Late October Update…

I apologize for the lack of posts this month. October Tends to be a busy month work wise, with a heavy travel schedule. Add to that trying to get everything done around the house that needs to be taken care of before the snow flies and the thought of getting anything done downstairs seems like wishful thinking.

But the good news is that I have been able to make progress on the layout. I managed to squeeze in a little here and there, and before you know it the benchwork is nearing completion. It seems like when you don’t have big blocks of time to finish something, you kind of write off the little bits of found time as not enough to get anything done.

I know this will be different as I get into later stages of layout construction, such as track work or scenery construction, where you can accomplish a lot in small blocks of time. But I put aside the natural inclination to say “oh well, maybe tomorrow” and do what I could with what time I had. And it’s truly amazing what you can get done when you do that.

First off, finished the last set of major cabinets on the other side of the peninsula. There will be a couple of small cabinets that go on the turn back portion of the peninsula. Now I know there are some out there who are throwing the arms up and saying “what is it with you and cabinets”. Let me explain. There are a lot of modelers out there who build their layouts and use the underside for storage. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I’ve done this and I have found that the stuff under the layout tends to pile up and slowly creeps out from underneath.

And even though my loving wife totally supports my hobby and consented to the whole basement as a layout room, still thinks of it as the basement and thus a place where things go that she doesn’t want upstairs. So storage was important.

Anyway, cabinets are done.

Last set of main cabinets installed.
Last set of main cabinets installed.

Second, finished the lower level benchwork over the new cabinets.

Lower deck benchwork in place on cabinets.
Lower deck benchwork in place on cabinets.

And last but not least, I was able to temporarily install the upper level of benchwork  along the entire peninsula. The reason I did it this way was so that I could get all the pieces cut to size and all wire run holes drilled. For the most part the pieces are a solid stringer that extends all the way across. But there was some fitting of pieces around the support posts and the pieces that make up the outside corner. Now that I have them all cut and drilled I will take them out, paint them and reinstall them. I can then install the rim joist.

Upper lever benchwork installed on peninsula.
Upper lever benchwork installed on peninsula.
Upper level benchwork in back aisle. The "hole" is still open for the helix.
Upper level benchwork in back aisle. The “hole” is still open for the helix.
Alternate view of upper level benchwork on peninsula.
Alternate view of upper level benchwork on peninsula.
Upper level benchwork on other aisle.
Upper level benchwork on other aisle.

Side note: I was sure once the other cabinets were installed on the other side of the peninsula that the stability of the center support “wall” would be fairly solid. I was surprised, happily so, that it is rock solid. I felt so confident in its strength that I played around with the idea of having my wife take a picture of me laying across the upper benchwork stringers. Common sense got the better of me and I decided not to press my luck.

Lastly, I’m posting a couple of pictures of display cabinets. The first two are ones that my father had made for me after I got back into the hobby after I was married. He tried to match the original. The doors were made of 1/4″ plywood and warped badly. I replaced them with clear plexiglass .

The other two cases built by my father for me.
The other two cases built by my father for me.

All but about 6 of the engines are old Athearn Blue Box or Bachmann DC engines.

The other case was the original one that my father made for me about 45 years ago. At one time it held all of my engines and train cars, but that was along time ago. I’m repairing some damage on the doors and will paint them to match the cabinets.

Original train case built into base cabinets.
Original train case built into base cabinets.

Next up: either the end of the peninsula or the base for the helix.

As they say, stay tuned…

 

 

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