Friday, 14 September 2012

Construction Begins


Friday 14th September 2012 was a special day for bendigo, construction of the first module started.  After years and months of planing it was great to start putting it all together.  My main focus for my posts are that people with no experience in model railroads can read them and than go and build their own railways. With that in mind i will show a step by step process on how i build my railway.

Step One
Have a plan done.  This is the most important thing. Take your time in this area it will save you plenty of time in the future.  For me i have spent nearly two years planning bendigo. Most of this time was working out different templates for hand laying the track.  Once i had worked that out i was than able to draw a track plan. From the track plan i was than able to design the module. Depending on what you want to do in your model railway will depend on how long it takes you to plan it all out.

Step Two
Start building.  This is were the fun starts. Its always nice to see something in life rather than on paper.  I built the frame from qubelok 25mm square aluminium tubing. This product is made by Capral.  The tubing is a great alternative to timber as it light weight and strong. Below is the process i went through to build the frame work for the module. 

With my plan in front of me it was time to start cutting.  To cut the tubing i used a drop down saw with a 255mm timber blade with 80 teeth.  The aluminium is soft enough to use this type of blade.  Using a metal cutting saw can be used but the metal cutting disc is proned to become full of slag very quickly.  A few things to note when measuring make sure you allow 25mm for the black plastic connectors at the ends of the tube and also don't make out along the whole tube you will lose 2 to 3mm from the blade cutting the tube. (its a very easy trap to fall into). Make sure you wear gloves, goggles and ear protection when cutting the aluminium.

Putting it all together
With all the tubes cut you will notice that there is a blur left over on the tube.  Using a flat file, file off the outside blur. Do Not file the inside blur. We want the inside blur left as it helps hold the connector in place.  The black connectors simply slide into the aluminium tubing.  Than use a rubber mallet to hammer into place. Not much force is needed for this.  Make sure you use the right connector as once they are in place they are hard to remove.

It is very easy to put all together and took me about 45mins to put the module together.  The frame does have a slight twist in it but once i screw down the ply base board it will be all square.  In Part 2 i will go through on how make the backdrop and baseboard. Please feel free to ask any question at

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