It’s been over a year since I tore out the old layout and said that I’d get on the new one “right away.” But you know how those things go… other stuff gets in the way then some days, you are just plain lazy or not in the mood. Well, a few weeks ago, my friend Mike casually mentioned that when I was ready, he would be more than willing to go with me to haul lumber home in his truck. A few days after that… well, we raised the value of Lowe’s stock by a few cents, I’m sure.
My construction technique will be the same this time as it was for the first one except that I’ll be even more careful with track laying and switch location. Last time, some of that sloppiness resulted in some of the problems that seemed too big to correct. But the benchwork part held up well and so I’m re-using that technique this time around.
The lumber yard has a nice panel saw that can cut long strips of plywood forever. So I had them cut three 4×8 sheets of 3/4″ plywood into 3-inch and 4-inch strips. The three inch ones will serve as the basic framework and the four inch ones will be more or less fascia boards around the outside edges. The one inch difference will be filled with first a layer of quarter-inch luan plywood then topped off with a 3/4 inch sheet of extruded insulation foam. That will bring the surface of the railroad up level to the top edge of the fascia.
Most of the joints are simply glued and nailed but some of the more critical ones also have small square angles screwed into place for extra strength. All legs are 2x4s and are securely fastened to the benchwork then braced to maintain their orientation square to the benchwork.
As of now, I’d guess I’m about half way done with the benchwork then the real fun begins as I’ll need to cut that thin plywood to shape to fit inside of the frame. I can’t see any other way to do this other than to haul the sheets up & down the stairs one at a time to avoid having to cut them in the train room on the carpet. OH FUN!