Todays lumber

There's quite a bit of good information here so far, but I have to stand firm that there's been no time in my life time that construction grade lumber was suitable for finished work right off the rack.  It may be worse today, as the process of choosing what logs/parts of logs become what boards has improved, but it was never really nice and square and level right off the rack.   We haven't used old-growth lumber for framing since at least the 1960's and even then it was less common.  The introduction of  "top choice" or other 'premium' lumber also leaves the regular stuff at a lower over-all quality, as all the good boards are marked up.  These premium boards seem to be of the same sort of quality that I recall in typical studs 20+ years ago.  Less knots, less twisting and bowing... Still need to be milled at home if you want them to be furniture grade.  

Now what you will find is that the lumber mills do more efficiently choose what logs to use for what boards today.  2x4 studs that no one will ever see, stuffed inside a wall?  Use the most knotty, bowed, garbage logs you can find.  If you want a better quality of lumber look into 2x8 or larger boards.  Even in a construction/framing grade these are expected to be used as joists, and are unusable as such if they twist or bow much.  As such they are milled from better stock.  If you have a table saw the wider boards are pretty easy to rip down.    In general wider or longer boards will be much better quality than your typical 92 5/8" stud.  

JGL

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

I purchased the vast majority of the 1/2 inch plywood sheeting, 2x2's,1x3's  and 1x4's from a local long time well established lumber yard, the price differential from the big box store was minor, I told the lumber yard order period I wanted straight lengths, no corkscrewing or bowing, the yard personnel and I picked the lumber and loaded it my pickup truck bed, no issues from the yard office or lumber wearhouse crew, no price increase for this service.

While yet to build my layout, I've had good success using Lowe's Top Choice lumber for building two 6' tall x 8' wide rugged shelving units for my basement, as well as a rugged bookshelf designed to support a decent sized safe on top.  Was easy to find boards that were straight with relatively few knots.  I'll likely use that to make the section of the layout I'll need to occasionally get on top of.  I'll use lighter weight stuff for the rest, though. 

 There was at one time a thread on here that talked about making bench work from plywood and gave the dimensions for ripping a 4 x 8 sheet to get the maximum amount of strips out of it that were of the same dimension . I have tried to find it using the search feature with no success. Does any one have that information they could share ? or have any idea of the title of the thread or how to find it ?  Thank you Gary

Just another funny old guy with strange ideas  Gary

JohnGaltLine posted:

There's quite a bit of good information here so far, but I have to stand firm that there's been no time in my life time that construction grade lumber was suitable for finished work right off the rack. Thats why its not called finish grade

 It may be worse today,It's not as the process of choosing what logs/parts of logs become what boards has improved, but it was never really nice and square and level right off the rack. I get bunks of almost perfect studs and joists all the time  We haven't used old-growth lumber for framing since at least the 1960's and even then it was less common.We use it all the time just depends how old your talking  The introduction of  "top choice" or other 'premium' lumber also leaves the regular stuff at a lower over-all quality, as all the good boards are marked up.Scam  These premium boards seem to be of the same sort of quality that I recall in typical studs 20+ years ago.  Less knots, less twisting and bowing... Still need to be milled at home if you want them to be furniture grade. Pay for clear lumber  for furniture 

Now what you will find is that the lumber mills do more efficiently choose what logs to use for what boards today.  2x4 studs that no one will ever see, stuffed inside a wall?  Use the most knotty, bowed, garbage logs you can find.If we use bowed garbage in the walls you will see drywall waves worse yet a bow in the wall if chair rail or wainscot is installed  If you want a better quality of lumber look into 2x8 or larger boards.No different species Hem fir  or doug fir    Even in a construction/framing grade these are expected to be used as joists, and are unusable as such if they twist or bow much.We crown all joists up so all the bows match severe bows get cut up for headers that carry weight  As such they are milled from better stock.Its the same  If you have a table saw the wider boards are pretty easy to rip down.    In general wider or longer boards will be much better quality than your typical 92 5/8" stud.  No 92 5/8 , 104 5/8 , 116 5/8 are all selected for studs

we sight all studs the bad ones go in a pile and are cut up for small blocks 

JGL

 

I can guarantee today's lumber is as good as any, if its properly handled, Old growth houses are falling down because they had to use smaller framing members......had to cut with the old hand saw. Old growth lumber is a scam to charge more good for decorative beam and such

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unclelouiesboy posted:

 There was at one time a thread on here that talked about making bench work from plywood and gave the dimensions for ripping a 4 x 8 sheet to get the maximum amount of strips out of it that were of the same dimension . I have tried to find it using the search feature with no success. Does any one have that information they could share ? or have any idea of the title of the thread or how to find it ?  Thank you Gary

If you plan to use ripped plywood strips as framing members, take note.  A piece of 3/4" thick plywood ripped to 3 1/2" (same size as a 1"x4") will not have the strength a 1"x4" has.  Some may point out that it depends on the grade of plywood used.  That may be true.  But in my opinion, you'd have to spend too much money on a suitable grade of plywood to get comparable strength with dimension lumber.  

