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gavino200
11 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

Tables looks like a good place to start playing again!

 

wall wraparound layout sounds great and sectional is a very smart idea. Motorcycle connectors Are great for doing all your wiring connections and pretty inexpensive. You can make frames that are rectangles Of 2x4 and bolt to the wall and then top with some 1x6 for the module joints to rest on. This makes lots of space under the layout for storage. Use rolling carts and shelves to tuck under the layout. Modules can just be 1x4 framework and 3/16” ply top or drop the top down an inch into the frame and add 1” foam. If you use a couple of bolts In the ends of the modules that have countersunk nuts to hold them on the end of a module the rest of the bolt will self center when you pop them together to line up track joints.

 

looking forward to the new adventure!
 

cheers,

 

jeff

 

Thanks Jeff. I agree. Without detachable connectors, the modularity is really only theoretical, or for when you move.

 

I don't understand the rest. Are you talking about modules with no legs that attach to the wall? 

 

I was thinking of having the layout woodwork custom made with legs that look like furniture rather than bare pine. 

 

My inspiration for this is VJM's table.

 

l3.jpg

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

wiring is easy to break at each section joint and put into a connector, they have up to I think 24 In a single coupler with each connector taking like 2-5A. Smart to do as eventually layouts get taken down. I chopped two layouts over the years owners wanted to try to move and it was really messy cutting it apart along with all the wiring which was a mess and not much slack to later recombine easily without extenders. Labeling was time consuming. Using connectors also makes you think thru and neaten how your wires run on the sections.

 

I was suggesting a system that’s basically a rectangle made of 2x4s. Say the section is 24” wide and to be 3’ off the ground. You make a rectangle of 2x4s that is 36” tall and 18” wide. One side you anchor into the wall so the rectangle sticks out from the wall 18” at each section joint. Then screw a 6-8” wide piece of 3/4” ply 24” long on top of the rectangle as a wide base plate for the section joints to rest on. This plate give you room to move the sections around as you join them up. Putting the rectangle at 18” leaves you a nice recess of the front verticals at 6”. You can run a 2x2 horizontally from rectangle to rectangle to stiffen the whole support structure up. You can even hinge door fronts off the verticals to hide them and the storage underneath. It’s a very simple, but sturdy system that will even support all your weight if the section frames and tops are built that strong. Being attached to the wall means it will not wobble or have wracking issues. If later you deside to lift or lower the layout height it’s pretty easy to chop your rectangles down or add some risers on top of the existing ones or make new rectangles.

 

you can even simplify to just a metal screw on leg out 18” from the wall and the 24” long 1x8 on top and a metal bookshelf L bracket on the wall. The. 1x2 horizontally connecting the 1x8 along the front. With the support frame held by the walls, the legs need only take Vertical force.

 

legs are great but they can be the toughest thing to make stable and clean. To make them really stable usually you want them heavy and to have bracing. But to make clean like vjm’s then they need to have some strong joints to make them stable. Making them removable also complicates both strength and cleanness. Biggest issue with leg construction is you don’t really know how well your design will work (unless building just for strength) until it’s all put together. It’s hard to just make a single test leg and then test that... also having the legs have to use the section to hold them means you need to build much more beefy and heavy frames and tops to support them.
 

There are screw on leg systems but they can get expensive for sturdy and adjustable as screw on legs fix you to their heights. I made one club member’s 4x6 layout with some nice ones with wheels on them so he could pull it out easily and store it against the wall over a large chest he had in his living room. The legs were nice but they were like $40 something a piece, but were height adjustable and strong. In the end it was wore th the cost as it would have been a lot of time to make as sturdy of legs with all the bracket hardware and would not have been height adjustable (which he used raising it a few months later and simple to do.)

 

i know you are usually looking for the simplest construction thus why I suggested the rectangles screwed into the wall. Any finish carpenter could construct the rectangles and lightweight section frames/tops quickly and probably pretty inexpensively. Legs will require you to hire someone with a bit more wood working skills and experience to get good legs that are clean, removable and sturdy and will up the section framing costs and weight and most likely labor costs to get the right person. I’ve probably put let’s on a couple of hundred pieces fo furniture and such over the decades and it’s always the most challenging bit to engineer to get all the things you want, then build it well to make sure it works.

 

not having the legs on the sections make them easier to pull out and plop on a folding table. You can easily tip the module up on its back (clap a diagonal brace on one end to hold it vertical like an auto hood support rod) to work on wiring w.o being upside down. Harder to do with legs. Freestanding legs hate lateral force so you don’t want to tip on them or drag the table around.

