We have gotten behind on posting progress pictures. Here is a look back to last summer.
On July 23rd, Bob Dengler joined us for a full day of bench work construction. We were hoping to get the upper level completely finished in the new room. Here Charlie guides the last piece into position.
It fit perfectly thanks to careful measuring. We have found that it is best to build the bench work sections for the corners of the room first, then build the straight segments to fill in the open space in the middle. It is easier to adjust the dimensions of a rectangular section.
We added a few vertical supports between the two levels.
And left an opening for the future turntable at Pitcairn Yard.
Having finally gone through all the used 5/8" plywood we were given, we broke down and bought some really nice 3/4" plywood at Home Depot. Given the smooth finish, I couldn't complain about the $30/sheet price tag.
Since the bench work was perfectly level along two walls (no risers were needed), we decided to glue the plywood to the bench work framing to eliminate screw heads. We needed every one of our clamps as you can see.
The final step was to connect the new bench work with the old at Latrobe. A 4-foot level and clamps were perfect to get a uniform grade.
Here is the finished transition until we are ready to install the viaduct across the Loyalhanna Creek. It's time to lay some track!
We continued the LED lighting strips beneath the upper level to illuminate the staging yard. They sure make it easier to see what you are doing.
We installed 1"x 3"s to the underside of the bench work, then mounted the strip lights to the wood strips. This way we did not have to be so precise on drilling holes in the lights to match joist spacing. The strip lights sold at Home Depot include an 8-inch jumper wire that allows an offset to the next strip light.
Meanwhile, Bruce built a beautiful wall shelf unit for above the workbench to hold supplies and tools. The center shelf adjusts.
With the shelf unit mounted, we next hung a wall cabinet that Bruce offered. We will use this to store paint supplies. This cabinet doubles as a "relay box" for our signal bridge.
We added peg board and lighting to make it more functional. As with layouts, one always wishes there was a bit more room, but this serves its purpose.
A switched, under-cabinet LED strip light puts illumination right where you need it. We need to mount a couple outlets to the work bench for soldering pencils and Dremel tools.
SO NICE to have a dedicated space for projects! And that work stool on casters that I've been saving for over a decade finally has a home. Everything is coming together.
Another improvement is a cabinet under the layout for the DCC command station and boosters. We have three power districts and this is where they all meet. A wall switch activates all the boosters, as well as an indicator light.
Charlie completed wiring the switch motors for the yard ladders. The circuit board on the left is the NCE Switch 8, which controls up to 8 switch motors.
We use Acculite terminal strips on all our Tortoise switch machines. These are a huge time saver and worth every penny of their $6.99 price. We get ours from Bob the Train Guy.
And we will leave you with that until our next update. May you run on good signals! ~ Andy & Charlie