May 242012
 

I’ve been plugging away at finishing the desk and closet. It’s been a good way to stay inside while the weather has been rainy.

  • The big chore was wiring the closet raceways.
  • After wiring I added the lighting; a closet light (for low level lighting while using the computer); day lights; and night lights.
  • I added shelves below the desk. They are mounted on angle brackets. I still need to add edge tape to the front of the shelves. The shelves will store magazines, railroad books and miscellaneous computer stuff.
  • I drilled a hole for computer wires to go from above the desk to below the desk. Mounted a power supply below the desk.
  • I mounted a shelf bracket to the east side of the layout deck. This forces the layout deck back to level.
  • I also cut a larger hole from the main layout to the closet.

I still need to cut, paint and install a back board around the desk. And I still need to make some minor touch ups. But the desk area is mostly complete and I think I can move my computer back into the closet and get rid of this crappy old desk I’ve been using.

 

Apr 192012
 

I painted the top and underside of the valance Polar White. Then installed the triangle brackets that provide the permanent support for the valance. Next fascia and lights.

I got a little worried about whether 1/8″ hardboard would make the 8″ radius curve around the northeast corner of the valance. But I tested it and it should work no problem. I plan to use install the fascia two sheets thick. That way I will have smooth side on both sides. The outside face of the fascia will be painted Stealth Jet. I can’t decide if the inside of the fascia should be Polar White or Stealth Jet.

I think I’ve found my lights: slim T4 fluorescent lights like these available at Savio Lighting. The fixtures are 3/4″ wide and 1 1/2″ deep. They come in various lengths. I’ll probably get four 24W 34 1/2″ fixtures. I think I’ll get the 6400K color temp. These lights are linkable. The biggest drawback to these lights I can’t find a local source for bulbs.

 

Lowering the Bench

I got all of the brackets and ledger boards installed and then decided to listen to some advice from Alan in my Shelf Bracket Benchwork 1 Post. I tested the benchwork with my 3 year old son Patrick and it was too tall. I need the benchwork to be tall enough to fit the kids step ladder underneath the fascia. This will allow it to be stored beneath the fascia and also will allow my kids to scoot the top handle beneath the fascia to acheive their maximum reach across the layout. Of course everything looked great with the brackets and ledger board installed and I even put up the old drawer cabinet I made for the old “Halland Yard” layout.

I took everything down today and reinstalled two inches lower. The new layout height will be 53 3/4″ or 54 1/2″ tall instead of 55 3/4″ or 56 1/2″ tall. I have a 3/4″ range because I haven’t decided weather to lay a 3/4″ cleat board below the deck. This board will be a better attachment point for the fascia around the drawer openings and also allow me to secure the deck from beneath the layout (which should be helpful when I want to rip this layout up.

I also took the drawer cabinet to the garage to paint it “Stealth Jet” before reinstalling.

Feb 202012
 

Progress

I started benchwork today. I’m using angle brackets from Home Depot; 16″ brackets along the east wall and 12″ brackets along the south and west walls. Sitting atop the brakets is a 1×3 pine ledger board that I cut down to 2″. I also cut 2×3 boards down to 2″ to mount to the brackets.  The brackets are mounted to the studs using 2″ lag screws. Some of the brackets required shims to keep them level. The ledger board is screwed down with 1 5/8″ self tapping self setting screws.

I painted the ledger boards white. I plan to paint the complete underside of the benchwork. Not really worried about warping, I just want a nice clean looking surface below (of course it probably would have helped had I used nicer wood.)

Problems

  1. I over tensioned one lag screw to the point that it snapped the head off.
  2. I ran out of lag screws and had to go back to Home Depot mid-day for more.
  3. I hit an existing hole or maybe a knot hole in one stud and couldn’t get a good grip for the lag screw. To make things worse, the second lag screw hit a nail stop. I had to move that bracket.

Using Scrap

  1. I’m using as much “scrap” wood as I can. I always have extra boards lying around and I want to use them up.
  2. I’ll be using as much “scrap” paint as I can. That’s where I’m getting the “white” paint for the underside of the layout.
  3. I’ll be using as much “scrap” hardware as I can. I had to buy the 2″ lag bolts, the 3″ ones I already have were overkill.

What’s Next?

I need to cut two more boards to move on to the west wall. I’ll be placing two brackets on the west wall and spanning a six foot window with the ledger board and a parallel block to help stabilize this section.

The east and south walls have all brakets and ledgers in and will next mount wood to the brackets. I have these cut and predrilled, but they aren’t as pretty as I’d like them to be, I may need to do some new boards for this.

© 2012 Greg Amer
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