Thursday, August 8, 2019

Empty Room, or The End of the Line (Until the Next Layout)

Well, it’s gone.

All that’s left is an empty room, some piles of lumber in the garage (awaiting a friend who will pick it up for his new layout), and memories—lots of memories.

All told, it took about a week and a bit, not full-time, to take it down. The last pieces were disassembled yesterday.

While unscrewing the layout, I had a few thoughts. Starting with, why did my younger self use so many %&$#@*&#! screws!

One thing for sure: That old layout was solid. It was never going to fall down. If two screws were good, my younger self thought three were better. Four was pure bliss.

Second, I’m glad I (mostly) followed the time-proven advice to screw up from the bottom, not down from the top.

Except for one or two places where I clearly lost my mind, all the screws were easy to find (although not always easy to get at with this getting-older body).

Third, the wisdom of DCC occurred to me more than once while undoing all the DC block wiring. There were a lot of wires under the benchwork! That was an afternoon of unscrewing and pulling all in itself.

Fourth, I thought about modellers who are looking for the best glue to glue down cork and track. If I have any sage advice for them, it’s this: Whatever you glue down you are going to have to pull up someday. Don’t make it too hard on yourself.

In my case, I didn’t use any glue, except for diluted white glue to hold down the cork, track and ballast. When it dried, I removed the track nails. It never moved for 25 years—I consider that a win.

Best of all, taking it up was (mostly) a breeze. Spray with water and then pull the track out of the ballast. Except for a few pieces of cork that clearly didn’t want to leave, it came up easily.

Fifth, the shop vac is your friend! There was a lot of ballast on the floor and on the layout after the track was removed. But the shop vac was up to the task.

Sixth, it’s great to have a friend who can use the lumber. I’d hate to see it go into the dump. Since much of the wood was in my first layout, that means it will be part of three layouts, at least—maybe more.

Now I’m in the dreaming stage for my next effort, a 17 by 21 foot L-shaped shelf switching layout. The old layout is barely down and I’m already dreaming . . . .

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