The track spacings became unworkable and had to be fiddled with.  Similarly, the building sizes, which I was otherwise happy with, also shrank, become unworkable, and had to be fiddled.  I also tried editing the map, but lacked the graphical skills for a useful result, so, in the end, I reverted to the 100% OS map, My process went something like this:
  1. Using AnyRail, I put the map in as a background image.
  2. Work on a single cluster of points until I was happy with it (where a cluster might be one or more points), OR position a single building.
  3. Work on an adjacent cluster of points/building.
  4. Consider the distance between the two clusters/buildings, and whether I was will to accept the prototypical distance between them, and if not, determine a distance that felt "right".  For example, between the Scotstown cottages and the crossover is a storage siding, which I understand was used for in-coming (loaded) coal wagons.  The scale prototypical length of this siding was about 1300mm, and would have held a dozen or more coal wagons, but I figure 4 or 5 would be sufficient to convey the feel of the place.
  5. Adjust the position of the background map so that it is in alignment with the repositioned second cluster/building.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until done.

When done, it is worthwhile reviewing the result for several days to determine whether I've over or under-stepped the mark.  Better to change my mind now than later!

 

I expect that smart/skilled/experienced modellers will simply take a good look at the map and draw up their design on a bit of paper with a grid marked on it.  Being none of those things, but skilled with a computer, I am happy with my pragmatic approach, which seems to be producing a result I can use (to be posted shortly).

 

As for available space, it's probably both more and less of a problem for me than for many.  It's not that I have an enormous railway room or anything.  As previously posted, I've given up the pretext of trying to make this layout fit into my assigned room, while I don't really relish the thought of consigning all my hard work to the dust and general chaos of the garage. Smaller gauges are discounted in consideration of advancing age, while lofts don't generally existing in Australia, where the outside daytime temperature can easily exceed 40°C during the summer.

 

Instead, my plan is to erect the layout in a open-plan hallway when the time comes to play.  Of course, this will require permission from the Minister of the Interior, which will generally be unsatisfactory, but is the best that can be managed.  The up-side is that I should be able to assemble two or three baseboards in my assigned room when I want to work on them without an act of parliament.

 

cheers!

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Want to hear a funny beginner story?

 

I ventured to a store called "Christmas Every Day" to buy a length of Peco flexitrack to help with construction of Parkside wagon kits (when I order them).  At 1hr 20min drive, it may well be the closest model railway store to where I live, but you would be correct in guessing from the name that it isn't exactly a specialty model shop.  So I bought my track, and well after getting it home, the light bulb went off and I got out a ruler to measure it, only to find that I had code 100 and not code 75.  My mistake - I didn't explicitly ask for code 75.  I mean, I knew what I wanted - they should have known too, just by looking at me! 

 

Anyway, I called them to see if I could exchange it, but they said they didn't stock code 75, as there wasn't much call for it: a single box of flexitrack took them 4 years to move.  It wasn't until even later that I remembered that Australian model railways are HO, where code 100 would be appropriate.

 

On a positive note, they did agree to refund the purchase provided the track is in saleable condition.

Edited by aardvark

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Oh, we've all been there - I recently relaid a bit of shed track and wondered why locos kept derailing on it - turns out I had used a bit of leftover EM track from a long time past dabble in the wider gauge...that explained why I had a bit of a battle to get it to join to the adjacent  bit of track   :scratchhead: ......

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Finally, here’s my version of a Banff layout using B7 turnouts.  This most certainly will not be the final design – further changes will undoubtedly occur – but I think it is good enough to expose for public comment.  So, comment away – please!

 

post-27387-0-23265900-1489985045_thumb.jpg

 

My effort comes in at 4.1 x 0.6/0.8m, which is somewhat bigger than Ian Futers’ effort at 3.05 x 0.76m, but equally somewhat compressed from the to-scale length of 5.2m. To this, I probably need to add another 2m for a fiddleyard.

 

Some design notes follow for anyone interested.

