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After Jealously Wink

watching everyone build their layout for the last 3 years and running their trains I Finally finished up a 2 1/2 year Honey dew list in the new house and having the basement 90% done like everyone recommended here. I went out and bought some wood yesterday and got started this morning. I recruted one of my freinds from the club,Dave Neuman to help me get the base started .

My favorite railroad and engines and terrain is the Norfolk and Westerns , so i ve planned some big mountains as well as a giant coal mine , and various services they provided.

Around the wall 4-5 feet out ,with 2 - pininsulas (116" radius.) 32 "minimium walkways. Not much of a drawer but this is the basic layout so far . Also threw in some nice winding benchwork to mimick the pininsulas. WE built standard benchwork for square areas and the L girder to let boards run long, then cut radius to match following side. I kept the girder back 13" from ends,(cantiliver) I will eventually like to put cabinets in some spots and finish from bottom of trim board to floor.
Has anyone have suggestions as to how I would finish from bottom of trim board to Floor?

all 3 layers


Last edited by Patrick H
Original Post
Wow Patrick, nice space and proof that good things come to those who wait. By the way, a little FYI. The honeydo list is never complete.

I had some thoughts of cabinetry under my future layout as well. Below is a pic of tambour. If it was turned vertically you could simply plumb down from the curved fascia on the top to the floor and make a track for this tambour to ride in on selected areas of your layout.

Keep us posted, you must be very excited with such a great space to run trains.
Not sure what beadboard is?
Is it similiar to the sliding door picture of that cabinet?

I ve seen one or two other ones that where completely finished and stained.
I m thinking im am gonna have to build another wall on 16's all the way around the contour of the edge and attatch it up under neath. My big problem is gonna be where the walk way inside radius is only 36".

What bends that tight? Maybe this is where i should put the 12" cabinets. I d have to hold them back a little though.

Last edited by Patrick H
I ve been going over this in my mind even before they poured the concrete in the basement. LOL

Yes it is true , The first set of pics was all done in one day ,Saturday. Its a mixture of standard framing in each anchor point then running 2 L- beams to connect them. Drop all your laterals on top and cut them to radius shape you want.We started with 3 levels from base down, to give it some drop downs for bridges and canyons etc, now will cover with 3/4 , but not screw down yet,lay track, cookie cut around track , then raise tracks with 3/4 to different heights.

I have been trying to figure exactly what i will finish underneath with.

I could use more ideas. I am going to check oput the bead board to see if can make the tight radius.

After a couple suggestions so far. I was thinking maybe that .88 a sq ft prefinished wood flooring stood up on end and attatched to trim board. Then use a panel cap.

I would like to find more pics of how others have done it.
Please do not stop keeping the forum up-to-date with photos of your progress. It seems to me that when a person shares the development of a project like this with other hobbyists, it just makes model railroading a really great pastime for all of us.

BTW, I would go for something darker in color (stained or painted) than the rest of your layout environment. Something that does NOT draw the attention of the viewer.

Good luck.
Hi Patrick, being a cabinetmaker I thought of a couple of thing that might help you cover the bottom of your layout. Which by the way is going to be impressive.

The first thing is 3/8 bending ply which should get you around those bends but it is not real smooth, it will have a grain pattern to it. It can be fastened with screws or nails. The second one is 1/4" kerfed mdf. It dose have a smooth face and bends really well. The only drawback to it is fastening it. A screw or a nail will go through in between the kerfs so you need to watch how you fasten it. You could glue with wood glue as long as you have a piece on the floor that also follows the curve.

As for the price, I don't know exactly what it is at this time. We go through Russel Plywood for most of our stuff and I think they will sell to you, it just won't be the same price we get. I haven't looked on the net as to where else you might be able to get it.

Maybe this is more than you'r looking for, but I just thought it might be a different approach. Good luck and keep the pics going. Smile
Last edited by Ralph4014
Here is another link to bending plywood. Depending on your skills and tools a 36" radius is not that tight of a bend. Bending plywood comes in different thicknesses and you may have to glue it up in multiple layers.

Also tambour is strips of wood that are attached to a mesh or cloth so they will flex going through a curve. Think of this for an area where you may want a door in a curved part of the fascia. Hope this helps.
Dan thanks for the advice, the wife had me stain EVERYTHING in the house dark,

Definately not more than i was looking for . I do glass block for a living , even though i literally built most of this house , i dont know what s all out there. If it dosnt have a big sign on it at lowes or home depot, i probubly never heard of it.Very good idea.


