Checking my has_many :through relationships

I have a Cubicle model that will have many Printers, Phones,
whatever. In the past, HABTM has sufficied, but each of the joins
will need the capability to store additional attributes inside of the
respective table. From what I've read, this is only a feature of
using a join model -- has_many :through it is.

I want to be able to do @cubicle.printers, @cubicle.phones, etc. as
well as @phone.cubicle, @printer.cubicle, so the relationship needs to
be bidirectional.

What I have is functioning, but given that this is my first time using
has_many :through, I'd like to run my solution by the group to see if
1) I am setting up the relationships correctly and 2) if there is a
better (cleaner?) way.

For each join case, I create a model and a table. So for the cubicles
<--> printers relationship, I have a model cubilces_printer.rb, a
table called cubicles_printers that has the necessary foreign keys and
additional attributes, and establish the relationships as so:

  belongs_to :cubicle
  belongs_to :printer

  has_many :cubicles_printers
  has_many :cubicles :through => :cubicles_printers

  has_many :cubicles_printers
  has_many :printers :through => :cubicles_printers

I think this is right, it just feels odd initially building the middle
layer model. My brain wants to just say Cubicle has_many :printers
given that the Printer model is already defined and have Rails just
know, sort of like HABTM, to look for the join in the
cubicles_printers table. But I guess the difference comes in with the
additional model attributes.

I often find that has many through feels awkward when you haven't
quite pinned down what the join model is and have to name it something
like CubiclesPrinters (the classic example is having a join model
called Subscription between Person and Magazine rather than
MagazinesPeople). It obviously doesn't change what actually happens
but finding a good name makes the relationship feel more natural
rather than a hoop you jump through to make active record happy


I think you're entirely right. But I struggle to find a meaningful,
yet natural-feeling name. But besides the name, it still feels a tad
awkward having the join model. It feels unnecessary, though the
additional attributes require it.

Thanks for the response.