After my last operating session
- and given how far along the Saybrook Scene has developed
- it was high time to think about adding a valence to frame the scene.
The typical approach to a valence is to mount masonite above the layout in much the same way as it's used as fascia to frame below the layout. But I have a finished, drywall ceiling and - as luck would have it - my ceiling joists run the wrong way, which makes it difficult to mount anything of any real weight, It's hard to screw mounting brackets into joists/studs when you a) can't find them, or b) they aren't where you need them.
So I decided to take a different approach.
First, I traced the footprint/border of the fascia onto cardboard to create templates. I then used those templates as cutting guides to cut strips of 3/4" plywood to match the fascia curves. I used 3/4" plywood a) since it'd be easy to cut into curves (it's hard to curve 1x3s), and b) the 3/4" thickness would provide a convenient surface to which I could staple the vinyl.
The pictures tell (most of the rest of) the story. . .
|I was able to screw into joists at both ends, then lightly screwed into drywall just to keep the plywood from sagging at all. I was able to determine precisely where to locate it by using a plumb bob, rubbing against the face of the fascia and marking the ceiling directly above the edge of the fascia.|
|I needed to work the valence around the ductwork, but couldn't screw plywood into that, so I tried this heavy-duty double-sided foam tape. I wish I'd discovered it earlier - I might not have bothered using screws at all. It's good for 60lbs(!)|
|And here is the plywood taped to the drywall that encloses the ductwork. If I tried to remove this, it'd probably take down the drywall! It'll be more than sufficient to hold up vinyl.|
|Here's a view of how the plywood valence mount matches the fascia. Again, I traced the outline onto cardboard to make cutting templates.|
|And here it is mounted on the ceiling. Since I actually found joists here, I was able to go ahead and use screws. Again, I located the plywood on the ceiling by marking it from the fascia using a plumb bob.|
|I did use the tape again to mount the vertical, edge mount/backing though.|
|I used a piece of cardboard and a compass to trace the irregular edges I needed to cut around (primarily the door frame).|
|The valence itself is a 6'x9' sheet in a roll I got at Lowe's for $25-30. I used my chop saw to cut it into 16" sections, which would result in a 16" valence.|
|Then I used the cardboard template I'd made around the door frame to cut the end of the vinyl to fit.|
|As you may have noticed in the chop saw photo, there is of course a pattern and color on the "top" side of the vinyl. I plan to have this face "in" toward the layout, becoming the back of the valence, and used flat white ceiling paint to reflect as much light as possible.|
|After two coats of white, I flipped the valence sections over and painted the bottom (now front) side to match the fascia color. Pro Tip: you can use a section of foam as a portable painting support.|
That's where things are now until I can get the Missus to help me with the actual mounting. That should be MUCH easier than mounting much-heavier masonite, but still awkward enough to make an extra set of hands pretty helpful.
So while I was literally waiting for the paint to dry, I decided to start a little Christmas module/diorama/display to put at the top of the stairs outside the Photo Library room.
|First step, figure out the outline, traced on masonite.|
You may recall I have/had a Christmas Layout at one point. Click here
for a photo. It was 3'x4' and represented my first actual completed layout - scenery, buildings and everything! Didn't matter it was only a loop of track - it gave me a lot of joy.
But it was awkward and bulky and always seemed to be in the way. I put it on rollers at one point so I could wheel it around as needed. But it was too wide to get through a standard doorway without tipping on its side (after removing the legs), so it was trapped in one of the basement rooms. Not great for display.
So a few months ago, I dismantled it - regaining the space permanently - and decided to reconstitute it on a display that could be out for more folks to enjoy. It'll be a fun little project - just hope I can get it done in time for Christmas!
All in all, a pretty productive weekend!
Post a Comment