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Hints n' tips I have found useful

If you have any that you would like to pass on please e-mail me. Address on Contacts page.

HO/OO Power or telgraph pole made from bamboo kebab skewers, correct thickness,and surface texture,bends when knocked and cost about a £1 for 20 from supermarket.

HO/OO Fence around grass field made from surplus material from a 'Door Fly Screen' 

HO/OO Potato load made from 'Quinoa' or Millet or Mustard Seed avaliable from a supermarket.


HO/OO Sacks of potatoes made from DAS modelling cley, painted with Acrylic paint.

HO/OO Sugar beet load made from long grain rice cut in half. Beware cut the grains inside a poly bag, or you will loose 50% !!!!! !

All wagon loads are fitted with a steel washer, or similar metal, to allow easy removal with a magnet.

Needed to install overhead lighting to TATES, used 32m waste pipe. Light, easy to assemble and reasonably inexspensive.

Uprights  needed strenghthening as  they tended to bend, so put wooden dowel inside.

Straw Bales for Tates railway, using wood, plumbers hemp, cotton and PVA.


Window glazing bars made from strips cut from self adhesive labels.

Magnets for Kadee couplers

I have successfully used the following type of installation on all my layout, HO,OO and 7mm narrow gauge.

I puchase the magnets from  Product code  FE50195, 50x19x5mm thick  Y30BH  1Kg pull. from £4.64 for 10. (2015)


I have not found a way to cut these magnets in half, saw's and disk cutters just scratch the surface and dull the blade. The ceramic material is very hard. I place the magnet in vice jaws at halfway point then give a good thump with a hammer !

Mount the pair of half magnets together ( they will stick together automatically in the correct way ) under the track. If the baseboard is thin, just glue to underside. With a thick baseboard some reaming out may be required, trial and error, until couplers work.

If a temporary magnet is required, the magney can be mounted on a hinge at one end, piece of cord at the other, through a screw  eye. The cord is then directed to the outside of baseboard, when uncoupling required pull the cord and the magnet will swing into position under track.

I found that with free running wagons they can be difficult to un-couple because they will not create the correct compression, and metal axel's can be attracted to the magnets. The best way to overcome this is to  ensure the wagon is well wieghted, and the axel running is retarded. This I do with either gluing a small piece of foam material to underside of wagon above axel, or glue a lenghth of plasticard to rub on axel.



Baseboard for Ben Moor Foot uses wall insulation wth Beech ply surround only. No extra bracing on a 6'x2' board. Avaliable from B&Q etc. 

Lighting for Ben Moor is 4x strips of LED mounted on a length of plastic waste pipe. Alternative 'Day white' & 'Warm white' give a good bright colour. Low energy,cool & safe.



Kadee couplers. OO


Couplers I usually use are No. 148 (formerly No5) metal knuckle with whisker spring, medium centerset shank.

Coupler box is No 242 with clip on lid. Can be glued or screwed on wagon.

Both are available in bulk packs from Gaugemaster.


Magnets for under track are from

I use 50x19x5 Y30B Ferrite (code No. FE50195-10) and put two together under the sleeper, which needs a hole cutting in the baseboard. They can be halved for shorter length. N.B. must be used side up, as polarity is across not along magnet.

Wagons may need retarding to operate the coupler. If they are too free running you cannot get enough compression on the knuckle.

Two methods I have found successful are, small piece of sponge glued to underside of wagon, under the axel or a styrene strip glued to chassis and rubbing on axel.


When I infill track with plaster of Paris, after completely filling and when the plaster has almost hardened, scrape out the wheel groves with this tool made for brass.

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