October 17, 2019

New Work Benches

Wood working shop in the garage is nearly done

The last phase of the flood recovery was to rebuild and reorganize my model building workbench.  I now finished that project and I am very pleased with it.

I had earlier posted pictures of how I reconfigured my wood working shop upstairs in the garage.  Since that post, the final set of Festool Sys-Az drawers for the miter station arrived and I was able to install them. Yes, Marty, there is more for tool growth. These Festools have a way to multiply.

By re-organizing my wood shop I was able to move some tools from the basement to the garage. In particular, the spin caster, vulcanizer, and metal melting pot are now in the garage.  That freed up some space in the basement shop.  I am not completely done with my wood shop as I plan to add a better router table and dedicated table for the spin caster.

Terry working in the old model building shop.
The model building work bench is located in the narrow space near Clozet Tunnel and Aquia Landing on the layout. This photo of Terry Terrance working on a locomotive shows how cramped the space was.  It was tough for layout operators to work there too.

The revised model workbench plan  had two objectives. Make the aisle space wider, and rationalize my storage to better utilize the space I had.

I started by getting rid of the existing workbench, which was a hollow core door on two metal filing cabinets.  The filing cabinets were not good for model building supplies as they had a few, deep drawers.  While I was getting rid of stuff, I took down the wire shelves above the workbench that held numerous boxes of supplies. I did not replace these. I felt they added to the visual clutter of the space. I sorted through the supplies ruthlessly and got rid of stuff I really didn't need. The rest of the supplies were placed in plastic tubs and stored elsewhere or got consolidated into the new work bench.

Alicia asks, "Can you keep it this neat?" Probably not. 
The new workbench is a wooden pine table top that is made with edge joined pine boards. I added an oak 1x2 face frame. The harder oak will help protect the edge of the pine from dings and dents.  I used my router to counter sink a 12x24 inch porcelain tile into the pine top. This is the primary gluing and painting surface. When glue or paint drops fall on it, the surface can be easily cleaned with a razor blade. This is working wonderfully. If the tile cracks or gets too scratched, I can easily lift it out and replace it.

Speaking of tiles, the new tile floor is proving very durable and stain resistant. I think it was a good choice for this basement.

The work bench top rests on two Ikea ALEX style drawers on casters. These 12 drawers are wide, deep and not too tall. They are perfect for sheets of styrene and for access to tools.  I was able to store most of my model building tools and lots of supplies with room to spare.

I previously used the peg board behind the workbench to hold detail parts. I decided that was not a good use of the pegboard. So I sorted the detail parts into plastic tubs. Then I added tools that I frequently use to the hooks. This is very handy.

The LED bar light on the wall creates some back light on the workbench. So I added an inexpensive desk light with a 1600 lumen 5000 degree K light. That provides plenty of direct task light. Note that I have converted all the lights in the basement to 5000K except for some lights in the area near Brooke and and Stonemans in the front room.

The lathe station
Next to the new workbench, I built a small rolling platform with plywood and locking casters. On this platform, I placed a metal tool cabinet made by Craftsman, that was a gift from my wife a few years back. My Sherline lathe sits on top of this tool chest. The drawers below it have all the necessary tools for working on the lathe.

The bottom drawer of this tool chest houses my airbrushes and supplies.  The spray booth is under the bench work on the opposite side of the lathe, so I can access it if needed while spraying.

Spray booth tucked under the wye at Aquia Landing
The Itawa air compressor is under the spray booth. It is a Iwata-Medea Studio Series Smart Jet Pro. It is quiet and perfect for airbrushing models. I have my airbrushes on hoses with quick release fittings. That way it is easy to change airbrushes. I tend to use the Grex Tritium with a 0.7mm nozzle for big models and the Iwata Eclipse HS for smaller stuff. I also have an Iwata Neo  that I use as an emergency backup. Yes, one time all my other airbrushes were out of service and awaiting spare parts. So I bought an Iwata Neo at the local craft store with a 50% oof coupon. It works pretty well for a $60 airbrush.

The spray booth is a Pace  Industries Peacekeeper 24 inch. It vents to the outside through a fairly long 4 inch pipe. The Pace spray booth uses regular HVAC filters that are cheap and easy to replace.  I added a kitchen style turntable to the booth to spin models while  spray painting.  That works pretty well.

Finally, I added a small fan at the end of the space. Since this area is a dead end, ventilation can be poor. The fan helps disperse fumes where they can exit from the basement.

