Around the time I was finishing law school in 1992, Daddy cut half a dozen 1x6x20" boards for me to use as bases for the 1/700 carriers I was building.
Several for used for that purpose (see far left) but I turned one into a model construction "dock" (second from left) with basswod strips with sufficient compartments around to hold my basic modeling tools – knife, glue, model paints, etc. I used a second as a "dock" for models under construction (third from left), and for most the past 25 years they've held the Ticonderoga and 1940 Yorktown that I last seriously worked on when I was living with Mother and Daddy during my clerkship. Both are almost – but not quite – finished.
As I am getting more efficient at getting 1/700 ships completed recently, I've decided that neither of these docks is really an optimal work surface any longer for a couple of reasons.
I don't need the docks to hold modeling supplies. The tackle box at right does that. I've recently reorganized the tackle box so that the tools I use the most are all in the same tray, and I always put them away after use. The only compartments I need in the docks themselves are for temporary storage of parts and subassemblies for the model under construction.
I need the docks to be smaller and lighter. Several months ago I picked up a revolving spice tray to use as a base for the Saturn V launch umbilical tower (LUT) so I can rotate it as I work on it, and it makes an excellent work stand for model ships as well. (It also holds the paints currently in use). The problem is that the existing dock at 20" is too large to comfortably rotate and still be within easy reach, and at 3/4" it's a lot heavier than it needs to be. Using a half inch piece of poplar with dimensions reduced to accommodate Hood or Lexington – sized models is plenty. If I ever build a 1/700 scale nuclear carrier, I might need the old dock (it was originally sized for a 1/720 scale Enterprise CVN-65) but absent that, the smaller ones will do fine.
So this afternoon while working on the cradle at the workshop I did the necessary cutting and gluing to create two of the new, smaller model construction docks. I look forward to putting them to use in the near future,