The Traymobile

Growing up in the 60s and 70s I have some vivid memories of the decades that style forgot and nothing better epitomizes the aesthetic of this era for me than my father’s taste in furniture. I know it can be quite trendy at the moment to fit your dwelling out in furniture and fittings from this era but I had to live through this aesthetic disaster. Having a father whose tastes ran to the modern, but who only had a budget for the modest, meant I grew up in a house decorated in what can best be described as Austen Powers chic.

One item of furniture in our home that is seared in my memory was an object familiarly known as the “Tray Mobile”. This thing looked something like the rear end of the Titanic on wheels with a twist of the Art Nouveau thrown in for good measure. It was supposed to be mobile, however the one time my father tried to serve drinks from it in safari mode the whole show almost took a swan dive in the middle of the living room and as such it was consigned to immobility in the corner of the dining room, where it sat forlorn and unloved, never to venture forth again. It probably now graces the corner of some metro-sexual city trendoid’s shoe box apartment where it has found a new lease of life as an object d’ art centre piece. God knows it would be far too valuable (and unstable) to actually push food and drinks around on. Why anyone would want mobile food is beyond me anyway: isn’t that why we have drive through? 🙂

My traumatic childhood came to mind today as I built my own version of the tray mobile: a mobile work table for the new layout room.

The new mobile tray workstation sitting in front of Morpeth and ready for action. The trays are 400mmX450mm and the legs are approximately 900mm long. I bought some little nylon trundle wheels from Bunnings this afternoon and these seem to work a treat. I applied a bead of trim timber around the edge of the top shelf to provide a modicum of safety for items that might be sitting on the upper level.

I’ve been thinking about building a work table like this for a number of years. Last week when I got the layout set up and started pottering about it quickly became apparent that I had no horizontal surfaces upon which to lay tools and the like while I worked. As Morpeth has in place an almost completed layer of scenery I didn’t have the modellers usual place to spread junk, namely the surface of an unfinished layout. So this was my response. Having to spend half an hour curled up in the fetal position in the corner of the room at the memory of my father’s taste in furniture not withstanding, this little project has been on the to do list for quite a while and it was a simple, very enjoyable project. Best of all it was made from scrap timber that had been sitting around the shed for a while. So aside from the wheels it essentially cost me nothing to make and took no more than 2 hours to assemble.

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