After giving it some thought I have chosen to build a layout on a hollow door. Since my old planed 38in by 4ft layout was just felt small and cramped. It would not allow me to run my grandfather’s prewar 229 and its freight cars without seeming cramped, along with my Dad’s postwar 637. My question is who else has built layouts on hollow doors?

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them".-Walt Disney

"Well? You coming? Boy: Where? Conductor: Why, to the North Pole, of course! This is the Polar Express!"

 

 

Original Post

Hollow doors are light weight but can be noisy unless carpeted or some kind is padding is use under the track.  The doorskin acts like a drum head.

I used 36 by 80 inch doorskins over 1 by 2 framing to make my own "doors".

Covered by green marine outdoor type HD carpet.

I used 2 "doors" side by side to get a 6 foot by 7 foot layout in my small dining room.

I have a 072 Atlas loop and a 042 Standard Gauge loop for "testing" trains.

Doors are great for temp or testing layouts, I will use stronger materials for a perm layout.

Originally Posted by Khayden93:

After giving it some thought I have chosen to build a layout on a hollow door. Since my old planed 38in by 4ft layout was just felt small and cramped. It would not allow me to run my grandfather’s prewar 229 and its freight cars without seeming cramped, along with my Dad’s postwar 637. My question is who else has built layouts on hollow doors?

I'm sure you'll get some direct replies from forumites who have done this. In the meantime, I think there was some sort of layout building contest (specifically for door layouts) here on the forum a few years ago. Might be able to find a trove of info by doing a search. Hopefully I didn't just imagine all this?

TCA, LCCA

My wife and I have a Hollow Door layout in our spare bedroom.  She still won't let me do an around the wall layout....yet!  I'm still working on her to let me do that.  Our  layout small but a lot of fun.  Just one 031 loop with one small siding and a Superstreets trolley section.    We recently added a shelf on the back side to store some extra rolling stock.  The shelf is empty, we are in the process of changing the rolling stock.   Our Hollow Core Door layout won a honorable mention in the Layout on a Door contest back in 2010.
 

CIMG2352

CIMG2353

CIMG2354

GTW Gif

Attachments

Photos (3)
Originally Posted by GTW Ralph:
My wife and I have a Hollow Door layout in our spare bedroom.  She still won't let me do an around the wall layout....yet!  I'm still working on her to let me do that.  Our  layout small but a lot of fun.  Just one 031 loop with one small siding and a Superstreets trolley section.    We recently added a shelf on the back side to store some extra rolling stock.  The shelf is empty, we are in the process of changing the rolling stock.   Our Hollow Core Door layout won a honorable mention in the Layout on a Door contest back in 2010.

Looks great

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them".-Walt Disney

"Well? You coming? Boy: Where? Conductor: Why, to the North Pole, of course! This is the Polar Express!"

 

 

YES • When I was a kid my Dad was an Engineer at Fruehauf Trailer Corp. At that time they were the largest manufacture of truck trailers.

     It was an A.C. Gilbert American Flyer, built on two box trailer doors About the size of this photo. It was plywood with a laminated metal on both sides. A Federal Court and the anti trust laws said that they had a Monopoly and broke up Fruehauf, they never recovered. 

fruehauf

fruehauf-logo

Attachments

Photos (2)

Just finishing a door layout for my 6 year old Grandson.  I used a hollow door- was amazed at the "reinforcement"- corrugated cardboard!!  Cheap!!  But at $34 I guess you can't expect much.  A solid door was 50 lbs. heavier.

Mine is 36 X 72 (3' x 6') after I cut the length to fit under his twin bed.  I bought  Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer starter set, and also O31 curves to fit the door (the set comes w/ O36 Fastrack).

I added six X 1-5/8:" casters and two handles to the bottom so he could pull it in and out.  I also jacked up the bed for clearance to allow him to put on some Plasticville buildings.  

Noise reduction:  I drilled 3/4" holes through the bottom "veneer" under where the tracks will lay, and used "Great Stuff" foam from a can into the void.  Tomorrow, I'll probably buy some foam roadbed for under the track.

My L-shaped train layout (15 x 19) rests on several hollow core doors (initially 36 inches wide) supported by SKIL plastic sawhorses. I placed quarter-round "guides" on the underside of the doors to hold the sawhorses in place -- sturdy and steady. The minimum curves and switches on my layout are 042, so I added an "extension" to the doors to increase the width to 48 inches (spliced a piece of another door to them).  I covered the doors with put green "patio carpeting" - mostly for cosmetics but the carpet does provide some sound deadening.  I added a perimeter fascia (painted Lionel orange). The fascia is mounted with a 3/4-inch rise above the platforms as a "containment barrier." All control buttons for action accessories are mounted on the fascia for convenience - a standard practice.

