Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sticking curtains to layouts


After yesterday's glue, here's another industrial sized product - Velcro on a roll.

The local club have been building a OO layout for what seems like the last decade and finally it's ready to go out to a show. Specifically, it's ready (they have been told) to attend the Leamington show on 20th & 21st January. Apart from some frantic modelling, they also have to sort out the presentation, which means a curtain to hide all that ugly mess under a model railway baseboard.

It appear that sewing machines are too difficult for the average modeller so via my the Club President (my Dad) came a request for help. My mother happily acquired the material (something with lots of polyester since it's not going to be seeing an iron any time in the future) and make the curtain.

Fixing was to be with Velcro. You put once half on the the woodwork and the other on the curtain. In theory this makes hanging the thing easy, one person can do it by pressing the two halves together. That is unless the person tasked with buying the Velcro gets two lengths of hooks and no loops. Then spends ages faffing instead of arranging to return the wrong one.

With the deadline approaching, there was much concern about this thing getting finished. Suggestions of using drawing pins were pooh-poohed (they work for me, maybe the layout owners aren't allowed sharp objects) but without loops, we weren't getting anywhere.

So, to the interweb and a search for "Velcro". First result was MPD Hook & Loop who sell Velcro in layout sized quantities rather the domestic ones you find in the average haberdashers. The roll in the photo is 25 metres long, 20mm wide and self-adhesive. The last one was a mistake on my part but did save the effort of pinning the stuff to the material before sewing. Cost - an entirely reasonable £6.46 including VAT. Sadly, delivery was over 4 quid but that wouldn't change if we'd bought a roll of hooks to go with these loops. Not that we worried, an order placed on Friday morning was with us on Saturday. By the end of the day, the curtain was finished.

While doing this I even learned something - who knew you could buy this stuff in different colours ?  I want to find a use for the fluorescent orange version. I even wonder if the 15cm wide version could be used structurally to save some bolts and speed set-up and knock down.The little strap thingies look pretty nifty too...

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