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Hi, So I decided today is a good day to hang my GS Shelves that I bought a few months ago.

I'm so frustrated with what I hoped would be a fun easy project.

I need to connect two pieces of shelving for both wall installations - one run is 12' the other is 8'. About  7 shelves per wall.

Am I the only one who can't figure out an easy way to spread the holes on the joiners provided? I have tried a punch and hammer only to get the joiner stuck on the punch and then break off when I tried to get it off the punch with a lockjaw plyers. Then I tried to put the punch in the little slit instead of the hole to try and open them up that way. Arggggghhhhh. 30 minutes later and I had to walk away.

Anyone tell me what the bleep I am doing wrong? 

While I'm here, might as well ask how great a distance between shelves is needed to place a post war GG1 with the pantagraphs up? What spacing do you use?

Paul - I really just needed something easy to accomplish - Licata20200418_14495620200418_14500320200418_145046


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I can no longer take or post current photos. Maybe my 1997 solution for a effective shelf connection will provide one method.

Look right under the drivers of Mikado 4815 (above) and you will see two small machine screws holding a short two-hole mending plate--look carefully and you can also see the plate . There is also a plate lying down in the channel on top which does not interfere with the drivers.

I gave up on using the connectors and went to Lowe's for the little mending plates and screws. I simply drilled holes in the shelf to match the mending plate holes and made the connection . I didn't need a plate at the rear of the joint since the wall connection ensured alignment. Makes a secure perfect alignment.

On an uneven studded drywall I used fender washers (Lowe's) to shim the shelf in wall "valleys" to enable tightening screws which avoided hump and a wavy shelf.



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Last edited by Dewey Trogdon

I have the GS shelves and like them a lot. Mine are 18' long (3 - 6' lengths). I have no problems fastening them together. I use a flat blade screwdriver and hold the pin vertical and just tap the screwdriver into the slot a few times. Simple to do. Then I tap the pins on the rail and attach the next piece. 

It helps if you have a helper. While I align the pins, my wife taps the next shelf in with a wood block and hammer. I built the walls myself so I know my studs are 16" on centers and the wall is plumb. No need for washers if the wall is straight. 

It took us around 2 hours to install all the shelves. I have a section of my layout running around the walls so I had to keep that in mind when I spaced everything out.





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Railrunnin,  I use a small screw drive and tap it in first one end and then reverse and do the other end then tap it on the the shelf and connect the two together.  they will mate right up and you will not even notice the seam.  I had to use washers to shim the valleys behind the shelf otherwise they will warp on you.  I spaced mine 5 3/4" apart.  I cut 2 2x3's at 5 1/2" use used those for spacers.  Start from the bottom and work your way up.  If the bottom course is straight all of the others will be straight and even also.

Sometimes you will need to loosen a screw to prevent warping.  That's OK.  I have tons of this stuff and would not consider using any thing else.

Like others responding to this thread, I tried to "open" the joiners, but gave up the task for fear of breaking the joiners.  I installed three 9-foot (6+3) GS shelves along a brick wall of my train room. The brick mortar joints in rows provided the correct vertical spacing. The slightly irregular surface of the bricks created a bit of a "jog" where two shelf pieces fit together, but IMHO it's a minor flaw.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394

I bought better quality shelving (Trainshelf) and all I have to do is put a pin into a slot that is already in the extruded shelf.  I don't recall how I spaced the shelves, other than measuring what clearance I needed between the shelves and the top of the train on the shelf below.  Then I used a level.  

My advice for attaching the shelves to the wall is to go to a home improvement store and buy screws used to attach metal siding to a pole building.  They have a hex head on them, so you can use a socket to drive them in without stripping the screws and rubber grommets on them to snug the shelves up nicely.  

Here is a typical joint

The upper set of shelves runs 36 feet in length and the bottom ones must run 28 feet in length.  


Last edited by Nation Wide Lines
gunrunnerjohn posted:

My problem is the "better quality" shelves were also twice the price!   Also, they're not in business any longer.

