New Siding for Reefer Icing Platform
Since the layout addition I have had in my head for many years now is still in my head and might not happen, I decided a new siding was in order. This is the first new track on the layout in many years.
There is another well hidden route that can run another train. It has not been clear enough from stored cars for that to happen for years. But a big motivator was making a track for my reefer ice platform that will be about 8 feet long. I can hold/store a killer reefer train that is all in the boxes for now.
I was going to put the second turnout in the typical ladder fashion but decided to keep going to the end of the layout. That greatly extended the length by at least 10 feet to about 28 feet total.
I started at the left end and worked right using a piece of aluminum flat stock as a spacer to the next track. It made for a fast and straight new siding.
I started at the other end and worked to the splice area. The turnout was about 3/16 short to fill the straight piece so I have to use the smallest spacer rail ever!
As in the past when the layout was first built, this turnout is where I used my ¼ x ½ pine spline to layout the curve. All you have to do is secure the start point at the turnout, minimally set some guide points and let the wood do the work. It makes perfect spiral easements, not a fixed firm measured radius. It just FLOWS!
I don’t know what the radius is but once again everything I own still can run over every inch of track. I tested the EM1 and I1 so everything else should run fine. With this new siding as long as I keep the rest of the track clear you could actually do some switching which was a part of the original design with long yard leads on both ends.
For the past 3 winters a goal was to improve my backdrop. I always thought the Masonite backdrop was temporary even though it is 7 years old now. There was always a gap for 1 reason or another, originally to clear a HVAC duct. Once the layout was widened it cleared the duct but the gap 4 foot remained. I wanted to get 24” x 50 feet aluminum coil stock, paint it blue and put it up in place of my Masonite. With the inside circumference being about 80 running feet there would only be 2 seams. Well none of that happened!!
The Masonite is what I am going with. Right after adding the ice reefer siding I worked on the backdrop. For the first time ever there are no gaps in my backdrop. There were previously 3 various gaps. I moved boards together and filled 1 large gap. There is not that many seams I have to spackle and sand which is what I am going to do. A friend helped glue some 1 x 2 on the back to straighten and support.
Any thoughts of having a new quart of paint match the original color perfectly quickly ended when I tried some touch up. It will have to be completely repainted in place when all is done. More later……
Reefer Train On New Siding
I don’t take photos on this side of the layout as much. But since I fiddled with the backdrop last weekend and did some cleanup in the somewhat random building flop down it is a bit more presentable. It was the same trains slightly rearranged and in different angles.
I really like the M1a with the shorty tender on the reefer train. It can easily pull that train by itself. I will paitnt eh end walls of the basement the same sky blue to match the backdrop.
Sky Blue Basement Walls
As can be seen above a cinderblock wall at one end and closet doors at the end make for distracting photos. The block wall end/corner of the basement has had significant repairs done before we got the house to keep the block wall from buckling and keeping the outside out. There is 4” steel C channels about every 4 feet embedded in the basement floor and bolted into first floor joists.
For years I was concerned about “watching” the walls and not covering them up. Coming up on 9 years now it is a DRY wall and not moving at all. I got some 1 x 6 pine and luan, and made a very quick n dirty wall. Luan is the least expensive smoothest surface you can get in a sheet besides drywall. I really don’t like drywall and it absolutely would not have worked for this. I had to weave under pipes etc. Drywall does not bend.
I was not thrilled at the idea of drilling and tapping the steel channels to laminate the pine so I tried the Gorilla brand of construction glue. Oh it worked!!! That glue is bulletproof. In other places I needed studs so I made 2 x 4 with the center cut out to get around the bow of the block wall.
Since the luan is thin I wanted to add some supports at about the half way point in case it got bumped walking around. I did some minor spackling of the 1 joint. The other joints are pretty well hidden and not in line for likely photo angles.
The wall is by far not flat or perfect but as my Pop used to say “It does not have to keep time”. Good enough.
I painted the bi-fold closet doors at the other end of the basement the same color sky blue. I may have hoped or overestimated the camouflaging that the painting would do. That did not go quite as well. Still I think the effort was worth the results especially on the wall end.
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