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The benchwork for the standard gauge section is done except for the Homasote. Next I need to order track to verify the exactly where the tracks will go. I want to slightly elevate part of one loop so I need to make sure everything lays out as planned before I cut the top board and Homasote.

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Last edited by NJCJOE

Looks great, Joe!  Variety is good, but sameness can be too.  Right away I thought of the Three Sisters Bridges crossing the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh.  I would include a photograph, but don't have one of my own.  Here is some scoop from that Hallmark of Knowledge if interested. 

The Three Sisters are three similar self-anchored suspension bridges spanning the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 6th, 7th, and 9th streets, generally running north/south. The bridges have been given formal names to honor important Pittsburgh residents:

@NJCJOE posted:

Well, I have finally started on the benchwork. Ughh....the price of lumber. I am starting with the standard gauge portion of the layout first. This part of the benchwork will be low as it will travel under the O gauge section. Doing L-girder for the first time. I got a bunch of the girders assembled last weekend. Here are a few starting photos.

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Joe,

Really love your GSS and it’s shelving distance. No wasted space. What distancing did you go with?

Joe Gozzo

@NJCJOE posted:

The benchwork for the standard gauge section is done except for the Homasote. Next I need to order track to verify the exactly where the tracks will go. I want to slightly elevate part of one loop so I need to make sure everything lays out as planned before I cut the top board and Homasote.

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That is going to be one great layout Joe.

Super basement too! I wish I had space like that. I'm at the point where I can't really fit more than 7 or so guys downstairs without us bumping into each other

5/5/22 - Not too much to update. I'm waiting on my standard gauge track order to come in. In the meantime, I was able to find the other color Hellgate bridge I wanted at York.

I started pulling out some of my tinplate accessories. Not sure why I did this since they all need to come off the layout when I start laying track. I just starting opening boxes and it felt like Christmas. Haven't seen these pieces in five years.

I may pick up my Homasote these week and get that laid down.

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Last edited by NJCJOE

"I started pulling out some of my tinplate accessories. Not sure why I did this since they all need to come off the layout when I start laying track. I just starting opening boxes and it felt like Christmas."

Joe, I'm guilty of the same thing. The other night I took out my Lionel factory, which was still brand-new in the box. My Dad bought it many years ago and this was the first time it saw the light of day. I wanted to see how it would look and make sure it was going to fit where I wanted it to go. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

5/27/22 - So I decided I did not want to drill holes through the joists for running wires. Instead I used a pair PVC pipe hangers screwed to each joist. I'm not sure there is really any advantage to this method, but we'll see.

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I also picked up my Homasote (at $40. a sheet ). I got that cut up and painted. I found a gallon of oops paint at Lowes called Milk Chocolate. Talk about perfect timing. The Homasote is now installed and I will be getting my track order shortly.

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Last edited by NJCJOE

Joe these hangers are a good idea and will work great and eliminated a lot of hole cutting cleanup. The one downside is that these place your wires closer to the floor. This may not be an issue for you, however if your like many of us, below the table becomes a storage area. I don’t remember the height of your lower standard table. It’s just something that may come into play later. Looking forward to the track.

Hi Joe:

It all looks great.  I love the cutout/channel you've created for the waterway under the Hellgate bridges. I'm interested to see your progress as it unfolds.

One question I have is this: How did you cut your homasote?  Did you take it outdoors and use a jigsaw?  Or did you use a utility knife? Homasote is wonderful material once it's fitted and in place but it can be a royal PITA to work with before then.  I'd love to hear your approach including what worked and didn't work for you.

Steven J. Serenska

@NJCJOE posted:

5/27/22 - So I decided I did not want to drill holes through the joists for running wires. Instead I used a pair PVC pipe hangers screwed to each joist. I'm not sure there is really any advantage to this method, but we'll see.

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Looks great, Joe - things are really coming along nicely. I also used the conduit holders on my layout (pretty sure I got the idea from someone hereabouts!!!). Two thoughts… I only used one screw to hold them so I didn’t have to feed all the wires through each loop, just twist it “open” and lay the wires over the holder. Also, the one issue I had is that, since the holders are on the bottom of the joists, the wires dip a good bit below the benchwork. My benchwork is 40” high, so when ducking under, my head tended to get hung up in the wires.

@NJCJOE , Wow, your layouts coming to life and looking good. Thanks for the pictures and updates. (When I cut homasote, I started with a circular saw, Wow, Dusty, then I changed to a Jig saw with a super coarse blade, took all my cutting outside, and would have worn a COVID mask if it were today. We drew the lines on the homasote, for the curve pieces,  before installing we painted the top. It deadens the sounds of vibration if you simply screw the track to the homasote.) Your going to really enjoy your new train room, a wonderful man cave. Happy Railroading Everyone

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