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Update on the timeline.....

1. I will know this week when the Mianne Benchwork will be arriving......likely by the end of the month.

2. I acquired a layout-essential supply....pigtails for wiring.

EB933B01-DDDD-4101-AD91-B1E426DE536C

I will put an update this week after I talk with Tim. I have used the time to arrange the storeroom. I have also dropped two Pilot/SUV-sized loads of trains to Cabin Fever in PA. I have worked on my inventory list.

I have taken the delay in stride.....everything that I'm doing in the layout room is probably easier done without the chaos of a layout build going on......However, the gang in Midlothian (Richmond) are getting excited to help me put the benchwork up. It was March/April of 2011 when the modular group gang helped me put together the Mianne Benchwork for my 6x16 layout.....and they are looking forward to a rematch!

Peter

Yes!  I like those GarGraves pig-tails as well.  Pricey though, aren't they?

George

OK! Here's the latest Update......everything took a pause....my son got married in Philly on the 14th and I had Rufus for a week.....Rufus has been delivered back to Philly.....and, things can start up again.....

I finished building the Mianne Benchwork frame. As I said, I have not "motorized" the Lift Gate......that will come when I have the guys over to help with the plywood decking.

Here are the final structure assembly pics....the Lift Gate went up easily......

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Have a great day!

Peter

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Last edited by Putnam Division
@jeffrey37 posted:

Looks great Peter.  I hope my benchwork comes soon.  It is supposed to be shipped out this week.

From what you said, Jeff, I am assuming that you are also going to use Mianne. Here is a tip that I realized after the fact last time......

4x8 isn't really 4x8....it's more!

For example: if you put a 4x8 Mianne configuration together, it is 4x8 from the center of the vertical supports.....there is an extra 1 and 3/4" in the north/south, east/west direction.

I am going to take advantage of this and with good quality 1/2" plywood, go about 1and 1/2" over in each direction.

Peter

9E000B97-4E94-4505-8E7B-3BCE185D2E80

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OK! Here's the latest Update......everything took a pause....my son got married in Philly on the 14th and I had Rufus for a week.....Rufus has been delivered back to Philly.....and, things can start up again.....

I finished building the Mianne Benchwork frame. As I said, I have not "motorized" the Lift Gate......that will come when I have the guys over to help with the plywood decking.

Here are the final structure assembly pics....the Lift Gate went up easily......

D1B3EEB4-8E8D-4722-97F1-6F010DDD635C6B1A8ECE-DE7D-4331-85C5-DCF7EC4F2D45DF21D41E-9752-44CA-A097-C58AAA5E50F31AA24C39-AE4E-4AD9-B36A-57C9F0782207BCFD5898-E47D-4138-ACC5-AB0EDA8864425D9D6A65-1C1A-4750-94E9-4027F09020A9D4014B45-AB73-483B-9FAB-D9599B37D4CC9C56ED4B-3343-45E2-A10D-6C29050E127CCF647A7F-F65B-4614-B089-0B7F5DB9C4493305D2CB-2575-4B14-B47C-3E5928346F36E53F31AF-EF85-4BDF-BCF1-BA6140D26062264632B1-EB2D-4A61-B2C4-2198B85122FDF08B6E2A-77B7-4FF9-BE09-FE64B309D34DD4D1D31B-27F1-4421-B4B1-56E02BF0E3E5C25AC0E5-56F3-4CC4-BB36-E75B7EE038F2

Have a great day!

Peter

Looks great Peter. I ordered mine a few weeks back. Congrats on your son's wedding.

I finished building the Mianne Benchwork frame.

6B1A8ECE-DE7D-4331-85C5-DCF7EC4F2D459C56ED4B-3343-45E2-A10D-6C29050E127C

Have a great day!

Peter

Peter,

I recommend additional lower bracing (left to right in your two photos above). Mianne doesn't suggest this but I think it makes the table more sturdy and rigid. I have included it on both my layouts. You can see what I mean in this photograph of my 10'-by-5' layout table. I prefer legs to be braced in two directions. Just a suggestion and my personal preference... You can add it later.