Future plans for the workbench area include two display cabinets on the walls to house my collection of Porsche car cars and military miniatures.  So now Chris, you may take your picture!

October 14, 2019

Liberty Bell Special 2019

This weekend I attended the Liberty Bell Special, the 2019 annual convention of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the NMRA. The convention was held in King of Prussia, PA, near Valley Forge. I drove up on Friday. After registering for the convention and submitting 4 models to be judged for NMRA Achievement Program purposes, I took a short ride to visit Valley Forge National Historic Park.

Replicas depict a few of the 1,000 log huts built at Valley Forge

This home served as General Washington's HQ during the encampment 

Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army. With 3,500-acres of monuments, meadows, and woodlands the park is much bigger and hilly than I expected. I had a chance to tour some of the replica huts that the soldiers spent the winter.  I also had a chance to visit the stone home that was Washington's headquarters for several months.

Back at the convention, I attended some clinics and visited some layouts.  I also presented a talk on the USMRR Aquia Line, which seemed to be well received.

The interior of Washington's HQ is set up as it might have looked in the
winter of 1777-1778
Ted McLean stands near Sand Patch on his layout
 Ted McLean's N scale layout was very impressive. He models the B&O and WM lines up the Sandpatch Grade in the early 1990s. The scenery, structures and overall look of the layout is spot on. It is beautiful layout.

My models did well in the contests. All four models received AP Merit Awards. The judges awarded me three first place plaques for  Passenger Car,  Freight Car and Non-Revenue Car. They picked my model of  the Lee-Brooke gun as the best in show. 

With this recent spate of travel over, I hope to finally get some work done on my layout.

The judges selected my models for these awards..

October 6, 2019

Great Lakes Getaway 2019

Downhill ore train on Doug Tagsold's Colorado and Southern Railroad

I just returned from a fantastic long weekend of operating railroads at Great Lakes Getaway 2019.  I left Alexandria on Tuesday and picked up Steve King in Fayetteville, PA on the way.  I got to see Steve's new double deck N scale layout. I also dropped off a coal dock model that I had built for Steve.  This model was one of the N scale Handley coal docks I offered for sale over 10 years ago. Steve bought one and asked me to build it for him several years ago. I finally had a chance to deliver it to him! Some things can't be rushed.

We arrived in Dundee, Michigan in time on Tuesday night to have dinner with several other model railroaders in town for the Great Lakes Getaway.

On Wednesday, a group of us operated on Doug Tagsold's new Colorado and Southern narrow gauge railroad. To model this narrow railroad in an economical way, Doug used HO equipment modified to 1/72nd scale. This created a narrow gauge railroad that runs great, looks great, has long runs and was relatively inexpensive to build as he was able to reuse much of his existing HO scale track and structures. The railroad uses Time Table and Train Order with waybills and switchlists. Because the trains are short, the switching is fun and manageable.  But, oh those long runs between towns. I can't recall another railroad that I have operated that has such long runs between towns. It adds so much realism to the TT&TO operations.

Several Alkem Scale Models kits on display at
Mike Burgett's layout
The next day we operated on Mike Burgett's C&O Alleghany and James River Subdivision railroads. Mike's double decked layout is in my opinion one of the top 3 model railroads in the United States. If you want to run on a railroad that is as close to prototype as it can be, then this is the railroad for you. In addition to the exquisite railroad, Mike also has a full CTC machine with authentic equipment in its own room upstairs. And the icing on the cake, is that in his detached garage is a fully functional replica of the N&W tower at Lynchberg. The tower is staffed by an operator during op sessions. That operator watches the layout through the windows of the tower video closed circuit TV.  The layout is a museum as well as a model railroad.

John demonstrates his automated staging yard
After Mike's sessions, we stopped by John DePauw's EJ&E double deck layout. We didn't operate it, but we did admire his dense, heavy industrial focused layout. I had a chance to operate that railroad many years ago. It was nice to see it and John again.

Bruce Carpenter's new layout 
On Friday, a van load of us rode to Wapakoneta, OH (home of astronaut Neil Armstrong) to operate on Bruce Carpenter's 2-year old Milwaukee Road layout. I had visited Bruce's first layout, the BNSF Chillicote Sub, about 12 years ago. After 25 years with that railroad, Bruce decided to build a whole new double deck railroad depicting the Milwaukee Road in Idaho and Montana. The railroad is signaled with APB, and uses TT&TO. The layout design focuses on long trains (30-35 cars) and slow operations. He is trying to replicate operations as close to the prototype as possible. For example, trains must simulate setting retainers at the top of a grade by taking one minute per car. So a 30 car train would take 15 real minutes with the 2-1 fast clock he uses. The mainline is long, about 700 feet. But most jobs run from staging to the crew change in the middle of the layout.  It's an interesting concept. It will be interesting to see if the simple, yet highly prototypical operations remain interesting to Bruce and his operators.

