The PRR Chartiers Branch - Progress Report - 2014-08 Report
08/04/2014
08/04/2014
A year and a half ago I installed momentary push-buttons on the layout's fascia to control the turnouts. However, I found out that the buttons have a tendency to catch my shirt sleeves, and on one of them I ran into so hard that it broke off the button top. So, I was trying to figure out a way of protecting them. I hadn't come up with a solution yet. Then, when I recently upgraded my equipment to using the Sergent couplers, you have to keep their magnetic wand handy. I really don't like putting anything on the layout, such as tools and coupler picks. One day the idea came to me to solve both of those problems by installing a quarter-round strip of oak wood all along the layout. You can see the strips cut and shaped to fit the three areas of my layout in the photo below. I stained and lacquered them.
2014-08 Report
Here's a close-up photo that shows the groove I cut into the top of the quarter-round, which allows the round Sergent magnetic wand to stay in place.
2014-08 Report
At first my plan was to attach these strips just below the buttons. However, when I did my test fit, it just didn't look right. Since that is a relatively major visual feature of the layout, I didn't want to ruin the clean look I had. I finally decided to glue the strip at the very bottom of the front fascia panels, just above the doors and drawers of the cabinets upon which my layout sits. I glued the strips, but I used brad nails in a pneumatic nailer to hold the strips in place while the glue set (the strips were also somewhat curved, so the brads kept them straight).
2014-08 Report
You can see the Sergent magnetic wand positioned to where I have access to it easily, yet I can put it down any time I need to free up my hand. Also, sometimes my mini operating sessions include pieces of paper that indicate which car is supposed to go to which siding. I will soon be "upgrading" to using 3x5 notecards, as shown in the photo below. The groove in the oak strip allows the card to stand in place, does not fall over nor block the view of the cars on the siding, and have it be placed near the siding where the cars are to be moved. At the same time, when I bump up against the cabinets, my arm will hit the strip rather than the push-buttons.
2014-08 Report