Possible ideas on expanding edge of shelf-type layout (see picture)


I under-estimated the space I wanted and would like to expand the fascia edge of my shelf-layout about 3-4". I am thinking of using 1" thick construction foam board - ripping it in 4" x 8' lengths and then laying a piece on top of that such that it'll be flush with existing fascia and layout surface. I'd spackle and fill in the seam and paint. There is a gentle radius involved, thus I need to be able to bend whatever material I use. This extension is only for foreground scenery and will not support tracks or anything that heavy. I am thinking liquid nails will hold the pieces to existing fascia and each other. I cannot think of any other way to expand?



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I like that idea, it should work. However, I would be concerned with the durability of the construction foam board. I can see it getting big nicks, etc in a short amount of time. 

I would think about laminating a 1/8" thick 4" strip of Masonite to the outside face of the foam to provide durability. Glue and clamp in position until dry.


"If two rails are good, than three rails has got to be better."


"Give a person a toy train and watch them play for a day. Teach a person to fill their basement with trains and give them a lifetime hobby."

Paul.  I like your approach to your shelf benchwork.  My layout was designed by cloud watching.  Wet thumb planning made for a need to bump out all around the  layout in many places.  It is primarily a collision of left over stuff from my benchwork contracting.   You will be able to install bump outs and make them seem to be a seam less part of the layout.

I could provide a couple dozen of top and bottom views to give you an idea of at least my way of doing things.  Not too sure about loading this thread up .  Sometime folks complain.

Contact me via my profile and I can share lots of photos.  I could also talk you through some of the approaches.

IMG_7123run a round build 012

There was this initial three track bumpout which needed a bumpout on a bump out for a TT.


And this free standing coal dock mock up of a finger to be added to an existing pike.

2' X 8' finger 006

Small inside corner bump out and station bump out:


Taped scrap on feather ends to protect while in transit.


I see you are in PA.  Any where near Delaware County?




Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.


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Thanks, all.

Don, Masonite is a good idea.

John, I already laid track on the shelf parts pictured, and installed copious scenery.

Dave, the shelf system is attached to the wall studs, with cantilevered 2x4s every 8 feet. It's part of the wall and very strong

Tom, an elderly friend, who is a carpenter, helped me build this. You're photos reveal masterful wood-working. I am afraid I don't possess near that amount of talent. I am in Honey Brook, Chester County, Amish country. My e-mail is: Paulefudd@hotmail.com

Funny thing about planning layouts... we always end up wanting to make them bigger. In my case, I only need 3-4" to give a nicer foreground.

Paul, gluing a strip of foam to the underside edge of your main piece of foam would hide the shelf, make finishing the edge more consistent, and allow the any topography to overflow and become the shelf edge IF you choose to now, or "someday" with ease.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


Paul,  Thank you for the kind words. 

I would suggest to  remove or code out your email asap.  Automatic scanners seek out email addresses on forums to feed spammers.  That is why we post contact info in our profile. 

Once you see how I do these things you will see the simplicity involved.  It's like Etch-A-Sketch in your mind.

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

Paul, if this is just for topography purposes consider extending a 1/4" plywood shelf from the bottom of the benchwork frame work and build up a foam earthen embankment.

Select progress photos below:

IMG_4542IMG_9004IMG_9005IMG_9008Shade tree photos 002Shade tree photos 005 

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.


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Update: I ended up going with Tom and others suggestions on using 2x4 extensions - much easier than I first thought. For the deck I bought pine shelfs that I'll cut to size. The new fascia will be underlaminate. I have about 1/3 of the 2x4s installed. I'll post updated photos when I get it looking halfway decent.

Thanks again!

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