Sunday, April 19, 2015

"The former entry... Shamed and shunned!"

Having completed the major part of the layout entry's re-location, I sagged in addressing the easier part. Much like an athlete, who after triumphing against a tough opponent suffers a letdown against the next, weaker one, I was off my game. Because the original entry accessed the very important wine closet, a 4' x 11' masonry fortress built under our front porch, I could not simply close off the doorway with sheetrock.

In lamenting this to my family one day, my daughter showed that she could give as well as she got. Using one of my favorite jibes whenever she whined, she turned the tables and used a popular phrase from the world of bicycle racing. "C'mon dad. Time to dip into your suitcase of courage," she smirked.

The former entry sits forlornly, admonishing any who might consider crossing the threshold. The problematic low ceiling is exacerbated by the stair landing making the foreheads of unsuspecting visitors easy prey.

Linking the opposing bench work sections required determining the overall curve I was looking for at the end of this cul de sac. It also revealed that the linking bench work would need to account for about 3/8" difference in elevation from one side to the other. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

No expense was spared as state of the art equipment was used to hold temporary hardboard curves to gauge the proper radius for the valence and fascia. The door to the left is the former entry that still accesses the door to the right... the very important wine closet that still holds no wine.

A 12" x 42" bench work section was slipped into the gap and a curved piece of hardboard was compressed into place as both a 'finish' for the foyer to the wine-less closet, but also in consideration as a possible backdrop. The valence, and lighting behind it, was finalized. A tricky job, but not worth photos or commentary!

I determined that the convex curve of the potential hardboard backdrop was too jarring for my taste. I preferred one that would 'flow' so I erected a framework of 1" x 2"s with end cap channels stapled top and bottom similar to that used for the peninsula.

A 24" x 96" sheet of .040 styrene was slipped into place and anchored at each end in the same manner as all corners were earlier coved. It is important to consider that this material is fairly flimsy until it is curved which gives it much more rigidity.

All that remained was the spackling, sanding, priming and painting. Done,  finally!

The project was complete and it was obvious that it was for the better. I now had an easier, cleaner entry that worked better with my track plan and staging, plus my new cul de sac was now wider and provided operators much greater maneuverability. An added bonus was that I now had an emergency exit and could provide improved air circulation when necessary. All in all, a major delay, but well worth it. 

Next up, we'll look at the single biggest miscalculation made by the entrepreneurs involved with the building of the real Old Main Line.
True or false? The idea of bending a material like styrene to give it strength is known as 'deformation' and is best exemplified by my smug college professor comparing the difference between a flaccid sheet of paper and a folded sheet of paper. 


  1. I channeled my inner Bevis and Butthead for that one. ;)

  2. I was wondering about using that word since it's typically only used for you know... maybe it was a limp piece of paper!