There’s nothing more frustrating in the mind of a model railroader than reaching for a wood or styrene strip to apply to a component of a railroad, only to find that you’re short of the size you need. This setback goes for all model railroad parts, from plaster patches for landscape shaping to acetate cutouts for windows glazing. Generally, you can either improvise with a slightly different size or wait until the next morning when the hobby shop opens up and you have the chance to buy more. Or, you can opt for a third option: plan ahead and know what you have left of every size of your model railroad parts.
For wood and styrene strips, you can create an organizing system that shows you exactly how much of each of these model railroad parts you have to work with. In this model railroading lesson, we teach you how to build a basic holder for your various sizes of wood and styrene strips, which you can attach to your workbench for easy access.
Keeping your model railroad parts organized
To help you keep some of your model railroad parts accounted for and easy to access, NMRA Master Modeler Gerry Leone teaches you how to create a simple carrying holder for styrene and wood strips. All you’ll need to assemble this handy little organizer for your model railroad parts is some leftover 1/4-inch plywood and a handful of nails.
Gerry discusses the quick and easy assembly process for this model railroad parts holder, which requires only a couple hours and will save you a ton of trouble during future projects. He talks about the benefits of bolting on a few cross braces to hold in a range of sizes, and using labels to easily access the strip size you need. Slap on a wire handle to hang these holders from your workbench, and you’ll never have any trouble finding the right model railroad parts!