Hello Dave,

Not to worry, I will keep current any and all work as I progress on this project. I have been studying the current plans and I am so pleased with how this has progressed so quickly, and of course thanks to your efforts. I had thought about some sort of layout but hadn't even decided on a spot so no real plans on how it would look. For the size and shape of the area for my table this latest set of plans have maximized the layout. I should have the Frame drawings completed soon and will post them here.

My buddy Pete, (the welder) I think he is at his ranch in the Hill Country this weekend for a deer hunting trip and hopefully I will hear from him as early as tomorrow night. His business has been so busy all this year that he might not have the time before the end of the year to do the aluminum welding. I just do not want to wait on getting the layout completed so I will do all the fabrication and welding on some mild steel material in my shop. I might do a video on the build and add it to my Youtube Channel.

Dave I sure do appreciate all the kind and friendly help that you have offered on this project, I am 100% pleased with the final layout.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

train steve posted:

Layout table width

I made mine too wide and am paying for it in terms of access mine is at 160” wide 

I made two access hatches but not that great to crawl under layout

it's great you're looking at that now

Best Wishes

Steve Taylor 

 

 

Hello Steve,

Thanks to folks like yourself here on the Forum I have been given some good helpful advise and have a layout that should be easily serviced. With the additions of the six Casters it will aide in taking care of the entire "backside" if it is needed. I am getting anxious to get started on building the framework for the layout and then get some tracks laid down. Thanks for your help.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Thomas- may I suggest changing the title on your thread to reflect that you are doing a layout build? I know you started with this as a question but I think more folks will read it with a more appropriate title now.

Bob

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

RSJB18 posted:

Thomas- may I suggest changing the title on your thread to reflect that you are doing a layout build? I know you started with this as a question but I think more folks will read it with a more appropriate title now.

Bob

Hello Bob,

That is a good idea but I do not know how to make that change. Let me see if I can figure that out.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

RSJB18 posted:

At the top of the page on the right side- click on manage topic. You can edit the title there.

Hello again Bob,

OK looks like the Title change was made, thanks for the help. 

I was just getting ready to post an update so this is good timing.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Hello everyone,

Attached is the final drawing for the Frame Work to build the Layout Table. After several modifications to the original design the surface area is now just over 104 sq. ft. I wish to thank all those who took the time to add suggestions and share your own experience with your layout which in turn helped me with my Layout. I really appreciate all the track layout work that @DOUBLEDAZ did for me.

The frame will be made out of 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 x 3/16 architectural aluminum angle and the columns will be 2 x 1 x 3/16 rectangle tube. It will be made in two sections, a left half and a right half and will be bolted together with Grade-8 hardware. There will be a total of six (6) swivel casters, one on each support corner and two in the middle. This will allow the Layout to be moved away from the wall to gain access to the entire backside for any required service or maintenance.

My plan is to use 3/8 thick Luan plywood for the lower deck surface and that will be covered with some sort of sound proofing material. I will add some material on top of the sound proofing for the final finished look.

I will add progress photos of the various stages on this build up to and including the Track Layout.8000 Layout XT LR-54 Table Frame

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Attachments

Photos (1)

Great design.

As a suggestion, you might want to consider adding two more swivel casters (4 on each section).  That would make the whole layout easier to move.  If you ever relocated that would create more possibilities for moving the layout.

Welcome to the Hobby!

Dallas

Dallas

Mountain Mover posted:

Great design.

As a suggestion, you might want to consider adding two more swivel casters (4 on each section).  That would make the whole layout easier to move.  If you ever relocated that would create more possibilities for moving the layout.

Welcome to the Hobby!

