Modeler Cliff Powers uses toothpicks to make fences for his Mississippi, Alabama and Gulf model railroad. He uses the toothpicks that are already pre-notched which works particularly well for barbed wire because of the even spacing. He stains the wood with alcohol and India Ink before he brings them to the layout. With a ruler, he maps out his posts at 8 square feet apart. A thin screwdriver is used to create the holes where he needs the fence posts, sticking them right in the layout with a tiny dab of glue.
For the barbed wire, Cliff uses the stretch EZ Line from Berkshire Junctions. This is a thin, extremely stretchy filament that comes in a variety of colors. For Cliff’s purposes, he uses a rust color. He takes some ACC on the tip of a toothpick and runs it around the notch in the toothpick fencepost. The EZ line fits right in the notch and the ACC melts or adheres the line into the toothpick. Once the top row is in, he repeats the same process for the bottom.
The last detail to add to the fence is some bracing, which can be found at the corners of most barbed wire fences. Cliff uses some strip wood and applies it to the inside of the fence. The finished scene on the layout is completed with some grazing cows on the farm. Allen Keller goes on to ask Cliff what he likes most about the hobby.
For more on creating model railroad streets and fences, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives, or watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroad series.