 

a few years back designed a layout system for the basement for a G configuration (I’ve not gotten close to starting though!). My solution was a hybrid. I was looking at basically cabinet shells the sections sat on so I could wheel each away from the wall to work on. Cabinet under could either be closed with doors and shelves for storage or open bottom where I could roll other roll around stuff I have underneath. Sections would be attached to the cabinet base by hinges in the back so I could just tip the section up like a car hood. Cabinets were just 2x2 for vertices and 1x4 on top for section support and bottom for wheels to attach. Then 3/16” ply side and back panels. Even though thin and very light, these panels give huge rack support. Cabinets then could be fitted with bottom and shelves. I’ve build some equipment stands like this in the past and it was amazing how little was needed to make something very sturdy w.o building 100lb mdf box most did.

 

just some of the pros and cons of it all, as usual always tradeoffs.

 

jeff

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gavino200

Finally I have some trains running again. My ICE 4 and my "Bullet Train", that I got from Kiha a while ago. Neither have ever run (for me) before. 

 

0kHzn3z.jpg

 

2z9R018.jpg

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gavino200
4 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

 

i know you are usually looking for the simplest construction thus why I suggested the rectangles screwed into the wall. Any finish carpenter could construct the rectangles and lightweight section frames/tops quickly and probably pretty inexpensively. Legs will require you to hire someone with a bit more wood working skills and experience to get good legs that are clean, removable and sturdy and will up the section framing costs and weight and most likely labor costs to get the right person. I’ve probably put let’s on a couple of hundred pieces fo furniture and such over the decades and it’s always the most challenging bit to engineer to get all the things you want, then build it well to make sure it works.

 

jeff

 

Interesting. Do you have any pictures of these things? I want something that looks good. 

 

I really only want simple if it's something I have to build myself. Having zero wood working skills, and no interest in losing fingers, I'll be hiring out for the whole thing. VJM's table looks amazing, and there's a picture of his two tables separated, so they come apart pretty easily and are solid.

 

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chadbag

I should have a large room for trains once we build the house in 2020.  I've been planning on spacing the layout around the outer walls, but with a 20-24" space between the wall and the edge of the layout, so that I can use a full 4' deep table module and be able to get behind and (remove any scenery backing board and) and fix things as needed.  Those areas where there is a door would be only 2' deep and I'd crawl under to get in 🙂

 

Your room is a bit narrower but such a strategy might work on one wall if you wanted a slightly deeper layout to do more involved scenery or a large station or something.

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gavino200
2 hours ago, chadbag said:

I should have a large room for trains once we build the house in 2020.  I've been planning on spacing the layout around the outer walls, but with a 20-24" space between the wall and the edge of the layout, so that I can use a full 4' deep table module and be able to get behind and (remove any scenery backing board and) and fix things as needed.  Those areas where there is a door would be only 2' deep and I'd crawl under to get in 🙂

 

Your room is a bit narrower but such a strategy might work on one wall if you wanted a slightly deeper layout to do more involved scenery or a large station or something.

 

So a solid layout in the center of the room that you walk around? Sounds good. 

 

I haven't finalized on any plan. I've been waiting on a decision regarding knocking walls to join two of the three spaces. Still a possibility but likely won't happen. Then next steps will be to actually measure the space and start sketching, and also to paint and change the room itself a bit. 

 

I'm not going to re-use my old layout. It's much too narrow. It was designed for a six year old to be able to reach all the way across while standing on a chair. No longer a consideration. The boy has grown a lot, and the trains have become more my thing than his anyway.

 

I'll post sketches when I make some. Gonna buy some more viaduct track. High speed trains whizzing close to the edge supported by duplo bricks makes me a bit nervous. I also think I'll get another three or four Lack tables.

 

 

Edited by gavino200

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chadbag
2 hours ago, gavino200 said:

 

So a solid layout in the center of the room that you walk around? Sounds good. 

 

No, not really.  A layout around the edge but not abutting the walls, so you can get to the backside as well with the 20"-24" or so space between the back of the layout and the wall.   Allows a wider layout and still being able to reach everywhere easily.   If you are using the room shown, it might be a bit narrow, but maybe along one wall would work, with a narrower layout up against the other walls.

 

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JR 500系

Wow I know I will spend much time in that room! Nice idea to use Lego blocks as your piers! 

 

You have quite a space there Gavin, so I should think a large size layout would be great ~ Something like an all around you sort of thing and the controls are in the centre... 

