Thursday, May 24, 2018

100% Started?

The June 10 "Benchwork Started By" date is looming closer. 
But that begs the question - exactly when does construction start? 
I've gotten a good start at the Phase 1 benchwork/framing plan - basically the Richford peninsula and it's approach tracks. In fact, I'm at the point where I could start assembling open grid "boxes."
Of course, benchwork building will require some wood - as I mentioned previously Bernie was getting some 3/4" "plywood ripped into 3" boards (essentially creating strong and straight 1x3s at less cost than dimensional lumber). So he was kind enough to tack on some to his order. A whole bunch of it in fact. 
The final photo I took of the previous layout showed the scrap in the back of a truck on its way to the recycling center, it seems fitting that the first photo of the new layout mimics that - in this case the wood in Bernie's wife's car.
Having seen some local modelers use the IKEA Ivar shelving system as a base for their layouts I decided to adopt the same approach for the Richford peninsula and the "front" section of layout running the length of the room. So yesterday I drove to IKEA and managed to completely fill a Mazda6 with a bunch of Ivar components. I also picked up some stain. Next step will be staining those legs and shelves. 

Philosophical query of the day: 
Can you ever be less than 100% started on benchwork?
Does obtaining the wood count as "starting construction?"
And, if not, does staining the legs and shelves count as "starting?"
Or, does sawdust actually have to be produced to be considered 100% started? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stuff to do BEFORE starting the layout

Things have been busy and hectic around the new digs. First of all, the garage is still home to a lot of "last minute pack" items - stuff that we shuttled from the apartment to the house as time, and mostly the weather, permitted. 
Adding considerably to the delays in household accomplishments, I severely sprained my knee a few weeks ago and ended up in a knee brace. I'm just now getting to a point where I can get up and down stairs in a reasonable manner. Very frustrating. 
I think both Christine and I are suffering from "moving burnout" - but we need one more push to get the main level of the house completed - something that has to be done by 1 June as we have house guests coming and it would be nice if they could get into the guest room!
We ended up at IKEA the other day, and I took a photo of a new line of utility room cabinets - likely not as nice as the kitchen cabinets, but seem like they would be plenty good for the workshop. 
Speaking of the workshop - although I planned to get it finished before starting the layout I really want to live with the space for a while before committing to a permanent arrangement. So I've set it up in temporary fashion with tables and cabinets I have on hand. A real dog's breakfast but workable, at least for now. 
We took a much needed break from house chores to walk around the Reston Art Festival last Saturday. We had a nice lunch with Stic and Stephanie (actually we brought them a bunch of empty moving boxes - only slightly used - since they are moving this summer!) 
It's not unusual to find railroad theme art - typically photography - at the show in Reston. I liked this large photo enough that I was tempted - but for the price I didn't LOVE it. So we passed. 
Last week Bernie Kempinski mentioned his idea for a PRR-based set of Free-Mo modules. He also mentioned he was going to Colonial Hardwood, a local lumber dealer, to get the wood for his two planned modules. I signed up for a module to connect with Bernie's. I'll have more details on that in the next couple of months. But since I still have a J-O-B and Bernie is now officially old and retired, he agreed to get some 3/4" birch plywood ripped for me - thanks to his help the core of the Richford Branch, phase 1, now resides in my garage. 
On Sunday Bernie, John Drye, and me got together at Bernie's house to have a module building party. See his USMRR blog for more detail. In the end we got five modules framed up - several are awaiting the hardware to install the legs.  

While I have a layout design for the Richford Branch, the plan doesn't really show how to actually build the thing. So the next step is to develop a benchwork/framing plan. This doesn't have to be overly complicated or elaborate, but on previous layouts I seemed to be constantly finding benchwork components in the way that needed to be moved. I'm going to try minimizing that this time around. 
I also still need to figure out a way to support the layout structure that looks good. My instructions from Christine is that this layout should look like a piece of built-in furniture. Anyone who's seen my woodworking knows that is a tall order. But I'll try my best.  
Speaking of benchwork, I was originally planning to wait until the fall to commence construction - but have now established June 10th as the official "ground breaking" date. Why June 10? Simple. It's exactly one year after my previous layout went down the street. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Richford Industries

Here are the industries in Richford that had their own dedicated siding tracks, or portions of a shared track, as of December, 1945

1. Atlas Plywood Co. (formerly Richford Mfg. Co.) 
- Box Material Manufacturer - Manufacturer of plywood shipping crates
- 1,000 feet of track

2. Hilton F. Marcy 
- Retail Grain and Building Supply Dealer (80 feet of the team track)

3. J. E. Martel Hay Dealer (50 feet of the team track)

4. Powell & Comings Co. 
- Hardware and Fuel Dealer (80 feet of siding)

Not on the Central Vermont, but on the Canadian Pacific in Richford (and accounting for a fair amount of CV traffic) was the Quaker Oats Co. Feed Mill - here's an aerial view of the plant from the era modeled:

The 1959 List of Industries shows more detail - I'm not sure if there were actually more online customers, or if the compiler of the 1959 list was more diligent - I suspect it's the latter. 

1. A. Deschenes 
- Retail Feed, Fertilizer and Hay Dealer

2. H. P. Hood & Sons 
- Creamery

3. Hilton F. Marcy 
- Retail Grain and Building Supplies Dealer

4. Powell and Comings Co. 
- Hardware and Fuel Dealer

5. Richford Grain Co. 
- Retail Grain Dealer

6. Sweat Comings Co. 
- Furniture Manufacturer

7. H. K. Webster Co. (formerly "Quaker Oats" 
- On Canadian Pacific
- Wholesale Grain Miller and Dealer

I also know that Atlas Plywood burned down in late 1954.