Since there was no room on the platforms for control gear, I installed two under-platform pull-out sliding shelves that contain:
1)  switch controllers, siding on/off control switches, and trolley DC track power controls
2)  transformers and TMCC gear.
These handy pull-out shelves are the control center for the layout. During operating sessions, they are generally "closed" and hidden from view.

All wiring is laced under the platforms, with four AC power strips that can be turn on/off by wireless remote controllers. Layout wiring is distributed to terminal panels for track power, accessory power, and JUST PLUG devices.

The hollow core doors support the weight of track, trains, buildings, and all -- but they are not strong enough to walk on them.  Photos attached.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394

Attachments

Photos (2)

But not for O gauge...

Model Railroader magazine published a nice N scale layout article in the 1990's based on using a 28" x 80" hollow core door.  This was right about the time our store (LHS) was moving to a new, larger location.  So I built 4 new layouts for the store, the N scale one based on MR's article.  I used a 36" x 80" door, however.  It's mounted atop some shelves at eye level on the N scale aisle.  Fully enclosed/covered to minimize wayward fingers and falling dust.  Very popular layout, and portable!.....so much so that, until recently, was borrowed/transported to the local Amtrak station for Amtrak's annual day of celebration.  The Carolina Central was later included in a Kalmbach publication on the N scale hobby.  And Kato released a track package for the same....somewhat.

BTW....At the time, I was directed to a door store locally who does custom fabrication/installations of the same.  They had a supply of hollow core doors that, for one reason or another, were 'discards'....at VERY, VERY low price.  All of which had no hardware holes pre-drilled on the faces making them perfect as a layout substrate.  Check around....there might be a similar local source in your own locale.

KD

I took a door out last year and decided to keep it for a small switching layout. I developed a track plan that allows for interesting action on the SCARM simulator. Sort of like an Inglenook or Time saver I guess. 

All that's left to do is build it.

switching.2switching.5

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

Attachments

Photos (2)

I used a hollow core door for my N gauge layout back in the early 70's. It worked great for that layout. Light weight and very portable .  I did see an O gauge layout using 3 hollow core doors in one of the magazines .  It looked pretty awesome , it was even fitted with a live catenary system with a great track plan . 

Joe Hohmann posted:

I would think trying to feed electrical lines through a hollow door would be APITA. Noise wise, it acts as a drum. My 5x8 layout is on Luan board, which is light, strong, and smooth.

Re feeding wires on a hollow door layout...

Bonding a sheet of pink/blue foam board to the layout surface provides a more workable surface for topography variations, attachment of structures, trees, track, etc., .....and wiring.

When I built the N Carolina Central for the store, I used two stacked 1/2" layers of the foam board.  The first layer was sized to 35"x79", the second (top) layer to the full 36"x80".  This created a foam channel around the perimeter of the layout through which all layout wiring travelled back to the control panel.  A 1/4" thick masonite fascia was ultimately attached to the layout perimeter which completed the finished appearance of the layout, and captured the wiring in the perimeter channel.

When installing the wiring for track, structure lighting, switch motors, etc., I used two simple tools to enable the wires to reach the perimeter channel....a box cutter knife, and a long knitting needle.  Depending on how close to the perimeter channel the item was, I'd either cut a shallow groove in the foam surface, and/or carefully poke the knitting needle to create a hole through which the wires could be fed.  All of which were ultimately covered with scenery on the visible layout surface.  

It was actually quite fast and easy.

BTW, the simple control panel ended up being built into a small aluminum project box embedded into a foam hill in one corner of the layout with a 4-wire cable....track power, accessory power...extending through the fascia to be connected to the power pack.  

Nope, you don't want to fuss with trying to feed anything through a hollow core door.  Keeping that bottom surface free and clear is what enhances the easy portability of such a layout........IMHO, of course.

Oh, and the two sheets of foam board bonded to the layout side of the door?........REALLY helped in damping/deadening operation sounds.....of which there aren't many objectionable in N scale, anyway.

FWIW, always....

KD

Mike Wyatt posted:

Just finishing a door layout for my 6 year old Grandson.  I used a hollow door- was amazed at the "reinforcement"- corrugated cardboard!!  Cheap!!  But at $34 I guess you can't expect much.  A solid door was 50 lbs. heavier.

Mine is 36 X 72 (3' x 6') after I cut the length to fit under his twin bed.  I bought  Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer starter set, and also O31 curves to fit the door (the set comes w/ O36 Fastrack).

I added six X 1-5/8:" casters and two handles to the bottom so he could pull it in and out.  I also jacked up the bed for clearance to allow him to put on some Plasticville buildings.  

Noise reduction:  I drilled 3/4" holes through the bottom "veneer" under where the tracks will lay, and used "Great Stuff" foam from a can into the void.  Tomorrow, I'll probably buy some foam roadbed for under the track.

 

Might want to rethink the “great stuff” idea. As it expands, the foam will build up pressure and cause the relatively flat surfaces of the door to buckle, plus it may make the sound issue worse by tying everything together. It could even cause the door panels to open up along the edges!

