I first built legs by screwing and gluing two 1x2s together, this saves lots of money compared to 2x2s and the construction is more sturdy.
I then made frames 2x8 feet using 2x3s and the 1x2s under which I screwed the legs. I strengthened and braced the whole with 1x2s. Then I glued and screwed on 1/4 inch thick 2x4 feet multiplex boards. As I am modeling Newton , Kansas and the scenery will have just slight slopes I saw no need to make the benchwork more complicated.
After painting the backdrop sky, I made all the corners (inside and outside) round.
To finish the benchwork I glued on hardfoam. I think this will have several advantages such as noise, easiness of placing structures a river and such and not in the least taking away unwanted bumps and cracks. I will wait putting on a fascia till scenery and trackwork have been done. The benchwork and backdrop took me about 30 hours to make.
Lift OutI built a small piece of benchwork against the short wall of room 1 , this will have to be connected to the other benchwork, I chose to build a Lift Out Bridge ,
Approach to the LiftoutI have the feeling I've really started building now. The Liftout is a fixed point so its something I can build from.The actual abutment is on the liftout, the concrete bridge over the other track and road is on the main benchwork.
The approach has a 2% grade, which is not too bad considering that to the left of the Liftout the double main track will have a diversion to the right as a single track up the mountains to a second level so helper units will be needed, giving a nice operations bonus.
Because of it getting darker earlier and wanting to be able to work on my layout in the evening I have started working on lighting the Layout. I picked up some fluorescent light fixtures that were going to be thrown away and fixed them to my ceiling. I am connecting them using wireless sockets so I can turn off/on the lighting per group without having to make a full switchboard.
Did some work on the lighting
Still had to finish the lighting and valance , this is the valance over Manhattan and where the meatpacking plant in Kansas City will come.
This is the start of the benchwork for my 2nd room of the layout.
Just a basic structural build where I will be adding girderwork to.
While I was at it I converted a bookshelf to a small shelf with shelves on both sides and wheels. You can't have to much storage space.
Almost around the walls, and then to add a peninsula.
At this door there will be a liftout for the lower deck and a duckunder for the upperdeck. When I grow old I'll be able to roll a chair through the opening.
Placed a valance in the 2nd room, I've ordered LED lighting for both levels in this room.
Looking through the what once were 2 built in closets, to the other room.
Valance , duckunder and lift out.
Benchwork for the Clay Center Yard.
Started with the LED lighting in the 2nd room, just experimenting how many strands of LED I need to have enough layout lighting and enough to take photographs without extra lighting.
Laid down 5mm multiplex on the benchwork and 2cm foam on top , glued with white glue and using plastic milk bottles filled with water to weigh it down.
On top of the foam a 4mm layer of cork, saw and especially heard what cork can do to noise.
Smaller valance , 3 rows of LED's , and up goes the lighting. It is studded for the time being , tomorrow I will hang it up on the ceiling.
Plenty of light , but I mite end up adding a colored LED strip to be able to control the warmth of the lighting, of course if I do that I will have to do that with the entire layout.
Last parts of benchwork for the upper level.
This is the liftout that connects the last part of my upper level, once I have my Helix in place in this part of the room there is no need for it to be lift out anymore, but that may be a long way off so it's much more comfortable to be able to walk in the room this way.