MODELING: Favorite Platform

Many years ago, I first saw a very useful and simple improvement on a modeling work surface.   A fellow by the name of Bill Coffey had come up with the idea to make a raised platform to work on.  What is so special about this?  The raised platform allows you to use the edge when building up a three dimensional part.   It also allows you to have a decluttered work area.   I am sure that once a project is underway you find that the clutter starts building to the point where can’t find what you are working on.  Well that might be an exaggeration but it does allow you to push the bits and pieces off the platform as you work through the build.

coffey cerro

Bill Coffey was a very creative guy who invented spin casting using Cerro Bend low-temperature metal, custom cutting scale lumber including shiplap and tongue and groove wood, and many other innovations. As a model builder Bill was second to none.  He was a regular in the old Fine-lines magazine and described many of his techniques.  The Cerro Bend casting technique was reprinted in a separate booklet by Bob Brown.

Bill passed away many years ago after dealing with serious illness.


The top is made from tempered hardboard (Masonite).  This is attached to hplatform frontalf or three-quarter inch plywood with flathead screws.   You can glue it on with construction adhesive but it is a throwaway once it is chewed up.   The platform is supported by four small rubber feet shown below.

platform bottom

You can make the platform nearly any size.   I have made a larger one that is in use on my workbench.   I added a healing mat to the top to minimize damage to the hardboard work surface.

large with mat

Happy Trails,


6 thoughts on “MODELING: Favorite Platform

  1. Dear Gene:

      I saved the sink cutouts from our kitchen remodel in San Jose 25 years ago and still use them as a platform (they are heavy).


  2. I’ve used my old drafting boards this way when building structures.

    And I’m glad to see your new house is a little closer to Texas for visiting —-


  3. Hello Gene.
    New here been watching a long time though. I think there is some great modeling shown on these pages!
    Wondering if you could encourage some of the people who read to contribute a little bit of reading material during your move.
    I saw a L&N consolidation under construction that looked great! I also learned from some other source this gentlemen also built a Pacific. Would love to see some more build pics of both.


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