Category: Model Railroading

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Uneven floor and benefit of hanging the benchwork

I’m one of those people with a beautiful hardwood floor in a finished basement that’s totally uneven and a disaster to level on. To illustrate my point, on the left, top surface is measured at the back of the layout room where ceiling is the lowest (and this is my reference height), and on the right measured at the blob around the column.

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Finishing the lower level subroadbed

Gods of weather smiled upon me this morning by granting me couple of hours before rain, just enough to finish the peninsula blob and fill the gaps that were remaining from yesterday. The benchwork now looks ready to receive the roadbed and track…

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Fitting the subroadbed

Another productive weekend and although I did not get to finish everything, most of the subroadbed has been cut and fitted on the lower level. I did not get to cut the peninsula blob as I ran out of time.

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All backdrops and uprights are now sky blue

Today marks a milestone achievement for the layout! All backdrops and uprights have been painted and the benchwork is ready for the next step.

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Remainder of the uprights installed

After coming home today, I installed the last few twin track uprights on the peninsula head, completing the major portion of the benchwork. For the kicks, I put couple of brackets on to see what it all looks like together. And it looks good! My crazy idea with a wooden stud cut on angles worked out pretty well.

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Peninsula benchwork done!

Despite having to shovel some wet and heavy snow midday, it was a very productive day on the layout. I’m pleased to announce that peninsula benchwork is done.

I might need to add some cross braces here and there, but I’ll revisit that later, if needed. For now, what’s left to do on the peninsula is to sand and prime the new backdrop surfaces, then install the uprights.

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Uprights installed on the Lockport side (UPDATED)

If I was thinking in 3D space, I would’ve realized that Lockport sits below the normal benchwork height, which is a deliberate action on my part since it’s on the coast. Thus my original height for the uprights in that area was wrong because I couldn’t go any lower with brackets than the rest of the layout. So, off I went to pull 9 uprights out, and re-attach them at their new height. Had to fix the walls in the process, meh.

Oh and for future layouts, and to anyone building theirs using these uprights – you need to put something between the upright and the wall. A piece of 1/8″ hardboard will do, otherwise once you screw these tightly they will damage whatever surface they touch. A piece of hardboard in-between would prevent that. Live and learn on my part…

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