Aug 142013

It’s been a real slow summer. No time for trains. Kids summer camp brought me a couple of hours of free time to take on a couple of projects.

Work Bench Add On and Dremel Workstation

I added a small section to my workbench. The new section is for my new Dremel Workstation. The 12″ x 16″ section was made from a piece of scrap melamine and is supported by a steel angle bracket. I found some Micro Carbide CNC drill bits on ebay that work great with the Dremel. They have an 1/8″ shank. I bought a set of 50 bits, 5 each of size #72 through #83. I plan to start using the set up immediately to drill holes in the points and throw bars.

Turnout Progress

I started this #10 turnout in May, but it’s been dormant mostly all summer. I started it using Proto:87 Stores Switch-Works tie plate jig, then substituted heavy weight tie plates for the standard plates and made some adjustments to the types of tie plates around the points, frog, and guard rails. I’m adding adjustable rail braces.

Mar 132013

When I built my workbench, I made sure it had lot’s of light. In fact, with three 16″ T4 6400K fluorescent I figured I’d have all the light I needed. After a few months of use, it became apparent I needed more light directed on the work piece. For a while now I’ve been adding the additional light with a flashlight, but it hasn’t been the best solution.

While visiting a local art store I discovered the daylight™ SlimLine Table Lamp. It’s a clamp on fluorescent lamp with a flexible arm and slim fixture that should be perfect for my workbench. I can swing the light directly over my work peice and it is so slim it doesn’t block my vision. The lamp is super bright and claims to illuminate in daylight colors.



In order to keep the lamp almost as slim as a fluorescent tube, daylight™ has cleverly moved the ballast and switch outside of the fixture into what looks like a slim and elongated transformer. The ballast assembly is connected to the lamp with about a 6″ wire and has a 6′ wire to the wall plug. The head of the light is 20″ long and sports a 16″ long 11W T2 fluorescent tube. The flexible arm allows the light a range between 6″ to 21″ high. The price is $169 MSRP, but I found mine on Amazon for $87.

Sep 032012

I’ve completed the workbench and I’m pretty happy with it. The key features are:

  • Magnetic Tool Strip: I bought these at Harbor Freight a few years ago and have been waiting for an occasion to use them. Since the work table is kind of small (16″) deep, I figured keeping the tools off of the work area would be helpful.
  • Under Cabinet Lighting: I bought two of these lights a few years ago for around $20 each. They are T5 fluorescent lights. I broke one and was left with only one working. I stopped by Fry’s this afternoon and found them available for only $8, I bought two more to fill out the workbench lighting. This was a great savings because I was about to place a $100 order at CYELITE for T4 fluorescent lights.
  • New Chairs for the Boys: Staples had these chairs on sale a couple of weeks ago for $30. I also had a $5 coupon. I really wanted to get some chairs for my boys. Now we will all have a place to sit when we’re weathering.
  • Rotating Vise: Surprise surprise, something mechanical from Harbor Freight that’s actually worth a damn. I got this for around $20; much cheaper than a $70 PanaVise. I just used it to hold some Kadee 119 couplers while I filed the upper shelf off of them.
  • Dremel with Flex Shaft: Of course.

See my previous post: Skyboards, workbench and valance fascia


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