The first thing was what to buy to build everything up from. I'm NOT a builder. I know nothing about wood and the like. So, it was interesting. However, the staff at HOME DEPOT was rather helpful and I ended up purchasing some stuff after the fifth visit to their store. :)
I went with a rather standard plywood with Birch as the box frame. My son Drake and I got don to sorting things out and he was a huge help. Just something about having him there and helping really made a difference. I wasn't alone. :)
It was a really slow start (which I really hated) and I thought that it was going to burn out and fizzle away, but it was just the opposite. Once I got rolling, it was fun and interesting and it really came together. Came together in a way that I wasn't sure was possible, really. Things found a flow and a work style that made the project a load of fun.
I measured twice and cut once, popping a basic box and legs together rather quickly. Something from my father MUST have shined through me because it was popped up in no time. I got the supports in and - all in all - it's a rather solid framing.
The second table went up quickly as well and the 1x5 in the center was a happy after thought. It will have a small bridge and farm and farm land on it and will act as a sort of visual break from the city and country scenes.
I MAY slap on a third piece for the harbor area. It would live under the existing second deck so that the whole of it would be below the land level of Soyokaze. It was something that bothered me in my original, multi-module setup - having the water level be SO close to land level. So, if I drop it below deck, it will be low enough to make me happy.
So, my bench is as follows:
• 5x3 (Shizuka / city area)
• 4x3(Soyokaze /village area)
• and 1x5 (bridge and country)
The table stands at 48 inches tall and is rather stable.
I plan on staining the whole of it to make it look a little more finished. I hope that's a good idea! LOL. And once that's done I'll start tossing things on to see how everything lines up on the track and position side of things.
All in all, I'm super happy with the way everything worked out and I'm super happy that I managed to push though to get this done. I even managed to play a little FIDDLER ON THE ROOF when I was working on things with my son. My Father and I listened to this over and over when he was building my old HO on a door layout when I was 10 years old. It was a little hard to hold it together when it started (my Father passed away a few years ago now), but it was fantastic working on the benchwork with my son as it played! :)
I started out HATING the process. Really disliking it all. But, by the end I was having a blast!
Now...on to staining and popping some KATO track down!