A couple of Workbench Tasks

Getting back to modelling, means a couple of things have become evident that need some improving in my new workbench in our new house.  One I was able to solve tonight in about 10 minutes, the other, will be easily solved, but needs some research/thought.

1 – Paper Towels

I use a lot, between cleaning spills, brushes, sweating, its a consumable I use a lot of. I also hadn’t come up with a good location for a paper towel roll until recently.  I realized I can make use of the space beneath the staging traverser at least for now (it may need to be relocated later to make sure wiring is clear), but a couple of bits of metal and a bit of 1″ dowel I had laying around, and I now have a paper towel roll that’s easy to grab paper from, but not in the way of tools or work space.

Home made paper towel holder. A metal pipe clip, a framing bracket, and a knob on a piece of 1″ round dowel.  Does the trick!

2 – More Light

Let there be Light!! Light and being able to see what you are doing is critical.  I’ve written in the past about improving my lighting at the old apartment here. Now that winter is closing in, its become readily aparent as I was painting tonight after installing the paper towel holder, that I need more light, in a couple of ways. I’ve known for some time that I am going to need to add more lighting to light the layout when it is complete.  The layout of the 3rd bedroom which is now my office/layout room is great for a modeller, 4 walls and a central skylight, no windows in the walls.  Where this poses a problem, is in the winter where there is no light at all coming in the skylight. It means there is almost no light coming from behind me to light what I am working on.  This is a fixable problem, I just need to get a light on an arm that I can position so its lighting from the same angle I am looking at the project from. I’ve looked at Ottlites in the past, as they are well regarded, but my legendary cheapness has held me back. Looks like its time to re-visit that thought process again and look at some swing arm lamp options! More to come on this one!

View of my workbench. The skylight is great in the summer, but as winter sets in, there isn’t any light coming in. The single light fixture for the room is above my chair. I am going to replace it with track lighting to allow me to better light the layout, but more workbench light is needed too.

Tuesday Train #129

IMGP0131RawConvMore diversions over the Canpa while Metrolinx replaced the life expired bridges over the Humber River.  This time, VIA Rail 906 is reversing up the Canpa to get to Union Station, having just come past right-left on the tracks in the foreground leaving VIA Rail’s Toronto Maintenance Centre for servicing.

Back at the Workbench

It’s been a funny year for me, modeling wise and real life wise. As anyone who reads the blog knows, we bought a house this year, massive change #1, which however brought me the room to start building benchwork this summer and start making a layout in my home a reality. Great news.  Then, after what seemed like forever this summer in the interview process, I made a second life altering decision, this time in my professional life, and at the end of summer, I left the consulting firm I had been at for 15 years since graduating from University for a job in the public sector. Also great news, but very daunting, and I’m still on a steep learning curve after a month in the new job.

This past week, I realized that as much as I’ve done in the layout room since we moved in June, I hadn’t done as much modelling as I’d like.  I’ve done things here and there, but I don’t have any of my normal range of little projects going, either for the layout or because it interests me. I normally have at least one project out on the workbench, so if I walk into my office/layout room, and feel like filing or sanding or painting or whatever for five minutes here and there, I can.  I’ve let the room and the workbench become a bit of a mess even in just a couple of months, by not focusing on the things I needed to do still post move, mainly more cleaning and organizing of stuff to try to find more things that could be donated away/sold/thrown out/recycled as appropriate. I finally took a serious stab at that on Saturday, and feeling quite proud of myself, before I start one of the growing pile of freight car kits for the layout that are collecting in a workbench drawer, I went back and pulled out a project that was left in mid-stream before the move.  I started to seriously work on the interior of the British Railways Mk1 First Class Coach.  Turns out I’d managed to paint the car before we moved, but packed it away before building the interior.

IMG_6538Actual modelling in progress. Painting seats, tables and interior partitions for a British Railways Mk1 Coach kit.

While I’ve spent most of this afternoon working on the interior and fettling the fit and finish of the parts so that it can all be assembled when the sub assemblies are painted, I will now be leaving this out on my bench so that Monday, Tuesday or whenever, if I have a few minutes, I can do a little bit of work to move another project toward completion.  It’s nice to have reclaimed my workbench for modelling projects!