Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Mr. Gorbachev... Tear down that wall!"

I was excited to have friends Dave Olesen and Ted Pamperin visit to see the layout's progress. Things had been going very well with construction and I was pleased with my overall timeline. Tally ho. Onward and upward!

I'm not certain about their political leanings, but Dave and Ted were a couple of Ronald Reagans on this day. After assessing the bench work, discussing track configuration and talking about potential operation we adjourned to a local pub for lunch. It was here that they convened their modeler's intervention. 

They gently confided that each had independently come to the same conclusion. My current entry was not ideal for a myriad of reasons and that I should consider 'moving it' to the television's location! "Consider it my ass," I thought. I ordered another round of drinks. "Make mine a double!" (I was having beer).

The central part of the finished basement was my TV lounge. By that evening my wife sensed I was rather glum over the visit. She advised that I should heed whatever constructive criticism I may have gotten from such veteran modelers. Really? Hmmmmmm. Guess that's why I already had marked the floor with some painter's tape!
Growing more curious, I marked the locations of my bench work and  a lolly column, giving me  a 24" opening for a new entry. Of course that's exactly where an electrical outlet and a cable connection were located. I wondered if there might be any surprises behind the wall.
I opened a small hole that could easily be patched and was encouraged to only see vertical elements including all wiring. This was good. I was pretty accurate with my locations, but I was approaching the point of no return. What to do?
As if there was any doubt once this seed was planted, I moved forward only to find that which I feared... horizontal wiring, PLUS a buried electrical box. This would require calling in a professional at the expense of time and money.
Meanwhile, here is the layout side pre-demolition. Not only would the bench work need to be altered, but I had to change the lighting and valence, plus match a tile floor to a carpeted one and a dropped grid ceiling to a sheet rocked one. But I just want to run trains!
Here's the breakthrough, but I quickly realized that cutting out the base plate without damaging the adjacent floor surfaces would be very tricky. But I had no choice other than to proceed as the electrician would soon be on his way.

That's about all I can bear to post for now. We'll pick up with the conclusion tomorrow and see some re-construction photos. And as my wife, the lovely Senior VP proudly said, "Hey, you didn't screw anything up and no one got hurt."

How often did the author think of his two mates during this task?
A) Every day      B) Every hour      C) Every minute      D) #*@%$#&*!@

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