To counter act the weakness of ripped plywood strips, glue two of them together to form a member 1 1/2" x 3 1/2".  You could form an L girder using plywood strips but plywood does not take kindly to a screw threading into it from the edge.  

I find it surprising that so many have commented on the bad grades of 1x material, 1x4s, etc.  Even at home depot I can get decent white pine boards that are straight.  A good carpenter can make a silk purse from a sows ear.  I've had to do it on more than one occasion.  

Making L girders takes a little bit of thought when using less than perfect lumber.  Sometimes you have to make the two pieces work against one another in order to wind up with a straight girder.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

A lot of bad info here.  I've sold lumber for over 25 years and have built my share of big houses.  Also have built 5-6 layouts.  To say today 's lumber is no good is pure BS.  What do you think they use in the thousands of houses built every day. Don't buy framing lumber at Menards or Home Depot.  That is junk.  You are left picking through piles of what is  garbage to begin with that have already been picked through.  If you want to know what to use, buy 1x4 finger jointed primed pine.  It will all be straight and true and stay that way.  Using poplar is too expensive, not practical and unnecessary.  If you insist on using 2x4 framing lumber, buy it at a lumber yard.  Stud grade SPF is the best option.  Use the finger jointed primed pine and your problem is solved.  If you are stuck with bowed material, rip it with a table saw.  Planing will take forever and will be hard to get right.  Steel studs is a ridiculous idea period.

William 1 posted:

A lot of bad info here.  I've sold lumber for over 25 years and have built my share of big houses.  Also have built 5-6 layouts.  To say today 's lumber is no good is pure BS.  What do you think they use in the thousands of houses built every day. Don't buy framing lumber at Menards or Home Depot.  That is junk.  You are left picking through piles of what is  garbage to begin with that have already been picked through.  If you want to know what to use, buy 1x4 finger jointed primed pine.  It will all be straight and true and stay that way.  Using poplar is too expensive.  If you insist on using 2x4 framing lumber, buy it at a lumber yard.  Stud grade SPF is the best option.  Use the finger jointed primed pine and your problem is solved.  If you are stuck with bowed material, rip it with a table saw.  Planing will take forever and will be hard to get right.  Steel studs is a ridiculous idea period.

I believe you. I've always been amazed at how bad some of the wood is at Home Depot. Lowes is better but not by much. Unfortunately I don't know of any sources for individual pieces that are near me so I usually get the best I can by eyeball and then L-shape it. Sounds like I would be smarter to buy a bunch of wood from a good lumber source instead of picking up a piece at a time.

 

For the platform I have always used 1/2" underlayment grade Fir plywood with 1/2" homasote.  Southern yellow pine is junk also.  We don't even sell SYP anymore.  The underlayment grade plywood has no voids in the plys and is sanded.  It is solid throughout the whole sheet and very stable.  I would never use CDX plywood, especially SYP.

well I read thru most of the threads...........using the table saw to "straighten" a crooked board is a great way to go.  the Wild Mary idea is spot on innovative!but an alternate is go to a pro lumber yard and buy either LVL/PSL studs............or buy the LVL that they already have in stock and rip it via table saw into the depth (2x4) that you want. if you use this directly on concrete the but a piece of rubber or plastic between it and the concrete.

  If you use a plywood I'd advise getting something like a 3/4 cdx or something with many layers/plies.

 

William 1 posted:

A lot of bad info here.  I've sold lumber for over 25 years and have built my share of big houses.  Also have built 5-6 layouts.  To say today 's lumber is no good is pure BS.  What do you think they use in the thousands of houses built every day. Don't buy framing lumber at Menards or Home Depot.  That is junk.  You are left picking through piles of what is  garbage to begin with that have already been picked through.  If you want to know what to use, buy 1x4 finger jointed primed pine.  It will all be straight and true and stay that way.  Using poplar is too expensive, not practical and unnecessary.  If you insist on using 2x4 framing lumber, buy it at a lumber yard.  Stud grade SPF is the best option.  Use the finger jointed primed pine and your problem is solved.  If you are stuck with bowed material, rip it with a table saw.  Planing will take forever and will be hard to get right.  Steel studs is a ridiculous idea period.

