RTS: Building the Show Case

What I had in my mind was not very wide and reasonably tall as space in my office is limited. Inspired by a cheap leftover piece of 17mm strong birch plywood from a local hardware store (“Baumarkt”) the size came out to be 800 x 1250mm.

Using wood plugs to join boards
Using wood plugs to join boards

For the first time I used wood plugs, which makes for nice, stable, and well aligned joints.

And a drilling exercise that took quite some time since I needed to get my head around the use of the new drill jig I bought (the gray and turquoise device between the angle and the measuring tape on the right of the second photo).

A fine example of German engineering it can and must be used in three different ways to drill holes in one board, measure the actual placement of the holes, and drill exactly matching holes into the second board.

I have to admit I did not really trust the contraption to not wreck my boards until I spent even more time to understand why and how this works. The thing is, you don’t have to measure the thickness of the boards (even when the two boards you join don’t have the same thickness), and you don’t have to measure where you put the first set of holes. “That can’t be that easy.” Yes, it can… very clever design indeed.

Assembled frame, before putting on back plate
Assembled frame, before putting on back plate

I managed to not screw up stuff too much. One board went in the wrong way (as so often the problem lies with the user of the tool, not the tool itself), leaving some bigger than desired gaps that I later filled in with putty and sanded them down.

Thinking about it, there are three ways to do it wrong, and only one way to do it right: switching left and right, front and back, and the two combined. The odds are against you! Luckily, inside out is not a problem with wood 😉

Next time, I think I can do this much faster!

I put on a back plate made of 6mm plywood as I thought a dust-proof case might be a good idea. Really, the slightest amount of dust or dog/ cat hair (got one dog and three cats) makes N-scale train operation pretty unreliable.

Ta-daa! Step one is complete.


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