I had hoped to be knee-deep in benchwork by now, but some various factors in and out of my control have served to prevent that. First off, I don't own a chop saw. This tool, which not entirely necessary for benchwork, is handy and convenient for making repeated, straight cuts to lumber. And those are the types of cuts that are required for open-grid style benchwork. While I could try and build it using a plain old miter saw or a backsaw, it would be a disaster.
Thankfully, a friend offered to help cut all the lumber I needed in his workshop. However, some personal problems in his life have held that up. I wish him and his family well, and all of the extra time has been a blessing because I have been able to think through my next steps.
But, I still wanted to get moving. So, a couple of days before New Year's Eve I went to Home Depot and purchased two sheets of 4x8 plywood and I had them rip them lengthwise. I also had them trim the final length to 7'. So, I now have at least the tops for four of my LDEs. With great excitement I loaded them into my Toyota Corolla (they just fit) and brought them home and set them up on the floor. Where they sat and sat...
It is cold in the basement in the winter, and sitting on the floor sketching track arrangements (necessary to ensure that track switches and under-the-table motors won't interfere with the benchwork) just wasn't a pleasant thought. Plus, a ceiling joist directly over the layout area split and had to be repaired and that took priority of my time.
But, my benchwork is started!