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gavino200
11 hours ago, chadbag said:

 

No, not really.  A layout around the edge but not abutting the walls, so you can get to the backside as well with the 20"-24" or so space between the back of the layout and the wall.   Allows a wider layout and still being able to reach everywhere easily.   If you are using the room shown, it might be a bit narrow, but maybe along one wall would work, with a narrower layout up against the other walls.

 

 

Thanks Chad. It would be a very practical setup. I think definitely for the end sections that need to be much wider to accommodate track loops. I could angle then inward so I could get at them from all angles. 

 

You're right the length and narrowness is the main weakness of the room. I may be able to  take advantage of this (or make it look less obvious) by creating a deep back section that I could get in behind. 

 

I hope to measure the room today and recreate it in "Anyrail" if I remember how to do it. 

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gavino200
6 hours ago, JR 500系 said:

Wow I know I will spend much time in that room! Nice idea to use Lego blocks as your piers! 

 

You have quite a space there Gavin, so I should think a large size layout would be great ~ Something like an all around you sort of thing and the controls are in the centre... 

 

Thanks. Yes, that's what I'm going for. But I also want to have space in the for a nice armchair or reclining couch and a coffee table so I can just hang out there and read, while surrounded by  the trains. Like a little Train Zen space. 

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cteno4
On 11/23/2019 at 7:17 PM, gavino200 said:

Interesting. Do you have any pictures of these things? I want something that looks good. 


you mean of what I was describing or other furniture and such? What I was describing I’ve not built but seen the rectangles of 2x4 off the wall as the main layout support on a few layouts. I can sketch something. Simplest is best to just make it clean and sturdy and let the layout float.

 

sadly I’ve not been great taking pictures of layouts I’ve made for others or the furniture I’ve made over the decades. I usually go for the Scandinavian design, clean and simple. My main point is that independent legs can be tough to get all your variables like you want. What you can get will be a big factor on who will be building it for you. Might also look at what tables are out there (like ikea desk/tables) that you like and see if they can be adapted or be the basis for how you want it to look then take that to your production folks and see what they can come up with and price estimates. 
 

Here’s Renato’s which is a sectional layout with lightweight bases using the ikea $4 legs. Pretty simple to build, probably 8-10 hrs total to make these. It was done to be clean and simple and inexpensive. He also wanted it to be changeable from a U to a long straight for use in his basement if the room needed rearrangement. Modules set atop the leg frame base. Also needed to be all free standing and not weight a ton. I do need to be better taking pictures of projects.

 

jeff

 

 

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gavino200

More lack tables and viaduct track. The "layout" is super simple, but I'm happy with the size. The ICE4 runs nicely on it with it's expansion pack. The boy is happy with it. It's probably simple enough to just set up my DCC controller to with just one simple connection. I'd have to check this with the elders here first to make sure it's a safe thing to do. 

 

nnA5xGu.jpg

 

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serotta1972

Very nice, I have do to a set up soon and run some trains - been pre-occupied with another hobby but with the weather change, I will be giving more attention to the trains.  Looks like you can run full trains such as a 16 car O Series.  Is that a full ICE4 train?

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gavino200
29 minutes ago, serotta1972 said:

Very nice, I have do to a set up soon and run some trains - been pre-occupied with another hobby but with the weather change, I will be giving more attention to the trains.  Looks like you can run full trains such as a 16 car O Series.  Is that a full ICE4 train?

 

Yep. That's a full ICE4. I love it. My O series is a six car set that I bought from Sam. I'm gonna bid on an 8 car extension tomorrow. I'm also considering picking up the extension set for the Sunrise Express that I bought recently. Long trains are fun when there's space to run them!

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gavino200

I'm really liking being about to walk all round the "layout". So I've decided that the new layout won't be right against the wall, but will have enough room to walk around comfortably behind it. This will also allow for it to be a bit deeper. 

 

Another advantage will be that It can be more "modular". It's going to be easier to slide sections out if I can get behind them. I'm thinking of separate tables that can bolt together. 

 

This is a sketch of what I have in mind. Perhaps a few of the tables can have shelving below for train storage. 

 

iAOuYn1.jpg?1

Edited by gavino200
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cteno4

nice thing about this is you can have your support frame stationary and solid and potentially cabinets and shelving roll out from under to work on stuff.
 

Might look at a mix of ikea kitchen cabinets and bookshelves. Bolt them together and would be super sturdy and probably cheaper than having custom constructed tables. Could look quite sheik along with having a variety of storage options. Down side is modules need to be tipped for wiring work.

 

tables could just be frames of 1x4 that ikea legs screw onto and then tables bolt together. Frame would be enough to support modules (you could have tabs under the modules that go into corners on the frame grid to lock them in place) and still give you access under. Shelves and cabinets could be on wheels to easily move them out of the way to work under the layout or even just moving the pile of stuff in a cart to a better area to work on it en mass if needed. Looks like 2 ikea book shelves bolted back to back would be perfect and pop some casters under them.

