Building a Model Railroad – Part 3: Renovating the basement.
After all the planning in the last two updates I can finally share some actual work. As of this writing the basement is around 75% complete but I’ve already got too many photos for a single post. So this month we’ll start at the beginning and work up to the point where I was able to move into the workshop. Next month we’ll go over the fit-out of said workshop and the month after that we’ll finish everything up in the layout area.
When Beth and I first moved into the house, the basement was a rather gloomy space. Someone had clearly put a little effort into it back in the 70’s or 80’s and then promptly ignored it for the next 3 decades. Here’s what it looked like the day we moved in:
On the plus side, it clearly didn’t have any moisture issues with not a hint of mold or mildew despite all the crap the previous owners had crammed down there. Structurally the walls were in good shape and only the hatch door and the windows needed replacing. It wasn’t as big of a space as I wanted but it seemed like it would do for the time being. Ultimately I concluded that with a bit of work, it would do.
The trim along the ceiling proved to be relatively straightforward, but the baseboard was anything but. In order to account for the inconsistency in the floor I had to scribe and cut all the base boards to match. Here’s the process I used.
1) I drew a line 3.75″ up (the height of the pine boards I was using) from the lowest place on the floor and tapped in some nails every few feet along this line.
2) I placed each board on the nails.
3) using a compass set to 3.75″ I scribed the profile of the floor to each board.
4) I used my jigsaw to cut along the line I had drawn. I angled the blade so that only the very edge of the board would need to be the correct profile.
Somewhat surprisingly this process worked out pretty well.
That covers the major construction. The layout space will be similar but I also have the stairs to do and the door to the hatchway so there’s still a lot to do. I’ll cover that in a couple of months. Next time I’ll show you how I built shelves and workbenches for the workshop plus getting all my modeling stuff set up.