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March Folly - OO9 Micro

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Finally starting a topic, as this is starting to look like a layout.


I had an idea a couple of months ago.   I had found a canvas print in a bin, and really took a look at it.   The frame the print was mounted to was actually pretty rigid.   I figured that the frame would make a good base for a layout.   I wasn't able to grab that frame, though. 


Later, I was able to grab a cheap print from a thrift shop for $3.    This frame measured 20" by 24", a bit small for a layout.  So, the print stayed intact for some months while I decided what to do with it.


About two weeks ago, I decided to dive in with some material I already had, including Peco OO9 'crazy' track.  Loose, unwritten plan was a simple loop, running out of and into a hill.   Also planned for a small, not-quite abandoned halt.


First step was stripping the print and confirming the dimensions on the frame.   I was left with this;20240210_1108011.jpg.7c8467d3ce4f9032d93cfa4cb4fae6bf.jpg


Sadly, the frame began to bow after removing the canvas.  Not by much, just enough to go out of square.   I'll explain further soon.

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Work continued apace.  A decent day (dry and 38F) allowed me to get out to the backyard to cut ply for the top.   I had some relatively straight 1/4" ply in my shed.   A bit overkill, but on-hand.  A few minutes with a square, tape measure and circular saw gave me this;



Shown here on the frame.  Also showing here the bow I had in the frame.  Worked out to maybe a 1/4" at worst.   

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Next night I was able to screw the top down.  Another day, I had a chance to stop at a hardware store.  Got lucky, as I was able to get a half-pint of middle brown for 50¢.  That evening, I had the underside coated;



Left that to dry for the evening.  In the morning, before leaving for work, I had the top coated as well;



I was out that evening, so work continued the next day.

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The next evening, I took to establishing guides for my radii.   I have been working to try and build this layout quickly for multiple reasons.   

  • I know if I dawdle or step away, I may not step back; the micro listed in my signature has not been touched in close to a year. 
  • I also wanted to have the layout at least running for a show third weekend of March.

Given my desire for speed, and a lack of available trackguides in the area, I attempted to plot the 9" radii otherwise.   Not having a trammel, nor a large enough caliper, I rigged up some string with a pencil and a nail.   I wasn't able to lay the cleanest job, but it seemed to work. 

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Last night I started tracklaying.   I have no idea what I'm really doing.


First step was pre-drilling the Peco track for nails, as per the suggestion of a friend of mine.   Easy job with a power drill, though I would have preferred a drill press.   I dived right in to laying the track, of course making mistakes.  Below is where I got before I had to quit for the night;



Just a little more to close the loop.   Not shown in this view is the odd little tap-punch-thing I pulled out of my late father's tools to drive nails the last little bit.  I was having a time with these stupid little nails!  Had to pull and replace half of them.  There's still a couple that aren't great, but I don't think I could pull without ruining the track.  


I know  I could do better.   This is my first time with flex track, and I'm going for a rather tight radius at 9".   I've also forgotten about such things as removing the end ties to allow for fishplates, and pre-bending the rail.   A Farish bogie-bolster ran though the track fine so far, though.   I hope that's a good sign.  If I can close the loop tonight, I'll take a try with a loco.

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There's quite a kink in the track... The locomotive (Skarloey?) gets stuck there.

At least when she drives slowly...

If I were you (!), I would correct this before continuing to build. Maybe you'll get annoyed later...?


Otherwise, have fun and success with your model railway!


Best regards,


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On 21/02/2024 at 14:22, AlfaZagato said:

I finished laying the track.   Real coarse job. I did solder the track joints...okayish?



Thankfully the wiring is dead simple.   Just a loop, with a second feed just in case;



And it all works!  As shown here.

If you have soldered the track joints there is no rail expansion option for a warm day. It will buckle and potentially lift of the chairs. If you ballast and glue it down rigid you've not even got the ability for the plastic sleeper base to move if the rails do buckle.

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