Author Topic: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork  (Read 5089 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

davefoxx

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8485
  • Gender: Male
  • "I like trains!"
  • Respect: +1886
Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« on: June 18, 2008, 08:44:12 PM »
0
Forum,

In the interest of keeping these great clinics going and because I'm considering starting over and constructing a new layout, I wanted to see what ideas and tips everyone in the group has about benchwork design and construction.  Of course I presently have a door layout, which was easy to construct but really limits the shape of the benchwork if one were to use multiple doors for a larger layout.  Also, in the past, I have built L-girder benchwork for HO layouts, but I think that's overkill for an N scale layout.

On a new layout, I would prefer to build an around-the-walls layout, so I would try to hang most of the benchwork on the walls and minimize table legs.  However, portability is still an issue when and if I sell my townhome.  Also, if I had the money and space to buy a table saw, I would rip 3/4" birch plywood down into 3" strips to use as the framing material, which should be more stable than 1" x 4" white pine.  I'm thinking of using an open grid design with 2" foam on top as the base for the layout.  So, what have you all done for your benchwork?  What materials are you all using?  What table heights are you using?  I probably have tons of questions, but I will leave it to the group to develop this thread.  Have at it!

Thanks,
Dave Foxx

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

wm3798

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13194
  • Gender: Male
  • I like models. She likes antiques. Perfect!
  • Respect: +1404
    • Western Maryland Railway Western Lines
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 11:44:40 AM »
0


I started out with a couple of L-girders and joists made from 1x3 firring strips.  The wood was cheap, so I let it dry out thoroughly before putting it together.  The plywood you see is not part of the frame, I was using it as a work table...  This particular frame has been under 3 different layouts...

The joists support the subterranean staging yard thusly...


The scenery is then built up on a web formed by 1x1 and 1x2 framing


I put a sheet of 1/4" luaun plywood over that web, and 3/4" blue foam to create the working base for trackwork and scenery.


Here's the up-skirt look showing the wiring and the finished frames.


And the initial installation in the train room.


I highly recommend doing your heavy construction somewhere other than in the train room.  I'm building the major components out in the garage, including basic scenery work, then lugging it up to the attic.

The temporary portions that run along the window wall are built on simple domino panels, 1x2 framing with 3/8 plywood sub surface.


They are installed with simple metal shelf brackets along the wall, and a T leg under the engine terminal section.

The Tech 2 powers the turntable drive.

I use 2x2 legs with leveling screws. 

Lee
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 11:56:23 AM by wm3798 »
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

chuck geiger

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2180
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +552
    • THE IMPOSSIBLE RAILROAD
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 01:00:36 PM »
0
Dave, if you around the room, go with 12" shefl brackets with pine shelfing and foam. I am doing it now and love it. I am at 57" from floor to rail. We are in N scale, we aren't building a house here. All of the L and open grid is way old school. Also look at steel.
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

wm3798

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13194
  • Gender: Male
  • I like models. She likes antiques. Perfect!
  • Respect: +1404
    • Western Maryland Railway Western Lines
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008, 01:59:34 PM »
0
Chuck, shelf brackets work fine for a single level shelf layout. (or a multi level that employs helixes)  I chose the L girder system for a couple of reasons...
1- I already had the frame in the garage from a previous layout.
2- I needed to engineer 2 levels on that particular platform due to the one turn helix to staging, plus the scenic level has some grade changes and curves as well, and making adjustments to risers  using c-clamps on the joists made this a lot easier to accomplish.
3- I already had the frame in the garage from a previous layout. ;D

This part of the layout was a challenge to engineer, and it was imperative that I have a flat, stable level frame to start from.  I also wanted to have full access to the underside of the frame for wiring and clearing derailments that might occur below decks...  Open frame is really the only way to accomplish that.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

3rdrail

  • Guest
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008, 03:48:05 PM »
0
Mine is a conventional around the wall layout. It is made of seven frames made of 1x4's topped with 3/4" plywood held up by brackets made of 1x4's and 2x2's The seven frames or modules, which are 18" wide on the long sides and 12" wide on the short sides, are bolted together, but simply rest on the brackets, should they ever have to be removed.

