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2013: Alignment Pins

During the club's first four years, we spent hours leveling and aligning modules at each train show and the Museum. By 2013, we knew we had to find a better way of setting up the layout. The solution was to mount a brass pin and socket in each end of each module. That ensures that the mainline tracks are always aligned both horizontally and vertically every time, without spending any time adjusting anything. All we have to do is level the modules by raising or lowering the feet as necessary.

To get the pins installed in precisely the right place, Raulf created an aluminum jig with a grooved plastic plate on top to align it with the two mainline tracks.

And we created a test bar to verify consistent spacing of the installed pins in every module. If a module fits the test bar, it will mate correctly with any other module.

Here I check out the pins on a module.

But installing the pins correctly doesn't ensure proper alignment. Both end faces of each module must be square and true in all three dimensions.To achieve that, Dale and Raulf worked together to create a jig table to true up the module faces.

The module will be mounted on the right to true up one face and the left to true up the other.. Mounted adjacent to the end of the module, is a roller-tracked tray that will hold the sander (see next picture).

With everything in place, Dale draws the sander back and forth to true up the face.

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