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Here’s what it looks like so far. I’m gonna smooth it out a bit more and then get the foam boards inserted after that.

I need to take care of an area not shown here on one of the boards that cracked and broke a little. Nothing a little wood glue can’t fix.


Chris wants more hobby time!!!
So...I'm a doofus and made my 1st mistake. My original design had to change because the board size I wanted wasn't available, but I forgot to update the plan. I mixed up what length I was supposed to use and made the internal measurements within the raised border too small, meaning instead of having a 20" x 33" space for the track plan, it is now 19.5" x 32.5". The overall measurements of the layout are still 21" x 34".

Since I already spent money on the lumber and time cutting and sanding it, I will go ahead and use what I have. Luckily, the only thing I need to modify in my design is not being able to have a raised edge to protect the trains. My plan is to raise the underlying support boards by 1/4" which will allow the foam board to be level with the outer frame. I will have to come up with another way to create a protective border because the track will end up resting right where the raised edge would begin, and trains would come in contact with it.

My grandfather always said, don't just measure twice and cut once, triple check and cut once. I measured three times alright, just used the wrong measurements haha. Oh well!
Step A: Measure twice - Step B: Cuss once - Step C: Start over at Step A…
Think it’s important you are creating to your vision, if redoing something meets that goal it’s probably the best way to go…. Gotta be happy with the final result
Well...the prototype came out great! haha. Now for the real thing! You're certainly right, I need this project to be exactly what I want and nothing less. The question is....what do I do with the prototype now?
I’ve ordered the 12V, 1.5a power supply and the DPDT momentary toggle switches needed to setup the kato turnouts. I’ll be taking another trip to Home Depot in a bit to pickup some lumber (again) and redo the benchwork. I should have it constructed by this afternoon and ready to go for the next step.
I finally finished the benchwork! My paint cans will do the rest of the work for the evening. I decided to increase the measurements by 1 inch length wise to ensure everything fits well and with a little wiggle room. The final measurements of the layout are 35.5” x 21.5”. I also decided to increase the size of the toggle panel cutout.


The only thing I’m not happy with is a portion around the toggle panel that chipped while I was cutting it. I will remedy the situation by utilizing a larger portion of hardboard (or similar material) to cover over the chipped portion when I create the toggle panel itself.

While the foam board finishes drying, I decided to put the track together and give it a test run with a DC loco. I Chose the desk instead of the kitchen table, it made the girlfriend a little happier haha.

Here’s a link to a quick video I uploaded on Youtube.
The benchwork is ready to go! In the next few days I should receive my MRC Prodigy DCC system and the electrical components I need. I have to order a new soldering iron and once that arrives I’ll put it all together. I’m hoping to have the track glued down, DCC system installed, and turnouts all wired by the end of January. I’ll be attending the Amherst Railway Society Train Show and I’d like to pickup some stuff while I’m there to begin constructing the structures and scenery.


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