  • All buildings are to-scale full-size, as suggested by the original OS map.
  • The front edge of the layout is shown in red, and follows the line of the seawall (with a little licence), which means that the baseboards will vary between 600 and 800mm wide.  I think that the non-straight front will add a little interest, not be technically difficult to construction, and will look better than simply chopping through the goods yards. Fortunately, the overhang doesn’t contain any track, so will not demand a completely rigourous construction.   The inspiration comes from Futers’ layout, albeit with a reduction in the amount of water to be modelled.
  • The fiddleyard will extend to the left of this design.  It may be that the yard itself can be disguised by modelling more of the Scotstown cottages.
  • The storage siding (left, next to the cottage) is 750mm in length (about 450mm usable), which should be enough to store 4 or 5 wagons, which I think is more representative than  Futers’ 200mm usable.  Banff operations, as I understand them, suggest that the siding could only have been used for loaded inbound wagons, as wagons once gravity shunted and propelled into either the goods siding or the goods shed for unloading could not have been propelled back into this siding.  Rumour has it that it was used to store coal wagons.
  • The watertower (WT) siding has a usable length of 200mm or 2 wagons, consistent with photos and Futers’ layout.  I suspect that these wagons acted as a coaling station for the resident loco.
  • The loco siding runs through the loco shed, consistent with the OS map and photos, but contrary to Futer’s layout.  The track beyond the shed is 350mm in length, and sufficient for a couple of mineral wagons, consistent with photos.  Possibly, this area acted as storage for coal wagons awaiting their turn in the coaling station.
  • The main thing I am not happy about in the design is the lack of space between the back of the bothy and the back of the layout. I am not sure what I can do for a backscene there.  Photos suggest that the bothy may have been extended from one to two residences at some point in time, so perhaps I can shorten the bothy by modelling just one residence. Or perhaps a more sheer rockface.
  • The 3-way turnout is Peco’s SL-E199.  I tried using a pair of left- and right-hand B7’s, but was unable to get a good result without distorting the layout.  I’m ok with the result, as the 3-way is appropriate for Banff.  Moreover, I see that good things have been done to Peco turnouts with cosmetic chairs by Ben Alder, so all is not lost.
  • The goods headshunt, on the top arm of the 3-way, has a usable length of 120mm or 1 wagon, consistent with photos and Futers’ layout.  One picture shows what looks to be a 12T ‘lowfit’ wagon resident here, so one of those has been added to my Parkside shopping list.
  • The goods siding, on the middle arm of the 3-way, terminates in front of the switchbox (SB), consistent with photos from the 1950’s, but contrary to both the OS map and Futer’s layout.  The siding has a usable length of 750mm, or about 7 wagons, and is a bit longer than Futers’ 500mm, but compressed from the OS map’s 1000mm.
  • The station southern platform has a total usable length of 1100mm, including inside the station building.  This is about right for an ‘up’ train with a loco, 4 wagons and 2 coaches.  Again, this is midway between Futers’ 950mm and the OS map’s 1500mm.
  • I wonder if one of the anonymous stone buildings to the north of the goods shed might have been the offices of the local coal merchant.
  • I have added 300mm of space to the right of the layout, beyond the railhead to support modelling some of the local buildings that surrounded the station, such as the local gas works.  One of the things that stuck me most when I looked at Ian Noble’s N-scale layout of Banff (HM84, June 2014) was how isolated the station looks without buildings behind it, so I have left room in the hopes of addressing that in my own efforts.

Edit: I'd appreciate it if anyone can tell me why the image is displayed so small!!

Edited by aardvark
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I may have missed where you said this, but are you building the pointwork yourself? 

 

Even if you're not in the general sense, there's a C&L kit for a B6/B8 tandem--both handings are available, and you can incorporate them into the Anyrail design directly, from the C&L 00 library.

 

The common crossings are all built for you and the blades are milled. It's simply a matter of sticking the chairs to the sleepers with butanone. You would need to buy 00-SF gauges for it to work with unmodified stock, as the ones optionally included (DOGA-Fine) will do you no good. Luckily, C&L also sells the gauges for 00-SF. (A 15.2mm check gauge and a 16.2mm regular gauge would be required.)