Dallas

Hello Dallas,

I originally  had it drawn that way and when I looked at the overview I saw that the two side-by-side would hit each other during a "swivel" action. I thought about a stagger pattern but that put weight in an un-supported area. I could add a "second" cross frame in each half to separate the casters so they could rotate a full 360 degrees and I will look at that. Thank you for the suggestion.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Hi Thomas,

It was a good suggestion from Bob to change the title since the thread has grown. That said, if I understand correctly, the top and bottom frames will each be built in 2 sections, then joined in the middle. Therefore, I think it makes sense to have a set of casters on each end and in the middle to support the joint. I was going to suggest 4 sets spaced every 2 sections, but then I noticed the bottom frame has a cavity on the left side, presumably to clear something along that wall, so that nixed that idea.

I am somewhat concerned though that the frame is over 4' wide and that means a standard 4' wide sheet of plywood decking won't quite cover it. Your previous photos of the frame didn't include a measurement for the width, but your post on 12/13 suggested it would be less that 4'. In fact, looking at all the dimensions, the frame is slightly larger all over than the baseboard we've been working with. This may be by design, but I thought I'd mention it.

One thing I'm not sure of is if there's enough support in each section to keep the 3/8" plywood from warping when you add rolling stock and buildings. Your sections are approximately 3.5x4 & 4x4 and most folks place cross members every 16"-24". I know you plan to add Homasote or something to deaden the sound and I suspect you'll be fine, I just thought I'd mention it in case someone has experience with 3/8" plywood that size.

Other than that I'm curious to see how the plywood on metal framing works out, I don't remember seeing it before, but I doubt it's a first.

DoubleDAZ posted:

Hi Thomas,

It was a good suggestion from Bob to change the title since the thread has grown. That said, if I understand correctly, the top and bottom frames will each be built in 2 sections, then joined in the middle. Therefore, I think it makes sense to have a set of casters on each end and in the middle to support the joint. I was going to suggest 4 sets spaced every 2 sections, but then I noticed the bottom frame has a cavity on the left side, presumably to clear something along that wall, so that nixed that idea.

I am somewhat concerned though that the frame is over 4' wide and that means a standard 4' wide sheet of plywood decking won't quite cover it. Your previous photos of the frame didn't include a measurement for the width, but your post on 12/13 suggested it would be less that 4'. In fact, looking at all the dimensions, the frame is slightly larger all over than the baseboard we've been working with. This may be by design, but I thought I'd mention it.

One thing I'm not sure of is if there's enough support in each section to keep the 3/8" plywood from warping when you add rolling stock and buildings. Your sections are approximately 3.5x4 & 4x4 and most folks place cross members every 16"-24". I know you plan to add Homasote or something to deaden the sound and I suspect you'll be fine, I just thought I'd mention it in case someone has experience with 3/8" plywood that size.

Other than that I'm curious to see how the plywood on metal framing works out, I don't remember seeing it before, but I doubt it's a first.

Hello Dave,

The actual inside dimension on the "4-ft" sections is 4'-1/4" (48-1/4") . The outside dimension is 4'-5/8" but remember the angle is .1875" (3/16") thick per leg / flange so it will wind up being 4'-1/4" inside. I don't know how well my drawing shows the dimensions but that center dimension should read 4'-5/8" and again that is outside.

The frame construction will be in two halves, consisting of an upper section and a lower section and joined together with the vertical columns of 2 x 1 x 3/16 rectangle tube. The "left half" will be welded up as a singular unit and the same for the "right half". The two halves ( units ) will be bolted together at several locations using grade-8 hardware. When the two units are bolted together they will also share 2 of the 4 holes per swivel caster. So they are also held together via the caster plate. I can do a blow-up drawing to better show this if anyone would like to see this detail.

I re-considered the suggestion by Dallas to have 4 each casters per unit to aide in moving each individual unit if the assembly was ever moved and decided to leave it as drawn. The reason being that the plywood deck is not joined in the very center. One sheet overlaps from one unit to the other so if I ever need to disassemble the two units the track and plywood would need to be removed. These frames will not be that heavy ( each unit ) so I do not need the casters to move them. In fact I will not have the caster installed to be able to stand the unit up ( back to top ) to be able to get them into the house. The distance between the bottom frame and the top frame, less the casters, will be 31-1/2" which will clear my standard 36" ( actual opening including the trim is 35" ) doors.  

