Well begun is half done.

Benchwork, or how to turn lumber into splinters.

Well, it started.  The building of the latest model Railroad is on track. (pun intended)

After an extremely rewarding week at work, both financially and figuratively I managed to corral the wife and get to the local home depot just before it closed Friday night.  I purchased  all the necessary wood, screws, nails, hardware and bits and bobs to build my benchwork.  Needless to say, on saturday morning, my friend Mike and I were off to Home Depot for more bits and bobs that were forgotten or overlooked.  This will be a theme, mind you.  Each day of this glorious three day weekend will start with a trip to a hardware store and be followed by actual work.  I think I mentioned somewhere that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Oddly enough, I had read the book on benchwork pretty carefully and still managed to screw up.

I decided to go with 3/4” plywood for the framing.  I had the store rip it down to manageable (for the SUV) one foot wide sections, and then used the table saw to rip them into 3” strips.  From there, it was easy to cut the 8 foot lengths down to what I need for the open grid benchwork.

Alas, this was not a weekend of nothing but “working on the railroad…”.  Mike had a wedding to attend on Saturday, and I had a Valentines night out with our friends Mark and Judy (and Anastasia, of course).  But we got a good start on the framing saturday.  Sunday dawned bright and clear, but there was a built in hold on the building.  Sunday was valentine’s day, but it was also the Daytona 500!  Yes, Mike and I spent the better portion of the day watching the rednecks turnin’ left.  It’s a passion we have.  Soon the Formula One season will start and Mark, Mike and I will gather on Sunday evenings to watch that!

But anyhow, on to the wood of the matter.  So far everything is framed and most of the frames have legs.  Now we need to get everything fit, leveled and ready for the sub-roadbed.

It still amazes me how much all this costs.  The raw lumber is not even the tip of the iceberg.  The hardware is the huge expense.  The leveling legs, screws, t-nuts, carriage bolts etc really rack up the register.

Not to mention, but every time I head to the store I get a list from Pam (the wife) of things she needs.  Let me be clear here, I’m pretty handy with the tools, but Pam is the real woodworker in the house.  To build all this, I had to borrow her Table saw, wood jigs, holder, compound miter saws etc.  The only thing I brought to the party was my brand new Craftsman pneumatic nail and staple gun.  Oh yeah, that baby rocks connected to my compressor.  But really, all the major tools and jigs are hers.

(And if you must know, the stuff in the kitchen is MINE!  We go to Sears and she heads for the tools and I head for housewares.  Call me a faggot and I’ll find you and beat you down.  26 years in the military, you don’t want a piece of this! – ok ok, so it was the Air Force, but still military…  ok ok, it won’t matter, I’m in no shape to beat anybody down…)

Anyhow, we worked on it for three days, fixing up the room and smashing sticks into frames.  The room lighting is up and the unsightly bulge in the wall is now painted and not so unsightly anymore.

So, it has begun.  You can see where we are at in the pictures section of the pages.  There is no turning back now!

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