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Old 06-06-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
Station Master
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: RI
Posts: 3,333

I like the idea of casters so the layout can be moved. Things seem to grow under immovable objects.
My layout will be in the basement on a smooth, relatively flat concrete floor. I had no problems moving my tools on mobile bases but each weighed hundreds of pounds and they were on 3 inch HD casters.
For reference purposes what's a 4x8 HO layout weigh? 2x4 with 3/8 OSB or 1/2 inch ply top.Just a rough idea as I'll up the recommendation to be on the safe side. I subscribe to the old belt and suspenders theory, you never can be too safe.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
Yard Master
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Three rocks south of the Sun
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I've had layouts that weighed as little as 200 lbs and as heavy as several thousand pounds, I guess it's all depends on how big and how much material you use.
I have used casters on a few layouts and it's better to use 2x6 for the border frame not only for weight but for rigidity. Also make sure that any joints are tied together to not allow them to flex. I used spring loaded or cushioning casters as they will make up for any slight variations in the floor height. Also use locking ones too, nothing worse then leaning in to set that last detail and ending up with your face in the round house!

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:01 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rhode Island
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Scales Modeled: Prewar Lionel O ... and some dusty HO
Images: 64
A 2x4 is about 1.25 lbs/ft.

A 1/2" sheet of plywood is about 50 lbs.

So, say maybe 8 2x4's, each at 8' (cut in sections) ... that's 80 lbs, plus 50 lbs for the ply, plus the trains, scenery, wiring, etc. ...

Sean's 200 lb light-end target seems to be about right for a simple/light setup.

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:12 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Posts: 441
Scales Modeled: HO, G
I sell used equipment that often needs to be leveled. Keep in mind that castors that sit a long time can flat spot, so its good to not cheap out, because when they move, the wheels spin independently and you want it to stay as level as possible.

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:48 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NJ
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I have my 4X8 on 2" casters. Frame is all 2X4, 16" on center, and it's actually got two layers of 3/8" ply on the top. This way I can run the layout in my limited space and roll it out if I need access to the back. Works great.
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