Edit: As far as tabletop overhang, you can see that my layout has been built with 6-inch overhang on each side. Table plywood is 1/2-inch thick. Hasn't caused any problems at all, but I don't stand on the table.

MELGAR

MELGAR_2022_0515_02_10X5

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Last edited by MELGAR
@MELGAR posted:

Peter,

I recommend additional lower bracing (left to right in these two photos). Mianne doesn't suggest this but I think it makes the table more sturdy and rigid. I have included it on both my layouts. You can see what I mean in this photograph of my 10'-by-5' layout table. Just a suggestion and my personal preference...

MELGAR

MELGAR_2022_0515_02_10X5

The wheels are a great idea too. I have them on my 6 x 20 and had to change out light bulbs last weekend and didn't have to climb on the table. The extra braces make it more sturdy if you have to move it with all the weight the layout will add. Great start either way.

@jeffrey37 posted:

Thanks Peter. I was going to order the plywood before getting the base put together. I am glad you showed me this. Now I will wait and take some good measurements.

To illustrate what I mean a little better, I took some pictures with my 48" level....

1st, on a 48" I-beam.....

3B2DB914-F088-4C64-9600-B4CF0278A53D

next, on a 36" I-beam....

BFE1AF30-D239-4E96-AAFF-290E18D7BF91

Lastly, on a 24" I-beam......

E26BB6C3-D35E-43E9-A94C-7BE0672BA876

That extra room that will be available for the  layout will be great!

Peter

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@MELGAR posted:

Peter,

I recommend additional lower bracing (left to right in your two photos above). Mianne doesn't suggest this but I think it makes the table more sturdy and rigid. I have included it on both my layouts. You can see what I mean in this photograph of my 10'-by-5' layout table. I prefer legs to be braced in two directions. Just a suggestion and my personal preference... You can add it later.

Edit: As far as tabletop overhang, you can see that my layout has been built with 6-inch overhang on each side. Table plywood is 1/2-inch thick. Hasn't caused any problems at all, but I don't stand on the table.

MELGAR

MELGAR_2022_0515_02_10X5

I see what you mean....I have a few leftover 48" I-beams and I intend on using them....thanks, Mel!

Peter

This is the latest plan, which will no doubt have to be altered a little once I see how it works when the plywood is up.....

57E2E35C-1FB7-431E-A63F-9F24D263C4F7_1_201_a

.....those are one ft squares, and, there is ~3 feet of clearance along the top and right..... with about 4-5 feet on the left and bottom.....the dormers on the left are not figured into the diagram.....

I've already adjusted the R side, because there is a 5 track 27" Ross transfer trable on order.....

Peter

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From what you said, Jeff, I am assuming that you are also going to use Mianne. Here is a tip that I realized after the fact last time......

4x8 isn't really 4x8....it's more!

For example: if you put a 4x8 Mianne configuration together, it is 4x8 from the center of the vertical supports.....there is an extra 1 and 3/4" in the north/south, east/west direction.

I am going to take advantage of this and with good quality 1/2" plywood, go about 1and 1/2" over in each direction.

Peter

9E000B97-4E94-4505-8E7B-3BCE185D2E80

Great tip Peter.  Thank you!

@Putnam Division, Peter, Wow, your making real progress, your bench work is really nice, well made, and more than likely easily assembled. Question, my reason to build with Grid construction was to have the ability to have valleys, rivers, mountains, also an easy way to have trains rise and fall as does actual earth. Are you going to have risers for grades, and if so, how will you attach them? I really like your plan and I do hope you are allowing wide radius to be able to run those beautiful articulated locomotives. Your train room is one of the best I’ve seen, Gunrunner John also has a super cool train room. Thank you very much for sharing the updates often, it’s going to be a fun to run model railroad. Your friend in Tennessee
Happy Railroading Everyone

@leapinlarry posted:

@Putnam Division, Peter, Wow, your making real progress, your bench work is really nice, well made, and more than likely easily assembled. Question, my reason to build with Grid construction was to have the ability to have valleys, rivers, mountains, also an easy way to have trains rise and fall as does actual earth. Are you going to have risers for grades, and if so, how will you attach them? I really like your plan and I do hope you are allowing wide radius to be able to run those beautiful articulated locomotives. Your train room is one of the best I’ve seen, Gunrunner John also has a super cool train room. Thank you very much for sharing the updates often, it’s going to be a fun to run model railroad. Your friend in Tennessee
Happy Railroading Everyone

Larry......my plan is all on one level.......I am incapable of thinking in 3 dimensions.

Also, I am strictly an urban modeler.....no valleys, hills, etc. I hope to achieve changing elevations by varying the heights of buildings......and, I might enclose a corner or two in a tunnel with buildings/a city scene on top.

The Benchwork is customizable insofar that if you plan a river, canal or valley,  Tim of Mianne, can selectively adjust the height of the I-beams to creat them.

So, to answer your questions, I am likely not a great source of information. I guess, if I was going to have grades, I figure that I would use the Woodland Scenic risers. Unfortunately, woodworking and carpentry is not a skill I possess.

Peter

Peter, looking at you open house post on Weekend Photo Fun it occurred to me that you are experienced with both, module construction and Mianne Benchwork.  It seems to me that Mianne Benchwork would lend itself nicely to modular layouts.  From what Mianne users post it is top quality and easy to assemble and re-configure or add on to.  Not being a modular club member I don't see any negatives.  Having experience with both I was wondering what you think about that.

@coach joe posted:

Peter, looking at you open house post on Weekend Photo Fun it occurred to me that you are experienced with both, module construction and Mianne Benchwork.  It seems to me that Mianne Benchwork would lend itself nicely to modular layouts.  From what Mianne users post it is top quality and easy to assemble and re-configure or add on to.  Not being a modular club member I don't see any negatives.  Having experience with both I was wondering what you think about that.

Joe.....same answer as above:

I am neither a skilled nor insightful carpenter nor a woodworker......and, I lack the ability of thinking/visualizing things in 3 dimensions.

Peter

@coach joe posted:

It seems to me that Mianne Benchwork would lend itself nicely to modular layouts.  From what Mianne users post it is top quality and easy to assemble and re-configure or add on to.  Not being a modular club member I don't see any negatives.  Having experience with both I was wondering what you think about that.

Actually, I don't see Mianne benchwork as being all that appropriate for a modular club, and I am such a member, and I used Mianne for my layout.  For transport, you have to take the legs off the module, or at least build in the ability to fold them.  Also, Mianne is fine for a fixed layout, but the lateral strength is not nearly up to the of constant assembly/disassembly.  If you apply a side force to a Mianne Leg, it will likely split the I-beam end it's attached to.

......my plan is all on one level.....

Also, I am strictly an urban modeler.....no valleys, hills, etc. I hope to achieve changing elevations by varying the heights of buildings......and, I might enclose a corner or two in a tunnel with buildings/a city scene on top.

Peter

Peter,

Please try to include some terrain height variation on your layout. You can still keep the tracks level for ease of assembly and constant speed operation. Many layouts are perfectly flat and, to me, look unrealistic. Even if you don't include hills and valleys, you can easily vary terrain height above the plywood with layers of 1-inch-thick extruded pink foam that is lightweight, and easy to cut and shape. In the real world, there is terrain both above and below the level of the railroad tracks. It is much more work to create valleys (below track level) but not difficult to include terrain above track level. You can get away with flat terrain in an urban area with street scenes. Take your time and enjoy the construction process.