Thanks for the link, it really makes a big difference when you have people on the forum give you suggestions. Even when i think im Mr Know it all I ask anyway, then i find out im Mr know a little. Confused But at least i know where to ask . Im gonna look into all the suggestions . I obviously have a little time but like to keep my eye out for deals.
Regarding bending plywood around corners, we have had luck using regular plywood intended for furniture (3-ply plus veneer, quarter-inch, I think; I'd have to go look to be sure). If it won't make it around a turn on the layout fascia, we stop, throw it into the swimming pool for 10 or 15 minutes, and then try it again Big Grin

We have gotten around some really tight turns this way, and even S-curves. Though we have not tried this with a piece more than about 4 inches wide, I don't see why it could not work with a larger sheet if there is something solid to fasten it too, top and bottom. Also, it is important that the plywood be "clear". Knots don't bend too well!
I am definately leaning towards a wood product that can be stained and cut to allow for yes ,cabinets and shelves. The corragated is also an excellent idea .Would like to see pics of that.
The 2x4 construction is because I am planning to go all the way to the ceiling with mountains on a skeleton framing,3/4 only under where track and some of the buildings will sit. I tend to walk on my benchwork alot.Epecially in the areas where it is only 16" off the floor.
Being that there will be alot of cantiliver to create the curves and drops, i wanted some meat in the areas where they would hang over so they wouldnt get snapped off before it was completed with the final trim board because i usually put in more drops and rearrange curves with the track work and building placement.
Finally i usually go and pick up 100 2x4s at a time. Dont know about where you live but finding even a small amount of long , lightweight , straight 1x4s for a decent price isnt easy.
If youve seen the module i posted on here(York Module) we used 1x4s for that ,but had to add alot of wood fill ins where the drops where. .I see the HO guys skeleton and cantiliver the 1/4 s as well. But IMHO the 2x4 in the long run is the better option for my situation,strength and money wise.

I just got from vaca, i will post some more updates soon.
Thanks for you ideas so far on finishing the skirting .
Beautiful layout in progress. Very nice job.

I am currently in my own "right of way" negotations with the "owner" of our basement laundry room. I will use the pics of your layout as an example of what could be were she to allow egress through her "domain".

Once again, fantastic looking bench work and a great layout in the works. Thanks for sharing it.
Originally posted by harleyhouse:

Awsome job! I can't wait until the open house.

wait until open house? What days cant i put you down for a hand? LOL
Your welcome anytime.
Good luck with negotiating, However I would be a little worried about putting my equipment at someone elses place permanently. If i didnt have anywhere to build . I would go outside.
Sorry missed you at York, im sure their be more chances .
I am going to use Gargraves Phantom flex with ross radius turns and switches. I was lucky enough to have a member from our club Matt Irvin get me a large load of used Ross radius turns and switches from another forum member on here.

Today i will be ripping homasote all day for road bed. Will update pics soon.
Last edited by Patrick H
Originally posted by Zigmont:
how many Transformers will run this layout and are you using legacy or mth dcs?
Seem like a big wiring job, maybe you can should just that process.
Great looking layout.

Right now , Im running 4 bricks (temporarly) directly on the bottom level, which is the two main lines.It seems it will be plenty with 2 trains running on each mainline. Its around 400 ft of track per main line.I bought all 14 gauge wire for track wiring. Some People say Lionel dont smoke that good, well run em with some bricks and see what happens.
Anyway I ll test to determine exactly How many bricks and sections I will use. My rule of thumb is 1 brick per 2 (w/smoke units)engines or 1- 6 car passenger train. But that was on other layouts. This is my first of this size.

I only own Lionel engines, nothing against Mikes, just thats what me and my Dad chased since i was young.So i ve stuck to one brand.

Im running Legacy 1.3. I started putting up some foam prematurely because (not mentioning any names) a dealer in Delaware took 4 weeks to get me cases of radius track sections. He already took my money so i had to wait.I wont bend flex to the O72 and O80. Think it makes a better job to buy them. O88 and higher I ll bend.And I dont want anything under O72 on the layout.

Sure, I will show how i end up wiring it .After i figure out a way to get the track work on a RR file.
Right now I still have another week or so of laying track and figuring out the exact way I am going to break it up.

For starters I know Im gonna put the Mainline on TPCs to run conventional engines if need be with the Legacy. Not sure if I m gonna do that for the second and third level with all the grades , might not be worth worrying about non Odeyssey engines up there.

Thanks for the kind words guys and incentive.
Last edited by Patrick H
They all connect but independant, 2% or less grade.
With two main lines on 1 st . 2 Main Lines on second level and connected to the yard and option to climb the mountain from 2nd to third level or downn to the 1st.
With the vision and legacy out now I wanted some slight "Roller coaster" runs to get the laboring and let up sounds going.LOL.
The first level is perfectly Level, again for Non oddysee and Conventional if need be.
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