They’ve been around for years and are a mainstay of crafters but Velcro and double-sided sticky tape are a godsend for model railways too.
While recently experimenting and fitting point motors, one of the models on the Model Railway Engineer community suggested using sticky-backed Velcro strips to help position the motors.
If you’re not familiar with point motors, they sit up the baseboard with a strip of piano wire feeding up through a hole in the wood before slotting into the tie bar of the point. The motor moves the wire back and forth, switching the points in the process. The challenge is aligning the motor with the hole in the tie bar. It usually takes several attempts to find the precise position for the motor all while holding the motor, the wire, and points and operating the electric switch.
Sticky backed Velcro makes it so much easier.
Just fix one strip of velcro to the motor, one to the underside of the baseboard and you can position it and let go to test it. So much easier. If the motor isn’t aligned right, and it never is the first time, just pull it free, reposition, fasten it and repeat until correct. Then you can grab the screwdriver and permanently fit it in place.
This got me thinking.
There are plenty of other aspects of layout construction that Velcro would help with.
Positioning buildings is an obvious one but I’ve since used it to test placement Polystryene hills, the plastic tunnel portal entrances, and even track laying.
The only disadvantage is that the Velcro pads stickiness is very strong. This is great for holding weighty point motors but is a pain to remove for other uses.
Instead, I’ve been using that Blue Peter favourite, double-sided sticky tape. This is strong enough to temporarily secure items in place but can also be pealed off later as needed.
Where could sticky back tape or Velcro help you?