On Saturday we headed to Saline Michigan to operate on the Wabash Operations Road Show layout. From their website,
"The Operations Road Show is an ongoing project to build and operate a large portable HO scale layout to demonstrate and teach prototypical timetable and train order operation in a friendly, low-pressure environment. We have taken it to the NMRA National Conventions in Toronto in 2003, Cincinnati in 2005, Hartford in 2009, Grand Rapids in 2012, Cleveland in 2014, Indianapolis in 2016, Kansas City in 2019, and brought out guests to the layout from the Great Lakes Express convention in Detroit in 2007. The 2019 trip to the NMRA National Convention in Kansas City was the last road trip we have planned for the layout, though we continue to hold sessions at our home base, near Ann Arbor, Michigan."
Steve and I teamed up to run two trains. A quick Monon interchange job, and a long way freight. The railroad is TT&TO based, but also has a complex blocking system for freight switching. I suspect it would take several op sessions to really get the hang of it.

Later that afternoon, we went back to Doug's Colorado and Southern for another session. This time I ran an ore extra. After making a serious error in reading the timetable, I decided to play it safe. On my return trip to the mines, I occupied a short siding on the up hill climb as I had three trains meeting me. After one double saw-by, and two single saw by's I was on my way back to the mine. What a hoot!

After seeing three double deck railroads with clean, uncluttered presentations, I am thinking about ways I could add a partial double deck to my railroad. The long runs on Doug's layout really demonstrate how they enhance realism.  My layout design thinking cap is on.
I like the clean uncluttered look of Doug's double deck construction. Travers Stravac approves too.

On Doug's layout, operators sit on rolling chairs to work the lower level, which is very effective.
Mike's layout also has a neat, uncluttered professional look to its construction

September 26, 2019

The War Room

In August,  my niece, who acted as an interior decorator to help us with the basement renovations, coined the term, "war room" when discussing the front room of my layout that houses the Aquia Line from Brooke to Falmouth. I thought the name was cool. However, I decided that moniker applied better to the crew lounge when it is set up for war gaming.

Model railroad tables repurposed as a wargame table
This afternoon I set-up the first miniature war game in the new War Room.   The table is 5 by 7 feet overall. Ironically, the game table started as two 5 by 2.5 feet model railroad tables that I built for John Drye. He decided that he didn't have time to finish the project he intended for those tables. So, he traded those tables back to me for the benchwork of a  small layout I had built nearly 25 years ago.

I added a set of folding legs to the blank tables. These are lower in height than normal for a model railroad, but just fine for gaming.

Alicia helped cut pieces of felt for dirt roads. The main paved road
is pieces of masonite I cut on my track saw with sloped shoulders
Next, I made an additional 5 by 2 feet section that fits between the two 5 by 2.5 feet tables creating a 5x7 overall size. That section clamps to the other two tables. The whole arrangement is reasonably sturdy. It can be disassembled and stored when not in use.

The crew lounge is large enough to house the 5x7 table with plenty of room for the planned expansion of the Aquia Line.  Even Alicia likes it. She came down and helped me build the terrain board. It is very rare for her to come down to the basement. I think she is lobbying to keep the crew lounge /war room open.

War gaming scenery is a bit different than model railroad scenery. It has to be robust and reconfigurable. So it tends to be less detailed, and more stylized. But a lot of the same principles apply.

The figure below describes the scenario we will play. This is part of our commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Western Europe. Each month we have been playing a scenario that is appropriate for that month in 1944.
We have already done scenarios from D-Day, Fighting in the Bocage, and the Battle of Arracourt. This is from operation Market Garden, the Bridge too far campaign.

The first scenario we will play in the new "war Room" involves the Battle of Koevering,
on 23-25 September 1944. It was part of the Market Garden campaign. 

