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I have spent most of the last week assembling new benchwork.  I've been threatening to put up a 'real' train layout (rather than running things around on the floor on and off again) for years.  At this point I think I've made enough progress that I'm committed to the project.

Hi-Ho,

Sam in Oregon

ps: In the last photo of the assembled benchwork, you can spy the Howard Fogg painting (RS-3 #s 2119 and 2117 painted in 1951) that I inherited from my father - who worked in the offices of Southern Railway for fifteen years, late 1940s to early 1960s.

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Hi Artie,

Negative - this is SIEVERS benchwork:

About | Sievers Benchwork

I tried, unsuccessfully over the course of several weeks, to make contact with the people at Mianne (for whom I know there is substantial positive support among many of the members here).  I'm sure their (Mianne's) stuff is great, but I never heard back from them.  I sent an email to Sievers instead and received a reply within the hour.  It was a fun process to fit their modules to my trackplan.  They helped in the design process; after going back and forth a couple of times we settled on a final plan.  I sent them some money and they sent me a bunch of boxes.

I suffer (?) from a bit of obsessive/compulsive behavior and I know myself well enough to know that it would have taken me a year simply to look at EVERY board available and try to select the best stuff - not to mention all of the cutting, drilling, etc..  The wood Sievers sent is beautiful - clear, straight and smooth; pre-drilled and sent with all of the hardware necessary for assembly.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with your expansion project, whichever way you go.

Peace,

Sam

I used the Mianne benchwork, but the Sievers product looks nice as well.  Mine ended up not looking much like the Mianne after we got through with it, but it's under there.

One thing I liked about Mianne is they actually took my suggested design and did a CAD layout with exact dimensions and an inventory of everything I'd need.  I actually had a bunch of their benchwork that I bought from someone, and they also used those pieces in the plan and saved me a ton of money.  However, I think Tim is very busy, so his response time is fairly slow at times.

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About being busy ...

That's proof of success in business, which is a much better situation than being "un-busy" because of lack of orders due to low confidence in the product, systemic quality issues, underlying financial problems, poor customer relations, and so forth.

Let's celebrate Mianne's success, which may be a signal to Tim to "hire more helpers!"

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394

In my initial post above I see that I commented about spending, "...most of the last week assembling new benchwork."  To clarify, the actual assembly required just a couple of days.  I was only able to devote part-time effort, and lost (?) one whole day of work on account of how it was my wife's birthday and she wanted to do something other than watch me put a puzzle together.

I'm happy to join everyone in celebrating Tim's/Mianne's success.  I also rejoice that Sievers is still in the business, was very responsive to my inquiry, and was able to provide a quality product in short order.

Peace,

Sam

ps: gunrunnerjohn: I've been following your effort and progress here in the forums; it has been one of the sources of inspiration from which I draw (and one of the reasons I tried to contact Mianne first).

@c.sam posted:

Hey Sam, you could have tied a few gas balloons to the benchwork and brought a cake to the room so your wife would have felt good about your thinking of her while she helped assemble the benchwork!

That's what I call clear thinking.  I'll try to remember to incorporate such strategy next year, for whichever phase I'm into at that point.  There is plenty of space in that room for two people to work.

C. Samuel (named for my grandfather; he was 'Charles' and I am 'Sam')

I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one getting the brush off from Mianne. I keep calling Tim and emailing trying to place an order and get no where. I’ll check out Sievers, waiting for three months is ridiculous.

Your benchwork looks great and I’m looking forward to seeing how your layout progresses, thanks for sharing!

Several emails to Mianne went unanswered, and I called. After chatting with Tim, I faxed an order form in. I assume I'm in the pipeline, but I really have no idea. Tim told me he was 4-6 weeks out. I'll check back in with him then. I'm willing to prod him a bit, but there will come a point when I will stop chasing it all down. It's nice to know there is an alternative--although I have to say--the Mianne benchwork I've seen here is gorgeous, and for a 4 x8 table the fact that it can roll and lock, that I can roll a transformer cart out from under and roll it in, and that it looks pretty, is a huge plus.

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