When I laid out all my straight sections, i used small nails nailed down along a straight line. I did the same thing with my road bed. As long as I had a line to follow it was easy.
I then cut a very slim piece of hardwood that I kept perfectly straightand pinned it along one edge of where I wanted te edge of my roadbed to touch.
Then I moved it up and repinned it in place so my ties would just touch it.
I used this as straight edge against which my ties just touched.
It takes a bit of work, but is actually quite easy.
I also build and fly large scale RC airplanes and I always use jigs to keep things straight.
This is where I got the idea.
My curved roadbed I simply made a simple radius compass. Pin it down at the center point and use a piece of string with a pencil on the far end.
Draw my radius, then lay my roadbed edge against that line.
Now centering the radiused track is easy. I used a piece of thin piece of spruce like I use when making rounded wingtips.
I cut it so it was the distance I wanted the outer edge of my ties to lay along, or just touch.
As long as the edge of the ties touch it, they are all an equal distance from the center of the roadbed and center of the track.
Making a useful jig like this takes a little extra work but pays off !
I also have a laser line level.
Before I put in my curves, I put a small block of wood at the end of the straight track with a center line drawn on it.
Then I took the laser line and centered it one one end and shined it down just above the track and it centered directly on the centerline of the block of wood at the far end of the track.
It was easy to pin things in place as I laid roadbeed and track since I used as my base, two inch thick foam board insise of bed slat type frame.
I made three 6 by 8 foot frames.
If i ever move, the layout cam be easily dismanled, picked up and hauled up the basement stairway and set back up anywhere new.
A little work involved, but after seeing friends layouts made of plywood and plaster, etc, and seeing them destroyed if they moved, etc.
OKay, now after I got all my wiring in, I bought rolls of fiberglass insualtion and simply stapled them in place under the layoutagainst the cross pieces and it significantly quiets the layout done.
I could put indoor outdoor carpet under it yet also.
The legs that supportthe layout bolt into place.and have adjustable leveling screws on the bottom of them
If I need to get at any of the under layout wiring, I can easily loosen the insulation and staple it back in place.
Call it a check double check!
Such a tool comes in real handy when hanging picture frames on a wall. You can get the bottoms lined up perfectly!