Sunday, November 13, 2011

Second level... Going up

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep my streak of productive Sundays going or not this week.  We had just got back from a trip to Providence, Rhode Island, to check out the Baking/Pastry program at Johnson and Wales University.  I have always wanted to get up to JWU, especially since a lot of my students who graduate from my program choose to go there if they decide to further their education in baking and pastry.  It was a good trip and culminated with me setting the groundwork to arrange an articulation agreement between JWU and our Vo-Tech which would provide students graduating from any of our culinary arts programs, JWU credits for culinary classes completed in our school.  Another reason to go was to see if Mel liked the school, since she has been weighing whether to transfer from where she is studying now to pursue a career in pastry and baking by going to JWU.  I'm excited she has taken an interest and I'd like to think it's maybe because of me.  She has a lot to think about because she is learning it's not as glamorous as it seems on the food network, but she is a very bright and artistic young lady, and I know, no matter what she decides to pursue, she will be successful. :)

We got an early start this morning and made it home in great time so I had a good portion of the day to get things done.  I started by hanging the upper level brackets.  I'm using a different style of bracket here.  These are the silver heavy duty style 12"x12" L-shaped ones that are used to hang heavier shelving.  I don't need them for strength obviously, but what I like about them are that they do not intrude as far into the bottom level as do the stamped style brackets I used on the bottom level.

First upper level bracket goes in.

Notice how the upper level brackets sit more flush to the stud compared to the lower level bracket.

Now before anyone tries to read anything too much into my choice of brackets for each level.. both styles were leftovers I already had on hand from home projects.  I just noticed that the upper level style would work better because they sit more flush on the stud and wouldn't bulge out the vinyl backdrop as much as the stamped kind. 

The next step was to test out the deck spacing I decided on and see if it looked OK.  After a discussion with my friend Dave Ramos one night we figured 14" would be the minimum that would look good.  Originally I was thinking about using 10".  A lot of the upper level is 1' wide but a couple of sections will have 2' wide bench work hanging over each other.

This picture shows the 14" separation of the upper and lower level.

I put up a 1' section just to test out how the two levels will look with the 14" separation.

I think the space between levels are acceptable and I'm satisfied how it looks.

Since I mentioned the backdrop being vinyl flashing I thought I'd show you what I picked up at Home Depot to use.

14"x 30' roll of vinyl flashing.

The vinyl makes it lighter, and safer to use, than aluminum flashing, which I have seen some other modelers use, and comes in 30' lengths.  30' works out perfect since both walls the layout occupies equal just under 30' in length.  2 rolls gives me 60' of seamless backdrops.

I was doing well and decided to move onto another project after finishing the brackets.  There are two specialized sections that transition from 2' wide to 1' wide and are located just off the helix on the upper level.

Transition sections on upper level.

Originally this section of the layout was going to be 2' wide also.  I didn't like the thought of both levels being that deep in the same spot so I designed these two sections to narrow down to 1' wide.  When they are joined together they give 4' of 1' wide bench work and opens up the viewing area of the lower level.  I built one section today. 

Here is the transition section almost finished.  I just need to cut the Styrofoam top and glue it to the section.

For this one I just modified a 2'x4' section by cutting in half length wise, replacing an end and a middle cross brace with 2' ones and finally cutting and gluing on an angled piece at the transition.  All that's left to do is to cut a Styrofoam top to fit, and glue it on.

I managed to accomplish quite a bit today despite driving 4 hours to get home from Rhode Island.  So the streak stays alive for yet another week. :)

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