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Monday, February 14, 2011

Niles Project ~ Corner Windows ~ Transparency Film

After some more trial and error, I do believe I have finally found a suitable "glass" material that will curve around the corner window frame.

But first, a common suggestion was to use vacu-formed packaging such as found in battery packaging and soda bottles. So I gave that a try...

...and it actually worked well. But a common characteristic of vacu-formed packaging is that it has a texture to it as can be seen in the photo above (above the smudge of glue in the lower 1/3 of the window). The clarity of the plastic isn't the best either. So on to the next suggestions.

Ken Blackburn, a member of the HO Traction Modeling Yahoo Group, suggested Acetate. And Ken Somers, a member of the Interurban Yahoo Group suggested Mylar. I was really struck with how simple and elegant these ideas were. It fits perfectly with the KISS principle. So I set out to find some transparency film. Not so simple. Because of the proliferation of computers, overhead projectors are all but obsolete. Drafting supply shops seem to have disappeared as well. On line I can find transparency film for well over $20 a box!

I ended up stopping by Kinko/FedEx and asked if they can print transparencies. She said a dollar something for color and 75 cents for B&W. "What would you like to print"? I told her I was actually only interested in the transparency sheet itself. She sold a sheet to me for 75 cents. I don't know what the material is other than it came from a box of 3M Transparency Film. But it is slightly more flexible than styrene. So I cut a piece to size and...

Hey! Not bad! Not bad at all. It curved real nicely. And the clarity is quite... well... clear! This time I used CAA (Super Glue) to glue on the window. I've been trying to stay away from CAA since it shatters in freezing temperatures. But I needed the fast drying qualities while I pressed the window to the frame. I'm very happy with the result. I'm going to use this transparency film material for the rest of the windows.

I wish to thank all of you who gave your 2 cents, your help is greatly appreciated. Yes sir! Greatly appreciated!