Yes you are correct about the inset on the bottom frame on the Left Unit, it is to clear my fire place on that wall. Not to worry, I don't use the fire place so no roaring fires while the train is on the track

I think that the 3/8 Luan plywood will be OK, support wise, in the open spaces for a distributed load. Just to be sure I will do a load calculation based on the opening of 3'-10" by 3'-3" and find where the critical loading will be. Thanks for pointing that out, I can easily add a center longitudinal frame and reduce the 3'-10" by half.

I really appreciate the extra "eyes" and experience reviewing my design, thanks again for all the help.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Dave I miss read the first part of your post. The inside dimension of the Vertical "legs" of the Angle is 4'-1/4" but the "flange leg" turns inward by 1.0625", so the ply wood will actually rest on the inside frame. The inside clearance Angle to Angle is actually 4'-1/4" but you have 1.0625" on each Angle turned inward for the plywood to rest on, in other words the "hole" "inside opening is 3'-10-1/8".

Sorry about that, I read what you posted but my brain was asleep

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

DoubleDAZ posted:

Thomas, I thought it might be something like that, but I wanted to make sure you didn’t overlook something. When you first mentioned metal I had visions of angle iron bolted together like an erector set. 😱

Hey Dave,

Ok so both of our brains went to sleep, wonder if NASA is still looking for some good men

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

My 2 cents...

I like the track plan, but even if you can get around to all sides, it looks like some long reaches.  Not a fan of the use of casters - unless the benchwork is absolutely rock solid and the floor is perfectly smooth, trying to roll a layout of that size will cause joints to flex which leads to alignment problems, kinked track joints, loose wires, and cracked scenery.

Aside from changing the design, a couple of options are adding some access hatches (hard on the knees) or using a topside creeper (also a challenge).  I'm reasonably fit and have used both of those options and regretted them.  When I redesign my layout, maximum reach will be about two feet.

Mallard4468 posted:

My 2 cents...

I like the track plan, but even if you can get around to all sides, it looks like some long reaches.  Not a fan of the use of casters - unless the benchwork is absolutely rock solid and the floor is perfectly smooth, trying to roll a layout of that size will cause joints to flex which leads to alignment problems, kinked track joints, loose wires, and cracked scenery.

Aside from changing the design, a couple of options are adding some access hatches (hard on the knees) or using a topside creeper (also a challenge).  I'm reasonably fit and have used both of those options and regretted them.  When I redesign my layout, maximum reach will be about two feet.

Hello Mallard4468

Thank you, I have had a whole lot of help with the track layout and just could not be more pleased with the way it has turned out.

The longest reach that I will have will be on the ends and that is only 30" to a very small area. As you can see, the balance of the area within the ends are 24" or less. With a table height of 35" that is an easy reach. Early on in my design work, based on a lot of advice and help from other people, I built a mock-up in cardboard and that is how I wound up with this layout. The majority of the layout, over 16-feet, has a reach to the center of only 24". The framework will have almost no flex in it and the tracks and scenery will be mounted on the Luan plywood which rest independently inside the framework and should not be effected in any way. Thank you for you comment and suggestions.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Hello everyone,

Based on a suggestion made by @DoubleDAZ I have modified both of the Top Frames to include a longitudinal piece of 1-1/4 x 3/16 Flat Bar in the middle of the open framework. This will cut in half the open unsupported area where the 3/8" Luan Plywood will be. The attached picture is for the left side and will be the same for the right side also.

