Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stuff to do BEFORE starting the layout

Things have been busy and hectic around the new digs. First of all, the garage is still home to a lot of "last minute pack" items - stuff that we shuttled from the apartment to the house as time, and mostly the weather, permitted. 
Adding considerably to the delays in household accomplishments, I severely sprained my knee a few weeks ago and ended up in a knee brace. I'm just now getting to a point where I can get up and down stairs in a reasonable manner. Very frustrating. 
I think both Christine and I are suffering from "moving burnout" - but we need one more push to get the main level of the house completed - something that has to be done by 1 June as we have house guests coming and it would be nice if they could get into the guest room!
We ended up at IKEA the other day, and I took a photo of a new line of utility room cabinets - likely not as nice as the kitchen cabinets, but seem like they would be plenty good for the workshop. 
Speaking of the workshop - although I planned to get it finished before starting the layout I really want to live with the space for a while before committing to a permanent arrangement. So I've set it up in temporary fashion with tables and cabinets I have on hand. A real dog's breakfast but workable, at least for now. 
We took a much needed break from house chores to walk around the Reston Art Festival last Saturday. We had a nice lunch with Stic and Stephanie (actually we brought them a bunch of empty moving boxes - only slightly used - since they are moving this summer!) 
It's not unusual to find railroad theme art - typically photography - at the show in Reston. I liked this large photo enough that I was tempted - but for the price I didn't LOVE it. So we passed. 
Last week Bernie Kempinski mentioned his idea for a PRR-based set of Free-Mo modules. He also mentioned he was going to Colonial Hardwood, a local lumber dealer, to get the wood for his two planned modules. I signed up for a module to connect with Bernie's. I'll have more details on that in the next couple of months. But since I still have a J-O-B and Bernie is now officially old and retired, he agreed to get some 3/4" birch plywood ripped for me - thanks to his help the core of the Richford Branch, phase 1, now resides in my garage. 
On Sunday Bernie, John Drye, and me got together at Bernie's house to have a module building party. See his USMRR blog for more detail. In the end we got five modules framed up - several are awaiting the hardware to install the legs.  

While I have a layout design for the Richford Branch, the plan doesn't really show how to actually build the thing. So the next step is to develop a benchwork/framing plan. This doesn't have to be overly complicated or elaborate, but on previous layouts I seemed to be constantly finding benchwork components in the way that needed to be moved. I'm going to try minimizing that this time around. 
I also still need to figure out a way to support the layout structure that looks good. My instructions from Christine is that this layout should look like a piece of built-in furniture. Anyone who's seen my woodworking knows that is a tall order. But I'll try my best.  
Speaking of benchwork, I was originally planning to wait until the fall to commence construction - but have now established June 10th as the official "ground breaking" date. Why June 10? Simple. It's exactly one year after my previous layout went down the street. 

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