September 22, 2019

MARPM 2019 A Great Success

Scene on Andy Dodge's layout during an open house

MARPM 2019 weekend ended today with layout open houses and op sessions. www.MARPM.org

Ramon Rhodes demonstrates Monroe Weathering Solutions
Open house visitors at my layout
Bill Hanley leads a class on freight car construction 
MARPM2019 was a remarkable success. Thanks to all that participated and helped make it a great event. We plan to continue this meet next year, so please mark your calendars.

Butch Eyler tutors Norm Wolf on weathering freight cars
Here are some photos from the meet and open houses.
More visitors to my layout

Andy Dodge showing off his new paddle wheel steamer for his next layout

September 10, 2019

The Eagle(s) Has Landed

One of the benefits of the flood this summer was that I did a serious purge of excess hobby stuff that I have accumulated over the past 20 years.

A large bald eagle keeps a lookout at Aquia Landing
In the process of purging and sorting stuff, I found two O scale bald eagle figures that I had purchased. One had with its wings spread and one with wings at rest.

The flag pole at Aquia Landing seemed like the perfect place for the resting eagle to perch.  The other eagle needed a more substantial base, so I placed him on the roof at the warehouse at Brooke. I thought about trying to suspend this eagle with wires but didn't think it looked good.

Bald Eagles were once plentiful in the Chesapeake Bay area. They were nearly killed off by DDT and other human interference. Fortunately, with conservation intervention, they are making a comeback in the bay area.

A few years ago a pair of bald eagles built a nest at the National Arboretum. The National Park Service established a live "eagle-cam" to monitor the birds.  My wife was very interested in watching them developed. Alas, some animal lovers were shocked to see the eagles bring squirrels and cats to the nest to feed their young.  They are apex predators.

Post script: A week after this post I was playing golf in Utah on the Wasatch Mountain State Park Mountain Course. I was able to score an eagle on the 9th hole, a relatively short, but all up-hill par 5.  That is only the second golf eagle of my meager golf career.

August 30, 2019

But First Syndrome - 1,000th Post!

1. Work-in-progress on my new Festool based work bench

As the continuing saga of the flood recovery unfolds, I am in the garage making a new work bench to house my miter saw and festool collection. How did that happen? Surely, working in the garage isn't on the basement's critical path.

Turns out it is. See, I want to get my home office set up and running. I have the computer and my desk set up. Good, I have a lot of computer related work to do.

But first,  I need to get  the display shelves built so I can get my models put away in a reasonable fashion. So I need to work in my wood shop.

But first, I need to sort out the stuff that we brought up from the basement and placed in the garage. Now that I cleaned out the garage, I can start working on the display shelves.

But first, I need to get the workbench set up in the garage. Ok, I'm starting to clear off the Multi Function Table (MFT). I am ready to cut.

But first, I need a plan. Ok, let draw a design.

But first I have to get the casters to find out the dimensions.

Ok, got the plans drawn. Now to get some wood, and so on....

2. An example of the dogs in action
After three days of garage work, I have the work bench set up. Next I need to put on a couple coats of shellac on the cabinet base and install the drawers.  Then I can access each tool without having to unstack them each time.  I am using the Pre-built Festool SYS-AZ drawers. They are perfect for Festool systainer boxes. They don't cost much more than a set of drawer slides and a piece of good plywood.

I used baltic birch plywood (over $100 for a 4x8 sheet!)  and 3/4inch red oak trim. I plan to finish the wood with a clear shellac as I like the look of the wood as is, though I wouldn't mind having the oak a bit darker. But I don't want to use any stain.

The whole cabinet is mounted on locking casters. That is really handy for cutting long pieces that might not fit in the garage and for cleaning up. The miter stand and the MFT are the same height. If I need to cut long pieces, I can use a support clamped to the MFT to make a temporary miter stand.  There is no space in my garage for a dedicated miter stand, so that is my work around. This is the way I've always done it. Check out this video below to see a good explanation of how it works.

 Those of you that use a Festool MFT are probably familiar  with 20mm dogs. For the rest of you, a dog is the name for a metal dowel that fits precisely in the holes in the MFT  table. The dogs, when used in conjunction with a track saw and track, allow all kinds of cool precision cutting without a table saw.  (see photo 2)

3. The Dog Pound
Anyway, the dogs like to roll around when not in use and hide in unlikely places. So I built a shelf in the workbench with 20mm holes and M8 threaded inserts to hold my collection of 20mm dogs and locking knobs. I call this the "dog pound."

Yes, this is the 1,000th post on my blog!  Thanks to everyone that follows along.

August 26, 2019

The Model Railroader Kiss of Death?