There's more than one way to skin a cat.  When I was running work, if one of my guys had a good idea, better than the one I had, I let him run with it.  To say that using metal studs is "ridiculous" is like closing the door to fresh thought.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

William 1 posted:

A lot of bad info here.  I've sold lumber for over 25 years and have built my share of big houses.  Also have built 5-6 layouts.  To say today 's lumber is no good is pure BS.  What do you think they use in the thousands of houses built every day. Don't buy framing lumber at Menards or Home Depot.  That is junk.  You are left picking through piles of what is  garbage to begin with that have already been picked through.  If you want to know what to use, buy 1x4 finger jointed primed pine.  It will all be straight and true and stay that way.  Using poplar is too expensive, not practical and unnecessary.  If you insist on using 2x4 framing lumber, buy it at a lumber yard.  Stud grade SPF is the best option.  Use the finger jointed primed pine and your problem is solved.  If you are stuck with bowed material, rip it with a table saw.  Planing will take forever and will be hard to get right.  Steel studs is a ridiculous idea period.

I bought my lumber at a lumber yard and it was SPF. I would not want my house built out of the stuff they sell around here. I checked into metal studs, nobody in this town carry's them. They might be able to order them but there's a good chance they can't get them. There was one place that did but they went out of business. And you are right on poplar being too expensive. $16.00 for a 8' 2x4.

One thing about trains, it doesn't matter where they are going, it's having the sense to get on.

A bit more history on metal studs.  many years ago, about 35, metal studs were being promoted for use in framing houses.  An entire structure using metal studs, joists, rafters, etc.  The gauge was a bit heavier than the standard 25 and 20 gauge metal studs used for interior walls.  These house framing studs are 16 gauge.  They are still used extensively on commercial construction projects.  

Having worked in construction all of my life, I like using metal framing whenever it is appropriate.  There are no warped, twisted, checked or wet metal studs.  They are all exactly the same as the one before it.  They're cleaner to work with than wood.  Electricians and plumbers don't have to butcher them to get wiring to pipes through.  The pile of metal studs that has just been delivered to a construction site takes up much less room than the same number of wood studs.  You don't have to worry that they will get wet if you forget to cover them with a tarp.  You can even take all of the waste to the junk yard and make a few pennies, literally.  

Why they never caught on in house framing is somewhat of a mystery.  My best guess is that the industry just couldn't get their head wrapped around the idea of a house framed completely out of metal.  I personally know of only one set of houses over in Hatboro, Pa. that was framed using all metal.  They were built back in the late seventies or early eighties.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Dan Padova posted:

A bit more history on metal studs.  many years ago, about 35, metal studs were being promoted for use in framing houses.  An entire structure using metal studs, joists, rafters, etc.  The gauge was a bit heavier than the standard 25 and 20 gauge metal studs used for interior walls.  These house framing studs are 16 gauge.  They are still used extensively on commercial construction projects.  

Having worked in construction all of my life, I like using metal framing whenever it is appropriate.  There are no warped, twisted, checked or wet metal studs.  They are all exactly the same as the one before it.  They're cleaner to work with than wood.  Electricians and plumbers don't have to butcher them to get wiring to pipes through.  The pile of metal studs that has just been delivered to a construction site takes up much less room than the same number of wood studs.  You don't have to worry that they will get wet if you forget to cover them with a tarp.  You can even take all of the waste to the junk yard and make a few pennies, literally.  

Why they never caught on in house framing is somewhat of a mystery.  My best guess is that the industry just couldn't get their head wrapped around the idea of a house framed completely out of metal.  I personally know of only one set of houses over in Hatbox, Pa. that was framed using all metal.  They were built back in the late seventies or early eighties.  

Dan,  they are building house's out of them in the land down under.

One thing about trains, it doesn't matter where they are going, it's having the sense to get on.

I guess I was lucky.  Got all mine from menards.  They do have multiple grades, bought the best, quality pine I believe.   1 x 3 and 2 x 2 and 4x4 sheets of 1/2 inch plywood as well as 4 x 4 sheets of homastoe.  Very happy with all the wood I got.

