Wood Rail completed, short by 50 ties

In order to complete the measurements for the straight sections and the curves, I needed to hang the rest of the ceiling mounts.  I took this picture just after putting up all of the mounts and after starting the 7th curve.  You can see the 7th curve hanging on the mounts without ties.  You can notice from this picture that there are no mounts for the curve to the right of the fireplace as I had not started on that curve and could not put the hangers in place until I had cut the wood to length.

AllHangersInPlace_full

My method of putting up the mounts is to put the end mounts in place where the straight sections will end, put temporary straight sections in place, and then put the raw curve section in place over the ends of the straight section.  I then move the curve around so that I cut nothing off one end (the end that is straight from the jig) and catch the other end of the curve at the peak of the curve so that I get a perfect fit with a 90 degree curve.  I mark the wood with a pencil on the bottom, and then cut it with a saw erring on the side of making the curve to long.  I check fit afterwards and trim it down a very small amount until I get a perfect fit.

After putting up all of the ceiling mounts, I got a little goofey with the camera and decided to set it on the track and take a picture down the length of the track.  This shot is looking down the track toward the bathroom from just over the pool table.  After taking this shot, it dawned on me that it would be an interesting touch to put a camera on the engine and show a live feed of what the engine sees through the monitor of the computer in the basement.

RailwayView_full

Well, after taking a picture on the rails, I decided to take a picture from the unfinished section of track to the left of the fireplace before I put ties on it.

RailwayViewAroundCurveWithoutTies_full

After getting the curves measured, I put the ties on the new pieces.  For the short straight piece at the end of the S-Curve, it turned out to be perfectly 3 feet in length and so I just had to cut a piece in half to get the stock for the section.  After cutting and making sure everything fit correctly, I put them on the workbench and glued ties to the pieces.

7thAnd8thCurvesInPress_full

While the new sections were curing in the press, I got out the polyurethane and finished off the 5th and 6th curve as well as the long straight section.  Well, it dawned on me that the long straight section might be better served as two sections since the 8 foot section didn’t fit the entire wall.  But, after measuring it, it turned out that the length needed is slightly over 13 feet.  So, with the 8 foot section, I will need a 5 foot section.  If I used 6 foot sections, I would have a little short patch section needed just as I had to do for the bathroom.

After letting the sections set for a while so that the polyurethane was completely dry, I put the pieces in place.

CompletedTrackNearStairs2_full

Below is a straight on view of the new sections with ties and polyurethane.  Note that there is no track on these sections yet.  All of these pieces are simply laying on the mounts and the mounts are not tightened to the ceiling yet.  Once I put rail on the sections I will be able to tighten everything up.

CompletedTrackNearStairs_full

Finally, after getting the 7th and 8th curve completed, I started cutting the remaining straight sections.  One long 5 foot section goes over the fireplace, and a short 3 foot section goes to the right of the fireplace.  After getting the pieces completed and cut to length, I found that I did not have sufficient ties to complete the work.  So, I am at a standstill till I get more ties made.

CompletedRailsNearFireplace_full

Well, since I cannot do anything else, the final thing I did was to cut the metal rail to length and mount both the six foot section and the short 1 foot patch section near the bathroom.  I then ran the cars around the track to confirm that the rail was smooth.

FinishedStraightSectionAndPatch_full

Tomorrow I will go to the store and get more materials for the ties.  I will cut them to length this weekend and get them in place.  With this done, I will have the track finished and will just need to install the rails.  Unfortunately, I am finishing the track to quickly and I doubt that I will have an engine for the train any time soon.  It has surprised me that the project has started moving so quickly once I got the prototypes completed and the final design and methods completed for the system.

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