Layout Rebuild — Benchwork

3/12/2012 — Dennis Rogers (left to right), Jim Astin and Pete Klingeman installing the ledger board for the new layout.

The ledger board is a section of L–girder attached to the wall at a uniform height. It must be prefectly level because it will act as a baseline for the height of the layout in that area.

There is a laser level, to the photographer's left, casting a line around the room at a uniform height. The crew measures down from this line the appropriate distance to set the ledger board. If everything has been calculated properly the lower level track will end up at 45" above the benchmark point.

3/14/2012 — Pete Klingeman holding the model of the layout while surrounded (on one side) by the new benchwork.

L–girders and stringers were pre-fabed and staged for use. The L–girder location was drawn on the 1:1 plans, then built from the L–girder stock. A new L–girder is cut to size. The girder it attaches to is notched to accept the new girder, a temporary leg is clamped to the new girder and the assembly is leveled. When everything is good the new L–girder is screwed to the previous work. And so on...

3/15/2012 — After the L–girder crew is finished the stringer crew moves in. They have planned the stringer location, again from the 1:1 plans, so the stringers won't interfere with any of the switch machines that will eventually be used on the layout.

Sections of sub-roadbed were prefabbed in the appropriate radii and are temporarily set out on the benchwork to give a better feel for what it will look like.

The blue and white 'thing' is a model of the new layout. It has been rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise from it's proper orientation so the left edge of the model represents the wall behind the benchwork.

3/14/2012 — Tom Pryor and Jim Astin (far left), Scot Breeden, Unknown (kneeling), Dennis Rogers and Gene Neville (back), Pete Klingeman (forground) and Bill Krueger with Hugh Sherwood (background).

Scot built this section of benchwork so it looks like these guys are trying to find out what sort of a craftsman he is.

The board across the top are temporary braces and will be removed when the stringer crew does their work.

3/14/2012 — Larry Vogt (left), Jerry Boudreaux, Hugh Sherwood (back to camer again), Scot Breeden (back), Jim Astin, Dennis Rogers and Bill Howell (front) talking about how hard they have been working. Can't get any sympathy, even when it's true!

A better view of the same L-Girder section. The center section floats and could be removed except for the braces across the top.

3/15/2012 — Larry Vogt smiles for the camera.

He as laid the 1:1 plan across the top of the blob so he can plan stringer locations for this area. He will mark up the plan to show stringer locations then use the plan to do the work.

The club members spent three work days with crews of between twelve and four people. At the end of this time they had constructed benchwork and stringers for the first two peninsulae and L–girders for the third.

Planing, enthusiasm and pre-fabbing make this go fast.

12/2?/2011 - L–girders, stringers, risers and sub-roadbed in the southwest corner of the main room.

Next will be the cork roadbed and then track. Of coarse, this is just a small and simple portion of the layout. Lots of work remains to be done.

Photo by Aline Bergemann

3/22/2012 — Bill Krueger(left) talks with Randy Stockberger and Pete Klingeman while they hang the ceiling drywall in the middle room.

The middle room had a suspended ceiling under exposed rafters with no insulation. Heating the club has always been an issue, the building is empty most of the time and it can get expensive heating an unocupied space. The members decided to have foam insulation sprayed into the raftes to serve as both insulation and a vapor barrier. Fire code requires a fire block below the exposed rafters so we installed and taped sheetrock. The final step will be the installation of a new suspended ceiling with lighting designed to highlight the new layout.

All this work will allow us to heat the building to 50°F without having all the heat flow into the sky.

Photo by Larry Vogt

3/23/2012 — Running trains on the new layout

Photo by Larry Vogt

3/28/2012 — Bill Krueger(left) and Scot Breeden work on the plumbing in the middle room. Bill, in particular, deserves a big thanks. He has taken on the task of improving our building as much as our budget will allow and has spent many hours doing the jobs behind and under the layout that won't be noticed but that will make our whole club run much smoother.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

4/8/2012 — A slow freight climbing the helix to Summit. He should probably go even slower, he seems to be past the end of the tracks.

Photo by Aline Bergemann

4/8/2012 — Subroadbed in the helix under construction.

A couple of months ago we surveyed our 1:1 plans to determine how many pieces of each radius and how much straight track we have. The straight sections are ripped on a table saw and the curves were cut on a bandsaw and the edges were smoothed with a sander.

Now that it is time to assemble the layout the pieces are laid out on the stringers in their final location. Any adjustments that are needed are made and the butt joints are marked and cut with a chop saw. The pieces are butt glued and fastened with pocket screws. All this is done flat on the surface of the stringers to minimize twisting and warping.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

4/11/2012 — Club meeting night. Too many people in the picture to identify.