 

I have to think metal studs will be noisy with trains running over them.  Plus for Legacy users it could be a nightmare with the ground plane issue I would think.  Every time lumber has a big spike in price, which happens sometimes, it is a commodity, metal framing gets brought up.  But it never gets gets used much because it is impractical.  All the headers have to be spot welded on the job, for one thing, and what carpenter wants to fool with that.  None I know.  Metal studs are used in commercial buildings, not residential.  They are not load bearing and not intended to support floor joists, ceiling joists and rafters.  They get drywall screwed to them.  That is the last thing I would use to build a layout with.  It will work, but why bother when I know what I use is the best option.  1x4 finger jointed primed pine.  The first available product is called Windsor One, but there are now copycats because it works so well.  It is used as smooth exterior trim in lieu of #2 pine, which has knots, needs to be primed and can get squirrelly when exposed to weather over time.

Also, if you are dead set with using 2x4s, buy stud grade material.  Studs are milled from the center of the tree and are more stable and designed to be load bearing.  That's what they are made for.  If you buy regular SPF plate stock it is going to be rougher and more prone to twisting.  They are used for top and bottom plates in a wall and don't need to be super straight and clean.  That is what they are made for.  Don't you think lumber is used to frame probably 95% of the houses being built for a reason.  Because it is the best option.  If I build a house with say 400 studs a floor and check for plumb before dry walling, maybe 30 or 40 will need to be replaced, usually less, because they twisted after being installed.  Again because that is what they are made for.  Using ripped LVLs for benchwork will certainly work well, but again that is much more expensive and they are hard as a rock to screw into.  To say today's framing lumber is garbage is pure garbage.  I sell millions of dollars of it every year and use it to build $800,000 custom homes.  You just don't know what you are buying.

William 1 posted:

I have to think metal studs will be noisy with trains running over them.  Plus for Legacy users it could be a nightmare with the ground plane issue I would think.  Every time lumber has a big spike in price, which happens sometimes, it is a commodity, metal framing gets brought up.  But it never gets gets used much because it is impractical.  All the headers have to be spot welded on the job, for one thing, and what carpenter wants to fool with that.  None I know.  Metal studs are used in commercial buildings, not residential.  They are not load bearing and not intended to support floor joists, ceiling joists and rafters.  They get drywall screwed to them.  That is the last thing I would use to build a layout with.  It will work, but why bother when I know what I use is the best option.  1x4 finger jointed primed pine.  The first available product is called Windsor One, but there are now copycats because it works so well.  It is used as smooth exterior trim in lieu of #2 pine, which has knots, needs to be primed and can get squirrelly when exposed to weather over time.

William, you need to come out from under that rock.  There's a whole world of metal framing out there.  Metal framing has been around for a long time.  It's extremely practical.  And it can carry a load if using 16 gauge studs.  Metal studs are and have been used in residential as well as commercial construction.  And as I pointed out, are and have been used as joists and rafters.  I could go on and on, but have a look at this.  You might learn something.  In spite of what the article says about load bearing walls, metal studs are indeed used for that purpose.

https://bethepro.com/benefits-...l-studs-six-reasons/

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

 I don't need to look at it.  I sell lumber for a living.  In essence that is my competition.  So I am understandably biased.  Use what you want.  Post a thread showing your handiwork.  I've built six layouts, two for myself, and four for others using what I described and it is the best option I believe.  I would never use it for benchwork, period.  I don't want my hands all nicked up and oily with shards of metal all over the ground.  I like sawdust.  It smells nice.

WOW  William, I didn't mean to start a fire storm when I suggested using metal studs.  Since you're in the lumber business what is your professional opinion on the primed finger joint 1x4's that the big box stores sell.  I know it's KD'd,  made from eastern white pine, is basically waterproof and seems to be stable.  Other than that what can you tell us about it.  Oh, and I like the fact that it's sold in 16' lengths and is reasonably priced.  BTW I like the smell of sawdust also.  I worked my teenage summers in a small sawmill in W Va.

Me at 17 at Bland's saw mill.  Summer of 1961

saving_slabs-b

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"

 

 

Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004

 

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Metal framing does have holes.  I have tools to add more holes as needed.  There is also an assortment of plastic bushing for the holes so that wires and plastic tubing are protected from the sometimes sharp metal edges.  Also there are clips and support systems for metal boxes and plumbing.   Many commercial jobs you will see carpenters adding Non-Com lumber.  Non combustible lumber as backing for cabinetry, hand rails, extensive wood interior trim, etc.   There are trim finish screw, that are used to install finish wood, to walls, framed with metal studs. ,You also see air tools/nail-ers with finish nails designed for the metal studs.

