Happy New Year! It’s been a busy holiday season for us, and so, nothing has happened on the layout in weeks. However, now I’m back in the swing again, and making progress.
I soldered the “rails” half-way on the turntable tonight. As I mentioned previously, I am only fixing one end to start, and will solder the other end to match once the first approach track has been located. Even so, I wanted to put them in as near the right spot as possible. So, I screwed them down to some scrap plywood, with PC-board spacers, and moved them around until they were as near to centered as I can make them with my measuring tools.
Then I soldered about half their lengths, sticking to the outside of the rails so I didn’t mess up the gauge side. I used the resistance soldering unit, but I’m not happy with the results. For the second halves, I think I will use my regular soldering iron. It was surprising how much heat those pieces of nickel silver sucked up!
Once the soldering was done, I unscrewed the fixture and trimmed the ends of the rails. As hoped, the free ends of the rails can move by a good half a millimeter or so, and that should be enough to accommodate any errors in the centering.
Finally, I plopped it on the layout, just to see how it looks. That’s when I got a rude surprise: some of the approach tracks leave an unhealthy gap leading up to the turntable. I bet there are some that will be as much as a millimeter! Well, that was a good place to quit for the night, while I figure out what to do about them.