G’day All, This post covers the making up a 160mm wide (125 +35) and 248mm long (multiple of 50mm less 2mm for Unitrack overhang) Sidetrack Module. i.e. this module will allow for three parallel tracks.
This is a ‘pull saw’ that makes cutting timber a dream. It takes a little getting used to and really requires that you let the saw do the cutting and not your pushing down on the wood:
A comparatively cheap plastic mitre box that does the job well if you don’t hurry:
Even though there is the mitre box to keep cuts square, marking them as square is a good habit that pays dividends in future work:
While the sides were cut to the full length of the module (248mm) the ends were cut to fit inside the sides to give a neat outer appearance. This means that the ends have to be cut to a length of 160mm less the combined width of the two side pieces. Don’t rely upon the theoretical widths, measure the real ones. Sidetrack, and its original T-TRAK, can tolerate small errors (see down further), but sensibly keeping them to a minimum doesn’t stretch that tolerance:
As you can see there are a couple of ‘ooops!’. Width is 161mm but that is less than 1% error and the `wonky’ corner was straightened up before the glue had set:
This end piece is an off cut from a previous module’s construction. One side was `dead on’ for the width, the other was 1mm too short. A bit of careful alignment of the corner blocks and it was overcome. Not recommended for your first few modules unless you are really limited on timber to hand:
3mm balsa for the top of the module. I find that prices here in Auz can vary quite a bit between individual shops and towns. There is no place to buy it in my own home town and so if my own stocks are low I purchase sheets when I see them:
The reinforcing spine was another offcut from previous work and I had apples stewing on the stove. No one will see it, except you dear reader(s):
An update to fitting the spine, make sure that you have worked out your track plan in terms of under the baseboard items before fitting the spine. I have had to remove this one to allow for an under the baseboard drop away magnetic uncoupler. I will refit the spine once clearances are worked out.