Tuesday, April 17, 2012

010 The Utah Night Shift - Benchwork Week

This is benchwork week!  Aside from taking care of my children while my wife is away, it is my goal for the week.  I got a REALLY good start on it today thanks to Katie taking a four hour nap.

The rain was pouring down here in Utah this morning so after a hearty breakfast with the kids, I dropped off the oldest and put the little on in play clothes.  I move the van out of the garage and let her ride her toy car around while I made sawdust.  She would cover her ears when I asked her to and run into the house.  When the saw stopped she'd run back and ride some more.  I cut all the wood that I needed for two more tables.  While watching the daughter I did make two wrong cuts and luckily they were on the long side.

 The pile included (for one table) two each 7'6" 1x3 frames, two each 18 1/2" 1x3 frame ends, five each 18 1/2" 1x3 cross members, four each 52" 2x2 legs, two each 7'5" 1x2 braces and two each 18" 1x2 braces.  I had already cut the plywood for the top.  I also made two extra 52" 2x2 legs to hold a shelf on one section.

 Each table top has five cross members.  Using a 1" spade bit and a drill press, I clamped each board down and drilled two 1" holes for electrical wires in each board, both six inches from either end and centered.  Using spade bits can be tricky and when the bit goes through the board it wants to kick, and spin around.  Thus, I clamp the boards down to the work surface.

 Here are the boards.  It is MUCH easier to do this BEFORE you put the boards in than after.  Its hard to get a drill in the frame after they are installed and spade bits are a bit cantankerous.

 Using a 3M sanding sponge (extra course) I lightly sand the outer part of each hole so that the splinters are out of the way.  Luckily I have good tweezers and did remove a couple of splinters.

 I built the frame first using the 1x3 outer boards, then I fastened the plywood top to the frame and made sure everything was square before I countersunk and screwed the top on, using wood glue.  This makes for a VERY strong table top.

 Next I inserted (glue and screw method) each of the cross members at 16" intervals and one odd ball at the end.  The glue adds an incredible amount of strength and the table top is level and square.  Note that I didn't add holes to the ends.  That is because I don't put them in until after I've mounted the sections together, then I drill them all at once.

 Using a belt sander (course grade milling machine) I sand the top, sides and corners all the way around to reduce splinters, to make it nice and smooth for the foam layer, and to make sure all the screw heads are below the surface.

Now that I have another table top, I put foam board adhesive on the top of Section #1 and spread it thin using a putty knife.  I then put a 1" layer of extruded foam on top.  To hold it down I flipped the top #2 upside down on the foam and weighted it with bound editions of Model Railroader which I no longer need thanks to the hand DVD library they recently published.

I did frame and top section 3...and we'll add the cross members tomorrow.

Time for bed!  I got so much done today!!!  I will be laying track on Sunday!

Tomorrow, a little railfanning in the morning...and then finish the table tops.

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