I started, as planned, with the plank along the back wall....
Next I added two of the longitudinal beams. The location of the chimney breast meant that I had to do things in a slightly strange order.
After that, the rest of the beams went in without any trouble. Despite my less-than-meticulous measurements in places, the frame is pleasingly level!
The right-hand of the two bar stools in the above picture is in what will eventually be the operator space. I encroached into this space a bit to provide more baseboard area, but I can confirm that there is still enough room for two reasonably sized people to sit in there comfortably! I am toying with the idea of making a scenery "lid" which can be used to cover that space if the layout is running automatically (he said, breezily...).
Before the primary frame can be considered complete, I need to add two further things:
- Legs to prop the frame in the middle (one of them is already in place, just visible in the above picture). The frame feels pretty solid but I would rather be safe than sorry.
- Cross-bracing in each "square" of the main frame. This should help the frame stay in shape as well as providing a bit of extra support when the baseboards go down.