The feeder tool

I was over to my friend, Scott Calvert’s last night. His new Boundary Subdivision is almost the exact opposite of Pembroke. Where Pembroke is small, the Boundary is huge. Where Pembroke is set in 1905, the Boundary is firmly in the diesel era. I seem to be spending my Boundary evenings on installing feeders – with 180 feet of mainline (so far), and a feeder on every rail, there are a lot of them!

We had a couple of good ideas on the feeder campaign. The first one was to put feeders on the buses before the table tops went on. There is nothing like having hot solder drip onto your lap as you contort yourself to reach under the benchwork to make you come up with a better way to do things!

The other one was the feeder tool. This is a remarkably simple tool that we use to pull wires through the holes in the roadbed. Basically, it’s a strip of metal with a hole in it, which we jam into the hole, thread with the feeder end, and pull back up. If that were all, it wouldn’t be worth writing about. However, due to a little serendipity, that’s not all it is, and the feeder tool is much more efficient than it might have been.

Feeder tool

As you can see, I made the feeder tool at the bottom the photo from a piece of rail. This means that the hole is remarkably easy to find; indeed, I don’t need to see it. If I can find the feeder tool, I simply trace the tip of the feeder down web of the rail until it slips into the hole.

The feeders for all of Pembroke only took a couple of evenings, and because there were put in before the layout was installed, I could easily access both the top and bottom of the layout.  I didn’t need a feeder tool.  However, this little device made from a scrap of rail, is well worth remembering.

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