Last Track Glued Today - Case Closed... 1-24-2017
Almost five months after my locomotive display case project was conceived and begun, I am able to declare the project completed. Much work has been done since the last update on 11-25-2016. I figured I would go through a number of steps in this final post rather than have a bunch of incremental updates.
The image above shows the completed display case as of today. The top eight shelves demonstrate that it is easy to get five locomotives on each shelf. At full capacity this display case will be able to hold 80 locomotives!
As of the last update the main structure was completed, all 16 shelves had been installed. This was a major milestone. Several weeks were spent painting the structure white. I first painted it with a gloss white, but I decided that that would reflect too much light during photography. The final cote of paint was Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Eggshell Enamel - Ultra Pure White 2750. I found this finish to be quite satisfactory.
During the painting process I would rotate the shelf every few days and just paint the horizontal surfaces. This minimized any paint running and made for a smooth finish. Of course there was much filling and sanding.
The last of the painting was completed around the New Year and by January 2nd, 2017 it was brought into the Man Cave and mounted to the wall. Using cork roadbed and my stud finder, I made a template of the the stud position and pre-drilled nine holes in the back of the display case to assist with mounting.
Once lifted into position, it was very easy to drill the holes and fasten to the wall using bolts and washers. These shelves are not going anywhere!
A little white paint camouflaged the bolts and washers nicely. I really like the clean lines of this structure.
Next I focused attention on the tracks. I have a supply of Atlas Code 100 Flex Track so I chose to go with this. The tracks come in three-foot lengths, so I would have to do some cutting and make 16 four-foot tracks.
I decided to paint the track using Rust-Oleum aerosol cans of Satin Dark Brown Smooth Protective Enamel. I had some trouble keeping the tracks together during painting. Since these tracks are for display only and will not be hooked up to electricity I just used some Krazy-Glue at the joints and that did the trick nicely!
Each track received two cotes of paint, the second cote being applied a couple of days after the first cote. This paint covered the track quite nicely.
Next I cut and filed 32 crossties to fill the gaps under the rail joiners where the tracks were put together to make the four foot lengths look seamless. Using a strip of double-sided tape, I lined the ties up on a Home Depot paint stirrer stick to facilitate painting. A quick pass of the trusty Rust-Oleum made easy work of this step.
A little Krazy Glue fastened the ties in position on each track. Now it was time to tackle the final step: gluing the tracks to the shelves.
I made the mistake of using a bead of Liquid Nails adhesive from a caulking gun for the first track. Though I thought I had spread the glue rather thin, it did push up between the ties too much. To salvage this track I thought I would mask around the track and paint a solid strip of brown.
Though I kind of liked the appearance of the track in a solid brown strip, I decided that this masking and spraying in the house was a bit more work than I really wanted to do. I experimented on a few more adhesives and finally chose a tube of Loctite Pro Line Marine Adhesive Sealant. This material was conducive to being applied to the bottoms of each tie.
I did not apply this adhesive to about 7 or 8 ties on each four-foot track segment. These ties spread evenly across the track segment got a bead of Loctite superglue gel to help quickly lock each track into place while the Marin Adhesive cured.
Wood spacers made easy work of positioning the tracks on each shelf. After positioned properly, I would clamp a piece of wood on top of each track to press them firmly into place while the adhesive cured.
And so today the last four tracks were installed! I am quite pleased with the way this project came together. This is a great addition to the Man Cave and it is something that I can easily take with me when I move!