 Top Left Modified

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Attachments

Photos (1)

Hello everyone,

I am attaching two new pictures of the Final design for my new Layout. @DOUBLEDAZ has made quite a few "tweaks" to the original design and the result, in my opinion, is the perfect Layout for the size and shape that I have to work with. After I changed the two 45 degree angles on the "inset" to 55 degrees, this gave Dave a whole lot more room to work the Outside Track and in turn a lot more room for the Inside Track. This combination allowed more interior room for scenery and that was one thing I was really wanting. There are more tracks in the rail yard and a cleaner access to each side track. The rail yard (on the right) is now joined directly to the Service Tracks (on the left) and this allows an Engine with up to 10 cars to work off both of the main lines (see photo 2). My general plan for the Layout will be to have three "sections", a) will be the rail yard and some associated businesses, b) the small country town in the center, and c) country side with the two service tracks servicing manufacturing, oil field, mining or similar style of companies.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to help by sharing information and suggestions and a special thanks to Dave for all the time and effort he has spent working we me on this project. I will post up dates as soon as I get started on the construction.tom 2019-12-19-1tom 2019-12-19-2

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Attachments

Photos (2)
Dave Ripp. posted:

Just wonderful, I can't wait to see this go from design to reality.

Hello Dave,

Now that I have a final layout design I am getting really anxious also. I ordered the last bit of track yesterday and hopefully can get started on the frame as early as next week.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Hello everyone,

Well I will be forced to make some changes to the Table Frame Work because it will not be built out of aluminum as planned. The shop that I had hoped would do all the aluminum welding for me has too many jobs already in progress so they are not accepting any new orders until sometime after the first.

I ordered all the material today in mild steel and will pick it up tomorrow. I still have my MIG welder so I will do all the fabrication in my shop. I will be using 1/8" thick material instead of the 3/16" as drawn to keep the overall weight down and it will be much easier for me to handle. This will take a little bit longer because it will need to be primed and painted, plus the clean up time and the curing time for the paint.

As soon as I get enough pieces fabricated I will add some progress photos.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Hello everyone,

Picked up all the steel today and spent the afternoon square cutting all of the individual pieces to length. Next up will be to do all the angle cuts, 45's, 55's and the 35's and then do all the coping. This will most likely take at least two days, the special angles and the coping really take a lot of time. After that I will be able to start the welding and it should start to come together.Layout-001Layout-002Layout-003Layout-004

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Attachments

Photos (4)
rattler21 posted:

Thomas,  Will the legs be very near the front of the table or can you set them back six to eight inches?  John in Lansing, ILL

Hello rattler21

They will be in the front/on the edge. I could set them back from the edge on the top but would have to reduce the size of the bottom framing.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Hello everyone,

This is a photo showing the Top Left portion of my Layout with all the angle iron now cut to size and welded in place. This fills up most of what little room I have left in the shop

When I complete the Bottom Left portion and get it welded onto the Top, that assembly will have to be moved out of the shop so I can work on the other half.Layout-006

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Attachments

Photos (1)
DoubleDAZ posted:

Looking good, Thomas. 

Hello Dave,

Thanks it is coming along slowly. It sure is bigger than my drawing...he he, I barely have room for my welder. That is only one half, still have the other side to build. Should give me some nice long runs of tracks for the Trains to operate on and that is good.

Think I should have taken your advice early on and built the #2 design for my first layout. I am wore out for the day so I have turned the lights off in the shop and going to fix a nice refreshment.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Looks good Thomas. I've been a master electrician and worked in construction for over 30 years. Welding is one skill I've never learned but watched many many times. I like your shop too. Keep up the good work.

Bob

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

RSJB18 posted:

Looks good Thomas. I've been a master electrician and worked in construction for over 30 years. Welding is one skill I've never learned but watched many many times. I like your shop too. Keep up the good work.

Bob

Hello Bob,

Thank you. Sure wish that I had not sold my big aluminum welding machine. If I could have made this as planned out of aluminum, I would have completed the whole layout by now. If all goes well, I hope to be ready to paint the frame by this weekend.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

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