If you like building structures, few tools are more valuable in gluing model railroad buildings together than clamps. They help ensure tight, square joints which makes assembly easier and finished structures look better. NMRA Master Model Railroader, Gerry Leone, shares tips on the wide range of clamps available, from simple and inexpensive to more costly – and using combinations of tools to help make the job of assembling model railroad structures quicker and easier.
Clamps for Gluing Model Railroad Parts Together
Gerry starts with the bottom level of household clamps – like wooden clothes pins (which he modifies in order to use the longer end) and metal double-prong hair pins, available from beauty supply and drug stores. Both are handy for holding oddly shaped pieces while gluing. He then moves up a level to plastic versions of clamps available from hobby and craft stores as well as DIY outlets. To help ensure solid, square corners, he uses homemade triangle gussets cut from styrene and glued to inside corners.
Machinist squares and beam squares are also helpful tools in achieving 90-degree angles while glue sets. Picture frame corners, used in frame making, and Rite-Way acrylic clamps can help achieve the same results.
Gerry also shares tips for using Berna clamps and spreader clamps to keeps walls square while drying. The top-end device is a metal tray with powerful magnets available from Micro- Mark which allows you to glue two sets of walls at the same time, and portable enough to place elsewhere, thus clearing off your workbench to tackle another task while the glue is setting.
Following these and other model railroad tips can help gluing model railroad structures building go more efficiently, and make your structures stand up better to handling.