Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Building the Ramp

Working on the ramp that connects the upper and lower levels of the layout. Since I'm not able to get the foam ramps cheaply (nowhere in the UK seems to stock them) I am going with a completely home-brew system. The roadbed for the ramp is 1/2"-thick cardboard with a very thin layer of cork, originally sold as a cork-board for messages and the like. I traced the ramp from a 1:1 printout to the board as a 1"-wide winding path, and cut it out. Next I cut the thin supports based on the 1/4" thickness of the roadbed and the elevations calculated by XTrackCAD. Once they were fixed to the bottom of the ramp, I pinned the track to the top, just to make sure everything could line up, and started gluing the bases of the supports to the baseboard.

In this picture the highest two supports are not yet glued, since there was a twist in the ramp and I wanted to fix the main part before tackling the wonky bit.

As always our cat is very interested in the progress. Here you see some small weights being used to hold down the last two supports. The end is not yet supported because the wooden bridge will connect it to the 2"-high area in the centre of the layout. Once this is dry I will add some additional, stronger supports now that the grade is pretty much established by the initial ones. After the ramp is good and sturdy I'll glue down the track, adding a feeder line near the top, since I figured that locos climbing the grade will need all the juice they can get!

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