Benchwork Nearing Completion

Originally published on Model Railroad Hobbyist, April 21

Julian and Andrew (The Proto:87 Posse) were by again this week. Almost the first thing on the agenda was to test-fit the sections in place in the basement.  Sadly, all hands were busy holding sections of layout, and so I have no photos to share; below is the space sans layout.  I’m delighted to report that the two main sections fit into the space with about an eighth of an inch to spare.  How’s that for precision engineering?

Finished layout space

We then got to work cutting the remaining pieces of roadbed.  You might recall that the roadbed is two layers of half inch ply.  Why?  because I had some left over from the basement renovation, and there’s all those modellers who respond that they went with 3/4 inch because they couldn’t get any thicker!  The second layer is screwed and glued to the bottom layer, with the screws coming from beneath so I can remove them when I have to.

By the end of the evening, we were missing only one section of the second layer.  Actually, we cut it, but for some reason (probably haste), it turned out wrong, so I’ll have to find another scrap.  Below you can see Julian surveying the state of affairs before heading home.

Test fitting the sections together

The layout extends onto the white ledge visible in the room photo above, and you can see that the top level of roadbed wanders in there occasionally.  The overhanging top layer of roadbed closest to the camera will serve the Pembroke Milling Company, while that closest to Julian will extend into the staging yard.

Less obvious is that the two layers of roadbed overlap the join between layout sections.  This is, after all, a sectional layout, not a modular one.  Once it is installed, I don’t expect to move it until I tear it out to build Golden Lake or Barry’s Bay or (in my wildest dreams) Ottawa.  So, the two sections do not need to mate with fancy dowels and connectors: they will be screwed together semi-permanently after they are installed in the basement.

This week we’re back to Julian’s place (watch his blog at http://vrdays.blogspot.ca/) then next week, we’re back here again, and that will probably be the end of benchwork construction for a while.

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