Onward & Downward

It’s been a cool, wet couple of days and I’ve managed to get into the shed for a few hours and commence on some new benchwork. In a strange kind of way this feels like the first real “new” benchwork I’ve constructed since I started work on the layout because all the other new work has been in my head so clearly for so long that I already knew what it was going to look and operate like. This next stage is far newer in concept and as it will punch through a wall and head out into open space over a staircase it is far less straightforward. This is where we start to get serious 🙂

Nothing really special to see here beyond the fact that I added the legs and bracing to this section of benchwork prior to bringing it up to the train room. Far cleaner and neater that way 🙂

I made a new ladder frame, added some legs and butted this up to the pre-existing benchwork of QW. However before I could set the height of this section I had to do some fiendishly complicated calculations that took into consideration the wall studs, especially the noggins, that are in the wall I’ll be cutting through and also the height of some shelving that is inside the storage cupboard that the line will pass through on its way to Raworth and storage.

These are my wall scratchings near the spot where the line will pass through the wall and into the stairwell. I needed the benchwork to be about 30mm lower than the lowest point of this. As the line could have passed either above or below the noggin (the cross brace) that sits inconveniently at pretty much the exact height I want the trains to run at I had to decide to either go over or under this or cut it out. Going under meant a vertical deviation of 25mm whereas going over would have meant a grade rising about 110mm. The decision made itself; we’re going under and rising 25mm gradually over the stairwell as the line curves to enter through a 2nd wall on the outside edge of the storage cupboard it will pass right through.

After installing the ladder frame I had a little time to start the narrow benchwork that will hang off the wall at this spot by screwing in a length of 3×1 to the first stepped section of wall.

I located and marked the studs in the cavity wall and screwed 50mm screws into these to hold this wall plate. The benchwork will rarely get much wider that 100mm at this point. I have to retain at least 600mm (2′) for people to pass by this section of layout. That’s the end of the storage sidings on the front left and the back of Morpeth yard is the white panel facing the camera.

Things are really starting to get interesting at this point. I really enjoy installing new benchwork. Things move fast and you can see the results relatively quickly.

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