That’s it for wood (or is it?)

No photo for this post…

Today, I achieved a milestone that I can’t recall ever before achieving when building a layout.

I realized that I’m done with wood.

Since starting this layout, I’ve had lengths of 1″x2″ and 1″x3″, plus various other odds and ends, stacked in the layout room to “season” to the layout conditions. These have been deployed as benchwork, roadbed supports, backdrop supports, valance supports, and other uses. And – unless I’m mistaken (and I could be) – I’ve built all of those things. There’s nothing else to build, benchwork-wise.

So despite it being a warm and humid day, I hauled wood from layout room to garage. I’ve stacked it neatly in one corner, where I can get to it if I need it. But I don’t think I will.

It feels great – really odd, but great – to realize that that’s it for wood!

(At least, I think it is…)

19 thoughts on “That’s it for wood (or is it?)

      • One thing which crosses my troubled brows with “achievable layouts” like this, is that once you have achieved it, what then?

        This is such a superb layout, with so many things going on that create a whole so much greater than the sum of the parts, that I hope this is the “end of the beginning” and not t’other way about!

        But congratulations on getting past one milestone!

        • Hi Simon:

          There are lots of things to explore in the hobby, and building an achievable layout allows me to do that.

          As an example, nobody makes a Fowler stock car in S scale. I’d like a few. It would be a good project to consider as patterns for a resin kit. Similarly, there’s a CNR drop-end gondola I would like to model – also a good candidate for resin. In fact, both have been offered in HO, and my friend Pierre Oliver is encouraging me to tackle them in S. I’d also like to do some other equipment – maybe a B&M XM-1.

          As another example, I’m quite interested in garden scale live steam. I don’t pay enough attention to this interest, I’ll admit – something that’s readily apparent to anybody who visits my Live Steam blog. My live steam collection includes an ER Calthrop – a delightful 2-6-4T from Roundhouse Engineering. It also includes a Welsh Highland Railway Garrett by Accucraft. I have a collection of rolling stock kits for the Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway, which ER Calthrop is going to pull as soon as I assemble and paint them. I have nothing appropriate for the Garrett to pull. I want to address both of those issues. Oh – and build something, either portable or permanent, for them to run on on my backyard.

          I could go on, with more examples.

          But the point is this: If I was building a multi-level, Quonset Hut-filling empire, I wouldn’t have time to do patterns, or explore other scales/gauges/interests. With this layout, I will. (But not just yet, so don’t start asking when the resin rolling stock kits will be ready!)

          There’s plenty to do.


          • Simon:

            Exactly – and shouldn’t all layouts be “freedom layouts”? This is a hobby – not a job. As Mike Cougill notes in his definition of a freedom layout:

            “a layout big enough to be challenging but no bigger, one that fits in to my life with out taking over my life”

            With scratch-built structures, challenging scenery techniques (like scratch-built trees), prototype research, the opportunity to build freight cars from scratch and/or create patterns for them, and more, the layout definitely provides a lifetime of challenges. But I don’t feel like I’m playing a twisted game of Beat The Clock – one in which I am trying to drive the last spike before I’m too old and shaky to hold the spiking pliers…


          • If these reply windows get any smaller, it’ll be a column just one word wide!


  1. Congratulations. I sympathize with the wood thing. I was so happy to put away all the saws and counterpunches. Really enjoy your posts and envy your sticktoitiveness.

  2. I felt the same way about lumber when I finished my benchwork, but…..then little projects such as portable layouts and project layouts for books keep popping up. So the saws and drills stay busy, at least a little.

    • Hi Bernie:

      I expect my tools will stay busy too. For example, I just tore apart an old module (in HO) and that got me thinking about future projects that I can use outside the train room. But for now, the wood can season in the garage – and it’s a great feeling that, if I so choose, I can turn my back on benchwork-building.


  3. Kudos to you Trevor.
    You are doing a unique project by sharing your experiences and “know how” as you walk through this Port Rowan railway history.
    MUCH appreciated.

  4. Congratulations on yet another milestone Trevor.

    Did you celebrate with a trip to a local hostelry? or did I miss something?

    Take care with the master pattern building and resin casting; it can become a hobby in itself!


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