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Plexiglas train fencing

I believe in using Plexiglas to save your locomotives and cars from the 5 foot smash to the floor. Here is how I have done it.

Procuring

1/8th inch Plexiglas is sold at Lowes and Home Depot in my area under the name of acrylic sheeting. It comes in various sizes, minimum I have seen is something like 1' x 2'. I try to get the 2' x 4' pieces. I don't buy the tempered kind.

Approach

I have a lined all of my track near a table's edge with either Plexiglas or Masonite strips. I use the Masonite in places where the transparency is not required. My strips are 1.5" tall and I use #4 x 1/2 screws to attach it. I know, 1.5 inches is not tall enough you say, well I had to be convinced too. Make them 6" for all I care, just know that I find the 1.5 inch height is just about perfect. :)

Cutting

I have tried to cut this stuff with my radial arm saw, band saw, chop saw, hack saw, saber saw and near killed myself with some of these methods. Then I tried scoring and snapping. None of these methods worked, all I got was cracked, chipped and scrap.

Then I tried my table saw. Set the blade at just the thickness of the sheet being cut. I use a standard ripping blade, have never tried any other except that one. I get a good cut using this approach. I then use my stationary belt sander with a 60 grit belt to take off the sharp edges. Wear your safety glasses, make sure ALL of your saw guards are in place, blade sharp and use a push stick.

Drilling holes

I use a sharp 1/8 drill bit to drill the holes in the edge for the screws. I make up 5 or 10 strips at the same time and it is easier to drill 5 or 10 stacked pieces at once than singularly, it is when the bit breaks through that last piece that you can have problems with splitting.

Interestingly, I have had my fencing up for about 7 months. Of course I have a couple of areas where I didn't think I needed it, locomotives have way of finding the areas where my fences are missing. Oh, how I hate to see a $300 locomotive go crashing to the floor.

I am sold on this approach!

My friend John Parker uses an open weave netting that he tacks to the underside of his layout frame. His idea works really well for him.