MY BACKSHOP

I have always found it interesting to see the space where railroad modellers work.  Here is mine….

My “Backshop” is located in a rather optimistically named room called, by my real estate agent, a Den.  It is 6 feet wide by about 10 feet deep.  I do have a plan for a shadow-box shelf switching layout that could go along the back wall and the one to the right.

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Front and center is my work table, a kitchen table from IKEA with 2×3 risers under the legs to allow better clearance for my legs when using the drafting chair shown.  It is solid pine, inexpensive, and I can modify it easily.  I applied a Mac-Tac clear vinyl self-stick sheet to the main working area to provide some protection from spills etc.  I hang strip styrene packages from hooks, there are some on the other side too.  Below the table I have two plastic bins – one with layout building tools (electric drill, mitre saw, clamps etc) and the second one with wood pieces saved over the years.  I would like to move these someplace else though.

Above the table I have the same Halogen track lighting as I have over the layout.

Behind the table I store my staging – the fiddle yard and staging elevator.  This frees-up space in my living room where the layout is.  On the right, the plastic roll cabinets carry tools.  The one on the left is my electrical/soldering cabinet which is handy as I can roll it to the layout if needed.  The other one has some hand tools (screw drivers, pliers, saw) and this is where I store my detail parts in smaller containers.

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I made a paint and tool rack from some dimensional pine with a hardboard back wall.  It is not attached to the table and like any space that any modeller has, it fills up pretty quickly with all manner of stuff.  The plastic drawers on the right contain smaller modeling tools (x-acto knives, pin vise, dial callipers, Tamiya tape, upper drawer has brass and styrene stock, etc).  On top is a plastic bin made for quilting, but I use a number of these for storage (like for my throttles).  In this case it contains tools and supplies for painting locomotives and rolling stock (wheel masks, wooden blocks for mounting model bodies, etc).  Not readily seen to the right bottom, there are two holes on the table top for mounting my miniature drill press.  It is stored in a bin elsewhere.

My workspace is small, but definitely can be considered somewhat spacious when one considers what other modellers have to work with.  So I am lucky.  It is normally this clean.  At the end of each session I take a couple of minutes to put away tools not needed anymore and remove any trash.  Doing this allows the most workspace available when I start again.

I should make mention that I am also lucky to have in my condominium a Hobby Room.  A common place for residents to do messy work, this handy space has heavy wooden work benches as well as some kitchen-style counters.  There are some tools supplied and a sink.  Benchwork can and has been made there.  Many of the large Fillmore structures were painted there as well.

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