This first step was to completely clear out the room from the leftovers of the previous layout. The closet and window framework was done as part of the previous layout, as was the clouds painted on the walls in the closet.
This is the view from the closet toward the room's entrance.
I used the book "How to Build Model Railroad Benchwork" by Linn H. Westcott to determine which benchwork design I was going to follow for this layout. My wife and I decided that the layout could be a more permanent one, so I decided to install brackets along the walls and used the L-girder method of construction.
This photo shows two wall-mounted 2"x2" boards screwed to the studs in the wall.
I cut out a notch in the bottom to clear the trim.
The no-leg brackets start with two horizontal 1"x3" boards, separated by vertical 2x2 boards that will provide support for the L-girder.
Here you can see several of the brackets finished. An angled 2x2 board is needed to provide the front support, while no legs are needed. Gusset plates made out of plywood provide for the overall rigidity.
Here are two more near the door.
The L-griders are made out of gluing and screwing a 1"x2" and a 1"x4" board together to form the upside-down L you see in the next photo. The principle behind this construction is that you wind up with a board that is straight in both directions and quite strong. The L-girder is then screwed (not glued) to the short vertical 2x2 boards.
Our cat, Boots, is inspecting my handiwork.
He sure is enjoying his scary trip up on Daddy's construction.
With the basic framework in place, I cut and trimmed pieces of 1/8" Masonite hardboard to act as the skyboards. These were screwed to the 2x2 boards that were mounted into the wall studs.
I built two foldable work benches, one for me and one for my wife, who enjoyed painting and does some structure building as well. The workbench is mounted, via piano hinges, to a 2x2 that spans the distance between two layout brackets. I used L-shaped brass mounting brackets to hold that in place. The two front legs are mounted to the underside of the work surface using small hinges. That way the legs naturally fall forward as you lower the table. This was an idea I borrowed from my Dad's design when we had a small hobby workbench when I was young.
The table is held upright using a simple gate latching hook.
This is the table in its folded-down position. It makes for a handy work space, while easily folded away when not needed.