Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday Tip: Widening the Mole Hole (modifying benchwork)

Some time ago (March of last year, AAMOF), it became apparent that the access in the back corner behind the New London/Boston staging yard could use some expansion. See photo above. Fortunately, Dick and I are thin enough to fit between the joists there and get full access to the other side of the yard, but when I was reworking/relaying this yard earlier this year (and it became even more apparent during recent Shore Line Shakedowns), I decided I really needed to widen that mole hole.

So here's how I did it.

It's quite a crawl/duckunder to get back there, so I wanted to avoid as much obstruction as possible. So I opted for a simple large shelf bracket, for support, rather than another leg or angle brace. Unfortunately, even the largest bracket wasn't quite long enough, so I added a 2x2" piece on top. This is then screwed into a new 2x4 leg/support that's in turn screwed into the end joist.

Since the pressure on end of the bracket would tend to push the bottom of the leg toward the wall, I inserted a scrap piece of 2x2 at the bottom as a brace to firm things up.

Once all that was finished and everything was supported, I cut out the section of the joist that was in the way, and then used a rasp to round off the sharp corners (my back thanks me .... now....)

And there you have it! A much wider space for the moles to pop up through. I can't believe any of us fit in between those joists before. The flexibility and "modifyability" of L-girder benchwork shines through and shows once again why it's become the default standard.

Now, if I could just find another short rolly office chair to make getting back there a bit easier . . .


  1. My suggestion would be to purchase a 'drum throne'. It is just the right height, and you can easily add wheels to them, or affix them to a small furniture dolly.

    1. Thanks very much for the suggestion Brian! I may try that. And thanks also for stopping by and leaving a comment - hope you're enjoying the blog and that you'll visit again!