It's safe to say everyone was excited about the progress we've made so far.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

4/11/2012 — This is the helix in the south west corner of the main room and represents one of the busiest areas of the layout (except the yards). The helix goes around 1.5 times. In the center and difficult to see in this picture is a reversing loop that will allow trains to return without climbing the helix. In the foreground is a siding working its way back to a small industrial area at the left of the picture.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

4/11/2012 — A closeup of the upper level track on risers. This photo gives a fairly clear picture of our construction techniques.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

4/14/2012 — Another picture showing the subroadbed under construction. Any vertical undulations have to be sanded out of the track before the cork is put down. We've found that it is easier to clamp the freshly glued roadbed and prevent any wavieness than it is to sand and fill after everything is set and dry.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

4/11/2012 — The eastern blob in the main room, posing with the model of the layout. There is a double tracked main line running around the lower front of this section with a single track main on the upper level. We've divided the lower main line to allow some variations in scenery.

Photo by Aline Bergemann

5/14/2012 — Our furnace is suspended from the roof and is concealed by a drop ceiling. It has developed a leak which needed to be fixed. Bill Kreuger figured out how to rehang the furnace to there was no penetration of the roof and coordinated with our landloard (Benton County) for the roof repair. This hole in the ceiling drywall allowed access to the work but is right above one of the new peninsula in the main room. Hard to get too, we had to patch over the hole with new drywall for fire code and it will be hidden by the drop ceiling.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/22/2012 — An overview shot of the main room. Chaos!

The benchwork in here is largely done and the focus is on the backdrop, which would have been done first except we were so eager to get going on the layout. Doing things out of order has slowed progress but we are still moving along with good enthusiasm.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/22/2012 — Another view of the main room.

The backdrop in this room is 1/4" sheetrock. The building is concrete block with no insulation so moisture thru the walls is a significant issue. We glued and nailed furring strips to the walls, filled in the gaps with 3/4" foam insulation as a moisture barrier on the exterior walls and glued and screwed drywall on top of that. We will glue drywall directly to the concrete on the columns.


Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/23/2012 — A more finished view of the same area as in the last photo. The backdrop makes a big difference.

Photo by Aline Bergemann

5/23/2012 — Lyle Fries dressing the joints of our hardboard backdrop.

The original plan was to use tempered hardboard (aka masonite) for the backdrop. When we got it glued and nailed to the wall we found that it was so uneven that it was impossible to get a smooth surface with even joints. We made the best of it in our smaller cascade room but switched to 1/4" drywall in the main room.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/23/2012 — After the masonite was hung we filled in the worst of the valleys with drywall compound and sanded it smooth. We will go over the surface with a thick wall paper type product used to conceal cracks in plaster walls.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/23/2012 — An overview of the cascade room. The photographer is standing near the entry door. You can see how the full sized paper templates are used to locate the benchwork. What is difficult to see in the photo is that the L–girders and stringers are drawn in on the plans. When the plans are laid on the floor they can be used to locate the L–girders and stringers on the benchwork.

Since the plans also show the location of trackwork, including turnouts, a little attention on the part of the planners can prevent interference between stringers and turnout motors. We'll see how that works out.

The circles on the plan in the forground represent a one turn helix that drops the track about 6" into the Albany and Corvallis yards.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/23/2012 — More L–girders going up, which makes Jim Astin smile.

The gap in the benchwork will be filled with stringers and plywood but there will not be any L–girders thru the gap. This will allow an easier emergency exit for club members and this area will be closed to guests during our open house.

This is not a duck under since we can walk into this area thru a second doorway in the main room.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/23/2012 — Bill Kreuger(left) and Cliff Bergemann talk about the progress while Scot Breedan naps in the background.

This is same benchwork as the previous picture with the L–girders installed and stringers laid out ready to be screwed down.

Photo by Aline Bergemann

5/23/2012 — Randy Stockberger(left) and Lyle Fries inspect benchwork.

Getting a coat of sky blue paint on the backdrop will make a dramatic difference.

Photo by Aline Bergemann

5/23/2012 — Cliff Bergemann, Aline Bergemann, Bill Kreuger and Bill McKinney pose for their picture.

Bill McKinney painted sections of the backdrop on the old layout and has been busy planning the new work.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/23/2012 — Larry Vogt, Gene Neville and Scot Breeden are in charge of final inspection.

Photo by Aline Bergemann

5/30/2012 — The benchwork in the middle room is essentially complete. The subroadbed for the upper level is on temporary risers pending the painting of the backdrop.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

5/30/2012 — The view along the back wall of the main room. All the drywall is up and the first pass has been made at filling the joints.

Lookin' gooood!

Photo by Randy Stockberger

Most unattributed photos are by Randy Stockberger