Here are some progress shots:
















Currently I am building the Plastruct swing bridge that will be part of the long (6 ft.) trestle across the bay. This will complete the main line, finally.

womblenz

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 113
  • Respect: 0
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2008, 03:58:04 PM »
0
For my first attempt




I ran into issues with spikes and the MDF board. I use the wrong size spikes and had trouble pushing them in to the MDF

Second attempt




I used pinex board as subroadbed while I was a lot happier with this I could see some problems later with scenery

Attempt 3





So far I really like the foam

Cheers Warren

PS sorry for the double of pics but saw this after I posted in ore dock thread   ::)

John

  • Administrator
  • Crew
  • *****
  • Posts: 10833
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +496
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 04:27:03 PM »
0
I am standardizing on 1x3 corners, 1x4 straight sections for the upper level.

I have started to mass produce the sections ..

Here is the inside corner



And the straight sections ..


John

  • Administrator
  • Crew
  • *****
  • Posts: 10833
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +496

chuck geiger

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2180
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +552
    • THE IMPOSSIBLE RAILROAD
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 04:35:48 PM »
0
Lee is right on multi-level and for islands; you need more than brackets and shelves.
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 17982
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2221
    • Conrail 1285
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 04:48:34 PM »
0
I brought a door home:


Then I put it on a table, and glued styrofoam to the top:



chuck geiger

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2180
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +552
    • THE IMPOSSIBLE RAILROAD
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 05:48:24 PM »
0
Ed likes rosey wine
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11457
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +1974
    • DKS Home
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 05:51:41 PM »
0
For my first permanent home layout, the WR&N II (begun 1988), I used traditional L-girder benchwork. The only deviation I made from full "recommended practice" was to use double-stick foam tape for roadbed. This did away with the need for a sound-deadening Homasote layer on the plywood sub-roadbed, and replaced traditional cork. It also made tracklaying go like lightning.







For the likewise-never-finished Version V of the WR&N (begun 2001--sorry, no photos), I departed from recommended practice and used steel 2x4 framing materials. The layout was predominantly shelf-style, and the benchwork was sectional. Each section comprised a pair of steel 2x4 channel parts running along the front and back; between these ran doubled 2x4 upright parts positioned to align with extra-heavy-duty steel shelf brackets that were lag-bolted into the wall studs.

The steel framing parts were cut with a tin snips and assembled using the sheet metal screws made for steel framing. The assembled frame sections were bolted to the shelf brackets, and also to one another end-to-end, so the layout could be disassembled relatively easily if necessary. To the top of the finished framing I bonded 2-inch thick foam insulation panels using Liquid Nails. Sub-roadbed was cut from more foam insulation and bonded to the base with foam-friendly Liquid Nails; the track was laid using the same foam double-stick tape method I'd been using since 1988.



If I ever reach a point where I can build a new permanent home layout, this how I will build the benchwork. This method proved to be plenty strong, very lightweight, and so quick, easy and clean to assemble that it was kind of spooky.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2008, 02:13:42 PM by David K. Smith »
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

davefoxx

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8485
  • Gender: Male
  • "I like trains!"
  • Respect: +1886
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2008, 12:42:47 PM »
0
Guys,

Thanks for your informative replies and great ideas and tips.  Lee's right that it will take more than wall brackets and pine shelving to build a multi-level layout.  Besides, recycling his old sections of layout is just plain smart in this day and economy.

However, in my case, I don't believe that I am looking at a multi-level layout (although no plan is yet etched in stone).  I really like the idea of using some form of wall brackets and avoiding as many legs as possible.  But, I think that the wall bracket will have to be slightly larger than a shelf bracket, because I imagine that my layout depth will be at least 18"-24" deep.  I am also intrigued by David K. Smith's plan for metal wall studs!  I will have to see what is available locally.  This idea has other advantages as well, because it avoids the problem of unstable dimensional lumber, as well as checks, twists, cracks, knots, etc., and I don't have to buy and rip cabinet-grade plywood to avoid those problems.

I'm after a design that is strong and light and that could be built in sections that could be taken apart for transport, because I don't plan to live in my townhouse forever.  I imagine that some form of open frame to support the 2" foam is the way to go.

Thanks all,
Dave

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

railbuilderdave

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 316
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: 0
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2008, 01:00:22 PM »
0
Ed likes rosey wine

Ed like any wine - Thanks guys for some great ideas on what I can do.  I'm not building a layout yet but this really gives me ideas I hadn't thought about before.

just kidding Ed.
============================

sparky

  • Guest
Re: Interactive Clinic Week #10: Benchwork
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2008, 01:46:57 PM »
0
I brought a door home:


I cannot believe you took a picture of that.  And I thought my life was sad...  ;)