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Author Previous Topic: Fn3 Turnout scratch build Topic Next Topic: HO code 70 wye turnout source?
Page: of 7

Crew Chief

Posted - 10/01/2008 :  12:04:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just thought I'd add to the discussion on metal framework. I was in B&Q (big box DIY store)today and they have 20mm square aluminium tube and connectors to go with it. Currnt cost is 14 for a 2m length. Not cheap, but ...

An alternative to the aluminium is square steel tube. It's about 11 for 2m, and much heavier.


Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 516 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/24/2009 :  2:28:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am soon to start a new layout and I have the blue 2" foam from lowes.
I was told to use "Liquid Nails for Projects" to fasten the blue foam together.
It will not attack the foam, and it dries fairly fast. Dont use regular
"Liquid Nails" or you will have one big mess!!!
I am going with 1 x 3 bracing and 1 x 6 for the facia.
I will start with one return loop, one 6 foot module and another return loop,
just to get trains running. I'll be back...and will bring some pictures
of construction when I get it going.

Country: USA | Posts: 12973 Go to Top of Page

Bill Uffelman

Posted - 07/24/2009 :  2:49:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Didn't use steel or aluminum for the benchwork as someone else built the two pieces of On30 layout but did use IKEA Ivar shelf system to support a portion of the L shaped plan. 20" x 8' long section is supported by two sturdy shelf brackets, additional 5' x 5' L area is on the IKEA supports. Top of IKEA is roughly 49" so track is roughly 55" high. IKEA units are available 22" and 12" deep. Had planned to support entire layout -- different plan -- on IKEA but the Arroyo Mine RR became available.


will take you to Kodak gallery.

Bill Uffelman
Las Vegas NV

Country: USA | Posts: 1105 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 11/01/2009 :  6:21:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a question having to do with benchwork. If I was using MDF for the top of my benchwork, should I seal it with something so that when I add scenery, the water from plaster doesn't swell up the MDF?? Thank you, in advance for your answers to my question.....


Country: Canada | Posts: 1044 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/01/2009 :  8:53:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Personally, I'd avoid MDF. It does not stand up to water at all, and if your space is humid, you might find screws pulling out or chunks spalling off the surface during the wet part of the year. On a budget, I'd build slower if necessary so I could afford plywood. If you've already got the MDF, spar varnish is fairly waterproof and not awfully expensive last I looked.

Country: USA | Posts: 6143 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/01/2009 :  10:39:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I second James motion. MDF has its uses but it's terribly heavy, generates huge amounts of dust when you work it, and (as James said) is a sponge for moisture.


Country: USA | Posts: 5005 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/02/2009 :  12:10:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And I'll third that motion! In addition to what James and Don said, remember that MDF has absolutely no self supporting qualities. This simply means that over time, without adequate support, I'm afraid you would start to see areas begin to sag. Also, to add to what James said, remember that MDF is largely glue. This means that moisture will begin to break it down, only lessening its limited support capabilities.


Country: USA | Posts: 13728 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/19/2010 :  07:26:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit Wolfgang's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm busy with a 90 deg corner module. I've built the frame from plywood and used foam. BTW, it's Hon3.

You see I've started with forming scenery.


come to us
Pueblo & Salt Lake RR

Country: Germany | Posts: 306 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 12/23/2010 :  9:25:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit LandNnut's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Country: USA | Posts: 1608 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 07/20/2012 :  1:53:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote

Wolfgang, What happened with the corner module?

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/24/2013 :  2:03:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A lot of links are non functional in this topic now.

Country: Canada | Posts: 2365 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  09:03:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, this topic has been dormant for a long time. But now it's relevant to me :-)

What's everyone's current thinking on benchwork? L-Girder? Frame/box?

Please post photos of your benchwork!


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8029 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  10:51:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Philip's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm just starting again with 2x4 modules, 1x4 frame, topped with 1/2' exterior plywood. Screw together with 2 1/2" drywall screws. At age 60 this will be lighter and portable.


Country: USA | Posts: 2865 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/13/2017 :  11:21:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, my framework is 1x2, box frame. Most of the framework members have been cut from 3/4 sanded both sides plywood, from HD. Depth of the units is no greater than 24. I used a Kreg jig and screws to screw everything together. Everything is cantilevered from the walls.

I use 2 foam on top of that glued down down with Liquid Nails for Projects. But of course plywood will work too.

Glad ur back at it, the basement build must have been painfully slow for you, congrats again


Edited by - tloc on 11/13/2017 11:22:36 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 3353 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 11/16/2017 :  6:00:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My last 6 chunks of framing have used L-girders so I could get a long span between legs (or other supports). I've put crossmembers between the L girders so as to make them fairly rigid independent of the layout on top. Five of these have gotten conventional joists & risers, the one currently in progress is a support for three independently framed modules. In case I do downtown Newburyport, MA nicely enough that someone wants to get it down the stairs without a lot of sawing.

Country: USA | Posts: 6143 Go to Top of Page
Page: of 7 Previous Topic: Fn3 Turnout scratch build Topic Next Topic: HO code 70 wye turnout source?  
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