Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I was originally planning on building the benchwork for the lower (staging) deck this weekend. As it turns out, we'll be away for most of Saturday and Sunday, but I'm taking Monday off so we'll see what I get done.

But it's also been partially delayed because I decided that we should go ahead and paint the basement before building the benchwork. It is New Haven #246 Silver Gray. I picked up the NH Color Guide at the NHRHTA table at the show this year (I've been meaning to get it for a while), so I had it color matched.

In addition to the painting, I had to patch the hole where the closet door used to be. In the process, I found that the short section of wall from the door frame to the corner was not quite square...

Yes, that's 3/4 inches of putty to square up the last section of the wall so I can put the molding on. I tacked a piece of masonite on the side of the wall (you can see one of the nail holes) so I could use fill the area to the correct depth. As expected with that much putty, it cracked. That was OK, I simply put a couple of courses of drywall tape, then the corner piece, with another course of tape. The tape I'm using is the nylon screen kind, so I think it should keep it from developing surface cracks in the future. It sure took a lot of putty.
 I'm only concerned about painting the main part of the room right now, so I can start the benchwork. I still have to patch the hole where the door to the laundry room used to be. The trim will be in New Haven #212 Hunter Green, and I'm still working on getting Laura to let me try New Haven #292 Warm Orange for the two doors. I think they'll look great set off by the Hunter Green door trim.

Anyway, if I'm lucky we can complete the painting by this weekend so I can pick up the supplies and start on the benchwork. I also need to design a workbench for the east side of the layout. There's enough room to fit it, but I think I'm going to make it collapsible so it won't be in the way for operation nights.

More to come...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Layout Construction Update

The old layout is gone. I've completed disassembling the old layout, and I'm cleaning and prepping the basement for the new layout. The target date to build the benchwork for the lower (staging) deck is February 15.

The staging deck will be much narrower than the upper deck. I've also determined that I will be able to build in a location for both a desk and a paint booth. The paint booth is key, since I really don't know where else I would be able to put one. As it turns out I'll be able to run the vent directly into the furnace room and outside from there.

Staging is based purely on the operations. I'll have some extra storage space behind one section of the staging for extra cars. This will probably entail at least two shelves for storage, each 12" deep x 10' long. They will not have track on them because I have determined that it would be more trouble than it's worth to try to put cars on rails.

I'll try to prepare as much as I can before that date, and I think it will be a pretty quick process. I may even be able to lay (or at least mock-up) the staging tracks themselves. The staging will be flex track and commercial turnouts.

More to come, but things are looking good to get the lower level complete by the end of February. I'm still shooting to get the layout in some reasonable stage of completion to host a layout tour at the New England Proto Meet this year. (It didn't make it...a few people got to see some benchwork in 2010...I'm shooting for 2011! 1/25/2011)