Mock up showing the height of the benchwork
\under the bridge.
Paul Dolkos stopped by today in part to see how the flood recovery was coming along.

We discussed plans for the Aquia Line expansion. Paul agrees with Alicia that the Aquia Line expansion should have minimal impact on the crew lounge. He suggested a narrow shelf along the east wall (the wall where the couch is now) instead of the big bridge scene.

The problem with the big bridge scene is that the bottom of the bridge would only be 28-30 inches above the floor. That makes placing the couch in under the bridge a problem. The photo at the left of the bridge mock-up illustrates the problem. Another concern is that the the river level under the bridge will be lower than the Potomac River at Aquia Landing on the opposite side of the room. That might cause some geotechnic confusion when once can see both scene at the same time.

To address those concerns I modified the plan. Instead of the large trestle, I would instead have an open country scene along the east wall. Part of that scene would have the track paralleling Clairborne Run, as it does in the prototype.

To satisfy my desire for another bridge, I would put a low trestle in the north room where Falmouth is now. There was a long low trestle at Accokeek Creek on the prototype, so having another trestle would be very plausible.

After Paul left, my advance copy of the September 2019 issue of Model Railroader arrived. The issue features a photo of the Aquia Line on the front cover.  I have had my modeling featured on the cover of several other magazines and catalogs, but this is the first time my work has appeared on the cover of Model Railroader.  I had a spot reserved for it on my Wall of Lost Layouts, so I framed it and put it up.

Now it is a well known phenomena that when one of my model railroads get published in the model railroad magazines, the layout is doomed. Can the Aquia Line be the exception and survive?  I hope so. It did survive the great flood of 2019.  I hope if stays around for a while longer.

August 25, 2019

Work sessions galore

Alicia, Danica and Adam in the atrium of
their new home.
Last week we took a break from flood recovery to head to Alabama to help my daughter and son-in-law with some work on their new house. They relocated to the Birmingham area and purchased a house that needed some work.

After 6 days with them, we returned to Northern Virginia to continue to rebuild the basement.

I finally have my office and computer set-up and operational.  The past few days I built a new workbench for my hobbies.  I still need to get it installed and the modelling tools and supplies organized. Hopefully in a few days everything will be back to normal and I'll start working on the Aquia Line as well as catching up on Alkem Scale Models.

Fascia frame for Marty's layout
Today I  and some of my Festools took a ride to Gainesville to help Marty McGuirk with some carpentry work on his layout. Stic Harris was also there. He worked on the track lighting and the swing gate. I worked on fascia  for the left end of the layout. Marty wanted to create a "picture frame" effect for the far end of the layout.  The photo at the left shows the fascia "frame." The area by the clamp still needs to be trimmed to the final profile. I also used my track saw to rip several more fascia panels for Marty to install on his own. The Festool TS-55 track saw is great tool.

Marty's layout is coming along. It won't be long before he can run some trains across the whole branch line.

marty says, "This will be where the sluice for the paper mill will be."

August 14, 2019

Haupt was Right

The future site of the expanded Falmouth sits above the bookshelves and TV.
One of the reasons Herman Haupt ordered the construction of the truss bridge at Potomac Creek was that he was worried about the effect that a freshet would have on the support structure of the bridge. So he had the construction corps build the truss bridge that I also modeled to replace the trestle. Well, it turns out, the Aquia Line did endure a freshet, in 2019! It didn't destroy the bridge but it did cause flooding in the basement. As much as 5 inches fell outside, but only about a half inch of water flooded the basement where the Aquia Line resides. Luckily the Aquia Line layout survived with just very minor damage, though it did get a lot  of dust during reconstruction. I had planned to remove PoLA in December, so the flood just expedited that process. Tom is rebuilding PoLA in his basement and making good progress. More on that later.

The only remaining vestige of PoLA is the hole and wires in the wall by the stairs.
Over a month later, we are still rebuilding, but the majority of the heavy work is done. Viewers are unanimous that they like the new look. My niece, Katrina, helped with the color selection. Apparently, grays are in now.  I tried to explain that this is a Yankee railroad, but the interior design fashionistas had their way.  If you want to remember what is was like before the flood, check Model Railroad Planning 2020. There will be an article on PoLA in that journal.