MELGAR

Last edited by MELGAR

Coach Joe,

I'm with Peter and GRJ as far as the Mianne frame is intended to remain in situ. However, on my smaller 4x8 layout that I moved to the basement, I asked Tim at Mianne to provide caster nuts with 3/4" deep threads to use casters instead of the leveling feet. The idea here is to be able to move the layout to accomodate activity in the  area. To strengthen the framework I ordered four more 2' I-beams and six more 4' I-beams to tie together the legs on the bottom. This worked well, and I plan to put a sheet of 3/8 plywood over that level to store the trains. In the pic below, the center lower truss is left out temporarily to add some wiring under the layout. This kit is the same one Tim assembles in his video on the website, I just modified it to my liking.

As to my 8x16 layout in the making upstairs, no cross-bracing is desired, because I need the storage space underneath for tubs, and it won't be moved after the final construction is complete (famous last words).

20220409_124303

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Last edited by 452 Card

Peter,

When you install the Gargraves pigtails, how far apart will you place them? Thanks to your post, I now know of their existence. No need to scuff up the rails and no soldering. That is the best way to go. And yes, they are a bit pricey, but like the Mianne solution they are worth it. I'm planning on using terminal blocks and wire nuts. Hey, if my whole house is wired that way, why not the layout?

@452 Card posted:

Peter,

When you install the Gargraves pigtails, how far apart will you place them? Thanks to your post, I now know of their existence. No need to scuff up the rails and no soldering. That is the best way to go. And yes, they are a bit pricey, but like the Mianne solution they are worth it. I'm planning on using terminal blocks and wire nuts. Hey, if my whole house is wired that way, why not the layout?

My gut tells me about every 5-6 track connections with more in an area where there are many turnouts.....

In reality, using a voltmeter and using as many as I need to ensure adequate power. What I said above will likely come close.....

I would welcome the comments of those more electronically astute....

Peter

Hi Peter, I am too much of a DYIer, but  I think you made the right call to get help with the plywood.   You are now officially a "house manager" with the motto of "I love work, I could watch it for hours"...

Plywood is one of mankind's greatest inventions,  and when matched with toy train track, it is truly a match made in heaven.   

 

@Bill Webb posted:

Peter you are making great progress. We are impressed with the quality of the benchwork and your organization. The train room is beautiful.

I probably missed it but do you plan to use something like homasote to deaden the sound?

Rossbed.......no screws (maybe one or two in certain areas) through to the plywood.......the glued scenery elements will hold it in place.

Peter

2nd.......a Ross track layout entails accurate track cutting......I was praticing on some Gargraves that I have......I had this cheap Harbor Freight chop saw ($30, ten years ago)......it was hard to sight where to cut......so much so that my nose was getting awful close to the cutting wheel to be able to see.

I was walking through Home Depot and saw this on sale for $68. I figure that it is less than an ER copay and has great visibility to sight the cutting line.....

605CE72F-944F-4035-8199-EBCA97821AC8A8DF90EF-82C8-4AA8-BB2A-30A89776114F271E6605-5D10-47E5-80DC-40A8B447E9E3

Lastly, I have gotten a notice that the 27", five track Transfer Table from Ross, arrives this week. There is lots of excitement here!

That's why I started my next building project: the Yard Office that houses the key pad......by TW TrainWorx.....

FA6D3992-5D2D-4868-BFCD-F781F684CDAE

Peter

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Last edited by Putnam Division

Try to find a vacuum connection point with on your power tools or have some one follow the blade, sander or router as it cuts through the plywood.  The saw dust can take over real fast before you know it.

Maybe drape some painters plastic over your many racks of trains.

Some tools have optional clip on vacuum attachment ports.

East wall knee studs 001Vacuum attached belt sander

I run a Delta dust collector mounted on a furniture dolly near my cutting area.

* "Vacume" is a colloquial rendition. 

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Last edited by Tom Tee

Peter I have a question - May have been answered a while ago in the initial construction phase but - what exactly are you using for general room lighting ? How many lights etc. and what is the overall size of your train room ?

We recently made settlement and are in the process of moving into our new home in Charleston SC - I have a 20 x 21 foot room  that’s going to be the train room

I am planning on building a layout and displaying trains on the walls similar to what you’re doing  / I was thinking of installing 12 flush mount 6” LED ceiling lights (3000k) - 3 rows of 4 lights - this seems to be the go to amount from most lighting manufacturers - not sure if that’s enough or overkill ???