 

By all accounts these kits are a painless path to finescale track--ideal for a beginner.

 

EDIT: your image isn't small, it's just been reduced for webview. Click on it. ;)

 

Quentin

Edited by mightbe

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I may have missed where you said this, but are you building the pointwork yourself?

 

Hey Quentin, and welcome aboard!

 

Since this will be my very first attempt at modelling anything, I'm going to start with RTR locos and RTL track.  I will be quite happy to revisit these decisions once I have something working.  It's all about risk management: there will be plenty enough challenges even after cutting these two particular corners to keep me entertained for a year of three.  Nevertheless, I do appreciate your comment and useful information - it will certainly come in handy in time.

 

cheers!

Dean

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There’s been a break-through, and it’s all thanks to the collective wisdom of RMWeb.

 

As described previously, my layout will probably be around 6m in length (including a 2m fiddleyard), but I don’t have a 6m space in which it could be permanently set up.

 

Additionally, it seems likely that the baseboards will be 1.1m.  This length is determined by a 1m section of the plan that contains almost all of the turnouts, while keeping the boards short enough to allow me to get a board through a door, and then turned 90° into the hallway outside.  Ideally, I would like this manoeuvre without the need to up-end the board – something which could only lead to accidental damage. So it seems likely that there will be 5 x 1.1m boards, plus a 6th possibly shorter board.

 

I’ve had an interesting discussion with Dagworth and peter220950 on another thread, where they have introduced me to the idea of boxing my layout when in storage.  I don’t think I need go down this route, as my boards will only be moved about 10m or so from storage to the place where they can be set up.  Nevertheless, the discussion got the little grey cells in motion.  A single comment by Chrisr40 caused one of those Eureka! moments.

 

My plan had been to store all 6 baseboards in a single rack, and I had been assuming that the rack would be one baseboard wide and 6 high, but now I see that the rack could be the full width of my room (around 3m), and the same height as my desk.  This will allow 2 boards to be joined on the top of the rack, at a comfortable working height – there might even be enough space for 2 x 1.1m boards plus the 6th shorter board.  Moreover, there would be plenty of space under for the storage of the remaining 3 or 4 boards.

 

The 3m length is actually ¾ of the scenic portion of the layout, and will mean that not only will it make working on the layout easier, but also mean that the fruits of my labour will be on display, and can be powered up, all without the need for permission from the Minister of the Interior.

 

Of course, I will still need permission when I want to get all 6 boards out.  Such is life!

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Just had a quick read through. I'm very impressed by how much you are sticking to a prototype. I've always wanted to model a prototype, but have never found one that suits what I like, and the space I have, at the same time. Something I would very much like to find one day.

 

One note about compression. My Victorian layout Skipton is compressed in a particular way. I got the overall length of the layout, which would have been around 5m long if I had done it to scale. Then, calculating the length, I figured out I could do it to 71% of the original length (very specific, I know!). I kept the buildings and turntable the same size, however shortened the track. Of course this wouldn't work so well with a layout with a lot of buildings (Mine only has 4 buildings, 2 grain sheds, a goods shed, and a small station building), as some buildings would have to be omitted. However I have done this in plans before, various other plans have been shortened to lengths, generally somewhere between 60% and 80% of the original length (of course all of these haven't been built, except for Skipton). Hopefully you find this useful.

 

Will be keeping an eye on this one, as I very much like the Scottish prototypes. 

 

Peter

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Just had a quick read through. I'm very impressed by how much you are sticking to a prototype. I've always wanted to model a prototype, but have never found one that suits what I like, and the space I have, at the same time. Something I would very much like to find one day.

