Carry Plates - Locate & Install T-nuts

We probably should have posted this blog a couple of days ago before we got into the T-nuts for the alignment pins/ bolts.  However, better late than never.  Today, we're going to install another set of T-nuts for our "carry plates". 

We're building two modules that we'll be able to "box" together with some plywood carry plates.  This will make transportation of our modules a whole lot easier and will protect the track and scenery.  In case you can't visualize what I'm talking about, here's my Bancroft and Irondale modules bolted together as a "boxed set" by the carry plates and four 5/16" bolts. 

I'm going to fasten the plywood carry plates to the ends of the finished modules with 5/16" bolts.  These bolts will screw into T-nuts that we'll now install into the end plates of our two modules.

If you're going to use your carry plates for stabilizing your legs when you set up your modules, you might want to use 1/4" T-nuts, as the bolts can do double duty.  Regardless of the size of T-nut you use, the procedures are the same. 

Step 1) Place the end plates on our work surface so that we are looking at the side marked "In".

Step 2) - Measure and mark the location of the holes for the T-nuts at 1 3/4" from the "Bottom of each side as shown in the photo below.

Step 3) Drill a 1/8" pilot hole at each end of the two gussets so that subsequent drilling operations line up.

Step 4) Counter-sink the holes by 1/8" so that the head of the T-nut will be below the surface of the end plate using either a 1" Forstner bit or a 1" spade bit. As you finish each hole, lay the head of the T-nut into the cut and make sure you can't see any of the head when you scan across the surface. (Protruding T-nuts will impact the accurate assembly of the pieces of our modules.)

Step 5) Clamp the end plate on top of a scrap piece of wood to reduce splintering when the drill bit breaks through the other side. Drill 3/8" holes right through the wood so that the barrel of the T-nut fits into the hole.

Step 6) Test fit each hole by pressing the barrel of the T-nut into the hole. You should have a nice tight fit.

Step 7) Locate and drill holes for the T-nuts on the two end plates of our second module.

Here's what things should look like after we've finished our drilling.

Step 8) Epoxy the T-nuts following the steps in our blog on "Installing The T-nuts". 

Here's what things should look like after we've installed the T-nuts. 

We're showing one of the end plates on Module #2 because we'll need this end plate for installing T-nuts for alignment pins/ bolts. These alignment pins/ bolts will be quite handy in making sure our completed module (track, scenery, etc) aligns up with our second module when we bolt/ clamp them together in a setup/ show. We continue that installation in our next blog.

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