Bare Jig for making bents all the same. I use the nailer without glue. The bents are extremely strong. The use of an air nailer speeds the process greatly Finished 12 inch bent By pre-cutting all the wood, each bent takes about a minute to build.
After assembly, the bents were “dip stained” by dunking them in a Turkey roasting pan filled with Behr Deck Stain. The bents were then set out to dry. Now, rather than dipping the entire bent in stain, I soak the cut pieces prior to assembly. It works much better that way.
A 4 foot bridge was needed on the loop so a jig was built and construction started. Bridge done, stained and installed
For extra variety and support, a 7 foot section of “cribbing” was added. Cribbing stained, bents and bridge installed.
The snow started quite slow when we brought out the plow. However, the snow fell much faster than the plow could handle. So we parked it. Construction was slowed during the first weeks of March by two 12 inch snowfalls.
Because the upper loop is 15 to 18 inches above the lower level of the layout, modified “bench” work was added at the “North” end turn-a-round. It’s not as neatly crafted as Richard Smith would do, but it worked for us here in the high desert… Stakes were driven into the ground, leveled and 2x6 road bed attached to the top. Most of the wood used for the construction of the benchwork and roadbed was rescued from the “Cull Bin” at Home Depot for 51 cents per piece. No expense was spared.
Pieces of exterior siding (again from the “Cull Bin” at HD) were added to the sides of the 2X6 roadbed and lava rock was added to complete the berm. Most of the decorative rock on the property is various sizes of lava rock which is quite plentiful in the Prescott area.
To complete the loop, an 18 inch high trestle was needed to connect the main straightaways at the “South End. So…… it was back to the bent jig and air nailer.
18 inch bents were constructed. …….and a jig was made for the needed laminated eight foot diameter curved stringers.
The stringers were constructed by cutting 1/8 inch strips of pine, bending them into the jig, gluing with polyeurthane glue, clamping into the jig,then ….. ……..wedging them into the blocks to allowing for 24 hours.
Track has now been laid on the entire loop so it’s time for a test run.. The loop has been designed for continuous running or trains can run on the outer mainline, up through the loop, then connect back with the outer mainline. The addition of the loop has added almost 200 feet to the layout. The return spur can be seen in the top and right of the image.
To help contain the ballast on the raised 2x6 roadbed, ½ x ½ inch stringers were attached at the edges of the boards. The track is floating on the wood and lava rock dust is used for ballast. It’s a very attractive effect.
The upper loop is 99% done……. Entry to the upper loop is through the switch shown at the lower left of the image. The access track is actually level even though it looks like it has a grade. The return spur can be seen in the upper part of the image.
And trains are running…… Even though the upper loop is 99% done, it will always be 99% done and never quite finished……