Sunday, March 6th, 2011

image of benchwork rebuild

Cleats! Millions of ’em! I’ve been gluing these little bastards to the benchwork all week long, five at a time, because I have ten two-inch C-clamps and that’s all. I could go buy more, but I’m such a cheapskate that I haven’t been able to bring myself to bust open my wallet and spend a few bucks on this when I could just settle for the slow and steady approach. So I settled. If this approach has anything to recommend it, I’ve become expert at tightening a C-clamp one-handed.

The one pair of four-inch C-clamps I have in my toolbox come in handy for when I have to glue cleats on the double-up boards. They’re awfully big and clunky, though, and so heavy that they hurt a lot when I unscrew them and the loose heavy part bashes across the points of my knuckles, so I mostly stick with the smaller ones, because, ouch.

image of benchwork rebuild

And why exactly am I gluing all these damned cleats to the frame of the bench? Well, of course it’s so I can glue three-inch-wide strips of plywood between the cleats. Why else?

You can’t imagine how many times I’ve asked myself exactly that question during the past two weeks. Weirdly, an answer didn’t pop into my head until this morning as I was pulling out one of a half-dozen splinters I’ve gotten stuck in the ends of my fingers. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’ve always wanted a train layout like this one. Well, probably not literally always. Probably since my best friend showed me the awesome layout his dad built for him in their basement and he let me take the throttle. I was about ten years old. That’s close enough to always as to make no difference, isn’t it?

And it’s starting to look like an attainable goal. The basic benchwork is nearly complete. I’ll add shelves underneath some day in the future because I need the storage space, but my most immediate concern is laying track and getting trains running. I plan to lay the track on a roadbed cut from Masonite which I salvaged when I demolished the benchwork of the old layout earlier in the year, and the Masonite, in turn, will have to be supported by something, hence the plywood stringers. I’ve never been sure why they’re called “stringers,” unless it’s because they’re strung across the gap between the frames. Let’s go with that.

Clamp this! | 6:55 pm CDT
Category: hobby, LoCo Rwy | Tags: ,
2 Comments | Add a comment


  1. 1 Pete said at 8:23 pm on March 6th, 2011:

    You are the worst link-er ever. (Photo link, no werks.)

  2. 2 Dave said at 8:36 pm on March 7th, 2011:

    Ouch! The wost EVER? That’s harsh.