A friend had a layout built with conventional benchwork that he added a large expansion to using two inch thick extruded styrofoam sheets, thinking it would reduce noise. The new section with the foam was actually a lot louder than the original conventional wood benchwork.

Bill in FtL 

Have built layouts with semihollow doors that are 36 inches wide by 80 inch long. 

Arranged in a specific  pattern they have homosote on the tops. The tables are latched together with drawer catches. When the doors are latched together they are very stable particularly with the homosote tops.  I placed the doors on metal saw horses with leg extensions to bring up the height.  I can lean on the table and they do Not budge. They are sufficiently strong enough to hold my Postwar equipment, accessories and loops of tubular track.  The layout is three loops connected with return loops to reverse direction of travel. It is full of action For one loco. I originally built this layout with n over head catenary system to run one electric via pantograph and one diesel via track. I will revisit this idea in practice.

In order to facilitate through the table  wire passage I did the following.

i used an extra long drill bit wood bit a couple of inches longer than the thickness of the table and homosote. using the appropriate diameter bit, drilled through the table.  Detatch the drill from the bit keeping drill bit in place. I cut the straw to just beyond he thickness of the door and the homosote.  I placed the close to the same diameter straw over the now vertical drill bit and introduced the straw to the space, by sliding it over the drill bit.  [This is kind of like replacement of an endotracheal tube in an already designated place in the trachea, like an introducer or bougie !] Back to the layout, the straw stays vertically set in the table, once stabilized remove the drill bit . One has a clear path insertion to engage the  wire without cumbersome resistance, slides right through the straw.  Note: the semi hollow doors have stuffing in them that will be a real challenge to pass wires through, ask me how I know! This technique is fast and you can run multiple accessory wires  or feeders to the great beneath bus wires if you like.

enclosed are pictures of my original plan on semihollow doors. I sold this layout years ago and missed it so much that I have made a smaller version of it with far less operating accessories. 

Semi holow Doors do work.

 

Attachments

Photos (3)

Btw: the curves used were 031 on 3 foot wide doors. The 022 Switches were custom cut by me to fit the plan. 

The last table to the right (see last photo sent) had an additional 1 foot wide extension to support more accessories activities and unaltered 022's. 

I have not added the fourth table to my current rebuild.

We have built 15 door layouts for kids and friends in nursing homes in the last 3 years. Normally it is 031 3 rail or 027 stretched to fit the door, currently we do figure eights, but have done passing sidings, multiple sidings and one loop/figure eight with 027. The door is perfect for sliding under a bed when not in use.

Paradise & Pacific Railroad

Actually, I started my last layout by using a folding ping pong table. When I decided to expand and add on...I ended up using three (3) hollow core doors as shown in the photos. It was constructed using all 027 track and switches...so pretty tight for operating, but still fun! 

773A0B13-832C-4EE5-8E30-AE302237BA2361F0391D-1F59-4DEF-B1AB-3CBBEDC94B0E14164146-8C75-4934-9EE8-7FDCE0CDAB267E67A908-7570-44E0-A260-CD3E5D4CB991B4AB8DA2-76CF-4223-A261-1E4DD6663E20BB3B3D2C-9448-4D22-B6E7-D18F7F9190E1E4B7ADC6-3CCB-459B-AFB1-A1324FE5CB81

Paul

The Marshall & Michigan Southern Railroad

Attachments

Photos (7)

I have this layout built many years ago on two 36" doors.  It has been all over Arizona to various shows, but is now permanently at our local mall display.  The two sections are bolted together with a nut and bolt and wire plugs underneath connect the wiring.  The first photo shows it with the original O gauge track and the second since I changed the track to Fastrack.  You can see the seam between the two doors in the lower left on the second photo.

I got the idea from a friend in Tucson who built his entire HO layout on hollow core doors.

 

IMG_0067IMG_2533

Attachments

Photos (2)

I have to agree, I really like LEROOF's and PDDMI's layouts! Thank you both for posting photos! I'm leaning more towards building this style of a postwar layout! I plan on having scenery, but, operating accessories are a must have. I want my trains to have a purpose for being there, and have fun with the accessories while the trains are running!

Rusty

And as the sunset faded, I spoke to the faintest first starlight.
And I said next time, Next time, We'll get it right!
Quote from above: 
My wife and I have a Hollow Door layout in our spare bedroom.  She still won't let me do an around the wall layout....yet!  I'm still working on her to let me do that
?????????
One empty room out of the way of visitors seeing ongoing development.  A place at home where a person's presence is always known.  A time for tranquil recharging, an arena  for creative pride.  So helpful for an individuals personal growth in dexterity.  Where is the downside?
 
Seriously, please help me understand this frequently read comment.  It is so foreign to me.
 
There are some really  neat pint sized fun machines on this thread!  I believe smaller can be better, at least in my case.

 

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×