Jul 012012
 

Lower Fascia

I started installing the lower 1/8″ hardboard  fascia. I had it cut into 6 1/2″ strips at Home Depot, but I wish I had just taken it home and cut it myself because most of the strips are not straight. The fascia is glued with PowerGrab adhesive and tacked with brads. I used a screws and clamps to help hold it into place while installing. I routed out openings for drawers (which causes a terrrible dusty mess).

I’m still considering a laminate countertop fascia. I think the finish would be much nicer. I kind of like Formica Black Matte.

Formica 909-58 Black Matte

Formica 909-58 Black Matte

 

Drawers

I bought 2 1/2″ drawer sides at Rockler. The sides are nicely machined 1/2″ thick birch, they have a 1/4″ dado slotted out for a drawer bottom. I bought some 1/4″ Baltic Brich plywood for the drawer bottoms. Assembling the drawers is fairly easy: cut to size, test fit, glue, and clamp. I made three drawers. two for the east side and one for the south side. The drawers will be painted black before installing.

 

 
  • I tacked in 13″ hardboard skyboards around the layout. I’ll be painting these Polar White.
  • I cut painted and installed the south and east valance fascias.
  • I started work on an under layout workbench. The melamine workbench table top rests on a 1 1/2″ slotted angle iron frame. The workbench is 30″ from the floor.
 

West Valance

I completed the west valance. Mostly:) It still needs a little touch up paint. The valance fascia is hardboard. I brad nailed it to the valance frame. I installed my old Cryon LED lighting behind the valance; this will be my nightime blue lighting in this area.

Desk Complete

I finally cut the backboard and edged the shelves. I’ve also complete 90% benchwork and lighting work that needs to be done in this area, including: lighting, shelves, brackets. So I decided to move my computer back into the closet. I love it!

 

I added the keyboard tray to the bottom of the desk. Everything fits! Yeah! I still need to cut some trim boards to encircle the desktop and hide the gaps.

I’m done with the deck. It’s extended al the way around the room and into the closet. I put the last couple of pieces in today.

I’ve been sitting on the hardboard for the sky-boards for about a week. I finally got out the table saw and trimmed them to size then cut them to fit with the circular saw. I have a bunch of oddball sky-boards to cut now, mostly to fit around the windows and closet.

May 032012
 

When I built my Halland Yard layout, I decided to build my office desk into the closet. It was primarily a sheet of 3/4″ plywood, supported by lumber across the back and the front sides. The front of the desk spanned the 5′ closet opening. This front portion really began to sag. It was unsupported. I couldn’t shore up the support it with shelf brackets, because I needed the space underneath to roll my file cabinets into it.

Old Desk

The old desk was sagging across the front.

Instead of rehabilitating the old desk, I decided to replace it. I chose melamine as a desktop early on. After a little research and experimentation, I decided to support the front of the desk using a piece of 1/4″ thick 1″x1″ aluminum angle. The angle is bolted to the studs with countersunk 2 1/2″ #14 Spax screws. The rear support is 1 1/2″ steel angle. The front aluminum angle is installed upright, so that the front of the desktop rests in the angle instead of atop it.

I still have some work to do, but so far. I like it!

Also See My TrainBoard Post “Metal Angle Support

Apr 222012
 

I was able finish up cutting the main deck. I cut a filler piece for the east wall, filled a large gap on the south wall and re-cut the west wall that leads into the closet. I’ll still need to frame and deck the closet. That’s probably my next phase.

I also cut the curve piece for the valance. This is also my second attempt at this. The curve is an 18″ radius. To cut the curve, I drew it out on a 19 1/2″ square piece of plywood and jig sawed the curve, leaving the extra 1 1/2″ straight edge of plywood on the right angle sides. I then cut that 1 1/2″ straight edges from the curve and used them to mount the curve. This method allowed me to cut the whole 90 degree curve.

I also purchased valance lights. 34 1/2″ 24W T4 slim fluorescent lights from eBay dealer finestcorp2010. I like the slim design and linkability. The are 6400K color temp.

Once again thanks to my parents for taking the boys for the day.

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.

 

More benchwork today. I started with a tricky section that would be the sub-roadbed where the main layout enters the closet. I spent a lot of time cutting it to dimensions from the plan but didn’t bother to check the angles in this area. Bad idea. It fit awkwardly, and only after a couple of trims. I scrapped the piece and will work on another one later.

I decided to handle the awkward closet junction by mounting a U-girder. I made sure the U-girder was square and level with the layout. From here I’ll measure back to the wall to get the dimensions I’ll need to fit this awkward location.

I made the remaining cuts to the West deck. This was the second attempt at this mammoth 92″ piece. The tricky cuts were around the ends to provide a 3″ bump-out into the window sill. It all fit on the first cuts and I screwed it down.

I used a little pink foam to stiffen up the rounded corner section of the valance. This should help shore this area up and prevent it from possible damage.

It’s been a very productive 3 days. I can really see the layout start to take shape. One thing that has helped is not painting everything before I install it. Maybe, I’ll regret that later, but looking at my progress, I certainly don’t regret it now. :)

 

A couple extra hours of work allowed me to do a little touch up and finish out the valance frame. I had to recut both valance l-girder ledger boards. They were both too long. I bought some 1/4″ plywood to skin the top of the valance. I cut this funny to correct for the mistakes of my previous cuts and the slightly out of square nature of the corner. I was able to get the valance hoisted up (it’s pretty light) and tacked in some temporary supports. I installed one bracket for permanent support. I’ll eventually add three additional support brackets. A little overkill, but I’ll probably end up storing stuff on top of the valance and I’d like it to hold.

 

A nice day and generous parents led me to a construction marathon this afternoon. I spent a total of 8 straight hours cutting, trimming, fixing, gluing, tacking, and screwing.

I built the frames for the East and South valance. And I screwed up in two ways.

  1. I cut the East valance at 17″. It should have been 18″
  2. I tacked the skin to the underside of the valance. It was supposed to go on top.

I can live with the narrow valance, because I have a 2 1/2″ ledgerboard that will hide the mistake. I think I’ll need to cut another skin to go on top of the valance frame, so if I put stuff on it it doesn’t punch out the bottom.

I cut the deck for the closet. I used the deck that I had screwed up cutting the West deck. I made the main cuts on the new West deck. I cut the final 12″ section of the East deck.

I installed additional ledger boards along the West and East sides of the layout. I also, added a few braces to stiffen the frame.

I cut the L-girder ledger boards for the valance. The East board is installed. The South board had to be removed because I didn’t cut it correctly. I recut the South board, but haven’t had a chance to reinstall it.

I cut and glued L-girders for the closet frame.

Very productive day. I went through 2 sheets of 3/4″ plywood; 2/3 sheet of 1/16″ plywood; one box of 1 1/4″ brads; one box of 5/8″ brads; one box 1 1/4″ FastTap screws. I also depleted my supply of 3″ Spax screws and 1 1/4″ pan-head Spax screws. I used just about every tool I have: table saw; miter saw; skil saw; jjg saw; router; brad nailer; drill; vacuum; trammel; tape measure; square.

© 2012 Greg Amer
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