Finally a bit of real progress… More on Saturday.

Rounding off…


The corners and sharp bits for the work bench are now rounded off. I appreciate that this doesn’t represent particularly rapid progress, but it’s a step.

Next week comes the bit where we actually stop things falling through those holes and onto the floor…


The new workbench is taking shape very, very, slowly. This is a common theme of this blog I’m afraid, not least because I keep getting distracted by shiny things, random ideas, and interesting places to visit by bike.

Also, as is often the case, planning for this stage, preparing the tools, and making a makeshift guide for them took far longer than actually making holes in the wood. Not everything went quite as I wanted: the smaller hole for the plastic glue is a bit closer to the front than planned because the stand drills can only reach so far, but that’s just another example of the imperfect universe we inhabit, and it may well work out better to have the bottle closer, especially knowing my ability to drop things.

As the workbench currently stands it it will be a bit useless of course, so next week’s job is to make the bits to go underneath those holes.

Not I come to think about it in detail I realise the undergubbins will have to be removable  so I can transport them by bicycle.

Life would sometimes be much easier if I could just plan ahead…



I’m visiting my family in Stuttgart this week which will involve lots of hugs, being pounced on by Beautiful Daughter, reading stories and visiting local farms, but not much blogging.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible…

Slow beginnings.

In between gallivanting off around the countryside, I’ve managed to start Project Model Bench…

The planning and brainstorming:


The design:

Modelmaking bench sketch_02

Notice, as ever, use of much technology in design process.



The first step in the construction.

To be continued…


You know why I’m not posting that often at the moment so I won’t pretend otherwise. I’m getting materials and designs together for the workbench, and further news will follow. In the meantime here’s a couple more pictures of the shiny new trains that are coming into service on local rural lines out of Freiburg.




Ramp it up…


So I may not have got moving on the model making bench but I have built a ramp.

I know, I can’t stand the excitement either.

Things at work and the apartment are gradually getting into a routine meaning that I have a bit more time and energy to spare, while a combination of introversion and a certain virus means my social life consists of Internet forums, building chicken runs and visits from the Landlady’s dog. I decided it was about time to make something interesting and use some of the machines being used for boring stuff like making pallets. I was also fed up with lifting the bike up the step outside the apartment.

Which is all fine, but brought up the question of how I was going to get it back to said apartment. For the last decade the answer to this would be a choice between using the Xtracycle or the Bakfiets*, either of which could have hauled this quite handily. Unfortunately both are still in Stuttgart.

Plan ‘A’, making some kind of cunning system to make the ramp fold down or assemble simply on arrival was rejected in the initial enthusiasm to make stuff, so now I had a 1 metre (3’3 5/8″) long wooden frame and a standard luggage rack.


In the end I added two wooden cross pieces to the bottom of the construction whose main purpose was to fit snugly around the sides of the rack and survive for the fifteen minute ride. I backed this up with two trekking straps so the whole thing didn’t fly off at the blistering speeds I expected to achieve, and declared it good to go.

To my surprise this actually worked pretty well. I had to remember not to try riding through any narrow gaps and the weather was thoroughly uncooperative by sending a headwind, but on the other hand cars gave me a nice wide gap, and I didn’t get airborne.

Even better, it actually fitted my step. Plans to hold a proper opening ceremony were ruined because the Landlady’s Dog claimed a prior appointment.

Still had fun ‘testing’ it for a bit in front of an audience of bemused chickens…

Okay, now I’ll get focused and make the model making bench…

Moving in…


To my complete lack of surprise, getting back to model making in the new apartment is taking longer than planned.

Part of the problem is that I’m a bit concerned about damaging furniture that doesn’t belong to me, and there’s no way to keep all those (sharp) tools organised properly at the moment.

And if I’m honest, also because there’s really so much of this to explore…


…but we’ll ignore that for now.

In Stuttgart I worked on a desk-inna-cupboard type arrangement which could be closed to hide the mess when members of the family wanted to use the living room, so I don’t have any portable toolbox for model making. Now I’m settled into work and have all kinds of helpful machines at my disposal it is time to do something about this.

I’m currently planning on a cabinet design, with vertically hinged doors so I can open it and reach most of the tools from my seat, and also because even though I’m the only person in this apartment, I’m a bit fussy about seeing a mess every day in the place.

I will now spend some time scribbling designs for this over the next week, quite possibly to the exclusion of any real progress…

It turns out that moving house and starting a new job takes up a fair bit of time and energy, leaving not much motivation to make models and things.

Still, I’ve discovered that my local station in Emmendingen is not only just off the route from work to my apartment, but also rather busy, being on the main freight route from places like Germany to Switzerland and Italy, as well as one of the main national and international passenger lines in the region. This means that about fifteen minutes on the platform can yield about five trains thundering through.

This probably won’t yield much detailed information on container design or similar but it is a good way to wind down at the end of a day.

Meanwhile I’m organising the workbench and trying to get some model making done. I’ll get back to you on that…


Much frenzied activity in the carriage and wagon department has resulted in the basic form of Wood Wagon 2.0 taking shape.

The idea is to make a slightly simpler and theoretically lighter wood wagon than the original fleet member* for items such as cut wood or lighter uncut wood such as pine, but with the addition of twistlock attachments, for carrying standard shipping containers.

The story is that the Körschtalbahn won a contract with a local company to transport containers carrying… something. I’ll get back to you when I know what, but the favourite at the moment is some kind of dry bulk goods like sawdust, heating pellets or animal feed. The idea is based on a similar one used by the Rhaetian Bahn in Switzerland. They use roller containers, but the Brohltalbahn uses ISO containers so I reckon I can get away with it.


The plan is to make two wagons, which seemed a great idea until I went slightly potty making eight of those those twistlocks, and realised I now need to make eight more…

*Which does now have wheels, honest.