 

One note about compression. My Victorian layout Skipton is compressed in a particular way. I got the overall length of the layout, which would have been around 5m long if I had done it to scale. Then, calculating the length, I figured out I could do it to 71% of the original length (very specific, I know!). I kept the buildings and turntable the same size, however shortened the track. Of course this wouldn't work so well with a layout with a lot of buildings (Mine only has 4 buildings, 2 grain sheds, a goods shed, and a small station building), as some buildings would have to be omitted. However I have done this in plans before, various other plans have been shortened to lengths, generally somewhere between 60% and 80% of the original length (of course all of these haven't been built, except for Skipton). Hopefully you find this useful.

 

Will be keeping an eye on this one, as I very much like the Scottish prototypes. 

 

Peter

 

Thanks Peter: I really appreciate your kind words and support.

 

Only time will tell whether my sticking to a prototype is a good idea or not.  Certainly, it will mean a lot more scratch building, especially as the Scottish regions are so poorly supported by the RTR manufacturers.  I guess it all comes down to how much of a hurry you are in.  Part of that will be the willingness to chuck things out and have another go when the first attempt falls short.

 

Edit: oh, and if you're keen on Scottish prototypes but have limited space, I would recommend the Ian Futers books.  Personally, I think the first is the better of the two.

Edited by aardvark

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So, it begins.

 

post-27387-0-36261200-1494575501_thumb.jpg

 

After more than a year of exhaustive research and artful procrastination, I've taken delivery of an order of wagon kits from Parkside Dundas, along with relevant decals from ModelMaster.and a trial pack of Sprat and Winkle couplings from MSE.  All that remains is to accrue the required tools, and put one together.  The instructions even tell me what tools I need.  Bonus!

 

One thing that has already surprised me about the PD kits is that they are cast in colour: the mineral wagons are in grey plastic, fish wagon in white, open wagons in brown, all with black underbody parts.

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Several post-less months might suggest that I have been busy procrastinating (again).  Despite having little to show for the time, I have been attempting to make some progress, but am currently blocked on all fronts.

  • PD and Cambrian wagon kit construction is at a halt after having constructed half a wagon, awaiting an axle jig from BrassMasters.  I am not entirely sure that the jig is necessary, but I am have been convinced that it is likely that the end results will be better having used one.
  • Baseboard construction started with the deconstruction of large pieces of ply into smaller pieces, but is also at a halt, awaiting pattern maker's dowels from C&L.  I figure that it will be much easier to apply the necessary Forstner bits to the baseboard frame ends before they're assembled into a frame.
  • I've given up waiting for the DCC Concepts/Legacy bullhead turnouts, and am going with Peco turnouts and C&L flexitrack, as used by my friend Ben Alder in his Far North Line layout. The results are truly impressive to my (beginner) eye, and I am happy to bow to his 20 years of experience in the hobby.  I feel I could do worse than to emulate his techniques, which is what I have decided to do.  Hence, TrackLay, C&L flextrack, Peco points and underlay have all been ordered, are in transit, or have been delivered.

On a more positive note, I have "finalised" a trackplan:

 

post-27387-0-35043700-1507116660_thumb.jpg

 

The layout will consist of 6 baseboards (red outlines), each 1.2 x 0.6-0.8m: four shown above being the scenic'ed bit, plus two more for the fiddleyard.  This is somewhat larger than my earlier target, but I came to realise that using 1.2 x 0.6 ply quarter-sheets (as available from a local hardware store) to construct arbitrarily smaller baseboards was literally a waste of material, and that, in the end, a bit of extra flexitrack wasn't exactly going to break the bank,  Moreover, since the layout will never be assembled in-toto in my allocated room, and only upon occasion in our open-plan communal living area, then the extra length will make little difference.

 

In the meantime, I have turned my head to the process of laying track, once I have all the prerequisites in place.  As I understand, Ben Alder's approach uses TrackLay for the flexitrack and Peco's own underlay for the Peco turnouts, which means that the Peco turnouts+underlay will be thicker than flexitrack+TrackLay, and hence must be embedded into a sub-underlay of 5mm closed-cell foam sheeting.  Basically, you cut a hole in the foam sheeting where the turnout will go, drop the Peco turnout+underlay into the hole, then attach the flexitrack+TrackLay with functional fishplates/joiners.

