Sunday, June 19, 2011


Besides the ongoing remodeling projects I took some Father's Day liberty and worked a bit on the trains. Don't get me wrong, I still ended up sanding sheetrock and priming the bathroom walls, but luckily we ran out of primer. One of the chores that I did get to was installing 1/4" plywood on the ceiling over the blast furnace section of the layout. This is an ongoing project and I have about half the layout covered with these ceilings. In an ideal world I would have installed a drop ceiling throughout the basement, but, living in an old house I have low ceilings in the basement and need to actually stand between the floor joists so as not to be bent over - I think the bottom of the joists are about 6' 1" from the floor. At the same time, the old tongue and groove flooring about allows way to much dirt and dust to fall on the layout so I am using the 1/4" plywood in the non-aisle areas.

The plywood on the ceiling gets painted flat black and has a valence around the perimeter. Just behind the valence I will eventually install lighting for the layout. I've seen a lot of different approaches to layout lighting and have tried a few, but in the end, in my opinion, the best system is Kichler under cabinet lighting, or the similar Seagull system. I've posted a photo of this system in use in my kitchen. It consists of a 12 gauge low voltage wire set in a plastic track. The individual 10watt lights are clipped on to the track where needed. The lights put out a good amount of light and have reflectors and replaceable bulbs. I have a 500 watt transformer that should power the entire layout. The drawback to this system is the cost - probably around $500 by the time I'm done, maybe more.

Another quick project was a storage rack for my styrene strips. I'm a pretty skilled woodworker and could have spent a few hours building a nice, neat looking rack, but something like this is pure utility and life is too short to waste on something like this, so I built the quick and dirty version. It took a little less than a half an hour to cut a bunch of 1/2" plywood shelves and wood dividers, and then to just glue it all together by eye and put a full bucket of joint compound on top as a weight while the glue dried.

Finally, I did manage some work on A-Furnace. I added this structural end cap on the large craneway. Photos show the four sheaves I modeled but don't really indicate what they were for. On the other side of the upper works I built the second piece of external support framework.

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