I totally know what I’m doing.

Deck’s pretty much done. All the boards are down, and all that is left are about a thousand screws once that foot of snow disappears. Waiting for that, I got a few things done. I apologise for the mess in the photos, it’s a symptom of my laziness.

Big problem: Sawdust. Sawdust EVERYWHERE. The best way to make a model railway is to build all the benchwork, and then get on the less dusty things. Too bad I’m not doing it that way.

Biggest offender? My mitre saw that spews everywhere. Look at this:

Soo…I built a workbench just for the saw, using all the bits of plywood I had lying around as well as a bed that I had made for my grandmother to sleep in. Said bed was made from leftover bits of deck. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

So here it is. Only thing I bought new were the legs, and 4×4 cedar, while expensive, smells so lovely I left it in my car for a week.

The hood takes care of 90% of the sawdust. Wunderbar! You can also kind of see the backdrop that we ‘finished’. My artist has decided that paint can go wash itself down a sewer, and we’re doing the rest of them digitally.

Ironically, backdrops lead us on…

First thing I did was redo the abutments. There’s $40 I wish I hadn’t spent. MEASURE IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME OR BE DUMB AND POOR LIKE ME. I somehow neglected to think about the height of the step that the bridge would sit on verses the height of the top, and there wasn’t really any way to fix it and have it look like it was anything but some weird concrete patch job at the bottom.
Next up  was a bit of scenery. Why not try a lattice? Oh, and throw some random bits in there too…I totally know what I’m doing.

Edit 11/16: Don’t use cardboard for a lattice. It’s far too thick and lumpy to work with. I hope I’ll be able to work with this section but there’s a chance a later post will show a conspicuous hole here.

I had to replace the original raised plywood because there was no way I was going to get anything acceptable out of it. So, some 3/8″ plywood with masonite glued on for road? Yes, I think so. I’m going to learn how to actually make stuff in sketchup and have shapeways print this bridge, and pray that it looks good.

Also did the bit between the tracks and Kootenay Lake/River. While in the area I took about a trillion photos of cliffs and rock formations, so I’ve got this pretty well in hand.

Oh yeah, that’s when I realized I had a problem…I can’t do that backdrop later, I have to get it done and in place first. Damn you, immovable load bearing wall!

So I made a road instead.

I’ve been struggling with the roadways in the pulp mill, seeing as there isn’t room for anything realistic. Or so I thought…the upper deck will protrude quite a distance beyond the lower deck at this point due to the 1-turn helix that will both simulate the 1km long Bulldog tunnel and get the track over the nod-under. I realized that I could jam the road in here comfortably if I redid my benchwork a little bit. I replaced 4 joists with longer ones, and constructed a 20′ wide road out of 1/2″ ply. My concept is that it will kind of disappear into the trees. I really hope I can manage that.

Here’s the current plan. Anything to the right of the left-most grade crossing is just roughed in.

Here’s to hoping it will look good!

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