The New New Project Part 10

Okay I said I would be discussing wiring but I also said I was avoiding it, so no wiring this time either. I have been busy, though, just not busy posting. The good news is, I did get to the wiring and it works (yay!).

You may have gathered from the groaner of a pun in the title that I was writing about the layout facia. For those who don’t speak model railway, the facia is the nice wood trim we attach to the sides of our benchwork (layout tables) to give them a nice finished appearance and to install holders for things like throttles, car control cards and of course scotch beer uhh beverages. I thought that I would do this before wiring to allow for the installation of the aforementioned throttle and its plug-in panel.

I settled on a height of 8-1/2″ for most places since this would cover the table side plus all the layers of foam and stick up just enough to catch any overturning trains (I hope). Once I had all my measurements in hand I travelled to the home improvement store and bought a 4′ x 8′ x 1/8″ sheet of hardboard. The friendly panel saw man cut it into 8-1/2″ strips leaving a small piece.

Once home, I measured the lengths I wanted and cut them on our trusty chop saw, I then layed them out on the table.

I knew there were some areas that would need more work such as the two road tunnels, the down-grade and double-deck areas. I started with the easiest areas which involved screwing the pre-cut panels on.

When I was thinking about how to attach the panels I settled on wood screws since they provide a positive hold and allow for easy changes. I chose little #4 X 1″ screws. When I went to attached them I found I didn’t have a #4 roberston (the square one) bit for my power screwdriver. Soooo back to home improvement store to buy some #4 bits. Then I began to fasten the panels on.

The tunnels involved some careful measuring, drilling and cutting with a sabre saw. They’re not exactly square but I will probably add some trim later. For the down grade I took a marker, rested on my finger and with the panel clamped in place, traced the slope onto the wood.

Once cut with the sabre saw they matched the slope pretty well. For the double deck area I clamped the panels in place to test the fit them carefully measured where I wanted access holes. Again I drilled and sawed the holes and again, they’re not perfectly square but they do the job.


The final step was to make a hole for my throttle plug panel. This meant I needed a hole in the hardboard and the side of the table. Since the throttle has a long cable I decided to put it right in the middle of my long table. From there I reach trains on all locations. I have the option of adding more plug-in panels later should I need to.

I measured where I wanted the panel to go, drilled a holes and sawed through the hardboard and table side. I fitted the panel and, who knew, it worked! I sanded the rough edges down and attached the panel.

I will probably paint the facia later but even as it is, the layout has a more finished appearance.

It could all use some trim too but it’s done for now. So more excuses, the wiring comes next!

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