Small spaces: tools and techniques

Yesterday when I finished rebuilding the foundations of this thing and installing all the power I was blessed with a tremendous backache. Even though I'd managed to fold up my bed (futons are good that way) to create a workspace, this was pretty exacting work in too small a space to be comfortable. Drilling holes, installing power strips, and battling track took their toll. Fortunately, I at least had tools that worked in a space like this. Some of them are basic to modeling at this scale, like jeweler's screwdrivers and a nail set, but working in cramped spaces will drive you to buy smaller tools generally. A small hammer is a good idea, since track nails don't need a lot of pushing. I bought a small hand drill that serves me much better than my larger cordless. A pillow was useful for all the times I was sprawled on the floor. The nail set is my magical tool, letting me get away with all kinds of precise operations, and the awl to get nails started has saved me lots of battles. The stranger sections of hardware stores and Radio Shack have billions of little gems that can help you out.

Underbed railroading isn't easy. There aren't any simple ways to do anything. Patience, a willingness to take lots of breaks, and a serious sense of humor are critical tools for getting through. Planning is even more important than usual, and it's something I've always been bad at. When your back is already hurting from doing something the first time around, the second time isn't any fun at all. And always leave some slack - you never know when you'll trip on something. Good luck!

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Copyright 1996 by Simon St.Laurent. All rights reserved. You may print this document for yourself or others at no charge, but commercial distribution without permission is prohibited.

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