Building the Layout
This is the corner where Joliet, Illinois now exists. Because this is a point to point layout, Joliet is the eastern most point on the layout. Seems like a long time ago.
This is Frank Hughes, part of the work crew. We both agreed that holes don't come easily when you are working with concrete blocks. We had to open up a little extra above a single concrete block to be able to run this part of the layout over the paint booth in the room behind this wall.
The benchwork is mainly 1" by 4" dimensional lumber. I made 6 or 8 foot long boxes that were then joined together. Then 1/2" plywood was laid over this benchwork. The legs for the benchwork were 2 by 4's rip sawed into 2" by 2" pieces then fastened to the benchwork. These legs were set back about 6" from the front of the layout to make it easier to walk up to the layout without tripping on the legs. Layout height is 54" The benchwork was fastened to the wall where furring strips were anchored to the mortar of the cement blocks. More furring strips were fastened to the cement blocks so that I could mount drywall to the upper part of the wall for the backdrop. The cement blocks are still visible below the benchwork. They were painted with a waterproof blocking paint. The floor was also previously torn up around the perimeter of the basement and a french drain was installed to draw any ground water to a sump pump at the back of the basement. It works.
I added 3 additional electrical circuits to the electrical panel and added fluorescent light fixtures to the room as we built the layout down the room. The origial lighting was the 3 incandescent light fixtures seen in the ceiling here with the pull chain hanging down from each of them. Lumber was bought in ahead of time to lay in the room to help season the wood to the humidity of the basement before the benchwork was built. I had a 10" Sears Craftsman circular table saw at the bottom of this picture that was used to build the layout. Eventually it had to be moved to the garage. As can be seen the place was sometimes a real mess.