I was first going to make a joking comment about being asked to help and then thought perhaps the owner has physical limitations and thought better of it.
My suggestion is to do it "assembly line style" - install all the levelers on the legs, then put the cams in the I-Beams and then posts/dowels in the legs and just connect and close the cams. I've helped a friend in the past and the instructions are color coded and it went fast.
If you go on their web site Tim has a video showing him building a 4x8. If your friend e-mails or calls Tim he can tell him how the plywood gets cut so it fits. Birch veneer is recommended.
My kit already had the hardware installed for levelers and they were included but I used casters so I could move it. Total installation time including putting the plywood and homosote on was about six hours from start to finish for a 5x10 platform.
Keep in mind that the dimensions are different than the call size. Tim can provide that information when you cut the plywood so it fits.
It’s so easy. I did a 9x8 with a 5ft extension taking my time and put it all together in less than 5 hours. Tim sends the detailed plans with the kit. They are also color coded so just follow the instructions and everything falls into place. Check out my Facebook page I made a series of videos laying the process out start to finish. Facebook ( Pocono Model Trains)
As everyone has suggested, putting Mianne benchwork together is fairly easy and straightforward. As Greg suggested, an assembly line approach works well. Here are a couple of pictures from when I built mine (originally a 14’x16’ round the room with a 48” wide “table” in the center). The one thing I would add is run as many wiring runs before you add any plywood or other top.
When you put on the deck start over the edge of the frame. It has a default of stopping the decking short of the outer edge of the frame. Rather awkward.
Also, check our build with GRJ's Mianne benchwork thread.
We used 5 x 5 foot Artic Birch which was able to bridge the outer edge and provide joining support between guessets.
I have to agree with Tom and amplify his point on overhang of the countertop.
While I think the benchwork system is well built,and very nice, almost all the layouts using it I see are as Tom notes - legs stick out past the edge of the table top, not only looks odd but harder to cover the base latter.
I think layouts look much better, and are more functional with the legs recessed back from the table top edge - at least 6”
the work Tom did with john puts the focus on the layout above the table, not the structure under it.
Thanks Greg, I have heard it was simple but having never been involved with them, wanted to make sure.
I have used Mianne benchwork for a number of layouts in multiple scales over the years, and nothing could possibly be more simple or more fun. It really is exceptionally easy to put together a layout in just about no time at all, and the results are easy to modify or expand later on, if desired.
I will impart one caution as you build. Heed the advice to leave the connections loose until a whole section is built. I cracked one I-beam end trying to "muscle" it around after tightening the fastener.
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