Below is a picture of a completely assembled 2 foot strip of track with polyurethane. The ties are the original ones that I dipped and rubbed so they are a bit lighter than the ones that I have finished up a brush. I purposefully put the finished section on top of the unfinished curves to show how the polyurethane changes the color of the wood. It takes on a beautiful honey red color.
This was the last step in the prototyping in that I now have my method of assembly, method of stain, and have verified that the colors look good.
The family that had raised the puppies that we kept for a while has had some kind of issue and had to immediately get rid of their fosters. Nancy got a call from them with the demands to take the dogs so Nancy called asking for help. We took in a dog named Goldie. Goldie is supposedly house trained but in the first hour of having her, she wet in the house behind a plant and then pooped in the basement. Just now I caught her wetting in the bathroom in the basement where I was working on the train. At least I caught her and it was on tile. I fussed at her and she took off running. She is now laying on the couch watching me.
I have the curves for the area near the bathroom cut to length, the ties are stained, and I have validated the colors after putting on the finish. So, now it is time to finalize how I am going to attach the track to the wall or ceiling. A good portion of the track runs near the walls but I have been thinking about the overall look. I could use square wood like the rails against the wall. Or, I am thinking that if I use round dowels and a nice routed edge on the mounting wood, I could achieve a look that is slightly greek. So, I need dowels that are not to large to upstage the mounting wood or to large for the train but large enough that they can support the weight of the train.
So, I chose 5/16 inch dowels and mounted two dowels on each side of the ceiling mount. Rather than using a different mount for the track near the wall and the track that is suspended from the ceiling, I decided that all of the mounts will be identical. Below is a view of the track mount.
This mount is 7 inches wide and has about 1/4 inch clearance when a car goes around the tightest curve. So, the production mount will be 7.5 inches wide to make sure that I have more clearance as cars go around curves.It is a bit hard to see the details of the routing but here is a closeup view of the top. The two holes in the middle of the mount are for screws that will hold the top to the ceiling. The holes are drilled for 1/8 inch screws with countersunk holes. After mounting everything, I can use a plug to cover the screw heads.
With this design for the ceiling mounts, I gained an extra 1/2 inch over the original plans for the mounts. At least now it won’t look like the Giraffe’s head isn’t about to get cut off. And, just to make sure that the tallest car will clear the mounting assembly, I put the sample track through the mount and then the tallest car.
I got up this morning and finished staining the ties. I had to figure out a way to hang them in the air so that they could dry but not inside the house. So, I used a couple of the square dowels that I normally cut for the ties and held them down with a piece of marble on the grill outside the basement door.