Thursday, March 29, 2012

0045 On30 Wasatch & Jordan Valley RR - Building Temple Square Benchwork

Let's continue building the Temple Square section!

 This is strong...but maybe not the way I'd normally build it.  I expect this section to get bumped a lot because it is at the doorway and in a tight passage in an aisle.   We'll keep it.

 I'll add another board and support on the end and finish the main part of the structure.  Now for that odd little corner.

 Using my square's 45 degree angle I measured and cut (with a hand saw) the corner piece.  It didn't look like my best work, but again, it needs to be strong and not pretty.  We'll cover it up eventually.

 There!  All framed!

 Flipping things over repeatedly can get you confused.  So I take the time to mark the parts with up or down or left/right.

 Now to cut the top.  I placed the framework on the 11/32 sanded plywood sheet and traced it with a pencil. I marked the bottom as the sanded side will go up top.

 I'll use a jig or saber saw to cut out the plywood shape.

 Here is the top, ready for mounting.

 The frame is fairly level, which is good.  Any lumps might make the trackwork not level.

 Using glue and 1 1/4" drywall screws I put the top on being careful to countersink each screw so that it does not appear about the level of the wood.

 I checked all the sides to make sure it is level and solid.  It is in fact way over constructed...but will serve its purpose.

 I quick check all around for problems...none...we are good to go.  Using a coarse grade sanding block, I sanded the top to remove splinters and high spots.

 Now we'll sand the section to make it easier to work with.  I hate splinters and already have a few in my hand.

 Using 6" C-clamps I fasten the section to the table to secure it in place.

 This is a belt sander (wood machining unit!) with a coarse belt.

 Usually I knot the power cable like this when I know I'm going to be moving the tool around.  It helps keep the plug assembly together and prevents electrical shock.

 I was especially careful to sand the 6.5" end that mates to another section.  It is perfectly flat now.

All done!  Section one is complete.  Next time we'll start on section two!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

0044 On30 Wasatch & Jordan Valley RR - Make Sawdust!

Ok, let's build the Temple Square section of the layout.  This is an odd shaped frame structure that will be mounted to the wall with a backdrop.  It is completely flat and no more than one foot deep.

We'll cut some like boards for both sections, but the goal is to get the left side finished first.

 Some of the tools I'll need are a square, a pen and a measuring tape.  I've already got the chop saw ready.

 We'll pick two straight 1x3 timbers for the frame.

 Each board comes with this UPC code stapled into the wood.  If you ever hit one of these staples with the saw, it will throw the staple right into your eye and you will be blinded for life.  Ask Bill Cosby...he knows.

 Putting on my safety glasses and using a pair of needle nosed pliers I pull the UPC staples out of the boards and throw them away.

 Keeping my safety glasses on (yes, I wear them religiously!) I slice off the ends of the long boards (which were rough) and get it ready to measure.

 I measured a 5' 1/2" cut and sawed both boards.  These will be the back of the sections.

 We need two one foot sections for either end, so I'll measure and cut those.

 The other ends (that meet) are 6' 1/2" and I cut them as well.

 I place the boards where they will go for Section 1 and measured again to make sure it is 5' 2" total.  It is.  Odd...nothing works out like that for me.

 Battery operated screwdriver/drills are incredible.  I have four of these with the batteries to match.  Today I'm using a countersink/driver combo tool that allows you to drill a countersink hole, then flip to the screwdriver head and put in the screw.  Saw my friend Packrat Paul using this gadget and begged him to tell me where he got it.  Went to Lowe's and bought it that weekend.

 Supplies, other than lumber, will be carpenter's glue, 1 1/4" dry wall screws (not pictured) and 1 5/8" drywall screws.

 To build the corners I first pre-drilled and countersunk two holes.

 Using glue and the 1 5/8" drywall screws I attached the left hand one foot board and the right hand 6.5" board.  The table is a great workspace and helps to keep you off the floor and level in your construction.  It also helps your back.  Using the glue and the screws gives you a heavily fastened corner that will endure direct hits (common in tight layouts).

 Next I cut out the middle pieces that will help hold the front to the sections.

 Using glue and screws, I installed all the boards to the back board.

 Here is a close up of the conutersunk holes.

 There!  All are square and tight.  You'll notice that some of the boards aren't hitting the surface of the table.  Well, it appears that this table has warped a bit.  Not good.

 Let's build the left hand side of the section first.  There is a curve on the top left.  This is to prevent losing your genitals when you walk into the room.  Never allow sharp corners in an aisle way.  I cut and screwed a board in, leaving the left hand side open.  We'll work with that later.

I put in a small chock block and mounted another board at a slightly different angle.  These boards won't be seen as the fascia will cover them, but they do need to be strong as they will get bumped.

More tomorrow!


1.  Glue and screw corners and places that could suffer damage from impact.  This makes an incredibly strong joint.
2.  A countersink/screwdriver switchable attachment increases your construction speed and keeps you from having to have extra tools laying around.
3.  Bring your work up to you by using a pop up table to work on.

Monday, March 26, 2012

0043 On30 Wasatch & Jordan Valley RR - Prep to Make Sawdust!

Want to build a REALLY large temple?  You need a LOT of rock!  I spent the day with my family touring the Temple Square and looking at the structure up close.  I've also seen models of it and took pictures of the tourist center where they had a display about the construction.  Its all fascinating!

Scott Perry photo taken from the Garden Restaurant

The Temple foundation will be the first thing you see when you walk in the basement door, and since it is a sectional that is bolted to the wall, we'll build it first.  Off to the garage!

 First we'll dig out the camera and the tripod.  I plan to keep you informed with words and pix the whole way as usual!

 I buzzed down to the local Home Depot and picked up a sheet of 1/4 sanded plywood and a sheet of 3/16 hardboard.  The plywood is for the top of the modules and roadbed.  The hardboard is for the backdrops.

 The boards are cut horizontally at the 2 foot mark to make them easier to carry.

 I'm keeping my camera in a trash compactor bag (small and very thick) to help keep the sawdust off of it.

 We have print outs of the drawings which we'll need for cutting.

 While setting up I found this.  My house has a legacy broken electrical plug that I forgot to repair.  Before we start, we must fix this issue as it is a fire and shock hazard!

 In the garage I keep a box of grounded outlets for just such emergencies.  We'll have this in in five minutes if my wife doesn't come out and stir up trouble.

 Here is the outlet that I removed.  Looks like someone had force something into the plug.  Must have hurt!  This surely is a fire and safety hazard.

 The new outlet is installed, the face place cleaned and straightened, and all is tested and working fine.  Yes, the wife came out complaining because I turned off the electricity for five minutes and she couldn't see how to eat her peanut butter sandwich.  Model railroading is MUCH easier and quieter if you are single.

 I stowed away the sheets of plywood and hardboard and cleared the floor of kids' toys so that I can walk safely.  The children are either napping or skating, so I've got the place to myself.

Lastly I hooked up the vacuum to the saw to help keep the dust under control.  Trying to breathe sawdust is not very healthy for me.

1.  Take care of safety issues first!  Always patrol your area and look for dangerous or potentially dangerous situations and make repairs/corrections immediately!
2.  Make sure the floor is clear of obstacles and debris.
3.  Use a vacuum to help keep the dust out of the area