The PRR Chartiers Branch - Progress Report - 2011-08 Report
08/27/2011
08/27/2011
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I am finally getting around to stringing wire between the poles. The reasons for the delay are many, but primarily, I wanted to have all the trees and background scenery in place before starting the wiring. Working from the back to the front. That way I am not constantly snagging the wires as I am planting trees. The background area is now pretty much the way I want it, so it is time for the wiring. Years ago I had bought some nylon filament from Clover House (part #289), which is 0.009" thick. I thought I could go thicker (it comes out to 1/2" in S-scale), but from comments I received from people in-the-know, it turns out that the wire is actually a bit thinner than that! The filament comes in a package, but it is not wound on a spool. Within minutes of opening the package and trying to use it on the layout, it was all tangled up in knots. I eventually found a spool in my spare parts box and started winding the filament onto it. This, then, made the job a lot easier. The way I do it is I tie a loose knot in one end of the filament and then tighten it around the "insulator" on the pole. I then string the filament over the next two poles, just loose. I have found Aleene's Tacky Glue as the only one to work reliably, and it dries transparent when cured. I apply a dab of the glue to the knot on the back of the "insulator" and let that dry. The reason for stretching the wire with the spool over the next two poles is so that the nylon filament is aimed in the correct direction. If you don't do that, it will curl up, left, or right and it will look odd later on. I put a slight pull on the wire by placing a metal weight on the spool and pulling it out a bit, but not too much.
2011-08 Report
When the first knot's glue is dry, I place the wire over the remaining poles. Again, I put the weight on the spool past the last pole. I then apply a drop of glue (using a toothpick) to each of the insulators and carefully pull the line up to the glue. By the way, the wire goes in between the two stacked insulators. When that glue has set, I trim the wire to about 3 or 4 inches past the last pole and tie a loose knot in it. By holding the wire taut near the insulator of the last pole and pulling the knot slightly tighter as it is placed over the insulator, you can get a nice tight line to the last pole. My poles have nine insulators on each side, so it is going to take some time to string wire between them all. The photo below shows where I am halfway done. I started by wiring the lower, inside insulators, working to the farthest back one on that cross. I then moved to the one above it, and so forth. I found that using a butane torch (I bought from MicroMark years ago) is great for carefully heating the wires that are a bit too loose. If you heat it too much or too quickly, it will shrink and snap (speaking from experience here). However, if done carefully, the line will shrink slightly and tighten up.
2011-08 Report