Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Like the man said... It's deja vu all over again."

I am not in the habit of quoting the late New York Yankee catcher, Yogi Berra. But as I embarked on installing 150 risers, it was not lost on me that I had done this once before for the original single deck, then removed them all, before re-installing taller risers to cantilever my ill-fated second deck. That sentiment seemed so perfectly descriptive, even for a New York Mets fan.

So let's see. One hundred and fifty risers at two screws per riser... installed, removed, installed, removed, installed. That's 1,500 tweaks of the drill in all of the same locations. If that ain't "deja vu all over again," I don't know what is.

The very original single deck sat on benchwork that rested on a ledger strip about 44" above the floor. Five inch risers, plus the 1" Gatorboard brought the track height to 50" and nicely met the styrene backdrop in corners and along the peninsula.

The benchwork had been dropped about 5" to accommodate the ill-advised second deck, so new risers had to be used to make up the difference. Seventy five  17" risers from that second deck were reused, cut in half and mounted using jigs, so that they'd be plumb and level.

By using a block clamped in my table saw to assure that all cuts were 8-1/2" and by using jigs that aligned those risers with the bottom of the 1" x 3" benchwork, I theoretically should have risers that extend 6" and are even with one another. My level confirmed that, for once, theory and practice were in harmony... AKA "even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes!"

The new risers still leave the deck about 4" below the styrene backdrops in corners and along the peninsula, but land forms should be able to hide the issue. Of course an added bonus to my venture into multi-deck land is that I now have twice as many lengths of Gator Board that are all two narrow to 'cover' the full depth of the single deck. But again, the issue should be minimized with varying land forms and all of the hacking and stacking to come.

So the long, strange journey from single deck to multi-deck and back again, has cost me more than a year and has left me with a track height of 46" instead of the originally planned 50". Not the end of the world, but frustrating as all get out.

Friends and visitors often tease about my benchwork being "too nice to cover up"... apparently I have taken their comments too literally!


  1. You'll get there Jim and be the wiser for it.

    Mike Cougill

    1. Thanks, Mike... if I had learned from all of my mistakes, I'd be a genius by now... of course, if I had found your blog sooner, I would have had some alternative thinking to consider... oh well, live and learn... best - JF

  2. As a Met fan, you are allowed to quote Yogi. After all, he was the Mets manager for 4 years and was part of their organization for 10. As for your current layout situation, I think Yogi's quote "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." fits. :p

    1. Yeah, I thought about that quote too... the Mets just borrowed Yogi for awhile, but he's a Yankee... just like Doc and Darryl are Mets... see you for lunch soon... Happy New Year (2X) - JF