Economy Line Benchwork

I'm keeping things simple with the benchwork for my N scale C&O layout. My homasote baseboard surface will be mounted to a wood frame. I'm using 1 x 2 Aspen wood for the framing. 

I decided to mount the track directly to the baseboard without any cork or foam roadbed. I don't need it for sound deadening since the homasote absorbs quite a bit of the sound. I also feel the roadbed material creates a high track profile which is more suitable for a busy mainline than an old secondary/branch line. Carefully ballasting the track will give it a low-profile appearance typical of old and less maintained track.

Track locations marked and then removed

I went ahead and marked the track locations right on the homesote, then removed the track. This will make things easier for framing assembly. It will also allow me to attach track feeder wires to the rails on the workbench. I'm using a couple of old Atlas Selector switches for block control. I have several of these left over from a layout I was building back in the late 1980s, and since this is the Economy Line, well there you go! Layout power will be DC since my old equipment pre-dates DCC. I have no interest in converting it to DCC either.

Aspen 1 x 2s for framing 

I went to my local lumber yard in search of some straight dimensional lumber. In the past, I've used pine furring strips, but these are usually bent like a crooked politician. Looking around in the higher-priced section, I came across these Aspen 1 x 2s. Super-straight and precut to 4 feet. A bit pricey compared with pine, but definitely worth it. Time to build the frame!

Framing completed 

Underside of baseboard 

The framing went together quickly. I gave some thought to mitering the corners and staining the wood frame, but went with a simple butt joint instead. I will also attach a hardboard fascia  instead of staining the wood. My woodworking skills are basic, so I went the easy route. The simple framing will allow room to hide the wiring. That's the next step!

More to come!