Plywood & Cellotex Layout Surface

Part 5

by Bruce Petty

Next part of the project is to put the 1/2 inch thick plywood on the modules. So over to a friends house with my plywood marked to cut 18 inches wide and lengths to be cut for each of the three module frames. The plywood is then wood glued and holes pre-drilled for screwing to the frames with 1 1/2 inch sheet rock screws. The corner module needed a bit of extra plywood triangle shape cut to fit.

The plywood is overlaid with the Cellotex shown together on the modules.

I transferred my track plan onto the plywood so I could see where to put the cross brace that would be somewhere in the center of each module as not to interfere with any turnout linkage operating from underside. This is really important!

At the ends of each module will be a pre-cut a piece of 1/2 X 3/4 inch pine (1/2 inch being the thickness of the Cellotex), that will hold the flex-track ends in line with the other modules. These were cut to 3, 6 or 8 inch lengths as needed. These blocks are pre-drilled for screws, but not glued.

The last part of working with wood related materials, is wood gluing the 1/2 inch thick sheet of Cellotex down to the plywood that will be the scenery and track roadbed surface. I cut pieces of Cellotex a 1/16 inch over the size of the plywood on each module, and make a cutout for the track end blocks. I did this with a hand saw. Using plenty of wood glue on the plywood, set the Cellotex in place. Each module was set down on the garage floor so I could put piece of 3/4 plywood that (2 x 5 feet in size), on the Cellotex. I also put anything for weight on the plywood that would press on the Cellotex, and let the glue dry until the next day. I used the rasp file to remove the extra Cellotex overlaping along the edges of the modules.

This is a view of the end of the module where the cross drop section will be hinged. I've added plenty of wood to support bracing under the module and 1/2 inch plywood where the metal hinges would be set. The felt tip pen shows where the Cellotex will be contoured using a wood rasp along the front side of the module.

I just couldn't wait, so here's a switcher with two scrap cars sitting on track that will soon be the scrap company spur. Flex track and the curve switch for the branch can be seen in foreground.

The next part of the project will be the surface finishing and track laying. Come back and visit soon>

Part 1, Building the Layout Extension

Part 2, Painting the Backdrop

Part 3, Painting the Mountains

Part 4, Layout Track Plan

Part 6, Notes on Laying the Track Work

Part 7, The Fascia Board

NEW: Part 8, The Finished Burbank Branch