I have been working on an off on the layout, not much you see from the top of the benchwork, mostly under it. I have been wiring or rewiring the track power distribution. Based on some of the posts by others, and especially the one by Alex on drilling a hole in the Atlas track, I decided to use a similar approach. I decided to drill the hole to feed the wire through, but instead of the self-taping screws, I soldered the feeds to the track.
I used a mix of the 14 AWG wire from ORG, and some other 12AWG wire I had for feeders to the blocks. This was wire used for speakers in a large studio, so it, like the ORG wire is a twisted pair, with overall jacket. I used the plastic conduit clamps I have mentioned before to provide wire management.
While I have used the MTH distribution blocks for the lower voltage distribution in my layout, I decided to build some for the track power. I used Ground buss bars from the electrical department of a big box store, cut it in half while my dremel cutting wheal, and super glued to a piece of Plexiglas I also got there. I drilled holes in the corners for mounting screws. And for about $8 I had a nice block.
I have also cleaned up my central wiring area as well, I added some larger conduit clamps to hold more wire, and added a Ã??Ã?Â¢??back wallÃ??Ã?Â¢?? to the shelf area to mount the MTH blocks. These MTH blocks distribute 14VAC, 10VAC, and 12 VDC to accessories, switches and buildings. I used some Panduit wire on wrap on labels to liable the cables. This type of label allows you to write on the white section and them wrap the self-sticking labels around the wire with a longer clear Ã??Ã?Â¢??tailÃ??Ã?Â¢?? to cover the part you wrote on, works great to keep track of what things are.
I have also enjoyed running some trains to work out the bugs!
After completing some more track power wiring, I moved to installing my bowser 32Ã??Ã?Â¢?? turntable. I have had this in the closet for about 2 years now (I bought it form a forum member Ã??Ã?Â¢?? very nice exchange). When I got it home I realized that I really didnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t have room on my existing layout, so in a way this was a driver for this expansion. In order to complete laying track in the engine service area (just off the yard) I needed to place the turn table and roundhouse, I feel the rest will fall in around that.
I measures and cut a hole in both the homasote level, and the OSB to support the turntable. Additionally I reworked some of the stringers under the table for support.
Once I had the table fitting in the cut out, it went back to my shop to do some quick weathering. I painted the top to match the "sand/mud" color I painted the homasote with, and stated a series of cement colors on the pit. I also added some grimy black, and added some black ballast/coal around the edges as if it fell in over time. I have the detailing kit, and have started assembly and painting the detail parts. I will add that once I get back to the turntable.
I also decided, based on some of the feedback on the forum to purchase a mill house power upgrade, only wanted to do this once. Once that come in I will update the table and wire it in. The paper template is for a korber 6 stall roundhouse I have to build.
I had also been meaning to install a skirt on the layout, and was unsure of what to do. I had read some posts about using landscaping cloth, so I thought I would give it a try. I have a pretty large area to cover, so although something like table skirting looks great, it would be pretty costly for my room. I did one of the peninsulas in about 30-45 minutes, and I am happy with the results.
As always comments and suggestions welcome.