Monday, July 19, 2010

My Workbench

Here is where I have been spending a bunch of my free time lately. This has cut into my time trackside and the post frequency at You can blame Ian for this, I do.

Some of you must be wondering "what in blazes is all that stuff anyway?" There sure is a pile of what Mrs. L4T is quick to call junk here. If you want to take a really close look at this disaster, the high resolution image is here.

Starting at the left, underneath the bench is the radio, computer, and UPS used for capturing the ATCS feed from Wadena and Dower Lake. The antenna is on the back of the house. Above that is one of my old surplus computers that is used to listen to streaming music, radio, or surf the internet when I have a question in the train room. Tucked away in there somewhere is a wireless router that my son configured to talk to the main wireless access point upstairs.

My model layout passes just above monitor height, and I posed a short freight for the photo. When I am downstairs working on something I usually have a train circling the room and can look up and watch it pass this point every few minutes.

There is a bunch of material and supplies hung underneath the layout. Things like various sized screws, extra tubes of superglue, and styrene and wire are hung wherever I can find a spot.

The bench itself is a mess of tools, parts for HO railcars, parts of HO railcars, paint, glues, glue guns, clamps, scales, brushes, weathering supplies, isopropyl alcohol (91%, of course!), wire nuts, suitcase connectors, solvaset, screws, nails, knives, toggle switches, tin snips, drill bits, and a hundred other little things that the model railroader needs to try and make progress.

Above the bench I've tacked up some railroad photos, including a promotional poster from GE that came in a magazine once, and a print from a collection of black and white photos my Grandpa took while he was snowplowing many years ago for the M & St. L. I see I also have a print from my first real railfan outing, back when I still lived in Ranier and had the chance to visit Iron Junction one morning. I was lucky enough to catch Minntac loads behind a tunnel motor and a pair of M's.

My most recent no-sale items from an ebay auction are perched atop the computer. At the extreme right edge of the photo is the hinged end of the bridge I built to cross the doorway into the room, with a switch now installed to kill the power on each side of the canyon when the bridge is down.

It's all topped off by a wrinkled copy of "Model Railroad Planning 1996" that I drug around in my truck for a couple of years and spent a few Saturday mornings reading as I waited for trains to show up in Staples.

That's my workbench. It's a great place to unwind and get away from the stress of the world. Hope you enjoyed this tour.

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