I have found that one gets the quality that they pay for, so one has to weigh price versus quality.  

However, that being said, I bought c. 1,000 feet of used shelving for about half the price that the Glen Snyder shelving sells for new and simply had to repaint some of the older brown shelving so it was white (as the white shelving looked better than the brown shelving). 

I did recently buy 40 sections of new Trainshelf at York last fall, as I needed some additional shelving and he was doing 1 last run after York last fall.  I could have bought some used Glen Snyder shelving, before I ordered the Trainshelf last fall, but after looking at the style and quality, I decided I wanted shelving that would match the stuff I had.


Last edited by Nation Wide Lines

Actual Dick and Carol, Trainshelf,  were not able to sell the business.  They were awaiting delivery of a new order of shelves from the anodizer.  I have spoken with them at last October's York about my interest in their shelves.  Dick called me about a month ago to reconfirm my interest.  That was prior to the "lock down".  I'm waiting for an update from them.


I have 30 of their 6 foot shelves and had NO problem hanging or connecting them. Eric's Trains made a video, which is on their website Episode 42 (, showing how to spread the pins and hang them. As for quality I have no complaints. Unfortunately most of us think we know and refuse to look at the instructions. I actually hung my shelves then put the pins on. I then used a block of wood on the end of the section I am adding and tapped it on. NO PROBLEMS !

Lehigh74 posted:

It looks like you are using a scratch awl, not a center punch.  I used a center punch like it says in the instructions and it worked fine.

Yeah your tool is too thin and its going down to far in the joiner, which is why it jams.  I used a punch and it worked fine.

You only need to split the end of each side a little, not the whole joiner.  Then once it is wide enough to slide on the shelf, tap it on.


To answer your second question that no one addressed, for the vertical space between shelves for your GG1 with raised pantographs, just measure what your GG1 height is and then add a small "safety factor" to avoid an oh crud moment later. For my shelves I did just that for my K-Line interurban sets. See below. At 6" apart, top rail to top rail, the raised pantographs are about 1/8" below the base of the shelf above. Done deal.





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Spreading the opening in the "joiners" provided is not that difficult, if you have a Dremel tool with a sanding disc attached.  Hold the joiner in your vice grip, assume the vice grip is in the horizontal position and the joiner is vertical.  Using the sanding disc, shave off both sides of each end on the joiner, at an angle,  making the opening somewhat larger.  Next, take a hobby hammer and gently tap the joiner on to one end of the installed shelf rails.  I use the outer rails only, no need for a joiner on the middle rail.  Next I mount the shelf on the wall, securing it into the studs with a good star headed wood screw.  Phillips head screws have the philips head destroyed when you install them.  You can get much greater torque using a star headed screw.  To mount the next section of shelving, place a small wooden block on the far end of that piece of shelving.  Gently mate the joining end to the modified joiner and tap the wooden block with a small hammer until it is fully seated.  By using a wooden block on the shelf end you prevent damage to the shelf.

As for correct height, I made two wooden blocks 5-1/2" long and secure them between the previously installed shelf and the shelf to be installed, one at each end of the shelf with large clamps.  Then screw the shelf into the wall studs.  That way you get uniform spacing vertically with little wasted space for O Gauge Scale cars.  Use 6" blocks if you are going to place intermodal deep well flat cars with two containers, they are higher than other cars.

It works fine.


I bought mine used from one of the forum members.  I attached them to the wall setting the mounting holes inline with the studs.  Since some of mine were already cut, I tried to line as many holes to the studs as possible and I used 3 1/2 screws so I got a good strong shelf.  Also, when I ran into a situation where I had holes that didn't match the stud locations, I marked the holes and used anchors.  The shelves were really sturdy and held a lot of weight.

When it came time to take them down for the move, I pulled all the shelves off the wall and filled in all the holes with pink dap.  I've become really good at patching holes in the wall, you can't tell whee they were and when touched up with the correct wall paint no one will ever have a clue where the holes were or that they were even there.

