My good friend Tim was over last night and we were discussing the workbench in the train room. What a disaster it is at the moment. I moved the workbench into position back when the train room was first constructed just to have a place for it. There was no intention of leaving it as is but at the time there was no modeling going on since I had an empty room waiting for a layout to be built.
The workbench slowly evolved into what all non-function specific spaces do – a catch all junk spot. Well, the layout framework is done and I have reached the track laying point. That means a few things. First, there will soon be fragile objects on the layout i.e. track, switches, trackside detail, etc. Second, no more heavy filth creating construction work can be done in the train room. Third, I need the modeling space functional to build the aforementioned trackside details, electronic controls, and other miscellaneous objects needed during track laying. I also know myself well. Once I start laying track and testing train operation on it I won’t be able to stop. The excitement will take over and I will end up laying every bit of track just to see trains run. I won’t be able to force myself to get anything else done during that time least of all boring activities like organizing my workbench. Knowing this, I have made the decision to address the workbench situation before beginning track laying.
For my regular followers please bear with me as I take this little detour. I know you don’t follow a model train blog to watch some guy overhaul his workbench but it is the right thing for me to do. Otherwise, it will stay the cluttered, useless, spot in the corner forever. Can’t have that. As a bit of a proof statement that I will be ready to lay track with a vengeance once the bench is finished, check out these pics. Flextrack, Switches, Tortoises, oh my! Yes, I have the goods on hand to put down track. But it will have to wait for just a bit.
Here is the plan…
- Every bit of the stuff comes out of the corner.
- Strip sand the dark mahogany finish off of the workbench and re-stain it honey oak to match the train room trim (and the rest of the house trim).
- Build a hutch-like assembly top for the bench so I have shelving for the speakers, audio equipment, bench power supply and all other non-modeling stuff. Below the big top shelf the hutch will have small dedicated, storage specific shelves for modeling supplies i.e. paints, styrene, hand tools, etc. A 4′ florescent lamp fixture will be mounted behind a valance on the underside of the top big shelf to provide better lighting for the work area.
- The old sewing table will be strip sanded and re-stained honey oak. Floors will be put in the original drawer openings to form bins for flat sheet goods storage.
- A frame will be built to extend the sewing table upwards almost to the ceiling. Into this will be new, size coordinated small parts organizers. I will build the “wall-o-little-drawers”. I don’t want to use the existing small parts organizers because over the years some of the drawers have broken, chipped, or otherwise been damaged from use. Some of those cabinets are over 50 years old. Besides, they wouldn’t fit into the frame well due to their odd mismatched sizes. Easy enough to find new uses for the old ones over in the main shop.
- Lastly, put everything back in an organized 5S manner. Label drawers, make tool holders, and all the little custom storage methods needed as I place inventory. There is a ton of modeling stuff in big plastic totes never yet unpacked from when we moved into this house 10 years ago. Placing everything will be no small task.
A lot of work lay ahead but it will be all worth it in the end. And I have all the initiative needed to get this process done quickly. I want to run trains dagnabbit!
Let the modeling workbench overhaul begin.