Standard tool in the truck, for every day wiring with metal framing.  Stud punch, large tool with green handles. Works well with most framing 26 gauge and smaller.  Structural studs require a metal hole saw.

Vice-grips, and large C-type vice-grips are used to attach metal boxes to studs.  Once held with the C-clamps, self-taping, #6 or #8,  pan head screws can be applied as a permanent attachment. The C-clamps are also used to support framing as screws are applied.   Note that metal studs have a separate and different C-channel track used for floor/ceiling  attachment of the framing.   In most cases, Left (Green) and Right(Red) tin snips will cut the metal studs.  Upper left in this picture.  Band-aids, close by, is not a bad idea.

 

Other important tool is an impact driver, with an assortment of different tips, for the many different types of screws.

One more tool, for altering/ bending pieces of metal as needed.

Note that the wonderful metal framing pictured in this thread, required these tools, and maybe a few more.

Best wishes with your project. The world of metal framing is held together with #6 and # 8 screws.

Mike CT

Wow, William.  No one here is doubting your affection for wood.  He who grasps change stays in the game.  Hell, I am a master carpenter retired.  In my first years as an apprentice carpenter, I was intimidated and also intrigued by metal stud framing.

As for finger jointed primed pine, I mentioned it in my very first post in this thread.  Apparently, no one reads all of the posts all of the time, as I see it mentioned several times without any clue as to former posts.  

We all hear you.  Your opinions are duly noted.  However, as I said before, there is always more than one way to skin a cat.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

I love using the white primer-ed finger jointed pine, like mentioned above. It's made with pieces of clear (no knots) pine and because of the various grain patterns throughout the length of the boards, the stay very straight. Also the paint keeps the moisture content from varying in the lumber and keeps it from moving. I'm in the process of building a 44 foot long dog bone with an under ground subway line. 0122171531a0223172116a02231721160319171700a 

Dave Z

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I find this a very interesting subject especially on this forum.  Seems 3 railers only think in terms of FLAT tables.  Why is that?  Guess that's a topic for a different thread.  Anyhow if you have uneven TOPS of your boards that you are going to be placing a SKIN on top of, think SHIMS.  I almost never use full sheets of ply as I cut them to fit the width of the road bed I need and then raise or lower the roadbed to get my level, which means I don't care what the table framing looks like.   I also only 3/4 in cabinet grade ply.  At about $10 a sheet difference I don't want my $ engines and or trains having issues because I cut corners on the table.  Just my 2 cents, spend wisely!   Russ

A yard with shims under the sheet to take a small dip about mid yard.

This discussion is very similar to the posts that come up regularly asking how to clean the track.  Yes, there are dozens of ways to 'skin a cat', but why not use the method that has been proven to work instead of experimenting with something else.  

Last thought on steel being used to frame a house.  The carpenters I work with regularly can frame a 5000 sq ft house with a fancy cut roof in 2-3 weeks using lumber.   Using steel would probably take at least twice as long. Probably four times.  Just having to screw everything together instead of using nail guns would take three times the time.  Plus having to weld pieces etc.,  cutting bird's mouth ends and attaching the rafter to the hips and ridges...  How do attach the sub fascia to the rafter ends?  How are you going to fasten interior trim , hang doors... The list is endless.  Completely impractical.  In  35 years of being in the home building business one way or the other, I have never seen steel used to frame a house.  Bad way to skin a cat.  Bad way to build benchwork as well.  I would never do it.

William 1 posted:

This discussion is very similar to the posts that come up regularly asking how to clean the track.  Yes, there are dozens of ways to 'skin a cat', but why not use the method that has been proven to work instead of experimenting with something else.  

Last thought on steel being used to frame a house.  The carpenters I work with regularly can frame a 5000 sq ft house with a fancy cut roof in 2-3 weeks using lumber.   Using steel would probably take at least twice as long. Probably four times.  Just having to screw everything together instead of using nail guns would take three times the time.  Plus having to weld pieces etc.,  cutting bird's mouth ends and attaching the rafter to the hips and ridges...  How do attach the sub fascia to the rafter ends?  How are you going to fasten interior trim , hang doors... The list is endless.  Completely impractical.  In  35 years of being in the home building business one way or the other, I have never seen steel used to frame a house.  Bad way to skin a cat.  Bad way to build benchwork as well.  I would never do it.

William we're not building a house, just a base structure to sit some plywood on top.

