Friday, January 1, 2010

Cleaning Up and Organizing

I'm about to start a lot of detail work on model railcars and structures and my model shop is a wreck.  So, in order to prepare I will have to clean the shop today.  The company let us out of the salt mine early today so I got right to it.

Here is the before example.  The main workbench is a disaster!  Stuff is piled so deep that I can't even see the table top.

Lab stone plaster is everywhere as well as casting cups and tools.  The floor is so bad I won't even show you a picture.

Organizing is the priority.  I have built layouts in N, HO, S and O so I have stuff from every scale and gauge laying everywhere.  As I collect stuff for the Dixie Central I need to keep it together and safe from damage.  Right now I have four long flat storage containers.  Let's consolidate and open up one for Dixie stuff.

The first one has track of all sizes.  These long sections fit well in the long box but there is very little in there. 

Box two has Ho track and tons of cork roadbed.  I need roadbed!  So I take out a carton and put it with the Dixie supplies.

Wood, dowels and other buidling material is in the next box, which is almost full.

Plastic, odd wood pieces and chicken wire are in the last box.  Let's combine the HO track, cork and the other track box into one, opening up one box for the Dixie.

I checked to make sure the cork roadbed was not brittle from age.  Nope, ready to lay!

I'll post the cost later tonight.

Some wide sheets of cork were in the other box, so I put them in the Dixie box as well.

Rats!  Only a couple of sticks of Micro Engineering Code 83 Weathered rail!  I really didn't want to buy any as it is expensive.  Maybe I can just use some Code 70 since I have a whole pack.  The 70 is for the On30 layout.  All I need is a few sticks, so maybe I can buy some off a friend.

Empty box for the Dixie is clean and ready to go!  I buy them on sale right after Christmas when they are cheap and always keep some around.

The track that came in before Christmas was in the shop along with the crossing.  I had a thick tube laying around so I'll cut it down and put the flex track in it to protect it.

Fits perfect!  I put duct tape on the end and labeled the tube for easy identification.  Label everything!

The turnouts that I purchased will go in the box as well.  Keep everything together!

The company coffee pot is kept on the Electonics Workbench.  I cleaned it up first as coffee, creamer and cookie crumbs get all over it.  Nice and clean!  Found some tools I was looking for, too.

While putting some stuff away I found the HO crossties that I will use for the hand laid turnouts and track.  I used to sell track laying components and had tons of ties left over.

The locomotive and cars are going into the box as well so they are protected from damage. 

Several drawings and notes pages are laying around so I'll consolidate them all on to one brightly colored clip board.  The Swamp layout clipboard is yellow.

The rail cars that need repair are wrap in a cloth and put in a plastic shoebox for protection.

As I clean up I always think of things.  Having the camera around is handy.  This reminds me that I need some kind of large bar compass for drawing large radii circles on wood.

This reminds me to buy more glass cleaner.

I'm out of single edge razor blades.  Mine all rusted.  I've had the box for 10 years.

Each of the four work stations in my model shop are covered by a 2'x4' piece of Masonite.  In this case where the board is so damaged, I'll just throw it away and get another piece of Masonite.

This reminds me to buy myself a nice Panavice some day.  I hate this thing.

The metal and heavy work station is now clean and free of casting compounds.  The stuff stored in the spray booth is goine.

The wood and plastic assembly area as well as the paint station is now clean and free of tools and supplies.

The fine assembly station is now clean.  I use these 1/4" smoked glass panels for model assembly as nothing sticks to them and they can be easily cleaned, plus I can store notes and plans under them.  The smoked glass helps me to see the panel and keep from breaking it.  Glue Bob gave me a stack of them.

The floor has been cleaned and everything is tidied up now!

Lots of people like the "pretty" floor, but few realize that it is actually a tool unto itself.  When you drop a part, if it is a dark color, you sweep to a white spot and can find it more easily.  Same with a light colored part swept to a dark square.  Everything in the model shop is carefully planned.

Wood/plastic shop is good to go.  Lathe, mill and all the tools and parts are stored underneath. 

The paint booth is read and the microwave is stored underneath.  My cypress tree carving box is also there as I use it often.

All of the Dixie structures are stored in the box for now.

There!  Everything for the Dixie fits in two boxes and they will be stored in a separate place from other train gear.

I cleaned off the layout section to get it ready for assembly tomorrow!  Things are looking good.  From now on I'll alternate between heavy construction, track work and railcar/structure detal work.

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