(What appears to be) Lack of Progress

I know that there appears to be little or no progress on the railroad this summer, and with respect to layout construction, that is true.  The last apparent activity was back in the late spring.  I’ve run into unexpected difficulties with the lighting valence.  In fact, the valence, as simple as it is in concept, has turned into a nightmare of problems.  Undulations in the ceiling itself, thickness mismatches with materials, warpage of the Masonite valence material itself, and some joinery problems at the odd angles of the panels have conspired to make the valence a real headache.  If so much time and money had not already been poured into the thing, I would probably rip it out and start over with a new concept.

Most of the problems have been overcome, and I have a couple potential solutions for the remaining problems.  However my able bodied assistant (required for the overhead work) has generally not been available this summer,  Also the constant threat of thunderstorms (typical of southern Louisiana weather) keeps me from dragging the table saw outdoors for the day and setting it up to do the required cutting.

Instead, I’ve stayed busy doing plenty of unseen “support functions” such as completing and arranging my work bench, building a paint bottle rack and computer desk, working with software, “decorating” the shop and rest room, and several other projects.  While none of these things are doing anything to build a layout, most are essential in the overall construction.  I’ve also spent a good bit of time making minor alterations to the track plan, making sure that the buildings I plan to use will actually fit the spaces where they’re supposed to go (and rearranging them as necessary).

The summer will be winding down shortly and cooler, dryer weather will be here.  I have almost three weeks of vacation time that I’ll be taking this fall, and that will give my available layout time a great shot in the arm.  As I’ve mentioned on the main website, the benchwork lumber is ready to go; the L-girders are fabricated and the bracing and joist lumber has been ripped to size and is ready.  Upon completion of the fascia (and a couple view blocks that will be suspended from the ceiling), I’ll paint the clouds on the backdrop.  THEN benchwork will commence, and I expect that it will go fairly rapidly.

It’s been a MUCH slower effort that I expected to get this project going.  Actually finishing out the building interior was a major hurdle, time wise and financially, and disappointingly the layout still hasn’t taken shape.  But I’m confident that things will start rolling again soon.


2 thoughts on “(What appears to be) Lack of Progress

  1. Jack I don’t understand the idea of hanging the view blocks from the cieling. I am guessing that after you build the benchwork under them (this sounds like the hard way, but what do I know?) that scenery, cardboard strips,?, will be built up to the side of the backdrops.
    i’d like more details on this concept.
    Second, as a word of advice, I hope you have provided an ADEQUATE A/C system, a quality, not the cheapest, unit available. You don’t want your future operators to have to endure sweatshop conditions for the pleasure of operating, to say nothing of any regular weekly work crews.

  2. Bill,

    The view blocks are not what you think. They are actually blocking the view of the lights on the opposite sides of the peninsulas. Think of them as a secondary valence. They will simply be panels hanging about 16″ or 18″ from the ceiling where required.

    The room has central air and heat (Lennox). It hopefully will be adequate. So far this summer it has been fine. Remember also that I will only have a few people, maybe 5 max…not nearly as many as Lou. This summer has had higher than normal temps I think. My thermometer on the patio (in the shade) has regularly exceeded 100 degrees this summer. Yesterday it read 102!


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