Sunday, July 22, 2012

Basement remoldeing complete.

The final phase in the train room is complete.

In the last post I mention finishing the white areas of the basement where the shelving use to be.  I finished it off this past week

 I was given many options for the West and South wall:

Add an extended storage yard, a separate switching layout, even a continuation of the layout along these walls for a branch line and using the Electrical meter that is behind the curtain as a destination for coal trains [what's actually behind the curtain is a Gas meter, so the idea was changed to a huge LPG distributor!  LOL ]

Keeping in touch with getting by as cheap as possible like most modelers do, the idea that went with was to simply cover the wall with a false wooden wall, similar to a fence.  Several years ago after I got my cabinet shop opened up, one of my old bosses stopped by to see if I had any use for some free lumber that he stored away after he had closed his shop.  About a 1000 bdft of red oak lumber.

It wasn't the best, but I  used the biggest share of the material up for making raised panel kitchen doors for customers.  What was left was basically good for nothing more than fire wood!   I did manage to rummaged through it a couple more times over the years for several jobs where the customers wanted that RUSTIC look.  I also made some pallets from time to time but it still left me with several hundred board foot.

I started out by covering the metal "I" beam that supports the bowing wall with a false column, then added stringers to the wall so that I could simply attach the "Slating"

Before & After shots:

Total cost:
$5.49 for a box of "Tapcon" screws [masonry screws] used to hold the stringers to the wall.
$8.49 for the curtain.
$150.00 for the 3 gallons of Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor paint.
$4.99 for the gallon of the blue Lucite paint for the walls [ $14.99 less a $10.00 rebate]
$143.18 for the 18 packs of the interlocking anti-fatigue floor mats.
Total - $312.15

As for the floor mats from the previous post, I had one comment from a follower who told me to be careful about getting Static Electrical charges from these mats and possible damage to the electronic equipment like the DCC system and chips.
After posting a question on TrainBoard, doing a bunch of research on the net and asking some friends, I have still not come up with any solid answers for ways to prevent any possible damage from the Static Electricity.

Here is a list of possible answers and preventative measures that I did get:

  • Spray a Anti Static spray on the mats before each Ops session.
  • Have everyone wear a Anti-Static cord on their wrists that can be plugged into a grounded plug in the fascia.
  • Use a copper wire and bolt or tape it the mats in several areas and have the other end attached to an earth ground such as a grounded outlet box or water pipe.
  • Place a wire mesh UNDER the mats which are then grounded to an earth ground.
  • Buy a portable humidifier or have one installed in the furnace.
  • Watch what type of clothing we wear that has wool.
  • Don't wear just socks.
  • Wear shoes that have rubber soles.

The best thing that I will be able to do is once the humidity goes away this fall, is to try a couple of different things and see what builds up any static and how much.  I'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another milestone...

Well I finally got the floor finished.  After three weeks of moving, cleaning and covering the flooring with the Thin Set I got it painted.
Then a friend sent me an email that gave me an idea that I couldn't pass up:

The floor looks great!  Now consider covering the aisle space with the 2' x 2' 1/2" thick interlocking foam tiles that you can get from Costco or Sam's Club.  The tiles are easy to cut to fit odd spaces and they clean up remarkably well.  Our operators love walking on the foam floor.  It saves their feet from hours of pain on the concrete.

Thanks Dave!

I started to look around to see what was available.  The cheapest ones I ran across a 4pc set of these at [Bottom Of the] Harbor Freight.  $9.99 [$7.99 online price]  So I stopped by the local store to check them out first hand and grabbed a set which was on sale for $7.99.  I got home and laid them out and was impressed.  Two days later I got a sale flyer which had a coupon for $6.99 each.  The next day I grabbed enough to cover the entire floor!

Over the course of the last weekend I got the floor covered.  Dave was right, they were easy as hell to lay out and trim to fit the odd corners.  All I used was a tape measure, marker, straight edge and utility knife.
I was worried about the narrow ends sliding about but since the Thin Set wound up with a slightly rough surface, even after painting it, they seem to stay put very nicely.

Looking down from the top of the stairs

Looking towards Calion

Looking back towards Haskell

El Dorado and the south wall

In front of  Dubach

Looking towards Winnfield & the head of the yard

Again, Dave was right, they make it easy on your feet and should help keep your tootsies warm in the winter!
All in all, the floor project cost me about $300.

To resurface the floor it ran me about $150 for the Thin Set and paint, then another $150 for the anti-fatigue mats.
Well worth the time & money!

After getting the floor finished I thought I should put a fresh coat of paint on the walls as well.



I used the same color of paint that I used on the backdrop, as you can see the backdrop almost blends into the wall.

The final phase of this project will be to cover this white section of walls where the shelves use to set.
But that is for the next post!