I am Grout!

A project log for Not Just Another Coffee Table

Custom coffee table with a DCC train track, automation, LEDs and a web interface

Steve WellsSteve Wells 11/05/2018 at 00:320 Comments

Having recently tiled the bathroom I had some grout left over, it occurred to me while tiling that this could be used to make scenery for the train table. I sourced some cut offs of wall insulation foam by chance at my local tile DIY shop - shout out to Solway Tile, cost me £1.00 for insulation and £3.89 for the grout, 70% used on the bathroom the rest used for project.

We wanted a tunnel with lighting options and with the sides being visible via the perspex sides, using the foam and a knife I measured up the curve of the track from the full scale plan and cut the foam roughly to the right shape, I then carved the foam with the knife, cutting out chunks to look like rock face. 

I constructed the tunnel by joining the pieces of insulation together with cocktail sticks and wood glue, I used chop sticks to keep the foam in line with the base. I then mixed up the grout and added some brown paint (£1.99 The Range)  just to take the whiteness off. I painted the grout on to the foam with an old brush and assembled the tunnel structure. The chop sticks allow me to leave the upper section free to remove for further construction.

As the grout was drying I realised that the centre section of the hill that forms the tunnel would be a great place to hide some electronics and if I can make it accessible from the top somehow, it would be ideal for top down maintenance or expansion.

Kind of winging it at this stage with the terrain, adapting as we push forward with the build, the rough terrain idea is for a rolling Hill with tunnels in half the layout and which levels out to a small village with a station and engine shed.  We really need an idea of electronics requirements at this point (position and number of LED's, points servos, signalling  and sensors) , both for the electronics design and the modelling .