Just wanted to get your thoughts

Thank you

Joe S

@dorfj2 posted:

Peter I have a question - May have been answered a while ago in the initial construction phase but - what exactly are you using for general room lighting ? How many lights etc. and what is the overall size of your train room ?

We recently made settlement and are in the process of moving into our new home in Charleston SC - I have a 20 x 21 foot room  that’s going to be the train room

I am planning on building a layout and displaying trains on the walls similar to what you’re doing  / I was thinking of installing 12 flush mount 6” LED ceiling lights (3000k) - 3 rows of 4 lights - this seems to be the go to amount from most lighting manufacturers - not sure if that’s enough or overkill ???

Just wanted to get your thoughts

Thank you

Joe S

Hard to describe…….I’ll take a picture over the next day or so and post it. I have dimmers.

Peter

Joe S,

Here is what I have in the train/guest room. My son-in-law is an electrician and this is what he installed. Recessed Halo dimmable LEDS wired to be controlled separately or together, meaning one side or both. Material obtained at Home Depot in a six-pack. They are spaced six feet apart from each other. The center "pillow" LED was the only light there originally. The room size is 18 x22' on a second floor.

Lighting

Here is the control. HD didn't have a dimmable LED control, but I found it on Amazon. $67.

The slider is for the pillow light. Sorry for the crappy pic.

Lt. Control

There will be a backdrop around the two walls adjacent to the layout, so no trains on display on the walls.

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Last edited by 452 Card
@dorfj2 posted:

Peter I have a question - May have been answered a while ago in the initial construction phase but - what exactly are you using for general room lighting ? How many lights etc. and what is the overall size of your train room ?

We recently made settlement and are in the process of moving into our new home in Charleston SC - I have a 20 x 21 foot room  that’s going to be the train room

I am planning on building a layout and displaying trains on the walls similar to what you’re doing  / I was thinking of installing 12 flush mount 6” LED ceiling lights (3000k) - 3 rows of 4 lights - this seems to be the go to amount from most lighting manufacturers - not sure if that’s enough or overkill ???

Just wanted to get your thoughts

Thank you

Joe S

Lights on the stairwell……then the main room and then dimmed…..

Peter

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@452 Card posted:

Joe S,

Here is what I have in the train/guest room. My son-in-law is an electrician and this is what he installed. Recessed Halo dimmable LEDS wired to be controlled separately or together, meaning one side or both. Material obtained at Home Depot in a six-pack. They are spaced six feet apart from each other. The center "pillow" LED was the only light there originally. The room size is 18 x22' on a second floor.

When I moved in, I had a similar setup, but I found the lighting wasn't sufficient with normal bulbs. 

I was actually looking at adding drops, but that's such a PITA that I did some more exploring.  After several aborted attempts at replacing the bulbs, I came across these, that solve the problem.  Talk about light!  These suckers really light up the room!

Sunco Lighting 2800 Lumens Outdoor Led Flood Light Waterproof PAR38 LED Bulb, Dimmable, 20W=250W, 3000K Warm White

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Thanks Mark!

Joe, I'm limited by the vaulted ceiling as to how many lights we could install, but the six I have plus the pillow seem to be just right. When they were installed, they were set at the lowest setting in the range. If necessary, they can be turned up brighter. (but not the pillow)

Now back to our regularly scheduled Putnam Division thread......

Ross Transfer Table arrived today……..I’m very excited, and, things should get rolling, soon!

1D2E4B07-6641-4B6B-B3BE-A4EC9B80054A2CC0D163-3169-4519-9FEE-5541FB949322

FE72A237-8E52-48DB-9A21-15B50290990FPeter

Now that is something of beauty. I have always been pleased with how well Ross products are packed. I know the first time I got a bunch of track in, I got nuts about the peanuts, but it was better that it was packed the way it was, than with minimal packing material. I used to work in shipping, so I know what flies, and what doesn't move hardly at all. I can't wait to see your article(should you write one as Don suggested) as well as it being popped on the layout when things start coming together sooner than later.

