Saturday, January 12, 2013

035 The Augusta Railway - Benchwork Install #1

Man, the past 24 hours have been a nightmare.  I'm sick with some kind of cold or sinus infection so I came home early Thursday to get some rest.  My daughters started playing with a ball on the stairs, and before I could stop them the little one, Katie, fell down the stairs and landed face first on the hardwood floor.

We were in the hospital with her most of the night making sure she didn't have a concussion and checking her teeth that were knocked loose.  All of this going on while Winter Storm Gandolph was dumping snow on everything.  What a night!  I wound up taking Friday off to escort my daughter to the dentist for examination, and helping to clean the blood and vomit off of everything.  Didn't know you could throw up that much from a head injury.

So Saturday is work on the trains day!

The other day I dropped by M.R.S. Hobbies and bought a few things.  I'm going to need code 83 rail joiners, so I bought two packs.  These I'll add to my current supply.

They always seem to have a cheap, Southern US railcar of some kind, so we added the N C & St L boxcar to the fleet for $10.   Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis.  My grandad worked for them once upon a time before the L&N swallowed them up.

Here's what I really went to the hobby shop for.  Bright orange paint.  Yeah, I know I just bought some but I lost the can somewhere and can't find it.  There are more duplicates in my shop than you could ever wan.

Let's get the benchwork installed!  All three sections up this weekend.

Let's begin with Section 1.  This one is wide, so I've not quite decided how to mount it yet.

Winter Storm Gandolph is blowing and dumping snow on us outside.  The gas fireplace is a great thing to have in the train room!

I'll need the levels, a supply of Quick Grip clamps and the trusty DeWalt drill, plus a dozen other things I can't think of yet.

I need as much frontage on the section as I can get, but I can't get too close to the stone in the fireplace as i'll need clearance for a fascia, so I clamped the section and began measuring.

Everything fits and is level.  Looks good so far.

I clamped the rear section in place on the L-girder, enough so that the mounting blocks would catch, but not flush against the wall.

Next the two levels were mounted.  When you buy a level, buy a solid one.  Notice how this one warps when clamped.  I released it and clamped it in another location.

The section is drooping a little to the left, so I raised up the section on the leg and re-clamped it.

A 2x2 temporary leg was installed with a clamp to relieve pressure.

I bought this Forstner Bit set from Harbor Freight.  Not the best quality, but enough to get me by the few times I actually need it.  We need holes for the power wires.

Mounted in the DwWalt drill, we'll mill holes in the boards for the main bus wires.

The holes are pretty, but it takes way too long to drill them.  I'll switch back to a bit.

I put in a 3/8ths bit...let's see if it goes a little faster.

 The holes aren't as clean...but they are fine for what we are doing.

Meanwhile in the shop, Taylor is painting the mounting blocks.  I made a dozen of them, and she is painting the bright orange using craft paint.  It gives here a good chance to practice her strokes.

Wax on, wax off!  Crash Katie with her face and lips all scarred from the fall off the stairs still has a smile for daddy, even though she is in pain.  Poor thing.

This is great practice.  She is learning how to use just a little paint, how to seal and care for the bottle, how to paint on a cleanable surface, she has a wet rag for spills, and she is getting the feel for the brush.  Joel Preist, MMR out for Taylor!  She's on her way!

There!  18 blocks painted and ready to mount.

I took the stack and the daughter into the train room.  Taylor will help daddy with setting up the blocks.

We'll use both 1 1/4" screws to mount sections together and to install the mounting blocks.  The mounting blocks will be glued to the sections with wood glue.

Each of the blocks was countersunk to help keep them from splitting and to keep the heads from protruding  I still broke several blocks, even with the torque setting at 9 on the drill.

Taylor, at the table, put glue on the back of the block and started two 1 1/4" screws.

I screwed them into the back board of the section.  Then, using 2" drywall screws I screwed the L-girder to the mounting block from underneath the l-girder.  The orange spray paint lets me know that this is a mounting location and the screws are not holding a glued section.  When I go to take the layout apart, I just have to look for orange screws and orange plates.  Thanks Bob Wheeler for that idea!

I then mounted the front mounting block.  The section is secure, but let's add some more.

Two more blocks are added.  I miss putting orange on one, but Taylor caught the mistake later and I corrected it.  Everyone should have a daughter like "T" as we call her.

To go one better, Taylor went upstairs, without me asking, and brought me lunch and a soda.  Guess she wants trains running sooner than I do!

All mounting blocks are in.  Let's work on the legs.

I have two temporary legs.  At this time I'm not sure if I want to use legs or angled supports off the walls.  Let's think...

This is a good thing to do, actually.  Often, being in a rush and having little spare time, I just charge ahead and don't stop to really think if there is a better way.  So I sat in the chair, ate some lunch, and thought.

I'm going to use legs.  Mainly, I want the area under the blob unblocked so that I can work in the area comfortably   I can't reach the back part of the layout from the front, so work has to be done underneath and there is a hidden turnout back there.  Legs are better for that.

Upstairs in the garage I cut two 50 1/8th" legs from the straightest 2x2 stock that I had.  The layout was re-leveled and I mounted them with two 2" screws.  Orange paint again marks that they are removable and not glued.

The last leg is mounted on the side wall we are done.

Here the section is complete.  Notice that the little sisters have discovered that this would make a GREAT fort to hide in!  They had one in my old layout, so it didn't take them long to figure it out.

I brought our step ladder down to the basement.  It can be used to stand on (for photos) or sit on, or for keeping track of the clamps.

The girls have sized up the window ledge...seems to make a good seat.

Crazy Katie can stand up under the layout, so she thinks it will make a good playhouse.

Next I mounted section two.  Once I got the leg on, I slid it over to mate with section two.

Section Two got its share of orange mounting blocks, four of them.

Because I have a bit of a clearance problem with Section 3, I went ahead and put it on the L-girder, and added a temporary leg.  Then I leveled the two sections and secured them with two each 2" screws, and a dab of orange paint.

When working on the layout I keep a small piece of scrap hardboard to put the tools on so that they are handy.  It is important to keep tools off the floor when working as you can trip on them, break them, or hurt yourself.

Taylor likes my new Lowe's rachet wrench.  She wanted to give it a try in a tight I let her have a go at it.

Section Three now has its mounting blocks and is secure to the L-girder.

All sections are now mounted to the L-girder, and secure.  Now, legs or angle braces???

Tuned in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

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