Thursday, February 5, 2015

More Catenary Construction

Quick iPhone snapshot of wire hanging progress at Dunes Junction. The upside down plastic cups are protecting cross bucks and other scenery details.  Wood wire height/centering gauge blocks, per Model Memories' instructions, are in the background. Other accoutrements in include solder, extra hands, emery board, alligator clips and a Viessmann catenary wire gauge.
Catenary construction is progressing faster than expected. I'm more or less following the instructions included with Model Memories catenary parts, with some deviations here and there.

My soldering skills have improved with each successive joint and splice, so anyone undertaking a project like this might want to practice--I wish I had!

Here are a few insights and tips:

  • Clean and prep everything on the joint or splice you are about to solder. Emery boards, needle files, and wire brushes are useful for this essential task.
  • Use alligator clips and self-closing tweezers to positing everything BEFORE applying heat and solder.
  • Position alligator clips and self-closing tweezers as heat sinks to protect nearby solder joints and to focus heat on the joint you are working on.
  • A good soldering iron is worth the extra money. I'm using a Weller WPS18MP High-Performance Soldering Iron (got mine at Amazon), which was worth the money and the slight wait. Its ergonomic grip also keeps the hot tip from touching surfaces on which it is resting, and it uses a wall-wart power supply, which keeps that grip light.  An on/off switch and ready light are also extremely handy and useful. There's also a an LED light that illuminates the tip.
And still no burned fingers!