 

ive found a lot of the ikea stuff works out the cost of cheaper home despot birch ply materials cost — that’s not counting my labor to make it! Granted I can make things just the way I want them, but that comes at a big cost of my time so if I can get something really close I punt!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
32 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

nice thing about this is you can have your support frame stationary and solid and potentially cabinets and shelving roll out from under to work on stuff.
 

Might look at a mix of ikea kitchen cabinets and bookshelves. Bolt them together and would be super sturdy and probably cheaper than having custom constructed tables. Could look quite sheik along with having a variety of storage options. Down side is modules need to be tipped for wiring work.

 

tables could just be frames of 1x4 that ikea legs screw onto and then tables bolt together. Frame would be enough to support modules (you could have tabs under the modules that go into corners on the frame grid to lock them in place) and still give you access under. Shelves and cabinets could be on wheels to easily move them out of the way to work under the layout or even just moving the pile of stuff in a cart to a better area to work on it en mass if needed. Looks like 2 ikea book shelves bolted back to back would be perfect and pop some casters under them.

 

ive found a lot of the ikea stuff works out the cost of cheaper home despot birch ply materials cost — that’s not counting my labor to make it! Granted I can make things just the way I want them, but that comes at a big cost of my time so if I can get something really close I punt!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Thanks Jeff. I'll check out all these options. I may have some questions after I do my homework. 

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gavino200

And so it begins. I'm just printing out this picture so now so I can sketch with pencil and eraser. I'm a bit intimidated by this empty space. 

 

sy1wk7k.png

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cteno4

Ooooooh!

 

jeff
 

ps I expect to only see an 18” wide pac man maze to walk thru and the rest RR!

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chadbag
On 12/1/2019 at 10:44 AM, gavino200 said:

I'm really liking being about to walk all round the "layout". So I've decided that the new layout won't be right against the wall, but will have enough room to walk around comfortably behind it. This will also allow for it to be a bit deeper. 

 

Another advantage will be that It can be more "modular". It's going to be easier to slide sections out if I can get behind them. I'm thinking of separate tables that can bolt together. 

 

This is a sketch of what I have in mind. Perhaps a few of the tables can have shelving below for train storage. 

 

iAOuYn1.jpg?1

 

Sorry to bring this up.  I am going to do something similar but have it go all the way around (so I can have one huge loop).  I'll just make the section in front of the doors just be a narrow 2" wide piece so I can duck under.  (And I can enter and slide along over to the workshop nook if need be  (rectangular room with nook on one end with its own door).

 

Looks good!

 

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inobu

Use rounded corners, it allows you to optimize track area while giving the dead space to walking area.

The red outside gives to layout and the black outside gives hip space.

Notice at the bottom. That corner is wasted. If it is rounded it allows that space to be utilized for track.

 

layout.thumb.jpg.e01ec4e0a1f9da9db8b96398249089aa.jpg

 

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gavino200
34 minutes ago, inobu said:

Use rounded corners, it allows you to optimize track area while giving the dead space to walking area.

The red outside gives to layout and the black outside gives hip space.

Notice at the bottom. That corner is wasted. If it is rounded it allows that space to be utilized for track.

 

 

Genius! Thanks inobu. I love it. 

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gavino200

This area in the red loop is begging to be a giant yard or terminal station.

 

EOH1DEC.png

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gavino200
1 hour ago, chadbag said:

 

Sorry to bring this up.  I am going to do something similar but have it go all the way around (so I can have one huge loop).  I'll just make the section in front of the doors just be a narrow 2" wide piece so I can duck under.  (And I can enter and slide along over to the workshop nook if need be  (rectangular room with nook on one end with its own door).

 

 

 

I like the practicality of that. But the aesthetics might be a little problematic for me. I want to build the layout like a piece of furniture so the framing and the room itself looks good. I'd like the space in the center to be a nice place to sit and relax. Ideally I'd have a larger room to be able to develop this space with some furniture. 

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cteno4

The door section can easily be a hinge up draw bridge so you don’t have to do ducking! Even engineer in a switch so when lifted power is killed on the track approaching from either side to rule out a Gomez Adams run!
 

furniture is tough, more relaxed furniture requires a lower layout that you really have to be seated to enjoy, but lower means easier to get access to deeper sections and corners for work. There are some very comfy bar chairs that might work to lounge in somewhat but he high enough to enjoy the layout.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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