Now that is something of beauty. I have always been pleased with how well Ross products are packed. I know the first time I got a bunch of track in, I got nuts about the peanuts, but it was better that it was packed the way it was, than with minimal packing material. I used to work in shipping, so I know what flies, and what doesn't move hardly at all. I can't wait to see your article(should you write one as Don suggested) as well as it being popped on the layout when things start coming together sooner than later.

The packing is AMAZING!

Peter

@Putnam Division, Peter, Wow, I’m so happy to see you working on your layout, (You have a great crew) in your beautiful train room, or man cave. I know your excited to see your new table work, plywood topping, and soon, trains will be running. It will be a room of so much fun, thanks for keeping us updated. @NYCJOE, #Gunrunner John each have beautiful layouts in the making, and now, you are bringing your amazing ideas to this fun to review forum. All I can say is Wow!!! Model railroading is a fantastic hobby, you All make it fun. Happy Railroading Everyone

@452 Card posted:

Peter,

How are you attaching the plywood to the benchwork? Are you using the material from Mianne, or something else? Very curious about this because I'm stalled right now for that reason.

We tossed the hardware from Mianne and used a brad nailer to securely attach the top.  If you just attached it by the corners, it's free to vibrate on the I-beams as you run and create excessive noise.

We tossed the hardware from Mianne and used a brad nailer to securely attach the top.  If you just attached it by the corners, it's free to vibrate on the I-beams as you run and create excessive noise.

Hi John, you are correct about the plywood vibrating on the I-beams. Tim from Mianne sells a special I-beam clip that works great. I’ve purchased quite a few for my latest rebuild.

GeneAF65C86A-35B7-4CA2-BFB1-B1C4F0B66FF1

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@452 Card posted:

Peter,

How are you attaching the plywood to the benchwork? Are you using the material from Mianne, or something else? Very curious about this because I'm stalled right now for that reason.

A little bit of everything......the Mianne corner brackets; screwing direct to the I-beams; small 90 degree L brackets to the I beams; and, small lengths of 1x3s and 1x4s to join the pieces of plywood together then they are juxapposed "in air".

You can see one of the many 1x3s in the picture below....

958EEB19-3206-449E-B8D1-5162C06154E9

Peter

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Last edited by Putnam Division
@452 Card posted:

Hello Gene,

What distance apart did you arrange the clips? Say, on a 4 ft. I-beam, or a 3 ft. I have an AR 8 x 16 with both 3s and 4s. The 2 footers I think should not count, at least for each one of them. Curious to know. This could become expensive!

Thnx

I forgot to mention, my layout was originally a 4x16 and I added the 2’ to the length. So there’s a short 2’ I-Beam on one whole side which obviously didn’t need any clips.

Gene01448C30-40E6-42A2-B633-D03B81A8A845

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Not a lot done this week. We will finish the plywood and hopefully get the lift bridge motorized by the end of next week.

I have bought a gallon of brown paint the cover plywood. I put out some track to see if it agrees with the spot for the transfer table (it does!).

Lastly, I put the switches and special track pieces inside their roadbed.

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Moving forward..........slowly......but, moving forward!

Peter

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With the help of my good modular group friends......things are starting to roll!

1st, I needed another 3 ft I-beam for my transformer shelf. I had these extra cantilever beams which I no longer needed......I adapted two of them to become a new I-beam.

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Last Friday, Tom (Gilly@N&W) came over and we finished the plywood decking. The Lift Gate motor was hung (but is not connected-a project for a future session).

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This week, I will be sanding the edges; filling the gaps with plastic wood; more sanding; and then, painting the plywood with an earth brown color.

Peter

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Things are starting to roll.

I taped (from below) all the seams so that paint won't bleed through. Large gaps got plastic wood......they'll need to dry before I can sand them (I need to be patient!).

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