A Start on the Backdrop

Andrew came over for the first time in a while this evening and we made a start on the backdrop. What a battle!

Of course it doesn’t help that I’m super-cheap, and so I’m using hardboard that I salvaged from the original basement walls. It is nominally 1/4 inch, but it’s about fifty years old, and has swelled somewhat over time. It’s also slightly more brittle than I would like. And did I mention there are nail holes? Probably I will live to regret ever trying to use the stuff.

We tackled the hardest piece first. The corner at the North end of the layout needed to be quite tight because Pembroke St needs to blend into the backdrop, and I feel that’s going to be easier with a flat backdrop than with a curved one. I would have liked a seven inch radius, but settled for about ten.

Another blog post indicated that you could wet the back of Masonite, and that would enable you to bend it no problem. Well, you must have to use a lot more water than I did, because that just beaded off.

So, we tried cutting slots in the back. This almost worked, but the test piece snapped just when the curve was getting where I wanted it. Finally, we cut a couple of formers and screwed those to the wall, then with the slots in the back of the hardboard, we pushed the backdrop into them, and it seems to have worked pretty well.

I will have to do some sanding and possibly some filling, but the first piece is up. Two more to go.

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