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Lightweight, non intrusive brackets

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  • Lightweight, non intrusive brackets

    For a few years, I've been wanting to construct a shelf layout that does not infringe on floor space and allows for bookcases to be constructed underneath it. I came across an article by Bill Darnaby in a early 90's MR that showed a wall bracket that he designed to hold up a narrow shelf. With some modifications, I built a few of these over the weekend and attached them to the wall. They are more than strong enough - I can almost hang on them.

    This is one side of the bracket:

    and the other:

    Wide shot of the layout so far. Once the fascia is installed, there won't be any brackets visible, and there will be plenty of room under the layout for bookcases, etc. I'm experimenting with how big of a span I can have with the foam.

    What do you think?

  • #2
    Tom, I think that your system looks really good so far. Keep the progress photos coming. I assume that the board going up behind the backdrop is what is connected to the wall?



    • #3
      Not being a woodworker or carpenter, could you please elaborate how the bracket is fastened to the wall? There doesn't seem to be anything showing in your photos. Thanks!


      • #4
        That is just the unpainted masonite backdrop.

        The brackets are attached to the walls with more 1x2s. I ran two 1x2s along the walls for the brackets to attach to since the studs are spaced a little far apart.


        • #5
          They look good and slim but i'd be a bit nervous about the strength of the corner joint. Maybe with a longer metal 'L' i'd be happier (and your benchwork looks very lightweight).

          Nice layout BTW. I like industrial switching.

          I've had good success with these on layouts in the past: Make sure you screw the rails into something solid and then you can hang on them.
          Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland but now making a start in On30 in Australia


          • #6

            You're right - I have to brace the corner a little better. Having a radiused backdrop helps a little, but there is still too much unsupported foam.

            I was going to use the metal brackets like you mention, but was concerned about lateral wobbling.

            I should mention that the reason I went with foam is because I change my mind a lot. Foam allows me to take down the scenery and track and replace it with different scenery and track (and scale ). The 7.5x16" sections will fit into a closet in this case.



            • #7
              Hay that looks great! Nice small cantilever to hold the whole works. Have you had any problems with using just Foam? Most people sat you need a sheet of plywood to stiffen it up, but if just foam works, then you don't need to worry about expansion and humidity.

              Mike B
              It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government. -Thomas Paine

              No, That\'s not a mistake. I did that to give it some extra character. I\'m glad you noticed!


              • #8
                I like those brackets! I use the shelf brackets Neil referred to myself but I could see using both.



                • #9
                  I can't see having too much of a problem with foam. It is very rigid, even over a two foot span. I might attach an aluminum 'L' bracket along the wood brackets for the foam to sit into to further improve rigidity.

                  The big problem I have with foam is that it is not flat. Using 2 layers of 1" foam is easier to flatten than one 2" layer though.



                  • #10

                    Thanks for the info on the foam. Lucky for you the ground you are modeling with the foam is not flat either! I'll book mark the thread to watch your progress.

                    Mike B
                    It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government. -Thomas Paine

                    No, That\'s not a mistake. I did that to give it some extra character. I\'m glad you noticed!


                    • #11
                      Hi Tom,

                      Those brackets look very nice. Just a thought, I've built quite a few brackets for my multi-deck layout and have found that both gluing and screwing are well worth doing. If only screwed, it is easy for the wood to crack at the screw holes when stress is placed on the members. Once this happens, you have lost all the rigidity of the support. The glue is much stronger than screws and I actually remove most of my screws once the carpenters glue has dried.
                      Look out for #1, but don\'t step in #2!

                      Andy Keeney

                      Dewitt, MI


                      • #12
                        I would recommend a thin Luan plywood nailed and glued to the support arms. It doesn't take alot of pressure to crack insulation foam, especially if it has pre-cut seams from the factory. Those seams should be installed perpindicular to the support arms. The other more obvious recommendation is don't hang from the support arms. The fact that it can support your body weight is probably a moot point.



                        • #13
                          These brackets look like a bright idea, and I think their L-girder like shape explains the rigidity of the horizontal part of the system. I'd be glad too, to see how exactly they are attached to the wall.


                          • #14
                            The glue is a good idea.

                            I'll get some photos of how the bracket is attached to the wall, but in the meantime, I ran 2 1x2"s along the wall, parallel to the floor, and attached them into the studs. I then screwed in the brackets to these with #12 wood screws.

                            If my studs were 16" apart, I would have just screwed the brackets into those directly, but I'm working in a harry-homeowner remodeled basement and studs are pretty far apart.



                            • #15
                              OK, Tom. This last explanation makes things clear. Thanks.