Grade Crossing – II

One of the problems I ran into that Shawn didn’t have is that I used Peco On30 track. This has these huge honking spike heads that hold the track to the plastic ties. I had to use the Chisel X-Acto blade to carefully slice them off followed by sanding with an Emery board. The problem being .. “they hold the track to the ties!”. So – I used my Micro Engineering 3 Point Track Gauges to hold the track in gauge and then glued them well with Super glue (using my Applicator Tool).
gluing_ties_finished_1200Using the On30 Switch Ties which are .110 inch thick that means they match pretty well with the code 100 Peco On30 track. I went ahead an used a file card and X-Acto blade to rough up the ties. They are three inches long (12 ft) and my road is 4 inches wide (16 ft) so I am adding the needed approx 4 feet as needed, staggering the joints so they center on the track ties. I’m using a thick body super glue – Aleens=’s Jewelry & Metal Glue to fix the wooden crossing timbers to the Peco plastic ties.

Since the crossing is just shy of a switch I am crossing two tracks with the center at an angle. No problem.

You may consider the timbers too light .. that is really a matter of how long they have been out in the weather. I figure I can always darken them some more but it is harder to lighten them if I get it too dark.

Finished Gluing Timbers/Ties
gluing_ties_finished_1200This part is complete. All ties overlay the track tie below .. splices in the center of a tie. I’ll let the super glue set up well before the next step .. which will be to run a file over the top to make sure they are planed down to the top of the rails. I’ll then go back and add any ‘grain’ that I think works ..
Tape, Plaster and Screed
screed_1200I followed Shawn’s instructions by putting some pieces of stripwood on the sides – tacked with some rubber cement and tape. Just enough to act as a temporary form for the plaster; put blue tape over the timbers to protect them and then poured the plaster. I mixed up about equal parts fine (sifted) decomposed granite (Paver Base at Lowes); Mocha Sanded Grout (SpectraLOCK Part C) and India Ink. I just wanted a gray .. not that concerned about the color as what I wanted was the texture (hopefully) and a gray when chipped. I tend to go over my asphalt roads with various drybrushing so the color really doesn’t matter to me.

Once all that was done, and the ‘asphalt’ poured I used a piece of scrap wood as a screed .. again following Shawn’s directions. I did this for a bit then removed the stripwood forms as the plaster had set up a bit and used my finger to push the edges of the road into a ‘edge of road shape’ .. and screed some more.

Pull that tape!
pulltape_1200I pulled the blue tape off of the timbers while the plaster had barely started to set up. Now comes the hard part .. waiting for the plaster to finish setting so I can get to the next step which will be sanding. I didn’t make much of an attempt to add potholes at this point as Shawn did – I’ll do that if needed later.

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