Friday, April 3, 2009

Benchwork Party!

We had a good crew tonight and got a lot done on the layout. Attendees were Keith, Paul, Steve, Ken and myself.

We were able to get the drop ceiling channel installed all around the room. Since we had already measured key points during a previous session, all we had to do was snap a chalk line along the wall and screw up the channels. Well, not "screw up" but screw...well, you know what I mean.

Keith talked me out of legs and into cantilevered benchwork in order to make cleaning the floor (and replacing the temporary carpet with plush, thick, padded Berber) more easy. I'm glad I agreed as I think it will be a major improvement. While I had planned to do this on an earlier design, I decided to use legs when I increased the benchwork to three feet deep. The angle supports underneath are very strong and hold the weight quite well. Now I can vacuum the floor with anything being in the way.

We started at the back of the room by placing an L-girder across the back at 28" from the wall, where the previous L-girder resided. Steve and Ken were playing sawmill all night and cut all the lumber for us. Each joist had to be custom cut, a 3/4" hole drilled one foot from the back and the front corner of the joint knocked off. I do this because I have cut or bruised my head innumerable times.

Each L-girder and joist were carefully watched for levelness as we are going to pour lots of synthetic water on the surface and don't want it to flow away. We took our time and made sure each piece was level and strong.

We worked our way around the room until 11:00 pm, then said our goodbyes. I always hate when the guys leave, and enjoyed sitting in the basement for another 30 minutes looking at the wonderful progress on the railroad. Thanks guys!

Tip: a small card table makes a great central point for storing tools while working on the layout. It helps keep the layout room clean and free of hazards as well as making it easier to find your tools. Remember to clean up for 5 minutes every night!

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