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"

 

 

Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004

 

While I prefer working with wood because it is easier for me and doesn't require any tools I don't already own;  Sometimes, folks can come up with a method of doing something that is different than methods used foe hundreds of years.  Every now and then these new methods are an improvement in one way or another.  I don't know about what other folks think, but I would much rather live in a world where more efficient methods are used and constantly improved upon than in one where "The way it has always been done" is the only acceptable method.  I prefer lightbulbs over candles.

As for the sectional-primed pine, it has the same problem that Steel does for me.  It's ugly.  If you have no care for how the finished product looks, you can just use OSB and epoxy and save a ton of money.  It will look hideous, but will be just as strong and flat as anything else.  

Some side points:

Just because you do not know how to use a material does not make it an inferior material.  

It seems to me that someone in the lumber business would be familiar with the hardware/tools business to some extent, and should thus be aware that belt-fed screw guns exist  and are a common-place tool for contractors.  

 

Marketing wank is marketing wank. As with everything else in the world, trusting the guy trying to sell you something with information about the competing product is a failure of common sense.  

JGL

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

wild mary posted:

No one has considered using metal studs.  It's dead straight and will never twist or warp.  It's fairly cheap (3 5/8" X 8' @ $4.79 & 10' @ $5.48).  It's easy to work with a little practice and already comes with knock-outs for your wiring. When I was a contractor I used tons of it for all sorts of construction. I'm really considering using it for my upcoming bench work.  Here's a sample of what you can do with it.  Just think your grid work could be your COMMON LEAD.   Think outside the envelope.

metal studs

 

Who's layout is that? I would think that much metal in a layout  would  potentially wreak hovoc  wth a TMCC/Legacy signal.

The FJPR pine is the framing.  With a fascia you don't see it.  Completely irrelevant.  Also it's a consistent white finish.  Nothing ugly about it.  If you don't use a fascia covering it can be painted and be your fascia.  It is a premium product and used for exterior trim on houses that require a smooth finish as opposed to rough sawn cedar.  It is a finish material.  Primed and ready for paint as opposed to Masonite which will need both for a good finish.  

RickO posted:

Who's layout is that? I would think that much metal in a layout  would  potentially wreak hovoc  wth a TMCC/Legacy signal.

Based purely on the science, as I don't have any hands on experience with a metal framed layout, there is no reason it should be a problem.  As long as the metal frame is connected to earth ground.  The benchwork would provide an amazing 'ground plane' for the TMCC signal.  The other half of the signal is received directly through the locomotive's wheels from the track, and does not care what material the framing is made of.  The one issue is that it would be essential to make sure no track screws reach down into the metal, as this would directly short out the TMCC signal.   For a very large layout there may be some signal strength issues, but these issues seem to occur with wood framing anyway.  

In effect with a metal benchwork, the benchwork is your antenna so you should have a much stronger signal than with wood.  Many folks with traditional wood bench work add metal to it for this purpose.  I've seen a number of times where a layer of chicken wire is used between the benchwork and top layer.  

JGL

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

RickO posted:
wild mary posted:

No one has considered using metal studs.  It's dead straight and will never twist or warp.  It's fairly cheap (3 5/8" X 8' @ $4.79 & 10' @ $5.48).  It's easy to work with a little practice and already comes with knock-outs for your wiring. When I was a contractor I used tons of it for all sorts of construction. I'm really considering using it for my upcoming bench work.  Here's a sample of what you can do with it.  Just think your grid work could be your COMMON LEAD.   Think outside the envelope.

metal studs

 

Who's layout is that? I would think that much metal in a layout  would  potentially wreak hovoc  wth a TMCC/Legacy signal.

To me it doesn't look like base framing for a model train layout.  It looks like a prefab outdoor kitchen base.  Look at what looks like rectangular boxes lined up on the floor at the left and far sides.  These would be foot rests for people sitting at the counter above.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

RickO posted:
wild mary posted:

No one has considered using metal studs.  It's dead straight and will never twist or warp.  It's fairly cheap (3 5/8" X 8' @ $4.79 & 10' @ $5.48).  It's easy to work with a little practice and already comes with knock-outs for your wiring. When I was a contractor I used tons of it for all sorts of construction. I'm really considering using it for my upcoming bench work.  Here's a sample of what you can do with it.  Just think your grid work could be your COMMON LEAD.   Think outside the envelope.

metal studs

 

Who's layout is that? I would think that much metal in a layout  would  potentially wreak hovoc  wth a TMCC/Legacy signal.

Rick it's not for a layout.  It's the base structure for a sushi bar.

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"

 

 

Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004

 

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