Friday, May 1, 2009

More Progress on Benchwork

While we didn't get as far on the to-do list as I thought, we did get some great work done and had a great time doing it.

Steve-bay and Coalfinger bring in the 3/8th plywood table top and mark it for cutting. Several of the guys brought extra saber saws. Packrat's was brand new and was right out of the box.

Glue Bob and Rick (Newbie) counter sunk and screwed the board down after Liquid Nails was applied to each of the rises. Packrat is using 1 5/8th's drywall screws. Seems like we had every drill in the shop out tonight!
We brought in the next sheet to take measurements. Rick cut another joist to make a place where the first and second boards could join. It is important to keep the joints tight as "water" will be poured there.

Glue Bob carefully drilled and countersunk each hole to make sure the screw heads did not ride above the surface. This surface must be perfectly flat!

Here you can see a close up of the screws and the board.

Now we mark the next board and cut it. Seldom do you see a layout built this way, but the swamp is flat, so we now have a strong and flat surface.

There was a slight bow in the wall and in order to get the board to butt flat into the wall, Packrat had to make a trimming cut.

We carefully marked off where the center of the joists were and then put a screw every six inches. The screws and Liquid Nails will hold the top firmly in place and keep the "water" from warping the wood.

Any of the small gaps will be filled with spackle. We can't use caulk because the silicone reacts with the "water" and will repel it. We found this out on Steve-bay's layout.

This was an incredibly long process putting down this top. It took us way longer than I planned.

Oh shit. Scott, in his wisdom, decided to help and mis-marked the board. It was the only wrong cut of the night, and it was a key rounded corner, which is now square. The guys were working hard to come up with a nickname for me, so this might be the one.

I use the digital camera to remind me to purchase or do things. For instance, I was working with the belt sander and needed a reminder to buy a new belt. So I just took a picture of it while I had the camera and made a note of it later on the computer.

After making sure the screws were sub-surface, we spackled them. Actually we used dry wall mud because I was out of spackle.

The second board is now in place.

The seam was heavily spackled. There can't be a leak anywhere or the "water" will find it.

During an unauthorized break I caught the crew eating roasted peanuts. Steve-bay had sinus issues from the pollen outside so he was on light duty anyway.

It slices, dices and makes juelienne fries in seconds! The GRASS-O-MATIC TURBO 5000 FLOCKER! Our new member Rick spent the week building an electro-stat flocker for scenery. You can buy them but the are $150 a piece. He build this one for $35 and it works great! It even comes with changeable screens. What a great tool! He's offered to let the team use it.

Table top #3 goes into place around the corner. Here we started having problems. The plywood is only three ply, so we were getting "cupping" or "sagging" in the corner and had to add props to make it level. Arrgh! I tried to save a buck or two, but should have bought 1/2 inch board.
Glue Bob and Coalfinger shove the supports into place and screw them down.
Spackled and drying. I'll sand them tomorrow.
I dug out a cypress tree, a section of track and a stock car. You can get a feel now for how the scenery will dwarf the trains.
We keep progressing! I'm still not putting as much time into the layout between sessions, but we are seeing some good results. Thanks guys for all your hard work!

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