 

The recommended process for TrackLay seems to be to attach the track to the underlay whilst straight, apply ballast, then bend, cut and lay the track+underlay to the baseboard.  I figure the whole process will need to go something like this:

  • cut track roughly to length: AnyRail tells me the length of each track piece, but I am not sure whether this is the centre-line or outer-rail length when the flexitrack is curved.
  • solder droppers to underside of rails
  • optionally attach cosmetic fishplates
  • paint sleeper base
  • attach track to underlay
  • ballast
  • lay track on baseboard, attaching with functional fishplates, bending to suit, and drilling holes for droppers
  • trim track to correct length
  • paint rails
  • install point-rodding

Of course, being a beginner, I am sure I have forgotten something or have something out of order.  All corrections will be gratefully received!

 

 

 

 

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They are fairly similar, the Ivatt design was a late LMS production and was used as the basis for the slightly later BR Standard version. I think both are available RTR and would both be usable. There is video of the Standard working Banff. The Ivatt were sometimes used on the St Combs branch, Including cow-catchers.

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From 1952 the Ivatt 2-6-0 46460 was in the GNSR area, working the St Combs Light Railway. Known substitutes for it were 46461 and 46464. Of the Riddles version, 78045, 78053 and 78054 were all allocated to Keith, for GNSR lines. 78045 was the last working steam loco on BR in the north of Scotland, until end of steam on Tillynaught to Banff in 1964.

 

All the best

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From 1952 the Ivatt 2-6-0 46460 was in the GNSR area, working the St Combs Light Railway. Known substitutes for it were 46461 and 46464. Of the Riddles version, 78045, 78053 and 78054 were all allocated to Keith, for GNSR lines. 78045 was the last working steam loco on BR in the north of Scotland, until end of steam on Tillynaught to Banff in 1964.

 

All the best

 

Just to add to that, 46460 was at Keith 1960-61, and 46461 for a time in 1960. I've tried to find pictures of either at Banff, but haven't been able to.

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Thank  you gentlemen.  All very useful information.

 

I have several photos of 78053 and 78054 at Banff, but alas, none of 46461, 46464 or 78045,  Regular sightings of RTR Ivatts and none of the Riddles explains my interest in the Ivatt to Riddles conversion.

 

Spotting the minor differences between the two variants reminds me of the puzzles publish in magazines in my youth, whereby two almost identical drawings were present for readers to find the 10 differences.

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How not to build baseboards:

  • Step 1: buy plywood
  • Step 2: cut big bits of plywood into smaller bits
  • Step 3: realise you've made a mistake
  • Step 4: buy more plywood
  • Step 5: cut big bits of plywood into not-quite-so-small bits

post-27387-0-02518000-1510786834_thumb.jpg

  • Funny 1

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Measure twice, cut once.

 

 

Actually, I found that no matter how often I measured, my cutting skils were just not straight enough.

 

Fortunately, I managed to find a proper Timber Merchant, who, for a small consideration, followed my cutting plan to perfection.

 

It was then down to my carpentry skills to render useless, some excellent quality birch ply.

 

I DO wish that I had paid more attention in woodwork classes at school, but I really couldn't muster up enough enthusiasm for the Toast Rack that we made.

 

Regards

 

Ian

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Measure twice, cut once.

 

 

Actually, I found that no matter how often I measured, my cutting skils were just not straight enough.

 

Fortunately, I managed to find a proper Timber Merchant, who, for a small consideration, followed my cutting plan to perfection.

 

It was then down to my carpentry skills to render useless, some excellent quality birch ply.

 

I DO wish that I had paid more attention in woodwork classes at school, but I really couldn't muster up enough enthusiasm for the Toast Rack that we made.

 

For me at least, I think the quote should be "think thrice, measure twice, cut once".  Certainly "more haste, less speed" also applies.

 

I never had the advantage of woodwork at school, although I did make a few bits of furniture at Adult Ed. classes when newly married and lacking the pre-requisites to buy anything ready-made.  In hindsight., I suspect that the teacher did most of the work.

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