Finally started on my benchwork, about halfway done.  

Looking for ideas for legs.  The Benchwork is 3/4 Sanded Ply ripped down to 4 inch strips.



                                             Benchwork 1Benchwork 2Benchwork 3


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Original Post

Nice place you have for it!  You can use either 2x2 or 2x4 lumber for the legs.  You will certainly want leg levelers in the legs.

I personally like either of these styles.


I would avoid this style, they are too prone to falling out if you move the leg at all.


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Since you are familiar with ripping plywood, you could use it to make 2-piece L-shaped legs.  Using 3/4" ply, rip one piece 2" wide and another 1-1/4" wide, then glue and screw them together so that each side of the L is 2".  These will be straighter, stronger, and more stable than using 2x2 lumber, and will be easier to attach to the benchwork.  After cutting them to length, use shims to account for any irregularities - cheaper than buying levelers, and not prone to blowouts.

Different examples:

1 1/2" round dowel.


! 1/2" square stock sitting on cups mounted on a furniture dolly to be moved as needed.


! 1/2" square stock with fiberglass cyclone fence spresders.


Down and dirty 2" X 3"


2" X 4" split lengthwise at a 45 degree angle then reassembled for a strong angle leg.


Full cut 2 x 2


1 1/4 X 1 1/4 treated bannister spindle.


The following photos are of a three wheeled module which must be rolled out of the way as needed.

Top photo shows a 1 1/2" round dowel in a 1 1/2" socket bored with a Fostner bit.


The leveler is sitting in a curtain rod cup which is fastened top a sub frame.


The triangular sub frame is on swivel rollers to be moved out of the area as needed.


Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.


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I put my benchwork up a couple of years ago using the girder method similar to yours only I used premium 1 X 4 lumber. After reading several post right here on the forum I used  laminated veneer lumber 1 3/4 thick. I purchased 8ft beams and ripped them at 1 3/4 wide, the same dimensions as 2 X 2's.  The up side to this method is there stronger the 2 X 2's and they don't warp.   I also used the levelers and mentioned above. 

You'll definitely want to mount the legs recessed from the edge of the benchwork as TOM TEE and JACKIEJR illustrate above.  Visitors won't accidentally kick a leg or stub their toe on one.  If you decide to add a curtain below the benchwork, recessed legs make this easy and more attractive than a curtain that is even with the edge of the benchwork.

If you develop overhanging bump outs like we did with GRJ's Mianne benchwork that modification in and of it's self will produce recessed legs.  The bump out does  not need to be a centralized lump but can also be a elongated cosmetic curve.

Adding an elongated cosmetic curve to an existing layout not only protects the legs but can also provide a non parallel relationship  between the right of way and the edge of the your small world.

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

Continuing along the leg placement thought. I thought a few examples of platform edge expansion might be helpful:

The first photo is of Joe G's former Whitetop which ended at the edge of the "black top".  I needed another 4" to 8" to facilitate a station feature.


The 2 x 4 blocks space out the cosmetic curve which extended the existing platform.

Inverse views below.


The above and below views are awkward due to the unnatural worm's eye platform shot.  Never the less you can see how the varied length stand offs produce the gentle curved edge. 


The next shot picks up on the same theme where as there was no room for a freight station so I bumped out the real estate.  However that soon was found unsuitable when I upgraded to a larger station so the first bump out was removed and another made larger.


Again inverse shots of the flexed edge and add on decking courtesy of a 1/2" plywood lid from a Lou Cross shipment.


West end.


A suggested method to enlarge deck:

run a round build 001

Cut back the 1/2" Homosote so as to knit the new 1/2" deck into the original framework.

run a round build 003

This was just a small addition to allow a switcher run a round.

Switcher run around templates 019


Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.


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For legs, I went with Home Depot saw horses and a twin beam construction. Wood beams can be purchased at any length or home made. I made my own 8" Eye beams which are 44' long. Leveling is done with wood shims under the beams where they sit on the saw horses. The saw horses have built in 2 x 4 pockets for shelving. Pictured is my staging yard, still under construction, which will have 12- 22' long spurs.

0122171531amiddle 0223172116west end shims2

yard 2 storage

Beam construction allows for dual use which is above and below. Great if you want an under ground subway.


Running wire is a breeze. I just lay it down between the beams.


Finished platform height is 46". Subway height is 34".




Dave Z


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Interesting to see how clever some of the leg designs are people came up with. I went with 2x2's, but unfortunately I bought them from the local warehouse store, I thought I had carefully checked them at the store, but when I mounted them (I used 48" length), looked like some sort of time I get them from a lumber  yard, least then if they stink I can complain, the warehouse stores don't care. Maybe I'll switch to 4x4's, they usually aren't warped the way other dimensional lumber seems to be *lol*

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Hardwood 2x2 lumber is normally very straight, that might be the ticket next time.

I tend to get cheap about things, but a hardwood would have been much better, lesson learned,hopefully the store doesn't foul them up the way it does plain ones. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Don’t use construction grade white-wood for your legs, it is seldom straight and true, plus it is frequently made from ripped down 2x4’s, and the ripped cut may not be ninety degrees. I use “select pine” (aka Radiata pine) grown on tree farms in New Zealand, and it is free of knots, twists and other imperfections, and is very clear-grained, it’s twice the price of the white-wood, but looks like furniture gradeand is great to work with. Buying cheap lumber costs more in the long run.

Bill in FtL

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