Fascia Makes the Benchwork

This morning I went out to get a couple of things, and made the “mistake” of visiting Atlas Tool and Machinery‘s new location on Islington Road near my house.  I’d been in their old cramped and now closed Queen Street store downtown before, but never the new store.  The new store is like a toy store for adults. So many tools from so many brands!!

I was there to buy one specific item, an AtMac Countersink drill bit that Ryan Mendell had brought with him last weekend when we did the bulk of the benchwork.  Having seeing it in action, the nice clean holes it cut showed me another tool I didn’t own, but do now!  I needed it as one of my goals for weekend 2 of layout benchwork was to install the rough fascia beneath the benchwork and tidy up the installation of the shelf brackets and such that we did last week (and install the last bracket since I hadn’t bought enough!).

The first piece of the fascia clamped in place for drilling, and all screwed in place and secure.

The Fascia I am installing today is not the “finished” look, it’s a working fascia to give me something to help hold the benchwork square and level, and for installing pulls for switch machines and other controls to.  It will also supply the mounting point for one end of the layouts small peninsula when that eventually gets constructed.  Closer to the end of layout building (or at least when it reaches the point that scenery is happening and the benchwork and wiring is complete), I plan to skin the fascia with styrene sheet.  A nice black styrene skin will hide any holes and marks, along with the cut edge of the plywood and the foam layer to go above it.  For the next while, it will look rough, but much better than just the plywood looked.

IMG_5918A simple plastic mitre box and a hand saw were more than enough for this weekends woodworking adventures!

After last weekends power tool bonanza, I was back to the old school, an inexpensive plastic mitre box and a hand saw, but for cutting the pieces of 1″x3″ Pine to size, and angling the corners, anything more would have been overkill.  For simple cuts like this in something that’s eventually going to be invisible, if I couldn’t do it with a hand saw, something’s really wrong!!

IMG_5891IMG_5920Before and after, a few simple bits of 1″x3″ pine makes a huge difference in how the layout benchwork looks.  It actually looks like it belongs, rather than being a floating chunk of plywood.

Moving in logical order, the next thing I want to do is install the backdrop and get it painted with a first coat of sky blue paint.  I want to install the backdrop before doing the foam layer, as then I can blend the sky right into the scenery and hide any joint a bit easier.  I am looking at 1/8″ thick foamcore board for the backdrop, though I am also going back and forth with using styrene in my mind.  As the backdrop will almost entirely be mounted directly to the wall (likely with double-sided tape that can be scraped away when the time inevitably comes in many years to take the layout down).  I’m working at the research on the right material for me.  I’ve even considered painting the wall directly, But am less sure about that vs. something that has a smoother texture like foamcore or styrene.

IMG_5919I ordered the jigs from Fast Tracks this week for Code 70 Number 4 switches, so fettling the track plan commences next!

For track, I have decided to go with Code 70.  I like the look of it, and it fits both my era (1950’s) and the industrial switching district of Liberty Village that wouldn’t have had super heavy-duty rail.  I am going to be using hand-built switches with the Fast Tracks jigs and laser cut ties.  I’ve bought a couple of bundles of Micro Engineering Code 70 Flex Track for the regular track, and I think after a week of scouring the internet I’ve cleared out retailers in England and British Columbia of the last of the Shinohara Code 70 crossovers in 90, 60 and 30 degrees (Mr. Shinohara announced earlier this year that he was closing his factory and ending making model railroad track).  I spent a lot of time debating also buying the excellent jigs from Fast Tracks for the crossings, but decided my budget was better spent with the Shinohara’s even with the cost of shipping and exchange that brought all the working crossovers I need to me at the cost of one jig and filing tools.  It’s an expensive hobby, and I can always build my own crossovers for the next layout!! (and I’ll have to build two fake crossovers for tracks that cut across the layout but which are non operating).

IMG_5925.JPGThe last of the Shinohara? I cleared out Central Hobbies in Vancouver for these three, and two more from Scale Link in England!

At the end of my work day as I made lunch and got set to head downtown to the CNE and the Argonaut’s game just across the tracks from Liberty Village, I asked if I’d been too noisy with drilling and sawing.  I got asked “when my quiet hobby of building models was going to return”…. fortunately, there is one bit of fascia that I need a different drill to get into the space in the closet to do, and then, no drilling or sawing for a while!! It will be cutting foam and plastic and gluing and similar.  There won’t be much drilling till track laying and wiring starts!!  Having accomplished my Sunday goal of the fascia on Saturday (and even managing to write about it), I think a complete change of modelling activity is in the cards for Sunday.  If it goes well, I may even write about it!

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