Mom is enjoying the new crew lounge
I reconfigured the crew lounge to prepare for the Aquia Line expansion in 2020. The main change was to move the TV from the east wall to the south wall. Luckily each of these walls were prewired for the TV coax cable. It just took a little debugging to get it all to work. I also consolidated most of my books and magazines to the south wall shelves. It's nice having most of my library in one spot. And yes I have read nearly all those books, and consult many of them periodically.

The new layout plan includes a large bridge above where the couch is now. Falmouth will reside on a shelf along the 20 foot wall on the south side. The expanded sidings at Falmouth will allow us to run longer trains.  The beer mugs and Roman helm will have to find a new location when I start expanding Aquia.

The gray color scheme really accentuated the difference in color temperature of my recessed lights. I had replaced  the bulbs one by one over the years without paying attention to the specs of the lights. So I had a mix of LED and CFLs with varying color temperatures.  So I went to the store and got a set of matching 5000K lights. Once installed, the difference was amazing. I still have 2700K lights in my office. Now to me, that light looks too yellow. I'll replace those next.

Some of my gaming buddies are lobbying for military art prints on the walls and a gaming table in the center. But I am hesitant to add them, as I plan to paint sky on the walls above the expansion.  If I have a gaming table, it will be portable and able to be stowed in one of the closets.

A few days ago we had a torrential rain storm that lasted about 30 minutes. The newly designed sump pump worked as planned. Then yesterday, we had a brief power outage on a sunny morning. Again, the back up battery powered sump worked as designed,.

I still have to set up my office, rebuild my modeling workbench and finish cleaning the layout and installing curtains. But that will have to wait while as we are heading to Birmingham, Alabama to visit my daughter and son-in-law and help them with their new house. They have lots of work to do. It's nice to know we are leaving the Aquia Line in decent shape.

August 11, 2019

The floor is done.

The contractors finished their work on Saturday. They worked very hard and were super nice.  They were the only crew to take on the job and they did it with gusto. We plan to use the same crew to do some remodeling work on our front entry.
The crew - Edwin, Jeff, Alberto, Fasto, Erwin and Rudi (l to r) 

The tile looks great.  It will take a few vacuuming and mop ups to get all the tile grout up.  I think tile is a good surface as it can survive an occasional spill plus should hold up in minor floods.

I plan to put some kind of foam tiles near my work bench and  spray booth as that area sees the most paint spills.  Speaking of work benches, I plan to redesign my model building bench. I want to make it smaller to give more room for operators at Aquia Landing. I also will be rebuilding a new woodworking bench in the garage.

In order to install the tile under the layout they trimmed some of the legs with my permission and used temporary 2x4 supports to support the layout. Once the tiles were in and secure, I used shims bring it back to the correct height. There was very little damage to the layout. In a few places I will touch up the back drop where the movement caused some cracks in the scenery.

The plastic sheeting worked great for keeping dust off the layout.  I didn't put sheeting over all of the Aquia Landing area so there is a lot of dust that I need to vacuum up.

We changed the wall colors to a light warm gray. It really helped brighten the room.  I do plan to paint a large backdrop on the crew lounge, but for now I'll enjoy the fresh paint.

I still have a lot more work to get the basement back in action
The workers also helped me carry the book boxes down to the basement, which was a great help.  But before I put the shelves back up, I need to relocate the TV. That means trying to figure out the internal cable TV wiring in the house. I am also taking this opportunity to reorganize my library.

August 8, 2019

Two more days....

Installing the new baseboards and getting ready to paint. 

The contractors tell me they will be finished with the flooring and wall repairs in two more days. Then comes the unenviable task of cleaning up all the construction dust and putting everything back together.

I plan to redesign the work bench in this area making the
 work bench smaller and the aisle by Aquia Landing larger. 
The photo at the left shows how the workers built temporary supports to hold up the shelves at Aquia Landing while they install the tiles underneath.

I will take the opportunity to rebuild my modeling bench. I plan to reconfigure the workbench so that the aisle is wider. I may also get rid of the shelves on the back wall. Time for another purge.

The tiling work has proven a challenge to Alberto and his sons. They are used to working in wide open areas without so much stuff in the way. They are doing a good job of working under the layout. But dust is getting everywhere.

The tile will look nice when done and hopefully be more survivable in a flood.

I had to move stuff around to make clearance at the floor level, so my books, modeling supplies, and spare kits have been scrambled.  My garage is full of boxes of books, tools and supplies. I suspect the probability of more stuff getting purged is high as my fatigue level with this project increases.

Alberto and his sons are working hard to
install tile under the existing layout.