Clarence Siman posted:

From what you show, I would try to spread it by tapping a screwdriver down the seam, while it is standing on end.

I have installed Many, Many feet of this shelving.  Clarence is right , a couple of taps with a screwdriver (Bladed) down the seem, while it's standing on end!  Tap it on with a Small Brass Hammer, then Tap that shelving onto the next. I only used two Connectors, one in front and one on the rear. I used Stainless Steel Sheet Metal Screws to fasten the Units to the wall in "Stud " locations . They are hardly noticeable!!


Good Luck!



Last edited by Fredstrains
Big Jim posted:

I read all of this and have to think that you guys are going to a lot of trouble to get something that should be easily done without all of the finagling. Why doesn't Glenn Snyder provide something that is easily slipped on without having to manually spread the clip?

It IS easy if you follow the instruction.  It's just a roll pin and all you need to do is use a center punch to make the end a bit wider.  An elegant solution with a common bit of hardware if you ask me.

@romiller49 posted:

I tried using those connectors. What a joke. Forget them. Hopefully you can align the two joining ends without them. Your next problem will be uneven walls. You'll need spacers where the shelf is screwed into the wall stud.  If they are not even your shelving will be distorted when the screws are tightened down.

Not sure what to use for spacers. Mounted O/STD shelf on wall. The back is flat against the wall, however, outer rail edge is tilted up slightly, so that roof edged of std tinplate are touching wall?

Joe Gozzo

A17A4B4C-0A4C-4659-9A5F-82821C7FBD32I used small washers or wooden shims to fill the small gap between wall and shelf. Start with all the mounting screws installed but not tightened all the way. Whatever screw can be screwed all the way without distorting the shelf is the one I started with. Start tightening the others but when you see distortion about to start stop and measure the gap. Take the screw out and fill the gap with enough washers or wooden shim so you can reinsert the screw and tighten all the way down. If of course the walls are flat you shouldn’t need the use spacers though.


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Last edited by romiller49

Useful tools:  6" X 3/16" drill bit' to drill the back flange,  in place, once positioned,  level, on the wall. 

I also fabricated a long driver tip  ( 1/4" X 6" socket extension)  to install #10 X 2" hex head sheet metal screws. 

I started with the bottom shelf, then cut spacer blocks.  The spacer blocks, sit on the bottom shelf, next shelf sets on the blocks.

I just bought a bunch more GS shelves at York last week. Just like GRJ above, buying at the show saves a lot on shipping costs. All I needed to do was carry them out to my truck.  Installation is as others, myself included, details above.

I now have 180’ of storage on the wall. I have others that will mount below the layout for car storage as well as in my off layout HVAC room.



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I put these up myself, and of course, being an existing wall, I needed spacers to make it all lay flat.   It did make use of a lot of wasted space in the stairway...

John, what advanced algorithm did you run to achieve the exact length and selection of rolling stock and motive power to fill each shelf like that?  Did you rent space on MIT's supercomputer?

@3rail posted:

I just bought a bunch more GS shelves at York last week. Just like GRJ above, buying at the show saves a lot on shipping costs. All I needed to do was carry them out to my truck.

I took the lazy man's approach.  I asked them to leave my shelves on their truck and just drove around to where the shelves were and loaded them up into my car.

John, what advanced algorithm did you run to achieve the exact length and selection of rolling stock and motive power to fill each shelf like that?  Did you rent space on MIT's supercomputer?

Yep, the one that was running the website until recently, that's why their site was so slow!

In truth, I just shuffled a few around until I had minimal gaps.  Since I have stuff of almost any length, sometimes one that wouldn't fit went back in the box temporarily.

@Richie C. posted:

I used beer cans for spacers - just the right height and seemed to make the job go easier.

Interesting approach.  I wanted closer spacing, so I cut myself some spacers out of 2x3 lumber.  Mine are 5-5/8" spacing.

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